Best Practices for Azure Zombie Resources and Cost Management

What Are Azure Zombie Resources?

The manager explains the company’s cost graph on the laptop computer for employees to listen to and share the analysis.

Azure zombie resources are cloud resources that are no longer in use but remain active and consuming resources, resulting in unnecessary charges. Zombie resources can occur when cloud resources are not adequately decommissioned or deleted or when resources are left running but are no longer needed.

These resources can be a significant problem for organizations using Azure, as they can result in unexpected and potentially significant Azure bills. To avoid this issue, it is vital to regularly review and clean up your use of Azure to ensure that all resources are appropriately decommissioned or deleted when they are no longer needed. Several factors can contribute to the development of Azure zombie resources. 

For example, zombie resources can occur when:

  1. Resources need to be correctly decommissioned: When resources are no longer needed, it is vital to decommission them properly by deleting or deallocating them. Without this step, the resources will continue to consume and generate charges.
  2. Resources are left running when not in use: Some resources, such as virtual machines, can be left running when not in use, resulting in ongoing charges. To avoid this issue, stopping or deallocating resources when they are not needed is essential.  
  3. Resources are not adequately managed: Resource management is critical to avoiding the development of Azure zombie resources. This includes regularly reviewing resource usage and taking steps to decommission or delete resources that are no longer needed.

There are many tools and strategies that organizations can use to identify and remove Azure zombie resources, including:

  1. Using Azure Resource Manager policies: Azure Resource Manager policies can enforce resource management standards and automatically decommission or delete resources that are no longer needed. For example, you can use policies to specify that resources must be deleted after a certain period of inactivity or to delete those terminated automatically.
  2. Using Azure Cost Management tools: Azure Cost Management tools, such as Azure Advisor, can help organizations identify resources that are consuming significant resources or generating high costs and suggest ways to optimize their usage. For example, Azure Advisors can identify underutilized or overutilized resources and recommend actions to maximize their use.
  3. Review resource usage: Reviewing resource usage can help organizations identify resources that are no longer needed and take steps to decommission or delete them. This can be done manually or automated using tools like Azure Resource Manager policies.

Contact us to learn how we can help you manage your Azure resources and get proper visibility of your data.

 

Azure Cost Management

Azure is a powerful and feature-rich cloud platform that offers a wide range of services and tools to help organizations build, deploy, and manage applications and

Data The Cloud Storage Information Concept

Workloads. However, the cost of using Azure can be a significant concern for organizations, particularly as the scale and complexity of their Azure environment grow.

Optimizing Azure costs requires a strategic approach considering the organization’s needs and requirements. To help organizations optimize their Azure costs, we recommend the following strategies:

Understand your workloads: One of the critical steps in optimizing Azure costs is to understand the specific workloads and resources consumed in your environment. This includes identifying which services and resources are used, how they are used, and how much they cost. 

Right-size your resources: Ensuring your resources are appropriately sized for your workloads is critical to optimizing Azure costs. This can involve scaling resources up or down as needed to meet the demands of your workload or selecting cost-effective resource sizes that meet your performance requirements.

Utilize Azure Cost Management tools: Azure provides various tools and services to help organizations optimize costs, including Azure Cost Management, Azure Advisor, and the Azure Pricing Calculator. These tools can help you identify optimization opportunities, track your costs over time, and plan for future growth.

Use resource tagging: Resource tagging is a powerful tool for optimizing Azure costs. It allows you to assign metadata to your resources and track their usage and costs more granularly. This can help you identify and optimize underutilized or overutilized resources and allocate costs more effectively.

Optimize resource deployment: The way that you deploy resources in Azure can have a significant impact on your costs. To optimize your costs, consider using resource groups to manage and deploy resources more efficiently and leverage deployment automation tools like Azure Resource Manager templates to streamline resource deployment.

By following these strategies, organizations can optimize their Azure costs and get the most value from their investment in the cloud.

  1. Azure cost management best practices:

Effective Azure cost management requires a strategic approach considering the organization’s needs and requirements. To help optimize Azure costs, we recommend the following best practices:

  • Understand your workloads: One of the critical steps in optimizing Azure costs is to understand the specific workloads and resources consumed in your environment. This includes identifying which services and resources are used, how they are used, and how much they cost.
  • Right-size your resources: Ensuring your resources are appropriately sized for your workloads is critical to optimizing Azure costs. This can involve scaling resources up or down as needed to meet the demands of your workload or selecting cost-effective resource sizes that meet your performance requirements.
  • Use resource tagging: Resource tagging is a powerful tool for optimizing Azure costs. It allows you to assign metadata to your resources and track their usage and costs more granularly. This can help you identify and optimize underutilized or overutilized resources and allocate costs more effectively.
  • Optimize resource deployment: How you deploy resources in Azure can significantly impact your costs. To optimize your costs, consider using resource groups to manage and deploy resources more efficiently and leverage deployment automation tools like Azure Resource Manager templates to streamline resource deployment.
  • Leverage Azure Cost Management tools: Azure provides tools and services to help organizations optimize costs, including Azure Cost Management, Azure Advisor, and the Azure Pricing Calculator. These tools can help you identify optimization opportunities, track your costs over time, and plan for future growth.
  1. Azure cost management tools: 

