Why Cost Thresholds?

We just released our first cost tracking diagram available on Labs and I wanted to talk about it. As an agile team, we prefer to deliver features as we go, so we are not done with the cost management features, we are actually just getting started. The value we felt we delivered with this cost tracking diagram is the ability for a team to self-police.  You can see what you have spent so far in the month.   If you are spending faster than you thought you can alter behavior accordingly (do I really need that VM, can I be more aggressive to shut it down?).


Currently, the spending trend you get is your consumption at full retail price, and only in USD.  We understand that in many scenarios you would like to have the actual spend that takes your specific pricing and in your currency to provide a more actionable financial target.  This is not what we have at this point, but we are working towards that.  In the meantime,  you have to factor the difference between your specific billing rate and our full retail price estimate to properly interpret the curve and use the feature.  We think it still provides value by tracking the evolution of the curve itself.

We are also working on providing the option to track costs from Lab creation instead of monthly. This was suggested by our Insiders to cover the project-based Labs scenario -  "How much did I spend on this Lab so far from the beginning of the project?".

All this becomes more important once we have the ability to set targets and report against them, and that's what we are thinking of doing next.  We will let you set a target that we will use to drive some actions at certain thresholds: send warning emails and stop the creation of new VMs.

Anyhow I hope that the initial implementation provides value to your team and I’d love to hear what you think!



Comments (6)

  1. Smunger says:

    The English version follows this message:

    Bonjour et merci pour cette publication.
    Je travaille présentement au déploiement de cette solution pour l’un de mes clients et c’est génial. Le seul problème qu’il me reste pour que mon client accepte de mettre ses utilisateurs finaux dans cette solution c’est le contrôle des coûts par utilisateur. Si c’était en place, ce serait génial. Avez-vous un ATA pour la mise en place de cette fonctionnalité?
    Pour le reste, votre solution est exceptionnelle.
    Hello and thanks for this publication.

    I work currently in the deployment of this solution for one of my clients and it is awesome.
    The only problem that it remains for me to make my customer agrees to put its end users in this solution is the CostManagement by user.
    If it was in place, it would be great.
    Do you have an ATA for the implementation of this feature?

    For the rest, your solution is exceptional.

    Thank you!

    1. Xiaoying Guo says:

      Hi Smunger,

      Could you elaborate a little bit more what’s the “Cost Management by user” feature in your mind? The Labs supports showing cost by resources today, i.e. showing the cost for each individual VMs and other resources used in the lab, and for the VM resources, the Labs also shows the owner account. Is it what you are looking for?


  2. Smunger says:

    Question: If it is enabled, I would like to know if you will add the ability to apply a hard cap to a devtest Labs for a lab. To limit a user to $50 per month for his lab. Because at the moment, I don’t see where I can set a maximum limit per lab.

    1. Xiaoying Guo says:

      Hi Smunger,

      The Labs now allow you to set the spending target and visualize it in the cost trend chart. We will soon allow you to send notification when the target spending is hit. For the “hard cap”, could you share what you expect to happen when the hard cap is met? There are different types of actions we can take in the Labs. I’m interested in seeing which one makes most sense in your scenario.


  3. Keith Holce says:

    Looking at the startup video for DevTest labs https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/devtest-lab/ is appears that quotas are already available. However I don’t see them?? Is this what you mean by “the ability to set targets and report against”. Definitely would really like to see cost tracking enabled.

    1. Xiaoying Guo says:

      Hi Keith,

      You are allowed to set the spending target in the Labs now. Once it’s set, it will show on the cost trend chart. We will soon allow you to send notification when the spending target is hit.


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