You’ve just migrated to the Azure cloud. You’re excited about the possibilities – increased flexibility, scalability, and efficiency. But now you’re wondering how to make the most of your investment. Don’t worry! With a few simple tricks, you can optimize your Azure environment and achieve maximum performance and cost savings. In this article, we’ll explore five straightforward but powerful strategies to get more bang for your Azure buck. From right-sizing virtual machines to leveraging automation, we’ve got you covered. These tips will help you take full advantage of the Azure platform while keeping costs contained. Ready to unlock the full potential of your cloud environment? Read on!

Rightsize Azure Resources for Cost Savings

One of the best ways to optimize your Azure cloud spending is to rightsize your resources. This means allocating only what you need for your workloads to run smoothly.### CPU and Memory

For virtual machines, choose a size that matches your computing needs. Don’t overprovision CPU or memory, especially for dev/test environments. You can always scale up later if needed.


Only provision the storage you require. Things like boot diagnostics storage, temporary storage, and unmanaged disk storage can often be sized down. For managed disks, choose a performance tier (Premium/Standard) that suits your workload needs.


Review your network security groups, application gateways, and load balancers. Remove any unused rules and scale gateway instances to match demand. You should also consider if a basic or standard public IP will suit your needs.

SQL Database

For SQL databases, choose a service tier (Basic, Standard, Premium) based on your performance and business needs. You can save costs by sizing for average utilization and scaling up/down as needed for peak periods.

Virtual Networks

Take some time to review your virtual networks, subnets, and peerings. Remove any unused networks to avoid charges. And consider if a basic or standard subnet will meet your needs based on the resources deployed within it.

Right-sizing your Azure resources is an easy way to cut costs without impacting performance or reliability. By allocating only what you need for each workload, you can ensure maximum efficiency and value from your Azure environment.

Configure Auto-Shutdown for Dev/Test Environments

Shutting down dev/test environments when they are not in use is one of the easiest ways to cut costs on Azure. ### Why? These environments are typically only used during work hours, so they sit idle in the evenings and on weekends, racking up charges.

By enabling auto-shutdown, you can automatically stop dev/test virtual machines during off hours. How does it work? Simply specify a schedule for each VM with the days and times you want it to shut down and start-up. Azure will then stop the VMs at the scheduled times to minimize usage and cost.

When your team is ready to work again, the VMs will automatically restart. ### What are the benefits? You’ll gain significant cost savings since you only pay for compute resources when the VMs are running. You’ll also reduce your carbon footprint by decreasing power usage.

The best part is that auto-shutdown requires almost no effort to set up and has no impact on your workload. Your VMs and data are left intact – it’s just like pressing the power button to shut them down. ### Anything else to consider? Make sure to leave enough time for VMs to fully start up and be ready before users log in. You’ll also want to test auto-shutdown with non-production resources first to ensure no issues.

Once configured, you can easily adjust or disable the auto-shutdown schedules at any time in the Azure portal. For many organizations, enabling auto-shutdown for dev/test environments is one of the simplest ways to gain huge cost savings on Azure. Why not give it a try?

Monitor and Adjust for Peak Usage Times

One of the biggest costs with any cloud platform is usage charges, and Azure is no different. The good news is there are a few ways you can optimize your usage to cut costs.

Analyze historical usage reports

Go through your Azure usage reports to determine when you experience spikes in compute, storage, or network usage. For many businesses, peak times are during the workweek or around seasonal events. Once you identify your peak demand periods, you can make adjustments to minimize waste during non-peak times.

Scale resources up and down

One of the benefits of the cloud is the ability to scale your resources up and down as needed. If you know usage will increase by 30% on Mondays, scale up your virtual machines, SQL databases, and other services to meet the demand. Then scale back down during the weekend when usage decreases. This is an easy way to optimize costs since you only pay for the resources you need at any given time.

Consolidate underutilized resources

It is common for organizations to spin up new resources over time as needs change, but then fail to decommission unused resources. Regularly evaluate your Azure environment to determine if you have any virtual machines, web apps, databases, or other services that are consistently underutilized. You may be able to consolidate some of these resources or turn them off completely when not in use to cut costs.

Consider preemptible resources

For workloads that can handle interruptions, use preemptible virtual machines, managed disks, and other preemptible Azure resources. These resources are low-cost but can be reclaimed by Azure at any time. Preemptible resources are ideal for jobs like rendering, encoding, and batch processing. You get the power of Azure services at a steep discount, even if resources do not last for the full duration of your workload.

Monitoring usage patterns and making strategic adjustments to your Azure resources based on actual needs can significantly lower your cloud bills over the long run. The savings may seem small at first but will add up over time as you continue to optimize.


So there you have it – five straightforward but powerful ways to get more bang for your buck from Azure. Small tweaks like right-sizing your VMs and enabling auto-shutdown can add up to big savings over time. And taking advantage of Azure’s built-in tools like Cost Management can give you the visibility you need to make smart decisions. At the end of the day, optimizing your cloud is an ongoing process. But following even some of these tips will put you well on your way to maximizing the value of your Azure environment. Keep learning, keep adjusting, and see just how efficient and cost-effective the cloud can be for your organization.