Microsoft CEO Says, “We’ll Help You Optimize Azure.” Here’s why that won’t work.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently announced that the corporation would support its clients in cost-saving Azure optimization. Many professionals, nevertheless, have doubts about Microsoft’s capacity to fulfill this claim. Let’s examine why Microsoft’s optimization plan is unlikely to yield results and the actions you can take in its alternative to achieve true cost reductions. 


Why Microsoft’s Azure Optimization Strategy Won’t Work

Microsoft will probably recommend using “reserved instances” and “right-sizing” workloads as optimizations. Azure Reserved Instances are a price option that can lower your cloud technology expenses. In exchange for a promise to utilize Azure services for one or three years, it offers savings.

The procedure of rightsizing involves examining the utilization of your workloads. It includes deciding whether or not they are operating effectively given the price you are paying and then taking measures to enhance them by upgrading, downgrading, or terminating the resources as necessary.

However, these measures are not likely to result in significant cost savings. The reason for this is that the vast majority of waste in Azure comes from so-called “zombie resources”—resources that are no longer being used but continue to accrue charges.

Zombie processes significantly harm the business environment by idly using large amounts of raw computational resources. It is typical for a large company with thousands of programs to have many zombie processes, often as many as 20%

Zombie resources can exist for a variety of reasons. Perhaps a project was canceled or put on hold, and the associated resources were never deleted. Or maybe someone created a resource for testing purposes and forgot to delete it after they were done. In other cases, people might create duplicate resources or duplicate resource groups containing the same set of assets. Lastly, sometimes people simply forget they have certain resources deployed and continue paying for them even though they’re not being used.

Whatever the reason, it’s important to get rid of these unused resources as soon as possible so that you don’t continue wasting money on them.


The Truth about Microsoft’s Azure Optimization Strategy

Microsoft isn’t incentivized to help you find and eliminate these zombie resources because doing so would reduce its own revenue. They stand to gain financially if you use more Azure resources. Therefore, it is important to be skeptical of their motives when they recommend “right-sizing” or using “reserved instances.” You can save an average of 30–40% on your Azure spending without right-sizing or reserve instance optimizations.

How to Avoid Zombie Resources in Azure Spending?

There are several methods you can use to identify zombie resources within your Azure environment. 

 On your VMs primarily, alleged “zombie assets” can be active. These are services or parts of the architecture that aren’t required and aren’t being used. Simply put, they are wasting your workspace and wasting your money. Examples include virtual machines (VMs) that were utilized for a specific purpose, left unattended after use, program failures that prevented VM provisioning, inactive network equipment, and more.

These “zombies” can be located by looking for VMs with a max CPU of less than 5% over the preceding period, as this is a widely used indicator of such resources.

Furthermore, disk space is often connected to your software when you deploy a VM. And although you aren’t using the storage devices when the VM is terminated, they are still operational, and you are still obligated to pay for them. Best practices recommend terminating disc storage that has been detached for longer than two weeks, although your company may have different requirements.


Other ways to avoid zombie resources include the following.

  • Check your Azure portal for any deployments that haven’t been used in a while. You can use Azure Resource Manager (ARM) tags to help identify which assets haven’t been used recently.
  • Another method is to export your Azure bill into a format that can be analyzed, such as CSV or JSON. This will allow you to see which services are consuming the most money so that you can investigate further. 
  • You can also set up Azure Monitor Logs to monitor your environment for any deployments that aren’t being used. 


Once you’ve identified which assets are no longer being used, it’s time to delete them and stop paying for them. The first thing you’ll want to do is delete any unnecessary resource groups. Then, go through each resource group and delete any individual resources that aren’t needed. Be sure to check with your team before deleting anything, as some assets might be in use by other people or processes within your organization. Once everything has been deleted, you should see a reduction in your Azure bill.

The best way to efficiently deal with zombie resources is to seek help from experts. An experienced team of Azure experts can help you identify and delete all of the zombie resources in your account while optimizing your overall Azure usage to reduce your costs. With their help, you can get your Azure account cleaned up and running more efficiently in no time.



Microsoft’s recent announcement that it will help customers optimize their Azure usage is unlikely to result in significant cost savings. The reason for this is that most waste in Azure comes from unused “zombie resources,” which Microsoft has no incentive to help you eliminate.  There is an opportunity for savings in Azure, but most people are not taking advantage of it because they don’t know where the waste is. However, there are some steps you can take to optimize your Azure workloads for maximum efficiency. By finding and deleting Zombie Resources, you can make sure that you’re getting the most out of your investment in Azure. If you’re looking for real cost savings on your Azure spending, you’re better off working with a company that specializes in optimizing Azure usage.  

What are Software Audits, and Why Are They On The Rise?

Recent years have seen an uptick in software audits, with more companies being asked to provide evidence of licensing compliance. This is largely due to the fact that organizations are now using more software than ever before, with an increasing number of employees working remotely.