Azure provides a range of tools and services to help organizations optimize their costs, including:

  • Azure Cost Management: Azure Cost Management is a comprehensive platform that provides visibility into your Azure costs, usage, and trend data. With Azure Cost Management, you can track your costs in real-time, optimize your resource usage, and optimize your Azure spending.
  • Azure Advisor: Azure Advisor is a free service that provides recommendations to help you optimize your Azure resources. Advisor analyzes your resource utilization and workload patterns and provides recommendations to help you optimize your costs, improve performance, and increase security.
  • Azure Pricing Calculator: The Azure Pricing Calculator is a tool that allows you to estimate the cost of running your workloads on Azure. You can use the calculator to estimate costs based on specific services, regions, and resource sizes and compare the cost of running your workloads on Azure to other cloud platforms.
  1. Azure cost management strategies:

Effective Azure cost management requires a strategic approach considering the organization’s needs and requirements. To help organizations optimize their Azure costs, we recommend the following strategies:

  • Adopt a cost-conscious mindset: To optimize your Azure costs, adopting a cost-conscious mindset and approach to resource management is essential. This involves being aware of the cost of your resources and actively seeking ways to optimize those costs.
  • Develop a cost management plan: A cost management plan is a roadmap for optimizing your Azure costs over time. Your plan should outline your cost management goals, the strategies and tactics you will use to achieve those goals, and the metrics you will use to track your progress.
  • Utilize Azure Cost Management tools: Azure provides tools and services to help organizations optimize costs, including Azure Cost Management, Azure Advisor, and the Azure Pricing Calculator. These tools can help you identify optimization opportunities, track your costs over time, and plan for future growth.
  • Use resource tagging: Resource tagging is a powerful tool for optimizing Azure costs. It allows you to assign metadata to your resources and track their usage and costs more granularly. This can help you identify and optimize underutilized or overutilized resources and allocate costs more effectively.
  • Optimize resource deployment: How you deploy resources in Azure can significantly impact your costs. To optimize your costs, consider using resource groups to manage and deploy resources more efficiently and leverage deployment automation tools like Azure Resource Manager templates to streamline resource deployment.
  1. Azure cost management tips:

In addition to the strategies and best practices mentioned above, there are several additional tips that organizations can follow to optimize their Azure costs:

  • Monitor your costs regularly: Monitoring your Azure costs can help you identify optimization opportunities and make changes to reduce your costs. Azure provides a range of tools and services, such as Azure Cost Management and Azure Advisor, that can help you to track your costs and identify areas for improvement.
  • Consider using reserved instances: Reserved instances can help you to save on Azure compute costs by allowing you to reserve capacity for your workloads at a discounted rate. When you purchase a reserved instance, you commit to using a specific computing capacity for a certain period in exchange for a discounted rate.
  • Use Azure Hybrid Benefit: Azure Hybrid Benefit is a licensing benefit that allows organizations with Windows Server and SQL Server licenses with Software Assurance to use their existing licenses to save on Azure compute costs. By leveraging Azure Hybrid Benefit, organizations can reduce their Azure compute costs by up to 55%.
  • Utilize Azure Cost Management policies: Azure Cost Management policies allow you to set rules and alerts to help you optimize your Azure costs. You can use policies to define budget thresholds, set alerts for when costs exceed a certain threshold and enforce resource tagging standards.
  • Use Azure Cost Management APIs: The Azure Cost Management APIs allow you to access your Azure cost and usage data programmatically, enabling you to build custom cost management solutions or integrate your Azure cost data with other tools and systems.
  1. Azure cost management tools – documents that can help:

Azure provides a range of documentation and resources to help organizations optimize their Azure costs, including:

  • Azure Cost Management: The Azure Cost Management tool and its documentation provide detailed information on how to use the Azure Cost Management platform, including how to track your costs, optimize your resource usage, and manage your Azure spending.
  • Azure Advisor: The Azure Advisor documentation provides information on using the Azure Advisor service to optimize your resources and reduce costs. The documentation includes information on how to use Advisor to identify optimization opportunities, get recommendations, and track the progress of your optimization efforts.
  • Azure pricing: The Azure pricing tool provides detailed information on the cost of Azure services, including pricing details for specific regions, resource sizes, and services. The documentation also includes Azure pricing plans, discounts, and billing options.
  1. Azure cost management pricing:

The cost of using Azure varies depending on the specific services and resources consumed. Azure offers a range of pricing plans and options to suit the needs of different organizations, including:

