Billing and Metering
Now that we have the our SmartCloud up, we need to get familiar with how it works and what we can do with it. Now most of us will be interested in setting up request approval, billing, and user/project control. But before we do those things we need to enable them and check the values are what we require. Now in the previous blog entry we mentioned how to turn these on -
To turn on billing, configure these in the properties files in the .skc dir in the user home dir
Once this is enabled we can also look at changing and update the cpu, memory, disk value.
This is the directory tht is used by IBM SmartCloud Entry as a product catalog -
Three files that effecgt billing charges rates -
(taken from the readme) -
The default collector will look at a specific virtual machine property (as defined by the Cloud) and use the value of the property as the units of product to buy, at the products price. For example, IBM VMControl 2.3.x exposes a VM property called "Processor.VirtualQuantity", this property can be used to know the amount of CPUs allocated to a VM, and hence used to charge the VM for a "CPU Cloud product."
For example take a look at the following product:
<description>The amount of CPUs used in a virtual machine at a rate of $1 per hour.</description>
<pricing currency="USD" interval="60" price="0.0167"/>
The product above specifies that the default SKC collector will collect charges on virtual machines using the amount of CPUs assigned to them, exposed via the "Processor.VirtualQuantity" property, at a rate of 0.0167 cents every 60 seconds or roughly $1 per hour. The reason why it is important to collect at an interval less than the actual described rate (i.e., seconds instead of hours), is so that users looking at their bills get a higher resolution approximation of their actual charges, having an accurate look at the charges might be important for accounting purposes, or in situations where account credit is limited.
SmartCloud Entry can send e-mail notification for several user and admin related events, such as the completion of a workload, account creation, and more. In order to get these notifications it is necessary to configure a properties file in the home directory.
To setup notification for SmartCloud Entry follow the steps described below:
- Open the email.properties file in the SCE home directory.
- Set the com.ibm.cfs.email.relay.host property to the hostname of the relay host that IBM Starter Kit for Cloud should use for outgoing SMTP emails.
- Optionally, you can set the e-mail subject prefix for all SmartCloud Entry e-mails and the “from” name, by setting the following properties respectively:
You can globally disable e-mail notifications in SmartCloud Entry completely by setting the com.ibm.cfs.email.default.notifications property in the email.properties file to false.
Configuring Advanced Features
The administrator can pre-configure the appliances to simplify its deployment for the users. Configuration the properties can be made through the SmartCloud Entry web user interface or through the deployment.properties file in the SCE home directory.
In order to simplify the deployment process for the users, it is recommended that an administrator configures all of the virtual appliances prior to making SmartCloud Entry available to its users. Virtual appliance customisation often requires knowledge of the low level details of the environment or having advanced knowledge of the data centre of which the user may not be familiar.
Configuring a staging project
By default, SmartCloud Entry will scan the cloud for new appliances periodically. When SCE finds a new appliance it places it in the Public project where anyone can deploy it. SCE also allows configuring of a 'Staging' project where newly discovered appliances will show up rather than having them put directly into the Public project. This allows the adminstrator to configure the the appliances and to then move them to a different project (Public or a specific project) to give the correct visibility to the users.
So to configure this staging project add or uncomment this line in the deployment.properties file:
You can also choose whether you want your users to see the advanced deployment options or just the basic options.
The advanced options gives the user a finer-grained level of control over the level of resources consumed by the appliance. You may or may not want to show this advanced panel to the end-user, so to configure the visibility of the advanced deployment options, please follow these steps:
- Open the deployment.properties file in the SCE home directory.
- Set the deployment.advanced.form.enabled property to false. This will disable the advanced deployment option and it will not be shown to the end user. However, administrators will continue to see the advanced deployment option in the user interface. The default value of this property is true.
- Save the deployment.properties file and restart the SmartCloud Entry server.