Factors Affecting Azure Pricing

A key consideration during the process of planning the migration of your data and applications to the Microsoft public cloud platform is the ongoing cost. According to Gartner, Azure pricing is one of the key factors that a business takes into account when planning their cloud strategy. In truth, no two organisations have precisely the same needs when it comes to their requirements for storage and compute, and as such, the cost of migrating to Azure can vary significantly.

Key Benefits of igroup’s Approach

Our Azure specialists are dedicated to providing clients with a service that helps deliver the best possible results while managing budgets effectively.  Working with us means you benefit from:

  • A dedicated and fully accredited UK based Azure team
  • Working with an established Microsoft Gold Partner
  • Ongoing optimisation to manage costs and performance
  • SLAs for uptime that exceed Microsoft’s own
  • Transparent pricing for all resources

To find out more about how igroup can help you maximise your use of Microsoft Azure, please contact a member of our team today on 0203 697 0302 or fill in your details below and we will call you back.

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Did you know?

AWS and Azure pricing can change every month affecting your monthly billing.  By choosing igroup, your pricing is capped for the duration of your 1, 2 or 3-year contract, eliminating spikes in your billing.

Azure Overview

The Microsoft public cloud is a highly flexible and secure public cloud service with global reach.  It provides a platform for hosting data and applications on reliable virtualised infrastructure that can help businesses reduce their IT costs and improve performance.

Users of the platform benefit from the ability to configure the whole infrastructure using individual Virtual Machines to build up a server farm that can be tailored to almost any purpose and managed through a single dashboard.

An experienced consultant can help you get much more from Microsoft Azure thanks to their knowledge of creating a fully architected solution that uses the correct configuration of Virtual Machines and storage to maximise performance while keeping costs under control.

We provide a full consulting and technical management service to help our clients build the right cloud solution for their specific hosting needs.

Compute Requirements

Your Azure deployment will usually include multiple virtual machines that are optimised for different functions.  Microsoft’s cloud can allow a range of pre-configured VMs which have varying processors, memory size and storage to allow them to perform different functions.

Azure pricing differs for the various VM configurations.  At the top level, machines are categorised based on the type of usage available, and these categories are sub-divided based on their performance.

When analysing the compute requirements for your infrastructure, it is essential plan out the right machines to cover each aspect of usage – whether this is a storage optimised machine to manage your database, a general purpose VM to handle front end, or high performance compute optimised virtual machines to handle the management of the application itself.

Storage Requirements

The amount of data and the way it is stored in the cloud have a significant impact on Azure pricing.  At the simplest level, locally redundant storage (LRS) costs a fraction of a penny per GB per month, however managed SSD can cost significantly more – over £1 per GB per month.  The type of storage required is dependent on the way that you need to access it – regularly accessed or shared files will need faster storage whereas archives may be stored in a less intensive way.

As part of the architecture phase analysis of your current needs will help inform the structure of your infrastructure and contribute to the overall Azure pricing model that best suits your business’s requirements.

Network Services

Over and above the processing and storage of your data, accessing and protecting it in the cloud will have an impact on the overall cost of your network.

Managed Azure solutions that incorporate back-ups, anti-malware software, and Firewalls must all be considered and will contribute to the monthly subscription rates that you incur.  These services are often overlooked when initial Azure pricing is estimated, and as such, their inclusion can raise the cost above expectations.

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Managing Azure Costs

The biggest advantage that Azure’s flexibility brings to businesses migrating their data to the cloud is the ability to quickly change the infrastructure that is used.

This can be achieved in two main ways:

  • Long term analysis and asset management
  • Dynamic usage analysis and optimisation

Regular assessments of consumption are an important aspect of management.  This helps to ensure that the performance levels offered by your solution match expectations and that applications run correctly for the number of users and volume of data being processed.  Over time, most businesses find that the amount that they store in the cloud increases, so regular assessments help to manage the resource level.

A reporting tool attached to your infrastructure helps to manage Azure pricing more dynamically.  Real time analysis of usage, coupled with the ability to scale up the machines used to service that usage, means that rather than running costly higher performance virtual machines all the time, you can back down to lower spec machines when demand is lower.

Igroup’s approach to managing the cloud needs of our clients uses both of the above methods to ensure that they do not pay for resource that they don’t need, and more importantly, benefit from a cloud deployment that maximises performance during peak times and improves the ability of the business to process and share information.

For more information about how igroup can help your business migrate to the cloud and manage your subscription costs more effectively, please contact a member of our team today.

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