Azure cloud cost control is one of the areas many enterprises focus on after moving to the cloud. After all, one of the key drivers of the move is significant cost savings. Making savings in the cloud is not a straightforward affair, and often enterprises spend more than they had anticipated. Undefined governance, cloud sprawl, and unexpected use of resources usually cause cost overruns.  

If you’re struggling to regain control of your Microsoft Azure costs, here are five ways to go about it. 

Reserved VM (Virtual Machine) Instances

Reserved VM Instances on Azure, or RIs, let you programmatically commit to a fixed number of VMs and sizes in your Azure cloud. Your commitment would last between one to three years. When you make such a commitment, Microsoft bills you at a fixed rate for compute. 

Taking this approach can save you a significant amount of money compared with using the pay-as-you-go model. With this model, you pay upfront for the committed usage and sacrifice the benefit of better cash flow management. 

Before discussing the Reserved VM option, you need to understand the risks and savings of the decision. Consider historical and forecasted resource utilization and runtime to figure out which Reserved VM Instances will work best for your organization. 

Azure Hybrid Benefits (AHB)

You can combine AHB with RIs to realize up to 70 percent of your cloud costs. RIs can help you achieve significant savings on compute. AHBs can help you save on Operating System (OS) and SQL Server costs. 

Does your organization own an SQL server or a Windows Server license with Software Assurance? Then you’re eligible to run VMs at Linux-based prices. Consequently, for the VM’s compute, you’ll only receive an hourly charge. There will be no charge for the additional OS and SQL server license. 

If your organization doesn’t have eligible licenses, you can still achieve reasonable cost savings with AHBs by buying new licenses. Long term, the cost savings can add up. 

Rightsizing VMs

Rightsizing is one of the key tenets of Azure cloud cost control. Rightsizing VMs entails maximizing the utilization of existing resources to minimize costs. To get rightsizing right, you must understand cloud utilization trends for your organization. Now, compare the utilization metrics to available VM sizes. 

Use third-party tools, such as CloudBolt, to help identify proper sizing. The key to getting it right is to constantly evaluate your VM needs and avoid the “set-it-and-forget-it” mentality. 

Scheduling VMs to Start/Stop Based on Usage Patterns

Scheduling may sound trivial, but it takes effort to analyze usage patterns and availability to make it work for your organization. You can use scheduling in conjunction with autoscaling to take advantage of the cloud’s elasticity and realize cost savings. 

Eliminate Wastage

The best way to eliminate wastage in the cloud is to set up a proper governance strategy. Cloud governance helps you to define what waste is and how to deal with it. One of the key tools of proper governance is resource tagging. It allows you to identify and manage resources based on the metadata assigned to them. 

Curbing resource wastage should be a critical component of your Azure cloud cost control strategy. CloudBolt provides best-in-class cloud governance tools to help eliminate wastage.

See what we can do for Azure cloud cost control today.

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