In today’s digital landscape, automation plays a crucial role in streamlining operations and improving efficiency within IT. One popular automation solution is Azure Automation, offered by Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform. But how much does Azure Automation cost? Is an Azure Automation Account free? In this blog post, we will delve into the cost structure of Azure Automation, explore where the costs lie and put the costs of Azure Automation into context.
Is Azure Automation Free?
Azure Automation has a free-tier option, making it accessible for businesses of all sizes. The free tier includes 500 ‘free’ minutes of job run time and 744 hours of “watcher” time per month. These thresholds ensure that tasks can be automated without incurring any charges, provided users stay within these limits. However, if these free-tier limits are exceeded, Azure Automation costs are still incredibly reasonable; an Azure Automation execution minute costs $0.002 and $0.002 per hour (for watchers), respectively.
To put this into perspective, let’s consider a scenario. If a runbook executes for 1 minute every 30 minutes, the monthly cost will amount to less than $3.00. The calculation for this would be: 1 (execution) x 2(per hour) x 24(h per day) x 31(days per month) x $0.002 = $2.976!
With 500 free minutes, you have approximately 15 minutes of total execution every day without any additional cost.
What is a watcher?
A watcher is a runbook that executes constantly watching for a condition (is there work to do? Is it Friday at 5 pm? Are there unprocessed emails ?) when they “see” the condition that they’re watching for they start a runbook in response.
Watchers have some specific requirements and importantly, Microsoft recommends logic apps as an alternative now.
How Much Does an Azure Automation Account Cost?
Here’s the good news: the Azure Automation account itself is free. Microsoft does not charge any fees for creating and maintaining an automation account. Azure Automation costs lie in the execution minutes that exceed the free-tier allocation.
Understanding Azure Automation Execution Minutes
To comprehend the cost structure better, let’s discuss what an Azure Automation execution minute entails. Job runtime is billed for every minute that an Azure runbook is executing. For example, if you have one runbook running for 30 minutes, the cost would be calculated as 1 x 30 x 0.002 = $0.06. If this runbook runs every Monday to Friday each week, the approximate monthly cost would be around $1.20.
It’s worth noting that running a constant execution runbook throughout the month is quite uncommon. However, if you have a runbook that executes every minute of every day, the cost will amount to $89.28 per month. Nonetheless, building robust and efficient runbooks is essential to Azure Automation cost optimization and ensure optimal performance. Our Azure Automation Best Practices Guide, as well as our training and other resources, can assist you in achieving this.
Logic Apps Costs
The costs for logic apps and their connectors vary by type and plan but we find that the connectors that are commonly used in conjunction with Azure Automation are incredibly good value. For example on the consumption plan the first 4000 actions are free, and then the cost is $1/€1/£1 for the next 40,000 actions. A standard connector will give 8000 actions for $1/€1/£1. Enterprise connectors are slightly more expensive but are not used in the Azure Automation use-case. To ensure you are using the latest values please check this website.
To help put these numbers into context, we can use the Kelverion Automation Value Calculator to figure out some typical Azure costs for one of our solutions. Solution deployments will involve other costs, and we will explore those details in a future blog, today our focus is on helping you understand the Azure Automation consumption costs.
When we complete the value calculation with a customer, we ask a number of questions regarding the key automation metric. e.g.
- How many servers are managed?
- How many users do you have?
- What is your turnover of users?
In this example, we will consider the Office 365 solution which uses Azure Automation to enable a simple secure and consistent management experience around Office 365.
If we consider a company with 2000 employees and a 10% turnover of staff. Then we would expect to see in the region of 100,000 execution minutes over a 12-month period. Those execution minutes will cost about $30/€30/£30. Sounds almost too good to be true doesn’t it!
It’s important to remember that these are just the Azure consumption costs, and a well-rounded and robust solution will involve other elements such as software licenses, support and other Azure infrastructure. To understand that detail it’s important to move beyond a hypothetical customer and consider your own metrics and requirements. If you would like to work through those details and populate the detailed version of the Kelverion Automation Value Calculator, then please book a call here.
Azure Automation Costs Summary
Azure Automation provides a valuable automation solution for businesses, allowing organizations to streamline operations and improve efficiency. While a free-tier option is available, it’s important to understand the Azure Automation cost structure associated with execution minutes. By staying within the free-tier allocation and building efficient runbooks, businesses can leverage Azure Automation without incurring substantial expenses. Start exploring Azure Automation today and unlock the benefits of streamlined and automated processes in your organization.
Experts in Cloud, On-Premise and Hybrid automation, Kelverion provide solutions and integrations that remove the manual process tying up IT staff; transforming the productivity, efficiency, and supportability of IT service automation. Our products utilize and enhance the power of Microsoft Azure and System Center Orchestrator.
Working closely alongside Microsoft we have developed our integrations and automation solutions to help bridge the gap between Microsoft’s automation platforms and third-party systems, in the process building key alliance partnerships with multiple vendors to ensure our products are fully certified.
Since 2010, Kelverion has expanded to become a global company, with offices now in the UK, Canada, and the US. Through this, we are able to offer and support products and professional services engagements to enterprise-level organizations no matter where they are.
For more information, to arrange a discovery call or to see a demonstration please contact our helpful team today via email@example.com.