Thursday, April 13, 2017

Setting up Azure email billing alerts

Azure billing is very different from Office 365. It is consumption based rather than fixed cost per month cost. That is you pay for what you use. The more you use per month, the more you pay. Azure is also typically a ‘post-paid’ service, that is you pay for your usage at the end of the month.

Using Azure services is becoming easier and easier which translates into higher charges. There is also the case where people consume Azure services not exactly understanding what they consuming. This can result in a type of ‘bill-shock’ where the expected charges can be above the anticipated amount.

One of the way to avoid any potential Azure ‘bill-shock’ is to set up email billing alerts in Azure to warn you when your Azure consumption exceeds some threshold. Here’s how to do that.

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Open the Azure management portal and navigate to the Subscriptions option. Then select the appropriate Subscription from the list of those available and from the menu at the top of the selected Subscription page select Manage as shown above.

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You should then see a summary of your current usage for that subscription as shown above. Email alerting is currently in preview so select preview features from the menu across the top of the page.

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You should now see the Billing Alert Service as shown above. Select the try it now button on the left to enable the service.

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You’ll be prompted to confirm your selection by clicking the check mark in the lower right of the dialog box that appears.

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The page will pause and think for a few moments.

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and then you should see that the Billing Alert Service is active as shown above.

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If you now return to the subscriptions option from the menu across the very top, you should now see a new option on the menu for your subscription called Alerts as highlighted above. Select the Alerts option to continue.

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Select the add alert option. You’ll notice that you get a total of 5 alerts you can configure.

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Enter a name for the alert as well as the when the alert will fire. You can also nominate up to two email addresses this alert will be sent to.

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You can alert for either Monetary credits (i.e. amount remaining) or Billing total (i.e. amount spent). In this case I’m going to select Monetary credits because I want to know when my monthly available amount is becoming depleted.

Select Save when complete.

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You should now see the alert you just created listed as shown above.

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If you expand the alert you’ll see all the details and be able to make changes. You’ll also see the delete option (garbage can icon) on the right.

You can now add any additional alerts you desire.

Now if your subscription triggers an alert you’ll receive an email notification. Remember, if you have multiple Azure subscriptions in a tenant you’ll need to repeat this process for every subscription you wish to monitor.