Few months back, we blogged about our first cost management feature: monthly cost trend. It allows you to see how much you have spent in the current calendar month and also shows the projection of the spending till the month end, based on your spending in last 7 days.
Since then, we moved to the 2nd question you probably have in your mind: Why is lab spending so fast? In order to help you to get a clear answer more productively, we have released a new feature so that you don’t have to scratch your head to find the answer. The feature makes your life easier by showing you the month-to-date cost per resource in a table.
Figure 1: Month-to-date cost by resources in the lab
The feature will help you to easily identify the resources which are costing the most and you can take actions on the resources to reduce the lab spending. For example, the cost of a VM is based on the size of the VM, larger is the size, more is the cost; you can easily find the size of a VM and the owner, so that you can talk to the VM owner to understand why such VM size is needed and whether there is a chance to lower the size.
Auto-shutdown policy helps you to reduce the cost by shutting down lab VMs at a particular time of the day. But a lab user can opt-out of the shutdown policy which will increase the cost of running the VM. You can click a VM in the table to see if it has been opted-out of the auto-shutdown policy and then you can talk to the VM owner to find why he has opted-out of the policy.
You can also see the spending of the storage accounts in the lab which sometimes can cost you more than you want. For example, if you are using a premium lab then all the custom images that you create will be stored in a premium storage and if you forget to delete the old images then they will lead to unwanted cost
We have also released another feature which allows you to set the target lab cost for the current calendar month. The target cost will appear in the “Monthly estimated cost trend” chart which will help you to track the month-to-date lab spending relative to the target cost for the current month. The projected lab cost together with the target cost will help you to easily identify if you are going to blow up your budget for the month.
Figure 2: Set target cost for the current month
The target cost is also a stepping stone for the cost thresholds feature that we are currently working on. We are going to deliver more features that will let you set multiple thresholds as a percentage of the target cost and you can decide what actions should be taken at certain thresholds such as, send notifications and stop the creation of new VMs.
Please try the new features and let us know how we can make them better by sharing your ideas and suggestions at the DevTest Labs feedback forum.
If you run into any problems with the features or have any questions, we are always ready to help you at our MSDN forum.