  • Pay-as-you-go pricing: With pay-as-you-go pricing, you pay for the specific Azure services and resources you consume based on the published rates. This pricing model is ideal for organizations with variable or unpredictable workloads or wanting the flexibility to scale their resources up or down as needed.
  • Commitment-based pricing: Commitment-based pricing allows you to purchase Azure services at a discounted rate in exchange for a commitment to use a certain number of resources over a specified period. This pricing model is ideal for organizations that have predictable or stable workloads and can commit to using a certain number of resources over a more extended period.
  • Azure Hybrid Benefit: Azure Hybrid Benefit is a licensing benefit that allows organizations with Windows Server and SQL Server licenses with Software Assurance to use their existing licenses to save on Azure compute costs. By leveraging Azure Hybrid Benefit, organizations can reduce their Azure compute costs by up to 55%.
  1. Azure cost management resources:

In addition to the documentation and tools mentioned above, there is a range of additional resources available to help organizations optimize their Azure costs, including:

  • Azure Cost Management blogs: The Azure Cost Management blog provides updates and best practices for optimizing Azure costs, case studies, and success stories from organizations that have successfully optimized their Azure costs.
  • Azure Cost Management webinars and training: Azure provides various webinars and training resources to help organizations learn more about Azure cost management and optimization. These resources include online courses, in-person training sessions, and virtual events.
  • Azure Cost Management Community: The Azure Cost Management community is a forum for Azure users to share best practices, ask questions, and connect with other users and experts. The community is a valuable resource for organizations seeking guidance and support on optimizing their Azure costs.
  • Azure Cost Management support: Azure provides a range of support options for organizations looking for help with Azure cost management. These options include online, phone, and support from Azure partners and third-party vendors.

By leveraging these resources and strategies, organizations can optimize their Azure costs and get the most value from their investment in the cloud.

 

Azure Cost Management

Azure Cost Management

Male manager is explaining about the company’s cost graph on the laptop computer for employees to listen to and share the analysis.

Azure is a powerful and feature-rich cloud platform that offers a wide range of services and tools to help organizations build, deploy, and manage applications and workloads. However, the cost of using Azure can be a significant concern for organizations, particularly as the scale and complexity of their Azure environment grow.

Optimizing Azure costs requires a strategic approach considering the organization’s specific needs and requirements. To help organizations optimize their Azure costs, we recommend the following strategies:

Understand your workloads: One of the critical steps in optimizing Azure costs is to understand the specific workloads and resources consumed in your environment. This includes identifying which services and resources are used, how they are used, and how much they cost. 

Right-size your resources: Ensuring your resources are appropriately sized for your workloads is critical to optimizing Azure costs. This can involve scaling resources up or down as needed to meet the demands of your workload or selecting cost-effective resource sizes that meet your performance requirements.

Utilize Azure Cost Management tools: Azure provides various tools and services to help organizations optimize costs, including Azure Cost Management, Azure Advisor, and the Azure Pricing Calculator. These tools can help you identify optimization opportunities, track your costs over time, and plan for future growth.

Use resource tagging: Resource tagging is a powerful tool for optimizing Azure costs. It allows you to assign metadata to your resources and track their usage and costs more granularly. This can help you identify and optimize underutilized or overutilized resources and allocate costs more effectively.

Optimize resource deployment: The way that you deploy resources in Azure can have a significant impact on your costs. To optimize your costs, consider using resource groups to manage and deploy resources more efficiently and leverage deployment automation tools like Azure Resource Manager templates to streamline resource deployment.

By following these strategies, organizations can optimize their Azure costs and get the most value from their investment in the cloud.

  1. Azure cost management best practices:

Effective Azure cost management requires a strategic approach considering the organization’s specific needs and requirements. To help optimize Azure costs, we recommend the following best practices:

  • Understand your workloads: One of the critical steps in optimizing Azure costs is to understand the specific workloads and resources consumed in your environment. This includes identifying which services and resources are used, how they are used, and how much they cost.
  • Right-size your resources: Ensuring your resources are appropriately sized for your workloads is critical to optimizing Azure costs. This can involve scaling resources up or down as needed to meet the demands of your workload or selecting cost-effective resource sizes that meet your performance requirements.
  • Use resource tagging: Resource tagging is a powerful tool for optimizing Azure costs. It allows you to assign metadata to your resources and track their usage and costs more granularly. This can help you identify and optimize underutilized or overutilized resources and allocate costs more effectively.
  • Optimize resource deployment: How you deploy resources in Azure can significantly impact your costs. To optimize your costs, consider using resource groups to manage and deploy resources more efficiently and leverage deployment automation tools like Azure Resource Manager templates to streamline resource deployment.
  • Leverage Azure Cost Management tools: Azure provides tools and services to help organizations optimize costs, including Azure Cost Management, Azure Advisor, and the Azure Pricing Calculator. These tools can help you identify optimization opportunities, track your costs over time, and plan for future growth.
  1. Azure cost management tools:

Azure provides a range of tools and services to help organizations optimize their costs, including:

