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.

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.

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.

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.

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.