Customer Offerings: Well-Architected Cost Optimization Implementation
Published Apr 03 2023 12:00 AM 3,520 Views


Hi everyone! Brandon Wilson (Cloud Solution Architect/Engineer) here to follow up on the post I authored previously for the Well-Architected Cost Optimization Assessment offering, with another customer offering we have known as the Well-Architected Cost Optimization Implementation. This offering can be considered as a continuation/”part 2” of sorts for the Well-Architected Cost Optimization Assessment, where the goal is to help you implement some of the findings relating to Azure Reservations, Azure Savings Plans, Azure Hybrid Benefits, along with cleaning up some of that cloud waste sitting around.

Just as before (and in case you are a new reader), we’ll touch a little bit on the Azure Well-Architected Framework (WAF), along with the Cloud Adoption Framework (CAF), and then go over what is covered in the Well-Architected Cost Optimization Implementation offering itself.


A brief overview of the Well-Architected Framework (WAF)


In the world of Azure, there are a couple of methodology lighthouses for you to work with, which are the Well-Architected Framework (WAF), as well as the Cloud Adoption Framework (CAF).


The Cloud Adoption Framework (CAF):

While the WAF component is the focus of the WAF Cost Optimization Assessment delivery, I thought it would be prudent to at least mention the CAF, and what its for. I’ll keep this nice and short so not to deviate from the topic at hand. Put simply, the CAF provides best practices, tools, and guidance for an enterprise’s cloud adoption journey; ie, moving resources from on-premises to the cloud, and the continuing lifecycle thereafter. It covers these main areas of interest:

  • Strategy
  • Planning (Plan)
  • Readiness (Ready)
  • Adoption (Adopt)
  • Security (Secure)
  • Management (Manage)
  • Governance (Govern)

To read a bit more about CAF, just click any of the CAF hyperlinks above :smile:


The Well-Architected Framework (WAF):

The Well-Architected Framework is intended to be a set of guiding principles that are used to improve your Azure environment, but can also help with your adoption, as these principles can be viewed as starting points as well. In other words, not only “How can we improve what we have?”, but also “How can we improve things we will have?”.

The WAF consists of 5 pillars (I’ll just use the basic descriptions here that are in the WAF documentation):

  • Reliability – The ability of a system to recover from failures and continue to function
  • Security – Protecting applications and data from threats
  • Cost Optimization (today’s topic) – Managing costs to maximize the value delivered
  • Operation Excellence – Operations processes that keep a system running in production
  • Performance Efficiency – The ability of a system to adapt to changes in a load


About the Well-Architected Cost Optimization Implementation

Target audience: Enterprise customers with agreements (Unified, Premier, MCA, <insert any other name they’ve gone by in the past that you may know them by>)


Q: Who do I contact to get this done?

A: Reach out to your awesome CSAM!


Q: How long is the engagement?

A: The engagement takes place over the course of 3 days. However, unlike the required precursor engagement (Well-Architected Cost Optimization Assessment), all 3 days contain knowledge transfer, as well as hands on activities.


Q: Is this is classroom/workshop engagement?

A: Yes and No. There is an educational component to the delivery at the beginning of each day for the first couple of hours, followed by actual hands on activities in your subscriptions.


Q: Wait a minute Brandon...are you telling me that we will actually be making changes to the environment?

A: YES! This engagement involves making real time changes. What we do will ultimately be up to you, however prior to the delivery, any approvals for changes (ex: unattached disk cleanup, unattached PIP cleanup, etc) should already completed, as well as approvals for the purchases of reservations, savings plans, and potentially additional licenses if necessary. When I say it’s ultimately up to you, I mean that you can always elect to not perform specific portions of the engagement (ie; if you have no budget and can’t purchase reservations, then we would limit that to knowledge transfer).


Q: Who is involved in the delivery on our side?

A: This particular delivery is best suited to involve the same personnel that went through the Well-Architected Cost Optimization Assessment delivery with Microsoft. On the Microsoft side, this engagement will typically involve a Cloud Solutions Architect performing the delivery, any Specialist on the account/contract, the CSAM, and any pinned Cloud Solutions Architect or DSE.



