Allocating Service Costs among Multiple Organizations

For VMs that provide service to multiple organizations, you can allocate costs to the organizations that use the service. You can adjust the percentage as required, based on usage changes.

For example, if you provide an application as a service to three organizations, you can allocate a percentage of the cost of the service to each organization. Or, in a development shop, you may have a service that's shared by development and product verification.

Best Practice: Assign ownership of all shared-cost VMs to your IT department. Organizations that use the services hosted on VMs (for example, through an http or thick client) do not typically need to own shared-cost VMs or manage them in the Service Portal.

Notes

Quota usage is based on VM ownership, not on cost allocation.

Cost allocation assigned to a template is not inherited by services deployed from that template.

Allocating the cost of shared-use VMs

Access through:

Views menu > Operational or VMs and Templates

Available to:

Administrator Access Rights

To allocate service costs to one or more organizations:

1.Right-click a VM in the tree or in a table and select Lifecycle Management > Set Shared Cost Allocation.

NotePencil-smallTo allocate costs for multiple VMs, select them in a table.

2.In the Set Shared Cost Allocation dialog, choose whether the VM Billing Report will display the VM's actual name or a billing name you specify. For example, you may want to use the name of the service or application you're providing, such as Records Database, rather than the VM name.

NotePencil-smallEntering a billing name effectively creates a group of shared-use VMs and allows you to search on this name.

3.A list of organizations appears on the left. Double-click the organizations that will share use of this service to move them to the Organizations Sharing Cost list.

4.Select each organization in the Organizations Sharing Cost list and enter the appropriate cost percentage in the Set Percentage text box. The percentage must be a whole number, and the cost allocation must add up to 100%. You can also click Balance All % to allocate costs equally among all organizations sharing the service.

In the following example, Customer X currently uses 60% of the Records Database service, Customer Y uses 20%, and Customer Z uses 20%.

allocate-costs

NotePencil-smallIt's possible to set a billing name without allocating costs to multiple organizations. Just add a single organization to the Organizations Sharing Cost list and set the percentage to 100%.

Editing and removing a shared cost allocation

If an organization is deleted, the shared cost allocation is automatically rebalanced among the remaining organizations.

If you select multiple VMs with different billing names and access the Set Shared Cost Allocation dialog, the Billing Name field displays <multiple>. If you change the billing name in this situation, the change applies to all selected VMs. See the image below.

If you select multiple VMs with different shared cost allocations and access the Set Shared Cost Allocation dialog, the Organizations Sharing Cost list displays <multiple>. If you change the shared cost allocation in this situation, the change applies to all selected VMs. See the following image:

allocate-costs-multiple

Displaying shared cost allocation information for VMs

You can search for VMs with shared costs from Tools > Search, and with search from the Virtual Machines tab. Use the following filters in the Cost category:

Billing Name - enter a billing name (enter * to find any VM with a billing name)

Shared Cost Allocation - select an organization

allocate-costs-search

The Billing Name and Shared Cost Allocation columns can be displayed in VM tables:

allocate-costs-search-results

The Costs Details dialog also displays the Billing Name and a Shared Cost Allocation table for shared-use VMs. To display cost details, double-click a VM in the list. In the Details pane, click the blue Details hyperlink.

allocate-costs-details

How shared cost allocation affects Service Portal users

As long as the organizations sharing a VM's cost allocation are not owners of the VM, there is no change for Service Portal users. Service Portal users who are logged in as organization members can only see VMs that are assigned to their organization. It's generally best practice for the IT organization to own all shared-cost VMs.

For an organization user with ownership of a shared-cost VM, the cost displayed in the Service Portal is the total cost of the VM, rather than just the portion allocated to the user's organization.

Reporting on shared cost allocation

Cost allocation information is included in the VM Billing Report. There are two report settings directly related to shared cost allocation:

Organization: If you're generating a billing report for a particular customer, you likely want to filter the report by organization.

Any Organization: VMs that are not assigned to an organization are excluded from the results.

All VMs: The report includes all VMs, regardless of organizational assignment.

You can also select a particular organization name from the drop-down list.

If you want to use a Contains operator, an advanced Organization Name filter is also available.

Cost Details: With the default option, Show all, shared-cost services are displayed in the main report table, "VM Costs to Date". To display shared-cost VMs in a separate table, select Show shared-cost services separately. Shared-cost VMs are then displayed in a table labeled "Shared Service Costs to Date", underneath the main table. To report on all shared-cost services for all organizations (and no unshared services), select Show shared-cost services only.

When a billing name is assigned to VMs, the billing name is always used in the report. When multiple VMs are assigned the same billing name and you select the default Show all, you may see multiple rows in the table with the same value for the Name column. When you select Show shared-cost services separately, by contrast, all services with the same billing name are grouped into a single table row.

NotePencil-smallIf the VM Billing Report spans a period both before and after you allocated service costs, the report includes only VMs; shared services do not appear. For example, let's say you allocated service costs on Wednesday. On Friday, you generate a VM Billing Report for the period from the previous Monday to Friday. The shared-cost VMs appear as VMs, not as shared services. If you change the period of the report so that it covers only Wednesday to Friday, then the shared services appear.
Example: Development and product verification sharing a bug tracker

In this example, the Development and Product Verification organizations share the cost of a bug tracking service. The two VMs that host the bug tracker service are owned by the IT organization.

We select and right-click the two VMs and select Lifecycle > Set Cost Allocation. Here's the Set Shared Cost Allocation dialog for this service:

allocate-costs-dev

We want to generate a VM Billing Report for the Development organization, so in the Report Generator (shown here), we select Development in the Organization Name drop-down. We want to show both the cost of VMs owned by Development, as well as the cost of the shared service that is owned by the IT organization, so we select Show shared-cost services separately in the Shared-cost Services drop-down menu.

vm-billing-allocation-settings

The following example report shows that Development owns eight VMs and uses one shared-cost service. Notice the following details related to shared-cost VMs in this report:

Cost Breakdown: Includes the Shared VM Costs line

Cost Breakdown pie chart: Includes a Shared slice

VM Summary: Does not include shared-cost services, because we opted to display them in a separate table

Service Summary: Lists all shared-cost services

VM Costs to Date: Does not include shared-cost services, because the VMs hosting the Bug Tracker service are not owned by Development

Shared Service Costs to Date: Includes a single line for the two VMs in the Bug Tracker service

vm-billing-allocation

See also VM Billing Report.