Frequently Asked Questions

CostBot is a free tool that monitors your cloud costs in real-time to reduce your consumption and cloud spend. It is not a SaaS product and runs inside of your cloud tenancy, so no data leaves your system. Here are some of our FAQs.

 

  • Pricing

  • How much does CostBot cost?

    CostBot has different pricing plans to suit the size of your organization. You can start off with the Always Free plan and upgrade later if you want to save more money. Have a look at our pricing page to see the different plans.

  • Can I use CostBot for my personal site?

    Yes, although most of our customers are large enterprises, we have an Always Free plan for smaller cloud systems where we think CostBot will still be able to save you costs. Even if your costs are optimized, it's good to have CostBot monitoring your system for unwanted security or cost mishaps.

  • How many users can use CostBot?

    CostBot has no limitation on the number of users allowed within your organization, however you will need to make sure each user has a PowerApps license in order to use the CostBot Admin Portal.

  • What is a cloud Tenant or Tenancy?

    In Azure, an Organization usually has a single cloud Active Directory (AD) Tenancy. A Tenancy has Subscriptions and Subscriptions have Resource Groups. These Resource Groups contain the resources that are deployed.

    When we talk about a Tenancy or Tenant we are referring to all the resources that belong to an organization including all environments such as Prod and Non-Prod, Test and Dev accounts etc.

    The Microsoft documentation demonstrates the relationship between Management Groups, Subscriptions, Resource Groups and Resources

    The Tenancy is the same as the Root Management Group - it is everything below the root:

    scope levels • Cost Optimization
    Figure 1: How the four management-scope levels relate to each

    An enterprise organization normally would manage their departments like this, depending on the size:

    tree • Cost Optimization
    Figure 2: Example of an enterprise management structure with Tenancy at the top

    CostBot works for single Azure subscriptions and large 10 000+ employees enterprises.

  • General

  • What is a Cost Group?

    A Cost Group is a logical grouping of resources, usage and costs that can span multiple Subscriptions, Resource Groups and Resources.

    In reality, a cloud application is never just a single Subscription or Resource Group. For example, there's usually multiple environments; DEV, TEST and PROD, not to mention different standards from Group IT for how you manage your Non-Prod resources in Resource Groups.

    CostBot allows you to create Cost Groups that map to Business Units, Applications and Cost Centres as opposed to cloud technical structures, which means your Business Unit Owners can now get more accurate cost reports!

  • What is a cloud Tenant or Tenancy?

    In Azure, an Organization usually has a single cloud Active Directory (AD) Tenancy. A Tenancy has Subscriptions and Subscriptions have Resource Groups. These Resource Groups contain the resources that are deployed.

    When we talk about a Tenancy or Tenant we are referring to all the resources that belong to an organization including all environments such as Prod and Non-Prod, Test and Dev accounts etc.

    The Microsoft documentation demonstrates the relationship between Management Groups, Subscriptions, Resource Groups and Resources

    The Tenancy is the same as the Root Management Group - it is everything below the root:

    scope levels • Cost Optimization
    Figure 1: How the four management-scope levels relate to each

    An enterprise organization normally would manage their departments like this, depending on the size:

    tree • Cost Optimization
    Figure 2: Example of an enterprise management structure with Tenancy at the top

    CostBot works for single Azure subscriptions and large 10 000+ employees enterprises.

  • How are we different from other products on the market?

    CostBot does a few things better in our opinion:

    • We not only make cost-saving suggestions; we also take remediation action. This means that you can implement the recommendations that CostBot suggests or you can just let CostBot make the change for you to save time. Most cloud products out there do not take remediation action for you.
    • One of the other key differences with CostBot is that all data resides in your own tenancy. CostBot is not a SaaS product and in our opinion, it could be considered a security risk to send your private cloud data over the internet. We think your data should stay firmly in your tenancy! CostBot will install to the Resource Group and Subscription of your choice and run as normal cloud services. If you want to, you can monitor it and apply any policies and security policies in your organization to CostBot itself.

  • Can I use CostBot for my personal site?

    Yes, although most of our customers are large enterprises, we have an Always Free plan for smaller cloud systems where we think CostBot will still be able to save you costs. Even if your costs are optimized, it's good to have CostBot monitoring your system for unwanted security or cost mishaps.

  • How does support work?

    We offer free community support for the free version of CostBot through our website. Customers of CostBot have access to a Premium CostBot Support Plan which entitles them to a number of calls per month for premium support.

  • What level of technical knowledge do I need to use CostBot?

    None whatsoever. CostBot is a standalone suite of products considering of a Bot, an Admin Portal, Cost Dashboards and some other services. It is aimed at Project Managers, SysAdmins, Cost Centre admins and Directors.

  • How do I install CostBot?

    CostBot can be installed from the Microsoft Azure Marketplace for free.

    All the components of CostBot will be installed into your cloud where you choose to put it and CostBot will immediately start running and finding expensive, oversized resources for you.

  • How many users can use CostBot?

    CostBot has no limitation on the number of users allowed within your organization, however you will need to make sure each user has a PowerApps license in order to use the CostBot Admin Portal.

  • Azure

  • What is a cloud Tenant or Tenancy?

    In Azure, an Organization usually has a single cloud Active Directory (AD) Tenancy. A Tenancy has Subscriptions and Subscriptions have Resource Groups. These Resource Groups contain the resources that are deployed.

