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Microsoft Industry Blogs - United Kingdom

The Azure logo, with a drawing of Bit the Raccoon looking up at it.

A photo of Sarah LeanBy Sarah Lean, Cloud Solution Architect at Microsoft

Within my role as a Cloud Solution Architect I am often working with customers to help price up solutions within Azure, and I often turn to the Azure Pricing Calculator.  However, there are scenarios where that tool isn’t entirely appropriate for use.

I recently found two tools that can be used as alternative price calculators within the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) space.  Both tools are available to the community and have been built by Microsoft employees in their spare time.

 

Azure Price Calculator

The first tool is the Azure Price Calculator, which was built by Kirill Danilov and Alexey Raspopov.  The tool was designed for several reasons, which include reducing the time taken to calculate the price of a whole environment, and to understand better how Azure Reserved Instances affect overall cost.

One way of using the tool is to build a CSV file with details about your virtual machine (VM) name, CPU, RAM and Operating System type, then upload it to the site. You then select the region you wish to host these machines in and hit calculate.  The tool goes through the inputted date, selects the relevant VM size, gives you a Pay As You Go cost for that VM and shows you what happens to the cost if you apply reserved instances. The information can then be downloaded or emailed to you for further analysis.

If you aren’t keen on uploading that information, you can manually input your VM details and get the information as well.

The tool is available at https://azprice.info/.

 

Azure VMchooser

The Azure VMchooser is a tool that Karim Vaes has built.  It all started with the VMchooser, which helps you to find the best Azure VM-size match.  It has since grown from there.

The other functionality this website gives you is:

  • DiskChooser: This helps you understand the most cost-efficient disk layout you can have.
  • BulkUploader: This combines the VMchooser and DiskChooser functionality in one place, and again allows you to upload a CSV with your information, and outputs the results.
  • VMoptimizer: This helps you understand what the price of your VMs will be for VMs that won’t be running all month, then presents back information about costs depending on the Operating System you would be using, including the cost of Reserved Instances.
  • SQLChooser: Has been designed to help you understand the cost implications if you want to host SQL in Azure, whether that be SQL on an IaaS service, or an elastic or managed service Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution.

The Azure VMchooser is an open source tool, with the source code stored in Azure.

The tool is available at https://www.vmchooser.com/.

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I love that my fellow Microsoft and IT colleagues have seen some challenges with the official pricing calculator and have invested time and energy into developing solutions to resolve them.  My call to action to you would be to check out these two tools and also get in touch with information about community built tools you use and love.