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Optimize Azure App Service costs professionally for peak savings

Azure Cost Management

10 Mins Read | Last modified on March 7th, 2024

Azure App Service Cost Optimization featured image

Azure App Service is a platform as a service (PaaS) that enables developers to make, deploy, and scale web apps, mobile backends, and RESTful APIs efficiently. A powerful component of an organization’s cloud strategy, Azure App Service offers numerous advantages in terms of development, deployment, and operations. Azure App Service cost optimization is imperative for several reasons, including financial efficiency, resource utilization, operational efficiency, regular evaluation, scalability, and adaptability.

Azure App Service pricing plans

In Azure App Service, different plans are available to meet the needs of different customers:

  • Free plan – The Free service plan is specifically crafted for development and testing purposes. It does not include a provided Service Level Agreement (SLA). Metering is done per app, and daily CPU quotas are enforced.
  • Basic Plans – Basic App service plans are designed for applications with lower traffic demands. They do not require advanced features such as auto-scaling and traffic management.
  • Standard plans – Using a standard service plan supports production workloads. Pricing depends on instance size and number. Automatic traffic distribution across instances is achieved through network load balancing. Standard plans include auto-scaling, which adjusts virtual machine instances dynamically according to traffic.
  • Premium v2 – A premium service plan is intended to improve the performance of production applications. Premium plans offer enhanced scalability with more instances while retaining all the advanced features of Standard plans. To meet the scaling requirements of existing customers, the Premium plan remains accessible in its initial generation.
  • Premium v3 – With the Premium v3 plan, you will get faster processors, Hyper-V virtualization, and VNet connectivity. This updated Premium plan accommodates both containers, including widely available Windows Containers support and code-based deployments. It offers increased scalability through augmented vCPU, memory, and instance counts.
  • Isolated Service Plan – With this plan, customers can run their applications in a private, dedicated environment within an Azure data centre. Isolated plans are associated with a private environment called App Service Environment v2. The plan supports 100 instances and is scalable.
    To learn more about the pricing, please visit Azure pricing plans for Windows and Azure pricing plans for Linux.

Factors affecting the cost of Azure App Service

Azure App Service plan pricing depends on several factors determining the cost of running your web applications, APIs, or mobile backends. The Azure App Service plan’s pricing is primarily based on the following crucial rudiments.

1. Pricing Tiers

Azure App Service offers various pricing tiers to accommodate workloads and performance requirements. The available tiers include.

  • Free
  • Shared
  • Basic
  • Standard
  • Premium
  • Isolated

2. Compute Resources

Azure App Service plans are primarily determined by allocating compute resources, including CPU and memory. A higher tier of plans provides additional computing resources, enabling higher performance and scalability.

3. Scaling Options (Manual and Automatic scaling)

Azure App Service plans provide the flexibility to scale your applications according to demand, allowing manual and automatic scaling within certain pricing tiers. It’s important to note that additional costs may be incurred based on the number of instances you run and the specific scaling actions you undertake.

4. Scaling Out (Adding instances)

Scaling out your application may cost extra when running multiple instances. There is a direct correlation between the number of instances you run and the overall compute resources consumed, which significantly impacts pricing.

5. Regional Deployment

The region where you deploy your Azure App Service Plan can impact the cost. Azure Services often have different pricing in various regions.

6. Backups and Restore

Azure App Service plans offer backup and restore capabilities for your applications. The storage and operations related to the backup and restore processes will incur the cost. The overall cost will be estimated based on the backup frequency and retention policy.

7. Custom Domains and SSL Certificates

Additional costs apply if you use custom domains for your applications or require SSL certificates for secure communication. Purchasing and managing custom domains and SSL certificates can contribute to the overall cost of your Azure App Service plan.

Top 6 strategies for Azure App Service cost optimization

Optimizing the cost of Azure App Service is critical to maximizing the return on investment of your Azure cloud spent. Understanding key factors such as demand patterns and seasonality makes leveraging techniques and tools to predict cloud spending easier.

The following strategies can help you optimize costs for Azure App Service:

  1. Frequent Optimization – Assess and adjust cost optimization strategies on a regular basis based on changes in application requirements and usage patterns.
  2. Use Deployment Slots Efficiently – Deploy staging and testing environments using deployment slots. You should avoid running unnecessary instances in deployment slots that are not currently in use.
  3. Utilize Auto-scaling – Auto-scale Azure App Service to adjust the number of instances dynamically based on demand. Configure rules to scale out during periods of high and low usage.
  4. Rightsizing your App Service plan – Select the appropriate pricing tier and instance size depending on your application’s requirements to rightsize Azure App Service. Your App Service plan should be reviewed regularly and adjusted to match the actual resource requirements of your application.
  5. Implement Cost Alerts – Configure Azure cost alerts to receive notifications when spending approaches a predefined threshold. Gain insight into spending patterns and identify areas for Optimization by utilizing Azure Cost Management tools.
  6. Evaluate Long-term Commitments – Consider longer-term agreements, such as reserved instances, to benefit from discounted pricing. This is particularly relevant for workloads that are stable and predictable.

How to optimize Azure App Service costs using the native tool?

Here are few ways to optimize your Azure App Service costs using native tool:

Azure Cost Management and Billing

Cost Analysis

Azure Cost Management can be used to analyze the past and current costs of your Azure App Service plans. It provides insights into your Azure App Service plans resource.

