2018 will make cloud spending optimization more efficient and easier

Cloud Costs

What a rush, 2017 is over and Azure Costs, a growing cost management and optimization platform, delivered tons of great features and improvements.
We made our support for Cloud Service Providers available and now allow every CSP to implement complex N-Tier models and billing portal capabilities. This solution gives every customer cloud-vendor-independent transparency of cloud spendings and allows to leverage optimization potentials.

We are very excited to also start the new year with a firework of great features and functional enhancements:

Amazon Web Services availability – Welcome to Cloud Costs
Focusing on just a single cloud provider is like having only one single data center without any redundancy and a big vendor lock on. Customers are focusing more and more on a virtual data center strategy to take care of high availability, fault tolerance and disaster recovery.

We are very happy to support this activities by offering the integration of…

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Azure Costs: Cost Management for CSPs

Today we are happy to announce the availability of Azure Costs for Cloud Solution Providers.
Cloud Solution Providers are facing a serious challenge concerning the Microsoft Partnership. The whole process of generating transparency for consumed cloud resources of their customers, managing the billing process and offering support is on the cloud solutions providers desk. Our cost management for CSPs has the intention to deliver all the tools a CSP needs to implement this part of the value chain.  The offering targets three important dimensions a cloud solution provider needs to cover:

Manage customers, accounts & partners

Azure Costs allows to manage all accounts, customers & partners in the complex n-tier business model of the Microsoft CSP Program. This includes a custom spending portal to analyse and manage the performance of every partner and customer including alerts and the powerful mail spending report. Supporting custom markups, discounts and margins allows to adjust the cost structure to the dedicated business model of every CSP.

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Offer billing portal capabilities

Staying on top of the cloud usage is easy for CSP customers when their KPIs are right in front of them. The Azure Costs Spending Dashboard provides a clear and crisp overview, containing all important cost- and usage-KPIs at a glance for all CSP cloud customers and partners. Last but not least the billing portal offered to every partner and customer allows to deliver the required transparency a CSP is enforced to offer not only for Azure but also for other services like Office 365.

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Multi Clouds & Custom Solutions management

Including self-developed cloud solutions and 3rd party services in the spending management infrastructure gives customers a single pane of glass to track, optimize and govern their spendings. As an essential part of the Azure Costs infrastructure, it opens the platform for other cloud vendors like Amazon and Google as well as sub cloud providers like SendGrid. The ability to build and sell cloud solutions e.g. hosted SAP or virtual datacenter implementation allows every CSP to deliver more value instead of just provisioning resources in Azure. virtual-meter

Interested in the new feature?
Getting started with Azure Costs for CSPs is very easy, just visit our csp portal for Cloud Solution providers and enroll into the CSP program as described above. More information about every feature in detail and the available plans can be found here.

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

Azure Costs: Feature Update for CSP Support

Today we’re very excited to announce some great feature updates for our Cloud Solution Providers platform. All the updates focus on more accuracy and productivity, when working on a daily basis with your customers.  

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The following list describes all features in detail and gives you a brief overview on how to use them:  

Defining Cloud Solution Provider Margins allows the CSP to differentiate between the pricing Microsoft offers to CSPs and the price the CSP offers for the customer. Just define the different pricing tier per customer individually

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Generate Cloud Solution Provider Filters allows to hide services which are not charged for the customer. Only services targeted by the CSP filter will appear in the customer portal. azure costs - azure cloud cost optimization made easy 2017-07-21 07-36-13
Offer a customer spending portal beside a reseller spending portal allows your customers to manage the spendings by their own. This portal gives your customers 100% the same features incl. team management as if they would sign up to Azure Costs with an enterprise edition directly and an EA contract. azure costs - azure cloud cost optimization made easy 2017-07-21 07-36-48

Interested in the new feature?
Getting started with Azure Costs for CSPs is very easy, just visit our new portal just for Cloud Solution providers and enroll into the CSP program as described above. To become part of the public preview of the CSP support an existing enterprise plan is required.

