Organisations who running a hybrid cloud environment and are aspiring to take it to the next level of maturity by providing “IT-as-a Service” to their internal lines of business, are commonly challenged by two common questions:
- How to accurately calculate the “Unit Cost” of a Virtual Machine or a service based on the CAPEX and OPEX expense incurred by them
- How to show back or chargeback internal lines of business based on the running cost of their workloads & recovery margins for the consumed cloud services.
Also they often find it difficult to quantify the savings as well as the costs associated with a private cloud deployment project, although it should not be as hard as below
VMware “vRealize business for Cloud” elegantly address both these challenges. It provides an option to integrate not only with VMware based solutions like vRealize Automation & vCenter Server in a private cloud but also has an ability to support multiple public cloud service accounts on Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Microsoft Azure.
Please note, to manage and view your Public Cloud Account details such as AWS & Azure for consumption analysis and comparison, you would need vRealize Business for Cloud Advanced Edition which is part of vRealize Suite/vCloud Suite Advance or Enterprise Edition.
This is useful in a true hybrid cloud enabled by unified cloud business management capabilities, where you can define your consumers or business units which are not restricted to a Business Group in vRA or a folder structure in vCenter Serves but also allow you to include virtual machines in Public Cloud like MS Azure or AWS. This allows an organisation to see consumption for their lines of business that can combine all their cloud services from both private and public cloud end points.
For example, an organization may have a line of business called “Engineering” which is represented by a “Business Group” in vRA and is used for provisioning all production virtual machines, but at the same time they may have lot of legacy virtual machines which were directly provisioned by vCenter server and are contained in an Engineering” folder”. They may also have some DevOPS workload running under a dedicated account in AWS.
In this case, you can combine all these Virtual machines under a single “Business Unit” construct in vRBC to track and “Showback” the overall consumption & charge for “Engineering” Business Unit.
vRealize Business 7.3 offers a very clean and intuitive UI which can be used to setup your private expense and pricing policies in no time to get you going.
Let’s see how to achieve this which is primarily a two-step process,
In the first step, you will calculate the cost of running your hybrid cloud including the cost of your self-managed private cloud infrastructure as well as the cost of all your public cloud accounts. This will eventually help you to arrive at the actual unit cost of a virtual machine or a service provided by you. After finishing this step, you will accurately know how much it cost you to operate your cloud & provide certain services to your lines of business.
Once you know your overall investment in the cloud and how much it cost you for each service the next step is to “Showback” to your consumers or charge them with some recovery margins. Therefore, in this step you define your “Business Units” like in the “Engineering” example above and define your “Pricing Policies” for each category of service you are providing.
Let’s understand the overall process in details in the next few parts of this series as I will delve deeper into Private Expense Calculation, Virtual Machine Unit Cost and Cloud Consumption & Showback
vRealize Business for Cloud 7.3.1