Microsoft Azure is a complete cloud environment that offers its customers hundreds of different features and services. From artificial intelligence to machine learning, you have access to it all in Azure.
But there is one catch — it doesn’t all come free. Like anything worth having, the various services offered in Azure come with a price tag. As a result, your total monthly Azure bill will be a combination of each service you deem necessary for your business. For some companies, this might only be a few, while for others, they could use dozens of the provider’s features.
For most organizations, three features take up the majority of their Azure spend: Compute, Networking, and Storage. Because we’ve broken those costs down in a previous blog, we are going to walk through Azure cloud services pricing with the most popular additional services organizations use.
Azure Cloud Services Pricing: Security Center
Firstly, we are going to talk about is the Azure Security Center. This is a service we recommend all companies add to their Azure environment because it helps monitor and protect your systems. There is a free option available that provides continuous assessments and security recommendations, along with an Azure secure score. However, moving from the free tier to the standard tier will open your organization up to many more security benefits.
With the standard tier, your cost will be determined by many of the other features you use and the number of transactions. For instance, for VMs, App Services, and SQL Database, it costs $0.02 per node/hour. And, for storage, you will pay $0.02 per 10,000 transactions for all storage accounts or $0.04 per 10,000 transactions for selective storage accounts. You’ll also have a minimal cost for IoT devices and any container services.
You can see the full list of pricing here, but in the end, Azure Security Center might run you around $30 per month.
Azure Cloud Services Pricing: App Service
Another popular Azure feature is App Service. As the name implies, App Services is a feature that helps you develop, test, and host websites and apps. It’s compatible with both Windows and Linux-based environments, and you can use various languages. For example, .NET, .NET Core, Java, Ruby, Python, and more languages will work for development. As a result, many organizations find this useful, leveraging the service to add security, load balancing, autoscaling, and automated management to their applications.
To estimate your Azure pricing for App Service, you will need to determine what tier of the feature you will need. Its cost is based on the Azure resources you consume, and there are several different options. There is a free tier, but it only offers ten apps and 1 GB of disk space. You have five other options that look like this:
Environment for dev/test
Dedicated environment for dev/test
Run production workloads
Enhanced performance and scale
High-performance, security, and isolation
|Web, mobile, or API apps||100||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Disk space||1 GB||10 GB||50 GB||250 GB||1 TB|
|Maximum Instances||–||Up to 3||Up to 10||Up to 30||Up to 100|
|VPN hybrid connectivity||–||–||Supported||Supported||Supported|
|Price per hour||$0.013||$0.075||$0.10||$0.20||$0.40|
If you choose the Basic, Standard, Premium, or Isolated plans, your price varies slightly, based on how many cores and how much RAM you want. Because of the many different options, this service can run you anywhere from around $10 to $500 or more. Above all, if this service makes sense for your business, make sure you understand what tier aligns best with your companies needs.
Azure Cloud Services Pricing: Azure Cosmos DB
Azure Cosmos DB is another service that many organizations opt for in their monthly plan. It’s a globally distributed, multi-model database service that allows you to scale throughput and storage easily. Additionally, with Azure Cosmos DB, you can build highly responsive and highly available applications worldwide that are always on.
As far as pricing goes for Azure Cosmos DB, you’ll pay for your provisioned throughput and consumed storage by hour. You’ll calculate this using Request Units per second (RU/s) and GB used. The minimum provisioned throughput for a container or database is 400 RU/s, but you can scale up to hundreds of millions of RUs (using increments of 100 RU/s).
You’ll also have to factor in regions when calculating the cost for your provisioned throughput. For example, if you need to accept writes in multiple regions, it will cost you $0.008–$0.16/hour per region, whereas, within a single region, you will only need to pay $0.008/hour.
To estimate your storage costs, multiply the number of GB of storage you are planning to consume by $0.25/month. Remember, though that storage is billed across all the regions in which you are using the service, so if your Azure Cosmos DB account is replicated across multiple regions, you will have to pay for storage costs in each region.
In the end, the entry price for Azure Cosmos DB is around $25, but this price can quickly scale up depending on your needs.
Azure Cloud Services Pricing: Azure SQL Database
According to Microsoft, Azure SQL Database is a “fully managed relational database with built-in intelligence supporting self-driving features such as performance tuning and threat alerts.” In other words, you can process and store data in a variety of ways. Although a great tool, the cost of Azure SQL Database can get complicated. Firstly, there are three different pricing options, with multiple inputs in each option.
The first pricing model is managed instance, which provides the broadest SQL Server engine compatibility. With this pricing, you choose between general purpose and business critical pricing levels, with general purpose being ideal for most business workloads. From there, the generation, instance, and amount of storage you select will also affect your bill.
With the second pricing option, elastic pool, you’ll get a shared resource model. Your end cost will be based on which purchase model, service tier, generation, and instance you choose. Because of these various factors, there is a wide cost range that your bill could fall under. On top of that, you can also pay for backup storage, with point-in-time restore costing you $0.20 per month, and long term retention costing you 75 cents on the dollar based on weekly, monthly, or yearly backup retention too.
And finally, Azure SQL Database also offers single database pricing, which provides provisioned compute and serverless compute tier choices. This option is much like the other two. However, you do have an option to choose your compute tier — either provisioned or serverless. You can compare the three pricing options and decide which one is best for you here.
Azure Cloud Services Pricing: Cost Management + Billing
Last but not least, we’re going to talk about Azure’s Cost Management + Billing service. This is a service that helps you review, optimize, and report your Azure spend. It is extremely helpful to make sure you are not overspending, and the best part is that for Azure spend, it’s completely free! If you would like to use the service for other clouds, such as AWS or Google Cloud Platform, you will be charged 1% of your spend amount.
Your Azure Budget
In summary, everyone’s Azure cloud services pricing and bill is going to vary according to what tools they are utilizing in the cloud platform. We went through five popular features, but there are so many more. If you are trying to calculate your cloud costs, check out this helpful calculator provided by Azure. You can use it to forecast your monthly bill and hopefully give you a better insight into the cloud capabilities your business will want to leverage.