Optimize Identity Costs
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Microsoft Azure provides a variety of cloud services in a variety of cloud service models: IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. When businesses migrate to the cloud, they must choose which model is best suited to their needs and is the most cost-effective. This course is designed to assist Cloud Architects in identifying their current Azure expenditures and providing greater awareness of the costs associated with each deployment model as well as each aspect of an Azure deployment.

Optimizing Azure costs begins with knowing your current Azure expenditures. This course introduces you to the tools built into the Azure Portal that can help you understand the total overall expenditures in Azure as well as break down those costs by area: Compute, Network, Storage, Identity, and App/Cloud Services.

The remainder of the course drills down on specific costs associated with each area of Azure identifies the costs associated with each service and provides very clear and concise methods for reducing Azure expenditures. Many of the cost savings methods will require minimal changes to your Azure deployment and will take just minutes to implement while other cost savings methods may take a shift in your Azure strategy, such as moving from Iaas to PaaS. By the end of this course, you will have gained a thorough understanding of how charges are incurred, how to reduce or even avoid some of the charges, and you will have learned how to significantly reduce overall Azure expenditures and get the most out of what is spent in your Azure deployment.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify current Azure expenditures
  • Optimize compute costs
  • Optimize network costs
  • Optimize storage costs
  • Optimize identity costs
  • Optimize App Service and Cloud Service costs

Intended Audience

  • Azure architects who are exploring options for reducing their Azure spending


  • Good understanding of Azure administration and management



The first identity cost to consider is the Azure Active Directory. Azure AD comes in four editions, free, basic, Premium P1, and Premium P2. The free edition is generally not suited for most businesses since it lacks self-service password capabilities, device objects, and two-way synchronization between on-premises AD and Azure AD just to name a few of the features. As its name implies this version is free but it has a limit of 500,000 objects and 10 applications per user and does not qualify for Microsoft's SLA.

 The basic edition is similar to the free edition having the same features but there is no object limit and it includes self-serve password reset, application proxy, group-based access management, and provision, and does qualify for Microsoft's SLA. The cost for the basic edition is $1 per month per user. The Premium P1 edition is fairly full-featured, lacking only identity protection, Privilege Identity Management, and Access Reviews, which are features available in the Premium P2 edition. The Premium P1 edition is $6 per month per user and the Premium P2 edition is $9 per month per user. By determining which Azure features your organization is currently using and are planning on using, you can make a cost-effective choice when choosing an Azure AD edition. 

One way to realize cost saving with regards to Azure Active Directory is by entering into an Enterprise Agreement with Microsoft if your organization is not already doing so. In order to qualify for an Enterprise Agreement however, your organization should have at least 500 devices and desire to license software and cloud services for a minimum of three years. You can always add or remove products and services over time through Microsoft's annual True-up process.

About the Author

Jeff is a technical trainer and developer residing in Arizona, USA. He has been a Microsoft Certified Trainer for the past 18 years, providing in-house development and training on Microsoft server operating systems, PowerShell, SQL Server and Azure.  When he’s not developing and delivering courses on Azure, he’s photographing galaxies, nebulae and star formations from his computer-automated observatory in Chino Valley, Arizona using a 14” Schmidt Cassegrain telescope.