Microsoft Cost Management updates—November 2023

November 20, 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.

In this month’s edition, we will cover some of the updates from the previous month and give you a preview of what we are planning for Microsoft Ignite 2023. Enjoy reading!

Introducing cost views for Azure Kubernetes service (AKS)

We know that Kubernetes come with a lot of cost benefits and continues to gain popularity. Teams run their applications on a single cluster sharing the infrastructure costs and scaling capacity only when load demands. Talking to our customers, we understand that while this shared computing model is great for cost savings, it poses challenges for them to gain visibility into granular costs based on Kubernetes’ entities. As an example, teams running multiple applications on a cluster have visibility into infrastructure costs of the cluster using cost analysis or cost reports, they however lack visibility into costs incurred by each application making cost allocation and optimization very difficult.

To address these challenges, we are thrilled to announce that the preview of the Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) cost views will be available starting on November 14, 2023. You will gain visibility into the costs of namespaces and an aggregated view of the costs of assets within the cluster. These views will be available in Cost analysis within the Azure portal, an experience which you are already familiar with. It will make analyzing and allocating costs for your cluster much easier.

This is just the beginning of our journey to enable granular visibility into AKS costs, we will continue to add additional capabilities for AKS cost management.

Please look for an Azure update regarding this launch in the week of November 13, 2023.

Improvements to cost management exports 

Announcing an improved exports experience designed to streamline your FinOps practice. With automatic exports of additional cost-impacting datasets, the updated exports are optimized to handle large datasets while enhancing the user experience.   

You can export additional datasets, including price sheets, reservation recommendations, reservation details, and reservation transactions. Furthermore, you can download cost and usage details using the open-source FinOps Open Cost and Usage Specification (FOCUS) format, which combines actual and amortized costs and reduces data processing times and storage and compute costs.  

With the enhanced user interface, you can easily create multiple exports for various cost management datasets using a single, simplified create experience. Moreover, you have the option to selectively rerun an existing Export job for a historical date range instead of creating a new one-time export of the required date range.  

FinOps datasets can be large and challenging to manage. You can easily handle large datasets through features like file partitioning, that breaks the file into manageable chunks and file overwrite for daily exports, which replaces the previous day’s file with an updated file each day and the upcoming support for Parquet format and file compression. These optimizations improve file manageability, reduce download latency, and help you save on storage and network charges.  

You can choose the latest or any of the previous dataset schema versions during the export creation. This ensures that the data processing layers that you have built on top of these datasets can be reused without compromising on the latest API functionality.  

You can enhance security and compliance by configuring exports to storage accounts behind a firewall which provides access control for the public endpoint of the storage account.  

The exports preview will be rolled out over the coming months. If you’re interested in getting access to the upcoming preview, sign up today. Also, stay tuned for updates in Azure updates to remain informed about the latest enhancements and features. 

Pricing updates on Azure

Many new additions have made it into our Azure pricing experiences, and we’re thrilled to share with you some notable updates that will make it even easier for you to estimate the costs of your solutions. Here are some highlights:

We’re committed to continually improving our pricing tools to make them more accessible and user-friendly for our customers. We hope these changes will help you estimate the costs for your Azure solutions more accurately. As always, we welcome your feedback and suggestions for future improvements. Thank you for choosing Azure as your cloud platform!

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:

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.   

  • 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. 

Try Cost Management labs today.

New ways to save money in the Microsoft Cloud

Here are new and updated offers you might be interested in for your cost optimization needs.

Documentation updates

Here are a few documentation updates for cost management 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 Microsoft Cost Management 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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