• 4 min read

Azure Cost Management updates – September 2019

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 comes in! Learn more about the latest updates from Azure Cost Management, including a new invoice details view, exporting costs across subscriptions, downloading charts as an image, and more!

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 comes in!

We're always looking for ways to learn more about your challenges and how 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:

Let's dig into the details.


Reconcile invoiced charges with the new invoice details view

Have you ever had to compare your PDF invoice with raw cost and usage details? The process can be a bit daunting. Detailed usage data is critical for analysis and reporting, but can be overkill for invoice reconciliation. You need a summary of your usage with the same granularity as the invoice. This is exactly what you get with the new Invoice details view.

The new Invoice details view showing a table with publisher type, charge type, service, tier, meter, and part number.

With the new Invoice details view, you can also view and filter by part number for Enterprise Agreement (EA) accounts and use publisher and charge type to identify Marketplace purchases. What would you like to see next?


Automate reporting across subscriptions with management group exports

You already know you can dig into your cost and usage data from the Azure portal. You may even know you can get rich reporting from the Cost Management Query API or get the full details, in all its glory, from the UsageDetails API. These are both great for ad-hoc queries, but you may be looking for a simpler solution. This is where Cost Management exports come in!

Cost Management exports automatically publish your cost and usage data to a storage account on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Up to this month, you've been able to schedule exports for billing accounts, subscriptions, and resource groups. Now, you can also schedule exports across subscriptions using management groups. If you manage pay-as-you-go (PAYG) subscriptions, this will be even more powerful because, for the first time, you'll be able to export all cost and usage data for your account from a single place.

If you do start using management groups, don't forget they also allow you to analyze and drill into costs and get notified before they go over predefined limits.

Learn more about exports in the Create and manage exported data tutorial.


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:

  • Download charts as an image – This is now available in the public portal.
    Open the desired view, then click the Export command at the top, select the PNG option, and click the Download charts button.
  • Dark theme support in cost analysis – This is now available in the public portal.
    Support for the Azure portal dark theme was added to cost analysis in early August. We're making the last few final touches and expect this to be available from the full portal in early September.
  • New: Get started quicker with the cost analysis Home view
    Cost Management offers 5 built-in views to get started with understanding and drilling into your costs. The Home view gives you quicker access to those views so you get to what you need faster!
    Cost analysis Home view with links to the 5 built-in views: Accumulated costs, Cost by resource, Daily costs, Cost by service, and Invoice details.

Of course, that's not all! Every change in Cost Management is available in Cost Management Labs a week before it's in the full Azure portal, like the new Invoice details view and scheduling management group exports. 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!


Save and share customized views in cost analysis

You built a custom view, saved it, and even shared it with your team. But now you need to share that view outside the portal. Whether you need to present it as part of a larger PowerPoint deck or simply share it over email, you can now download charts in cost analysis as an image to share it with others. You'll see a slightly redesigned Export menu which now offers a PNG option when viewing charts.

Cost analysis Export command with options to download a PNG image, Excel file, or CSV file.


New ways to save money with Azure

Lots of cost optimization improvements have been introduced over the past month! Here are a few you might be interested in:


Documentation updates

We added a clarification in the budgets tutorial about when to expect email alerts. In general, new cost and usage data is available in Cost Management within 8-12 hours, depending on the service. Budget alerts are processed within the next 4 hours. You can generally expect to receive budget alerts via email or action group within 12-16 hours. Keep in mind this time is based on when services emit usage data. Learn more about Cost Management data in the Understanding Cost Management data documentation.

Want to keep an eye on all documentation updates? Check out the Cost Management 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. 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.