• 5 min read

Azure Cost Management and Billing updates – February 2021

February brings two big releases for Azure Government—general availability support for Pay-As-You-Go subscriptions and the cost allocation preview. You'll also see informational insights and a new download experience in the cost analysis preview, new ways to save with Azure, learning videos, and documentation to help you troubleshoot unexpected charges. We hope you find these updates useful. Let us know what you'd like to see next!

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.


Azure Government Pay-As-You-Go general availability

Azure Cost Management is now generally available for Azure Government Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) subscriptions. This includes everything you have in Azure Global, from cost analysis, exports, and APIs to report on costs within and outside the Azure portal to budgets and recommendations to get alerted about spending increases and optimize costs.

Learn more about Azure Government PAYG support and get tips on how to better manage your cloud costs.


Cost allocation preview for Azure Government

Managing cloud costs can be challenging; especially if your organization needs to break down costs for internal chargeback. You might have separate business units, or you might need to facilitate external billing for distinct customer solutions. This becomes even more difficult when you employ shared services to reduce costs, since there may not be a clear way to break those shared services down by business unit or customer. This is where the cost allocation preview for Enterprise Agreement (EA) and Microsoft Customer Agreement (MCA) accounts comes in. Cost allocation was first released in September 2020 in Azure Global and now has extended support for Azure Government.

Learn more about the cost allocation preview and let us know what you’d like to see next.


Getting insights into your costs

The primary goal of cost analysis in the Azure portal is to deliver quick insights and help you drill into your costs. You can already dive deep into your costs by grouping and filtering by common properties in cost analysis and now the cost analysis preview takes that even further with the introduction of direct, informational insights about your costs into the Resources view.

With the addition of cost insights, you now have an at-a-glance view of the top resource, resource group, and resource type contributors to your total cost. You can also see which resource type you’re using the most. Of course, these are just the first set of insights. We’d love to learn more about what you’d like to see next. Check out the preview and share your feedback today.

Cost insights available from the cost analysis preview in the Azure portal


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:

  • New: View cost for your resources
    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.
  • New cost analysis views for resources and reservationsNow with insights and downloads
    Introducing new, faster cost views that break costs down by resource, resource group, and reservation with additional insights into your top cost drivers and an improved download experience. We’re still working on these. You can see the preview in Cost Management Labs or opt in using Try Preview. Share feedback about this preview.
  • Change scope from the menu
    Change scope from the menu for quicker navigation. You can opt in using Try Preview. Share feedback about this 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. Share feedback about this preview.
  • Streamlined Cost Management menu
    Only show settings in Configuration. Remove Cloudyn, Exports, and Connectors for AWS from the Cost Management menu. You can opt in using Try Preview from Cost Management Labs. Share feedback about this preview.

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

There have been lots of updates over the past month that could help you save. Here are a few you might be interested in:


New videos and learning opportunities

For those visual learners out there, there are three new videos you should take a look at:

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

There have been numerous small documentation updates this month, but we’ll focus on one of interest to help you troubleshoot usage spikes for Enterprise Agreement (EA) and Microsoft Customer Agreement (MCA) billing accounts.

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.