Microsoft offers a very lucrative deal for Azure customers: When your company is willing to do an upfront investment it’s possible to get an enterprise agreement. Besides dramatical price reduction this agreement gives your engineers the freedom to consume azure services as much as they need, the operations team is able to assign subscriptions for every team and your company gets an invoice that is compliant to local financial regulations.
But what about your financial controllers? How can they keep track of the costs to ensure that the the limits are not exceeded?
Here are some best practices that Microsoft offers to partly achieve this:
- Check your EA reports on a weekly basis
Microsoft delivers weekly consumption report that need to be checked on a regular basis. A second important source is the monthly delivered summary e-mail about the monetary commitment balance.
- Assign your teams, business units or projects to different subscriptions
Microsoft allows to create as many subscriptions as needed, this means it’s possible to give every team or project a separate subscription payed from the enterprise agreement. By that access rights and roles can be modelled.
After working with these two options I recognised that not all of my requirements to manage our costs efficiently were totally fulfilled:
- Multiple usage of the same service should be cumulated in one report entry.
- Analysing costs on subscription level without using a complex pivot table.
- Tagging different resources helps to manage multiple projects in a subscription.
- Cost-Prediction based on the data of the past months.
- Cost-Alerts when specific limits are exceed for enabled EA customers.
So I decided to build a little service based on the Azure platform, called Azure Cost Monitor:
The service is able to process the CSV files from the EA portal and gives a graphical overview including subscription drill down. It is based on modern cloud technologies exclusively e.g. Azure Table Store, Azure WebSites and Azure WebJobs. That’s why the Azure Cost Monitor scales as good as Azure scales and I would like to invite all of you to join this service (https://costs.azurewebsites.net).
Login with your existing Azure Account or LiveId. After that enter your EA number to start analysing your data. An useful report about the cost consumption of your subscriptions will be shown. If you don’t want to enter your personal data right now, feel free to check the demo mode by adding the demo EA number:
I would like to extend this service aligned to the requirements you bring from the field, so please visit the feedback portal of the Azure Cost Monitor and enter your ideas or vote and comment for existing ones.