Predict costs and optimize spending for Azure


Purchasing Azure products and services

At the end of each monthly billing cycle, the usage values will be charges to your payment method and the meters are reset.

You can deallocate a VM so that it is not assigned to a CPU or network in a datacenter, but the physical disks maintain so that it is easy to resume it.

Factors affecting cost

Resource Type

Costs are resource specific, so different resources cost different amounts


Azure usage rates differ between Enterprise, Web Direct and CSP customers


Cost depends on what datacenter is running the service due to efficiency and cost of local resources

Azure Billing Zones

Data transfer pricing depends on what zones are being used

Saving on infrastructure costs

Azure Credits

Visual Studio subscribers get a monthly credit benefit for testing

Use spending limits

You can set a limit so that you aren’t charged once you have used up your credits. This is specific to subscriptions that include a monthly Azure credit allotment

Reserved instances

If you know you have static and predictable costs, you can reserve for one or three year to save money

Low cost locations and regions

Some regions are cheaper, so ensure all resources are in that region or you will have a cost of sending data between regions

Reduce the size of Virtual machines

Oversized virtual machines will cost money for performance that isn’t being used

Deallocate virtual machines in off hours

You can use the auto shutdown feature to either reduce capacity by reducing the number of virtual machines behind a load balancer or stopping a service

Migrate to PaaS or SaaS

The higher up you go, the cheaper the cost

Save on licensing cost

In Linux you don’t have to pay a licence cost.

Azure Hybrid Benefit

If you already have a Windows Server Licence covered by software assurance, you can get a large discount by using this licence in Azure.

Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server

Similarly, SQL licences can be given for a saving.

Use Dev/Test subscription offers

By specifying you are in a non-production environment, you don’t need to pay a licence fee

Bring your own SQL server license

If you are on an Enterprise agreement and have an investment in SQL server licences, you can use this in Virtual Machines for free.

Use SQL server developer edition

SQL server developer edition is a free product for non-production use

Use constrained instance sizes of database workloads

SQL server costs are per core, so by reducing the number of cores, you can save on cost