Azure Cost Optimization Tools
Published Sep 18 2020 05:46 PM 9,739 Views

The Microsoft Azure Well-Architected Framework has 5 aligned and connected pillars, one of which is Cost Optimization.  Azure providing services as a utility, being consumed on demand it drives a fundamental change that impacts planning, bookkeeping, and organization. The ability to have virtually unlimited compute resources at one's disposable means your organization must always be wary of excess costs that are not providing business value.  The tools listed here will help your organization get an idea of where it is spending the most and where some cost optimization might be had.  Cost Optimization is one of the top priorities for organization across industries as shown by the Flexera 2020 State of the Cloud Report:


Discover your Azure Costs

Microsoft over time has provided multiple tools to evaluate and optimize costs which are always being improved on.  To truly optimize your costs though you have to understand your current spend and workloads by gathering data, lets review some of the tools.

Tools to Use

  • Azure Advisor - personalized cloud consultant that recommends best practices to optimize your Azure deployments.  It will recommend optimizations such as resizing or shutting down under utilized virtual machines, optimize spend for MariaDB, MySQL and PostgreSQL by right-sizing, and buying reserved instances for several resource types to save money over pay-as-you-go costs.


  • Azure Cost Management & Billing Power BI Template - assists in analyzing and managing your cloud cost using Power BI to monitor costs, usage trends, and identify cost options to reduce expenditures NOTE: Only supports customers with Enterprise Agreement


  • Microsoft Azure Well-Architected Review - While this assessment doesn't directly assess your Azure consumption it will review where you are at in controlling costs via governance and policies along with making recommendations to improve.


  • Azure Cost Management - Review all costs related to your Azure consumption, download billing statements, set budgets are all done in the Cost Management pane of the Azure portal.


Using the Well Architected assessment and tools listed here you can start getting an idea of the major consumers of your organizations Azure spend and start to formulate a plan to optimize moving forward.  The most important part of that is making sure your governance and policies get setup as those are the main guardrails that will make sure your Azure environment doesn't get bloated with additional costs.


Want to learn more? 

There is a free learning path course at Microsoft Learn that will teach you to monitor and control your spending while also walking you through more on the Well-Architected Framework - Cost Optimization:

Control Azure Spending


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