Need help reducing costs

Stefan Jarrah 0 Reputation points


We have a demo vm, it's not used for production, its a Standard B4ms, we use it to run some development and testing. What are the good ways to reduce cost. It has gone up quite a bit, I understand that I can purchase a cost plan. I don't see why the cost is so high, is it beacruse of usage? Can it be good to turn it off every night?

It runs a SQL server on it and som other services, but it should really be under any kind of presure.

Azure Virtual Machines
Azure Virtual Machines
An Azure service that is used to provision Windows and Linux virtual machines.
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Azure Cost Management
Azure Cost Management
A Microsoft offering that enables tracking of cloud usage and expenditures for Azure and other cloud providers.
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3 answers

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  1. Jackson Martins 10,136 Reputation points MVP

    Hi @Stefan Jarrah
    There are several strategies, I will talk about some options:

    If the VM isn't needed 24/7, set up an auto-shutdown schedule to turn off the VM during non-working hours. For example, turning it off overnight and during weekends can reduce costs.

    Using Azure Spot VMs can be a very effective way to reduce costs, especially for workloads tolerant of interruptions.

    SQL Server licensing can be a significant cost. Consider using a machine with a separate license and using your own license, or as it is just a test environment, perhaps using SQL Server in a trial period


    Get in touch if you need more help with this issue.

    --please don't forget to "[Accept the answer]" if the reply is helpful--

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  2. Andreas Baumgarten 103.9K Reputation points MVP

    Hi @Stefan Jarrah ,

    in addition to Jackson Martins:

    Which kind of virtual disk type (size and disk type like Standard HDD, Standard SSD or Premium SSD) are you using on this VM?

    Maybe it makes sense to use a cheaper disk type compared to the current disk type. Also verify if the disk size fits the needs (not only size but I/O performance requirements as well) without to much unused disk space.

    Be aware: Storage costs of disk are charged no matter the VM is running or deallocated. As long as the disk(s) exist you will be charged for the storage.

    (If the reply was helpful please don't forget to upvote and/or accept as answer, thank you)


    Andreas Baumgarten

    1 person found this answer helpful.

  3. kobulloc-MSFT 26,131 Reputation points Microsoft Employee

    Hello, @Stefan Jarrah !

    There are some great answers here from Jackson Martins and Andreas Baumgarten which I will echo but I want to make sure we cover key discounts like Azure Reservations.

    What are different ways I can save money on my VM?

    There are two categories of approaches for reducing your virtual machine costs: Maximize the amount of discounts that you take advantage of and scale or use less resources.

    Maximize discounts

    • Azure reservations: You can reduce your costs by up to 72% by committing to a one-year or three-year plan.
    • Azure spot instances: You can reduce your costs by up to 90% if your workload can be interrupted by taking advantage of unused Azure capacity.
    • Azure Hybrid Benefit: Save up to 85% by bringing your Windows Server and SQL Server on-premises licenses to Azure (savings calculator).
    • Try different regions: VM costs vary from region to region and sometimes it's possible to save a good amount by simply switching to a neighboring region. There are several resources for comparing prices available online.

    Scale/use less

    • Auto-shutdown: You can configure your VM to automatically shutdown when not in use to reduce cost during off hours or when not needed.
    • Deallocate your VM: Make sure your VM is deallocated when not in use if not using auto-shutdown.
    • Azure Advisor: Analyzes your resources and gives you personalized recommendations to optimize cost, performance, reliability, and security.
    • Resize your VM: You can resize your VM if you aren't using it's full potential to meet your needs more efficiently.
    • Use Virtual Machine Scale Sets: At larger scales, Virtual Machine Scale Sets can adjust automatically depending on demand or on schedule.
    • Optimize VM resources: Look at your VM resources like your storage/disks to see if there's additional room for optimization.
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