  • Azure Cost Management: Azure Cost Management is a comprehensive platform that provides visibility into your Azure costs, usage, and trend data. With Azure Cost Management, you can track your costs in real-time, optimize your resource usage, and optimize your Azure spending.
  • Azure Advisor: Azure Advisor is a free service that provides recommendations to help you optimize your Azure resources. Advisor analyzes your resource utilization and workload patterns and provides recommendations to help you optimize your costs, improve performance, and increase security.
  • Azure Pricing Calculator: The Azure Pricing Calculator is a tool that allows you to estimate the cost of running your workloads on Azure. You can use the calculator to estimate costs based on specific services, regions, and resource sizes and compare the cost of running your workloads on Azure to other cloud platforms.
  1. Azure cost management strategies:

Effective Azure cost management requires a strategic approach considering the organization’s specific needs and requirements. To help organizations optimize their Azure costs, we recommend the following strategies:

  • Adopt a cost-conscious mindset: To optimize your Azure costs, adopting a cost-conscious mindset and approach to resource management is essential. This involves being aware of the cost of your resources and actively seeking ways to optimize those costs.
  • Develop a cost management plan: A cost management plan is a roadmap for optimizing your Azure costs over time. Your plan should outline your cost management goals, the strategies and tactics you will use to achieve those goals, and the metrics you will use to track your progress.
  • Utilize Azure Cost Management tools: Azure provides tools and services to help organizations optimize costs, including Azure Cost Management, Azure Advisor, and the Azure Pricing Calculator. These tools can help you identify optimization opportunities, track your costs over time, and plan for future growth.
  • Use resource tagging: Resource tagging is a powerful tool for optimizing Azure costs. It allows you to assign metadata to your resources and track their usage and costs more granularly. This can help you identify and optimize underutilized or overutilized resources and allocate costs more effectively.
  • Optimize resource deployment: How you deploy resources in Azure can significantly impact your costs. To optimize your costs, consider using resource groups to manage and deploy resources more efficiently and leverage deployment automation tools like Azure Resource Manager templates to streamline resource deployment.
  1. Azure cost management tips:

In addition to the strategies and best practices mentioned above, there are several additional tips that organizations can follow to optimize their Azure costs:

  • Monitor your costs regularly: Monitoring your Azure costs can help you identify optimization opportunities and make changes to reduce your costs. Azure provides a range of tools and services, such as Azure Cost Management and Azure Advisor, that can help you to track your costs and identify areas for improvement.
  • Consider using reserved instances: Reserved instances can help you to save on Azure compute costs by allowing you to reserve capacity for your workloads at a discounted rate. When you purchase a reserved instance, you commit to using a specific computing capacity for a certain period in exchange for a discounted rate.
  • Use Azure Hybrid Benefit: Azure Hybrid Benefit is a licensing benefit that allows organizations with Windows Server and SQL Server licenses with Software Assurance to use their existing licenses to save on Azure compute costs. By leveraging Azure Hybrid Benefit, organizations can reduce their Azure compute costs by up to 55%.
  • Utilize Azure Cost Management policies: Azure Cost Management policies allow you to set rules and alerts to help you optimize your Azure costs. You can use policies to define budget thresholds, set alerts for when costs exceed a certain threshold and enforce resource tagging standards.
  • Use Azure Cost Management APIs: The Azure Cost Management APIs allow you to access your Azure cost and usage data programmatically, enabling you to build custom cost management solutions or integrate your Azure cost data with other tools and systems.
  1. Azure cost management tools – documents that can help:

Azure provides a range of documentation and resources to help organizations optimize their Azure costs, including:

  • Azure Cost Management: The Azure Cost Management tool and its documentation provide detailed information on how to use the Azure Cost Management platform, including how to track your costs, optimize your resource usage, and manage your Azure spending.
  • Azure Advisor: The Azure Advisor documentation provides information on using the Azure Advisor service to optimize your resources and reduce costs. The documentation includes information on how to use Advisor to identify optimization opportunities, get recommendations, and track the progress of your optimization efforts.
  • Azure pricing: The Azure pricing tool provides detailed information on the cost of Azure services, including pricing details for specific regions, resource sizes, and services. The documentation also includes Azure pricing plans, discounts, and billing options.
  1. Azure cost management pricing:

The cost of using Azure varies depending on the specific services and resources consumed. Azure offers a range of pricing plans and options to suit the needs of different organizations, including:

  • Pay-as-you-go pricing: With pay-as-you-go pricing, you pay for the specific Azure services and resources you consume based on the published rates. This pricing model is ideal for organizations with variable or unpredictable workloads or wanting the flexibility to scale their resources up or down as needed.
  • Commitment-based pricing: Commitment-based pricing allows you to purchase Azure services at a discounted rate in exchange for a commitment to use a certain number of resources over a specified period. This pricing model is ideal for organizations that have predictable or stable workloads and can commit to using a certain number of resources over a more extended period.
  • Azure Hybrid Benefit: Azure Hybrid Benefit is a licensing benefit that allows organizations with Windows Server and SQL Server licenses with Software Assurance to use their existing licenses to save on Azure compute costs. By leveraging Azure Hybrid Benefit, organizations can reduce their Azure compute costs by up to 55%.
  1. Azure cost management resources:

