The Azure Well-Architected Framework is a design framework that can improve the quality of a workload by helping it to:

  • Be resilient, available, and recoverable.
  • Be as secure as you need it to be.
  • Deliver a sufficient return on investment.
  • Support responsible development and operations.
  • Accomplish its purpose within acceptable timeframes.

Architecture design is always driven by business goals and must factor in return on investment (ROI) and financial constraints. Typical questions to consider include:

  • Do the allocated budgets enable you to meet your goals?
  • What's the spending pattern for the application and its operations? What are priority areas?
  • How will you maximize the investment in resources, by better utilization or by reduction?

The concepts described in this module are not all-inclusive of cost optimization in a workload, but they represent the core principles and some of their key approaches when you're designing a workload. For a complete perspective, across all of the Well-Architected Framework pillars, visit the Azure Well-Architected Framework as you start planning and designing your architecture.

Each unit in this module focuses on one design principle and three approaches associated with that principle. The approaches in each unit are supported through the use of examples to help demonstrate how they can be applied to real-world scenarios. The examples are all based on a fictional company.

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you'll understand the five principles of the Cost Optimization pillar and learn three approaches for each of the following:

  • Build a team culture that has awareness of budget, expenses, reporting, and cost tracking
  • Spend only on what you need to achieve the highest return on your investments
  • Maximize the use of resources and operations
  • Increase efficiency without redesigning, renegotiating, or sacrificing requirements
  • Continuously right-size investment as your workload evolves


  • Experience building or operating solutions by using core infrastructure technology such as data storage, compute, and networking
  • Experience building or operating technology systems to solve business problems