Assign responsible persons to subscriptions

We feel very lucky to have  engaged users who tell us about their cloud data management challenges and the functionality that they’d like to see added to azure costs. And we listen.

We’re continually deploying additional features that our users have been asking for to azure costs and here’s a great new functionality.

Assign responsible persons to subscriptions:
With the new functionality our users are able to assign responsible persons to one or more subscriptions. This helps team administrators to oversee who is the single point of contact (SPOC) in case of unusual spendings.

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This enables every team administrator to act instantly on cost spikes what keeps cloud costs under control.

Interested in the new feature?
Try the new feature today by simply logging into your azure costs account. The feature is part of any Enterprise plan in our dashboards.

Any questions, wishes or ideas? Try our feedback portal or drop a mail to help@azure-costs.com.

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Azure Costs: Feature enhancements

Smart Compare now supports Excel/CSV export
Some weeks ago, we released the new Smart Compare feature, an effective way to compare cloud costs of various months with each other. Now the existing CSV-export functionality is able to export these important results of Smart Compare as well. This enables everyone to find and report cost spikes fast and reliable.

Disable Subscriptions
Azure Costs needs to be connected to every subscription to manage the costs of Pay-as-you-Go or Rate-Plan subscriptions. Not every administrator wants to set the required access permissions for all subscriptions existing in the associated Azure account. Now Azure Costs allows, to disable not needed subscriptions as shown below:

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Team Activity Overview
Many team administrators would like to know, if the team members are taking their responsibility for specific subscriptions. Now administrators can see the Last Login information in the Manage Team overview, what gives helpful information if team members are checking cost reports on a regular basis.

How to get started?
All new features can be used right now as part of every plan. Try the new features today by simply logging into your azure costs portal.

Any questions, wishes or ideas? Try our feedback portal or drop a mail to help@azure-costs.com.

 

Notomia for software licenses

Check out the future of Software Asset Management for SaaS, Web and Legacy applications…

MyWorkspace by Matrix42

Notomia – that was Leonardo da Vinci’s synonym for anatomy. In 1515, when a Papal decree prohibited the dissection of humans, he ignored this decree and dissected 30 men and women who had been executed, in order to study the structure and functioning of the human body. Neither the decree nor the significant risk of infection through dead bodies kept him from doing what he wanted to do, and his success justified the risks he had taken: he discovered arteriosclerosis and was probably the first among mankind to create drawings of a child in the mother’s womb. Even today, his 200 or so anatomic drawings are precious works of arts, combined with scientific precision and detail. And what applied to Leonardo da Vinci, is well worth to be applied to software license management: the more precise and accurate knowledge is supplied to license managers on the company’s license landscape, the…

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Feature Announcement: Smart Compare

We’re very excited today, to announce the release of a game-changing new feature for azure costs: Smart Compare.

Smart Compare allows our customers to conveniently compare their monthly cloud costs with the costs of any previous month. By simply choosing the relevant months, azure costs now highlights cost spikes and deflections, so that our customers can focus on the costs they are really interested in – and ignore those they’re not.

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These results can then be sorted and powerful filters allow our customers to limit what they see, to only what they’re interested in.

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We are sure that this great feature will help our costumers to identify the real cost drivers and make informed decisions on cost optimization strategies.

How to get started?
Comparing cloud costs is this simple: The Smart Compare and sorting functionality can be used right now as part of our Preview UI. Just select multiple months as shown above, to identify cost drivers, spikes and deflections.

Interested in the SmartCompare feature?
Try the new feature today by simply logging into your azure costs portal. Smart Compare is part of every paid plan, starting with the Professional subscription.

Any questions, wishes or ideas? Try our feedback portal or drop a mail to help@azure-costs.com.

Tips on How to Set up the Cloud Workspace

Start right now with Hybrid & Cloud Workspace Management with MyWorkspace.

MyWorkspace by Matrix42

Sir Winston Churchill once said: “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” This is also true or even especially true for the workspace; in the age of the mobile workforce the focus is more on the design of the personal cloud-based workspace, rather than on spatial concepts. After all, high workforce productivity and satisfaction are directly related to the functionality, efficiency and security of the work environment. Similar to the ancient Greek temple builders, MyWorkspace relies on the tested and proven pillar principle.

churchill

No company that moves into the cloud will just throw away their equipment to set up completely new cloud workspaces. Most companies take their existing “furniture”, i.e., existing applications along and add some cloud “furnishings” to set up hybrid clouds where multiple applications are connected and data are exchanged automatically. Independent from the details of the workspace set-up, it is the following three pillars that form the foundation of the cloud workspace:

1) Identity & Access…

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Smooth Workspace for Everybody: Our Recipe…

Enjoy the upcoming summer with our recipe for a smooth workspace!

