VCP-IaaS Study Notes: Section 3.3

This is Section 3.3 in the VCP-IaaS blueprint Guide 1.2. The rest of the (completed) sections can be found here.

For this section i HIGHLY recommend trying all these procedures in vCenter Chargeback before taking the exam. This is a dry subject but it will get a little bit better if you have the Chargeback GUI in front of you while going through this section. Chargeback is a very neccesary part of the vCloud and expect to be asked on this subejct.

Identify vCenter Chargeback cost elements

  • You must know about the vCenter Chargeback Manager cost-related elements to effectively create and configure a cost model. vCenter Chargeback Manager includes the following cost related elements.
    • Chargeable computing resource
    • Base rate
    • Rate factor
    • Fixed cost
    • Billing policy
    • Cost model
    • Cost template

List cost element attributes

  • Chargeable computing resource
    • vCenter Chargeback Manager accounts for the following computing resources:
      • CPU The CPU usage is measured in GHz.
      • Memory The memory usage is measured in GB.
      • Network bandwidth The network usage (both upload and download) is measured in GB/hour.
      • Storage The usage is measured in GB.
      • Disk Read and Write The usage is measured in GB/hour.
      • vCPU The number of virtual CPUs in the virtual machine.
      • If the VMware Cloud Director Data Collector and vShield Manager Data Collector is installed, vCenter Chargeback Manager also accounts for the following resources:
      • Count of Networks The number of networks that belong to an organization or a vApp in Vmware Cloud Director.
      • NAT Service Whether the NAT service for VMware Cloud Director network is enabled or not.
      • DHCP Service Whether the DHCP service for VMware Cloud Director network is enabled or not.
      • Firewall Service Whether the firewall service for VMware Cloud Director network is enabled or not.
      • IPSec VPN Tunnel Count The number of enabled IPSec VPN tunnels.
      • External network transmit and receive The external network usage (both upload and download) is measured in MB.
      • External network transmit and receive rate The external network usage (both upload and download) is measured in MB/hour.
  • Base rate
    • Base rate is a global rate that you want to charge for a unit of chargeable computing resource used, reserved, or allocated for a specific duration.
    • The base rate duration is configurable. vCenter Chargeback Manager lets you define the base rate for an hour, day, week, month, quarter, half-year, or year for each computing resource. The precision for a base rate value is four digits.

  • Rate factor
    • Rate factor is the multiplication factor to be used along with the base rate to calculate the charge for a unit of chargeable computing resource used or allocated for a specified duration. Rate factors are useful when you want to charge the entities in a hierarchy differently.
    • The rate factors enable you to apply a cost that is a multiple or a fraction of the base rate. The rate factor value can be between 0 and 999.99. The precision is up to two decimal places.

  • Fixed cost
    • A fixed cost is a definite cost that can be charged on an entity. Fixed costs can be recurring costs or one-time costs.
    • Recurring costs that are charged periodically for specific resources or services can be defined as fixed costs in the application. For example, the annual maintenance cost for the network or for each server. Costs that are applicable to almost all the entities and hierarchies can be defined as fixed costs. This lets you update such costs periodically and manage them centrally. It also ensures that all the entities and hierarchies are uniformly charged for common services and resources.
    • A one-time fixed cost is a charge that you want to levy once on an entity for a service provided. For example, virtual machine provisioning fees. This is a one-time cost that you want to charge for every virtual machine provisioned. If the time when the fixed cost is applied on an entity falls within the reporting duration, then the report generated on the entity or its parent includes this cost.
  • Billing policy
    • A billing policy determines the cost types and the amount of chargeable computing resources units to be considered for calculating the chargeback cost. vCenter Chargeback Manager provides the various billing policies. Each billing policy only accounts for the amount of resource consumed, reserved, or allocated during the reporting duration.
    • See next bullet for descriptions.
  • Cost model
    • A cost model defines base rates for the chargeable computing resources, the currency, the billing policy to be used for calculating the total cost, and other costs.
    • The other costs include cost for the guest operating system installed on the virtual machine and cost for vServices such as, High Availability, Fault Tolerance, and virtual machine creation and deletion cost. A cost model also enables you to define different billing policies for different time periods. After you define a cost model in the application, you can define rate factors and fixed costs on entities or hierarchies for the selected cost model. You can also use the cost model to generate various reports.
  • Cost template
    • A cost template consists of entity-specific cost configuration details. These are rate factors for the chargeable computing resources and the fixed costs.
    • You can set these values in a cost template and use the template to configure the costs on one or more entities in the hierarchies.

