By far the most requested feature, ever since the early 2010 (when we were just starting out with AzureWatch), has been the ability to monitor and alert on Azure consumption.

Until somewhat recently, this was near-impossible to do, as the Azure Billing API’s simply did not exist.  Many companies had to work with manually exported and poorly formatted Excel sheets to try to make sense of their monthly Azure spent.

Effective immediately, we’re happy to announce support for monitoring and alerting of Azure Billing and consumption in CloudMonix.  Customers can track the cost of overall Azure subscription spent, or by specific resources, resource groups, tags, or resource types over time.  Alert when usage spikes up.  And thanks to automation features of CloudMonix, customers can even automatically pause/shutdown their resources if their spent exceeds criteria that they define.  If you have any issues, or feedback on how to improve monitoring of Azure billing in CloudMonix, please forward them to our support team at [email protected] – we are listening!

Like the setup for other resources in CloudMonix, configuring Azure billing tracking and alerting is extremely simple.  Default templates provide most of the functionality out of the gate.  Typically setup should take no more than 2-3 minutes:

  • Signup for a free 14-day CloudMonix trial if you do not have an account already
  • Start the Setup Wizard (for new users this wizard will start automatically)
  • Choose Azure Resource Manager Authorization option and authorize your Azure subscription
  • Click thru Next buttons ensuring that resource representing Azure Billing for your subscription is selected with the default template
    Setup Wizard - Azure Billing
  • After Setup Wizard completes, edit the Billing resource by clicking on its little gear icon from the dashboard and specify appropriate Currency, Azure Offer and Start Day for monthly billing cycles
  • Other Notes
    • If needed, you can add additional metrics and alerts that track costs for specific resource group, resource, type or tag
    • Keep in mind that any Classic (non-ARM) resources are always grouped together into the “Other Resources” category.  This is because Azure is not exposing billing details for these resources individually
    • Tracking of consumption data for a single Azure subscription counts as a “single billing resource” from CloudMonix pricing perspective (approximately $10-20/month depending on your CloudMonix plan and volume discount)

Out of the gate, CloudMonix sets up tracking and visualizing of billing data in the following ways:

  • Current monthly breakdown by Resource Group (metric is called CurrentMonthBreakdownByGroup).  This metric tracks pricing by Azure Resource Groups from the beginning of the current billing cycle and thru yesterday
  • Current monthly breakdown by Resource (metric is called CurrentMonthBreakdownByResource).  This metric tracks pricing by individual Azure Resources from the beginning of the current billing cycle and thru yesterday
  • Current monthly breakdown by Resource Type (metric is called CurrentMonthBreakdownByType).  This metric tracks pricing by resource types (ie: Compute, SQL, Storage, etc).  from the beginning of the current billing cycle and thru yesterday
  • Current daily breakdown by Resource (metric is called LastDayBreakdownByResource).  This metric tracks pricing by individual Azure Resources for the last billing day (ie: yesterday) and looks similar to previously mentioned Monthly metric
  • Graphs with metrics that track Current and previous daily and monthly consumption for the whole Azure subscription.  These metrics allow for visualization of daily and monthly running totals, as well as alerts
  • Two alerts that notify the users of consumption spike of 20% or more by comparison consumption from either: 2 days ago to previous day, or from previous to current month’s consumption

That’s it!