Top Five Ways To Save Money With Azure VMs

Azure IAAS VMs offers you tons of VM and with tons of configuration options and it can be a very tedious task to make the correct choice. With this, we can end up paying more money than we should for billing. Here are the five 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 VM to one location but one thing that most of the people I have interacted with don’t know is that Azure pricing is different in different regions. One should design the deployment strategy such that there will be a performance as well as cost effectiveness. For example, 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 East US, the total monthly billing for 744 hours comes out to be $104.16/month with a billing price of $0.140/ Hr.

Azure

When I tried to deploy the exact same configuration in 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

Azure Marketplace pricing

Azure Marketplace contains 1000s of images from Microsoft and partner vendors. It has several predefined configuration images, which will work well for multiple scenarios.

Along with it, if you use an image directly from the Marketplace, VM is billed with a license fee charged per hour, so it will save you moving your license to Azure VM and subsequently use it.

Azure

For example, if you are using SQL Server 2016 in this scenario, you have two options, where 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 this will be billed per hour and you don’t have to pay the lumpsum amount straightaway.

Azure Advisor

Azure

Azure Advisor is a recommendation platform built in Azure portal, which basically runs over all of the resources and is based on the best practices and usage pattern, it recommends  that the user scale up/down or shut down the resources that are not in use. Thus, if we are using a VM with a higher configuration but we are not utilizing the resources well, so it will suggest us to scale down the VM in order 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 the user works on VMs for not more than 10-12 hours a day but if we keep VMs running, the billing will be for 24 hours and it will be billed for the weekends as well, where hardly anyone will be using it. In order to save the billing and optimal use of resources, Azure has the capability to configure 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 given above, Microsoft has enabled 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, which will automate the Shut Ddown and startup of your VMs for you. You can even minimize the waste by using quotas and policies as well. It can be applied to the multiple resources at a time.

Summary

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