Describe default billing policies and cost models

  • Fixed Cost
    • Only the fixed costs associated with each entity in the chargeback hierarchy is considered for billing. The actual usage of the chargeable computing resources is ignored.
  • Actual Usage
    • In this policy, the actual utilization of the chargeable computing resources of the virtual machines is determined. The total cost is then calculated by using the base rates set in the cost model and the actual used units of the chargeable computing resources.
  • Reservation Based
    • This policy takes into account the capacity of a chargeable resource reserved for a virtual machine. vCenter Server allows only CPU and memory reservation. This reserved capacity of CPU and memory along with the actual utilization of other chargeable computing resources is used for calculating the total cost.
  • Allocation Based
    • This policy takes into account the user-defined allocation units of chargeable computing resources for the chargeback entities. The allocated units along with the base rates defined in the cost model is used for calculating the total cost.
  • CPU Reservation
    • CPU capacity reserved for a VM
    • Actual utilization of the chargeable computing resources
  • Memory Reservation
    • Memory capacity reserved for a VM
    • Actual utilization of the chargeable computing resources
  • Maximum of Usage and Reservation
    • Maximum used and reserved units of CPU and memory
    • Uses the higher amount, eg. If used is higher one day than it is used etc. Pay for at least the reserved and if you use more, you pay for what you use.
    • Actual utilization of the chargeable computing resources
  • Maximum of CPU Usage and CPU Reservation
    • Maximum used and reserved units of CPU
    • Uses the higher amount, eg. If used is higher one day than it is used etc. Pay for at least the reserved and if you use more, you pay for what you use.
    • Actual utilization of the chargeable computing resources
  • Maximum of Memory Usage and Memory Reservation
    • Maximum used and reserved units of memory
    • Uses the higher amount, eg. If used is higher one day than it is used etc. Pay for at least the reserved and if you use more, you pay for what you use.
    • Actual utilization of the chargeable computing resources
  • Fixed Cost and Actual Usage
    • Fixed Costs
    • Actual utilization of the chargeable computing resources
  • Fixed Cost and Allocation
    • Fixed Costs
    • User-defined allocations units of the chargeable computing resources
  • Fixed Cost and Reservation
    • Fixed Costs
    • Reserved capacity of CPU and memory
    • Actual utilization of the chargeable computing resources
  • Fixed Cost and CPU Reservation
    • Fixed Costs
    • Reserved capacity of CPU
    • Actual utilization of the chargeable computing resources
  • Fixed Cost and Memory Reservation
    • Fixed Costs
    • Reserved capacity of memory
    • Actual utilization of the chargeable computing resources
  • Fixed Cost and Maximum of Usage and Reservation
    • Fixed Costs
    • Maximum used and reserved units of CPU and memory
    • Calculated like the Maximum of Usage and Reservation Billing Policy.
    • Actual utilization of the chargeable computing resources
  • Fixed Cost and Maximum of CPU Usage and CPU Reservation
    • Fixed Costs
    • Maximum used and reserved units of CPU
    • Calculated like the Maximum of Usage and Reservation Billing Policy.
    • Actual utilization of the chargeable computing resources
  • Fixed Cost and Maximum of Memory Usage and Memory Reservation
    • Fixed Costs
    • Maximum used and reserved units of Memory
    • Calculated like the Maximum of Usage and Reservation Billing Policy.
    • Actual utilization of the chargeable computing resources
  • vCPU Count and Memory Size
    • Number of vCPUs
    • Total amount of memory allocated
    • Actual utilization of the chargeable computing resources
  • Fixed Cost and vCPU Count and Memory Size
    • Fixed Costs
    • Number of vCPUs
    • Total amount of memory allocated
    • Actual utilization of the chargeable computing resources
  • If you install the VMware Cloud Director Data Collector, then the following billing policies are also available:
    • VMware Cloud Director Billing Policy – Actual Usage
      • User-defined allocations units for count of networks, enabled IPSec VPN tunnels, NAT, DHCP and firewall services.
      • Actual usage for all other computing resources
    • VMware Cloud Director Billing Policy – Allocation Pool
      • Actual usage for external network transmit and external network receive computing resources.
      • User-defined allocation units for all other resources.
    • VMware Cloud Director Billing Policy – Overage Allocation Pool
      • The overage cost for CPU based on the actual usage and for memory based on allocation.
      • Actual usage for external network transmit and external network receive computing resources.
      • User-defined allocation units for all other resources.
    • VMware Cloud Director Billing Policy – Reservation Pool
      • Actual usage for external network transmit and external network receive computing resources.
      • User-defined allocation units for all other resources.
    • VMware Cloud Director Billing Policy – Pay As You Go Fixed Charging
      • Actual usage for external network transmit and external network receive computing resources.
      • User-defined allocation units for all other resources.
      • Fixed cost on entities.
    • VMware Cloud Director Billing Policy – Pay As You Go Resource Based Charging
      • User-defined allocation units for vCPUs and memory ONLY if VM is powered on.
      • Actual usage for external network transmit and external network receive computing resources.
      • User-defined allocation units for all other resources.
    • VMware Cloud Director Billing Policy – Networks
      • Actual usage for external network transmit and external network receive computing resources.
      • User-defined allocation units for all other resources.

