One of the key reasons organisations are moving to the cloud is to take advantage of the flexible payment model. Your upfront fees are replaced by a “pay only for what you use” model giving you greater control over your spending. However, this level of freedom means you need to closely manage your cloud usage. With a strategy that includes adequate reporting tools, you can experience significant savings, but if you don’t have complete visibility, you’ll likely end up with unnecessary costs.
When you have the right set-up, Azure includes all the tools you need to track and effectively manage your cloud usage and spending. Here is a cheat sheet on how to position yourself with the right reporting tools in Azure, to get the most value from the cloud.
Deployment with Azure Resource Manager
To get the level of visibility you need, it’s essential you use Azure Resource Manager for all your deployments. Resource Manager has some important capabilities that the classic deployment lacks including the ability to create resource groups and apply tags. Microsoft recommends that users deploy all new resources using Azure Resource Manager, and if possible redeploy existing resources through Resource Manager, to take advantage of the many benefits.
Why Tagging is a Must
In situations where there are literally thousands of virtual machines running at once, tagging keeps everything in order. It ensures your resources are correctly defined, managed and charged back to the right department. You can tag resources that are connected in any way that makes sense to you, and they don’t need to belong to the same resource group to be tagged together.
For example, you can tag together resources that are connected to a certain project, or are related to a particular department within your organisation. You can then use your tags to give you cost visibility, but to be effective, your tagging must be consistent. Creating a tag taxonomy makes it easy for everyone to correctly name and group tags avoiding discrepancies in reporting and billing.
See the Full Picture
To keep your costs in check, you need full visibility – and that means seeing all your subscriptions and costs. With tagging you can organise your resources logically, and view costs for each group of resources that share the same tag. The ability to slice and dice by resource tags to show consumption across service, business unit, cost code, resource type or any other metrics that matter to your business, is key to effective cost management.
Review and Optimise
With this level of visibility, you’ll swiftly identify any areas where there’s a potential to save, and rectify any budget blowouts before they become an issue. Your recommendations are based on actual performance and can be updated continually to ensure the latest item meters are used to optimise the environment. With Azure, you also have the ability to use the predictive analytics to show where your spend is going, which helps with planning and forecasting.
The Right Set-up Is Everything
In the cloud, you pay for everything you use, so setting up your resources correctly and generating readable reports is essential. When you deploy through Azure Resource and have a consistent system for tagging, your costs are allocated and traceable and you can see exactly where your spend is going. With a complete view of your usage and spending, you’ll get maximum value from the cloud.
Find Out More
If you’re keen to find out how you can get more value from the cloud, download our latest white paper, 3 Perspectives to Maximise Your Value from Azure.