Watchdog groups like the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and the Federation of Software Theft (FAST) serve the sole purpose of ensuring the protection of software vendors’ intellectual property. These groups and software vendors are dedicated to discovering and auditing non-compliant organizations every single day with little to no notice. According to Gartner, the likelihood of an assessment for a medium to a large firm over the next two years is predicted to be 40%, which is expected to rise by 20% annually.

But why do software vendors act in this manner? 

Simply put, the main motivator is money. Revenue from software sales fell when the American economy saw a downturn and software expenditures were slashed. Software vendors were forced to hunt for alternative income sources when these profits started to decline. Audit fines and penalties of several hundred thousand dollars to even millions of dollars appeared as lucrative options for these vendors. According to the BSA, 25% of businesses that operate in the US are non-compliant in some way, costing software vendors an estimated $6 billion in the loss. 


What is a Software Audit?

A software audit is an assessment of a company’s compliance with software licensing agreements. Organizations that use pirated or unlicensed software can be subject to expensive penalties, including fines and damages. In some cases, they may even be required to forfeit their business’ computers and other equipment. 


How Do Organizations Fall Out of Compliance?

 The truth is that conformity is not simple. It involves more than just purchasing adequate licenses. Even techies typically struggle to completely comprehend software licensing laws because they are so sophisticated, and even when they do, modifications to the regulations occur so often that it is challenging to stay up to date. 

Most businesses lose their ability to comply with the rules when they lack proper record keeping and miscomprehend software usage rights. Both parameters are equally crucial to stay in compliance. The first approach is to have clear visibility into your integrated software usage. In the unfortunate case of your company being audited, this can be an added benefit because you will be able to provide records immediately and demonstrate your good faith efforts to adhere to the regulations.

Furthermore, it’s crucial to have an attorney or specialist who excels in contract negotiations. They can elaborate to you how you can lawfully utilize your software, saving you from involuntary non-compliance. Avoid attempting to resolve this on your own, as it is easy to misinterpret or fail to notice crucial facets of software use terms and conditions. For instance, there have been instances where a business has expanded internationally and had staff members using software in other countries. They believed this was acceptable since they had many licenses, but since those licenses were only intended for use in the United States, they were in violation without even recognizing it. 


How to Lower Your Risk of Being Audited

  1. Exhibit a Sound Understanding to the Software Auditors 

To show that you have a good grasp of your software agreements, it is crucial that you respond to any inquiries the auditors pose in an efficient and thorough manner. In order to achieve this, you’ll need a workforce in control of the project, a SAM solution in place to oversee your software inheritance, and frequent internal audit findings to get a complete picture of your software assets utilization. 

This is especially true if your business has just undergone a merger or acquisition or if it is a large corporation with numerous branches. Such circumstances will make you prone to disorganization, which in turn raises the possibility of overlooking factors important for compliance.

  1. Stay Prepared

Inform your staff on the importance of software asset management, and prepare a defense plan in case a software inspection occurs. Even if a software audit is conducted, a quick assessment with a few fines will show the software provider that you are not an easy catch. Preparing includes having your licenses in order, appointing a specific person to oversee your company’s software audit, and having an audit defense strategy in place. Knowing what to do will ensure that every software audit of your company proceeds without incident and with the least amount of damage possible.

  1. Be aware of your Software Architecture

Establish an efficient asset life cycle, along with a streamlined procedure to purchase and retire software resources to keep a close check on them. Failure to do this can lead to the acquisition of numerous unnecessary licenses, which quietly drain the company’s IT budget. Keep track of what licenses you have and how many licenses you need so that you can stay compliant. Additionally, make sure that only authorized users have access to your organization’s software. Implement user controls and set up alerts so that you can immediately spot any unauthorized access or usage. 

Often, the majority of software audits search in the company’s Active Directory (AD) to assess compliance. A company’s AD contains all devices and accounts—not just those that are currently in use—that have ever used their software resources. There will be ex-employees in your Active Directory, along with devices that have been gathering dust in the company’s store, and the auditors will claim that each of these entities needs a license.



Monitoring your software resources will cost much less than having them audited. In addition to achieving compliance, successfully managing your software and how they are used also ensure that your software resources are used to their full potential. You may delete shelfware and restructure your agreements to ensure that every software program you have is being successfully utilized. Efficient asset administration has no drawbacks because the added administrative costs will eventually result in equal cost reductions. By making sure all of your organization’s software is properly licensed and keeping track of who is using it and when, you can help your company avoid costly penalties associated with non-compliance.

5 Ways Your Azure Cloud Spend Can Creep up on your IT Budget

Did you know that the typical business spends $2.5 million annually on cloud services? That’s a sizable amount, so it’s crucial to make sure you’re making the most of your Azure cloud expenditure.

