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Microsoft Azure Fundamentals
Cost Optimization Best Practices
Save on infrastructure
Use Azure credits
- $50 per month for Visual Studio Professional, $150 per month for Visual Studio Enterprise
- Separate Azure subscription under your account that renews each month while you remain an active Visual Studio subscriber
- ❗No SLA, development and testing only
- Azure suspends VMs used for production or that run more than 120 hours.
Use spending limits
- ❗ Not available on pay-only subscriptions, only for subscriptions with a monthly Azure credits.
- Helps you to prevent from exhausting the credit on your account within each billing period.
- Activated by default, you can adjust the spending limit as desired or turn it off.
Use reserved instances
- Purchase Windows/Linux VMs for one-year or three-year terms with payment of entire period or monthly.
- Allows to save save up to 70 to 80 percent off the pay-as-you-go cost
- 💡 Good for static and predictable virtual machines.
Choose low-cost locations and regions
- Prices vary across locations and regions
- 💡 Good idea to use them in locations and regions where they cost less.
- ❗ Consider also that moving data between locations can cost extra and total price can get more expensive.
- Good idea to have them in same region to reduce egress (outgoing network bandwith) traffic between them.
Research available cost-saving offers
- Keep up to date with offers, and switch to ones with most benefits
- See Azure Updates for updates, roadmaps and announcements.
Right-size underutilized virtual machines
- Over-sized virtual machines are a common unnecessary expense on Azure
- Azure Cost Management & Azure Advisor might recommend right-sizing or shutting down VMs.
- Right-sizing = resizing it to a proper size
- E.g. downgrading
Standard_D4sv3 with 90% idle VM to
Standard_D2sv3 to reduce 50% cost.
- ❗ Resizing a VM requires it to be stopped, resized, and then restarted.
- 💡 Takes a few minutes so plan for an outage, or shift your traffic to another instance
Deallocate virtual machines in off hours
- No need to run VMs every hour of every day if they’re only used during certain periods.
- Shut down when not in use and start back up on a schedule
- Saves money on compute costs, 📝 but you still pay for storage.
- Can use automation accounts or auto-shutdown feature on a virtual machine to schedule automated shutdowns.
Delete unused virtual machines
- Saves you on infrastructure costs but also potentially on licensing and operations.
Migrate to PaaS or SaaS services
- Evaluate your architecture if it’s beneficial to move to PaaS.
- Azure operateS hardware efficiently and therefore offer PaaS services cheaper.
- Neutral evolution is to go from IaaS to PaaS iteratively when moving to cloud.
- PaaS saves on resource and operational costs.
- Effort varies
- SQL Server to => Azure SQL Database is very easy.
- Hard to move multi-tier application to a container or serverless-based architecture
- No quick winds from cost-saving perspective
- Azure Architecture Center can give ideas for transforming application & best-practices.
Save on licensing costs
Linux vs. Windows
- The cost of the product can be different based on the OS you choose.
- Useful to compare pricing to determine whether you can save money.
Azure Hybrid Benefit
- Allows you to use existing
- on-premises Windows Server licenses on Azure VMs. (Azure Hybrid Benefit for Windows Server)
- SQL Server licenses for Azure SQL Databases. (Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server)
- Pay only linux rates for those virtual machines
- ❗ Through Software Assurance licenses only.
Use Dev/Test subscription offers
- If you’re on Enterprise Agreement: Enterprise Dev/Test
- No license charges for Windows workloads, only billing you at the Linux rate
- SQL Server & other software under Visual Studio subscription (formerly known as MSDN) are included.
- ❗Users (except testers) must be covered under a Visual Studio subscription
- ❗Only for non-production workloads
Bring your own SQL Server license
- ❗ For customers with Enterprise Agreement
- Use unused on-prem licenses on Azure
- In Azure marketplace search for
Use SQL Server Developer Edition
- Free product for nonproduction use.
- Has all the same features that Enterprise Edition has
- Can find SQL Server images for Developer Edition on the Azure Marketplace for development & testing.
Use constrained instance sizes for database workloads
- Many have high requirements for memory, storage, or I/O bandwidth.
- Often have low requirements for CPU core counts
- Can use VM sizes with lower vCPU count
- Databases like SQL Server and Oracle are licensed per CPU
- Allows you to reduce licensing cost by up to 75 percent.