Cloud Updates Optimization Tips

Turning Azure Performance Metrics Into Cloud Cost Savings

Every day we see four or five articles comparing and contrasting the different public cloud providers. These articles usually position Azure as a promising service that is steadily gaining market share, and the ease of leveraging a hybrid deployment with Azure. In this post we’ll look at one particular area of strength for Azure: providing data on Virtual machine performance.

One of the unique differentiators that Azure offers is the ability to natively collect a wide array of performance metrics from Virtual Machines (VMs). Azure can provide you with CPU, memory, disk reads page faults, page reads, processes, TCP connection, and much more right out of the box.

Now, this is a huge competitive advantage for Azure, but without context and analysis, the data isn’t actionable. Sure, it’s great to see that the average memory used on our Standard_A1 VM was 32.37% yesterday, but what kind of action can we take on that information? How does it compare to our other Standard_A1 VMs running a similar app? What about how this is trending over the last week, month, or year? While the Azure management portal provides a rich set of information, it lacks the context to help me analyze VM performance metrics and correlate them to time, resource groups, subscriptions, cost center, etc.

Let’s take a closer look at this Standard_A1 VM. Sure, we can see a rich set of metrics regarding performance and health, but how do we know if it’s sized properly? Maybe this workload would perform just as well on a Standard_A0, which is less than 25% of the cost? Neither one of these are very expensive machines, but over long periods of time and in large environments, this can add up fast.

Using a Cloud Service Management solution like CloudHealth, we can quickly analyze the utilization and get a recommendation on whether or not we should downgrade a machine, and how much money we would save per month.

CloudHealth Azure rightsizing

I’m able to visualize the performance of our machines across multiple dimensions, and have the ability to drill down to a metrics chart trended over time. Now just having this information in a digestible format is great, but being able to take action with minimal additional effort is even better.

Viewing Azure BVM performance data in CloudHealth

By clicking the Windows logo to the left of the Total Score, I’m brought right to that asset in the Azure Portal, where we can then resize our VMs to take advantage the intelligence CloudHealth provides.

 Changing VM size in Azure portal

That’s why no matter which cloud provider you choose, it’s very important to have a Cloud Service Management solution in place that can help you take insights and turn them into actions. Platforms like CloudHealth take the disparate data Azure provides and give you the flexible reporting, governance, security, and automation you need to scale your cloud usage for enterprise workloads.

Learn more about how CloudHealth can help you visualize, optimize, and govern your Azure cloud environment.

eBook: 8 Best Practices for Reducing Cost in Azure