IBM SmartCloud Cost Management leverages data
from internal and external sources to create reports
by Paul Quigley
IBM SmartCloud Cost Management (formerly known as IBM Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager Enterprise Edition) provides enterprises and cloud service providers cost management capabilities for their Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas), Platform as a Service Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS) by leveraging internal and external data sources.
IBM SmartCloud Cost Management provides visibility into the usage and costs of the business infrastructure and other non-IT resources. It can help manage business costs by using advanced analytics through Cognos-based common reporting, which includes a detailed breakdown by organizational structures, such as individual departments within an IT organization or customers. You can automate the chargeback of the internal organization and external clients by integrating with accounting and billing systems.
With SmartCloud Cost Management you can understand your costs and track, allocate, and invoice based on actual resource use by department, user, and many additional criteria.
Cloud chargeback involves several key components.
First, there are the data collectors, or data sources. Second, jobs must be run (or scheduled) to get the data in to SmartCloud Cost Management. Third, there are rates and rate tables that must be defined and associated with one or more customers. The rates are then applied against the data that has been collected. Fourth, and lastly, reports must be run to generate invoices for the chargeback process.
Sources of Cloud usage data:
SmartCloud Cost Management consolidates a wide variety of usage data with data collectors associated with Cloud and virtualized resources, operating systems, databases, e-mail systems, and customized usage data import collection from any application or system.
Two of the data sources (collectors) for cloud usage metrics are:
- Tivoli Service Automation Manager (TivSAM) component within IBM Service Delivery Manager (ISDM)
- IBM SmartCloud Provisioning (SCP)
Each data source requires an extension that can be downloaded from the IBM Integrated Service Management Library at:
Note: The TivSAM extension for cloud cost management is already included in ISDM.
For more complete and comprehensive cost management, you can download other existing SmartCloud Cost Management collectors to collect usage and metering information from the hypervisors, such as VMWare, KVM, and Power.
Cloud users request services – projects with virtual servers. As the servers are provisioned, metrics are stored by TivSAM and SCP that can be used by SmartCloud Cost Management. SmartCloud Cost Management reports can be run to generate billing invoices to be sent to the cloud customers for chargeback purposes.
Rate Codes and Rate Tables:
Let’s look at the type of data that is collected in more detail. Within SmartCloud Cost Management, this data is known as a rate code within a rate table.
Rate codes define the resource, such as MBs of memory that you want to chargeback. Rate code values are the actual price to charge for using the resource associated with the rate code.
Rate tables are a grouping of rate codes and values, associated with customers. Rate tables provide the basis for generating an invoice for chargeback purposes.
You might have a single rate table for each customer. Or, you might have different rate tables for each type of hypervisor you are supporting. For example, you might charge different rates for VMware versus KVM versus Power. Or, you might have different rate tables for departments within a customer. For example, you might charge different rates for each department such as Sales versus Production versus Support.
The following graphic illustrates the rates and rate codes used by IBM SmartCloud Provisioning:
- Number of static IP Addresses
- Amount of memory in MBs
- Number of Virtual Instances
- Number of Virtual CPUs
- Amount of disk (volume) in GBs
The following graphic illustrates the rates and rate codes used by Tivoli Service Automation Manager:
- Number of hours a virtual server is provisioned
- Number of CPU hours for a virtual server
- Amount of memory in MBs
- Amount of disk (storage) in GBs
IBM SmartCloud Cost Management delivers advanced analytics through IBM Cognos-based common reporting and broadens usage metering coverage for virtualization, storage, and network.
SmartCloud Cost Management provides a reliable mechanism for cloud service providers to support Cloud chargeback processes with an accurate metering and cost rating tool for tracking business offering processes against budgets. Reports can be run to generate invoices (bills) based on customer usage of cloud resources. With the resource data (metrics) as input, you can apply the rates (defined at the customer level) to generate the invoice.
This is an example of an Invoice by Account Level report for The Big Time Company’s CloudSales department. The data for this report comes from SmartCloud Provisioning.
Data from SmartCloud Provisioning is collected when scripts are run from the command line. Typically, these scripts are scheduled as cron timers.
Data from TivSAM data is collected when the virtual servers are provisioned, by extensions within the Create Project runbook.
SmartCloud Cost Management also provides end user visibility into the cost implications of the services they are requesting. This helps IT departments lower cost while delivering IT services more efficiently, putting the decision for how much to spend in the hands of the user. If users are more aware of the cost, they might be less likely to request the largest possible server, for example.
IBM Service Delivery Manager provides several service offerings for users to see how much a service request will cost before they submit it, such as:
- View Rates - enables cloud users
to view rate values for a selected hypervisor or platform or compare rates
across all hypervisors or platforms. The users can also compare rates per
operating systems on a given hypervisor.
In the above example, we can see the cost breakdown between VMware, KVM, and LPAR.
Estimate Charges - enables cloud users to see what it would cost to run a new project in the Cloud. The Estimate Charges calculator can be used to determine what a project will cost for a duration such as hour, day, week or 30 days. It can also be used to see what the effect of changing the resources used by an existing project will do to the overall cost.
For More Information:
About IBM SmartCloud Cost Management, visit http://www.ibm.com/software/tivoli/products/smartcloud-cost-mgmt/.
About IBM Service Delivery Manager and Tivoli Service Automation Manager, visit http://www.ibm.com/software/tivoli/products/service-delivery-manager/
About IBM SmartCloud Provisioning, visit http://www.ibm.com/software/products/us/en/smartcloud-provisioning/
About the Author:
Paul Quigley is Senior Technical Enablement Specialist focused on cloud and virtualization with expertise in Tivoli Service Automation Manager, Tivoli Provisioning Manager, Smart Cloud Provisioning, and several System z automation products.