Best Practices for Cost Optimization on Azure Cloud Computing Services

Best Practices for Cost Optimization on AZURE Cloud 
January 30, 2023

Best Practices for Cost Optimization on Azure Cloud Computing Services

According to Microsoft, Azure has more than 68,000 partners and is a preferred choice for approximately 95% of Fortune 500 companies. It is one of the highly trusted, reliable, and easy-to-use platforms. Today, Azure accounts for a large proportion of the IT budget for several small, medium, and large enterprises.  

However, the overall cost of Azure cloud computing is highly dependent upon the service & product in use and the pricing can be expensive if not optimized as per organizational needs. Hence, with Azure cost optimization businesses can practice cost-savings and make the most of Azure architecture. 

In this blog, we will share 11 best practices that can help you save costs while using Azure services and products. 

Inbuilt Azure Cost Optimization Options 

There are various inbuilt options to reduce costs in the Azure cloud. If strategized correctly, these options will help you cut down a handsome IT budget. 

  1. Azure Reserved Instances: Three reservation options allow users to receive significant discounts on products & services. For example, 1-year reserve instance provides a 40-45% discount for most virtual machines and a 3-year reserve instance provides a 60-65% discount for most virtual machines. There is also an option of spot pricing that can provide a discount as high as 80-90%, but this is not recommended as the instances can be interrupted without any notice. 
  2. Azure Hybrid Benefit: It is a program where a user can benefit from Microsoft’s large enterprise install base. For example, if you are using a licensed windows server or SQL server, you can migrate them to the cloud and receive discounts on overall VM cost. Additionally, existing licenses can also be used to avail discounts on Windows Server VMs, SQL Server VMs, and the managed SQL Database service. Furthermore, for a limited period users may also receive security updates for free.
  3. Azure Dev/Test Pricing: Microsoft provides heavy discounts on services if you are using them for development and testing.  
    Check details here: 
  4. Price Matching: Microsoft adjusts Azure’s pricing every three months to match AWS costs for comparable services. 
    Check details here:
    A few of these products are: 
    • Linux VMs vs AWS EC2 
    • Azure Functions vs AWS Lambda 
    • Block Blob Storage (ZRS HOT) vs Amazon S3 Standard 
    • Block Blob Storage (ZRS COOL) vs Amazon S3 Standard-Infrequent Access 
  5. Azure Cost Management: It is free, and accessible to all built-in Azure tools that allow cost analysis. Users can enter data and check areas where they can save on Azure services/products. Microsoft Azure also provides additional tools such as Azure Advisor, Cost Calculator, Cost Analysis, Azure Budgets, and Cloudyn for cost optimization, analysis, and planning.
    Additional Azure Cost Optimization Tips
    Apart from the inbuilt Azure cost optimization option, there are several best practices that if used correctly can help users make better use of Azure services and cut significant budgets.    
  6. Using best-suited VMs: Azure cloud provides numerous different hardware with varied performance capabilities. It is important to try different VMs for the same workload to check the best-suited option at the lowest cost. It is essential to note that cost optimization with VMs is only possible if it is used at full capacity. Utilization of VMs can be monitored using Azure monitor and methods such as auto-scaling can be used to add or remove machines as per requirement. 
  7. Making the most of B-series VMs: With B-series, VMs users are provided discounts ranging between 15-55% if compared to VMs with similar capacity. It is best suited for ideal workloads with occasional high-performance requirements because here users pay for the extra workload only when the CPU power increases to manage occasional workloads.  
  8. Wielding the power of lightweight containers: Containers are lighter than VMs and thus need less space and several can be hosted on one physical host. Loading applications as containers can reduce VM utilization and hence, overall costs. Hence, you can consider using Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) over traditional Azure VMs to save cost. 
  9. Beware of unused disks: Virtual disks are not deleted upon the deletion of a virtual machine and can put a hole in your pocket. Azure portal disks screen can help you actively manage in-use and ideal virtual disks. Empty disks can be deleted or repurposed. 
  10. Make a move to an elastic database: In some cases, moving from traditional SQL server instances to a PaaS model such as Azure SQL service can reduce significant costs as it allows better allocation & distribution of loads over cloud VMs. 
  11. Practice storage tiering: Storage is a major part of Azure deployment costing and using storage tiering can help cut down that cost. Try moving less sensitive or occasionally used data to a lower-cost tier by creating storage tiering automation in your application.   

Want to save costs while using Azure Cloud, let our Rapyder Cloud Expert help you choose the best way to optimize costs. 

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