Migration-focused cost control mechanisms

The cloud introduces a few shifts in how we work, regardless of our role on the technology team. Cost is a great example of this shift. In the past, only finance and IT leadership were concerned with the cost of IT assets (infrastructure, apps, and data). The cloud empowers every member of IT to make and act on decisions that better support the end user. However, with that power comes the responsibility to be cost conscious when making those decisions.

This article introduces the tools that can help make wise cost decisions before, during, and after migrating workloads to Azure.

The tools in this article include:

  • Azure Migrate
  • Azure pricing calculator
  • Azure TCO calculator
  • Azure Cost Management + Billing
  • Azure Advisor

The processes described in this article may also require a partnership with IT managers, finance, or line-of-business application owners.

Prior to migration of any asset (infrastructure, app, or data), there is an opportunity to estimate costs and refine sizing based on observed performance criteria for those assets. Estimating costs serves two purposes: it allows for cost control, and it provides a checkpoint to ensure that current budgets account for necessary performance requirements.

Cost calculators

For manual cost calculations, there are two handy calculators that can provide a quick cost estimate based on the architecture of the workload to be migrated.

These manual cost calculators can be used on their own to forecast potential spend and savings. They can also be used in conjunction with the cost forecasting tools of Azure Migrate to adjust the cost expectations to fit alternative architectures or performance constraints.

Azure Migrate calculations

Prerequisites: The remainder of this tab assumes the reader has already populated Azure Migrate with a collection of assets (infrastructure, apps, and data) to be migrated. The prior article on assessments provides instructions on collecting the initial data. Once the data is populated, follow the next few steps to estimate monthly costs based on the data collected.

Azure Migrate calculates monthly cost estimates based on data captured by the collector and Service Map. The following steps will load the cost estimates:

  1. Navigate to Azure Migrate assessment in the portal.
  2. In the project Overview page, select + Create assessment.
  3. Select View all to review the assessment properties.
  4. Create the group, and specify a group name.
  5. Select the machines that you want to add to the group.
  6. Select Create assessment, to create the group and the assessment.
  7. After the assessment is created, view it in Overview > Dashboard.
  8. In the Assessment details section of the portal navigation, select Cost details.

The resulting estimate, pictured below, identifies the monthly costs of compute and storage, which often represent the largest portion of cloud costs.

Cost details view

Figure 1: Diagram of the cost details view of an assessment in Azure Migrate.

Additional resources