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Azure Cost Estimation and Management

 

The interest in Cloud continues to gain momentum and as a result, an increasing number of organisations are researching Cloud to establish how/if the fit would work for them. Identifying specifications from a technical view is simple. However, customers find that analysing Azure costs while managing commercials effectively from optimisation and migration perspectives challenging.

This blog explores the different stages of an Azure migration, as well as services PowerON can provide to support your Cloud journey.

The Cloud Journey

As with any project if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. In many Azure projects the below 4 step plan is commonly used.
Cloud Cost journey

  • Business Case – PowerON recommends every project starts here. The aim is to establish how much the services will cost and if the investment is commercially viable.
  • Proof of Concept – Once a business case is established a Proof of Concept ensures that Azure and additional Cloud services are possible in your current environment.
  • Planning and Migration – Once testing is complete a clear plan of the implementation can be initiated alongside a presentation of recommended improvements. For example, has there been any consideration whether services should be moved to a Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering?
  • Optimisation – Resource creation is simple in Azure however, it opens the opportunity for increased costs due to unused/underutilised services. By installing a management system you can increase the visibility of the costs incurred and ensure your Azure environment is optimised for optimum efficiency.

Estimation of Costs

Azure Cost estimation has always been challenging even when you are using Microsoft’s Azure Calculator. However, when the infrastructure requirements are known pricing up Azure can be straight forward. Commonly customers struggle knowing the exact requirements in Azure; just because there is an 8 core, 32 Gigabyte server on- premise doesn’t mean the equivalent is needed in Azure.

As a result, PowerON has created a custom Azure calculator, which takes a systems performance metrics to provide a clearer cost estimation. The PowerON Azure Cost Estimator (PACE) tool gathers data for 1- 2 weeks and produces a detailed report on the required machine size in Azure along with the cost.

PowerON Azure Cost Estimator

Migration Experience

The new Azure portal has made creating Azure tenancy and resource provisioning intuitive. Unfortunately, there is the complexity of migrating on-premise systems to Azure.  A test move can be created to validate Azures capabilities, as well as being able to explore resource management. PowerON also has a pathfinder service which provides an Azure assessment to help determine the best choice for you as well as providing guidance on performance and more transparent costs.

 

Planning and Migrating to Azure

For any migration including Azure, planning is best practice. A high-level overview of applications that are priority as well as ones with dependencies. PowerON can provide a detailed migration plan which displays the design and build based on application readiness. Furthermore, PowerON also offers fixed cost Azure migration, with running costs, enabling you to be cost effective.

 

Optimising your Spend in the Cloud

If your services have already been migrated to Azure, do you have full visibility on the cost of each department or business unit? Are you managing your Cloud usage effectively? Do you know if a machine has been left on and is not being utilised to its full potential?

Assured Cloud is a PowerON service, which helps with optimisation and management of Cloud investments along with proactive engagements which provides support on Cloud deployment whilst ensuring all Cloud Configurations are correct.

 

Summary

Migrating your services is only half the battle.

The key to using the Cloud effectively is understanding how much server space is being consumed as well as what the services are doing. Cloud resource has less technical management for example, disks don’t need to be replaced; however, there is an element of commercial management. This needs to be understood before beginning your Cloud journey

Our goal is to support customers in the best way possible to provide an optimal Cloud environment that is understandable and transparent from commercial and billing perspectives, after all it wouldn’t be much of an investment otherwise.

For more information on the tools PowerON provide, please reach out to us at info@poweronplatforms.com.

Gennaro Migliaccio

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