Concerns over potential cost increases led Michael Hill to Codify’s team of Azure specialists. “We’ve seen a lot of companies rapidly expanding their cloud requirements, particularly due to the pandemic, which often leads to the need for extensive Dev-Test environments,” states Ben Parker, Director at Codify. “Now that most companies have adjusted to the new normal, it’s the right time to review and optimise their cloud environment, particularly with the type of one-time actions available that we have identified.”
Early optimisation research by Codify identified opportunities for corrective action, including right-sizing Michael Hill’s virtual machines (VMs), optimising their critical workloads, and uplifting their capabilities with cost management tools.
In particular, Codify performed the following actions on the company’s virtual machines:
- Deleted unattached resources, considering the Disk State – rather than the Managed By field – due to platform rules that mean disks can be disconnected from a VM, yet still be in use. For example, on disks that are replicated with Azure Site Recovery, the Disk State will be represented as ActiveSAS and the Managed By field will be empty.
- Identified and deleted the disks, network interfaces, and any public IP addressing left behind after Michael Hill’s excess VMs were deleted.
- Utilised HUB to reduce licence costs on VMs by leveraging existing licences which have current Software Assurance in the cloud.
Converted the company’s Premium SSDs to Standard SSDs, in some instances, to take advantage of new Microsoft’s new SLAs for single-instance VMs.
- Deleted backup items that are no longer required by the company, including Azure Backups of deleted VMs, which are maintained until the backup itself is deleted and could have increased their costs.
Codify also optimised several of Michael Hill’s existing workloads:
- Moved SQL databases into elastic pools, which allows Michael Hill to share the compute and storage costs of Azure SQL across multiple databases.
- Retired the company’s App Services Environments (ASEs) and moved to Microsoft’s Azure Private Link’s new architectural standard for managing network-as-a-perimeter.
- Properly configured Point-in-Time-Recovery (PITR) for short-term retention of SQL Backup items and optimised the retention periods for other databases and DR workloads.
- Switched data storage from hot to archive tiers to reduce the costs associated with holding data for the long term.
Finally, Codify improved Michael Hill’s cloud cost management by comparing the company’s consumption costs against Codify’s Average Consumption Model. This allowed the team to identify potential spending overages, compared to aggregate client averages. Following this assessment, Codify implemented the company’s proprietary, proactive assurance platform to monitor Michael Hill’s resource usage automatically and quickly identify potential overruns.