7 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 it’s being spent, and how to plan for the future. Nobody wants a surprise when it comes to the bill, and this is where Microsoft Cost Management comes in.
We’re always looking for ways to learn more about your challenges and how Microsoft Cost Management 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:
- Reservation utilization alerts.
- Updates for Azure pricing pages.
- Help shape the future of cost reporting.
- What’s new in Cost Management Labs.
- New ways to save money with Microsoft Cloud.
- New videos and learning opportunities.
- Documentation updates.
Let us dig into the details.
Organizations are always looking for ways to optimize their cloud spend and make the most of their investments. So, maximizing the usage of purchased reservations is on top of mind for many of our customers. In cost management, you have always had the ability to view and monitor reservation utilization percentages. With the recently launched preview of reservation utilization alerts, now you can also get email notifications when any of your selected reservations are below your configured threshold value for utilization. Getting started is easy, go to cost alerts and create an alert rule of type ‘reservation utilization’. You may already be familiar with this experience if you have configured alerts for anomalies in your subscriptions.
Reservation utilization alerts can be created at the Billing account (EA), Billing profile (MCA), and Customer (MPA) scopes. To learn more, please see Reservation utilization alerts—preview.
Updates for Azure pricing pages
June 2023 has seen many improvements and new prices added to our Azure pricing experiences, and we’re excited to share them with you. These changes will help make it easier for you to estimate the costs of your solutions.
- The Virtual Machines Selector tool has been improved to help customers find the closest matching virtual machine to their technical requirements, making it easier to estimate costs for various Azure products.
- We have launched pricing details for a new service, Azure AI Content Safety, which detects harmful user-generated and AI-generated content in applications and services.
- Our Cognitive Services have seen many changes, including new custom summarization and custom sentiment detection offers on Language Service, a new Vision Florence feature “Shelf Analysis” on Computer Vision, and new pricing for Disconnected Containers Commitment tier across Language Service, Translator Service, Language Understanding, and Speech Services. These updates will make it easier for customers to estimate costs for AI solutions.
- Many new offers have been added across Virtual Machines (new NG Series and Dlsv5 went generally available), Block Blobs and Azure Data Lake Storage (Cold Tier pricing estimation added to the calculator), Form recognizer (updated calculator and pricing page with new “read” commitment tier and new PAYG offers), Data Explorer (simplified and added new SKUs to the pricing page), Azure Container Instances (introduced spot containers pricing in public preview), Azure NetApp Files (added pricing for the new Double encryption offer), Azure Monitor (updated pricing on SMS and Voice Call offers), and Azure Communication Services (added estimation for the call recording offer to the calculator). These updates will provide customers with more options and flexibility when estimating costs for different Azure services.
We’re constantly working to improve our pricing tools and make them more accessible and user-friendly. We hope these updates will make it easier for customers to estimate costs and choose the right Azure services for their needs. If you have any feedback or suggestions for future improvements, please let us know!
Do you report on or manage costs for your team or organization? Do you need to group and organize costs across multiple subscriptions, resource groups, or billing accounts? We are exploring new capabilities to improve cost allocation and would love to get your feedback in a brief, 10-minute survey.
Please share this with others within your organization. We are 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.
With Cost Management Labs, you get a sneak peek at what’s coming in Microsoft 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:
- New: Anomaly and reservation utilization alert rules—Now enabled by default in Labs.
Manage anomaly and reservation utilization alerts from the new Alert rules page. Anomaly detection alerts are available for all subscriptions and reservation utilization alerts are available for Enterprise Agreement billing accounts and Microsoft Customer Agreement billing profiles. You can enable the Alert rules page in Cost Management from the Try preview menu.
- New: Drill down in Cost analysis smart views—Now enabled by default in Labs.
Drill into your cost data with one click using Cost analysis smart views. You can drill into a row to view the full details, view related resources from the context menu (three dots), open the resource to manage it from the Go to menu, remove filters using the Customize command, and use the Back command to undo a change. You can enable this option from the Try preview menu.
- New: Streamlined Cost Management menu.
Organize Cost Management tools into related sections for reporting, monitoring, optimization, and configuration settings. You can enable this option from the Try preview menu.
- Merge cost analysis menu items.
Only show one cost analysis item in the Cost Management menu. All classic and saved views are one-click away, making them easier than ever to find and access. You can enable this option from the Try preview menu.
- Recommendations view.
View a summary of cost recommendations that help you optimize your Azure resources in the cost analysis preview. You can opt in using the Try preview menu.
- Forecast in the cost analysis preview.
Show your forecast cost for the period at the top of the cost analysis preview. You can opt in using Try preview.
- Group related resources in the cost analysis preview.
Group related resources, like disks under virtual machines or web apps under App Service plans, by adding a “cm-resource-parent” tag to the child resources with a value of the parent resource ID.
- Charts in the cost analysis preview.
View your daily or monthly cost over time in the cost analysis preview. You can opt in using Try Preview.
- 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 resource.
- Change scope from the menu.
Change scope from the menu for quicker navigation. You can opt-in using Try Preview.
Of course, that’s not all. Every change in Microsoft Cost Management is available in Cost Management Labs a week before it’s in the full Azure portal or Microsoft 365 admin center. 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.
Here are new and updated offers you might be interested in:
- Azure HX Virtual Machines for HPC.
- Azure HBv4 Virtual Machines for HPC.
- Azure Stream Analytics is launching a new competitive pricing model.
- Azure Monitor managed service for Prometheus.
- Cost-optimizations with transformations on Log Analytics for troubleshooting Cosmos DB.
- Azure Front Door upgrade from standard to premium.
- Reduced pricing for Azure Video Indexer.
- Zone Redundant Storage for Azure Disks is now available in Japan East and Korea Central.
- Preview: NGads V620 Series VMs optimized for cloud gaming.
- Preview: Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 9.2 support for AMD confidential VMs.
- Preview: Azure Container Instances(ACI) Spot containers.
- Preview: Azure Front Door Standard/Premium in Azure Government.
- Preview: Azure Chaos Studio is now available in West US 2 region.
Here is a new video you may be interested in:
Follow the Microsoft Cost Management YouTube channel to stay in the loop with new videos as they’re released and let us know what you’d like to see next.
Want a more guided experience? Start with Control Azure spending and manage bills with Microsoft Cost Management.
Here are a few documentation updates you might be interested in:
- Newly updated menu in the Cost Management documentation.
- Updated: Create and manage budgets—Added details about push notifications.
- New: Published Reservation utilization alerts article.
- New: Published Copy billing roles from one MCA to another MCA across tenants with a script billing article.
- New: Published Access your EA billing account in the Azure Government portal Azure Government article.
- 9 updates based on your feedback.
Want to keep an eye on all documentation updates? Check out the Cost Management and Billing documentation 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. You can also submit a GitHub issue. We welcome and appreciate all contributions!
These are just a few of the big updates from last month. Don’t forget to check out the previous Microsoft Cost Management updates. We’re always listening and making constant improvements based on your feedback, so please keep the feedback coming.
Follow @MSCostMgmt 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 Microsoft Cost Management.
Best wishes from the Microsoft Cost Management team. Stay safe and stay healthy.