Create/Edit billing policies

  • Create
    • A billing policy defines an expression that is used for identifying the amount of computing resources units to be considered for calculating the costs. Therefore, a billing policy must account for all the computing resources. The billing policy contains an expression for each resource. The expression includes an attribute value that identifies the computing resource units to be considered for cost calculation. The attribute values can be allocation, reservation, size, and usage. The attribute value reservation is available only for CPU and memory. The attribute value size is available only for memory.
    • The expression can be set to obtain the maximum of available attributes. You can also define an expression that calculates the resource units only if the virtual machine is on. Also, for storage resources, you can specify whether the expression must account for thin provisioned disks as thick provisioned. A billing policy can also account for the fixed costs and the state of the virtual machine.
      • In the Manage Cost tab, click Billing Policy.
      • Click Create.
      • Provide a name and description for the billing policy.
      • Select the Expression tab.
      • Select a resource and define an expression for it.
      • To include only an attribute, select the required attribute from the Attribute drop-down menu. The following attributes are available in vCenter Chargeback Manager.
        • Allocation: The user-defined allocation value for the resource is considered for cost calculation.
        • Usage: The actual resource usage is considered for cost calculation.
        • Reservation: The amount of resource reserved by the user is considered for cost calculation. This attribute is available only for CPU and memory.
        • Burstable Utilization: This attribute lets you account for the 95th percentile of actual utilization. This attribute is available only for the external network transmit rate and external network receive rate computing resources.
        • To obtain a maximum of a set of attribute values, click MAX and then select the required attributes from the Attribute drop-down menu.
        • To calculate the resource units only for the powered-on virtual machine, first select the VM Power On/Off option and then define the required expression for the selected resource.
        • To account for the storage linked clones, select the Distribute Linked Clones option. This option is available only if you define an expression for the storage resource. Accounting for linked clones is only supported with vCenter Server 4.0 and later.
        • To charge thin provisioned disks as thick provisioned, select the Charge as Thick Provisioningoption. This option is available only if you define an expression for the storage resource. Charging asthick provisioning is only supported with vCenter Server 4.0 and later.
        • Repeat this step for each computing resource. You can select All other resources from the Resourcedrop-down menu and define an expression for all the computing resources for which an expression has not been defined in the billing policy.
        • (Optional) Select Add/Include Fixed Cost to consider the fixed costs during cost calculation.
        • Click Create.
    • Example: a billing policy that accounts for the maximum of reservation and usage for CPU and memory only for virtual machines that are powered on, maximum of allocation or usage for storage and also consider the linked clones, and allocation value for all other resources.

