How to Optimize Your Cloud Costs with Azure

Dan Ortiz

Saving money on computational infrastructure is the number one reason for migrating to the cloud. However, without cloud cost optimization, you may be paying more for the cloud than you should be. Optimizing cloud cost has been the top priority among our Azure users, especially since the pandemic. While cloud cost optimization can provide enterprise-level users with savings that they can invest back in modernizing their IT, for small and medium-sized businesses, it provides a lifeline. Let’s take a closer look at the things to consider in order to optimize your Azure cost as you move to the cloud.

Design Your Cloud Journey

The transition to the cloud from an on-premises environment is no small consideration. It would be best if you spent some time designing your cloud in a way that will meet the goals of the organization. As you are tasked with moving your infrastructure and apps to the cloud, you ought to map your on-premises architecture to ensure that the current environment will translate to the public cloud. Taking the time to design your cloud journey is the first and most important step toward optimizing your cloud cost.

Implement Governance Policies

Proper governance is key to optimizing your cloud cost. Whether it is leveraging a platform, lift and shift, or working within a hybrid model, resource utilization sprawl is commonplace and can come as a big surprise. This can be mitigated with thoughtful policies and access control. You could set up a policy that certain VM types are available, yet others are not. You may also create a chargeback model by tagging VMs by the department as an example. These considerations can save a company a significant amount of money.

Utilize Azure Tools and Benefits

There are benefits and tools available within Azure to assist with potential resource sprawl. Microsoft provides Hybrid Use Benefit that can offer significant savings. Hybrid Benefits require software assurance on eligible products. Not all products are eligible, but the most common areas to offset the cost are SQL Server and Windows Server. Hybrid Benefit for these products can offer savings greater than 50%. You can save further by utilizing Azure Reserved Instances. By using Azure Reserved Instances, you can commit to using virtual machines and get a discount on the cost of the machine. This does not mean that you must pay for the virtual machines upfront. Microsoft also allows you to pay monthly. Azure Cost Management is another tool in Azure that you can leverage to have even more control over your overall cloud cost. Cost management helps you make sure that all reserved instances are used effectively. Additionally, there are programmatic considerations to cost optimization. You also save money by procuring cloud through the right licensing program.

Factor in Downtime Costs

Another consideration is the cost of failure or intrusion. What will downtime cost your company? Will you detect the intrusion? Unplanned downtime takes an average of 93 hours to resolve per an independent IDP study. 68% of breaches took months to discover. The cost to your organization is too high not to consider another set of eyes on your public cloud presence. Connection’s managed services will provide proactive monitoring for server-level hardening, server-level health checks, antivirus protection, 24×7 support, and application performance monitoring, to name a few of the benefits. Connection has multiple Azure Managed Service offerings that are customized to support your company’s needs.

Leverage Experts and a Proven Framework

There are many approaches, methods, and tools to optimize your cloud cost, but what matters most is having the right expertise in those areas. Microsoft Specialists at Connection who are well-versed in Microsoft licensing scenarios for on-premises to cloud migration can help you save money by leveraging a combination of volume licensing with Azure. We have consultants that can guide you from the point of interest to maturity within Azure. Our experts take a holistic approach to your Microsoft infrastructure with service such as Microsoft Landscape Optimization and Azure Landscape Optimization. With solutions specialists, consultants, and architects, our team can provide you with the best Azure cost model.

Dan is a Business Development Manager for Microsoft at Connection with over 10 years of experience in software licensing. In his spare time Dan is an avid hiker.