Introducing Azure Cost Management for partners

Posted on 18 nóvember, 2019

Senior Program Manager

As a partner, you play a critical role in successful planning and managing long-term cloud implementations for your customers. While the cloud grants the flexibility to scale the cloud infrastructure to the changing needs, it does become challenging to control the spend when cloud costs can fluctuate dramatically with demand. This is where Azure Cost Management comes in to help you track and control cloud cost, prevent overspending and increase predictability for your cloud costs

Announcing general availability of Azure Cost Management for all cloud solution partners (CSPs) who have onboarded their customers to the new Microsoft Customer agreement. With this update, partners and their customers can take advantage of Azure Cost Management tools available to manage cloud spend, similar to the cost management capabilities available for pay-as-you-go (PAYG) and enterprise customers today.

This is the first of the periodic updates to enable cost management support for partners that enables partners to understand, analyze, dissect and manage cost across all their customers and invoices.

With this update, CSPs use Azure Cost Management to:

  • Understand invoiced costs and associate the costs to the customer, subscriptions, resource groups, and services.
  • Get an intuitive view of Azure costs in cost analysis with capabilities to analyze costs by customer, subscription, resource group, resource, meter, service, and many other dimensions.
  • View resource costs that have Partner Earned Credit (PEC) applied in Cost Analysis.
  • Set up notifications and automation using programmatic budgets and alerts when costs exceed budgets.
  • Enable the Azure Resource Manager policy that provides customer access to Cost Management data. Customers can then view consumption cost data for their subscriptions using pay-as-you-go rates.

For more information see, Get Started with Azure Cost Management as a Partner.

Analyze costs by customer, subscription, tags, resource group or resource using cost analysis

Using cost analysis, partners can group by and filter costs by customer, subscription, tags, resource group, resource, and reseller Microsoft partner Network identifier (MP NID), and have increased visibility into costs for better cost control. Partners can also view and manage the costs in the billing currency and in US dollars for billing scopes.

An image showing how you can group and filter costs in cost analysis.

Reconcile cost to an invoice

Partners can reconcile costs by invoice across their customers and their subscriptions to understand the pre-tax costs that contributed to the invoice.

An image showing how cost analysis can help analyze Azure spend to reconcile cost.

You can analyze azure spend for the customers you support and their subscriptions and resources. With this enhanced visibility into the costs of your customers, you can use spending patterns to enforce cost control mechanisms, like budgets and alerts to manage costs with continued and increased accountability.

Enable cost management at retail rates for your customers

In this update, a partner can also enable cost management features, initially at pay-as-you-go rates for your customers and resellers who have access to the subscriptions in the customer’s tenant. As a partner, if you decide to enable cost management for the users with access to the subscription, they will have the same capabilities to analyze the services they consume and set budgets to control costs that are computed at pay-as-you-go prices for Azure consumed services. This is just the first of the updates and we have features planned in the first half of 2020 to enable cost management for customers at prices that partner can set by applying a markup on the pay-as-you-go prices.

Partners can set a policy to enable cost management for users with access to an Azure subscription to view costs at retail rates for a specific customer.

An image showing how partners can set a policy to view costs at retail rates for a specific customer.

If the policy is enabled for subscriptions in the customer’s tenant, users with role-based access control (RBAC) access to the subscription can now manage Azure consumption costs at retail prices.

An image showing how customers with RBAC access can manage Azure consumption at retail prices.

Set up programmatic budgets and alerts to automate and notify when costs exceed threshold

As a partner, you can set up budgets and alerts to send notifications to specified email recipients when the cost threshold is exceeded. In the partner tenant, you can set up budgets for costs as invoiced to the partner. You can also set up monthly, quarterly, or annual budgets across all your customers, or for a specific customer, and filter by subscription, resource, reseller MPN ID, or resource group.

An image showing how you can set up budgets and alerts.

Any user with RBAC access to a subscription or resource group can also set up budgets and alerts for Azure consumption costs at retail rates in the customer tenant if the policy for cost visibility has been enabled for the customer.

An image showing how users can create budgets.

When a budget is created for a subscription or resource group in the customer tenant, you can also configure it to call an action group. The action group can perform a variety of different actions when your budget threshold is met. For more information about action groups, see Create and manage action groups in the Azure portal. For more information about using budget-based automation with action groups, see Manage costs with Azure budgets.

All the experiences that we provide in Azure Cost Management natively are also available as REST APIs for enabling automated cost management experiences.

Coming soon

  • We will be enabling cost recommendation and optimization suggestions, for better savings and efficiency in managing Azure costs.
  • We will launch Azure Cost Management at retail rates for customers who are not on the Microsoft Customer Agreement and are supported by CSP partners.
  • Showback features that enable partners to charge a markup on consumption costs are also being planned for 2020.

Try Azure Cost Management for partners today! It is natively available in the Azure portal for all partners who have onboarded customers to the new Microsoft Customer Agreement.