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

 

Azure Costs: Public Preview CSP Support

Today we’re very excited to announce the start of the public preview for Cloud Solution Providers.  After several weeks and months of continous improvements in the azure costs platform, we now start the public preview phase of the CSP support.  

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The great new CSP portal gives you access to the spendings your customers are generating. There are a couple of use cases we would like to point out:  

Enroll into the CSP program:
When visiting our new CSP portal the system will require enrolling into the CSP program. You can do this with an existing Azure Costs account or in case you would like to differentiate between internal spendings and customer spendings, just use an additional account!

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Register Accounts:
Microsoft requires every CSP to sign into the CSP program for every geographical region separately. As an internal reseller you will have accounts for USD, EUR or AUD and several more. Azure Costs allows you to register every single CSP account, to track costs in different currencies and countries separately.
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Activate Customers:
During the registration process Azure Costs imports all existing customers. This does not mean Azure Costs tracks spendings. If you would like to track spendings for a specific customer, activate this customer in the “New/Not-Activated Customers” widget. The spending information of every activated customer will be imported automatically.
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Interested in the new feature?
Getting started with Azure Costs for CSPs is very easy, just visit our new portal for Cloud Solution providers and enroll into the CSP program as described above. To become part of the public preview of the CSP support an existing enterprise plan is required.

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

 

Azure Costs: Exporting data via API

Azure Costs now offers direct API access to integrate the processed and aggregated data directly in 3rd party applications like Qlik or Tableau. This option allows customers on an enterprise plan or higher to render or analyse the Azure Costs data in existing BI solutions.

Exporting data via API is very simple. Just follow the steps below:

  1. Register an application as trustee to control which data can be access from the 3rd party application in the team management view.

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  2. The application contains a client_id and a client_secret which can be used for the oAuth2 client credentials flow. Just issue a new security token at least every hour from the Azure Costs STS. We recommend to issue a token whenever you start a new transaction to ensure that permission changes are affective.

    curl -X POST -d “client_id={{YOUR CLIENT ID}}&client_secret={{YOUR CLIENT SECERT}}&grant_type=client_credentials” https://azure-costs.com/sts/issue/oauth/token

  3. Export the required report from the export api which returns the data in JSON format. Every single object describes one service including the quantity, costs and other meta information. The required teamId, contract number can be extracted from the URL of the Azure Costs dashboard

    curl -H “Authorization: Bearer {{ISSUED TOKEN}}” https:/api.azure-costs.com/api/v1/teams/{{teamId}}/contracts/{{contractId}}/reports/{{Year}}-{{Month}}/export?cache={{DATE-OF-THE-DAY}}

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.

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

Azure Costs: Service Types and Categories

Today we’re very excited, to announce the release of our revised service types and service categories for azure costs. In the early days azure costs just supported the Service Type attribute. Together with our customers we identified the need of having a more efficient way to understand cost drives and spending spikes.
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The Service Type property now shows a more detailed type of the Azure Service. Virtual Machines report the selected pricing tier or size in that property . SQL databases are also shown now with the size of the chosen Azure SQL instance.
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In contrast to the Service Type, the Service Category property describes the service class in Azure, e.g. Azure App Services, Data Management which includes BigData and SQL Services or the classical Cloud Services.
The clear differentiation between this two properties should help to identify cost spikes faster and more reliable.

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

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

 

Azure Costs: Available as white-label solution

Today we are very excited to announce that Azure Costs can now be offered as a white-label solution for Cloud Solution Providers.

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Using Azure Costs as a white-label solution includes the following features:

Service Provider Specific Top-Level-Domain incl. SSL Certificate:
Offering Azure Costs as white-label solution is delivered under your own service provider specific domain, e.g. costs.acme.com. It’s possible to bind a service provider specific SSL certificate to this domain as well.