In addition to the documentation and tools mentioned above, there is a range of additional resources available to help organizations optimize their Azure costs, including:

  • Azure Cost Management blogs: The Azure Cost Management blog provides updates and best practices for optimizing Azure costs, case studies, and success stories from organizations that have successfully optimized their Azure costs.
  • Azure Cost Management webinars and training: Azure provides various webinars and training resources to help organizations learn more about Azure cost management and optimization. These resources include online courses, in-person training sessions, and virtual events.
  • Azure Cost Management Community: The Azure Cost Management community is a forum for Azure users to share best practices, ask questions, and connect with other users and experts. The community is a valuable resource for organizations seeking guidance and support on optimizing their Azure costs.
  • Azure Cost Management support: Azure provides a range of support options for organizations looking for help with Azure cost management. These options include online, phone, and support from Azure partners and third-party vendors.

By leveraging these resources and strategies, organizations can optimize their Azure costs and get the most value from their investment in the cloud.

 

Four Secrets of A Champion CIO

Mastering Software Licensing: Insights from Champion CIOs

As a Chief Information Officer (CIO), one of your primary responsibilities is managing and optimizing your organization’s technology. To correctly manage technology includes ensuring you have the correct software licenses to support your business needs while controlling costs. This blog post will examine chief information officer roles, responsibilities, and secrets of champion CIOs who have excelled at software licensing and cost optimization.

The first step in optimizing your software licensing costs is clearly understanding your business needs. To know what you need, you must identify the specific software applications and tools required to support your operations and the number of users needing access to these applications. It’s essential to take the time to carefully assess your needs, as having too few licenses can result in productivity bottlenecks while having too many can lead to unnecessary costs.

  • Negotiate favourable terms

Once you clearly understand your software needs, it’s time to start negotiating with vendors. Champion CIOs are skilled at negotiating favourable terms with software vendors, including discounts on licensing fees and additional features or services at no extra cost. The role of a CIO here is to be upfront about your budget and willing to walk away if the vendor is unwilling to meet your needs.

 

  • Leverage volume licensing agreements

Volume licensing agreements allow organizations to purchase many licenses at a discounted price. These agreements are typically available for popular software applications such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite and can result in significant cost savings for organizations with many users. Champion chief information officers are adept at leveraging volume licensing (and combing with point 2 – negotiate favourable terms) agreements to get the best deal for their organization.

  • Monitor and review your licenses.

It’s essential to regularly review your software licensing agreements to ensure that you are still meeting your organization’s needs. A best practice is tracking the number of licenses you have in use and identifying areas where you may be over-licensed or under-licensed. The role of a CIO here is to be proactive in monitoring and reviewing their licenses and quickly make changes as needed to optimize costs.

In conclusion, optimizing your software licensing costs requires a combination of careful planning, strong negotiation skills, and ongoing review. By following the secrets of these champion CIOs, you can ensure that you have the correct software licenses to support your business needs while keeping costs under control. So, these are the secrets of four champion CIOs that will help optimize the cost of software licensing in your organization.

Bonus: Leverage data to your advantage

In today’s digital age, data is “the new oil” – a valuable resource that helps drive growth and innovation. A champion CIO method here seeks to understand the value of data and use it to advantage regarding software licensing and cost optimization. By collecting and analyzing software deployment and usage metrics data, CIOs can better understand how their software is used and identify areas where they can save costs.

For example, by tracking the number of active users for a particular software application, a CIO may discover they have more licenses than they need. They then use this data to negotiate a reduction in licensing fees with the vendor. Additionally, by analyzing data on software usage patterns, CIOs can identify underutilized applications and decide to discontinue them, reducing costs and simplifying the software environment.

In today’s fast-paced, data-driven world, having access to accurate and actionable data is essential for effective software licensing and cost optimization. A champion chief information officer understands the importance of data and uses it to gain insights that drive better decision-making and cost savings. Collecting, analyzing, and leveraging data can earn a competitive advantage and stay ahead of the curve in software licensing and cost optimization.

In summary, you can optimize software licensing costs in your organization by understanding your needs, negotiating favourable terms, leveraging volume licensing agreements, monitoring and reviewing your licenses, and leveraging data to your advantage. In today’s fast-paced and data-driven world, data is the new oil, and having access to accurate and actionable data is essential for effective software licensing and cost optimization. Using your own data around deployment and software usage metrics will give you the most leverage possible for cost optimization.

For more information on how our services at MetrixData 360 can meet the needs of your technology and financial departments, contact us today. Let’s work with you and your chief information officer’s roles and responsibilities to manage and optimize your organization’s technology.

 

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.

 

Conclusion 

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.  

Using Tagging to Get Better Visibility in Azure Costs

We are all aware that Azure offers enterprises the versatility and mobility needed to expand their operations and IT architecture on the cloud. However, it becomes exceedingly challenging and laborious to monitor every commodity in fluid Azure systems as the development and utilization of resources rise.

