Exercise - Estimate workload cost by using the Pricing calculator


In this exercise, you'll use the Pricing calculator to estimate the cost of running a basic web application on Azure.

With an understanding of the more important cost factors associated with running on Azure, Tailwind Traders wants to take a typical workload and estimate how much it would cost each month to run it on Azure.

The IT Manager at Tailwind Traders is faced with the decision about whether to replace some aging on-premises hardware or move the application to Azure. The company needs to know how much the ongoing monthly cost of the solution in Azure would be.

Let's start by defining which Azure services you need.


The Pricing calculator is for information purposes only. The prices are only an estimate, and you won't be charged for any services you select.

Define your requirements

Before you run the Pricing calculator, you first need a sense of what Azure services you need.

You've met with the application development team to discuss their migration project. In their datacenter, the team has an ASP.NET web application that runs on Windows. The web application provides information about product inventory and pricing. They have two virtual machines that are connected through a central load balancer. The web application connects to a SQL Server database that holds inventory and pricing information.

The team decides to:

  • Use Azure Virtual Machines instances, similar to the virtual machines they use in the datacenter
  • Use Azure Application Gateway for load balancing
  • Use Azure SQL Database to hold inventory and pricing information

Here's a diagram that shows the basic configuration:

Illustration of described sample architecture: Application Gateway feeding to two virtual machines that take data from a single Azure SQL database.

In practice, you would define your requirements in greater detail. But here are some basic facts and requirements that came up during the meeting:

  • Tailwind Traders employees use the application at their retail stores. It's not accessible to customers.
  • This application doesn't require a massive amount of computing power.
  • The virtual machines and the database run all the time (730 hours per month).
  • The network processes about 1 TB of data per month.
  • The database doesn't need to be configured for high-performance workloads and requires no more than 32 GB of storage.

Explore the Pricing calculator

Let's start with a quick tour of the Pricing calculator.

  1. Go to the Pricing calculator.

  2. Notice the following tabs:

    A screenshot showing the four tabs that appear on the pricing calculator: Products, Example Scenarios, Saved Estimates, and FAQ.

    • Products

      This is where you can choose the Azure services that you want to include in your estimate. You'll likely spend most of your time here.

    • Example Scenarios

      Here you'll find several reference architectures, or common cloud-based solutions that you can use as a starting point.

    • Saved Estimates

      Here you'll find your previously saved estimates.

    • FAQ

      Here you'll discover answers to frequently asked questions about the Pricing calculator.

Estimate your solution

Here you'll add each Azure service that you need to the calculator. Then you configure each service to fit your needs.


Make sure you have a clean calculator with nothing listed in the estimate. You can reset the estimate by selecting the trash can icon next to each item.

Add services to the estimate

  1. On the Products tab, select the service from each of these categories:

    Category Service
    Compute Virtual Machines
    Databases Azure SQL Database
    Networking Application Gateway
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page. You'll see that each service is listed with its default configuration.

    A screenshot of the Pricing calculator showing the configuration options for virtual machines.

Configure services to match your requirements

  1. Under Virtual Machines, set these values:

    Setting Value
    Region West US
    Operating system Windows
    Type (OS Only)
    Tier Standard
    Instance D2 v3
    Virtual machines 2 x 730 Hours

    Leave the remaining settings at their current values.

  2. Under Azure SQL Database, set these values:

    Setting Value
    Region West US
    Type Single Database
    Backup storage tier RA-GRS
    Purchase model vCore
    Service tier General Purpose
    Compute tier Provisioned
    Generation Gen 5
    Instance 8 vCore

    Leave the remaining settings at their current values.

  3. Under Application Gateway, set these values:

    Setting Value
    Region West US
    Tier Web Application Firewall
    Size Medium
    Gateway hours 2 x 730 Hours
    Data processed 1 TB
    Outbound data transfer 5 GB

    Leave the remaining settings at their current values.

Review, share, and save your estimate

At the bottom of the page, you'll see the total estimated cost of running the solution. You can change the currency type if you want.

A screenshot of the Pricing calculator showing a total estimated cost of $1,902.64.

At this point, you have a few options:

  • Select Export to save your estimate as an Excel document
  • Select Save or Save as to save your estimate to the Saved Estimates tab for later
  • Select Share to generate a URL so you can share the estimate with your team

You now have a cost estimate that you can share with your team. You can make adjustments as you discover any changes to your requirements.

Experiment with some of the options you worked with here, or create a purchase plan for a workload you want to run on Azure.