    When we talk about a Tenancy or Tenant we are referring to all the resources that belong to an organization including all environments such as Prod and Non-Prod, Test and Dev accounts etc.

    The Microsoft documentation demonstrates the relationship between Management Groups, Subscriptions, Resource Groups and Resources

    The Tenancy is the same as the Root Management Group - it is everything below the root:

    scope levels • Cost Optimization
    Figure 1: How the four management-scope levels relate to each

    An enterprise organization normally would manage their departments like this, depending on the size:

    tree • Cost Optimization
    Figure 2: Example of an enterprise management structure with Tenancy at the top

    CostBot works for single Azure subscriptions and large 10 000+ employees enterprises.

  • Security

  • Does CostBot make changes to my resources?

    Only if you want it to. We have 2 modes - one is Read-Only where CostBot will only suggest and recommend cost-saving actions for you to take. The other is where you let it govern your resources. You can choose to do this by the environment, so for example, you might only let CostBot implement suggestions in non-production resources.

  • What permissions does CostBot need in my Tenancy?

    CostBot can work in 2 different modes. The most basic functionality requires a Service Principal with Reader at the Tenancy Level.

    For more advanced functionality, such as letting CostBot implement the cost-saving suggestions for you, Contributor is required, however this is completely optional. Why not try the free version first in Read-Only mode?

    No 3rd party or Guest accounts need to be created for CostBot to work - no external access is required to your system. Please ask your IT Team to contact us if they have any concerns so we can have a chat about the security controls in place for CostBot.

  • Does any of my data leave my Tenancy/Cloud?

    No. This is one of the key differences with CostBot over other products that do cost optimization. In our opinion it could be considered a security risk to send your private cloud data over the internet to a SaaS product or service. We think your data should stay firmly in your tenancy!

    CostBot will install to the Resource Group and Subscription of your choice and run as normal cloud services. If you want to, you can monitor it and apply any policies and security policies in your organization to CostBot itself.

    No 3rd party or Guest accounts need to be created for CostBot to work - no external access is required to your system. Please ask your IT Team to contact us if they have any concerns so we can have a chat about the security controls in place for CostBot.

  • My IT department says that CostBot is a security risk?

    CostBot uses the same permissions as someone who would be viewing the costs and resources on your system, plus the data never leaves your cloud. All cost and resource information is stored securely in Azure within your Subscription with the same security controls backed by Azure Active Directory.

    No 3rd party or Guest accounts need to be created for CostBot to work - no external access is required to your system. Please ask your IT Team to contact us so we can have a chat about the security controls in place for CostBot.

  • Cost Optimization

  • What types of resources do you optimize for cost?

    We scan all your resources looking for oversized, zombie (unused) or unnecessary resources. CostBot finds the biggest cost wins with services like Storage Accounts, VMs and SQL Databases that are often misconfigured and over-scaled.

    With each version of CostBot we are adding more cost-savings recommendations for more cloud services.

    If you do Big Data or Machine Learning CostBot monitors for unwanted spend on SQL Data Warehouses, Azure Analysis Services, Databricks and other expensive services. If it is not in use and not paused then CostBot will handle it for you!

  • Cost Management

  • What type of reports and dashboards can I get?

    CostBot has the usual Budget versus Forecast, Usage and other standard reports you would expect, however you can get these same reports and dashboards at your Cost Group level, not just at a Subscription or Resource Group level, and best of all you do not need to do any complex tagging to use it.

    For example, you could have a project team for a specific application spanning multiple resources - now you can send the Project Manager an automatic monthly breakdown of their costs by user!

  • What is a Cost Group?

    A Cost Group is a logical grouping of resources, usage and costs that can span multiple Subscriptions, Resource Groups and Resources.

    In reality, a cloud application is never just a single Subscription or Resource Group. For example, there's usually multiple environments; DEV, TEST and PROD, not to mention different standards from Group IT for how you manage your Non-Prod resources in Resource Groups.

    CostBot allows you to create Cost Groups that map to Business Units, Applications and Cost Centres as opposed to cloud technical structures, which means your Business Unit Owners can now get more accurate cost reports!

  • Budgeting and Forecasting

  • What type of reports and dashboards can I get?

    CostBot has the usual Budget versus Forecast, Usage and other standard reports you would expect, however you can get these same reports and dashboards at your Cost Group level, not just at a Subscription or Resource Group level, and best of all you do not need to do any complex tagging to use it.

    For example, you could have a project team for a specific application spanning multiple resources - now you can send the Project Manager an automatic monthly breakdown of their costs by user!

  • What is a Cost Group?

    A Cost Group is a logical grouping of resources, usage and costs that can span multiple Subscriptions, Resource Groups and Resources.

    In reality, a cloud application is never just a single Subscription or Resource Group. For example, there's usually multiple environments; DEV, TEST and PROD, not to mention different standards from Group IT for how you manage your Non-Prod resources in Resource Groups.

    CostBot allows you to create Cost Groups that map to Business Units, Applications and Cost Centres as opposed to cloud technical structures, which means your Business Unit Owners can now get more accurate cost reports!

  • Getting Started

  • How do I install CostBot?

    CostBot can be installed from the Microsoft Azure Marketplace for free.

    All the components of CostBot will be installed into your cloud where you choose to put it and CostBot will immediately start running and finding expensive, oversized resources for you.

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