Person stacking coins, symbolizing only paying for what you need with Microsoft Azure.

A Lesson in Microsoft Azure: Don’t Pay for What You Don’t Use – Tech Tip for March 17, 2020

If you’ve tuned in this month, you will see that we are tackling software license management as our Tech Tips theme. And one of the big topics that often comes up related to licensing costs is how Microsoft Azure factors into your monthly bill. Some people have reservations around using Azure because they’re not sure what contributes to their consumption and how to avoid unforeseen expenses. This week, we’re here to ease your worries and give you some practical guidance on how to reduce your Azure spend.

Microsoft Azure is, at its core, an ever-expanding set of cloud services that your organization uses to run your business. It’s what we call a “cloud computing” service, AKA the practice of using the internet to access storage, software and services instead of installing and storing things on your own hardware. You probably are most familiar with Microsoft’s Software as a Service (SaaS) products that are hosted on Azure, like Office 365. And typically, you’re going to be paying for those products through a CSP (like TechWise Group) on a pay-as-you-go basis. So every month, you’re billed for what you use (in other words, how much Azure you are consuming).

It sounds simple enough, right? But how do you know how much Azure your company is consuming? And how do you optimize your Azure spend so that you’re not spending more money than you have to?

Here are some tips and tricks on how to keep your Azure costs to a minimum:

1. Turn things off!
It’s easy to not pay attention to how much your company is using an application. The key to saving tremendous amounts of money doesn’t really take much effort. All you need to do is turn off resources when your company isn’t using them. For example, maybe you could turn off some applications at night which means you don’t need to pay for running those resources during that time period.

2. Bring on the expert
Our team at TechWise Group is inside Microsoft Azure environments every day. We basically live there. And if we understand what your company is looking to achieve with the help of cloud computing, we know how to make that happen at a reduced cost. We are eager to help our clients understand what contributes to Azure costs and how to turn down things that are contributing to unnecessary expenses.

3. Don’t let your storage get out of control
Storage is probably one of the biggest contributors to cost when it comes to cloud computing. It always seems to grow and grow. When you are using a pay-per-use service, you need to actively manage your storage consumption. In fact, if you’re no longer using some of the data you’re storing, why not move it off high performance cloud services or simply delete some files or duplicate copies of files?

4. Be careful who you give access to
When you’re paying for a SaaS app for only a few people, it seems like a great low-cost solution. But as you continue to provision new users with access, the cost can easily go up. Make sure only the right people have access (which also helps keep your data more secure which decreases the likelihood of any kind of data breach).