April 14, 2023

Cost Management for Azure

IT Tips & Insights: A Softensity Site Reliability Engineer walks through the capabilities of Cost Management for Azure.

By Gerardo Navarro, Site Reliability Engineer

Azure Cost Management is an Azure product that includes a set of tools for monitoring, allocating, and optimizing Azure costs. The tool can produce budget strategies, provide recommendations and export data. Let’s take a look at some of the features and uses of Azure Cost Management.

Plan and Control Expenses

  • Cost analysis 
    Explore and analyze your organizational costs. Azure Cost Management allows you to:

    • Adjust your scope (subscription, resources…)
    • Explore different views (monthly, daily, customized)
    • Adjust reporting period per invoices (processed per billing period)
    • Identify spending trends and create Cost Alerts to maintain the stability of your cost management
  • Budget 
    Budgets help you plan for and meet financial accountability in your organization. They help prevent cost thresholds or limits from being surpassed.
  • Recommendations 
    Recommendations show how you can optimize and improve efficiency by identifying idle and underutilized resources. They can also recommend less expensive resource options. When you act on the recommendations, you change the way you use your resources to save money. 
  • Exporting cost management data 
    If you use external systems to access or review cost management data, you can easily export the data from Azure. You can set a daily scheduled export in CSV format and store the data files in Azure storage. 

It’s helpful to filter the report to verify which resource is consuming more. Then, you can access the data from your external system.

When you provision an Azure resource, Azure creates one or more meter instances for that resource. The meters track the resource’s usage, and each meter generates a usage record that is used to calculate your bill.

The main factors or sources that affect Azure costs include:

  • Resource types
  • Services
  • User’s location

Resources and Resource Groups

The term resource refers to an entity managed by Azure. Each resource in Azure must belong to a resource group. A resource group is simply a logical construct that groups multiple resources together so they can be managed as a single entity based on lifecycle and security. In other words, everything that is born together, gets managed together, and deprecates together goes together in a resource group.

The resource group stores metadata about the resources. Therefore, when you specify a location for the resource group, you’re specifying where that metadata is stored. For compliance reasons, you may need to ensure that your data is stored in a particular region.

Resource groups can/cannot:

  • Resources can only exist in one resource group
  • Groups cannot be renamed
  • Groups can have resources of many different types (services)
  • Groups can have resources from many different regions
  • You can add or remove a resource to a resource group at any time
  • You can move a resource from one resource group to another group
  • A resource group can be used to scope access control for administrative actions
  • A resource can interact with resources in other resource groups. This interaction is common when the two resources are related but don’t share the same lifecycle (for example, web apps connecting to a database).


Hello, my name is Gerardo Navarro, born in Costa Rica and I am 28 years old. I was born in La Fortuna de San Carlos, a very rural place, where you can see a pretty volcano and many animals in the distance. I studied Computer Engineering, as well as English as my second language and Portuguese as my third language.

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