Allocate Azure costs - Microsoft Cost Management (2023)

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Large enterprises often have Azure services or resources that are centrally managed but are utilized by different internal departments or business units. Typically, the centrally managing team wants to reallocate the cost of the shared services back out to the internal departments or organizational business units who are actively using the services. This article helps you understand and use cost allocation in Cost Management.

With cost allocation, you can reassign or distribute the costs of shared services from subscriptions, resource groups or tags to other subscriptions, resource groups or tags in your organization. Cost allocation shifts costs of the shared services to another subscription, resource groups, or tags owned by the consuming internal departments or business units. In other words, cost allocation helps to manage and show cost accountability from one place to another.

Cost allocation doesn't affect your billing invoice. Billing responsibilities aren't changed. The primary purpose of cost allocation is to help you charge back costs to others. All chargeback processes happen in your organization outside of Azure. Cost allocation helps you charge back costs by showing them as they're reassigned or distributed.

Allocated costs are shown in cost analysis. They're shown as additional items associated with the targeted subscriptions, resource groups, or tags that you specify when you create a cost allocation rule.


Cost Management's cost allocation feature is currently in public preview. Some features in Cost Management might not be supported or might have limited capabilities.

(Video) How to create a cost allocation rule with Azure Cost Management


  • Cost allocation currently only supports customers with a Microsoft Customer Agreement or an Enterprise Agreement (EA).
  • To create or manage a cost allocation rule, you must use an Enterprise Administrator account for Enterprise Agreements. Or you must be a Billing account owner for Microsoft Customer Agreements.

Create a cost allocation rule

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal at
  2. Navigate to Cost Management + Billing > Cost Management.
  3. Under Settings > Configuration, select Cost allocation (Preview).
  4. Ensure that the correct the EA enrollment or billing account is selected.
  5. Select +Add.
  6. Enter descriptive text for the cost allocation rule name.

The rule's evaluation start date is used to generate the prefilled cost allocation percentages.

  1. Select Add sources and then select either subscriptions, resource groups, or tags to choose costs to distribute.
  2. Select Add targets and then select either subscriptions, resource groups, or tags that will receive the allocated costs.
  3. If you need to create additional cost allocation rules, repeat this process.

Configure the allocation percentage

Configure the allocation percentage to define how costs are proportionally divided between the specified targets. You can manually define whole number percentages to create an allocation rule. Or you can split the costs proportionally based on the current usage of the compute, storage, or network across the specified targets.

When distributing costs by compute cost, storage cost, or network cost, the proportional percentage is derived by evaluating the selected target's costs. The costs are associated with the resource type for the current billing month.

When distributing costs proportional to total cost, the proportional percentage is allotted by the sum or total cost of the selected targets for the current billing month.

(Video) Azure Cost Management Tutorial | Analyzing and reacting to changes in billing

Once set, the prefilled percentages defined are fixed. They're used for all ongoing allocations. The percentages change only when the rule is manually updated.

  1. Select one of the following options in the Prefill percentage to list.
    • Distribute evenly – Each of the targets receives an even percentage proportion of the total cost.
    • Total cost – Creates a ratio proportional to the targets based on their total cost. The ratio is used to distribute the costs from the selected sources.
    • Compute cost - Creates a ratio proportional to the targets based on their Azure compute cost (resource types in the Microsoft.Compute namespace.The ratio is used to distribute the costs from the selected sources.
    • Storage cost - Creates a ratio proportional to the targets based on their Azure storage cost (resource types in the Microsoft.Storage namespace). The ratio is used to distribute the costs from the selected sources.
    • Network cost - Creates a ratio proportional to the targets based on their Azure network cost (resource types in the Microsoft.Network namespace). The ratio is used to distribute the costs from the selected sources.
    • Custom – Allows for a whole number percentage to be manually specified. The specified total must equal 100%.
  2. When the rule is configured, select Create.

The allocation rule starts processing. When the rule is active, all the selected source's costs are allocated to the specified targets.

Here's a video that demonstrates how to create a cost allocation rule.