Budgets and Alerts

Organizations can set budgets to define spending thresholds for specific Azure subscriptions.

Azure Cost Management enables the creation of alerts that notify users when spending approaches or exceeds predefined budget limits. This helps in proactive cost control.

Forecast Visualization

The forecasted cost is presented graphically within the Azure Cost Management dashboard. Users can view this information over a specified time range.

The screenshot below shows the App Service plans for future spending based on the period of usage

Azure Cost Management

Scale-out (Rule-based scaling and Automatic Scale)

In rule-based auto-scaling, the user defines the conditions under which the number of instances of your app should be automatically adjusted. These conditions are based on CPU utilization, memory usage, or other performance indicators.

A simplified example of a rule-based scaling scenario:

In a flash sale on an e-commerce website, Azure App Service’s rule-based scaling dynamically adjusts instances based on CPU usage. Auto-scaling adds instances for optimal performance as user traffic spikes, exceeding 70%. After the sale, the mechanism scales in as CPU drops below 35%, optimizing costs.

This automated response ensures high performance during peaks and cost efficiency during lower demand, showcasing the value of rule-based scaling in Azure App Service. The user can also choose Automatic scaling, which allows the Azure App Service to adjust the number of compute resources (instances)allocated to your web application based on demand.

App Service Autoscale setting

Efficient App Service plans with Azure Advisor

Azure App Service provides recommendations through the Azure Advisor, which offers insights into optimizing your App Service plans for better performance, scalability, and cost efficiency.

For instance, let’s consider you have multiple app service plans hosting various web applications, and some plans may have more resources allocated than necessary. In this case, Azure Advisor recommends the proper sizing based on historical usage to prevent resource overprovisioning. The Advisor suggests switching to smaller plans with lower resource usage for immediate cost savings.

Challenges in managing the cost spent on App Service Plans in the Azure portal

Effectively managing the cost spent on App Service Plans within the Azure portal presents several challenges, highlighting the need for a more streamlined approach:

No Holistic Approach

The absence of a holistic approach in the Azure portal makes it challenging to comprehensively manage and analyze the costs associated with App Service Plans. Users may find it difficult to obtain a unified and consolidated view of their spending across different plans.

Complexity with Multiple Subscriptions and Tenants

Managing costs becomes even more challenging when dealing with multiple subscriptions and tenants simultaneously. The current setup in the Azure portal makes it hard to navigate and efficiently oversee the financial aspects across diverse environments in a unified manner.

Tedious Configuration Process

The configuration process for cost management within the Azure portal can be cumbersome and time-consuming. The lack of user-friendly tools and interfaces may contribute to inefficiencies in setting up and adjusting cost-related parameters.

Time-Consuming Auto Scaling Setup

Setting up auto-scaling for a considerable number of App Service Plans introduces further complexity and time constraints. The process becomes both time-consuming and intricate, especially when dealing with a large volume of plans, impeding the efficient implementation of auto-scaling strategies.

In summary, the challenges encompass a lack of a holistic overview, difficulties in managing multiple subscriptions, tedious configurations, and complexities in setting up auto-scaling for numerous App Service Plans. Addressing these challenges necessitates a more streamlined and user-friendly approach to cost management within the Azure portal.

Save time, effort, and money on Azure App Service with Turbo360

Turbo360 Cost Analyzer is designed to manage Azure cloud costs and is primarily intended for managing, visualizing, monitoring, and optimizing Azure costs.

Automation for scaling up/down the App Service plan based on business needs

Optimization schedules streamline the process of downsizing resources to a lower-cost tier during non-business hours and scaling up to a higher-cost tier during peak business hours, leading to substantial cost savings.

For instance, if the non-production application experiences peak usage only for 8-10 hours on weekdays and can be entirely sustained in the lower tier during weekends, utilizing optimization schedules to scale down non-working hours can yield impressive cost savings of up to 65%. This approach contributes to the efficient management of a cost-effective non-production environment.

App Service Cost optimization schedule

App Service Cost optimizing

Additionally, the Cost Analyzer analyses the usage pattern of the app service plans and provides recommendations for rightsizing them. Also, based on the service tier used, Cost Analyzer recommends opting for Azure reservations. Both these recommendations help in considerable cost optimization.

Read more: Azure Reservations utilization monitoring

Identify the idleness of the App Service plans

Rightsizing involves optimizing the allocation of resources to virtual machines (VMs) and other Azure services, ensuring they align with the actual workload demands. The objective of rightsizing is to harmonize the resources assigned to a specific service with its performance requirements, mitigating issues of overprovisioning or underutilization.

Azure App Service rightsizing

Recommendations for commitment-based discounts

Reservations in Azure involve committing to purchase resources in advance for a specified duration. This commitment offers users cost savings when compared to the pay-as-you-go pricing model. Azure provides reservations for various services, such as Azure App Service plans, virtual machines (VMs), databases, and more.

Turbo360 Azure App Service Cost optimizations


In summary, pursuing cost optimization for Azure App Service plans is crucial for organizations seeking to improve efficiency and reduce expenses in their cloud environments. Leveraging Turbo360’s optimization schedules allows organizations to balance performance, scalability, and financial responsibility. Turbo360 provides actionable insights for continuous improvement.

Related reading

This article was originally published on Dec 14, 2023. It was most recently updated on Mar 7, 2024.

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