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Monthly Archives: December 2016

Looking back at 2016…

2016 is at its end so it’s time to look at it before 2017 kicks in.

Due to personal reasons, I’ve been blogging far less than before but I expect to pick it up once more and be more actively blogging.

This year I experienced quite a dramatic change in the way I do my job. System Center related projects have become somewhat nonexisting and my focus has changed to Microsoft Azure completely. I must admit that I like it quite a lot. Gone are the days that I do a project of a couple of months designing and deploying a product from the System Center Suite, except a single Operations Manager deployment. The most visited posts are related to Configuration Manager but I don’t work with it anymore. So don’t expect any new posts about Configuration Manager.

Technical deployments have also become a thing of the past. I’ve been working with customers adopting Microsoft Azure and I’ve become more and more an advisor helping to adopt Microsoft Azure as smoothly as possible. However, adopting Microsoft Azure has become more a financial discussion instead of a technical one. Customers (at least in NL) are more interested in managing costs and are looking for ways to keep costs as low as possible.

The second half of 2016 introduced a change at the company I work at: SCCT BV. When Sander Berkouwer (https://dirteam.com/), an MVP and a true authority on Identity Management, joined SCCT BV it changed the dynamics of my work as well. I received a lot more Identity Management related questions from customers, as if SCCT BV became the go-to company for Identity Management. This was pretty funny since I don’t have that in-depth knowledge regarding Identity Management. Fortunately I have co-workers that do so I was actually delegating quite some work to them.

I was also able to speak on a WMUG_NL event about managing Azure costs. I hope that I will be able to speak on more events on 2017.

Oh, and I was also able to pass two Amazon Web Services (AWS) exams as well. I guess I’m one of the few in NL that has passed both Azure and AWS architecture exams. Hopefully I will work a bit more with AWS as well since they have a great set of services as well and provide new challenges…

While on a personal level 2016 was very challenging, it was quite a year professionally…

See you in 2017!!!

 
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Posted by on 31/12/2016 in Opinion

 

Manage your Azure Bill part 2: the operating phase…

Customers who already use Microsoft Azure by one or more subscriptions may face some challenges to get some insights in their Azure spending. Quite often customers ask me how to get some insights in their Azure spending and they are looking for ways to get more details where the money goes in a presentable way. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to answer this question but it depends on the contract they have. It can be sorted in two categories:

  1. Enterprise Agreement (EA) contracts
  2. All other ones (Pay-as-you-go, CSP etc.)

Customers having EA contracts can use PowerBI (Pro) to generate their reporting quite easily. PowerBI Pro is available for all users with an Office365 E5 license. The Azure Enterprise is available from the PowerBI portal (picture is in Dutch but you can do the math).

azure-ea-appsource

All other contract types can build their own environment using the Azure Usage and Billing Portal. Instructions on how to build it can be found at https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/announcing-the-release-of-the-azure-usage-and-billing-portal/. There are some catches but it’s pretty easy to build, I got it running in my MSDN subscription easily. Once the environment is up and running the billing data is in the database it can be queried and processed in any way the customers chooses to do so.

Alternatively, 3rd party vendors offer services to present the Azure spending but that’s for another day…

 
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Posted by on 31/12/2016 in Azure, Cloud, Public Cloud, Revenue

 

Manage your Azure Bill part 1: the planning phase…

2016 was the year that cloud adoption finally got going.

More and more organizations are reconsidering their IT strategy by embracing Microsoft Azure to run their workloads at. The most common reason to move workloads to Microsoft Azure is they no longer need to make the hardware investments themselves and make that Microsoft’s problem.

The biggest challenge customers are facing is how much will it cost to use Azure resources. I ranted about it before at https://mwesterink.wordpress.com/2016/10/26/microsoft-azure-one-feature-i-really-need/. The Azure Pricing Calculator can help quite a bit but it just doesn’t cut it. It provides an estimate of Azure Services but it doesn’t provide a bigger picture.

Fortunately, Microsoft has released the Azure TCO Calculator which allows organizations to make a much more comprehensive calculation of their Azure spending. It will also compares the costs to having it run on-premises, although it is quite biased by stating running the workloads on Azure tends to be cheaper. As my co-worker Sander Berkouwer (https://www.dirteam.com) states with many things: Trust, but verify! I can’t agree more on this one since organizations need to analyze and picture their workloads.

The Azure TCO Calculator is available at https://www.tco.microsoft.com/

This should get organizations really going embracing Microsoft Azure in 2017!!!

 
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Posted by on 31/12/2016 in Azure, Cloud, Revenue

 
 
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