Microsoft Azure Usage and RateCard APIs Enable Cloudyn to Provide ITFM for Customers

Cloudyn, a Microsoft development partner and a leading provider of cloud management capabilities, was chosen for a private preview of the new Microsoft Azure Resource Usage and RateCard APIs. The Usage API provides access to estimated Azure consumption data for a subscription. The RateCard API provides complete pricing information of all Azure services, for non-Enterprise Agreement (EA) customers. Integrated together, these APIs provide a complete information basis for input into IT Financial Management (ITFM) tools such as those provided by Cloudyn.

Introduction

The so-called “multiplication” of data from the Usage API with data from the RateCard API (usage [units] price[$unit] = Detailed Usage and Cost) creates the most granular, accurate and reliable billing information available for Azure today.

ITFM Overview

Consuming these APIs provides key information on customers’ usage and costs, allowing Cloudyn to analyze customer accounts in a simple, programmatic manner, and to perform various ITFM tasks for its customers.

Integrating Cloudyn with the RateCard and Usage APIs

The RateCard API requires several input parameters -- like region info, currency and locale -- but the most important one is OfferDurableID, which specifies the type of Azure offering the customer is using (Pay-as-you-Go, legacy 6 and 12-month commitment plans, MSDN offers, MPN offers, promotional offers and others). The OfferDurableID can be found in the Azure Usage and Billing portal, under the "Offer ID" for the given subscription.

Upon registration for Cloudyn for Azure services, customers can add their OfferDurableID code, which allows Cloudyn to pull their relevant pricing information through the RateCard API. Information on the different types of offers can be found one the Microsoft Azure Offer Details page.

Cloudyn ITFM Engine Overview

Cloudyn uses both the Usage and RateCard APIs, in addition to the Azure Performance API, to create additional layers of visualization, analytics, alerting, reporting, cost management and actionable recommendations, providing Azure customers a reliable enterprise cloud ITFM tool.

Cloudyn ITFM use cases enabled by Usage and RateCard API integration

Common Cloudyn ITFM use cases enabled by usage and RateCard APIs include:

  • Cost Analysis - Allows cloud costs to be broken down to any native identifying dimension (provider, service, account, region etc.). The Azure Usage and RateCard APIs make this an easy task, by providing the most granular breakdown of usage and cost data per account, which is then grouped and filtered by Cloudyn and presented to the user, in a graphic or tabular form.

Cost Analysis Pie Chart

  • Cost Allocation 360 - Enables finance and IT managers to uncover the actual cost breakdown, drivers and trends of their cloud deployment. It further allows managers to easily associate deployment expenses with business units, departments, regions, and more, providing unprecedented insights into cloud costs, and facilitating enterprise chargebacks and showbacks. The Azure Usage and RateCard APIs serve as input to Cloudyn’s cost allocation engine, which complements the APIs by defining methods and business logic for allocating untagged or untaggable resources.

Cost Allocation 360 Chart

  • Cost-Effective Sizing - Provides right-sizing recommendations for underutilized virtual machines, thus reducing the customer’s expenses on oversized or over-provisioned machines. It does so by examining virtual machine CPU and RAM metrics (via Performance API), hours of run-time (via Usage API) and cost (via RateCard API). Cloudyn then provides right-sizing recommendations based on underutilized CPU or RAM resources (Performance), and calculates estimated savings by multiplying the price delta (RateCard) between the VMs by the actual time-utilization (Usage) of the underutilized machine.

Cost Effective Sizing

  • Cloud Porting Recommendations - Provides financial advice on cloud porting. It examines a user's current costs of cloud resources which are deployed on major cloud vendors, and compares it to the cost of an equivalent deployment on Azure. It then provides granular, per-resource, financially-based porting recommendations to Azure. After assessing the equivalent deployment required on Azure (based on performance metrics and user preferences), Cloudyn uses the RateCard API to evaluate the cost of the equivalent deployment on Azure.
  • Performance Reports - Enabled by Azure’s performance API, these reports provide an array of features from CPU and RAM utilization to optimization recommendations. Below is an instance utilization report example, presenting instance breakdown by average CPU utilization.

Performance Reports

  • Category manager - A powerful feature in Cloudyn that brings order to unorganized cloud resources. It provides users the freedom to create their own unique categories (tags) for effective measuring and reporting that is in line with business practices. Further, users can easily regulate and categorize inconsistent tagging (i.e. typos and other discrepancies) and automatically detect untagged resources for accurate cost attribution.

Category Manager

Video

Here's a short video which shows how an Azure customer can use Cloudyn for Azure and the Azure Billing APIs, to gain insights from their Azure consumption data.

Next Steps

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