In the worst situation, your engineers and IT administrators can be setting up and managing additional resources without your knowledge until their associated expenditures jarringly appear in your monthly invoices.

To prevent such bill shocks, it’s critical to develop a sound tagging strategy throughout your cloud and apply Azure tagging best practices for effective resource and expense administration.

What is Azure Tagging?

What is Azure Tagging?

Name-value combinations known as MS Azure tags are used to thematically categorize assets, specify additional metadata as a feature of the item, and give users a clearer picture of a particular cloud subscription. Tags may be assigned to specific Azure Resource Manager-created components or, more commonly, to the entire resource group to which they belong. The tagging is carried out at the Azure system level; therefore, it has no effect whatsoever on the connected resources’ efficiency. The function is also free.

 

The name-value combinations that make up the metadata can include anything that aids in identifying the category to which a given commodity is expected to belong. 

 

For instance, the value of a resource tag key may be “Engineering,” and the key could be “Department.” Although they can be changed at any moment, it’s preferable to use uniform tags when creating resources to prevent ambiguity and extra work connected with their efficiency. In this manner, you will be capable of quickly identifying all of the assets that fall under specific units, financial pools, operational environments, etc., by sorting your assets in the Azure portal with tags. 

 

Common Tags 

IT managers must organize cloud-based resources to ensure all implementations are straightforward. You can tag in a fundamental or comprehensive way by employing various azure tagging strategies. It can assist IT teams in managing cloud operations or integrating data relevant to every facet of the company. Following that, here is a list of tags that businesses frequently employ.

 

  • Environment
  • Owner 
  • Cost Center
  • BusinessUnit
  • Department
  • Client
  • Application
  • DataClassification
  • Workload
  • Management

 

The Benefits of Tagging in Azure

The Benefits of Tagging in Azure

The benefits of tagging your Azure costs are that you can more easily track and control your spending, which is one of the reasons why it’s a key part of FinOps (Financial Operations). When you have a clear understanding of where your money is being spent, you can make more informed decisions about how to allocate your resources. Azure Tagging can also help you optimize your Azure spending by identifying areas where you may be able to reduce or eliminate unnecessary costs. The benefits of azure tagging resources include the following:

 

  • Resource management: Your IT staff would be able to easily find resources that are connected to particular processes, settings, control units, or other crucial data. Classifying organizational roles and privileged access for management systems depends on the organization of the resources.
  • Cost management and optimization: Empower IT to comprehend the assets and applications that each team utilizes in order to make business groups conscious of the usage of cloud services.
  • Operations management: A key component of ongoing operations for the operations executive team is transparency on business obligations and SLAs. Operations can be managed for mission severity using tags.

Conclusion 

Tagging your Azure expenses can improve your understanding of your expenditures and allow you to utilize your assets more wisely. Tagging is an excellent place to start if you’re seeking strategies to optimize your Azure spending. By using clear metadata tagging rules, you can arrange your cloud resources to satisfy legislative, strategic efficiency, and financial constraints. This makes it easier to find and utilize resources.

Request a demo on our website to find out more about managing Azure resources to cap your cloud spending effectively.

4 Tips to Upgrade Your Azure Financial Reporting

If you’re like most organizations these days, you’re utilizing Azure to power at least a portion of your operations. Additionally, if you use Azure, you are aware of how crucial it is to keep a close check on your expenses, as it’s a constant struggle to avoid paying more than you need to. Here are a few tips and recommendations on how you can upgrade your Azure financial reporting and develop strong FinOps (Financial Operations) for your company so that you can maximize savings and get the most out of your investment.

Look at Your Costs on a Rolling 30-Day Period

1. Look at Your Costs on a Rolling 30-Day Period

One of the finest techniques for keeping track of your Azure costs is to look at them on a rolling 30-day period. This way, you can spot trends and optimize your usage accordingly. You can search for patterns and adjust the way you employ services. You can also use this method to compare your current month’s usage to previous months so that you can see if you’re making progress in terms of efficiency.

A 30-day period is an ideal number to follow for ensuring consistency in cost assessment. This is because most managers prefer having cost comparisons on a month-to-month basis. Further, typical Azure reports are produced monthly, which is another factor to consider. However, months can have 28 days, 30 days, or 31 days which can cause inconsistency when comparing costs. Hence taking an average,  a rolling 30-day period seems to be a reasonable period of time to follow.

It should be noted that your Log Analytics workspaces and Application Insights services often incur the most expenses through data import and maintenance. Through a 30-day rolling period, you will be able to accurately determine how much of the Azure budget is being spent on insight and other Azure services. 

One popular tactic is to activate supervision for a small subset of resources, then use the calculators and the observed data levels to estimate your expenditures for the entire ecosystem.

2. Remove FX (Foreign Exchange) from the Reporting  

If you have multiple subscriptions in different currencies, it can be helpful to remove foreign exchange (FX) from the reporting and solely report in a single currency (USD). This will make it easier for you to compare your costs across different time periods and see how exchange rates are affecting your spending. It will also help you track your costs more accurately since currency fluctuations can sometimes distort the data.

