Avoiding Surprises with Azure Cost Alerts

When it comes to managing your cloud costs, the last thing you want is to be surprised. So it’s important to use whatever tools are available that help with monitoring and forecasting.

On Azure, one such tool is the ability to subscribe to a cost view from the Azure Cost Analysis portal. Check out this screenshot:

Azure Cost Management View Email Notification

This is a periodic email I receive from Cost Analysis that shows the daily cost view of one of my management groups. At a glance, I’m able to see if there are any anomalies to avoid unpleasant spikes and surprises (this is also an aid in detecting breaches since, a sudden, unexpected spike in usage would certainly be a red flag).

How did I create this alert?

From the main page of the Cost Analysis interface, you see whatever default view you’ve used in the past:

Cost Analysis: Main Page

The Cost Analysis interface includes several built-in views, such as by resource or accumulated, that can be selected to change the visual’s emphasis.

Cost Analysis: Built in Views

The default views can’t be shared via emailed alerts but, by saving a default as a custom view, more possibilities emerge.

Cost Analysis: Save a View

By choosing “Save as” from a default view, you can create a custom view.

Cost Analysis: Save a Custom View

Once your custom view has been saved, you can, from that view, choose “Subscribe“.

Cost Analysis: Subscribe to Alerts

From the “Subscribe to emails” interface, you can configure recipients, configure the subject heading, add a CSV for analysis and select the time range to begin and end the notifications.

By using custom views, and the subscription service, it’s possible to receive timely alerts about the cost status of Azure resources directly to your Inbox (which is just what you need, more email).

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