Mudbath Blog

30 June 2015

How To Minimise Cost In Windows Azure

Windows Azure is a fantastic service for managing your hosting, databases and websites. But with the ease of use that azure provides comes a great cost, one that hits your wallet pretty hard if you aren’t careful.

After seeing the latest bill, it was very obvious that we were spending far more than we should have been on our azure subscription. We needed to clean up our resources quickly or we might as well keep burning our money. After a day of trawling the azure portal, understanding how the platform works and reorganizing our resources, we are paying an estimated 65% less than we were before.

So here are a few tips to save your wallet while still getting the great services Azure provides:

TIP 1: Don’t Use Visual Studio

Visual studio has a tool that allows you to create a new website and database in Azure when you create a new project. This does make this a great deal quicker to manage the creation of your website, however it means you have no control over how the web app is created, which makes your azure subscription messy and hard to manage from a costing point of view, as azure is likely to just throw your web app anywhere without you having any say in the matter.

TIP 2: Keep everything in one region

While geo-replication is sometimes necessary, don’t spread your subscription over multiple regions unless totally necessary, each region is billed separately, which means that you could save a lot of money by keeping everything in the same region

TIP 3: Manage your App Service Plans

In the new portal you have the ability to create and delete App Service plans, also known as hosting plans. These plans are what actually costs you money for web apps. Make sure you view all the pricing tiers, rather than those recommended by Azure.

Organise each of your websites into different pricing tiers to minimize the cost of your overall subscription. Keep your azure only websites in free. Staging slots require a Standard Tier, which at minimum will cost $70/month (that’s just for it to exist).

TIP 4: Check your database pricing tier

Finally, check that your databases are on a tier relevant to their usage. Azure recently retired their ‘Web’ tier, which is twice the price of the replacement tier 'Basic'. If your database doesn’t need to boost in performance that Web or higher would provide, drop it back to Basic to save yourself a little extra.

The preview azure portal allows all of this to be managed quite easily, and gives much more information than the current portal does, have a look through and see the changes that it can provide you with