Dedicated Storage Backend incl. support for the Azure Cloud Germany:
Every service provider is able to connect a dedicated Azure Storage Account. This ensures that all the customer data are stored and processed only in a service which is under control and management of the service provider.

Custom Identity Provider:
Servicer Provider often offer their customers account and identity infrastructure. Azure Costs as a white-label solution allows to connect custom identity providers based on the oAuth2 protocol. This allows your customers to stay with their existing accounts for the server providers infrastructure.

Interested in offering Azure Costs as a white-label solution?
Try Azure Costs as white-label solution, just contact as via a support request or drop a mail to help@azure-costs.com. We will guide you through the signup procedure.

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

 

Azure Costs: Support for Azure Tag based grouping

Azure Tags are an efficient way for employees with access to the Azure Management Portal to organize and categorize Azure Services. Besides the Resource Groups, Azure Tags are the second important organisation feature in the Azure Management Portal.

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Azure Costs now imports the Azure Tag definitions and the associated values automatically during the nightly sync. Every Azure Tag is offered as an additional group option for the given spending data. The import works for all contract types including Pay-as-you-Go, Cloud Solution Provider and Enterprise Agreements.

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

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

Azure Costs: Support for Azure Cloud Germany available

A couple of weeks ago Microsoft announced the availability of the Azure Cloud Germany. This gives all customers with strong requirements regarding data privacy and who are not able to rely on Privacy Shield the option, to use Azure in two dedicated data centers located in Germany. The most  important detail is that Microsoft chose T-Systems, a daughter company of the German Telecom as the trustee for the German Cloud operations.

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Azure Costs becomes part of the Azure Cloud Germany and is available under the new url

https://azure-costs.de

We are excited to announce that we offer our service in the same quality and with the same performance in the Azure Cloud Germany. Additional information related to the Azure Cloud Germany is available here.

Interested in the new feature?
Try the new feature today by simply logging into your azure costs account with our new german url. All plans are available in Germany as well.

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

Azure Costs: Advanced Alerting and Burn Rate Reports

Just two weeks ago we announced the release of our revised notification service for azure costs. This version provided advanced options to configure daily reports and alerts more granularly. This week we are very excited to announce more advanced features regarding our notification services which will help you to keep your cloud spendings under control.

Advanced Alert Dimensions:
Azure Costs now supports more alert dimensions to define more powerful alert policies to support your business needs optimally.

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The following dimension are now available in azure costs:

  • Costs: Triggers an alert when the monthly costs become higher than defined in the limit.
  • Daily Burn Rate (absolute): This dimension triggers an alert when the daily burn rate of that day we send the mail becomes higher than defined in the limit.
  • Daily Burn Rate (relative): The relative difference of the daily burn rate triggers an alert when the change of the daily burn rate between two days becomes higher than defined in the limit. The relative difference calculates all values in percentages.
  • Daily Burn Rate Difference: The absolute difference of the daily burn rate follows the same rules as the relative difference but calculates all values in the currency the contract is managed for.
  • Daily Burn Rate Maximum: The maximum burn rate validates the burn rate of every day in the current month and triggers an alert when one value of a single day becomes higher than the limit.

If you expect more dimensions for your business needs, just let us know. We would happily extend this feature with the help of our customers. Just drop us an e-mail or open a support ticket.

Mail Based Burn Rate Report:
The best indication of costs spikes and unusual behaviour of different users and administrators in your Azure subscriptions is the daily burn rate report. A couple of month ago we introduced this report as part of our improved dashboard. Today we are announcing the integration of the burn rate report as part of our mail report.

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This gives every cost- and spending manager the fastest way to get an overview and generates a call for action only when it’s really required.

Manage Alerts & Notifications for your Team-Mates:
Ensure that all of your team mates are informed on your finger tips. The team management area allows you to define notification and alert policies for every single team member, so that your co-workers will never miss an important information.

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

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