Perhaps your CFO or CTO came to you and gave a directive to save money on Azure. Perhaps you received the bill on your own, and realize that this needs to be reduced. Or maybe you’re just migrating to the cloud and want to make sure you’re set up for cost control in advance (if so, props to you for being proactive!)
Whatever the reason you want to reduce your bill, there are a lot of little tips and tricks out there. But to get started, here are the top 3 ways to save money on Azure.
1. Set a spending limit on your Azure account
Our first recommendation to save money on Azure is to set a spending limit on your Azure account. We especially recommend this if you are using your Azure account for non-production. This is because once your limit is reached, your VMs will be stopped and deallocated. You will get an email alert and an alert in the Azure portal, and you do have the ability to turn these back on, but this is of course not ideal for any production systems.
Additionally, keep in mind that there are still services you will be charged for, even if your spending limit has been reached, including Visual studio licenses, Azure Active Directory premium, and support plans.
Here are full instructions on how to use the Azure spending limit on the Azure website.
2. Right size your VMs
One easy way to spend too much on your Azure compute resources is to use VMs that are not properly sized for the workload you are running on them. Use Azure’s Advisor to ensure that you’re not overpaying for processor cores, memory, disk storage, disk I/O, or network bandwidth. More on right-sizing from TechTarget.
While you’re at it, check to see if there’s a less-expensive region you could choose for the VM for additional cost savings.
3. Turn non-production VMs off when they’re not being used
Our third recommendation to save money on Azure is to turn non-production VMs off when they’re not being used – otherwise, you’re paying for time you don’t need. It’s a quick fix, and one that can save 65% of the cost of the VM – if, for example, it was running 24×7 but is only needed 12 hours per day, Monday through Friday.
One basic approach is to ask developers and testers to turn their VMs off when they are done using them — if you do this, ensure that your users are using the Azure portal to put these VMs in the “stopped deallocated” state. If you stop from within a VM, it will be put in a “stopped” state and you will continue to be charged.
However, relying on human memory is not best, so you’ll want to schedule your non-production VMs to shut down on a schedule. You could attempt to script this, but this is counter productive and wastes valuable development resources to write and maintain.
Instead, it’s best to use software like ParkMyCloud’s to automate on/off schedules – including automating schedule and team assignment for access control – and keep your Azure non-production costs in check.
These three methods should get you started on your goal to reduce costs. Have any other preferred methods to save money on Azure? Leave a comment below to let us know.