Category Archives : Management

27

Oct

Azure Cost Management and Billing updates – October 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 and Billing comes in.

We’re always looking for ways to learn more about your challenges and how Azure Cost Management and 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:

Introducing the Azure Advisor Score Create subscriptions with ARM templates Tell us what you need when verifying billed charges What’s new in Cost Management Labs New ways to save money with Azure New videos and learning opportunities Documentation updates

Let’s dig into the details.

 

Introducing the Azure Advisor Score

Wouldn’t it be great to have some assurances that you’re running your workloads in a cost-efficient manner? That’s exactly what Azure Advisor gives you and now, with the Advisor Score, it’s easier than ever for you

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07

Oct

Optimize your Azure workloads with Azure Advisor Score

Modern engineering practices, like Agile and DevOps, are redirecting the ownership of security, operations, and cost management from centralized teams to workload owners—catalyzing innovations at a higher velocity than in traditional data centers. In this new world, workload owners are expected to build, deploy, and manage cloud workloads that are secure, reliable, performant, and cost-effective. If you’re a workload owner, you want well-architected deployments, so you might be wondering, how well are you doing today? Of all the actions you can take, which ones will make the biggest difference for your Azure workloads? And how will you know if you’re making progress?

That’s why we created Azure Advisor Score—to help you understand how well your Azure workloads are following best practices, assess how much you stand to gain by remediating issues, and prioritize the most impactful recommendations you can take to optimize your deployments.

Introducing Advisor Score

Advisor Score enables you to get the most out of your Azure investment using a centralized dashboard to monitor and work towards optimizing the cost, security, reliability, operational excellence, and performance of your Azure resources.

Advisor Score will help you:

Assess how well you’re following the best practices defined by

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16

Sep

Build a scalable security practice with Azure Lighthouse and Azure Sentinel

The Microsoft Azure Lighthouse product group is excited to launch a blog series covering areas in Azure Lighthouse where we are investing to make our service provider partners and enterprise customers successful with Azure. Our first blog in this series covers a top area of consideration for companies worldwide—Security with focus on how Azure Lighthouse can be used alongside Microsoft’s Azure Sentinel service to build an efficient and scalable security practice.

Today, organizations of all sizes are looking to reduce costs, complexity, and gain efficiencies in their security operations. As cloud security solutions help meet these requirements by providing flexibility, simplicity, pay for use, automatic scalability and protection across heterogenous environments, more and more companies are embracing cloud security solutions.

While achieving efficiencies is the need of the hour, organizations are also faced with shortage of security experts in the market.  Here is where there is tremendous potential for service providers to fill this gap by building and offering security services on top of cloud security solutions. Before diving deeper, let me start with a brief introduction to Azure Lighthouse and Azure Sentinel.

Azure Lighthouse helps service providers and large enterprises manage environments of multiple customers or individual subsidiaries,

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08

Sep

Simplify financial reporting with cost allocation—now in preview

Managing cloud costs can be challenging; especially if your organization needs to break down costs for internal chargeback. You might have separate business units, or you might need to facilitate external billing for distinct customer solutions. This becomes even more difficult when you employ shared services to reduce costs, since there may not be a clear way to break those shared services down by business unit or customer. This is where Azure Cost Management + Billing’s cost allocation preview for Enterprise Agreement (EA) and Microsoft Customer Agreement (MCA) accounts comes in.

Know when cost allocation is right for your organization

Cost allocation is how you break down and distribute costs throughout the organization. Cost allocation is usually performed by identifying the shared services being used, pinpointing which business units or projects are utilizing those services, and determining how costs should be split across each.

Here are a few real-world situations you may be seeing today:

Networking—Multiple virtual machines (VMs) are using the same network infrastructure. Currently central IT covers these network costs as overhead, but there’s a desire to reduce that overhead and allocate those costs back to the departments or applications using them, driving more accountability

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31

Aug

Azure Cost Management + Billing updates – August 2020
Azure Cost Management + Billing updates – August 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:

Advanced scheduling options now available for exports. More details for reservation recommendations. Take action on recommendations faster with quick fix remediation. 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.

 

Advanced scheduling options now available for exports

Many organizations integrate cost data into internal tools and processes. Cost Management offers several ways to do this via the Azure portal, Power

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17

Aug

Advancing the outage experience—automation, communication, and transparency

“Service incidents like outages are an unfortunate inevitability of the technology industry. Of course, we are constantly improving the reliability of the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. We meet and exceed our Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for the vast majority of customers and continue to invest in evolving tools and training that make it easy for you to design and operate mission-critical systems with confidence.

