Moving to the cloud is full of promise. IT managers welcome the opportunity to put mundane operational tasks behind them, offload risk management, and operate in a more flexible environment geared towards growth. The value proposition of Microsoft’s public cloud platform, Azure, is to make it simple to spin up a VM, add storage, deploy a new website, and experiment with new technologies such as IoT and Machine Learning.
That said, flexibility, experimentation, and growth all come at a price. Reigning in cost soon becomes a priority for any organization moving to the cloud. I have spoken with many enterprise customers about their experiences with financial governance related to their Azure spend. The consensus is that managing an organization’s Azure spend is essential but it is also daunting and certainly not simple.
New Signature has developed a SaaS solution to assist enterprises with managing their Azure spend — the Cloud Management Portal for Azure (CMP) — https://portal.newsignature.com/ .
As an Enterprise Architect at New Signature, I fully understand the importance of cost management when designing and deploying Azure solutions. Enterprises now see Azure as a mature platform that simply becomes another datacenter to deploy IT infrastructure and applications. Some enterprises are even targeting Azure to be their only datacenter. Azure costs are now being factored into budgets and need to be tracked.
Azure costs are incurred based on usage. Therefore, enterprises must be able to attribute costs to the departments or programs consuming the Azure resources. The CMP makes it easy to track Azure costs, enabling showback and chargeback based on organizational structure (e.g. departments) or by the type of application deployment (e.g. production or development).
This diagram shows the Production department and how Azure resources were added by using resourcing rules based on resource groups, tags, and naming convention.
Once all projects, departments, and cost centers are created and assigned Azure resources, billing reports will show the total cost for each. As an example, the following department were created: Production, Development, and Test. The billing report shows the total Azure cost for each department:
The costs associated with a specific department can be shown using by using a department filter:
New Signature is committed to enhancing the financial governance capabilities of CMP. We have already incorporated Azure Resource Groups and Azure Tags into our billing and usage reports and into our showback and chargeback capabilities. Planned enhancements will make it even easier to filter on specific Resource Groups and Tags. We are also enhancing Tags to enable historical reporting on Tagged resources. With this, CMP will improve upon Microsoft’s approach which does not capture the resource usage before the Tag was assigned to the resource.
Whether you moved to the cloud recently or are a mature Azure enterprise, the CMP can help you confidently monitor and control your Azure spend. Sign up today for a no-risk trial and see what you’ve been missing.