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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:

Let's dig into the details.


Schedule automated emails of your saved cost views

One of the most critical aspects of cost management is staying informed about changes to your cost. You already know you can get alerted when cost exceeds predefined thresholds with budgets and that you can save and share custom views in cost analysis for quick reference. Now you can also subscribe to updates and share those views with people outside the portal on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.


Getting setup is easy:

  1. Go to cost analysis.
  2. Select any billing account, subscription, or resource group you want to view.
  3. Select a private or shared chart view you want to share (or create and save a new chart view).
  4. Click the Subscribe command, click +Add, and fill out the form.
  5. If you want to test the email before the first occurrence, click the ellipsis next to the email name in the list and select Send now.
    (Note this will send it to all recipients, so only include your email address if you want to be the only one to receive it at first.)

That's it! If you opted to send it now, you should receive it within 15 minutes or so, depending on how much data you requested and if you opted to include CSV data in the email.

Keep in mind that whoever receives the email (either directly or by someone forwarding it) will be able to view the embedded chart and linked CSV cost data, but they won't be able to open the view in the portal. To see the interactive view in the portal, they will need Cost Management reader access.

Try scheduled emails

As always, we'd love to get your feedback to know where you'd like to see this capability go and what you'd like to see next. This is currently being rolled out, so you may not see the Subscribe command immediately. If you don't see it yet, visit the preview portal to setup your scheduled emails.


New cost recommendations for Azure Data Explorer and Cosmos DB

Cost optimization is on everyone's mind these days. Just about every conversation we have with organizations ends in ways to better reduce and optimize costs. This month we have new cost recommendations for two of my favorite data services: Azure Data Explorer and Cosmos DB.

For Azure Data Explorer, cost recommendations will help you:

  • Correctly size the cluster (SKU and/or instance count).
  • Reduce cache policy for Azure Data Explorer tables.
  • Enable optimized auto scaling (if the cluster is really capable of scaling in).
  • Delete empty and unused clusters.
  • Stop unused clusters with data inside them.

Learn more about new Azure Data Explorer recommendations to optimize cost, performance and operational excellence.

For Cosmos DB, cost recommendations will help you know when your databases and containers would benefit most from either autoscale or manual throughput. This one's pretty exciting to see both sides of the spectrum being accounted for. Learn more about the new Cosmos DB recommendations.


Help shape the future of cost reporting

Do you report on or manage cost for your team or organization? Do you need to group and organize cost across multiple subscriptions, resource groups, or billing accounts? We're exploring new capabilities to improve cost reporting and would love to get your feedback in a brief, 10-minute survey.

Please share this with others within your organization. We're looking for as much feedback as we can get to address one of the most common pain-points we hear about from large teams and organizations.

Take the survey.


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:

  • Update: Multitasking in the cost analysis previewNow enabled by default in Labs
    Introducing a new tabbed experience in the cost analysis preview. Start with a list of the built-in views and open multiple tabs to explore different aspects of your costs simultaneously. You can opt in using Try Preview or by using the cost analysis preview in Cost Management Labs. Let us know what you think. We're looking for explicit feedback here.
  • Subscription cost anomalies
    Identify subscription cost anomalies with insights in the cost analysis preview. You can enable the cost anomaly preview using Try preview. If you don't see anomaly details in insights after enabling the preview, check back after 24 hours. Note that anomaly detection is only available when viewing cost for a subscription scope.
  • Subscribe to updates of your saved cost views
    You already know you can save and share custom views in cost analysis. Now you can also subscribe to updates and share those views with people outside the portal on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. You can opt-in using Try Preview or by using classic cost analysis in Cost Management Labs.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Streamlined Cost Management menu
    Only show settings in Configuration. Remove Exports and Connectors for AWS from the Cost Management menu. You can opt-in using Try Preview from Cost Management Labs.

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

Lots of cost optimization improvements over the past month! Here are ten new and updated offers you might be interested in:


Documentation updates

Here are a few documentation updates you might be interested in:

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.


Join the Azure Cost Management and Billing team

Are you excited about helping customers and partners better manage and optimize costs? We're looking for passionate, dedicated, and exceptional people to help build best in class cloud platforms and experiences to enable exactly that. If you have experience with big data infrastructure, reliable and scalable APIs, or rich and engaging user experiences, you'll find no better challenge than serving every Microsoft customer and partner in one of the most critical areas for driving cloud success.

Join our team.


What's next?

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.

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