Cloud services are a critical part of the organizational infrastructure of thousands on businesses and if spending on this resource is left unchecked, it is very easy for a cloud service to turn from an asset to a liability. In 2017, Microsoft acquired Cloudyn, a solution for cloud cost management. The Israeli startup initially started with addressing cost management deficiencies on AWS and later expanded to support Google Compute Engine, OpenStack, Microsoft Azure, and VMware.
After acquiring Cloudyn, Microsoft continued to expand the service capabilities previously offered by the company via the Azure cost management solution for businesses. But has Microsoft truly covered all major consumer pain point with the new cloud cost management solution?
Azure Cost Management is a default service in Microsoft’s cloud for enterprise agreement, Pay-As-You-Go, and Azure Government customers. The financial governance tool provides cost analysis, budget, Azure compute and reservation recommendations, and the ability to export data to Azure storage. The Azure Cost Management tool can be integrated into the Azure Portal and work with Azure Advisor, Cost management APIs, and Microsoft Power BI connectors. While this service is free for Azure Cloud users, using the solution to manage spending on AWS and Google Cloud platforms carries a fee of 1% of managed cloud spend.
Improvements made in Azure Cost Management Post General Availability:
1. Resource reservations with costs connected and linked to the teams using the resources.
2. Resource and Budget forecasting for Azure and AWS resources.
3. Using management groups to support budgets for both Azure and AWS resources.
4. Increased number of tags per resource from 15 to 50.
5. More options for customizing dashboard tiles.
6. Improved support for resource tags, including App Service, Data factory, Event Hubs Service Bus, VPN Gateway, and load balancer.
7. Customized views and sharing capabilities for reports.
8. Granular approach in budget reporting and forecasting.
While the sizable list of additional features mentioned above creates a rosy image, some issues still remain, such as the fact that all users cannot access Azure Resource manager through Azure Portal. Microsoft Partners in the cloud solution providers program have to use Cloudyn Portal and so do multi-cloud users that rely on Cloudyn’s recommendation feature for AWS.
There are also some other valid concerns such as, will the Cloudyn platform remain agnostic or will Azure have a preferred status with improved features and integrations. Clients are also left wondering about how responsive Microsoft will be when it comes to support services and bug fixes for competing cloud services.
The most critical concern however, is regarding data security. The privacy of competitive customer data when using Azure Cost Management to track resources across cloud platforms may just be as problematic as it sounds.