Join David Elfassy for an in-depth discussion in this video Fundamentals of Azure subscriptions, part of Understanding Microsoft Azure Core Functionalities.
- A fundamental component of connecting to Microsoft Azure is selecting the Azure subscription. Now, there are several subscription models that you can select from, we'll talk about those in a few seconds. Now, in order to identify the best subscription model based on your usage you need to be able to evaluate what your cost will be of implementing an Azure environment for your organization. Now, in order to evaluate those costs Microsoft has provided the Azure Calculator.
Now, the Azure Calculator gives you the ability to put in information or variables about your environment, estimate based on those variables what your monthly usage cost of Azure would be. So you can define the number of applications you'll be using, the number of virtual machines, the type of mobile applications you'll deploy, or platforms that you'll use for your custom applications, or the amount of storage as well that you'll put into Azure. All the Azure services can be evaluated by using the calculator, you can either click on the various components and then evaluate based on component, or you can click on the full calculator and then scroll through the multitude of Azure services and evaluate their cost based on the usage that you'll take.
Now, I'll use one of those as an example, which is the Virtual Machine Calculator. Now, for the Virtual Machine Calculator you can define the amount of virtual machines that you'll have, so there's a slider bar here that will define the amount of virtual machines that I'll deploy to Azure. As well you can specify the type of hardware that those virtual machines will be using, so these will be of course emulated hardware or hypervisor-based hardware emulation, but you will be able to define the amount of resources that are allocated to those virtual machines.
So I can specify, for example, an A1-type virtual machine which increases the amount of RAM available. If I go all the way up to A4 I've got additional cores and RAM that are available to those virtual machines. Now, notice that I have two pricing tiers to select from, Basic and Standard. If I select Standard I have additional types of virtual machines that are available to me, and you'll notice that these are much more advanced than the A series available below. So if I go all the way up to a D14 series that's a machine that has 16 cores, 112 Gigabytes of RAM, and a 800-Gigabyte SSD dedicated to it.
Now, if I just move on my scroller you'll note that the cost of those virtual machines is going to be quite high, these are gonna be for much higher demanding machines that have a greater need for I/O resources. Now, for my needs here a basic will be enough and I can pick an A1 virtual machine and slide over to one virtual machine, and here I have my cost. Now, notice that this is a monthly cost and this is a per hour cost, so roughly seven pennies per hour.
Note that only the virtual machines that are started or stopped are going to be charged. In order to stop charging a virtual machine we have a function to it that we can specify which is called "deallocated", and we'll look at that in a later video when we're looking at virtual machines. Now I can specify Windows virtual machines or Linux virtual machines, reason for that is that the Linux virtual machines are slightly less expensive because there's no Windows license associated. I can have a virtual machine that's already running SQL Server, again those ones will be a little bit more expensive because they're running licensing of SQL Server as well.
Biztalk, Oracle software, various types of pre-installed operating system and applications on it. Then I can also specify my bandwidth utilization. Now, notice that egress is the only thing that you're charged for in Azure, so any incoming calls into Azure, those are not charged, so ingress is not charged, egress or any data going from Azure to your network or from Azure to your users, that is the bandwidth that is being charged in Azure.
And going down to the bottom here I selected one machine and it shows here that my evaluated cost from month is $55 dollars. Now, this is if I select a Pay-as-you-go subscription plan, as I mentioned earlier there's several types of subscription plan that I can choose from. The Pay-as-you-go subscrition model is really for organizations that are evaluating their usage and want to really get an idea of what type of plan they're gonna go into for Azure, and they're not ready to move all their resources to Azure just yet, they want to move some resources and pay based on need.
So the Pay-as-you-go plan is really the simplest one. However, for large organizations or organizations that have decided to make a full move to Azure we can have an enterprise agreement. Now, the enterprise agreement, if I click here on my enterprise agreement for Azure, is only purchased through resellers, so either a partner reseller or directly from Microsoft reseller. Enterprise agreements are really for organizations that will specify a dedicated amount of money that they are committing to spending on a monthly basis, and if they exceed over that monthly amount then they will be charged over and above the amount that they've committed for.
Now, this is again for organizations that have fully committed to Azure, if you're not sure yet you wanna have a free subscription to Azure so you can truly evaluate it and see if it's going to be something valuable for your organization. Well, one thing that you can do is perform a free trial. Now, the free trial is really for individuals that are evaluating for themselves, for learning purpose, or for their company. If you do a free trial you will have a set period of trial with a $200 credit to Azure. Now, as you noted everything in Azure is specified by dollars spent, and the free trial gives you $200 of credits which should be more than enough for you to test your applications and the uses of Azure.
If you have an MSDN subscription you will as well have access to $120 a month of Azure credits. Partners as well have free access to Azure where they're provided with a certain amount of credits. Now, note that these amounts are constantly changing and everything in Azure is constantly changing, and therefore this information might be slightly different by the time you watch this video. If you want to evaluate how much money you've already used maybe as part of your free trial or as part of your MSDN subscription, you can easily go into one of the Azure portals, click on the billing options and from the billing options you get to look at how much money you have left.
Now, note that my account is in Canada so it's listed in Canadian dollars, and I have $38.32 left on my monthly billing with about four days left of subscription until my $120 credit will start again over for my Visual Studio subscription that I have right now. Now, note that if I click on the blades in this interface, I can click here on Visual Studio Premium, and note that I can identify the burn rate of my subscription exactly to see how much money I'm spending on a daily basis.
This is great to identify a spike in usage, so if I had one day where I had a lot of access for an application, or if I had a lot of uses of my virtual machines I would see a spike here and I would see that amount decreasing in a sharp graph. However, here I have a slope that is really standard and therefore I'm just burning at a regular rate the amount of credits in my subscription. If I go a little bit below here I can also look at the usage based on specific application, so based on a specific resource such as a web app or virtual machines, I can click on each one of those and see what percentage of my subscription is being spent for a specific resource.
- Understanding Azure subscriptions
- Managing Azure with portals and PowerShell
- Configuring Azure web apps
- Deploying virtual machines
- Configuring virtual machines for high availability
- Managing Azure Active Directory
- Creating Azure virtual networks
- Implementing a VPN
- Performing Azure backups