Whether you’re a new student, or part of a thriving startup or the largest enterprise, you have financial constraints, and you need to know what you’re spending, where it’s being spent, and how to plan. Nobody wants a surprise when it comes to the bill, and this is where Microsoft Cost Management comes in.
We’re always looking for ways to learn more about your challenges and how Cost Management can help you better understand where you’re accruing costs in the cloud, identify and prevent bad spending patterns, and optimize costs to empower you to do more with less. Here are a few of the latest improvements and updates based on your feedback:
- Billing Tags
- Exports (preview)
- Pricing updates on Azure.com
- Help shape the future of Pricing calculator
- What’s new in Cost Management Labs
- New ways to save money with Microsoft Cloud
- New videos and learning opportunities
- Documentation updates
Let’s dig into the details.
Table of Contents
Tags are a great way to group and allocate costs based on different engineering departments, business units, and organizational hierarchies, for example. There are many tools available in Microsoft Azure to implement your tagging strategy for cost visibility (showback) and accountability (chargeback). You can create Azure policies to ensure that your Azure resources are tagged in a certain way, enable the tag inheritance feature in cost management to use subscription and resource group tags for cost reporting, and create cost allocation rules using tags to manage shared costs, among other actions.
We’re very pleased to announce one more capability that you can potentially use to implement your tagging strategy for your cost allocation needs. In addition to tagging Azure resources, you can now also tag billing profiles and invoice sections and use them for cost reporting and analysis by enabling tag inheritance at the billing profile level. If you already have tag inheritance enabled, any tag applied to billing profiles or invoice sections will automatically be inherited.
In our year-end blog, I mentioned the opportunity to sign up for the much-improved Exports experience with access to more datasets including reservation recommendations, reservation transactions, reservation details, and price sheets. Now, you can directly enable the new functionality through Cost management labs.
I strongly encourage you to take advantage of this preview and get access to additional datasets along with improved user experience and new functionality. With features like file partitioning and file overwriting you can also potentially save on your network and storage costs. We have also added support for FinOps open cost and usage specification (FOCUS) dataset which combines amortized and actual costs, eliminating the need to ingest and process multiple datasets.
For more details, please refer to this article.
Pricing updates for Azure.com
It’s been a few months since we last shared an update on our Azure pricing experiences, and we’re excited to tell you about the new pricing we’ve launched. These enhancements aim to streamline your cost estimation process for Azure solutions.
- We’ve integrated Azure Savings Plan into the Azure Container Apps service, both on its pricing page and calculator.
- The virtual machines selector tool now includes Azure Resource Manager (ARM)-based burstable virtual machines (VMs).
- Our suite of AI-related services has seen numerous pricing updates. This includes Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service (new “whisper” speech model), Microsoft Azure AI Content Safety (jailbreak risk detection and protected material detection features), Microsoft Azure AI Speech (Avatar Text-to-Speech feature and enhanced add-on features for commitment tiers), Microsoft Azure AI Vision (‘video retrieval’ and ‘image retrieval’ features), and Azure AI Search (general availability of the Semantic Ranker feature).
- We’ve launched new pages for Microsoft Azure HDInsight on AKS (preview), Microsoft Azure Managed Confidential Consortium Framework (as a pricing page and as a calculator service), Microsoft Fabric (as a calculator service), and Microsoft Azure IoT Operations (pricing page for preview). We’ve also revamped several pages for improved user experience, including Microsoft Azure AI Vision, Microsoft Azure AI Language, Microsoft Azure App Service, and the Microsoft Azure Electric SAN’s pricing calculator.
- We’ve updated the pricing of recently generally available services and features in Azure, including Microsoft Azure Chaos Studio, the Microsoft Azure Monitor SCOM Managed Instance feature, Azure Communication’s Job router feature, and Microsoft Azure Blob Storage’s Cold tier.
- Many other services have seen updates in features and pricing, including Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines, Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB, Microsoft Azure VM Ware Solution, Microsoft Fabric, Microsoft Azure Red Hat OpenShift, Microsoft Azure SQL Database, Microsoft Azure SQL Managed Instance, Microsoft Defender for Cloud, Microsoft Azure Databricks, Microsoft Azure Database for MySQL, Microsoft Azure Backup, Microsoft Azure Managed Grafana, block Microsoft Azure Blob Storage, Azure Container Apps, Microsoft Azure Update Manager, Microsoft Azure Active Directory, Microsoft Azure Notification Hubs, and Azure App Configuration.
