Microsoft has announced the general availability of Azure Cost Management – a tool for cloud solution partners (CSPs) who have onboarded their customers to the new Microsoft Customer agreement; terms that replaced the Microsoft Cloud Agreement for CSP relationships earlier this year.
Azure Cost Management aims to make it easier for partners and system integrators to analyse their customers’ cloud consumption and services costs, implement budgets and spend alerts; something partners are reported to have been seeking for some time.
Azure has added a cost management cherry on top for partners that allows them to markup prices easily: “We have features planned in the first half of 2020 to enable cost management for customers at prices that partner can set by applying a markup on the pay-as-you-go prices” Redmond said.
With ‘Azure Cost Management’ organisations can analyse cloud costs more clearly as the tool will demarcate cloud charges in categories such as customers, subscription, service and resource group.
Azure Cost Management: Launch Comes Amid a Push toward Clearer Cost Management
Cloud vendors are pushing out functions and plans which make clouding computing more affordable and attractive for companies. Azure’s costing analytics tool comes just a week after Amazon launched ‘AWS Savings Plans’ which allows its users to agree to a 1 to 3 year contract during which they receive a discount on compute usage.
With the Azure Cost Management tool user can view and manage their costs in the currency they are billed in or US dollars. Aparna Gopalakrishnan, a senior programme manager at Azure notes in a release that: “Partners can group by and filter costs by customer, subscription, tags, resource group, resource, and reseller Microsoft partner Network identifier (MP NID), and have increased visibility into costs for better cost control.”
The tool lets partners view their Azure customer’s subscriptions and resources spending so far and if needed they can implement cost control mechanisms such as a budget or automated spending alert. Partners can also reconcile costs by invoice which will show pre-tax costs.
Azure partners using the tool will be able to “set up monthly, quarterly, or annual budgets across all your customers, or for a specific customer, and filter by subscription, resource, reseller MPN ID, or resource group. Any user with RBAC access to a subscription or resource group can also set up budgets and alerts for Azure consumption costs at retail rates in the customer tenant if the policy for cost visibility has been enabled for the customer.”
Microsoft has more features planned for the charge managing tool, soon users will receive cost recommendations and optimisation suggestions, as well as the planned ability for partners to charge markup prices on their customers consumption costs.