One of the key reasons why businesses opt for cloud computing is the possibility of achieving considerable cost reductions. However, it is important to note that while cost savings are attainable in the cloud as opposed to on-premises, there is also a risk of overspending due to the uncontrolled expansion of cloud services, lack of defined policies, and unforeseen or unbudgeted usage of Azure resources.
With basic analysis and effective planning, it is possible to take back control of Azure cloud expenses and attain true cost optimization:
1. Explore payment options
Azure offers enterprises several different payment options for virtual machines:
2. Switch workloads to containers
Containers are an alternative option to virtual machines, which can result in substantial cost savings. Containers consolidate multiple tasks onto much fewer servers, enabling businesses to convert applications into containers and reduce their reliance on virtual machines, which further reduces costs. The advantages of using containers include decreased digital footprints, faster operations, and integrated monitoring.
Consult with an Azure expert to evaluate your project’s specific requirements before taking this approach, as it can potentially lead to increased expenses without careful planning.
3. Unused virtual disk removal
When deleting an Azure virtual machine from your IT infrastructure, the virtual disks are not automatically deleted. This can lead to increased costs occurring in the background, so it is important to locate any unused virtual disks and remove them. You can do this using the Disks page in the Azure portal, which displays all active virtual disks and any that are empty in your storage account. If a virtual disk has no linked virtual machine, it can be deleted to ensure your Azure costs are optimized and prevent unnecessary costs.
4. Tiered storage options
Storage in Azure can become costly without proper management. A tiered storage model can help to optimize this and to decrease expenses.
Azure Blob Storage offers three primary storage options, namely Hot, Cool, and Archive. As the name suggests, Archive storage is specifically designed to store data that is not accessed frequently and needs to be archived for more than three months. This tier is the most cost-effective option compared to other tiers and is suitable for infrequently accessed data. The Hot storage tier is designed for data that undergoes frequent changes, while the Cool storage tier is for data that is accessed less frequently. Data can be stored in the Cool tier for 30 days or more. Based on your usage, selecting the longest storage tier can help reduce storage costs.
5. Tag Azure resources
To ensure effective cost optimization in Azure, it is recommended to implement a policy for tagging resources. The use of tools such as Azure Resource Manager can help enforce this practice and ensure its effectiveness.
Cloud resources can be labeled with tags that help identify various details such as the user who created them or the cost center they belong to within an organization. Administrators can then access and search through tags to allow for effective monitoring of active resources and identification of workloads that can be terminated if they are not in use. Without a tagging resources policy in place, it is difficult to find these resources and avoid paying for virtual machines that aren’t needed.
6. Move to different regions
The cost of using Azure varies based on the location of the data centers or regions. Cloud regions refer to a group of data centers located in a particular geographical location. The choice of region is crucial as it determines the physical location of the workload hosting. When calculating expenses, it’s important to take into account where your resources are located. Additionally, if feasible, you can opt to move your workloads to a more cost-effective region.
Cost optimization with the Azure experts
Optimizing Azure costs can go a long way to reducing your cloud spending for the short and long term. For effective Azure cost optimization management of your costs and to optimize your cloud spending, Aquarius IQ’s cloud specialists can assist and help you leverage the most out of your Azure investment.