In spite of these efforts, we acknowledge the unfortunate reality that—given the scale of our operations and the pace of change—we will never be able to avoid outages entirely. During these times we endeavor to be as open and transparent as possible to ensure that all impacted customers and partners understand what’s happening. As part of our Advancing Reliability blog series, I asked Sami Kubba, Principal Program Manager overseeing our outage communications process, to outline the investments we’re making to continue improving this experience.”—Mark Russinovich, CTO, Azure

 

In the cloud industry, we have a commitment to bring our customers the latest technology at scale, keeping customers and our platform secure, and ensuring that our customer experience is always optimal. For this to happen Azure is subject to a significant amount of change—and in

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12

Aug

How to optimize your Azure workload costs
How to optimize your Azure workload costs

The economic challenges posed by the global health pandemic continue to affect every organization around the world. During this difficult time, cost optimization has become an especially critical topic. Recently, we provided an overview of how to approach cost optimization on Microsoft Azure, which laid out three focus areas to help you get the most value out of your Azure investment: understanding and forecasting your costs, optimizing your workload costs, and controlling your costs.

Today, we’ll dive more deeply into the second focus area—how you can optimize your Azure workloads costs—and show you how guidance in the Microsoft Azure Well-Architected Framework, tools like Azure Advisor, and offers like the Azure Hybrid Benefit and Azure Reservations can help you operate more efficiently on Azure and save.

Design workloads for cost optimization using best practices from the Azure Well-Architected Framework

The Azure Well-Architected Framework is designed to help you build and deploy cloud workloads with confidence, using actionable and simple to use deep technical content, assessments, and reference architectures based on proven industry best practices. You can assess workloads against the five pillars of the Azure Well-Architected Framework cloud design—cost optimization, reliability, security, performance efficiency, and operational excellence—to help you focus on

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06

Aug

Prioritize datacenter discovery and readiness assessments to accelerate cloud migration

Cloud migrations are an effective way to drive operational efficiencies and to flip capital expenses to operational. Successful cloud migrations are rooted in bias towards action and execute with urgency towards triggers that need immediate attention. In our experience, migration projects that start with a deep understanding of the IT landscape, are best positioned to mitigate any complexities. In our experience, leaders who set actionable project goals and timelines, bring together teams and encourage solution thinking, and lean in to track progress towards well-defined objectives, are the most effective in helping their organizations realize cloud migration targets.

In the kick-off blog of this series, we listed prioritizing assessments as one of our top three recommendations to accelerate your cloud migration journey. Comprehensive cloud migration assessments should cover the entire fleet and help you arrive at key decisions related to candidate apps, optimum resource allocation, and cost projections. You’ll want to understand your applications, their on-premises performance, uncover dependencies and interrelated systems, and estimate cloud readiness and run-cost. This analysis is critical to fully recognize what you are working with and proactively understand how to best manage these resources in the cloud. Further, in our experience with customers, inadequately planned migrations—especially

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29

Jul

Azure Cost Management + Billing updates – July 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:

Drilling into empty fields and untagged resources in cost analysis. What’s new in Cost Management Labs. New ways to save money with Azure. New videos and learning opportunities. Documentation updates.

Let’s dig into the details.

 

Drilling into empty fields and untagged resources in cost analysis

Azure Cost Management + Billing includes all usage, purchases, and refunds for your billing account. Seeing every line item in the full usage and charges file allows you to reconcile your bill at the lowest level, but since each record can

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27

Jul

New Windows Virtual Desktop capabilities now generally available

With the global pandemic, customers are relying on remote work more than ever, and Windows Virtual Desktop is helping customers rapidly deliver a secure Windows 10 desktop experience to their users. Charlie Anderson, CIO of Fife Council in the United Kingdom, was planning to modernize his companies’ existing Remote Destop Services (RDS) infrastructure, and then business requirements changed. He needed increased agility and scale to meet the changing requirements. In his own words:

“Windows Virtual Desktop was absolutely essential for us in terms of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many, we were faced with a continuity issue unparalleled in recent times. For us, this meant not only the continuation of services we already delivered, but also responding very quickly to new demands arising as a result of our public response to the pandemic.

To do that, we needed to provide as close to the “in-office” experience as we could to a workforce now working away from our offices. This meant multiplying previous remote working capacities by a factor of 15 almost overnight – something which would have been impossible without a scalable and cloud-based approach, which also worked well on a range of Council and self-provided devices.

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