How can we improve Azure Signup and Billing?

Spending Limit or Maximum Cost CAP for Azure

As a customer, I really care about Spending Limit or Spending CAP feature of Azure.

How does Azure prevent some evil attack to my Azure sites causing charge a large billing of Credit Card?

For example, it should automatically shut off or temporary disable my site when a certain dollar amount has been reached.

Is this feature in the RoadMap of Azure?

Or is there anyway to control my maximum Spending Limit of Azure?

Thanks.

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Mike shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
planned  ·  AdminAzure Billing Team (Admin, Microsoft Azure) responded  · 

Quick update,

We have been considering all of the risks and investigating the steps required to ensure we implement this feature with high positive impact and low to no negative impact.

After this investigation we have decided we will enable Pay-As-You-Go customers the option to configure a spending limit on a Pay-As-You-Go subscription, with appropriate safeguards and measures to prevent both service abuse and production service failure.

We have not yet finished determining the details of what this feature will look like, nor do we have a timeline for release, but we have heard your voices and have added this feature to our backlog.

Thanks for your continued feedback,

-Adam (Azure Billing Team)

166 comments

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  • Jernej Jerin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Finally! This feature has been requested as well on AWS for almost a decade, but never implemented. If you really implement this right, I will seriously consider switching from AWS to Azure. And guess what, I will probably not be the only one. As have many pointed out, this is a must have feature for hobbyists alike, that cannot afford to accrue large bills.

  • Ariel Kirsman commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    That's great.

    What about enterprise, pre-commited Azure enrollments? A feature many corporate accounts ask for is the ability to cap spending at some level like resource group, subscription.

    Is that being considered for this or a next release?

    Thanks much -ariel

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Unlimited works if you have a website that is generating money. However, when you are building a demo site or a site that is not going to generate revenue, it is very scary to put up a website that may generate a large bill if it suddenly attracts a lot of traffic.

  • Sanislaus commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We did the same experience. How it's handled in portal isn't customer friendly. What Michiel suggested is quite a good idea to show the costs in colors to be aware about the action some one did and not to push up the costs with a mouse click. For the databases - as an example - you can select P1, P2 or P3. For a customer well - quick ans easy. But if you get the bill and have to pay it - you get an heart attack - as quick and easy.

  • The ProXcio Team commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Hello all,

    Azure spend management the next level?

    What are your ideas on Azure spend management & cost control? We really would like feedback from you to optimize our product even further. Users of the ProXcio C3 platform (Cloud Cost Control) are doing high fives when it comes to monitoring, analyzing and optimizing there Azure costs. But we have more to come in the roadmap like usage learning auto scaling and usage cross invoicing to customers. Try C3 preview freely and give us your opinion for further developments. Go 2 www.proxcio.com. The ProXcio team

  • David Antwis commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Really ****** off that a) it wasn't clear that a shutdown machine was still costing me full rate, and b) there's no way to limit my spend.

  • Wes Springob commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I've seen documentation that alludes to the ability set account spending limits, I just set up and can't find it anywhere, everywhere I look I see a warning that my account has no limits. My idea is make it easy to find, because right now I'm petrified that I'm going to be charged thousands of dollars without understanding why, and I don't want to do anything else until I can set a limit.

  • Moinak Bandyopadhyay commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Hi Mike, thank you for your patience. We have just released two Azure Billing APIs (Azure Usage API and Azure RateCard API) which can give you API level access to your consumption and the rates at which we will charge you, and this can enable you to track your charges and take action accordingly (stop/delete resources, create an email alert for yourself..).

    A few helpful pointers for you are listed below:

    High-level article talking about the Azure Billing APIs and how it aims to solve the IT Financial management use-cases: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/billing-usage-rate-card-overview/

    Scott Guthrie's blog post talking about the Azure Billing APIs: https://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/new-azure-billing-apis-available

    MSDN REST API reference: https://msdn.microsoft.com/library/azure/1ea5b323-54bb-423d-916f-190de96c6a3c

    Code Samples on Github: https://github.com/Azure/BillingCodeSamples

    Hope this helps, and please let us know if we can help in any other way.

    Moinak (Azure Billing Team)

  • Bill McCrary commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    More dirty business from marketing. Every time I hear someone from MS speak about this feature, it all boils down to one load of bull: they CAN cap whatever they want, they just are NOT ALLOWING us to cap the accounts we want.

    Just look at the most recent update to this thread:

    @Chaitanya – We do have offerings for Educational institutions through the Microsoft Educator Grant Program, which implement a form of this feature.

    Just another obvious example of MS selectively capping what THEY want to cap, but playing dirty with our enterprise dollars.

    Our company is considering spending a very nice chunk of change in Azure in the following years, but maybe Amazon deserves those dollars more than MS...

  • Aaron Stackpole commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I find it funny that you claim this is difficult to implement, since the functionality already exists. My MSDN subscription is linked to an Azure account which has a spending cap per month. That is exactly what I want for my personal account, the ability to cap how much money is spent on a monthly billing cycle. I can't imagine adding an additional page to the account settings to allow the user to define this value could possibly be all that difficult.

  • Anup Mistry commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Would like to go live and set spending limit max at $200 to avoid any surprises at end of month. In the portal billing section provide a way to set a custom max limit. If for whatever reason max is reached that deallocate resources and disable just like how it does for the MSDN subscriptions.

  • Jernej Jerin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Billing alerts are useful, but still do not solve the problem of potential huge bills. The problem is, that the 5000$ bill can easily be made while user is a sleep. You can see that no alerts will help you prevent it, while a simple CAP avoids this issues.

  • Pat commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It's a good start with alerts, but i don't feel safe.

    The list on for example a vm are disc read, disc write, network in... i think you also should add 'cost' to that list.
    And where the checkbox 'email' are you could add a checkbox for 'suspend'. I see the problem that suspend takes disc space otherwise you need to destroy server.
    Maybe you could add insurance add-on checkboxes for 'Suspend immediately and remove in X days' for a low cost. Probably people would add that insurance and also get a chance to fix the problem.
    That way it would probably not cost Microsoft any extra to feature cost-limit-service, rather the opposite

  • Michael Hewitt commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Thank you for the in depth response. Billing alerts make a lot of sense and are probably a better way to handle this for professional customers. I am just a hobbyist and wanted to make sure I didn't accidentally blow my wad by creating an infinite loop that rapidly ate through gigabytes of upload/download usage.

  • Chaitanya Gurrapu commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This feature would open up a whole new set of users and use cases as well. I can imagine a "capped" or "Prepaid" azure credits being used by schools and universities to let their students experiment with the "Cloud".

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @Microsoft: This feature is really important. You don't want to frustrate your customers, do you?

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