Cloud computing operates on a pay-as-you-go model (OpEx model), eliminating upfront costs.
You pay only for the IT resources used, with the ability to scale resources as needed.
Factors that impact the cost of using Azure include: resource type and settings, consumption, maintenance, geography, subscription type, and Azure Marketplace choices
When thinking about IT infrastructure, there are two types of expenses to think about. Capital expenditure (CapEx) and operational expenditure (OpEx).
CapEx is a one-time, up-front purchase of resources you can see or touch. A new building, repaving the parking lot, building your own data centre, getting printers or buying a company vehicle are all examples of CapEx.
With a traditional data centre, you try to estimate the future resource needs:
OpEx is spending money on services or products over time. Renting a convention centre, leasing a company vehicle, or signing up for cloud services are all examples of OpEx.
Cloud computing falls under OpEx, because it operates on a consumption-based model. This means:
So we've just learnt that Azure shifts development costs from the capital expense (CapEx) of building out and maintaining infrastructure and facilities to an operational expense (OpEx) of renting infrastructure as you need it, whether it’s compute, storage, networking, and so on.
That OpEx cost can be impacted by many factors. Understanding these factors helps optimise costs when using Azure, ensuring efficient resource allocation and budget management. Some of the impacting factors are:
The settings you pick when setting up a resource all affect costs. For instance, changing the access tier for a blob you're setting up, or changing the size of your virtual machine will influence their price.
Azure follows a pay-as-you-go model - if you use more compute this cycle, you pay more. If you use less in the current cycle, you pay less. Nice and simple!
Regularly monitoring resources is essential. Unused resources can accumulate, increasing costs. Proper management helps control expenses.
Azure's global infrastructure allows you to deploy resources in regions all across the world. Deploying the same resource in a different region can change the costs, because of changes in power, taxes, and fees.
Different subscription types include usage allowances that affect how much you'll need to pay.
For example, an Azure free trial subscription provides access to a number of Azure products that are free for 12 months. It also includes credit to spend within your first 30 days of sign-up. You'll get access to more than 25 products that are always free (based on resource and region availability).
Purchasing third-party solutions from Azure Marketplace may involve not only Azure services but also third-party vendor services and expertise. Billing structures are determined by the vendor, and all solutions are certified and compliant with Azure policies and standards.