Azure spending notifications are offline, customers warned of potential price spikes

Azure spending notifications are offline, customers warned of potential price spikes

Tracking for Azure Savings Plans, Microsoft's discount scheme for customers with consistent usage rates, will be offline until mid-March

Published on 2nd February 2023

Tracking and notifications for Azure Savings Plans, Microsoft’s discount scheme for customers with consistent usage rates, are offline due to a technical failure and are not expected to be restored until the middle of March.

In an announcement dated 1st February on its Partner Center website, the cloud giant warns partners that Azure spending notifications are temporarily unavailable for Azure Savings Plans.

“If you bought Azure Savings Plans for your customers, even though you set budgets for their customers, you temporarily can’t get Azure spending notifications,” the advisory says.

“That means you won’t know how much your customers spend on Azure in real time. Instead, you’ll have to keep track of how and how much your customers use Azure resources.”

Azure Savings Plans can reduce prices by up to 65% over pay-as-you-go rates if customers commit to a fixed hourly spend over a period of one or three years. The scheme is metered, and should a user exceed the contacted usage, prices immediately revert to the pay-as-you-go rate.

Users can purchase the scheme directly via the Azure portal, but if is often administered by Microsoft partners, resellers that manage Azure cloud resources for their end customers. These partners will now need to monitor usage manually, Microsoft says.

Commenting on the announcement, Mark Boost, CEO of cloud-native service provider Civo, said customers can easily find themselves locked into such discount deals, and should be wary of incurring additional costs while monitoring facilities are unavailable.

“The rising cost of cloud is a huge issue for many organisations, especially with the current economic difficulties sweeping the country,” Boost said.

“Solutions from hyperscalers have centred upon only offering materially lower prices if you lock into one to three-year contracts, that are hard to leave, with the promise of lowering your bill provided you remain within a fixed limit of compute. What we’ve seen, however, is providers failing to properly inform you that you’ve overrun your monthly spend and ramping up your bills without your knowledge.

“The incentive of easy-to-use solutions, that are in fact complicated and unreliable, is luring people into a false sense of security and relying on hyperscaler providers as opposed to looking elsewhere.”

Despite the risks of overreliance on one cloud provider, many organisations find it too arduous and/or too expensive to diversify, new Computing research has found.


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