• 7 min read

Microsoft Cost Management updates—February 2023

February brings exciting news as Microsoft joins the FinOps Foundation, Azure pricing pages get a slew of updates, and tag inheritance gets an API update.

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:

Let’s dig into the details.

Microsoft has joined the FinOps Foundation

In today’s economic times, the criticality of cost efficiency is at an all-time high. Organizations need high-quality guidance backed by products and services that help you achieve and maintain that efficiency. This is a large part of what we do today within the Cost Management team and the larger Commerce organization here at Microsoft. In that vein, we are excited to announce that Microsoft has joined the FinOps Foundation as a premier member and has joined the Governing Board, defining the strategy and vision of the organization. Together, we can deliver unparalleled guidance and innovative solutions that empower organizations to increase efficiency and accelerate growth.

As we look toward our future, we’re exploring five primary focus areas:

  1. Defining specifications and evolving best practices.
  2. Aligning our collective guidance.
  3. Improving our products and services.
  4. Advancing training and certification programs
  5. Engaging with the community.

To learn more, see Microsoft joins the FinOps Foundation on the Azure blog.

Updates for Azure pricing pages

We’ve been working hard to make some changes 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.

We’re constantly working to improve our pricing tools and make them more accessible and user-friendly. We hope you find these changes helpful in estimating the costs for your Azure Solutions. If you have any feedback or suggestions for future improvements, please let us know!

Tag inheritance using Settings API

In November, we announced the tag inheritance preview that can be enabled from Cost Management in the Azure portal. It’s exciting to see organizations and teams of all sizes utilizing tag inheritance to streamline their cost monitoring and showback strategies. One of the main requests we’ve heard has been for the ability to programmatically enable tag inheritance, especially as part of onboarding new subscriptions.

This month, we’d like to share how you can automate enabling tag inheritance using the Settings API via a simple PUT request:

PUT https://management.azure.com/subscriptions//providers/Microsoft.CostManagement/settings/taginheritance?api-version=2022-10-01-preview
   "kind": "taginheritance",
   "properties": { "preferContainerTags": false }

You can enable tag inheritance for your subscriptions or billing profiles. To learn more, see Group and allocate costs using tag inheritance.

Group resources with the cm-resource-parent tag

With the ease of provisioning cloud resources, it can be easy to lose track of the total cost as solutions grow. Instead of reviewing a flat list of the many resources that span different solutions, you need a smarter view that groups related resources together. Sonia Cuff explores how you can group your resources in the Cost analysis preview using the cm-parent-resource tag in Group your Azure resource costs with the cm-resource-parent tag. Learn how the tag works and how to apply it to your resources and let us know what you’d like to see next.

What’s new in Cost Management Labs

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:

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.

New ways to save money in the Microsoft Cloud

Here are a few new and updated offers you might be interested in:

New videos and learning opportunities

Here are a few new videos you might 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.

Documentation updates

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

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!

What’s next?

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.

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