Remove FX (Foreign Exchange) from the Reporting

3. Associate Costs To Match Where “Value” is Being Achieved

Another way to upgrade your Azure financial reporting is to associate costs with customers, departments, etc. This will help you match your costs with the areas of your business that are actually generating value. For example, if you have a department that is responsible for generating revenue, you’ll want to make sure that its costs are properly reflected in the overall financial picture. By doing this, you can get a better understanding of where your money is going and how it is being used.

You can further associate cost with revenue to create a “unit economic” Key Performance Indicator (KPI) on a per workload/RSS-group level. By doing this, you can track how much each unit is costing you and compare it to the revenue that it is generating. This will help you make better decisions about where to allocate your resources and identify areas where additional investment might be needed.

4. Use FinOps (Financial (Cloud) Operations) to Enhance Financial Reporting

Finally, one last tip for upgrading your Azure financial reporting is to utilize FinOps’ benefits. And what is FinOps? The administration technique known as FinOps, or financial operations, encourages collaborative accountability for an organization’s cloud infrastructure deployment and expenditures.

The FinOps  methodology brings together leadership from the finance, IT, and DevOps sectors to control the overall cost of cloud platforms across an organization. With FinOps, an organization gives cross-functional teams the authority to control cloud costs while functioning according to FinOps standards. In order to implement the best practices for cloud financial planning, the FinOps initiative frequently involves setting up governance structures with a team or council.

Use FinOps (Financial (Cloud) Operations) to Enhance Financial Reporting

Four steps can be taken to implement a FinOps structure:

  • Analysis. Monitor all cloud spending and gain insight into team-specific IT expenditures and allotment.
  • Benchmarking. Evaluate cloud instance efficiency to identify over- and underprovisioning.
  • Optimization. To enhance cost/performance, rightsize instances, shift loads, and tweak applications.
  • Negotiation. Streamline your cloud service provider (CSP) payments and match your overall performance with cloud service allocation.

To preserve productivity, spur innovation, upgrade financial reporting, and reduce costs, you have to perform these processes on a regular basis.

 

Conclusion

Azure offers organizations a robust framework for managing their operations, but it’s crucial to monitor expenditures to prevent out-of-control spending. You may improve your Azure financial reporting by using the aforementioned advice so that you have a proper insight into where your money is invested and how it is being used. This information will help you make informed decisions about where to allocate resources and invest in new technologies.

Managing your Azure costs can become a little complicated. Hence, our experts are here to assist you in managing all your Azure 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.

Why Controlling your Azure Spending Is Critical in 2023

It’s more crucial than ever for businesses to manage their expenditures as the economy teeters on the edge of another recession. Azure infrastructure is one of the primary line items on any organization’s budget. Estimating or planning cloud costs is crucial when your business moves toward an architecture, framework, or software-as-a-service ecosystem. Furthermore, you want to avoid experiencing “bill shock”—a sudden spike in your budget for Azure cost management —later. In other words, as you deal with additional staff or cloud resource vendors, budgetary control becomes more necessary and sophisticated in the “cloud age.”

Here are some prevalent reasons for efficiently working toward Azure cost management in 2023.

 

Inflation is Rising

One of the main drivers of increased Azure expenses is inflation. The cost of living is rising, and Azure service costs are following suit. If you’re not diligent, your Azure bill can spiral out of control very quickly. Reserving cloud resources while they’re affordable is one strategy to address this. When a price increase is imminent, reserving cloud space for the upcoming few years seems like the best course of action. This way, you’ll know exactly how much your Azure services will cost each month, and you won’t have to worry about inflation eating into your budget. 

 

Bloat is Rampant

 Another reason why controlling your Azure spending is so important is because bloat is rampant in most organizations. What do we mean by bloat? Bloat refers to unused or unnecessary resources that are taking up space and costing money. For example, you may have an unused VM that’s still consuming computing resources and costing you money every month. Or you may have an over-provisioned database that’s using more storage than it needs to. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to find and eliminate any sources of bloat in your Azure infrastructure as one of the Azure cost management best practices. 

 

Savings Compound

Gaining knowledge of who in your organization is in charge of what expenses, also referred to as establishing transparency in your cloud costs, can be beneficial in many situations. Knowing your budget allows you to choose the right Azure cost management tools and set budgets for each business segment, commodity, service, or function.

If you’re able to reduce your Azure spending even by a small amount, those savings will compound over time and can eventually be reallocated to other projects. For example, if you’re able to save $5000 per month on your Azure cost management documentation/bill, that’s $60,000 per year that you can put towards other initiatives. And if you’re able to maintain those savings for multiple years, the impact on your bottom line can be significant. 

