In today’s Ask the Admin, I’ll show you how to set up billing alerts in Azure to keep your cloud expenses in check.
Keeping track of how much cloud services are costing can be a challenge, and it can easily get out of control if you accidentally leave apps or VMs running for long periods of time, or transfer large amounts of data. The best way to ensure that you don’t get any nasty surprises is to set up billing alerts, where you’ll be notified by email should your bill pass a given threshold.
The Billing Alerts service is currently in preview, and before you can set up a billing alert, you’ll need to enable the preview feature in the billing portal.
While my Billing Alerts service was activated immediately, you might have to wait some time before the service is activated.
Now that the Billing Alerts service is active for the Azure subscription, we can set up a maximum of five billing alerts.
Note that currently it’s not possible to select anything other than Billing Total in the Alert For menu.
You should now receive an email if your bill exceeds the threshold set in the alert.
The new alert will now appear on the alerts page. You can only set up 4 more alerts, but it may be that Microsoft will provide up to 5 alerts for free once the Billings Alerts reaches general availability, while more will incur a fee.
Don’t forget that while billing alerts are a useful feature, they won’t necessarily protect you if your account is hacked because the attacker can easily disable this feature, create resources without your knowledge, and still run up a large bill. Billing alerts aren’t a replacement for properly securing the Microsoft account associated with your Azure subscription.