Top 5 ways to save money with Azure VMs

Azure IAAS VMs offer you tons of VM and with tons of Configuration Options and it can be very tedious task to make the correct choice and with that we can end up in paying more money than we should as billing. Here are the 5 things that you can do to save money on your Azure VM

 

  • Region Based Azure Pricing

 

At the time of writing this article, Azure offers a list of around 30 Locations spread across multiple continents to deploy your VM. Based on the users current location one should deploy the VM to one location but one thing that most of the people I have interacted with doesn’t know that the Azure Pricing is different in different regions. One should Design the deployment strategy such that there will be performance as well as cost effectiveness. For example, Below I am using the exact same Configuration of Windows OS with 1 Core and 3.5 GB RAM, 50GB Disk and running them in the standard pricing tier. When I am hosting it in the EAST US, the total monthly billing for 744 hours comes out to be $104.16/month with a billing price of  $0.140/ Hr

 

Whereas when I tried to deploy the exact same configuration in the South India, it was billed at 0.131 $/hr and the total amount is coming out to be $97.46. If you see there is a price difference of ~$7 but imagine running 100s of VMs and saving that load of money in your environments can help.

 

  • Azure MarketPlace Pricing

Azure Marketplace contains 1000s of images from Microsoft and partner vendors. It has all sort of predefined configuration images that will work good for multiple scenarios.

Along with that, if you use an image directly from the marketplace, the VM is billed with a license fee charged per hour so it will save you moving your license to azure vm and then use it.

 

For eg, if you’re using SQL Server 2016 in that scenario you have two options. One is to buy the license and then upload it to azure and other is to use the image from marketplace and instead of giving the license fee at once you will be billed along with the license fee but that will be billed per hour and you don’t have to pay the lumpsum amount straightaway.

 

  • Azure Advisor

Azure Advisor is a recommendation platform built in the azure portal that basically runs over all of the resources and based on the best practices and usage pattern it recommends the user to recommend to scale up/down or shut down the resources that’s not in use. So if we are using a a VM with a higher configuration but we are not utilizing the resources well so it will suggest us to scale down the VM inorder to save billing and my performance won’t be affected as I was not utilizing the resource properly.

 

  • AutoShut Down

 

In Many scenarios, the developer or user work on VMs for not more than 10-12 hours a day but if we keep the VMs running the  billing will be for 24 hours and it will be billed for weekends as well where hardly or no one will be using it. In order to save the billing and optimal uses of resources, Azure has the capability to configure the Auto Shut down feature which allows you to enter the date and time in some specific zone and then you can setup your shut down policy based on the requirements.

 

 

 

  • Azure DevTest Lab

 

Just like the feature above Microsoft has enabled the Azure Dev Test Lab  so that you don’t need to remember to actually stop the VMs. This service allows you to setup VMs for Development and Testing purposes that will automate the shutdown and startup of your VMs for you. You can even minimize waste by using quotas and policies as well. It can be applied to multiple resources at a time.

 

 

 

Summary

There are few ways to reduce the billing cost that we are paying for our azure VMs. They are making smart decisions based on the regions as pricing differs wrt region. Also, Azure Marketplace has tons of images that you can use directly. Azure Advisor can help you to make the proper utilization of resources and Auto Shut Down and Dev test labs gives us the option to shutdown our machines or the Dev Test Environment when not in use.

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