MyWorkspace by Matrix42

For their fans, smoothies are their daily portion of health and fitness and even make them happy, because they can be made without specific cooking skills and combine the properties and benefits of their ingredients into a balanced and effective mixture. What are the ingredients of a workspace solution that leads to happy end users, a happy IT department and a happy company alike?

smoothie

In many organizations, the happiness and fitness or productivity of end users, the IT department and the entire company are rather clouded, since work styles have undergone radical changes. While in the past administrators provisioned the required applications for their users on an in-house server within the company’s own data center, today’s provisioning and sourcing models are increasingly based on web or SaaS applications. Companies use at least ten and very often many more external SaaS applications, which results in a high degree of complexity for both…

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Git rid of your XAML builds – Migrate now

Have you recently migrated from TFS to Visual Studio Team Services?
Are you happy with that decision but the existing XAML based build definitions sucks? Then this article might help, as it explains the structure of the agent based build system, which is very powerful especially for companies with cross platform projects.

The Architecture

In the former days the XAML based build system used a dedicated build controller which was able to trigger a build via push. This meant that the build agent needed to be available from the build controller. Hosting build agents in the cloud or better build agents dynamically, was always a pain.

With the new step-based build system of Visual Studio Team Services, Microsoft simplified the architecture and removed the build controller out of the game. The only component which is required is a simple agent that needs to be installed. Based to Web-Sockets this agent does not need to be available from outside because the agent dials into the VSTS services and offers triggering build runs. This makes adding and removing build agents dynamically a breeze. Just prepare your AMI, VHD or other image and spin off new virtual machines if needed.

The Step System

The described new architecture also delivers a brand-new step-based build system. Editing complex XML based workflows in Visual Studio is not required any more. The author of a build-process can pick and choose pre-defined activities to execute a very specific build-step, e.g. compile source code, generate a web deploy package or sign files.

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At the end every build step is nothing more then a command line tool, that is executed in the context of the current build. Because of that, also the Command-Line-Activity is one of the most important actions in the step-based build system when it comes to more complex workflows.

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Cross-Product-Groups/Departments will love the possibility to create new custom activities, which can be used from other teams and groups within the company. This makes complex build tasks really easy to use for other teams. There is an important idea behind the new build system: “Let developers create the build, get rid of your dedicated build team.” In an Agile world we are talking so much about cross functional teams, that build management should become part of it.

Advanced features you should know about

Microsoft also delivers a couple of features in the new step-based build system to target more complex scenarios.

Multiple Build Agents on the same machine

There are no reasons for using just a single machine per registered build agent. If you would like to get the most out of your existing infrastructure, just install the Microsoft build agent multiple times on your build servers.

Tip: We are using 3 build agents on the same virtual machine which gives us a good utilisation regarding CPU and RAM. On Linux we switched to machines backed via SSD because of I/O intensive docker and Java builds

Release Processes vs. Build Processes

The new release process feature in VSTS is a great option to differentiate between building a pice of software and delivering a piece of software. Especially when the vendor works with a test chain it’s possible to move SaaS software through different states. Especially codeship becomes popular with this kind of feature set.

Push to HockeyApp

Microsoft acquired HockeyApp, a leading vendor in crash dump collection and beta app deployments for Android, iOS and Windows.

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Related to this acquisition the Visual Studio Team Services team offers a seamless integration, which allows to upload your build directly to HockeyApp. This works on all required platforms, also on XCode builds for iOS or OS X. At Microsoft Build 2016 the HockeyApp team announces that Xamarin Insights becomes part of HockeyApp. Related to this check our the technical presentation of the HockeyApp team here.

Summary

With the new step-based build system Microsoft introduced in Visual Studio Team Services, a more flexible and simple-to-use option. Especially when you start with new projects, just use the step-based build system and do not invest in the old XAML builds. Software vendors who are writing software for different platforms can now use VSTS as a cloud based management tool, which means to get the most out of your MSDN benefits. Also when you are owning XAML based builds, invest in the migration. Microsoft recently announced that the XAML builds will be discontinued after 2016, so it’s time act.