 

Funds Can Be Appropriated to Other Projects

 Finally, controlling your Azure spending can free up funds that can be appropriated to other projects. In many cases, IT departments are forced to choose between different initiatives because they lack the funding to support them all. But if you’re able to get your Azure spending under control, you may find that you have some extra cash in the budget that can be used to fund other initiatives. 

You can also gain insights into expenditure patterns and constraints over time by generating transparency and interpreting data. It’s crucial to fundamentally manage the expenses against your spending plan and impress the finance department as well. 

 

Conclusion 

Businesses must exercise greater financial restraint as the economy hovers on the verge of another downturn. Azure infrastructure is typically one of the highest-spending products for any organization. We looked at various techniques to reduce costs and keep your Azure expenditure in check, including reserving cloud resources, removing instances of bloat, and distributing funds to other initiatives. You can ensure your company survives the next economic slump without going bankrupt by following these tips. 

Azure cost management vs. Azure Advisor? Wondering which one would be ideal for assisting you in establishing your business’ Azure budget? Here at Metrix Data 360, our experts can assist you with all your Azure-related concerns. Request a demo or visit our website to find out more about what works best for your company.

5 Hidden Azure Cost Optimizations: How to Save on Azure

The more resources you spend on your business, the better it gets. With Azure’s increased variety and efficiency boosters like machine learning tools for data analysis or IoT connectivity options, there are no limits to what can be achieved. But be aware, Azure cost management can also be very challenging. 

 

Understanding where your company’s money is coming from might be complex, given that firms frequently own dozens of Azure-related services for which they must make monthly payments. Shifting more assets to the cloud and cloud expenses also comprise a sizable portion of IT expenditures. 

 

So, do you want to know how to reduce IT budgets?

 

There are various Azure cost optimization secrets that can assist you in visualizing and controlling costs. You can use these to cut down on waste and maximize already-existing resources.

 

Here are some insights on practices and tools that can assist you in optimizing your Azure costs. 

1. Efficient Use of VMs

Azure provides a diverse range of virtual machines (VMs) with various hardware and functionality options. To determine which offers maximum throughput or efficiency while being cost-efficient, experiment with different VMs for the same job. You can auto-scale to adopt the number of VMs for actual workloads and continue with the VMs that perform best. 

 

Keep in mind that 100% utilization of all VMs will result in the lowest cost. By utilizing Azure Monitor to analyze your metrics alongside techniques, such as auto-scaling, to update the number of machines based on utilization, aim to reach as close to this target as possible.

 

2. Utilizing B-series VMs

Another way to ensure Azure cost optimization is through B-series VMs. The B-Series virtual machines provided by Azure are intended for programs that are normally inactive but occasionally see spikes in consumption. If the job is manageable, you can earn credits with low levels of computational resources. The CPU power is increased with abrupt spikes in consumption, and you can use the credits to cover the cost of capacity addition. The machine returns to its default CPU power when credits have been used up. 

 

B-Series VMs offer reductions from 15-55% compared to other VMs. Determine which tasks must be available but only seldom require high throughput or performance, and migrate them to B-Series virtual machines.

 

 

3. Shifting Workloads to Containers

Containers weigh less compared to VMs. You can run up to hundreds of containers on a single host machine, with each running a different containerized program. By repackaging your programs as containers, you can significantly lower VM utilization and your expenditures. Consider moving workloads to a container service like Azure Kubernetes Service from conventional Azure VMs (AKS). 

4. Using Storage Tiering

Most continuing costs for Azure setups are often related to memory. With decreasing costs per each storage tier of Azure Blob Storage, several redundancy choices are also available (less redundancy means less storage cost). Consider researching Azure storage pricing to find out how much each storage service costs. 

 

Shifting less critical or infrequently accessed data to a cheaper tier or a lower redundancy option will help you save money. You can further build tiering storage management into your software to ensure that data is routinely migrated to a lower-cost tier when it is no longer required.

5. Utilizing Cost Optimization Tools

The Azure consumption tools, such as SLIM 360 for Azure, are highly beneficial if you are interested in controlling your budget reports and improving Azure cost optimization. SLIM 360 is one of these tools and is solely designed to uncover your potential for cost savings, helping you carefully examine your data to identify superfluous expenses so they can be reinvested into your business.

 

Working with the information generated by the Azure portal can be challenging. The overwhelming volume of data that Azure customers receive frequently leaves them unable to make sense of it. Solutions like SLIM 360 Azure Reporting streamline and simplify the process of analyzing results by compiling them into plain-language graphs and charts, enabling greater use of your Azure Portal invoices.

 

MetrixData 360: Here to Help

 

If you attempt to break down your costs using the receipts in your Azure portal, you will probably be met with a headache from complex data spreadsheets. However, MetrixData 360’s Azure Usage Tool is specially designed to comprehend Azure’s detailed pricing and simplify it into information that is easy to understand and use. Our tool categorizes your current Azure charges for storage, VMs, SQL databases, and more. The total cost for each category is then shown, along with the list price and any discounts used. 

If you’re looking for how to reduce IT budgets, visit our website to book a demo to see how much you can save.