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Lesson learned after the Azure bill is 2 times more than normal

Small things make the difference - Azure Billing Alerts 

In the last 3 months a part of the team was blocked with some urgent tasks. Because of this they didn’t had time anymore to review the Azure Services Instances that are running under the development and testing subscription.
The rest of the team didn’t check the costs and/or review the services that are running on Azure. In the context where the people that used to check this were blocked with other tasks generates cost that are 2 time more than the normal ones – even if only half of the team is working in this time period on development.

Of course the best solution was that somebody would check this and the responsibility to be passed to another person, but it didn’t happen. A better approach is to have a team that knows that running services on a cloud provider generates costs and they should all the time review what services they are using and turn off the ones that are not used.
But this didn’t happen of course.

There are 3 lessons learns from this story:

  • Cultivate inside the team - ‘responsibility’. People should all the time care about this thing and do this checks pro-actively (for the resources that were created and used by them).  
  • Identify and have all the time a person that is responsible to check the current bill.
  • Use Azure Billing Alert – It allows us to set an alert (email alert) that is send automatically to one or two emails address in the moment when the threshold

Azure Billing Alerts it’s a preview feature from Azure, that allows us to specify to send an email to maximum 2 custom different email addresses when the bill value reaches a specific value. In this moment this service is free and allows us to configure maximum 5 alerts.
We decided to configure 5 different alerts and different values.  We set a custom message to each alert that specifies that this is a real alert only if the alert is send before a specific day in the month. For example, it is normal to reach 100$ consumption after 4 days, but if after 1 day you already reach 100$ than you might have a problem.

What other ways to prevent this kind of situation do you see?


  1. There should be a setting to automatically cap/limit the resources used by a subscription to a maximum, at least for those scenarios where the budget is limited..

    1. Yes, you have this possibility. But you cannot stop the development for 10 days because the cap was reached.


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