  • Edit
    • In the Manage Cost tab, click Billing Policy.
    • Select the required billing policy from the table and click Edit.
    • (Optional) Modify the name and description on the General tab.
    • Select the Expression tab and modify the required expressions.
    • To modify only the expression for a resource, select the resource, click Clear selected expression, and define the new expression.
    • If you want to delete a resource from the list of resources and corresponding expression, select the resource from the list and click Delete row. You can delete all the resources by clicking Delete All.
    • You can include or exclude fixed costs by selecting or deselecting the Add/Include Fixed Cost option.
    • Click Save.

Manage cost models

  • vCenter Chargeback Manager provides a default cost model called Default Chargeback Cost Model. The cost models defined in the application can be viewed and managed from the Cost Models page of the Manage Cost tab.
  • You can start using the application by creating a chargeback hierarchy and generating basic reports using the default cost model. You can modify this cost model as per your requirements. You can also create and manage multiple other cost models.
  • If you have installed the VMware Cloud Director Data Collector, vCenter Chargeback Manager provides few more cost models:
    • VMware Cloud Director Actual Usage Cost Model
    • VMware Cloud Director Allocation Pool Cost Model
    • VMware Cloud Director Overage Allocation Pool Cost Model
    • VMware Cloud Director Reservation Pool
    • VMware Cloud Director Pay As You Go – Fixed Charging Cost Model
    • VMware Cloud Director Pay As You Go – Resource Based Charging Cost Model
    • VMware Cloud Director Networks Cost Model
  • NOTE! These cost models do not define any base rates or fixed costs. You must modify the cost models and set the required base rates and fixed costs before using them for generating reports. If you define and include fixed costs in these cost models, ensure that you modify the corresponding billing policies and select the Add/Include Fixed Cost option.
  • Create:
    • In the Manage Cost tab, click Cost Models.
    • Click Create.
    • Provide a name description for the cost model and set the currency type in the General tab.
    • In the Billing Policy tab, set the period for which the billing policy will be effective.
    • Default is Update from now onwards, can also be Update for the effective period.
    • Select the required policy from the Billing Policy list.
    • In the Base Rates tab, set the period for which the base rates will be effective.
    • Default is Update from now onwards, can also be Update for the effective period.
    • Set the base rate and the corresponding duration for the computing resources.
    • The duration can be Hourly, Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, Half-yearly, or Yearly. In vCenter Chargeback Manager, a duration value of Monthly is equal to 30 days, Quarterly is equal to 91 days, Halfyearly is equal to 182 days, and Yearly is equal to 365 days.
    • (Optional) Select Overage to define an overage rate for the corresponding computing resource.
    • An overage rate lets you charge different rates for the allocated units and the units used beyond the allocation.
    • (Optional) If you have selected the Overage option, specify the rate to be charged for the allocated units of the computing resource and that for the units used beyond the allocation.
    • Set the cost for vServices in the Other Costs tab.
    • vServices include high availability, fault tolerance, and creation and deletion of virtual machines. You can specify whether these vServices costs are prorated and also whether the virtual machine power state needs to be considered.
    • Specify the fixed cost for various guest operating systems and the duration for charging the same.
    • Click Create.
  • Edit:
    • In the Manage Cost tab, click Cost Models.
    • Select the cost model that you want to modify, and click Edit.
    • In the General tab, modify the name and description as required. (cannot change the curreny).
    • In the Billing Policy tab, modify the billing policy and the effective time period.
    • (Optional) To fetch the current billing policies set in the cost model, select the Update for the effective period option, specify the required time period, and click Get.
    • To add another billing policy, set the effective time period, select the billing policy, and then click Set.
    • In the Base Rates tab, modify the base rates for the chargeable computing resources, the duration, and the effective time period.
    • (Optional) To fetch the historical base rate values, select the Update for the effective period option, specify the required time period, and click Get.
    • Click the Show link next to Historical values.
    • To add another set of base rates, set the effective time period, set the base rates and corresponding duration, and then click Set.
    • Optional) To create or modify the overage rate for a computing resource, select Overage and provide the rate to be charged for the allocated units of the computing resource and that for the units used beyond the allocation.
    • Modify the fixed cost for vServices and guest operating systems in the Other Costs tab.
    • Click Save to save all your changes.

