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  • Brock Peterson

Costing with VMware vRealize Operations Part 2

Last time we configured the vRealize Operations (vROps) cost settings, this time we'll explore the cost related dashboards. There are several out of the box, I'll provide a custom dashboard as well. Let's start with the most prominent one, Assess Cost, which is available on the Quick Start page.

Click the Assess Cost link at the bottom of the Optimize Capacity pillar. You'll be presented with a dashboard showing an inventory, datacenter costs, and your most (and least) expensive clusters.

The top widget gives you a basic inventory and costs. The second widget gives the user a bit more detail focused on each Datacenter, including total cost of Clusters, total cost of Datastores, and more. The bottom two Top-N widgets provide visibility into your most/least expensive Clusters.

While this is a good start, I wanted a bit more, so I cloned this dashboard and gave it a bit more detail. Top left is my revised inventory/cost summary. Top right you'll find more detail for each Datacenter. I then created four underlying views used by four view widgets showing the monthly cost breakdown for the main vSphere construct: Datacenters, Clusters, ESXi Hosts, and VMs.

To find the other out-of-the-box cost related dashboards, go to Dashboards and select the three lines next to Dashboards (top left), then go to the Cost folder.

We've already seen the first one, let's have a look at the other three, starting with the Base Rate Analysis dashboard. This dashboard starts with a descriptive Readme, providing some insight into each widget.

Below the Readme, you'll find a scoreboard widget showing the average monthly cost of each VM, the total number of VMs, and the total monthly cost of ownership for your vSphere environment. A 30-day trend line for each metric is also shown, double click on each to show more details.

The three heatmap widgets at the bottom detail CPU costs, Memory costs, and Storage costs. The CPU Base Rate Analysis heatmap offers four configurations exploring Cluster CPU cost (GHz/month) in relation to four other metrics.

  1. CPU Base Rate vs Total CPU Cost (Demand)

  2. CPU Base Rate vs Expected Utilization (Demand)

  3. CPU Base Rate vs Total CPU Cost (Allocation)

  4. CPU Base Rate vs Current Overcommit Ratio (Allocation)

The Memory Base Rate Analysis heatmap provides four configurations exploring Cluster Memory cost (GB/month) in relation to four other metrics:

  1. Memory Base Rate vs Total Memory Cost (Demand)

  2. Memory Base Rate vs Expected Utilization (Demand)

  3. Memory Base Rate vs Total Memory Cost (Allocation)

  4. Memory Base Rate vs Current Overcommit Ratio (Allocation)

The Datastore Base Rate Analysis heatmap is storage focused and provides two configurations exploring Datastore cost (GB/month) in relation to two other metrics.

  1. Storage Base Rate vs Total Datastore Cost (Demand)

  2. Storage Base Rate vs Total Datastore Cost (Allocation)

The third cost related dashboard is Datacenter Cost Drivers. It provides visibility into your private cloud datacenter costs.

The Readme at the top provides a nice description. Select a Datacenter in the middle left widget which will drive contents of the others. These are all Views, so to explore them go to Administration - Views.

The last cost related dashboard is called Showback. It allows the user to select various Groups, including Departments, Environments, Folders, Functions, and more. Once selected, the user can see a cost summary, most expensive VMs, potential cost savings if you were to rightsize those VMs, and more.

The vROps costing engine is a powerful data analytics platform. Use it strategically to show users what their resources cost, this might help when you're trying to re-claim resources.



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