Understanding your Azure spend can be tricky, especially when it’s your job to keep an eye on disparate tenants, subscriptions, and multiple resource groups.
You’re jumping between interfaces trying to understand where your money is being spent, and where savings can be made.
Lack of visibility makes it harder to keep your environments operating within budget, and without a good handle on your resource usage, it won’t be long before the cost of your cloud investments are spiralling out of control.
To tackle this before it snowballs into an issue, we need a robust approach to Azure cost management and optimization. But where to start? We can’t control what we don’t know, and we don’t know what we can’t see.
We ultimately need the ability to surface all of our most important cost metrics in one place, view them in context of one another, and create a tailored view for all teams and stakeholders.
The answer lies in a dashboard, or pre-built options to choose from in this case!
When you add the Azure plugin to your SquaredUp workspace, you get tons of out-of-the-box Azure cost dashboards automatically loaded up with your live data.
SquaredUp indexes over 80 Azure data streams straight off the bat, so you get instant results without having to maintain data pipelines, wait for data to populate, or pay twice for storing it.
It means you can get instant visibility of your billings, invoices, reservations and more, all without the hassle of building dashboards from scratch.
Now instead of endlessly clicking around in Azure, you can analyze resource usage, identify underutilized resources, and make informed cost decisions, all under one roof.
Plus, all out-of-the-box dashboards are fully customizable, which is useful when building tailored views for stakeholders. You could create a summary of total spend and budgets for management, and a more granular view for teams requiring greater detail.
Take your reporting to the next level by combining data from other tools such as Azure DevOps, and view these metrics in context of eachother, all in one place.
On top of out-of-the-box data, you can use the SQL Analytics editor to carry out advanced data manipulation, and surface more complex metrics. As an example, you can combine your Azure cost and Azure Monitor data to find out the potential cost savings of turning off unused VMs!
The Azure plugin comes with 15 out-of-the-box dashboards, eight of which are totally dedicated to cost management. You get a variety of views for different use cases, which can be effortlessly customized for any team.
Here's a brief introduction to each one:
Billing accounts, billing profiles and invoice sections work together to give you a full view of your spend.
This billing accounts dashboard provides an aggregated view of your total subscription charges, comparing last month’s spend to your current month to date. The two donut tiles show a breakdown by subscription which you can drill into for more information, whilst the two tables at the bottom list your full invoice and payment history.
Your total spend is then broken down even further on this billing profiles dashboard, where you can instantly see which service, service family or location is costing you the most. Plus, the bottom tile shows actual vs. amortized spend for an understanding of your reservation usage.
The invoice sections dashboard is similar to the two above but approaches the data in a different way. In addition to subscription charges, you get a thorough breakdown of completed and pending transactions, split by Invoice section and product family.
Reservations and Reservation Utilization
The reservations and reservation utilization dashboards work together to help you get the most out of your reserved instances. See your reservation utilization alongside a breakdown of your unused reservation instances. This visibility is the first step to reducing wastage.
The budgets dashboard is a helpful way to monitor your actual spend against your allocated budget. If you’re forecasted to exceed your budget, this allows you to take action before you’re charged.
This is a simple view of Azure’s recommended VM cost savings with reserved instances.
Finally, this cost dashboard shows a bit of everything! It’s a great example of how you can combine your most important metrics into one dashboard for an understanding of your Azure cost efficiency at a glance.
Get the dashboards
These are just a selection of the Azure dashboards you get out of the box, so you can be up and running in minutes.
Just hit the toggle to automatically add out-of-the-box dashboards to your workspace, and instantly view your live data.