How to Reduce Azure Bastion Costs Without Sacrificing Your Network Security

If you want to explore different ways to reduce the costs associated with using Azure Bastion while still maintaining the necessary level of network security, you are at the right place. 

We will discuss different cost-cutting tactics for optimizing your Azure Bastion usage, such as employing smaller VM sizes, scaling down resources, and leveraging features like session timeouts and idle timeouts.

You will have a better grasp of how to balance cost and security when utilizing Azure Bastion by the end of this article.

What Is Azure Bastion and How Does It Work?

Azure Bastion is a completely managed solution supplied by Microsoft that allows you to safely and seamlessly connect to your virtual machines (VMs) in Azure. Azure Bastion eliminates the requirement for a public IP address or VPN connection, making it a great solution for remote access to Azure VMs. 

Azure Bastion employs the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol, which encrypts data in transit, to protect the security of the connection. Because Azure Bastion employs Virtual Network (VNet) peering, all traffic between your VMs and Azure Bastion is private and does not pass over the public internet. 

What Are the Different Azure Bastion Pricing Options According to Each Region?

The cost of Azure Bastion depends on two things:

  1. 1

    The location in which the service is deployed.  

  2. 2

    The amount of hours the service is used. Each Azure Bastion zone has a different hourly price, with some places being more expensive than others.

In most areas, Azure Bastion costs between $0.19 and $0.22 USD per hour. The hourly rates are as follows for a few particular areas:

  • US East: $0.19 USD per hour

  • US West: $0.19 USD per hour

  • Europe West: $0.21 USD per hour

  • Asia Pacific Southeast: $0.22 USD per hour

Azure Bastion Basic Vs Azure Bastion Standard; Which Solution Is Cheaper?

Azure Bastion Basic is generally cheaper than Azure Bastion Standard, although it has less functionality.

Azure Bastion Basic grants VMs RDP and SSH connectivity via the Azure portal. It's great for situations where you just need a basic remote access solution and don't need capabilities like RDP/SSH session recording or Azure Active Directory integration.

While Azure Bastion Standard offers features like RDP/SSH session recording, Azure AD connectivity, and support for Remote Desktop Gateway. But it also increases the price.

How Does Azure Bastion Compare to Similar Platforms in Terms of Pricing?

Azure Bastion's pricing is often competitive when compared to rival remote access platforms. However, the real prices will vary depending on several factors, including the region in which the service is installed, the amount of data transferred, and the length of the session.

Pricing structures and costs for other remote access systems, such as VPN gateways and remote desktop gateways, may change. VPN gateways often charge based on data transported and the number of connections, whereas remote desktop gateways may charge based on user count.

When evaluating cost, it's essential to evaluate each platform's features and capabilities to determine which one best matches your needs. You should also consider any potential additional expenditures, such as network egress fees or gateway deployment costs.

What Services and Features Does Azure Bastion Offer to Its Users?

Azure Bastion provides its users with a variety of services and capabilities, including:

  1. 1

    Secure remote access

    Azure Bastion allows secure RDP and SSH access to Azure virtual machines (VMs) via the Azure portal, eliminating the need for a public IP address or VPN.

  2. 2

    Network security

    Azure Bastion communicates securely via the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol and does not require any inbound ports to be open on the VMs.

  3. 3

    Recording RDP/SSH sessions

    Azure Bastion Standard allows you to record RDP and SSH sessions for auditing and compliance purposes.

  4. 4

    Multi-factor authentication

    Azure Bastion offers multi-factor authentication for extra security during remote access.

  5. 5

    Session and idle timeouts

    Azure Bastion allows customers to specify session and idle timeouts, which helps to save money by immediately disconnecting inactive sessions.

What Are the Most Common Use Cases of Azure Bastion?

Azure Bastion is commonly used for the following scenarios

  • Compliance and auditing

    Azure Bastion Standard supports recording RDP and SSH sessions, which can be valuable for compliance and auditing.

    This tool allows you to keep track of who has accessed your virtual machines and what activities have been made, assisting you in staying in compliance with regulatory obligations.

  • Reduced attack surface

    Azure Bastion removes the requirement for inbound ports on VMs to be open, which can assist to minimize the attack surface and improve overall security.

  • Simplified network design

    By eliminating the requirement for a separate VPN gateway, Azure Bastion can simplify your network architecture. This can lower costs while also improving overall network performance.

