Even if your systems are already running in the cloud, you still have various ways to reduce costs. Microsoft is continually expanding these possibilities, regarding both actual costs and cost management. Direct cost optimization focuses mainly on the well-known possibility of a “reserved instance,” available nowadays not only for virtual machines but for various storage types as well. Another option, often neglected, is activation of a “hybrid benefit” – “recycling” existing Windows or SQL and, more recently, Linux licenses. Of course, you have to make sure that the existing licenses are eligible for use in the cloud; in the case of Windows and SQL, active Software Assurance is required, for example.
In addition, some forms of assistance are being continually expanded in support of cost control, or cost management. Deserving mention is “Azure Advisor,” which not only identifies technological opportunities as well as risks, but also addresses commercial issues. This includes not only assessing whether a reserved instance would be a worthwhile option, but also analyzing utilization or traffic. Recommendations are added for improving the workload technologically and/or commercially. Furthermore, the new service, Azure Cost Management, has proven its merit as a central dashboard not only offering precise analyses of costs with various filters, but also assigning budget periods to various levels, such as subscriptions.