LASER Service: Microsoft's Azure Pricing Calculator

This KB article provides general information on the Microsoft's Azure Price Calculator that can be used to establish estimates for a number of compute services consumed by a given VRE project environment deployed for the LASER Service.

The new service is called LASER (Leeds Analytics Secure Environment for Research) which is a cloud based service on the Microsoft's Azure platform.

Microsoft’s Azure Pricing Calculator

The Microsoft's Azure Procing Calculator is a free cost management tool that can help you estimate your cloud costs for new Azure deployments (eg: VRE Projects), or variations of your existing workloads through a central dashboard.

It allows one to input via a dashboard the specific needs and requirements for the VRE project and determines what the price range will end up being. In addition to using the pricing calculator, one has to consider and add both the IT support costs and Infrastructure costs that will make up the total project package.

The reality is that it’s difficult to provide exact costs of a service like Microsoft Azure. It’s so complex, and the needs of one research project requirements can differ so greatly from another, that the calculator can only provide indicative or budgetary estimates. 

Microsoft's Azure Price calculator is also available :  Pricing calculator | Microsoft Azure

Azure's Price Structure

Below are the main components you should familiarize yourself with. The current model offered is the pay as you go costing model with Azure Hybrid Model enabled. Region chosen is UK South.

Virtual Machine (VM) types
The most common choices are General Purpose, Memory Optimized, or Compute Optimized. VMs are available as pay-as-you-go or reserved.


Virtual Machine Series:

Azure has a variety of Virtual Machines (VMs) for all your application needs. The following series are currently offered:

Ds-Series - General purpose compute. The D-series Azure Virtual Machines offer a combination of vCPUs, memory and temporary storage able to meet the requirements associated with most production workloads.

N Series - GPU enabled virtual machines. The N-series is a family of Azure Virtual Machines with GPU capabilities and are ideal for compute and graphics-intensive workloads.

Available VM models and other compute resource options are offered such as Shared Storage and SQL database, Web Apps, Network resources, to meet the needs of most research projects. Cost of VMs and components can change.  In this case, the word compute refers to the hosting model for the computing resources that your application runs on.

The main compute components that we add within the price calculator to build a VRE Project Type A or B for cost benefit is are as follows. Project type C requires a much more detailed discussion as additional resources are required beyond that of project A or B.

Please refer to the Related Articles top right window one of which is KB0015340 - How to use the MS Azure Price Calculator, that provides some guidance what attributes to choose and on how to use the Microsoft's Azure Pricing Calculator.

Further guidance

If you have any further queries or require further information, please consult with the LIDA's Data Analytics Team (DAT) in the first instance to discuss your initial VRE project requirements. The DAT team will make further enquires on your behalf as well as submitting your requirements, subject to approval, to IT Services to commence VRE builds and or changes to your existing VRE VM environments.

More information is available on the LIDA documentation site.

You may also wish to discuss further options by raising a Service Request for the Service Delivery Management team.