Edit cost configuration of an entity

  • The entity-specific cost configuration details can be set from the Configure Cost tab.
  • The cost configuration is applied on an entity for the specified cost model and time period. These cost configuration details will be considered when a report is generated on the entity using the specified cost model.
    • In the Configure Cost tab, click Edit Entity Cost.
    • Select the required hierarchy from the hierarchies included in the drop-down menu.
    • Expand the hierarchy and select the entity for which you want to configure the costs.
    • Select the cost model for which you want to specify entity-specific cost configuration details on the selected chargeback entity.
    • Specify the duration for which the cost configuration will be effective.
    • Default is Update from now onwards, can also be Update for the effective period.
    • (Optional) Select a cost template from the Apply a Cost Template drop-down menu.
    • The rate factors and fixed costs defined in the cost template are populated in the corresponding fields on the screen.
    • Enter the rate factors for the computing resources in the Rate Factors tab and click Update Rate Factors.
    • In the Fixed Costs tab, select the required fixed cost from the Apply a Fixed Cost drop-down menu and click Add to the list.
    • (Optional) Check the Propagate option corresponding to an added fixed cost, if the cost has to be applied to the child entities of the entity on which the cost template is applied. You can also specify whether the cost must be applied to all descendants or only to the immediate child entities. You can also select a filter to ensure that the cost is applied to specific entity types. When a cost report is generated, the fixed costs on the child entities are rolled-up to the parent entity.
    • Click Update Fixed Costs to set the added fixed costs on the entity.
    • Select the Enable/Disable Billing tab to configure the billing status.
      • Enable:This option enables billing on the entity for the specified time period. You can use this option if billing was earlier disabled on the entity for the specified time period.
      • Disable: Select this option if you want to disable billing on the entity for the specified time period.
    • Click Update Billing.

Manage physical infrastructure costing

  • In vCenter Chargeback Manager you can define rate factors also at the host and cluster level and the datastore level. You can do this from the Edit Infrastructure Cost page of the Configure Cost tab.
  • When you create a report Chargeback first checks wether any entity-specific cost configuration is set on the entity/entities for the selected cost model, and uses that to create the report.
  • If there are no entity-specific cost configuration details for the selected cost model, Chargeback checks whether any rate factors are set at the host and cluster level and the datastore level for the virtual machines on which reports are being generated.
  • vCenter Chargeback Manager lets you set rate factors at the hosts and clusters level. You can charge all the virtual machines in a cluster or on an ESXi host uniformly by setting rate factors at the hosts and clusters level.
    • In the Configure Cost tab, click Edit Infrastructure Cost.
    • Select Hosts & Clusters from the drop-down menu.
    • Expand the Hosts & Clusters folder by clicking the plus sign.
    • Click the plus sign next to Clusters to view the clusters defined in the vCenter Server instances added to vCenter Chargeback Manager.
    • Select the cluster or an individual ESXI host for which you want to define the rate factors.
    • Select a cost model from the drop-down menu.
    • Specify the duration for which the rate factors will be effective.
    • (Optional) Click Show next to Historical values to view the historical base rate and rate factor values of all the computing resources for the specified time period.
    • Specify the rate factors for the required computing resources and click Update Rate Factors.
    • Click OK in the information dialog box.
    • vCenter Chargeback Manager lets you define rate factors for individual datastores. You can also create tiers, add datastores to the tiers, and set rate factors at the tier level.
    • Set the same rate factor for multiple datastores or VM storage profile.
  • Create a tier:
    • In the Configure Cost tab, click Edit Infrastructure Cost.
    • Select DataStores from the drop-down menu.
    • Click Create Tier at the bottom of the left panel.
    • Provide a name for the newly created tier and click outside the editable tier name field.
  • Modify a name of a tier:
    • In the Configure Cost tab, click Edit Infrastructure Cost.
    • Select DataStores from the drop-down menu.
    • Right-click the tier folder whose name you want to modify and select Edit label.
    • Enter the new name for the tier folder and click outside the editable tier name field.
  • Add Datastore to Tier:
    • In the Configure Cost tab, click Edit Infrastructure Cost.
    • Select DataStores from the drop-down menu.
    • Expand the ungrouped folder by clicking the plus sign (+) next to it.
    • Right-click the datastore that you want to add to a tier and select Move this Datastore to another tier.
    • Right-click the tier folder to which you want to add this datastore and select Put the Datastore/Storage Profile in this tier.
  • Set Rate Factor on a Tier, Datastore or Storage Profile:
    • In the Configure Cost tab, click Edit Infrastructure Cost.
    • Select DataStores from the drop-down menu.
    • Select the tier for which you want to configure the rate factor.
    • Select the cost model from the drop-down menu.
    • Select the duration for which the rate factor will be effective.
    • Specify the rate factor and click Set.
    • Click OK on the information dialog box.
    • Move a Datastore or Storage Profile to another Tier:
    • In the Configure Cost tab, click Edit Infrastructure Cost.
    • Select DataStores from the drop-down menu.
    • Expand the tier folder containing the datastore or storage profile that you want to move.
    • Right-click the datastore or storage profile that you want to move to another tier and select Move this Datastore to another tier.
    • Right-click the tier folder to which you want to move this datastore and select Put the Datastore/Storage Profile in this tier.

