When it comes to optimizing your cloud environment, the most straightforward techniques come not from the technical pieces of the environment but Azure cost management and evaluation of Azure pricing.
As we learned in our guide: 3 Ways to Purchase Microsoft Azure, Azure services are priced in three different categories –
What a lot of people don't know is that pricing varies by zone. So, for example, components that you may install in US East may be more expensive than if you deployed them in US West but less expensive in US Central West. So location and zoning are two things to consider when it comes to Azure cost management.
The buying mechanism with the fewest benefits yet most accessible set up is Pay as You Go. With this model, you can start consuming Azure with your credit card. You can configure your environment, set up a subscription, and before you know it, you can have resources up and running and spinning in Azure.
Pay as You Go, however, is not rich in discounts or cost savings. While it's easy to onboard yourself with Microsoft cloud storage and Azure cloud services, it's easy to spend more than you intend. Pay as You Go also lacks technical benefits as well. Services for incidentals, optimizations, and reconfigurations are minimum without additional fees. If you select Pay as You Go, we recommend working with a consulting partner like CCG to help assess the current state of your environment and make recommendations based on your Azure database storage needs, budget, and desired end-state.
Would you want $20,000 - $25,000 on your credit card every month? Unfortunately, that's the reality for businesses leveraging this model. As a result, we typically see an unintentional 2X increase in spend with customers who use this model before collaborating with a cloud architect.
Enterprise Agreement (EA) is the option with the most significant discounts, but the trade-off is you need to commit to a specific spending level. If you're in a scenario where you've been in Azure for a long time, you know exactly what your spending is, so you know how to avoid overspending or under-spending, for that matter.
Going into an EA is not ideal if you're just now putting things into Azure and you're not exactly sure what it's going to look like because if you commit. For example, to that $25,000 a month I mentioned earlier, if you only hit $15,000, you're still going to pay $25,000 a month. So it's better to, in the beginning, stage, optimize it and determine where your spending is going to be.
The last option is Cloud Service Provider (CSP). CSP Partners like CCG can mitigate billing issues and escalate matters for you through Microsoft. A CSP can support other ways through an initial level of technical support, recommendations for deployment techniques, and ways to optimize your cloud instance.
Table 1: Example of Cost Projection by Payment Model
Scenario: A customer initially budgets $20,000 per month for their cloud instance. For Pay-as-you-Go, the customer may start out under budget, but due to the lack of optimizations and visibility, payments go over budget during months 2 and 3.
With an Enterprise Agreement, another customer sees a steady number for months 1 through 3, but it’s more than they initially budgeted and is constant no matter how much storage is used. The inflexible nature of the agreement causes them to overpay overall because the cost isn’t the right fit for their usage.
Lastly, the customer leveraging a Cloud Service Provider (CSP) has the most flexible payment model. After working with a partner like CCG to ensure the environment is set up properly in month 1, the customer stays well under budget while also having slight variance month to month as their usage changes from a variety of factors.
Next up: Learn the top 4 qualities to look for in a cloud partner with this blog and get started with optimizing your cloud environment today!
Written by CCG, an organization in Tampa, Florida, that helps companies become more insights-driven, solve complex challenges and accelerate growth through industry-specific data and analytics solutions.
CCG understood our project needs very well, they are very responsive and we could not ask for anything more. The solution they provided fit perfectly with our expectations and business goals.GOP Data TrustChief Data Officer
I cannot overstate the delight we experienced from the outcome of our project. I would not only recommend CCG to any company, but question why they would engage with anyone but CCG.PgiDirector of Customer Success
Working with CCG is like working with extended team members. Consultants become an integral part of the work bringing expertise for cutting edge design and development.Hillsborough County Public SchoolsChief Information and Technology Officer
CCG's team is positive and eager. They are a great big bunch of wonderful people trying to make a difference.Hillsborough County Public SchoolsDepartment Manager
I knew CCG's technical expertise and dedication to quality results would be invaluable to our project success based on our past partnerships. We could not have implemented in the short timeframe like we did without their assistance. CCG is #1 on my speed dial for successful project implementation.InCommDirector, Financial Information Systems
It was evident from the onset of negotiations through the implementation that CCG took their role in the partnership to heart and we believe it has been instrumental in our success.Interval InternationalDirector of Marketing
CCG works very hard to understand and align with our needs. It truly feels as though we are on the same team!Fortune 500 HomebuilderBI Manager
CCG came to our company in a time of much change. Their team partnered with ours, continually delivering with professionalism and efficiency. We would not be where we are today without the expertise CCG brought to the project.PSCU Financial ServicesSenior Program Manager
CCG has a good industry knowledge, we are very happy that we chose to work with CCG. They have been a great help strategically and are helping us make important decisions.Minneapolis Public SchoolsHuman Capital Coordinator
Other Vendors use the word Partnership, but CCG actually means what they say. I can’t thank them enough for their professionalism and willingness to work with us as a true Partner, not just another vendor.PODSCIO
Our CCG Consultants are total rock stars: very thorough with a solid knowledge of the financial services industry. As a bonus, they are very easy to get along with – a great fit for our team.Raymond James Financial ServicesSenior Manager of Enterprise Data
CCG's team are all amazing. Thank you, CCG, for all that you do to make us great and keep our credit unions moving forward!PSCU Financial ServicesVP Enterprise Analytics & BI
Other Vendors use the word Partnership, but CCG actually means what they say. I can’t thank them enough for their professionalism and willingness to work with us as a true Partner, not just another vendor.PODSChief Information Officer
CCG's Team is very professional and responsive. They are making our job very easy.Rollins, Inc.Senior BI Analyst
CCG did an excellent job! Their team was very flexible. They gave us everything we asked for and then some.Rooms To GoSenior BI Architect
I'm amazed at the talent at CCG, not just the skillset - they're really good people. We've already referred them once and will do so again!Ruth's Chris Hospitality GroupCIO
CCG did a great job! We're extremely impressed with what was built in a short time. CCG has delivered ahead of time and with best practices, it's been a pleasure to work with them.VologyVP of Analytics
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