Cost is an interesting thing when developing on and for Azure.
A team now has direct influence on the run cost of the different environments. Not only development and test but also staging and production is in their influence zone.
With the right insight in environment cost a team can make architectural decision based on environment billing information.
For example, within Azure you can put all the code in an Azure VM, which is easy (lazy) and pretty expensive when you have them On all the time. Specially when you have Azure VMs for al stages.
See graph below, a team before 22 November everything on VM’s and always on, after 22 November with some more awareness the costs went down with almost 70%.
Project Azure costs, before and after being aware of the environments costs of their environments.
Other example, moving functionality from VMs to Azure Cloud Services lowers the price a bit (and finally also lower the operational costs). But moving Data from an Azure SQL Server to Table Storages is also a very beneficial move. Or moving a Worker Role to Azure Schedule Jobs or Web Jobs really pays off.
Below the Azure Billing costs of a project which tightly makes architectural decisions based on costs. For the team it is a challenge to constantly lower the daily cost.
With the daily updated Azure Costs insight they can see bad decisions (see spike) and good decisions (the big drop) immediately.
Also the slight rising of daily costs over time is something to pay attention to. Although the teams adds new functionality constantly the costs stays almost the same on a daily base.
Teams can get with Azure much more cost aware. For this to happen teams need daily updated insight in costs.
Read more: http://clemensreijnen.nl/post/2015/01/17/Insight-and-Self-Servicing-needs-for-Dev-Test-Teams.aspx