Written by Max Chamberlain, Lead Azure Consultant at intY
The abundance of cloud computing tools and resources can seem overwhelming when you first consider delivering Azure as part of your MSP offering. But with the guidance of the Azure Practice here at intY, you can quickly become confident and take advantage of the resources available to help you define, price and deliver new opportunities to your customer base.
A common pain point that both our partners and their customers experience is understanding and producing valid pricing estimates for their projects in Azure. It can be challenging to navigate the wide range of options across resources, licensing, and cost-saving offerings such as Reserved Instances and Azure Hybrid Benefit. To help combat this, intY has identified the marvel of the Azure Pricing Calculator to calculate cost optimisation options for producing the most cost-effective estimates.
What is the Azure Pricing Calculator?
The Azure Pricing Calculator is a free universal pricing tool allowing anyone to produce an estimated cost for any Azure services or combination of services they or their customers are interested in deploying. It can deliver estimates in any currency available through Microsoft and provides several handy example configurations commonly used in Azure deployments.
When you first log into the Azure Pricing Calculator, you can populate a pricing estimate with all the products and services required in the specific project for which you are creating an estimate. Within the product section of the calculator, you can then search for and select the particular IaaS, PaaS or SaaS resources needed and add them to the estimate before inputting the specific metrics and parameters for each resource. When configuring individual resources, there are several parameters to consider, depending on the services or resources you are looking at. Let’s look at Virtual Machines as an example. There are a high number of metrics to configure in the calculator, which includes:
- Global region
- Operating System
- OS Type
- Machine Series (memory optimised, storage optimised etc.)
- Number of machines
- Number of required hours
- Payment options (yearly, pay-as-you-go etc.)
- Licensing purchase options
- Number of managed disks
- Bandwidth requirements
The calculator can expand the resources within the estimate to view and input the required settings when configuring each resource. In this view, you can also add names to each resource, helping to better identify the resource by its purpose in the proposed deployment, e.g., Virtual Machines may be named Domain Controller, SQL Server, Session Host etc. After adding and defining all the resources and services required for your projects, the total estimate will appear on the Azure Pricing Calculator. This estimate can then be saved for future use or alterations, exported to Excel, or shared via a link to others who may require it.