Azure Cost Management + Billing updates – March 2020
Whether you’re a new student, thriving startup, or the largest enterprise, you have financial constraints and you need to know what you’re spending, where, and how to plan for the future. Nobody wants a surprise when it comes to the bill, and this is where Azure Cost Management + Billing comes in.
We’re always looking for ways to learn more about your challenges and how Azure Cost Management + Billing can help you better understand where you’re accruing costs in the cloud, identify and prevent bad spending patterns, and optimize costs to empower you to do more with less. Here are a few of the latest improvements and updates based on your feedback:
- Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) invoice improvements.
- Tell us about your reporting goals.
- What’s new in Cost Management Labs.
- New ways to save money with Azure.
- Upcoming changes to Azure usage data.
- New videos and learning opportunities.
- Documentation updates.
Let’s dig into the details.
Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) invoice improvements
Managing and staying up to date on your Azure invoices just got a whole lot better with a few key improvements for Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) subscriptions:
- You can now view and download your support plan invoices in the Azure portal, giving you a one-stop destination for all invoices.
- You can opt in to email notifications for your support plan invoices to have a PDF copy sent directly to your inbox. This is available for all PAYG invoices in the Azure portal.
- You can verify payment status for all your invoices at a glance with the new Payment status column.
- And, if you pay with a credit card, you can also correlate the charge on your credit card statement back to the portal with the new Invoice ID column. You can also use this to break down your charges in cost analysis.
These are all based on your feedback, so please keep it coming. Our goal is to make it easier than ever to manage and pay your invoices. What would you like to see next?
Tell us about your reporting goals
As you know, we’re always looking for ways to learn more about your needs and expectations. This month, we’d like to learn about the most important reporting tasks and goals you have when managing and optimizing costs. We’ll use your inputs from this survey to help prioritize reporting improvements within Cost Management + Billing experiences over the coming months. The 12-question survey should take about 10 minutes.
What’s new in Cost Management Labs
With Cost Management Labs, you get a sneak peek at what’s coming in Azure Cost Management and can engage directly with us to share feedback and help us better understand how you use the service, so we can deliver more tuned and optimized experiences. Here are a few features you can see in Cost Management Labs:
- More details in the cost by resource view—Now available in the public portal
Drill in to the cost of your resources to break them down by meter. Simply expand the row to see more details or click the link to open and take action on your resources.
- Explain what “not applicable” means—Now available in the public portal
Break down “not applicable” to explain why specific properties don’t have values within cost analysis.
Of course, that’s not all. Every change in Azure Cost Management is available in Cost Management Labs a week before it’s in the full Azure portal. We’re eager to hear your thoughts and understand what you’d like to see next. What are you waiting for? Try Cost Management Labs today.
New ways to save money with Azure
Lots of cost optimization improvements over the past month. Here are a few you might be interested in:
- Save more when you prepay for Azure Cache for Redis.
- Save up to 33 percent on Cosmos DB multi-master accounts.
- Develop, test, and run small workloads with the Cosmos DB free tier.
- Take advantage of EventGrid Premium tier for free while in preview.
Upcoming changes to Azure usage data
Many organizations use the full Azure usage and charges to understand what’s being used, identify what charges should be internally billed to which teams, or to look for opportunities to optimize costs with Azure reservations and Azure Hybrid Benefit, just to name a few. If you’re doing any analysis or have setup integration based on product details in the usage data, please update your logic for the following services.
The following change will start effective April 1:
Also, remember the key-based Enterprise Agreement (EA) billing APIs have been replaced by new Azure Resource Manager APIs. The key-based APIs will still work through the end of your enrollment, but will no longer be available when you renew and transition into Microsoft Customer Agreement. Please plan your migration to the latest version of the UsageDetails API to ease your transition to Microsoft Customer Agreement at your next renewal.
New videos and learning opportunities
For those visual learners out there, we have a wealth of new videos this month:
- Brief overview of Azure Cost Management and Cloudyn (6 minutes).
- Optimizing cloud investments in Azure Cost Management (6 minutes).
- Sharing and saving views in Azure Cost Management (4 minutes).
- Achieve accountability through budgeting in ACM (7 minutes).
- Tools and tips to optimize cost and performance with Azure Cosmos DB (9 minutes).
- Choosing the right partition key for cost and performance with Azure Cosmos DB (14 minutes).
- Azure Cosmos DB Free Tier and Autopilot (14 minutes).
- Is Azure Free Account really free? (5 minutes).
Follow the Azure Cost Management + Billing YouTube channel to stay in the loop with new videos as they’re released and let us know what you’d like to see next.
Want a more guided experience? Start with Predict costs and optimize spending for Azure.
Here are a few documentation updates you might be interested in:
- Documented how rounding is handled in Cost Management + Billing.
- Added details about Azure Lighthouse to the Link partner ID article.
- Updated the list of available reservation types.
- Noted Cloudyn deprecation at the end of 2020.
Want to keep an eye on all of the documentation updates? Check out the Cost Management + Billing doc change history in the azure-docs repository on GitHub. If you see something missing, select Edit at the top of the document and submit a quick pull request.
These are just a few of the big updates from last month. We’re always listening and making constant improvements based on your feedback, so please keep the feedback coming.