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Azure Storage Cost Savings

We all know that while Microsoft provides an almost seemingly infinite amount of storage. Compare this to your normal datacentre virtual infrastructure, you often need to do some capacity planning for expected Virtual Machine Compute and Storage way ahead of time. 

As Microsoft does the capacity planning for you (and everyone else who is using their services), your own Operational Support no longer needs to order disks or more servers to keep up with your business growth and expectations

While this is great because it relieves your Operational Support guys to do other tasks, it has its drawbacks.

The main one is that your Azure storage is never managed properly or efficiently. That is until someone starts looking into ways to reduce your Azure spend, as Azure Blob Storage Pricing can be expensive if you dont use the right storage tiering.

Recently one of our Enterprise clients contacted us to help them reduce their Azure Storage Costs.

In this and a following blog post, I’ll show you exactly how they used Cloud Storage Manager and the Azure cost savings they gained.

How did they save money on their Azure Blob Storage?

Azure Blob Storage Consumption Overview

Luckily, they had installed and been using Cloud Storage Manager for a few months now, so we had a full scan completed of all their Azure Subscription and Blob Storage Accounts.

As you can see in the picture to the right, they have quite a bit of Azure Blob Storage in use.

Azure Storage Overview

Azure Blob Storage Locations

Not only could they easily see the amount of Azure Blob Storage in use, they could also see all the Microsoft Datacentres where they are using storage from the map tab.

How much blob storage are your VM snapshots consuming?

Azure Blob Storage Reporting

One of the easiest ways to start saving on your Azure Blob Storage is to find often forgotten about Azure Virtual Machine Snapshots

Often snapshots are created and then forgotten about. 

Simply go to the Reports Tab in Cloud Storage Manager and run the LIST OF AZURE SNAPSHOTS report. 

From the reports, you can quickly see where you could apply an Azure Storage Lifecycle Management Policy, and move the files that havent been accessed to a lower storage Tier to save you money.

Azure VM Snapshot Usage

Once the Azure Snapshot report has been generated, simply open it up in excel to see all your Azure VM snapshots.

The report provides you with information including the name of the Azure snapshot, which subscription it resides in, the Azure Storage Account, the relevant Container, size of the Azure VM snapshot, when it was created, if its a managed or unmanaged disk, the Azure Resource Group, type of snapshot created and finally any Azure Tags if you have them. 

From this report, we found that they had 1168 Azure VM snapshots lingering in their environment, some well over 3 years old.

Using a simple calculation in Excel using standard Azure storage costs, ($0.02750 per TB using azure blob storage pricing provided by Microsoft – IN $AUS. 

Azure Pricing Calculator

Visit the Azure Pricing Calculator for pricing in your currency ) deleting all these snapshots saved the client just under $2,000 per month, an approximate saving of $24,000 a year.

Just running these two simple reports and then taking action on them
saved this client $33,600 in their yearly Azure Blob Storage Costs.

How much data do you have residing in Azure Files?

Azure Files

Since the adopotion of Azure Files  is increasing, to remove on-premise file servers, what is often overlooked is exactly how much data you have residing in your Azure Files

With Cloud Storage Manager, you can scan all your Azure Files across your Tenancy, to provide you a quick and easy way to see Azure Files Consumption and Insights.

With this view, you can see where you will be able to drive down the costs of your Azure Files.

How do you find unattached Azure VM disks?

Azure VM Unattached Disk Report

Next on the list to reduce their Azure Storage costs, was finding unattached Azure Virtual Machine disks

Again, this is often overlooked, to delete any disks no longer needed when decommissioning your Azure VMs.

Another standard report is run, this time All Unattached Disks.

Once the report has completed, again open it up in Microsoft Excel, and you can go through this data to see which Azure VM Unattached Disks can be deleted, further reducing your Azure Storage Costs.

Azure VM Storage Cost Savings

Now using the same quick costing formulas from before, we can see an estimated monthly Azure Storage cost for these unattached virtual machine disks.

Use the Azure Blob Storage Pricing Calculator

After running this report and using the Azure Cost Estimator (I used AUD pricing here) to get cloud storage pricing, we found that the client had over 110 unattached Azure Virtual Machine Disks

Removing all these unattached disks saved them $800 per month, so around $9,600 per year.

Reduce your Microsoft Azure Storage Costs

In a follow-up blog post, we will then dig a little deeper into more Azure Storage cost-saving initiatives (looking to further reduce your Azure Blob and FIles storage pricing and costs) using the insights from Cloud Storage Manager.


Download a free trial of Cloud Storage Manager today and start saving money with your Azure Storage.

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