The Azure Governance Toolbox – Part 5: Cost Controls

In the introduction to this series, we listed the 4 high-level categories of Azure governance, namely resource organization, resource security, auditing, and cost.

In this part, we will focus on Cost Controls.

You can break Cost Controls down into the following sub-categories: Azure Cost Management, and Azure Advisor. Let’s explore each of these.

Azure Cost Management (aka Cloudyn)

Azure Cost Management (aka Cloudyn) Dashboard

Microsoft’s original cost management consisted of only a breakdown of costs by resource and spending rate/forecast

But, on June 29, 2017, Microsoft announced that it had acquired the cloud cost management company Cloudyn. 

Since then, Cloudyn has been re-branded (at least in the Azure portal) as “Azure Cost Management”. With it, we get reporting, dashboards, budgets, optimizations, etc. 

As is the process when acquiring a company/product, the “first” release of Azure Cost Management is just a re-name/re-brand of the Cloudyn product. But as things continue, expect to see a deeper and richer integration directly within the Azure portal, and other experiences.

The documentation has some good tutorials on reviewing usage and costs, forecasting spending, optimizing, and controlling access to data. 

Azure Advisor

Azure Advisor Recommendations Dashboard

Azure Advisor isn’t solely a cost control tool, but it does include suggestions to optimize and reduce costs.

To get an idea of what type of cost recommendations there are, check out the documentation here

There’s not a lot to say about Azure Advisor. I personally expect to see the service’s components decoupled from the Advisor service itself (and Azure Advisor to eventually be discontinued), and brought under a more unified service.

Case in point, the Security “recommendations” are literally just a pointer to Azure Security Center’s recommendations. The Performance recommendations could easily be brought under Azure Monitor, and the Cost recommendations obviously will be supplanted by Azure Cost Management (aka Cloudyn). The only thing left would be the High Availablity recommendations, which could theoretically be grouped within a Monitoring and Insights type of platform. 

Regardless, I did include Azure Advisor within my Azure Monitoring Tools Explained series as well, in case you would like to read about some further examples of use.

Here’s an Introduction to Azure Advisor to get you started.

Now that we’ve covered all 4 high-level categories, namely resource organization, resource security, auditing, and cost, let’s summarize everything. 

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