Microsoft Azure Governance And Optimization Best Practices

Azure is a comprehensive cloud platform that offers a broad array of products and services. You can use Azure to build, deploy, and manage applications, store and query data, secure resources, and more. To get the most out of Azure, you need to configure rules, secure resources through backups and migration and govern them.

The Azure platform makes it easy to do these things. You can use Azure Policy to apply consistent rule sets across your resources. You can also use Azure Resource Manager to automate the deployment and management of your resources. And you can use Azure Active Directory to centrally manage user access to your resources.

By configuring, securing, and governing your resources on Azure, you can maximize the platform’s value.

Implementing Cloud Governance And Optimization Strategies

Implementing cloud governance and optimization strategies gives you greater control over your Azure infrastructure. A sound governance and optimization plan can streamline efficiency, manage costs, and provide complete control. Azure provides many options and services to help you accomplish governance and optimization tasks. The first step is understanding your organization’s requirements and then implementing the appropriate strategies.

Pure IT’s Troy Drever, a Calgary IT services professional, says, “Documenting your processes is critical to success.”

As your organization implements changes, be sure to update your documentation accordingly. Regular reviews will ensure your governance and optimization processes remain effective. Adjustments may be necessary as your organization grows or changes its focus. Azure provides resources to help you implement sound governance and optimization practices.

You can increase efficiency, manage costs, and gain complete control over your Azure infrastructure by taking advantage of these resources.

As organizations increasingly adopt cloud-based solutions, effective governance has become essential to ensuring optimal performance and preventing wasteful spending. Azure provides various tools to help organizations manage their resources and control costs. Policy management enables administrators to set rules and limits on how resources can be used. In contrast, cost management provides visibility into spending patterns and allows administrators to identify and address areas of inefficient spending. By taking advantage of these tools, organizations can ensure that their Azure deployments are effective and cost-efficient.

Microsoft Azure Policy Management Best Practices

Any business that relies on the cloud for its operations needs to be aware of the compliance risks associated with data storage and processing.

Fortunately, Azure policy management can help you mitigate these risks and keep your business compliant with relevant regulations.

Kenny Riley, a Microsoft Azure service professional with Velocity IT, a Dallas IT services company, offers some of the best Azure policy management best practices:

  • Define your compliance requirements upfront and map them to specific Azure resources.
  • Create and assign policies at the resource group level. This will give you more flexibility in managing deployments and changes.
  • Review your policies regularly and adjust them as needed to ensure that they remain effective.

By following these best practices, you can ensure that your Azure policy management is effective and helps you to achieve real-time cloud compliance.

Organize Resources

Azure recommends organizing resources in the following hierarchy: Management Group -> Subscription -> Resources. The management group should be unique for each environment, for example, testing, production, or development. You can have several subscriptions – categorized by the productivity of the workload. For instance, non-productive workloads use spot resources, while productive workloads use reserved instances.

If users deploy applications under the right management group, it’s easier to account for costs to their relevant departments. Remember to use a consistent naming criterion for your management groups so you can quickly identify them later.

Organizing your resources this way has many benefits. First, it helps you optimize your costs by using reserved instances for production workloads and spot instances for non-productive workloads. Second, it makes managing and monitoring your resources easier since they’re logically grouped. Finally, it simplifies compliance reporting since you can easily see which resources are in which environment. So if you’re looking to improve your Azure governance, start by organizing your resources in this way.

Monitor Resource Usage

Once you’ve organized your resources, monitoring how they’re being used is essential. This will help you identify areas of waste and optimize your costs. You can use Azure Monitor, which provides you with comprehensive monitoring data for your Azure resources.

Azure Monitor allows you to set up alerts to be notified when certain conditions are met. For example, you can set an alert to notify you if your CPU usage exceeds 70% for more than five minutes. This way, you can take action quickly to address the issue.

In addition, Azure Monitor provides you with usage reports to see how your resources are being used over time. This is valuable information that can help you identify trends and optimize your costs.

To get started with Azure Monitor, sign in to the Azure portal and select ‘Monitor’ from the menu. Then, select the ‘Usage’ option to view your usage reports.

Automate Tasks

Another best practice for Azure policy management is to automate tasks wherever possible. This will help you save time and resources and minimize the risk of human error.

There are many ways to automate tasks in Azure. For example, you can use Azure Automation to automate the deployment of resources. You can also use Azure Policy to automate the enforcement of compliance rules.

Sign in to the Azure portal and select ‘Automation’ from the menu to get started with automation. Then, select the ‘Runbooks’ option to view your available runbooks.

Custom Policies

As a rule of thumb, deploy universal policies at the management group level. Azure’s built-in policies can help you enforce custom policies across all subscriptions and resources within the environment. The ‘audit effect’ is beneficial for assessing the impact of auto-scaling policies.

You can also add initiative definitions for single policies to evaluate each policy with initiative assignments. However, don’t use initiative assignments to evaluate individual policies. It’s also best practice to set up policies that encrypt all data appropriately tagged. By following these policy best practices, you can help ensure that your Azure environment is secure and compliant.

