Microsoft Cost Management updates—August, 2023

October 9, 2023

Whether you’re a new student, a thriving startup, or the largest enterprise, you have financial constraints, and you need to know what you’re spending, where it’s being spent, and how to plan for the future. Nobody wants a surprise when it comes to the bill, and this is where Microsoft Cost Management comes in.

We’re always looking for ways to learn more about your challenges and how Microsoft Cost Management can help you better understand where you’re accruing costs in the cloud, identify and prevent bad spending patterns, and optimize costs to empower you to do more with less. Here are a few of the latest improvements and updates based on your feedback:

Let’s dig into the details.

Exports for storage accounts behind firewall

We know security and compliance are important to you. So, we are thrilled to announce that the existing exports functionality in cost management can be configured to use storage accounts behind a firewall. This can be done through the Azure portal or the Exports API. You either need to be the owner of the storage account or have a custom role with required permissions. For detailed instructions on how to configure this, please refer to this article: Configure exports for storage accounts with a firewall.

Updates for Microsoft Azure pricing pages  

We’re thrilled to announce some exciting changes we’ve made to our Azure pricing experiences that will make it even easier for you to estimate the costs of your solutions. We’ve been working hard to improve our pricing tools and make them more accessible and user-friendly, and we’re excited to share the following updates with you:

We’re committed to improving our pricing tools and making them more customer-friendly, and we hope you find these changes helpful in estimating the costs for your Azure solutions. If you have any feedback or suggestions for future improvements, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

What’s new in Cost Management Labs

With Cost Management Labs, you get a sneak peek at what’s coming in Microsoft Cost Management and can engage directly with us to share feedback and help us better understand how you use the service, so we can deliver more tuned and optimized experiences. Here are a few features you can see in Cost Management Labs: 

  • Currency selection in Cost analysis smart views
    View your non-USD charges in USD or switch between the currencies you have charges in to view the total cost for that currency only. To change currency, select Customize at the top of the view and select the currency you would like to apply. Currency selection is not applicable to those with only USD charges. Currency selection is enabled by default in Labs. If not enabled for you, enable currency selection from the Try preview menu
  • Update: Anomaly and reservation utilization alert rulesNow enabled by default in the public portal.
    Manage anomaly and reservation utilization alerts from the new Alert rules page. Anomaly detection alerts are available for all subscriptions and reservation utilization alerts are available for Enterprise Agreement billing accounts and Microsoft Customer Agreement billing profiles. You can enable the Alert rules page in Cost Management from the Try preview menu
  • Update: Drill down in Cost analysis smart viewsNow enabled by default in cost management labs.
    Drill into your cost data with one click using Cost analysis smart views. You can drill into a row to view the full details, view related resources from the context menu (three dots), open the resource to manage it from the Go to menu, remove filters using the Customize command, and use the Back command to undo a change. You can enable this option from the Try preview menu
  • Streamlined Cost Management menu
    Organize Cost Management tools into related sections for reporting, monitoring, optimization, and configuration settings. You can enable this option from the Try preview menu
  • Update: Merge cost analysis menu itemsNow enabled by default in the public portal.
    Only show one cost analysis item in the Cost Management menu. All classic and saved views are one-click away, making them easier than ever to find and access. You can enable this option from the Try preview menu
  • Recommendations view 
    View a summary of cost recommendations that help you optimize your Azure resources in the Cost analysis preview. You can opt in using the Try preview menu
  • Forecast in Cost analysis smart views 
    Show your forecast cost for the period at the top of Cost analysis preview. You can opt in using Try preview

Of course, that’s not all. Every change in Microsoft Cost Management is available in Cost Management Labs a week before it’s in the full Azure portal or Microsoft 365 admin center. We’re eager to hear your thoughts and understand what you’d like to see next. What are you waiting for? Try Cost Management Labs today. 

New ways to save money in the Microsoft Cloud

There have been lots of cost optimization improvements over the last month. Here are new and updated offers you might be interested in:

Generally available: Azure Container Apps dedicated plan.

Generally available: 40MB/s/TiB and 500MB/s/TiB performance tiers for Azure Managed Lustre.

Generally available: Zone Redundant Storage for Azure Disks is now available in East Asia.

Generally available: Azure Premium SSD v2 Disk Storage is now available in more regions.

Documentation updates

Here are a few documentation updates you might be interested in:

Want to keep an eye on all documentation updates? Check out the Cost Management and Billing documentation change history in the azure-docs repository on GitHub. If you see something missing, select Edit at the top of the document and submit a quick pull request. You can also submit a GitHub issue. We welcome and appreciate all contributions!

What’s next?

These are just a few of the big updates from last month. Don’t forget to check out the previous Microsoft Cost Management updates. We’re always listening and making constant improvements based on your feedback, so please keep the feedback coming.

Follow @MSCostMgmt on Twitter and subscribe to the YouTube channel for updates, tips, and tricks. You can also share ideas and vote up others in the Cost Management feedback forum or join the research panel to participate in a future study and help shape the future of Microsoft Cost Management.

Best wishes from the Microsoft Cost Management team.

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