One of the big problems we hear about with Azure is managing costs and understanding where the money is being spent.
In fact, when we launched SquaredUp for Azure back in 2019, the ability to visualize costs quickly became one of the most popular features. It helped our customers (and ourselves, too) get a grip on Azure costs – by making it easy to identify under-utilized resources and take the appropriate action to reduce costs.
“Within an hour of deploying it we found about $100,000 worth of savings year over year.”
- Global IT Lead, multinational engineering company
With version 4.7 of SquaredUp for Azure, we went the extra mile with a new cost visualization which we call the "Cost Utilization Treemap" tile.
How does it help me manage Azure costs?
The new Cost Utilization Treemap helps you quickly identify under-utilized resources on a heatmap, shows you where you are spending too much money, and gives you the ability to drill down and take the appropriate action (e.g. downsize, de-activate).
It combines the popular Performance Heatmap and the Cost Management Treemap into a single tile. The cell size is proportional to the cost of the resource (the bigger the box, the most it costs!), and the color depth represents the value of the performance metric (the darker the color, the more it is used!). Large light-colored cells may represent resources that have a higher cost but are underutilized and small dark-colored cells may represent resources that would benefit from additional capacity.
Let's take a look at the new tile in action.
The feature in action
The tile below displays a list of virtual machines by maximum CPU usage, and the corresponding cost in the last 30 days.
Straight away, this tile highlights two important aspects:
- The resource costing us the most on the top left cell (£75.91) is also the one whose utilization is the lowest (26.15% visible in the top left of the tile). This resource is potentially underutilized and there is an opportunity to downsize this virtual machine to reduce costs.
- On the flip side, the dark-colored cell (£67.80) shows a virtual machine with a high maximum CPU usage, which may be worth resizing to a larger virtual machine, especially if it is running a business-critical workload.
If VM’s aren’t your thing you can apply the same methodology to any resource type. In this example we’re looking at App Services; specifically, to compare the cost against the number of requests.
Our eyes are drawn to the dark green cell which shows that the Parts Unlimited app gets the most requests. Yet, it is smaller in size than the other apps which are lighter in color, which means that these other apps receive a lot less traffic, but are costing significantly more. In this example, the tile highlights a clear opportunity to balance our costs by upsizing the Parts Unlimited application environment and downsizing other applications.
So far, we have been able to quickly identify opportunities to downsize, de-activate or balance our costs thanks to the new "Cost Utilization Treemap" tile. The tile is fully interactive so we can drill down into a specific object to reveal more details. Let's take the example of the earlier virtual machine which was underutilised yet costing a fair amount of money. A simple click on the treemap cell takes us directly into the perspective of this virtual machine.
On the screenshot above, we can see that the virtual machine is a Standard_DS2_v2. With this information, let's go ahead and downsize it to a DS1 – and save some money!
Where can I get it?
The new “Cost Utilization Treemap” tile is available as part of Squared Up for Azure version 4.7 and up. The tile can be easily added to your dashboards and perspectives:
- Add a new tile and select tile Cost Management > Utilization Treemap
- Scope it to your needs. Note that resources must be of the same type
- Choose a metric such as Max CPU, number of connections, etc
- Configure how the tile and its data are displayed and you are done!
Take a look at our documentation walkthrough for more detailed steps on how to use this great new visualization.
Hopefully, this blog has provided some useful insights into our latest Azure Cost Management feature, and given you some ideas on how to use it to your advantage. If you want to find out more about how Azure Cost Management in SquaredUp compares to the Azure Portal, take a moment to read our Tech Evangelist Sameer's comparative blog post.