Remove Unused Resources

Your cloud resources can quickly get out of control if you’re not careful. Before you know it, you’re spending way more than you need to on unnecessary resources. One way to prevent this is to be diligent about terminating resources that you no longer need. This includes unused disks, aged snapshots, and associated IP addresses. By taking care to delete these resources, you can save yourself a lot of money in the long run.

Another way to keep your cloud resources under control is to take note of any interruptions when launching specific resources. This will help you to avoid any potential problems down the road. By following these simple tips, you can keep your cloud costs under control and ensure that your resources are being used efficiently.

Azure Cost Management Best Practices

As any business owner knows, costs are a constant concern. And when it comes to managing cloud costs, Azure is a great platform to use. Azure provides several cost management best practices that can help lower your overall expenditure. Sruli Wolff, with Wolff Adar IT Solutions, a Toronto IT company, shares that “one of the best practices is to use Azure Reserved Instances.”

By reserving capacity in advance, you can get a discount of up to 72 percent on your compute costs. Another best practice is to use Azure Hybrid Benefit. This allows you to use your on-premises Windows Server licenses to save up to 40 percent on virtual machine costs. Other best practices include monitoring usage and setting spending limits. By following these Azure cost management best practices, you can quickly start saving money.

Long Term Needs Reserve Capacity

Deciding how to price your Azure services can be tricky- you want to get the most bang for your buck without sacrificing quality or service. Luckily, Microsoft Azure offers two great pricing models to choose from, each with its unique benefits.

The pay-as-you-go model is best for those who want the flexibility to scale their services up or down as needed, while the reserved capacity model is ideal for those willing to commit to longer-term use of Azure in exchange for a significant discount.

For the best results, reserved capacity should be used for long-term workloads that will be consistent over time, and spot capacity should be utilized for excess capacity on Azure Cloud- this can help you save up to 90% on typical billing rates. No matter which route you choose, Azure provides a pricing model to fit your needs.

Proper Cloud Visibility

It’s no secret that cloud operations can quickly lead to an increase in your overall bill. But many businesses don’t realize just how easy it is to rack up hidden fees and chargebacks.

Robert Giannini with Giaspace says, “Azure cost management tools can help you keep tabs on your cloud usage and identify redundant or unused resources to avoid billing surprises. Running heavy workloads can also drain your budget, so it’s important to understand how each cloud operation contributes to your overall costs. By reviewing your Azure bills and using the cost management tools available, you can minimize chargebacks and save money on your cloud computing costs.”

Optimize Your Cloud Spending

David Carreiro with CEU Technologies in Chicago says, “Every optimization journey begins with an audit. After all, you can’t fix what you don’t know is broken.” 

To understand where your cloud infrastructure stands, you need to use all available tools to get a comprehensive picture. This will help you identify areas where you may be overspending and highlight any potential performance issues. Once you have this information, you can start to make changes. Perhaps you need to add a budget for specific areas or eliminate spend in others. The important thing is that you make these changes to improve performance, not just cut costs. By taking a strategic and holistic approach to optimization, you can ensure that your cloud infrastructure runs as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Purchasing reserved instances is a great way to optimize your Azure costs. It saves you money upfront, but it also guarantees that you’ll have the capacity you need when you need it. The Azure Pricing Calculator can help you find the most cost-effective combination of products and services for your needs. It can also simulate the impact of changing prices and product mix on your overall costs. In addition, Azure Advisor can help you identify underutilized VMs and get recommendations for purchasing reserved instances. By following these best practices, you can ensure that you’re getting the most value for your Azure investment.

Understand How Microsoft Azure Bills

Azure has to make money somehow to keep the lights on like any other service. That’s where billing comes in. Azure charges your account according to your services and how much you use them. You can add several payment methods to your account, and Azure will automatically charge the default payment method you choose. Make sure you keep this payment method up-to-date, or you may find yourself with accumulated cloud bills. Azure always sends notifications about your billing status, so you’ll never be in the dark about how much you owe. If you have any credits, redeem them to offset your monthly bill. Credits are especially helpful for small businesses, NGOs, startups, and other organizations with special needs. So if you’re looking for a way to save on your Azure bill, check for redeemable credits first.

Third-Party Tools And Resources

As the world increasingly moves to the cloud, it’s more important than ever to have strong governance over your cloud infrastructure. Fortunately, Microsoft Azure provides a variety of tools to help with this. Their Blockchain service allows you to create and manage blockchain networks, while their data analytics services give you the ability to gain insights into your data. Their networking services provide a robust and scalable solution for connecting your cloud resources, and their web application services make it easy to deploy and manage web applications. With so many options available, Azure is an excellent platform for those who need more control over their cloud infrastructure.

The cloud can also be a complex environment, making it difficult to keep track of all the moving parts. That’s where third-party tools come in. By subscribing to services provided by Azure consultants, you can get deeper visibility into the cloud, detect anomalies, and respond to unusual usage patterns early. In addition, tools will also help you auto-scale operations to match varying requirements. As a result, you can focus on running your business, safe knowing that your cloud operations are in good hands.


Opinions expressed by San Francisco Post contributors are their own.

Allison Corrigan

I’m Allison and I am human rights activist and LGBTQIA+ defender. I finished my degree graduate studies on Public Administration and I spend most of my free time in contributing written works about community development, public administration and lifestyle.

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