Deploying Microsoft Azure internally at Microsoft
Published Feb 06 2023 10:41 AM 4,201 Views
Microsoft

How Microsoft keeps its Microsoft Azure costs down as the company’s ‘customer zero’

 

Microsoft kept its Microsoft Azure costs flat while its workload footprint grew by 20 percent.Microsoft kept its Microsoft Azure costs flat while its workload footprint grew by 20 percent.

Here at Microsoft, we’re a customer of Microsoft Azure, and just like our external customers, we’re trying to keep our cloud costs down.

 

“When I talk to customers, they're always a little bit surprised to hear that we pay the same rates for Azure that they do,” says Heather Pfluger, the general manager of Infrastructure and Engineering Services in Microsoft Digital Employee Experience, Microsoft’s internal IT organization. “We operate with the same licensing, the same pricing (as they do).

 

We call it being Microsoft’s ‘customer zero.’

 

What does that mean?

 

For Pfluger and her team, it means sharing the experiences they have trying to use Azure as efficiently as possible back to the product team, which they use to improve the product.

Heather Pfluger, general manager, Infrastructure and Engineering Services, Microsoft Digital Employee ExperienceHeather Pfluger, general manager, Infrastructure and Engineering Services, Microsoft Digital Employee Experience

“We have a bit of a dual responsibility,” says Pete Apple, a principal program manager for Microsoft Azure Engineering in MDEE. “As Microsoft’s customer zero, we are acting as the company’s internal customer. We pay Azure’s going rates, we pay Microsoft 365’s going rates.”

 

And as Microsoft’s IT organization, we operate at a scale that’s useful for the product group to learn from—during our own migration to the cloud, we moved more than 600 services and solutions comprised of approximately 1,400 components to Azure.

“We are the biggest internal customer for Azure,” Apple says. “We make sure that we are having the same sort of experience with a technical account manager, opening cases with our support organization, making sure that we are living the same life that any other enterprise would have to live so that we are giving good feedback about what is working well and what isn't working well.”

 

To learn more about our migration to Microsoft Azure and how we’ve optimized our workloads once we got there, read our new Doing more with less internally at Microsoft with Microsoft Azure report. Once you get there, also watch a video where Pluger and Apple share our lessons learned optimizing our internal use of Azure.

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