Microsoft Cost Management updates—June 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 us dig into the details.

Reservation utilization alerts

Organizations are always looking for ways to optimize their cloud spend and make the most of their investments. So, maximizing the usage of purchased reservations is on top of mind for many of our customers. In cost management, you have always had the ability to view and monitor reservation utilization percentages. With the recently launched preview of reservation utilization alerts, now you can also get email notifications when any of your selected reservations are below your configured threshold value for utilization. Getting started is easy, go to cost alerts and create an alert rule of type ‘reservation utilization’. You may already be familiar with this experience if you have configured alerts for anomalies in your subscriptions.

Reservation utilization alerts can be created at the Billing account (EA), Billing profile (MCA), and Customer (MPA) scopes. To learn more, please see Reservation utilization alerts—preview.  

Updates for Azure pricing pages

June 2023 has seen many improvements and new prices added to our Azure pricing experiences, and we’re excited to share them with you. These changes will help make it easier for you to estimate the costs of your solutions.

  • The Virtual Machines Selector tool has been improved to help customers find the closest matching virtual machine to their technical requirements, making it easier to estimate costs for various Azure products.
  • We have launched pricing details for a new service, Azure AI Content Safety, which detects harmful user-generated and AI-generated content in applications and services.
  • Our Cognitive Services have seen many changes, including new custom summarization and custom sentiment detection offers on Language Service, a new Vision Florence feature “Shelf Analysis” on Computer Vision, and new pricing for Disconnected Containers Commitment tier across Language Service, Translator Service, Language Understanding, and Speech Services. These updates will make it easier for customers to estimate costs for AI solutions.
  • Many new offers have been added across Virtual Machines (new NG Series and Dlsv5 went generally available), Block Blobs and Azure Data Lake Storage (Cold Tier pricing estimation added to the calculator), Form recognizer (updated calculator and pricing page with new “read” commitment tier and new PAYG offers), Data Explorer (simplified and added new SKUs to the pricing page), Azure Container Instances (introduced spot containers pricing in public preview), Azure NetApp Files (added pricing for the new Double encryption offer), Azure Monitor (updated pricing on SMS and Voice Call offers), and Azure Communication Services (added estimation for the call recording offer to the calculator). These updates will provide customers with more options and flexibility when estimating costs for different Azure services.

We’re constantly working to improve our pricing tools and make them more accessible and user-friendly. We hope these updates will make it easier for customers to estimate costs and choose the right Azure services for their needs. If you have any feedback or suggestions for future improvements, please let us know!

Help shape the future of cost reporting

Do you report on or manage costs for your team or organization? Do you need to group and organize costs across multiple subscriptions, resource groups, or billing accounts? We are exploring new capabilities to improve cost allocation and would love to get your feedback in a brief, 10-minute survey.

Please share this with others within your organization. We are looking for as much feedback as we can get to address one of the most common pain points we hear about from large teams and organizations.

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:

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

Here are new and updated offers you might be interested in:

New videos and learning opportunities

Here is a new video you may be interested in:

Jellyfish Pictures ramps up VFX rendering while reducing costs by 80 percent (~2 minutes).

Follow the Microsoft Cost Management YouTube channel to stay in the loop with new videos as they’re released and let us know what you’d like to see next.

Want a more guided experience? Start with Control Azure spending and manage bills with Microsoft Cost Management.

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. Stay safe and stay healthy.

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