5 signs that you are spending too much on your Azure cloud

Let’s not talk about the Azure cloud landscape or its rate of adoption. We all know it is an ever-increasing, rapidly evolving market, and Azure, being one of the clear leaders, is gaining the edge in this cloud computing realm.

So, how much will cloud spending bump up?

According to Gartner, “the proportion of IT spending that is being allocated to cloud will accelerate even further in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis. Worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services is forecast to grow 18.4% in 2021 to total $304.9 billion, up from $257.5 billion in 2020.”

As the IT world witnesses a boom in cloud consumption, wasted cloud spending will also continue to soar high.

However, cutting down cloud costs does not mean cutting back on cloud usage. Not making use of Azure cloud and the services you are paying for is as good as wasting money down the drain. Inefficient management of Azure resources, minimal visibility into monthly cloud bills, unsupervised outbound data transfers, etc. all can make your Azure cloud more expensive than it should be.

Let’s delve deeper into five warning signs that indicate you are probably spending too much on your Azure cloud, and that you should watch out for:

1) Purchasing all the resource capacity on demand is the wake-up alarm for sunk Azure cloud costs

Azure cloud spending

The stark reality of the “Pay-As-You-Go” model is far from reducing the overall operational costs in Azure. If you are buying all the resource capacity at on-demand prices, thinking you will “only pay for what you use,” you are missing the “hidden extras or *” on the pricing model.

The “Pay-As-You-Go” model does charge you on the consumption or usage basis, but the prices are higher when compared to reserved instances or capacity. Reserving VM instances and Azure data services for one year or three years can get you up to 72% discounts.

To realize the true potential of Azure and rake in maximum savings, carefully plan out your long-term resource requirements and purchase reservations of VM instances and resource capacity for predictable workloads.

2) Leaking or underutilized resources is a sign that you need to control Azure cloud costs

Are your purchased resources or VMs just for display? Each unused resource or idle VM instance contributes to your wasted cloud spend.

Of course, it is wise to shut down workloads when not in use and clean up obsolete resources. But don’t do so reactively, meaning you will opt for quick fixes for short-term cost issues without contemplating all the cost-saving strategies and the benefits that come with it in the long-run.

Reusing, repurposing, or reallocating your existing resources rather than creating or scaling up new ones is a smarter move to drive cost efficiency. Besides, you can always move your idle or running instances from high-cost data center regions to lower-cost regions.

3) Overprovisioning of VM instance sizes evaporates too much money

If the instance sizes you purchased are overprovisioned, oversized, and do not cater to your computing needs, it is high time that you rethink your provisioning or resource allocation strategy.

It is quite common to make educated guesses and end up overestimating your workload requirements, purchasing large VM instance sizes that you don’t need. Rightsizing or downsizing VMs in the overprovisioning case is your third step toward Azure cost optimization. Starting with small VM instance sizes and scale them up as your IT requirements expand is the next best thing to take advantage of in Azure.

However, Azure’s best-kept secret of unlocking significant cost savings is B-series burstable VMs ideal for less-busy workloads or servers handling light traffic. Burstable instances come with a baseline performance and keep accumulating credits when workloads use only a fraction of the CPU’s baseline performance. Once enough credits are built up, the VM bursts the baseline usage up to 100% of the vCPU to handle heavy traffic demands. Therefore, you don’t pay for the entire CPU when you need less compute power.

4) If you are not monitoring Azure Data Box data transfers, then who is?

Data transfers to and across Azure can get tricky and expensive if they go unnoticed. Overlooking outbound data transfer requests will translate into huge monthly cloud bills before you know it.

When you use Azure Data Box Gateway for egressing large volumes of data from the cloud, transfer costs skyrocket rapidly. Take this as a critical warning and optimize data transfers to and from Azure by embracing the following tips:

  • Data transfer costs are directly proportional to how far is the location of your data source. Consider storing your data in a region closer to the data center where it is actually being used.
  • Outline the most optimal and shortest path for cross-region and cross-zone data transfers across Azure. It is a classic and highly cost-effective way of managing data transfer requests.
  • Using incremental synchronization, compress and deduplicate your data before the transfer. This way, you won’t rack up bandwidth or networking costs.

5) Minimal visibility into Azure cloud + Zero automation = unwanted cost spikes

Not knowing the number of open accounts in Azure cloud across your organization is warning sign number 5 that says you need to monitor, review, question, and fine-tune your cloud consumption regularly.

Organizations, big or small, usually have multiple accounts and users that run several workloads, allocate resources to projects, and consume various services. Consider these as the hotspots of your cost centers. And the worst part, no one has end-to-end visibility or centralized control over what or who is causing the spending sprees.

That said, the touted approach to minimizing and managing Azure costs is twofold:

  • Widen your visibility lens for in-depth cost analysis and complete control over your Azure services, resources, and accounts.
  • Automate processes such as workload scheduling, cost anomaly alerting, and termination of unused, old resources for better cost optimization.

Do not let the cost meter spin faster only because some developer or IT manager forgot to pause running VMs or discard idle resources, and you do not have in-and-out visibility into your over-spender’s activities.

Bottom Line:

Like it or not, cloud spending will be highly dynamic as the state of the cloud continues to shift. Organizations failing to leverage the power of cloud automation, cost optimization recommendations, and provider discounts will not only struggle to gain the competitive edge but also end-up on a high-expenditure minefield.

You can either choose to manage your Azure cloud costs all by yourself — the hard way or take the easy, more efficient approach — by bringing an intelligent, automated cloud cost management platform into play. CloudMonitor fits rightly into the picture where you can monitor, optimize, and manage your Azure cloud consumption and costs in one single pane of glass.

Interested on an Azure Cost Optimisation Review?

If you would like to know how much you could save on your Azure subscription, then register for our Azure Cost Optimisation Review. This will lower costs and help you build a sound cost governance processes in place to keep your Azure subscription under budget.

The report will include:

  • A list of business systems currently in place (Azure cloud maturity estate)
  • Comparison of current spent reports vs budget
  • Identify cost savings opportunities and underutilised resources
  • A strategic roadmap of the cost optimisation implementation and
  • Management processes improvement recommendations

Includes: 3-day assessment, workshop & final reports and presentation of the findings to main shareholders.

Rodney Joyce

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