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Cost Management Best Practices for Azure Integration Solutions

Insights from a Leading Enterprise Integration Expert

This recent podcast discussion with Sandro sheds light on practical strategies and best practices for optimizing costs while building robust integration solutions on Microsoft Azure.

Establishing a Solid Foundation

Sandro emphasized the importance of establishing a solid foundation and adhering to best practices before embarking on the implementation phase. This includes defining clear naming conventions, environment policies, resource usage guidelines, and access controls. By setting these foundational elements from the outset, organizations can better control costs and mitigate potential issues that may arise throughout the project lifecycle.

Transitioning from On-Premises to Cloud-Based Integration

One of the key points highlighted was the significant shift in cost models when transitioning from on-premises BizTalk Server solutions to Azure-based integrations. With BizTalk, the primary costs were upfront, encompassing licenses and hardware, allowing for more straightforward budgeting and estimation. However, in the Azure realm, the cost model is consumption-based, which can lead to unexpected bills if message volumes or resource usage exceed initial projections.

Cost Optimization Techniques

Push vs Pull Approach Sandro shared a compelling cost optimization technique revolving around the push versus pull approach for message processing. By redesigning a solution to leverage a pull-based approach instead of a near-real-time push model, substantial cost savings were achieved for a client, even with minimal message volumes processed daily.

Custom Serverless Functions Another cost-saving strategy involved replacing the costly Azure Integration Account for XSLT transformations with a custom-built serverless function. While incurring some development overhead, this approach enabled the client to save thousands of dollars per month compared to the recurring cost of the Integration Account.

Stakeholder Involvement and Cost Awareness

Throughout the discussion, the expert underscored the importance of involving the right stakeholders in cost discussions, including project sponsors, IT managers, and developers. While cost may not be a primary concern initially, it often becomes a focal point later in the project lifecycle or during economic challenges, necessitating cost optimization efforts.

Shared Resources: A Cost-Effective Approach

The expert advocated for the adoption of shared resources, such as API Management, Service Bus Premium, and shared functions, over dedicated resources for each application. Shared resources not only promote cost savings but also facilitate better access control and collaboration across teams within an organization.

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