Retrieving Azure Billing Data

You can configure Commander to retrieve Azure billing data. Retrieving billing data improves the accuracy of costing reports and Cost Analytics, because these reports include metered usage costs such as Storage and Network I/O. Billing data is retrieved immediately after you configure the billing data location. During a nightly scheduled task, the billing data is merged with the existing billing data in the VM billing records.

Azure provides daily billing reports and Commander retrieves a maximum of 60 days' worth of billing data. Commander can retrieve data from before the Azure account was added as a managed system. Commander also retrieves Azure billing data for VMs that have never been managed by Commander. For example, if an Azure account was added as a managed system 90 days ago, and you configure Commander to retrieve billing data today, Commander retrieves the last 60 days' worth of billing data for all Azure VMs that have existed at any point over the last 60 days. As another example, if you add an Azure account as a managed system today, and you configure Commander to retrieve billing data today, Commander retrieves the last 60 days' worth of billing data for all Azure VMs that have existed at any point over the last 60 days, including VMs that were never managed by Commander.

To learn more about how Commander handles services it has not managed, see Billing data for VMs not managed by Commander below.

The method of retrieving Azure billing data depends on whether you have an Azure Enterprise Agreement (EA) account. To retrieve Azure billing data if you don't have an EA account, follow the steps for Retrieving Azure billing data for a non-Enterprise Agreement account. To retrieve Azure billing data if you have an Azure EA account, follow the steps for Retrieving Azure billing data for an Enterprise Agreement account.

If you have an EA account, but you configure the system for a non-EA account, the billing data retrieval may fail, or the resulting reports may show values that differ from your actual payments.

Retrieving Azure billing data for a non-Enterprise Agreement account

Access through:

Views menu > Inventory > Infrastructure or Applications

Available to:

Commander Roles of Superuser and Enterprise Admin; Administrator Access Rights

  1. Right-click an Azure managed system in the tree and choose Retrieve Billing Data.
  2. In the Retrieve Azure Usage and Cost Data dialog, select Enable Azure billing data retrieval.
  3. Select the Offer Type, which is the type of package you set up when you registered with Azure.

    The most common Offer Type is Pay-As-You-Go, and this is also the default. For more information on Offer Types, see https://azure.microsoft.com/en-ca/support/legal/offer-details/.

  4. Click OK.

    AWS Billing Data Settings Azure

    Sixty days of billing data is retrieved immediately, and a nightly task will update future records.

Retrieving Azure billing data for an Enterprise Agreement account

Access through:

Views menu > Inventory > Infrastructure or Applications

Available to:

Commander Roles of Superuser and Enterprise Admin; Administrator Access Rights

  1. Right-click an Azure managed system in the tree and choose Retrieve Billing Data.
  2. In the Retrieve Azure Usage and Cost Data dialog, select Enable Azure Enterprise Agreement billing data retrieval.
  3. AWS Billing Data Settings EA

  4. Enter the Enrollment Number that you received when you signed the Azure Enterprise Agreement contract.
  5. Enter the Billing API Access Key.
  6. For instructions on how to generate the billing API access key, go to https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/billing/billing-enterprise-api.

  7. Click Test to validate the enrollment number and check that the billing API access key is valid and hasn't expired.
  8. Click OK.
  9. Sixty days of billing data is retrieved immediately, and a nightly task will update future records on a daily basis.

Disabling the retrieval of Azure billing data

To disable billing data retrieval for an Azure account:

  1. Right-click an Azure managed system in the tree and select Retrieve Billing Data.
  2. In the Retrieve Azure Usage and Cost Data dialog, select Not Configured and click OK.

Commander will no longer retrieve billing data for this managed system.

Troubleshooting

The following error message may show up on the Retrieve Azure Usage and Cost Data dialog after you enter your billing API access key: "Unable to access the Billing API service. The enrollment number might be incorrect, or the API access key is invalid or has expired." If your key has expired, you'll need to regenerate it. For instructions on how to generate the Billing API Access key, go to https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/billing/billing-enterprise-api.

Billing data for VMs not managed by Commander

Commander also retrieves Azure billing data for VMs that have never been managed by Commander, including charges for:

  • VMs that exist only between Commander synchronizations with Azure, such as VMs spawned and torn down by an Auto Scaling Group
  • VMs that existed only before the Azure account was added as a Commander managed system
  • VMs that existed only when the Commander service was down
  • existing VMs, including for periods before the Azure account was added as a Commander managed system

When a VM not managed by Commander is discovered in the Azure billing report, the following occurs:

  • a cost model is applied to the VM, based on its location in the Infrastructure or Applications tree
  • ownership information is applied by the Default Ownership policy, or is inherited from the parent Resource Group

The Default Attributes policy doesn't affect VMs discovered in the Azure billing report.

Billing data for all Azure services

When billing data retrieval is configured, Commander's cost analytics data accurately reflects the total cost you'll have to pay on your Azure bill and includes costs for services that Commander doesn't manage. Examples of such services include but are not limited to:

  • data management
  • security center
  • business analytics
  • data services

On your Azure bill, some of the costs for services may be divided into sub-categories. These sub-categories don't show up in Commander's cost analytics data. Only the total cost for a service is displayed.

If you have an Enterprise Agreement account, but configure the system for standard billing data retrieval, the resulting reports may show values that differ from your actual payments.

Ownership of each service will reflect the ownership policy that you set up on the managed system, region, or resource group level.

Tax and Azure support plan fees are not included in the list of services because they are charged on a monthly basis.