(Video) Azure Cost Management Overview

Verify the cost allocation rule

When the cost allocation rule is active, costs from the selected sources are distributed to the specified allocation targets. Use the following information to verify that cost is properly allocated to targets.

View cost allocation for a subscription

You view the impact of the allocation rule in cost analysis. In the Azure portal, go to Subscriptions. Select a subscription in the list that's targeted by an active cost allocation rule. Then select Cost analysis in the menu. In Cost analysis, select Group by and then select Cost allocation. The resulting view shows a quick cost breakdown generated by the subscription. Costs allocated to the subscription are also shown, like the following image.

View cost allocation for a resource group

Use a similar process the impact of a cost allocation rule for a resource group. In the Azure portal, go to Resource groups. Select a resource group in the list that's targeted by an active cost allocation rule. Then select Cost analysis in the menu. In Cost analysis, select Group by and then select Cost allocation. The view shows you a quick cost breakdown generated by the resource group. Cost allocated to the resource group are also shown.

View cost allocation for tags

In the Azure portal, navigate to Cost Management + Billing > Cost Management > Cost analysis. In Cost analysis, select Add filter. Select Tag, choose the tag key, and tag values that have cost allocated to them.

(Video) Managing, reporting, and reducing your costs in Azure | Azure Friday

View cost allocation in the downloaded Usage Details and in Exports CSV files

Cost allocation rules are also available in the downloaded Usage Details file and in the exported data. The data files have the column name costAllocationRuleName. If a Cost allocation rule is applicable to an entry in Usage Details or Exports file, the row is populated with the Cost allocation rule name. The following example image shows a negative charge with an entry for the source subscription. That's the charge getting allocated cost from. There's also a positive charge for the Cost allocation rule's target.

Azure invoice reconciliation

The Usage Details file is also used for Azure invoice reconciliation. Showing any internal allocated costs during reconciliation could be confusing. To reduce any potential confusion and to align to the data shown on the invoice, you can filter out any Cost allocation rules. After you remove the cost allocation rules, your Usage Details file should match the cost shown by the billed subscription invoice.

Edit an existing cost allocation rule

You can edit a cost allocation rule to change the source or the target or if you want to update the prefilled percentage for either compute, storage, or network options. Edit the rules in the same way you create them. Modifying existing rules can take up to two hours to reprocess.

Current limitations

Currently, cost allocation is supported in Cost Management by Cost analysis, budgets, and forecast views. Allocated costs are also shown in the subscriptions list and on the Subscriptions overview page.

The following items are currently unsupported by the cost allocation public preview:

(Video) Working with Azure Cost Management APIs | INT175B

  • Billing subscriptions area
  • Cost Management Power BI App
  • Power BI Desktop connector

Cost allocation data exposed by the Usage Details API is supported by the 2021-10-01 version or later. However, cost allocation data results might be empty if you're using an unsupported API or if you don't have any cost allocation rules.

Next steps

  • Read the Cost Management + Billing FAQ for questions and answers about cost allocation.
  • Create or update allocation rules using the Cost allocation REST API
  • Learn more about How to optimize your cloud investment with Cost Management


Can you use Azure cost management to view costs associated to management? ›

Users can view costs by navigating to Cost Management + Billing in the Azure portal list of services. Then, they can filter costs to the specific subscriptions and resource groups they need to report on.

Which Azure tool has a set of tools for monitoring allocating and optimization as your cost? ›

Azure Advisor is a tool that analyzes Azure configurations and uses telemetry to provide practical, tailored recommendations on how to better optimize resources and maximize value for money.

What is Azure cost management in Azure? ›

What is Azure Cost Management? Azure Cost Management is a free solution offered to Azure cloud customers via the Azure portal. It provides information about your overall costs and utilization across all Azure services and Azure Marketplace products.

What should you use to track the costs of Azure? ›

Azure Cost Management + Billing is the primary tool you'll use to analyze your usage and costs. It gives you multiple options to analyze your monthly charges for different Azure Monitor features and their projected cost over time.

