Whether you are a new student, a thriving startup or the largest company, you have financial constraints and you need to know what you are spending, where and how you are planning for the future. No one wants a surprise when it comes to the bill, and this is where Azure Cost Management and Billing comes in.
We are always looking for ways to learn more about your challenges and how Azure Cost Management and Billing can help you better understand where you are incurring costs in the cloud, identify and prevent bad spending patterns, and optimize costs to enable you to do so. . more with less. Here are some of the latest improvements and updates based on your feedback:
Let’s dig into the details.
Cost Management support for Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365 and more
In September, we announced changes for seat-based offers coming to the Cloud Solution Provider program. This month, we fulfilled this promise by bringing new Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Windows 365, and Power Platform seat-based offerings to Microsoft’s customer agreement, setting the stage for you to manage costs and pay invoices for all Microsoft fees using a single set of consistent tools.
If you have purchased one of the supported new trading seat-based offers, you will begin to see this price included in the cost analysis in the Azure portal. Start on your MCA billing account or billing profile, and group by or filter further Provider to see your costs broken down by Azure, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, etc.
You can also define a budget specific to Microsoft 365 or another product family using the same Provider filter to be notified when you approach or are expected to exceed your budget. Note that if you currently have a scheduled export, you will need to update it to include these new fees. To do so, simply edit the export from the Azure portal and select the Save button. No changes are required. This will update the export schedule to include the new Provider column and additional data.
Over the coming months, you can expect to see more Microsoft products and services available as part of your MCA billing account. This starts with CSP this month and will be expanded to include private, business, corporate and educational organizations through next year and beyond. Learn more about CSP seat-based deals and stay tuned for updates coming in 2022.
Manage Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server in the Azure Portal
Azure Hybrid Benefit is a licensing benefit that significantly reduces the cost of running your Windows and SQL workloads in the cloud. It works by letting you use your local Software Assurance-enabled Windows Server and SQL Server licenses on Azure. You can now manage your Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server by assigning licenses to a subscription or billing account.
To get started, a billing account owner can configure and assign Cost Management and Billing licenses in the Azure portal.
Invoice Management Updates for MCA Accounts
Each month, your Microsoft Customer Agreement (MCA) invoice is published with the address and optional purchase order number that you have configured on your billing profile. Sometimes these may change after you receive the invoice and you may need to reissue the invoice with an updated address or purchase order number. Now you can do it directly from the Azure portal.
Start in Cost management and billing, and select your billing profile. From the Invoices page, select the invoice you need to update and click Change the bill to + PO number command to update the address or purchase order number. After updating one or both, submit and confirm your changes. Your new invoice should be available within an hour.
Learn more about invoices for MCA billing accounts, and tell us what you’d like to see next time.
Help shape the future of Azure Cost Management and Billing
Do you use Azure Cost Management and Billing to manage your cloud spending? Are you familiar with Azure cost analysis? We are exploring new and updated designs for the cost analysis tool and will run a usability survey to gather feedback on these changes to understand how they can better meet your needs and expectations.
If you or someone you know has experience with cost analysis, we would love your feedback. If you are interested in participating, please contact our research team.
What’s new in Cost Management Labs
With Cost Management Labs, you get a sneak peek at what’s coming in Azure Cost Management, and you can engage directly with us to share feedback and help us better understand how you use the service so we can deliver more customized and optimized experiences. Here are a few features you can see in Cost Management Labs:
- New: Irregularities in subscription costs
Identify irregularities in subscription costs with insight into the preview of the cost analysis. You can enable cost anomaly preview using Try preview. If you do not see any irregularities in insight after activating the preview, return after 24 hours. Note that registration of irregularities is only available when you see the price of a subscription scope.
- Subscribe to updates of your saved cost impressions
You already know that you can save and share custom views in cost analysis. Now you can also subscribe to updates and share these views with people outside the portal on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. You can sign up using Try Preview or using classic cost analysis in Cost Management Labs.
- Multitasking in the cost analysis preview
Introducing a new experience with tabs in the preview of the cost analysis. Start with a list of built-in views, and open multiple tabs to explore different aspects of your costs at once. You can sign up using the Preview Preview or by using the Cost Analysis Labs preview. Tell us what you think. We are looking for explicit feedback here.
- See the cost of your resources
The price of your resources is a click away from the resource list in the preview portal. Just click Show price to quickly jump to the cost of that resource.
- Change the scope from the menu
Change the scope from the menu for faster navigation. You can sign up using Try Preview.
- Open configuration items in the main menu
This is an experimental option to display the selected configuration screen as an embedded menu item in the Cost Management menu. You can sign up using Try Preview from Cost Management Labs.
- Streamlined cost management menu
Show only configuration settings. Remove Exports and Connectors for AWS from the Cost Management menu. You can sign up using Try Preview from Cost Management Labs.
That, of course, is not all. Each change in Azure Cost Management is available in Cost Management Labs one week before it is in the full Azure portal. We are eager to hear your thoughts and understand what you would like to see next time. What are you waiting for? Try Cost Management Labs today.
Upcoming changes to Azure usage data
Many organizations use the full Azure usage and fees to understand what is being spent, identify which fees to bill internally to which teams, and to look for options to optimize costs with Azure reservations and Azure Hybrid Benefit , just to name a few. If you are doing an analysis or setup integration based on product details in the usage data, you need to update your logic to take these changes into account.
PublisherType used to distinguish between first- and third-party cloud costs. Today you will see values like Azure, AWS, and Marketplace. With addition of Microsoft 365, Dynamic 365, Windows 365 and Power Platform for Microsoft Customer Agreement (MCA) accounts, PublisherType now goes beyond “Azure” costs. From October 14, 2021, PublisherType will be displayed Microsoft for any Microsoft, first-party fees. Note that this does not affect the Enterprise Agreement or Pay-As-You-Go accounts until they are transferred to the MCA. Learn more.
New ways to save money with Azure
Lots of cost optimization improvements over the last month! Here are five new and updated offers you may be interested in:
Seven services have also been expanded to more locations, giving you more flexibility and potentially cheaper prices that you can consider to reduce your costs:
New videos and learning opportunities
For the visual students out there, there are 3 new videos you should take a look at:
Do you want a more guided experience? Start by checking Azure expenses and managing bills with Azure Cost Management and Billing.
Here are a few documentation updates that you may be interested in:
Do you want to keep an eye on all updates to the documentation? Check out Cost management and billing document change history in azur-docs repository on GitHub. If you see something missing, select Edit at the top of the document and submit a quick pull request.
Join the Azure Cost Management and Billing team
Are you excited to help customers and partners better manage and optimize costs? We are looking for passionate, dedicated and exceptional people to help build the best cloud platforms and experiences to enable just that. If you have experience with big data infrastructure, reliable and scalable APIs or rich and engaging user experiences, you will find no better challenge than operating every Microsoft customer and partner in one of the most critical areas to create cloud success.
These are just a few of the major updates from last month. Don’t forget to check out the previous Azure Cost Management and Billing updates. We always listen and make constant improvements based on your feedback, so keep giving feedback.
Follow @AzureCostMgmt on Twitter and subscribe to the YouTube channel for updates, tips and tricks. You can also share ideas and vote on others in the Cost Management feedback forum or join the research panel to participate in a future survey and help shape the future of Azure Cost Management and Billing.
We know that these are trials for all. Best wishes from the Azure Cost Management and Billing team. Stay safe and stay healthy.