5 min read
Whether you’re a new student, a thriving startup, or the largest enterprise, you have financial constraints, and you need to know what you’re spending, where, and how to plan for the future. Nobody wants a surprise when it comes to the bill, and this is where Azure Cost Management and Billing comes in.
We’re always looking for ways to learn more about your challenges and how Azure Cost Management and Billing can help you better understand where you’re accruing costs in the cloud, identify and prevent bad spending patterns, and optimize costs to empower you to do more with less. Here are a few of the latest improvements and updates based on your feedback:
- Viewing amortized costs in the cost analysis preview.
- Reminder: Cloudyn retiring on June 30.
- What's new in Cost Management Labs.
- New ways to save money with Azure.
- Documentation updates.
Let’s dig into the details.
Viewing amortized costs in the cost analysis preview
The cost analysis preview introduced a new Reservations view when it was first announced in November 2020. The Reservations view shows the total amortized cost for each reservation with a breakdown by resource to facilitate chargeback. Now that same option has been extended to other preview views, allowing you to view amortized cost for your resources, resource groups, or subscriptions. Simply open the view you need, then select Customize and switch from Actual cost to Amortized cost.
If you're not familiar, amortization splits the purchase price of your reservations into daily chunks and allocates these out to the resources that received the benefit. Let's say you purchased a VM reservation for $365 on January 1. Enabling amortization will show $1 every day throughout the year. If your VM ran the full day, it'll get the full $1 for that day. If you only ran it for 12 hours one day, then you'll see $0.50 for the VM and $0.50 for the unused reservation. This is lost savings from your pre-paid, reserved capacity, so you'll want to keep an eye on that. This is exactly what the Reservations view helps you do. And beyond that, what you can use amortized cost for.
Keep using the preview and let us know what you'd like to see next.
Reminder: Cloudyn retiring on June 30
Microsoft acquired Cloudyn in July 2017 to bring a wealth of cost management experience and capabilities to the broader Azure community. Many organizations have known and loved the capabilities Cloudyn brought to the table and now that many of these have been (or are being) integrated into Azure Cost Management, Cloudyn will be retiring on June 30, 2021. Whether you relied on cross-cloud cost governance or cost allocation and chargeback, or maybe you simply need basic cost reporting, accountability, and optimization, Azure Cost Management has you covered. And that's not all. There's even more in the roadmap coming this year, so stay tuned.
If you're a Cloud Solution Provider still using Cloudyn, we've already reached out to you, but as a reminder, you (and your customers) will be able to view, manage, and optimize costs using Azure Cost Management once you transition to Microsoft Customer Agreement and an Azure plan. Again, Cloudyn will be retiring on June 30, 2021, and will no longer be accessible. We thank you for your patronage and look forward to supporting you and your financial goals with Azure Cost Management.
What's new in Cost Management Labs
With Cost Management Labs, you get a sneak peek at what’s coming in Azure Cost Management and can engage directly with us to share feedback and help us better understand how you use the service, so we can deliver more tuned and optimized experiences. Here are a few features you can see in Cost Management Labs:
- Remember last-used scope – Now available in the public portal
Azure Cost Management now remembers the last scope you used, making it easier than ever to pick up where you left off. You can see the preview in Cost Management Labs.
- New: Confirm billing policy status in Configuration
Updated Configuration screen that separates scope and cost management settings and shows whether Cost Management, Reservations, and Azure Marketplace are enabled for your Enterprise Agreement billing account or Microsoft Customer Agreement billing profile.
- View cost for your resources
The cost for your resources is one click away from the resource overview in the preview portal. Just click View cost to quickly jump to the cost of that particular resource.
- Change scope from the menu
Change scope from the menu for quicker navigation. You can opt-in using Try Preview. Share feedback about this preview.
- Open configuration items in the main menu
This is an experimental option to show the selected configuration screen as a nested menu item in the Cost Management menu. You can opt-in using Try Preview from Cost Management Labs. Share feedback about this preview.
- Streamlined Cost Management menu
Only show settings in Configuration. Remove Cloudyn, Exports, and Connectors for AWS from the Cost Management menu. You can opt-in using Try Preview from Cost Management Labs. Share feedback about this preview.
Of course, that’s not all. Every change in Azure Cost Management is available in Cost Management Labs a week before it’s in the full Azure portal. We’re eager to hear your thoughts and understand what you’d like to see next. What are you waiting for? Try Cost Management Labs today.
New ways to save money with Azure
This month was packed with 16 new and upcoming ways to help you optimize your costs:
- General availability: App Service managed certificates.
- General availability: Cosmos DB expanded free tier.
- General availability: Cosmos DB Serverless.
- General availability: 5 new regions for Azure Stream Analytics – Australia Central, Germany West Central, Norway East, South India, UAE North.
- General availability: 8 new regions for Azure Health Bot – Australia East, East US 2, India Central, North Europe, South Central US, Southeast Asia, UK South, West US 2.
- Lower price: Azure Sentinel and Azure Monitor.
- Lower price: ExpressRoute Global Reach.
- Lower price: API Management Premium.
- Free trial extended: Azure Stack hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI).
- Preview: Azure SQL Database ledger.
- Preview: Cosmos DB cost-optimized diagnostics.
- Preview: Cosmos DB Linux emulator.
- Preview: Cosmos DB integrated cache.
- Preview: Event Hubs Premium.
- Coming soon: Azure Database for PostgreSQL free offer.
- Coming soon: Azure Database for MySQL free offer.
Here are a few documentation updates you might be interested in:
- Clarification: Connectors for AWS require an AWS management (or consolidated) account.
- Clarification: Exchanging reservations resets the reservation term.
- How to: View cost for a specific customer in cost analysis.
- Clarification: Updated guidance when common grouping options are null/empty.
Want to keep an eye on all of the documentation updates? Check out the Cost Management and Billing doc change history in the azure-docs repository on GitHub. If you see something missing, select Edit at the top of the document and submit a quick pull request.
These are just a few of the big updates from last month. Don’t forget to check out the previous Azure Cost Management and Billing updates. We’re always listening and making constant improvements based on your feedback, so please keep the feedback coming.
Follow @AzureCostMgmt on Twitter and subscribe to the YouTube channel for updates, tips, and tricks. You can also share ideas and vote up others in the Cost Management feedback forum or join the research panel to participate in a future study and help shape the future of Azure Cost Management and Billing.
We know these are trying times for everyone. Best wishes from the Azure Cost Management and Billing team. Stay safe and stay healthy.