Azure VM Dashboard

An Azure dashboard gives users the ability to combine different data into a single pane within Azure. Metrics and logs are an example of the kinds of data that can be combined in an Azure dashboard. The single-pane dashboard provides users with increased visibility of their Microsoft virtual machines with a focused and organized view in the Azure console.  

Dashboards are ideal for quickly launching tasks for day-to-day operations and managing resources and virtual machines. You can customize your dashboards based on projects, tasks, user roles and more. Once your dashboard has been created it can be published and shared with others. 

Dashboard Management

Microsoft has an option that allows account managers to create custom dashboards through the Azure portal, making it possible to create an individual Azure VM dashboard in order to monitor, manage and assess the performance of your VMs. 

Like the Azure administration portal, you can use a custom Azure VM dashboard to start and stop VMs. You can use the Azure Role-based access control feature to create permission tiers for your developers, and – using the Configure feature – change the size of your VMs and the resources assigned to them. Role-based access controls help govern access to Azure resources, what certain users can do with the resources, and the areas they have access too. While these dashboards have many perks, they do come with some limitations, for example, one thing you can’t do with a custom Microsoft Azure VM dashboard is monitor your Azure spend or use any of the dashboard’s features to automate on/off times for your non-production VMs. While Azure has added the ability to start and stop schedules for your virtual machines, the action can only be done in a separate Azure Automation dashboard. It’s almost as if you are in the dark about how much you are spending until you see your bill; and, when you have recovered from the shock after actually receiving your bill, they do not provide you with the tools to do anything about it. 

A few additional limitations include; restricted control over log visualizations and no support for data tables, log charts do not have custom parameters, log charts will only be kept for 30 days, and you can only pin log charts to shared dashboards.

There´s No One-Size-Fits-All Solution

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There are several third-party vendors that have developed software with an Azure VM dashboard built into their product but none of these are one-size-fits-all solutions. Some focus on VM management, some on integrations, and others on cost reduction – although you might not know it when you look at the cost of their subscription packages!

The best way to move forward with this conundrum is to prioritize the features you want in an Azure VM dashboard, and then find a third-party vendor with a product that matches your priorities. For many companies, the missing part in the custom Microsoft Azure VM dashboard is the inability to control Azure costs by automating on/off times for non-production VMs – luckily, this is a gap that can be filled by ParkMyCloud.

Azure VM Dashboards with a Scheduling Feature

We like to think of ParkMyCloud as scheduling software with an “Azure-style” VM dashboard. Similar to an Azure VM Dashboard, ParkMyCloud has a single-view dashboard that allows account managers to create permission tiers, oversee VM activity, increase accountability and identify unused resources. More importantly, ParkMyCloud can help users save up to 65% on the cost of deploying non-production VMs on Microsoft ́s cloud computing platform.

ParkMyCloud helps reduce Azure cloud spend by identifying VMs suitable for “parking” and enabling developers to schedule on/off times for them. Through our versatile Azure VM dashboard, developers can choose which of the recommended VMs they want to park, select a pre-configured parking schedule or create one of their own, and assign the same schedule to all their non-production VMs – there’s also the option to assign different schedules to each.

Azure VM Dashboards with a RightSizing Feature

ParkMyCloud’s RightSizing feature matches workloads with the best Azure virtual machine to support them in order to optimize costs. In Azure, users tend to run into the issue of oversized machines. When people use oversized machines, they are essentially paying for more space than they actually need. People tend to be unaware of these unnecessary costs are that’s where they start to lose control of their cloud costs. 

What a lot of people don’t realize is how easy it can be to start cutting cloud costs. Something as easy as resizing your VMs and selecting the correct type can have a dramatic impact on your Azure cost. For example, by going down one size within the same VM family, you can reduce costs by 50%. By making changes between families and/or other sizes, you have the potential for even greater savings. 

Quick, Easy and Effective VM Scheduling

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ParkMyCloud, a Turbonomic company, is an easy to use SaaS application that takes just a few minutes to implement, with the process for scheduling non-production VMs taking just about as long to complete. Once set, schedules can be adjusted as necessary or users can choose to override a schedule if access to the parked VM is needed out of normal hours. You can even permanently park VMs and override the schedule when access is required. 

Once schedules are set, the Azure VM dashboard displays projected savings over the next thirty days and – once the schedules are operational – the actual savings figure is also displayed. These figures can be viewed and downloaded in report form by account managers so they can monitor accountability by teams and/or credentials, and to help with future capacity, budget and project planning. An Azure VM dashboard doesn’t have the ability to set on/off schedules for non-production VMs, but ParkMyCloud does!

How Much Can ParkMyCloud Save?

Just how much ParkMyCloud can reduce your Azure computing costs depends on a number of factors. For example, some companies will have more non-production VMs that are suitable for parking than others, or use different pricing tiers or deployment regions. Larger companies will also benefit from discounts due to existing software licenses or Microsoft Enterprise Agreements. These different factors can influence the savings amount that a company has with ParkMyCloud.

ParkMyCloud can reduce spend by 65% or more by controlling the deployment of non-production VMs on Microsoft Azure. We predict this amount assuming that most development, staging, and testing of VMs will not be required on the weekends or between 8 PM and 8 AM during the week. That amounts to 64.285% of the hours in a week, so “up to 65%”. Of course, if you use the “permanently parked” feature and snooze the schedule when you want access to your parked VMs, you have the potential for even higher savings.

How Much Can Automating Start/Stop Times Save?
DaysStartStop% Saved
Monday-Friday9.00 a.m.6.00 p.m.73%
Monday-Friday8.00 a.m.8.00 p.m.65%
Monday-Friday7.00 a.m.10.00 p.m.55%
Monday-Saturday9.00 a.m.6.00 p.m.68%
Monday-Saturday8.00 a.m.8.00 p.m.57%
Monday-Saturday7.00 a.m.10.00 p.m.46%

 

Try ParkMyCloud For Free

If you have been looking for an Azure VM dashboard with a scheduling feature, why not try ParkMyCloud free for fourteen days? With our offer, you get a full-package service with customer and technical support to help optimize your Microsoft Azure costs. After fourteen days, you can continue to use ParkMyCloud free of charge with limited features, or upgrade to standard or pro-tier – both offer premium feature-rich packages. Typical payback for our most popular subscription package is less than two months. Let ParkMyCloud’s automation do the work and get your Azure VM costs under control.

There are no costs associated with our free trial offer, no contracts to sign nor credit cards required. In order to register for your free ParkMyCloud trial, simply click on any “Try it Now” button and enter your email address. If you have any questions about the features available on our Azure VM dashboard or about our free trial offer, you are welcome to contact us. Alternatively, you can review our Cloud Management FAQs section via this link.

  • ParkMyCloud fills a gap in the market for businesses that want an easy way to manage their Azure accounts.
  • Our “Azure-style” dashboard gives system administrators total visibility over all their cloud accounts – not just Azure.
  • Our lightweight app can recommend which VMs are suitable for scheduling and which should be re-provisioned to save money.
  • Most businesses will save up to 65% by scheduling start/stop times for non-production VMs – others could save even more.
  • Try ParkMyCloud today. However much you save during the free trial is yours to keep!

 

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