TA03 An Introduction to VMware vCenter Chargeback

 vCenter Chargeback will be released somewhere in 2009, no release date is given by the speaker. A public beta will start in March and will be available as a download off the VMware website for all. It will be part of vCenter as a plugin. Chargeback will use it’s own database.  

Around 10 to 20% of virtualization users are using chargeback at the moment.  

We need a chargeback model in a virtualized world because the way costs are charged is changed. In the physical world the business owned the server their application was running on. Each server was runnig one application. It is clear what the costs for hardware, storage, power etc are.

In the virtual world IT owns the hardware and makes services available to the business. One server is running many applications.

Because it is so easy to create a new virtual machine server sprawl is likely to happen when no control is done. Also, users tend to think a virtual machine is free. That is not the case. A vm is cheaper than a physical server but not free. Chargeback makes it possible to give insight in the costs involved. What does it cost to use two vCPU’s instead of 1 vCPU.

Chargeback model can also be used for a showback. Show the business what it costs to run servers and prepare the business for the introduction of chargeback where they actually have to pay for consumption of resources.

Virtualization changes the need for chargeback. While in 2007 only 5 % of IT manager thought chargeback was an important piece of management, in 2008 this changed to 56%.

Fixed, allocation, and utilization based costing and be used.

Fixed costing has a fixed price regardless of the usage of the virtual machine

allocation costing is based on the allocated resources, regardless if the resources are fully utilized or not. This is the most populair way of chargeback.

Utilization costing is based on the actual usage of resources. If a user does not use CPU or memory, no charging is done.

Costs based on the consumption of resources listed below can be charged.

CPU – GHz Used
Memory – GB Used
Disk – GB Used
Disk I/O – GB used
Network I/O – GB used

If you are not sure of the costs of CPU etc VMware will make available the VMware cost model calculator which is an Excel worksheet. It will be made available when the product goes GA.

Reports on the costs can be published as PDF or made available on a website. Reports can be customized.




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