Windows Azure Cost Saving Tips (Part 1) : Compute Costs

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Well, we have all heard about benefits of cloud computing. However, for many novice readers and a ton of traditional enterprise shops who are yet to get their cloud computing feet wet, have no idea on how to translate those to tangible benefits.

(Recap here for new reader’s benefits

  • Utility computing – Pay per use
  • Virtualized computing resources that are remote and abstract.
  • Elasticity – On demand Provisioning and De-provisioning
  • Scalability in minutes
  • Allows IT to shift focus from managing infrastructure to managing business.)

We plan to start a series of articles, with a tip or two in every post to help you get on top of managing costs. Sure, take these you’re your CTO and get ready for a big bonus yourself J

Tip 1: Compute Costs are the highest order bit in managing costs

While there are lot of things we will recommend you to look at, we believe that the most important one is your Billing statement.

After analyzing many of our clients billing statements, we find the following general gotchas

(Of course, this is a generic analysis. We advise you to watch out on your specific usage across Compute, Storage and Bandwidth resources)

  1. Forgetting to Shut down Virtual machines instances that are not in use

    Did you know that Windows Azure now supports ‘No charge for stopped VM’s‘. Small and Medium businesses do not really have a great application lifecycle management practices in place. Understood that you are in a hurry to develop and get your application/service ‘to the cloud’. However, watch out for all your compute costs across development, test, staging and production subscriptions.

    Of course, we wish that Windows Azure makes this an inclusive feature and applies to Hosted Services/Cloud services. But guess what, they might have this in the works.

  2. Choosing a wrong instance size

    Do you really need ‘big’ instances? Instead of a big-one, could you not use multiple smalls? Here’s why…

    Apart from the fact that you are getting beefier hardware (progressively more CPU and RAM) as you go up the instance size chain, you should also be aware that the costs rise geometrically (~constant ratio of 2)

    So choose your instance size wisely.

    Of course, we have heard many arguments that design for scaling out takes effort and needs lots of attention to detail. However, you will have to go through that phase if you need the much required SLA advantages

    Here’s some data gleaned from Windows Azure calculator (as of 7/5/2013)


instance sizecost for 2 instances/ monthCompare Costs to XSCPU (GHz)RAM (GB)cost ratio


Apply these guidance’s today and we will take this journey next week with more cost saving tip around compute resources.

Risparmiare denaro. Ciao

(Bye and Save Money)

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