Microsoft Azure offers organizations flexibility and convenience for faster innovation in the cloud. A growing network of worldwide datacenters supports portability and consistency with existing infrastructure. However, scaling in the public cloud brings challenges. Here, we explore the 3 most crucial areas any organization must address to gain the visibility and insight they need to manage and optimize their cloud costs with Azure.
For public cloud users, allocating costs and billing across multiple accounts can be an overwhelming task. With no easy way to parse through comprehensive account data, it can be a challenge to understand the most important details influencing cloud expenses. Particularly for Azure Cloud Service Providers acting as the intermediary for end users, the need to break down where and how costs are incurred is critical to enable accurate billing.
With visibility across accounts, resellers can more easily understand where and how costs are incurred. A unified view of inventory and cost ensures CSPs have the data they need to bill customers appropriately, while optimizing their bottom line. Plus, having a tool to help understand how Azure’s evolving pricing model will affect the CSP bottom line can ensure better margins, while enabling more time for their focus on customer value-adds.
Of course, a large part of cost allocation comes down to inventory and usage. With Microsoft’s new portal, it is easier to focus on resources used, rather than services. However, the increasingly large amount of Azure services offered makes it challenging to keep a handle on what is actually happening with specific resources. Moreover, the Azure portal may offer data across regions and machines, but a deeper level of detail is necessary for informed, strategic action.
Azure users aiming to make the most of their cloud investment need machine utilization analytics to make smarter decisions. Prioritized recommendations and customizable reporting for resources are invaluable tools to leverage those utilization analytics to the fullest.
Security and monitoring
As with any public cloud provider, it can be challenging to manage security and compliance for Azure. Organizations must understand not only what they have running and when, but also when changes are made across their environment. Enabling alerts and notifications for changes within resources and services can be a crucial first step to mitigating security threats—and the associated costs of them. In addition to external threats, having visibility of access and permissions within Azure accounts can be a smart way to monitor spending and ensure accountability.
Clearly, the dynamic public cloud market is gaining momentum—and with change comes complexity. For Azure users, having a clear picture of cost and inventory, as well as visibility of potential security concerns, will be the key to success.
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