How do I enable cost management in Azure? ›

Enable access to costs in the Azure portal

To enable an option in the Azure portal: Sign in to the Azure portal at with an enterprise administrator account. Select the Cost Management + Billing menu item. Select Billing scopes to view a list of available billing scopes and billing accounts.

What are the 3 pricing models of Azure? ›

Azure Pricing Models

Microsoft offers three main ways to pay for Azure VMs and other cloud resources: pay as you go, reserved instances, and spot instances.

What are the main factors that affect Azure cost? ›

Azure has data centers across the globe. Usage costs differ according to the location offering particular Azure services, products and resources—these costs factor in demand, popularity and local infrastructure costs.

What are two Azure management tools? ›

In addition to the graphical user interface offered at the Azure Portal, we have the ability to manage and interact with Azure via Azure Powershell, Azure Command Line Interface (CLI), Azure Cloud Shell, and the Azure Mobile Application available on iOS and Android platforms.

Where is cost management in Azure? ›

Cost Management is available from within the Billing experience. It's also available from every subscription, resource group, and management group in the Azure portal.

Which cost management tools are helpful when you have an ongoing Azure subscription? ›

  • CloudZero - Modern cloud cost intelligence platform. ...
  • Microsoft Cost Management for Azure - Native cost management tool. ...
  • Cloudability - Hybrid cloud cost management. ...
  • CloudHealth - Enterprise cost management with security. ...
  • CloudCheckr - Multi-cloud cost management for enterprises.
Aug 19, 2022

What are the four 4 main processes of cost management? ›

While cost management overall is a complicated process and a critical project management knowledge area, we can break it down into four processes:
  • Resource planning. ...
  • Cost estimation. ...
  • Cost budget. ...
  • Cost control.
Mar 18, 2022

What are Azure 4 management scopes? ›

Scope levels

In Azure, you can specify a scope at four levels: management group, subscription, resource group, and resource. Scopes are structured in a parent-child relationship. Each level of hierarchy makes the scope more specific.

What is MCR in Azure? ›

Megaport Cloud Router (MCR) Megaport Cloud Router (MCR)

How do you analyze Azure costs? ›

To review your costs in cost analysis, open the scope in the Azure portal and select Cost analysis in the menu. For example, go to Subscriptions, select a subscription from the list, and then select Cost analysis in the menu. Use the Scope pill to switch to a different scope in cost analysis.

What is the best tool to use for assigning costs of different Azure cloud services to different departments or groups in a company? ›

What is the best tool to use for assigning costs of different Azure cloud services to different departments or groups in a company? Create a collection of tags that are automatically associated with services used by the appropriate department.

In what ways does the Azure Advisor help manage costs? ›

Azure Advisor helps you optimize and reduce your overall Azure spend by identifying idle and underutilized resources. You can get cost recommendations from the Cost tab on the Advisor dashboard.

Is Azure Cost Management free? ›

Microsoft Cost Management is available to Azure customers and managed service providers at no additional cost.

Which benefit of Azure cloud Services supports cost management? ›

Which benefit of Azure Cloud Services supports cost management for this type of usage pattern? Explanation: The elasticity of the cloud service would be able to automatically adjust the resources as per the need of the client.

Can Azure be CapEx? ›

Capital Expenditures or CapEx is defined as funds used by organizations to obtain, upgrade, and maintain physical assets such as data centers. These expenditures are generally nonrecurring and result in the acquisition of permanent assets. Azure Reserved Instances is an example of a CapEx model.

What is the most accurate method of allocating service department costs? ›

The reciprocal method is the most accurate of the three methods for allocating service department costs, because it recognizes reciprocal services among service departments. It is also the most complicated method, because it requires solving a set of simultaneous linear equations.

What are the pricing models in Azure? ›

Currently, Azure offers three pricing models for VMs.
  • Pay-as-you-go. Pay-as-you-go is the simplest and most flexible payment model. ...
  • Reserved instances. This payment model saves money because it enables you to pay upfront for a predefined period of VM run time. ...
  • Spot VMs.
Aug 23, 2022

What is amortized cost in Azure? ›

Amortized Cost - This dataset is similar to the Actual Cost dataset except that - the EffectivePrice for the usage that gets reservation discount is the prorated cost of the reservation (instead of being zero).

