Azure: General FAQs

The time it takes to collect data depends on the amount of data we are collecting.

In terms of billing data, CloudCheckr processes data every 12 hours. In addition, the time it takes to process billing data depends on the size of the account and if the billing data is for the current month or for a historical month.

For average-sized accounts:

  • CloudCheckr will process the current month within 10-20 minutes.
  • CloudCheckr will process all months within an hour of account creation.

For larger accounts:

  • CloudCheckr will process the current month within 3-4 hours.
  • CloudCheckr will process all months within 12-24 hours.

In terms of inventory and usage data, CloudCheckr processes data every 24 hours. In addition, the time it takes to process inventory and usage data depends on the size of your Azure deployment.

  • For smaller accounts, CloudCheckr will process data within 15 minutes.
  • For larger accounts, CloudCheckr will process data within 30-60 minutes.

Here are definitions of each cost type:

Standard Cost: The cost that the EA/MCA/CSP pays to Microsoft. CloudCheckr writes this cost to the Azure Usage Report. Standard Cost corresponds to the amount that Microsoft sends as an invoice.

List Cost: The custom cost that CloudCheckr recalculates. You can configure List Cost to be based on Standard or Retail Cost. For configuration options, visit our Azure Configure Custom Cost topic.

Retail Cost: The recalculated cost of services based on what the subscription would pay if they were a pay-as-you-go account with no agreement with Microsoft.

Your credentials for an Enterprise Agreement (EA), Microsoft Customer Agreement (MCA), or Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) account only give you access to cost data.

Your credentials do not provide you with direct access to the inventory and usage data for the subscriptions within that account. If you want to report on subscriptions in an account and get access the inventory and usage data, you must create and credential a subscription account in CloudCheckr. You can provide users with access to these subscription accounts so they can view their inventory and usage data.

Azure charges a very small fee per API call, which CloudCheckr uses to access your account. As an example: If you have 1 million blob storage containers, Azure will charge $0.05 for CloudCheckr to inventory those files. For 1 billion blob storage containers, the cost would be $5.00.

Yes. CloudCheckr will import and display your Azure Advisor and Azure Security Center checks in your subscription(s). You can find these on separate tabs in the Best Practice report.

CloudCheckr is compatible with Azure Commercial, Government, and Germany. When you configure your Azure accounts in CloudCheckr, you'll be able to select one of these three options.

CloudCheckr does not support Azure China.

Here are the main differences:

  • EA accounts: for customers with an Enterprise Agreement with Microsoft who need to collect EA billing data. Used for cost reporting, customizations, and invoicing.
  • MCA accounts: for customers with an Microsoft Customer Agreement who need to collect billing data. Used for cost reporting, customizations, and invoicing.
  • CSP accounts: for customers who are CSPs with Microsoft who need to collect CSP billing data. Used for cost reporting, customizations, and invoicing.
  • Subscription accounts: for any type of subscription: Pay-As-You-Go, EA, MCA, or CSP — where you need to collect inventory and usage data. Used for Best Practices, Inventory, Security, and Rightsizing.
  • Active Directory/O365 accounts: for customers who are using Office 365 who need to collect O365 user licenses, OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams data.

Yes, you can see your billing data and usage information in CloudCheckr.

  • Billing: Log in to your CSP account in CloudCheckr to view your Office 365 billing data. In the Advanced Grouping report for your CSP account, you can group by Consumed Service: Office 365 to view Office 365 data.
  • Usage: Log in to your Active Directory account in CloudCheckr to view your Office 365 usage information. An Active Directory account is required because CloudCheckr accesses the Office 365 data through Microsoft Graph, which Active Directory accesses and manages. Once you configure your Active Directory account, CloudCheckr will automatically build the Office 365 usage reports.

When a subscription moves from one CSP account to another, Azure assigns the subscription a new Subscription ID but retains the original Entitlement ID. CloudCheckr will only display the Entitlement ID in Cost reports since Azure retains that parameter throughout the lifecycle of the subscription while the Subscription ID is subject to change.

Yes. When your Enterprise Agreement enrollment changes due to a renewal, you will need to add the new enrollment into CloudCheckr. You can keep the previous enrollment in CloudCheckr to maintain historical costs.

We recommend adding both enrollments to a Multi-Account View (MAV) so you can see both historic and current costs.

CloudCheckr extracts consumed service from the Azure Resource ID—not from meter information. For example, if a customer attaches a managed disk to a virtual machine (VM), CloudCheckr will display the managed disk under the Compute consumed service. If a customer leaves the disk unattached, CloudCheckr will display the managed disk under the Storage consumed service.

In the Advanced Grouping report, you can include the Instance ID in your filter to see how CloudCheckr populates consumed service.

Leveraging our example, the output will look like:


The final bill will be loaded into CloudCheckr a few days into the new billing month. You can use the table below to determine when your finalized bill will be available in CloudCheckr:

Type of Account Billing Month Expected to Finalize
Enterprise Agreement &
Microsoft Customer Agreements
Calendar Month
  • Finalization happens on the 6th of the next month.
  • Example: September will be finalized on October 6.
Classic CSPs (non-NCE) Non-Calendar Month

Example: 28th - 27th
  • Finalization happens 3 days after the end of the billing month.
  • Example: If the billing month ended on September 27, then finalized data will be available on September 30.
Plan CSPs (NCE) Calendar Month
  • Plan CSPs delay writing current month cost on or around the 26th. This date varies customer to customer.
  • Finalization happens sometime around the 6th and 10th of the following month.
  • Example: September cost ends on September 26, and becomes finalized on October 10.

Depending on how your Azure account is configured in CloudCheckr, CloudCheckr may or may not align with Azure Cost Manager.

Billing vs Cost Management

Microsoft billing differs from cost management. Billing is the process of invoicing customers for goods or services and managing the commercial relationship. Reports in Cost Management show the usage-based costs consumed by Azure services and third-party Marketplace offerings. Costs are based on negotiated prices and factor in reservation and Azure Hybrid Benefit discounts. Collectively, the reports show your internal and external costs for usage and Azure Marketplace charges.

Account Limiting

Account limiting is a feature in CloudCheckr that allows customers to limit what costs from subscriptions are ingested in CloudCheckr. By default this option is disabled. If this option is enabled and in use, CloudCheckr will only ingest cost for the subscriptions and/or tenant/directories specified. This will cause CloudCheckr to report costs lower than Azure Cost Manager.

Microsoft 365

Specific to CSPs, CloudCheckr by default will include Office 365 (non-Azure Plan) or one-time billing items (Azure Plan). Azure Cost Manager does not include these services.

Timing of when Data is Written

Microsoft writes new cost data every 6-8 hours whereas CloudCheckr checks for cost data two times a day. Timing of when cost data is reviewed and when it is published can cause CloudCheckr to be lower than Azure Cost Manager.

Although you may have the roles required for CloudCheckr to collect cost, your organization may require an administrator to approve the authorization of your request. You will need to reach out to your organizations administrator(s) for approval when initating or reinitating consent.

How did we do?