The WAF Cost Optimization Implementation offering is an engagement that helps you gain more knowledge on maintaining your cloud waste, reservations, savings plans, and Azure Hybrid benefit, with the goal of course being to help emphasize what you may have learned during the Well-Architected Cost Optimization Assessment delivery. More importantly (or just as important?), its also to help you actually go through a more structured process to perform actual cleanup operations to eliminate cloud waste and implement reservations, savings plans, and put Azure Hybrid Benefit (AHB requires a software assurance contract). Ultimately this should result in immediate savings for you, and is measured by your Azure Advisor scores before and after, with estimates on your cost savings being based on the prior assessment.


So let’s do a quick rundown of the takeaways from this engagement:

  2. Removal of cloud waste, and a logic app to help you keep it clean (ie; saving $$$!)
  3. Implementing reservations and/or savings plans (ie; saving even more $$$!)
  4. Enabling Azure Hybrid Benefit (the icing on the cake, saving yet even more $$$ on top of it all!)


What key areas we will actually touch on in this engagement?:

  1. We will look at all cloud waste areas that were identified during the assessment (using that as a baseline)
    1. Deprovisioning of virtual machines in a stopped state (deletion, or putting into a stopped deallocated state)
    2. Deletion of unattached disks
    3. Deletion of unattached public IP addresses
    4. Deletion of unattached network interfaces
    5. Deletion of idle load balancers
    6. Deletion of idle application gateways
    7. Deletion of idle app services
    8. Start/Stop configuration for AKS clusters (if possible)
    9. Deletion of unused Azure Firewalls
    10. Deletion of unused VPN gateways
  2. Deployment of the cloud waste logic app 
  3. Optimization of VPN gateways (if possible)
  4. Purchase of reservations and/or savings plans (if applicable)
  5. Windows and Linux virtual machines (and scale sets) that don’t currently have Azure Hybrid Benefit enabled
  6. SQL resources that don’t currently have Azure Hybrid Benefit enabled


So one of the big questions...

Q: How can I justify the cost/value?

A: There are various avenues covered by the engagement, and the answer here really depends on how much we are able to accomplish together during the engagement. But ultimately, the goals are:

  1. Validates knowledge of the staff, and passes along additional knowledge
  2. Takes action based on the assessment findings to result in immediate savings!
  3. Puts a cloud waste logic app into play to help you stay on top of cloud waste going forward!



Let’s take a look at what we’re doing during the engagement:

  • Day 1 is dedicated to education and actions for making things tidy (aka, waste cleanup), and saving some cash at the same time.
  • Day 2 consists of completing any leftover cleanup efforts, as well as education for Azure reservations and savings plans, and then actually implementing of any desired reservations or savings plans (where the implementation is typically done with the Specialist for your specific account/contract)
  • Day 3 involves education on Azure Hybrid Benefit as it relates to your specific environment, along with implementing AHB for Windows and/or Linux virtual machines (where the implementation is typically done with the Specialist for your specific account/contract).


Are there other engagements that can help me control my costs?

Absolutely! In regards to cost, there are also engagements to help you with governance, assessment, and architecture design. These engagements can also provide significant value in the form of identifying any waste and cost savings in general, as well as governance (think Azure policy/enforcement). If you’d like to know more about these offerings, reach out to your CSAM and ask about the Well-Architected Cost Optimization Assessment, and/or the Well-Architected Cost Optimization Governance offerings. Just remember, for the Well-Architected Cost Optimization Implementation delivery, you MUST get the assessment performed first!

Outside of the scope of cost, we also have a number of engagements relating to the other tiers of Well-Architected Framework, and like the cost engagements, just reach out to your CSAM for information.


To close out, let’s go with one final question...

Q: Why should I do this?

A: Simply put, the Well-Architected Cost Optimization Assessment was performed to see where, and how much, money you can potentially save to put back into your budget...this time around, we’re actually trying to get that money back for you right away!

Through all of our engagements, not just this one, we want to try to get you to this state (let’s just pretend the security pillar says something useful here; it’s a small lab, what can I say...):





Thanks for reading!

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‎Apr 03 2023 05:59 AM
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