What are the 4 types of pricing? ›

What are the 4 major pricing strategies? Value-based, competition-based, cost-plus, and dynamic pricing are all models that are used frequently, depending on the industry and business model in question.

What are the 5 types of pricing? ›

The 5 most common pricing strategies
  • Cost-plus pricing. Calculate your costs and add a mark-up.
  • Competitive pricing. Set a price based on what the competition charges.
  • Price skimming. Set a high price and lower it as the market evolves.
  • Penetration pricing. ...
  • Value-based pricing.

What are the three levels of price management? ›

Pricing at three levels
  • Industry price level. The broadest view of pricing comes at the industry price level, where managers must understand how supply, demand, costs, regulations, and other high-level factors interact and affect overall prices. ...
  • Product/market strategy level. ...
  • Transaction level.
Feb 1, 2003

What are the three key factors in defining cost on cloud? ›

Capacity, transactions, Networking are the three main key factors in defining cost on cloud storage.

Should you use to track the costs of Azure resources? ›

Many organizations need to track their Azure costs at various levels of granularity. Popular use cases cover chargebacks to internal departments, tracking of costs by customer, specific application, etc. Azure's inherent categorization of its resources allows users to categorize resources by tags or resource groups.

What are the 3 important services offered by Azure? ›

This gives users the flexibility to use their preferred tools and technologies. In addition, Azure offers four different forms of cloud computing: infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), software as a service (SaaS) and serverless functions.

What are the top 10 most used Microsoft Azure services? ›

Top 10 Microsoft Azure Products and Services
  • Azure DevOps.
  • Azure Blob Storage.
  • Azure Virtual Machines.
  • Azure Backup.
  • Azure Cosmos DB.
  • Azure Logic Apps.
  • Azure Active Directory.
  • API management.

Which Azure tool is best? ›

Serverless360, Application Insights, Azure Monitor, and Service Bus Explorer are our top solutions for Azure Monitoring. Overall, Serverless360 is the best tool to manage and monitor your Azure Serverless Components.

What are the 5 functions of cost management? ›

Planning, communication, motivation, appraisal, and decision-making are the features that make managing costs an important business procedure. Resource allocation, cost estimation, cost budgeting, and cost control are the major functions of the cost management process.

Is Azure cost management real time? ›

Microsoft Cost Management includes Azure service and third-party Azure Marketplace usage, and purchases including reservations. All costs are based on your negotiated prices, and data is refreshed every four hours.

Who has access to Azure cost management Tool? ›

Microsoft Cost Management for Azure is provided for free to Azure customers. This service shows all of your subscriptions on one screen, enabling you to zoom in on one particular service to gain detailed information.

How do I automate a cost report in Azure? ›

Login to Azure Portal and create a general purpose V2 storage account to export the reports in CSV format.
  1. Select Cost Analysis. Now, change the scope to Azure Subscription by clicking on the Scope. ...
  2. Select Scope. ...
  3. View All Export. ...
  4. Create Daily Report.
  5. Export Schedules. ...
  6. Storage Account Reports Folder. ...
  7. Daily Report Output.
Oct 27, 2020

What are the four types of services included in Microsoft Azure Media Services? ›

Encode, store, and stream video and audio at scale

Azure Media Services lets you deliver any media, on virtually any device, to anywhere in the world using the cloud. The collection of services provide encoding, live or on-demand streaming, content protection, and indexing for video and audio content.

What is required to use Azure cost management AZ 900? ›

Explanation. Azure customers with an Azure Enterprise Agreement (EA), Microsoft Customer Agreement (MCA), or Microsoft Partner Agreement (MPA) can use Azure Cost Management.

What are the 5 steps in order to allocate the costs in a process costing system? ›

5 Steps for Process Costing
  1. Analyze inventory flow.
  2. Convert in-process inventory to equivalent units.
  3. Compute all applicable costs.
  4. Calculate the cost per unit of finished and in-process inventory.
  5. Allocate costs to units of finished and in-process inventory.

