Five Ways to Save Money on Your Azure Virtual Machines

By Aaron Saposnik| May 18, 2018

When using a public cloud like Azure, you have to start looking at ways to save money since your bill is based on consumption. If you can find ways to reduce or adjust your costs and consumption, you can realize even more savings moving to the cloud while still providing the same or better performance to your systems.

5 Features in Azure that Will Help You Save Money

Here are 5 features available in Azure that allow you to get the most out of your Virtual Machines (VMs):

1) Reserved Instances

Do you know whether or not your server will be needed for at least 1 year? How about at least 3 years? Microsoft provides deep discounts on VM pricing if you pre-purchase the compute on a VM for a 1-year or 3-year term. Concerned that you might need to rebuild the VM? Not to worry, the reservation is for any VM of that size, and you have full flexibility to rebuild or reuse the VM for other purposes.

2) Automate Uptime

How many of your systems sit idle at night or on weekends? Can some of these systems be turned off during these times? Since you are paying for services on an hourly basis, shutting down for just 48 hours for the weekend can drop your cost by over 25%. Adding in nights can potentially add an additional 35% discount, significantly reducing the overall Azure consumption spend. Setting these schedules to shut down and restart the VMs can all be fully automated in Azure so that you can realize the discounts with minimal effort and impact on IT’s part.

3) Hybrid Use Licensing

Have you already purchased Microsoft Server or SQL licenses? Many of these licenses can be moved into Azure and used to reduce your licensing costs. The Azure Hybrid Use Benefit (HUB) can save you up to 41% on licensing costs, according to Microsoft.

4) Burstable VMs

Do you have systems that do heavy processing but only once a week or once a month? Do you have to seriously oversize these VMs just to account for this burst of usage? With the burstable VM series, you can now get systems that have normal core counts but you are only paying for a fraction of the cost. Azure provides a lower core performance during times you don’t need the systems and then bursts them to the maximum when needed to ensure your applications run but you are not paying for resources you don’t need.

5) Azure Site Recovery

For any VM based environment, disaster recovery is an important consideration. In the past, it was always required to maintain a full DR environment with replica servers and the associated resources ready and waiting. With Azure Site Recovery, you can replicate your VMs to another Azure region but only pay for the replication software and the cost of storage. Just like any other VM that is shut down in Azure, you don’t need to pay for the VM compute until the server is turned on which can significantly reduce your DR costs.

Beyond cost savings, moving virtual machines to Azure in the cloud using these cost-saving tips means you can reduce ramp-up expenses and begin leveraging the speed, scalability, and economic value fo the cloud sooner. If you're looking for a strategic partner to help you identify the right solution and features to maximize your cloud savings, contact us to learn more about our cloud acceleration strategy.

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