Manage pricing matrix for virtual machine

  • vCenter Chargeback Manager provides functionality to charge a fixed cost for virtual machines in a hierarchy based on the vCPU count and memory.
  • You can define one or more pricing matrices for the virtual machines in your hierarchies, such that the virtual machines are charged a fixed cost based on the vCPU count and memory bundle. This cost is applied only for the duration when a virtual machine is powered on and is not pro-rated.
  • A price matrix is associated with a cost model and can contain multiple cost entries for different vCPU count and memory bundles. You can also define a criterion to specify the hierarchies for which the price matrix is applicable. You can define multiple pricing matrices with different hierarchy selection criteria for each cost model defined in vCenter Chargeback Manager. Each hierarchy selection criteria for a selected cost model must be unique. Also, each entry in the pricing matrix must be unique.
  • vCenter Chargeback Manager applies the fixed cost defined in the pricing matrix on the virtual machines in a hierarchy by running a job that periodically checks for new and updated hierarchies, and hierarchy selection criteria and the corresponding pricing matrix. Based on the hierarchy and entity selection criteria, the application uses the corresponding pricing matrix to apply the fixed cost on the virtual machines in the hierarchies that match the specified criterion as follows:
    • vCenter Chargeback Manager checks for the hierarchy selection criteria and the corresponding pricing matrices defined in it.
    • vCenter Chargeback Manager uses the pricing matrix corresponding to the first matching criterion for each hierarchy.
    • vCenter Chargeback Manager first searches for a row in the pricing matrix that has the same vCPU count as in the virtual machine.
    • If such a row is not found, then vCenter Chargeback Manager selects the row with the next higher value of vCPU count than in the virtual machine.
    • For the selected vCPU count, vCenter Chargeback Manager checks for a memory value equal to or higher than the memory in the virtual machine.
    • If a row with the vCPU count or memory value equal to or higher than the vCPU count or memory in the virtual machine is not found, then vCenter Chargeback Manager uses the default cost configured in the matrix.
  • NOTE For hierarchies imported from vCloud Director, the vCPU count and memory allocation values synchronized from the vCloud Director database is considered for applying the fixed cost. For hierarchies created in vCenter Chargeback Manager, the vCPU count and memory utilization values synchronized from the vCenter Server database is used for applying the fixed cost. If a virtual machine configuration is changed, then the corresponding change in the fixed cost is applicable from the time the configuration change is effected. If the fixed cost in the pricing matrix is changed, then the change is effected from the next run of the job.

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