  • Azure AD integration

    Azure Bastion offers Azure Active Directory integration, allowing you to use existing user accounts and access settings for remote access to VMs.

How to Configure Azure Bastion for Your Organization for Maximum Performance?

To configure Azure Bastion for maximum performance, you can follow these best practices:

  1. 1

    Deploy Azure Bastion in the same region as your virtual machines to minimize network latency and improve performance.

  2. 2

    To deploy Azure Bastion, use a virtual network (VNet) with at least one subnet. By doing this, you can make sure that any traffic you use for remote access stays on your network and avoids using the public internet.

  3. 3

    To enhance performance, think about employing larger VM sizes for the Azure Bastion host. Scaling the VM size can help to accommodate more concurrent sessions since Azure Bastion Standard enables up to 10 concurrent RDP/SSH sessions per VM.

  4. 4

    To increase scalability and availability, use Azure Bastion with Azure Load Balancer. Multiple Azure Bastion instances can share traffic through Azure Load Balancer, offering a highly available remote access solution.

  5. 5

    Enable RDP and SSH session recording if compliance or auditing requirements dictate it. This feature allows you to record and replay RDP/SSH sessions for auditing purposes.

  6. 6

    Use Azure Monitor to monitor Azure Bastion and the health of the associated resources. This can help you to detect and troubleshoot issues before they impact your users.

What Are the Benefits and Limitations of Azure Bastion?


  • Network security

    Azure Bastion communicates securely via the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol and does not require any inbound ports to be open on the VMs. This eliminates the need to expose your virtual machines to the public internet, lowering the danger of attack.

  • Centralized management

    Since Azure Bastion is administered through the Azure portal, all remote access connections can be centralized managed and monitored.

  • Integration with Azure AD

    Azure Bastion enables authentication using Azure Active Directory, adding an extra degree of security to remote access.

  • Scalability

    Azure Bastion can manage huge numbers of concurrent sessions, making it suited for enterprises of all sizes.


  • Cost

    Azure Bastion may be more expensive than alternative remote access solutions, particularly if used regularly or for extended periods.

  • Limited to Azure VMs

    Azure Bastion does not support access to other cloud platforms or on-premises resources; it can only be used to access Azure VMs.

  • Limited to RDP and SSH

    Azure Bastion does not support FTP or HTTP; it only supports the RDP and SSH protocols.

  • Limited functionality

    Azure Bastion may not provide all of the features and functionality that some users require for their specific use cases.

Best Practices to Get the Most out of Azure Bastion Services with Less Costs

Here are some effective practices for maximizing Azure Bastion services while minimizing costs

  • Use Azure Bastion Basic if possible

    If you don't require the sophisticated capabilities of Azure Bastion Standard, such as session recording, choose the Basic tier to save money.

  • Right-size your Azure Bastion host

    Think about how many concurrent sessions you'll need to handle and select a suitable Azure Bastion host size to minimize over-provisioning and needless charges.

  • Shut down Azure Bastion when not in use

    If you only need to use Azure Bastion at particular times of the day, consider scheduling the Azure Bastion host to shut down during non-business hours. This can save money by avoiding payments for underutilized resources.

  • Optimize virtual machine sizes

    Take into account the size of the virtual machines you access with Azure Bastion and select appropriate sizes to minimize over-provisioning and needless charges.

  • Use Azure Cost Management

    Azure Cost Management can assist you with tracking and optimizing your Azure Bastion expenses. Use this tool to track your expenses and identify places where you may cut costs.

  • Use reserved instances

    If you know you'll be using Azure Bastion for a lengthy period, consider using reserved instances to save money on computing charges.

  • Use Azure Bastion with multiple VMs

    Instead of deploying a separate Azure Bastion host for each VM, consider employing a single Azure Bastion host to support several VMs.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, Azure Bastion is a grea tool that provides an easy and safe option to access the different Azure VMs available, but it is necessary to take into account the company's prices and restrictions. 

Throughout this article, we talked about the different regions' pricing options for Azure Bastion, the services and capabilities it offers, and the best ways to configure and optimize Azure Bastion for optimum performance and financial savings.

You can make the most of Azure Bastion while minimizing costs by adhering to best practices and managing your utilization.  

About the author


Youssef is a Senior Cloud Consultant & Founder of

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