• 5 min read

Azure Cost Management and Billing updates – October 2020

Last month, we shared a lot of cost optimization tips and tricks. Continuing with that focus, October is all about helping you save money on Azure infrastructure as a service (IaaS), database, or storage offerings. You'll also read about creating subscriptions via Azure Resource Manager deployment templates, be able to participate in a survey to streamline your experience when verifying your billed charges, and get a sneak peek at a few very early previews. Enjoy!

Whether you're a new student, 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.


Introducing the Azure Advisor Score

Wouldn't it be great to have some assurances that you're running your workloads in a cost-efficient manner? That's exactly what Azure Advisor gives you and now, with the Advisor Score, it's easier than ever for you to understand how well your Azure workloads are following best practices, assess how much you stand to gain by remediating issues and prioritize the most impactful recommendations you can take to optimize your deployments.

Advisor Score will help you:

Screenshot of the Azure Advisor Score experience in the Azure portal

Learn more about the Azure Advisor Score and check your score today by visiting Azure Advisor in the Azure portal.


Create subscriptions with ARM templates

As your usage grows and you begin to expand your Azure footprint across multiple subscriptions, you may find situations where you'll want to create subscriptions programmatically. This is especially important for central IT teams or when you want to make sure you can have a fully-packaged application deployable as a single unit. While you can build a script to accomplish this, Azure Resource Manager (ARM) deployment templates make this easier than ever with a simple, declarative language that manages dependencies and handles orchestration on your behalf. Learn how to create subscriptions using ARM templates and start automating your manual processes to save time.


Tell us what you need when verifying billed charges

As you know, we're always looking for ways to learn more about your needs and expectations. This month, we'd like to learn more about how you verify your billed charges to actual usage data. We'll use your inputs to help optimize invoicing experiences in Cost Management and Billing to help you understand and pay your bills faster and easier. The survey should take about 10 minutes.

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:

  1. NEW: Scope pill now opens the location of the current scopeNow available in the public portal
    The scope pill in Cost Management experiences allows you to quickly and easily switch between resource groups, subscriptions, or billing accounts. Now, when you open the scope picker, it defaults to your currently selected scope to make it quicker than ever to switch between scopes.

  2. NEW: New cost analysis views for resources and reservations
    Introducing new, faster cost views that break costs down by resource and reservation. We're still working on these. You can opt into the new views using Try Preview from Cost Management Labs.

  3. Improved getting started
    Expanded getting started experience covering more options across Cost Management and Billing.

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

If all the cost optimization tips and tricks in September weren't enough, we have even more for you this month. If you're using any Azure infrastructure as a service (IaaS), database, or storage offerings, you'll want to check these out.

New pricing options:

Reduced prices for services you're already using:

New features that help you save more:

Expanded set of Azure reservation offers:

And on top of all of this, be sure to check out these additional savings options for your on-prem and cloud infrastructure.


New videos and learning opportunities

If you're using Azure Spring Cloud, here's a new video that'll help you learn how to minimize cost:

Follow the Azure Cost Management and Billing 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 Azure Cost Management and Billing.


Documentation updates

Only one documentation update this month:

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.


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. And, as always, share your ideas and vote up others in the Cost Management feedback forum.

We know these are trying times for everyone. Best wishes from the Azure Cost Management and Billing team. Stay safe and stay healthy!