Costing with VMware vRealize Operations Part 1
Updated: Apr 27
Continuing along in our VMware vRealize Operations series, this blog will focus on the costing features of vROps. From application owners to executives, everybody wants to know what things cost, we can use vROps to determine that.
Before we dig into the costing dashboards, we should first make our configuration settings. The first order of business is to set your currency. After initial installation, you will be prompted with the banner here.
Select the Actions dropdown, choose Go to Global Settings.
Select Currency, make your choice, and click SET CURRENCY.
Next, let's set the cost calculation time via Administration - Management - Global Settings - Cost Calculation. Calculations are made every 24 hours at this time, unless you've run them manually.
Now let's look at the Cost Settings, found in Administration - Configuration.
There are five tabs: Cost Drivers, Cluster Cost, Cloud Providers, Pricing, and Cost Calculation Status. We'll explore each, but let's start with the Cost Settings cog icon at the top.
You can depreciate your hardware from two to five years and select the depreciation model. Documentation of these models can be found here: https://docs.vmware.com/en/vRealize-Operations-Manager/8.1/com.vmware.vcom.core.doc/GUID-64712F5A-254F-42E0-8DFC-40B619E2E890.html
Back to the Cost Settings dashboard itself, let's explore the Cost Drivers tab. As described, "Cost Drivers are the expense types used by vROps to calculate the cost of your private cloud. The total private cloud cost is the sum of cost drivers. Changes that are made to Cost Drivers are reflected only after the next run of the cost engine. You can trigger a manual cost calculation and check its status in the Cost Calculation Status tab." Documentation can be found here: https://docs.vmware.com/en/vRealize-Operations-Manager/8.1/com.vmware.vcom.config.doc/GUID-9D162B8A-FBF8-4713-901C-6E3A1A5B7AEA.html
Select a Datacenter (or All Datacenters) and explore.
The numbers you see are based on industry standards, but can be changed. Explore them by clicking the links under the Private Cloud Cost Driver heading. Let's have a look at Server Hardware : Traditional.
This is the list of Servers in your environment, how many you have, and total monthly cost for them. To see details, edit configurations, and add cost for a partial server model, expand the dropdown.
You will notice the number of servers, the reference purchase date, purchase type, and cost. You can edit these and add costs by clicking the ADD COST PER SERVER button. Once done, click the "Select Servers(s) for customization", choose the server you want to adjust and input the adjust Date, Type, and Cost, then click the SAVE button.
You can make these same adjustments for Server Hardware : Hyper-Converged and Storage Cost Drivers. The License cost driver allows us to assign licensing costs.
Here you will see your Total Monthly Cost for Licenses based on industry standards, which are published in the bottom pane for each group. You can adjust each License cost based on a Per Socket basis or an ELA. Click SAVE once done.
Application Costs are based on applications defined in your environment. Maintenance allows you to assign maintenance costs for the OS and/or the hardware itself, industry standards are 20% and 10% respectively.
Labor allows you to assign labor costs by Operating System, Servers, and VM.
Network allows you to assign network costs for individual servers (ESXi Hosts) per Network Interface Controller or for network expenses related to public clouds. vROps doesn't calculate network costs below the ESXi Host.
Facilities allows you to enter power and cooling costs and general operational costs associated with facilities.
The last option for Cost Drivers is Additional Cost, which allows you to add any additional costs not covered by other categories.
Back to the Cost Settings panel allows us to explore the remaining columns. Cluster Cost is described as "...derived from cost drivers. VM costs are calculated by multiplying Base rates with the utilization of the VMs. Base rates are calculated from the total cost of the cluster and the capacity of the cluster as determined by the settings below. Cluster Base Rate calculation method is Cluster Usable Capacity after HA and Buffer." This is adjustable by clicking the CHANGE button, here you have two options.
The Cloud Providers tab allows you to manage your public cloud costs. Out of the box, vROps shows the big four: AWS, IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. If you'd like you can add others via the ADD button.
You can download the default rate cards for each provider, edit them to your specifications, then upload.
The Pricing tab allows you to add new pricing based on the NEW PRICING CARD button. Once selected you will be guided through the process. Pricing is different from Costing in that Pricing reflects what you charge your customers.
The last tab is Cost Calculation Status. It will show you the Calculation status, Start Time, Finish Time, and a description. Cost calculations are made every 24 hours and can be set via Administration - Management - Global Settings - Cost Calculation. You can also kick off a calculation with the RUN button.
Part 2 of the vROps costing series will focus on the Cost related dashboards, there are several to explore.