We continue to strive for improvements in our pricing tools to make them more accessible and user-friendly. We hope these changes assist you in estimating costs for your Azure Solutions. Your feedback and suggestions for future improvements are always welcome.
We know that Pricing calculator is an important tool for you to estimate costs of your Azure resources and plan your cloud spend. We would love to hear from you as we create new designs for the calculator to improve your experience. Please share your feedback in this study and feel free to share within your organization.
This is an unmoderated study and should take less than 30 minutes.
What’s new in Cost Management Labs?
With Cost Management Labs, you get a sneak peek at what’s coming in Cost Management and can engage directly with us to share feedback and help us better understand how you use the service so we can deliver more tuned and optimized experiences. Here are a few features you can see in Cost Management Labs:
- New: Exports (preview)
As mentioned above, use Exports (preview) for additional datasets and functionality.
- Currency selection in Cost analysis smart views
View your non-USD charges in USD or switch between the currencies in which you have charges to view the total cost for that currency only. To change currency, select Customize at the top of the view and select the currency you would like to apply. Currency selection is not applicable to those with only USD charges. Currency selection is enabled by default in Cost Management Labs. If not enabled for you, enable currency selection from the Try preview menu.
- Streamlined Cost Management menu
Organize Cost Management tools into related sections for reporting, monitoring, optimization, and configuration settings. You can enable this option from the Try preview menu.
- Recommendations view
View a summary of cost recommendations that help you optimize your Azure resources in the cost analysis preview. You can opt in using the Try preview menu.
- Forecast in Cost analysis smart views
Show your forecast cost for the period at the top of Cost analysis preview. You can opt in using Try preview.
- Group related resources in Cost analysis smart views
Group related resources, like disks under virtual machines or web apps under App Service plans, by adding a “cm-resource-parent” tag to the child resources with a value of the parent resource ID.
- Charts in Cost analysis smart views
View your daily or monthly cost over time in Cost analysis smart views. You can opt in using Try preview.
- View cost for your resources
The cost for your resources is one click away from the resource overview in the preview portal. Just click View cost to quickly jump to the cost of that resource.
Of course, that’s not all. Every change in Cost Management is available in Cost Management Labs a week before it’s in the full Azure portal or Microsoft 365 admin center. We’re eager to hear your thoughts and understand what you’d like to see next. What are you waiting for? Try Cost Management Labs today.
New ways to save money with Microsoft Cloud
Lots of cost management improvements over the last month! Here are new and updated offers you might be interested in:
- Azure Advisor integration with Azure Monitor Log Analytics Workspace
- Public Preview: Free SQL Managed Instance
- Azure Spring Apps Enterprise is now eligible for Azure savings plan for compute
- Dedicated clusters in Azure Monitor logs now support any commitment tier
- General availability: “As on-premises” sizing in Azure Migrate SQL Discovery and Assessment
- Generally available: Zone Redundant Storage for Azure Disks is now available in more regions
Here are a few new videos you might be interested in:
- Use your Marketplace Rewards Azure sponsorship benefit to increase your marketplace sales (youtube.com)
- Tools and Tips for Unparalleled Cost Transparency on AKS (youtube.com)
A couple of blogs for your reading:
- Take control of your cloud spend with Microsoft Cost Management
- Interconnected guidance for an optimized cloud journey
Follow the Microsoft Cost Management YouTube channel to stay in the loop with new videos as they’re released and let us know what you’d like to see next.
Want a more guided experience? Start with: Control Azure spending and manage bills with Microsoft Cost Management.
Here are a few documentation updates you might be interested in:
- Azure EA pricing – Microsoft Cost Management
- How an Azure saving plan discount is applied – Microsoft Cost Management
- View your Azure usage summary details and download reports for EA enrollments – Microsoft Cost Management
- Azure EA agreements and amendments – Microsoft Cost Management | Microsoft Learn
Want to keep an eye on all documentation updates? Check out the Cost Management and Billing documentation change history in the azure-docs repository on GitHub. If you see something missing, select Edit at the top of the document and submit a quick pull request. You can also submit a GitHub issue. We welcome and appreciate all contributions!
These are just a few of the big updates from last month. Don’t forget to check out the previous Cost Management updates. We’re always listening and making constant improvements based on your feedback, so please keep the feedback coming.
Follow @MSCostMgmt on Twitter and subscribe to the YouTube channel for updates, tips, and tricks. You can also share ideas and vote up others in the Cost Management feedback forum or join the research panel to participate in a future study and help shape the future of Cost Management.
Best wishes from the Cost Management team.
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