As more and more organizations move to Azure, they are discovering that their cloud spending can creep up on their IT budget if they’re not cautious. By being proactive and mindful of these potential budget traps, you can keep your Azure cloud costs in check and ensure that they remain a wise investment for your organization. 


1- Placing Resources in the Wrong Subscription

Placing Resources in the Wrong Subscription

Choosing the right sort of subscription is one of the first steps in establishing a new Azure membership. Production and non-production subscriptions are the two main categories. Because production assets often cost more than non-production resources, storing resources under the incorrect type of subscription could lead to greater expenses.

Before placing resources, there are a few pointers regarding production and non-production subscriptions that you need to keep in mind:

  • For performance reasons, you can use non-production subscriptions to house specific Azure features available. Without ever subjecting them to your production environment, you can activate information that will guide for these test services in your non-production subscription.
  • Azure dev/test subscriptions can be used as segregated sandbox setups. These sandboxes assist with data security and privacy concerns by enabling managers and programmers to quickly construct and destroy sets of Azure resources.

Note: The appropriate costs in production and non-production situations sometimes differ.



2- Not Deallocating or Deleting Chargeable Resources 

It should come as no surprise that cloud users end up using and paying for more cloud infrastructure than necessary. It’s normal for businesses using the cloud at scale to find themselves unable to explain extra 20% or more of the functioning cloud resources. Many of those unmonitored services are “orphaned infrastructure,” idling cloud assets in our ecosystem that have no economic purpose, even though some of them might still serve genuine corporate goals. 

It’s hardly surprising that entire divisions of experts and product suppliers have appeared to assist clients in finding and terminating abandoned assets in order to reduce their Azure costs. Since the dawn of the digital age, cloud “sprawl,” much like VM sprawl in the early 2010s, has been a significant issue, and it continues to do so, demonstrating how complex the issue truly is.

Few people are aware of the serious security risk that these unmonitored and mismanaged assets offer, despite the fact that orphaned services are widely acknowledged as a major Azure cost management issue that must be controlled. These expensive orphans are essentially deadly zombies from a management perspective.

 Therefore, de-allocating or deleting a resource when you no longer use it is crucial to avoid paying for resources you aren’t utilizing. This can be done through the Azure portal, Azure CLI, or Resource Manager templates. Deleting a resource completely removes it from your subscription, so be sure that you really don’t need it before taking this step.

 If you don’t, even though you aren’t using the resource, your Azure cloud spending will keep rising.



3- Sizing Workloads Inappropriately

 Sizing workloads inappropriately is a common mistake made by organizations when transitioning to Azure. It’s important to right-size your workloads so that you’re not paying for more compute power than you need. Right-sizing your workloads can help reduce your Azure cloud spend. There are a few ways to do this:

  • Review your existing on-premises workloads and determine which ones can be moved to the cloud. Not all workloads are suitable for cloud migration.
  • Once you’ve identified which workloads can be moved, determine how much compute power they need in order to run effectively in Azure. 
  • Pay close attention to your Azure bills and monitor your usage closely. If you notice that you’re constantly exceeding your compute limits, it’s time to scale up your VM sizes or add more VMs to your deployment.

 By keeping an eye on your computer usage and making sure that you’re not paying for more resources than you need, you can help yourself reduce your Azure cost.


4- Not Applying Azure Hybrid Benefits

Not Applying Azure Hybrid Benefits

If you have on-premises licenses for Windows Server and SQL Server with active Software Assurance, you can apply the Azure Hybrid Benefit to save up to 40% on those licenses when running them in Azure VMs. This benefit can help reduce your overall Azure cloud spend.

Below is a preview of what contributes to the cost of creating a Windows virtual machine in Azure and how much money the Azure HUB can save you.

  • Hourly compute costs: You spend an hourly fee for computation, whether creating a VM through the Azure interface or using PowerShell (V-cores, RAM, hard drive space, etc.)
  • Microsoft licensing: You must additionally purchase a license fee to operate a Windows virtual machine in Azure. You can host a VM in the cloud using Azure HUB by using the license for your on-premises VMs.


5- Not Reserving Instances

You can save money by reserving virtual machines (VMs) for one or three years. Reservations give you a discount of up to 72% compared to pay-as-you-go prices for VMs. This discount is applied to the total cost of the VM, including storage and networking charges. So if you have VMs that you know will be running continuously, reservation discounts can help reduce your overall Azure cloud spend. 



Azure is a great platform for organizations looking to move to the cloud. Cloud migration can be a daunting task, but with careful planning, it doesn’t have to break the bank. The best way to keep your Azure spending in check and avoid any nasty surprises is to set up governance controls and processes for managing cloud resources. By doing this, you can ensure that all resource deployments are compliant with your organization’s standards and within budget.

Establishing Azure governance can be a little complicated, which is why our experts are here to assist you in managing all your Azure cloud costs with ease. So, if you’re looking for ways to cut Azure spending, request a demo on our website to find out how much you can save.