What are the four essential steps in cost allocation? ›

Basic Steps of Cost Allocation

Identify shared facilities or support services. Identify the costs to be allocated. Determine the allocation factors/methodology to distribute the costs equitably. Allocate the costs.

What is the 1st phase of cost management? ›

Step 1: Resource planning

This involves the evaluation and planning of the use of the physical, human, financial, and informational resources required to complete work activities and their tasks. Most activities involve using people to perform work. Some activities involve materials and consumables.

What are the features of Azure cost management? ›

Azure Cost Management lets you analyze past cloud usage and expenses, and predict future expenses. You can view costs in a daily, monthly, or annual trend, to identify trends and anomalies, and find opportunities for optimization and savings.

What is Azure CMP? ›

AI-based autonomous platform for multi-cloud cost and resource management.

What is Azure CDM? ›

The Common Data Model (CDM) metadata system makes it possible for data and its meaning to be easily shared across applications and business processes. To learn more, see the Common Data Model overview. In Azure Data Factory and Synapse pipelines, users can transform data from CDM entities in both model.

What is Mabs in Azure? ›

This article explains how to prepare your environment to back up workloads using Microsoft Azure Backup Server (MABS). With Azure Backup Server, you can protect application workloads such as Hyper-V VMs, Microsoft SQL Server, SharePoint Server, Microsoft Exchange, and Windows clients from a single console. Note.

Where can you view a costs analysis for Azure charges? ›

To review your costs in cost analysis, open the scope in the Azure portal and select Cost analysis in the menu. For example, go to Subscriptions, select a subscription from the list, and then select Cost analysis in the menu.

Which of the following regular management tool can be managed by Azure services in public preview? ›

Azure services in public preview can be managed only by using the Azure CLI. The cost of an Azure services in private preview decreases when the service becomes generally available.

Which cost management tool allows you to see the most detailed information about your AWS bill? ›

The AWS Cost & Usage Report is your one-stop shop for accessing the most detailed information available about your AWS costs and usage.

Which pricing tool is used to visualize understand and manage your AWS costs? ›

AWS Cost Explorer helps you visualize, understand, and manage your AWS costs and usage over a daily or monthly granularity. You can also access your data with further granularity by enabling hourly and resource level granularity.

Which Azure tool has a set of tools for monitoring allocating? ›

Azure Cost Management. Azure Cost Management is an Azure product that provides a set of tools for monitoring, allocating, and optimizing your Azure costs.

What are different methods available to manage Azure resources? ›

How to access Azure in multiple ways
  • Azure Portal.
  • Azure Power Shell.
  • Azure CLI.
  • Azure Mobile App.
Aug 23, 2021

What is the difference between AWS cost Explorer and AWS cost and usage report? ›

There is not difference. Cost explorer is just a fancy wrapper over cost and usage reports.

What are the 3 pricing models of AWS? ›

Pricing models
  • On-Demand.
  • Savings Plans.
  • Dedicated Hosts.
  • Reserved Instances.

Which AWS tool allows you to compare your estimated service costs per region? ›

AWS Cost Explorer is a tool that enables you to view and analyze your costs and usage.

What is the main difference between the goals of cost explorer and of cost and usage reports? ›

What is the main difference between the goals of Cost Explorer and of cost and usage reports? A. Cost Explorer displays visualizations of high-level historical and current account costs, while cost and usage reports generate granular usage reports in CSV format.

How does the scale of cloud computing help you to save costs? ›

Cloud computing provides natural economies of scale allowing businesses to pay only for what they need. This reduces costs by optimising both software licences and hardware or storage purchases both on-premise or within the data centre.

What is the difference between cost Explorer and Trusted Advisor? ›

Cost Explorer. The AWS Cost Explorer dives deep into cost-related metrics and gives recommendations based on past usage. The Trusted Advisor provides recommendations beyond costs from best practices. On the other hand, the AWS inspector checks for security vulnerabilities in your AWS infrastructure.


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