Cost models control projected costs displayed throughout Embotics® vCommander®, such as service catalog costs and deployed VM costs. They are also used to help generate historical information in reports that can assist you in managing your virtual infrastructure resources.

A cost model contains distinct CPU, memory, storage, operating system, support and optional custom costs. For private clouds, cost models enable you to assign different costs to high-end versus low-end compute resources, to different virtualization platforms, or to different groups of consumers. For public clouds, cost models enable you to overlay instance costs with additional IT support costs, backup costs and software application licensing costs.

On-premise and off-premise cost models

Cost models for on-premise and off-premise services work differently.

Cost models for on-premise services allow you to set values for memory, CPU, storage, OS and support costs.

vCommander includes a Default Private Cloud cost model for on-premise services. The Default Private Cloud cost model applies to all parts of your infrastructure not covered by another cost model.

Default Private Cloud cost model

Cost models for off-premise services, by contrast, have most values set to zero and do not include explicit settings for memory and CPU costs. Because public cloud vendors do not provide a breakdown of CPU and memory costs, vCommander determines CPU and memory costs using instance types from the public cloud provider. See also How does vCommander calculate projected public cloud costs? below.

cost-model-details-offprem

The default public cloud cost models are automatically applied when a public cloud account is added as a managed system to vCommander.

For more specific information on costing for supported public clouds, see:

Managing Amazon Web Services with Embotics® vCommander®

Managing Azure with Embotics® vCommander®

Managing Azure Classic with Embotics® vCommander®

Infrastructure and comparison cost models

Under Configuration menu > Costs, on the Cost Models tab, cost models are divided into two categories:

Cost models for supported clouds are assigned to infrastructure managed by vCommander. vCommander currently supports VMware, Microsoft SCVMM, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

Cost models for other public clouds are used only by the VM Comparative Economics Report to project costs for the following public clouds:

Google Compute Engine

IBM SoftLayer

Rackspace

These cost models cannot be assigned to parts of your virtual infrastructure. While it's possible to edit values in these cost models, you will likely not need to do so.

NotePencil-smallPublic cloud costs are estimates and are intended for planning purposes only.

How does vCommander calculate projected public cloud costs?

The following table provides links to pricing information for each public cloud vendor. For vendors with multiple pricing models, the table explains which pricing model vCommander uses to project public cloud costs.

vCommander projected public cloud costs include the following:

The various instance type costs, which typically include CPU and memory

Operating system cost differences (included in the instance type cost)

Storage costs, as defined in the table below

Per-region pricing (where applicable)

vCommander uses the key costs for supported public cloud vendors and provides a good comparison baseline. There is, however, wide variability and a large set of service offerings, so vCommander does not cover the exhaustive list. Items like prepaid volume discounts, networking and I/O, and storage and backup are treated differently by the various cloud providers.

NotePencil-smallPublic cloud costs used in vCommander Release 6.1.4 are in US dollars and are current as of June 2017.

Table: How vCommander calculates public cloud instance and storage costs

Cloud vendor

On Demand instance pricing

Storage pricing

Amazon Web Services

Amazon EC2 Pricing / Amazon EC2 Previous Generation Pricing

vCommander uses the individual per-region prices in EC2's "On-Demand Instances" pricing.

Amazon Elastic Load Balancing Pricing

Costs vary per region. vCommander uses the Elastic Load Balancer per-hour costs.

Amazon RDS Pricing / Amazon RDS Previous Generation Pricing / Amazon GovCloud RDS Pricing

Costs vary per region, database type and license model. vCommander uses the On Demand DB Instance costs for Single-AZ and Multi-AZ instances.

Amazon EC2 Pricing / Amazon EBS Pricing

Amazon EC2 and RDS storage costs vary by region and storage type. Storage costs depend on disk size and Provisioned IOPS.

vCommander does not consider volume discounts.

Google Compute Engine

Google Compute Engine Pricing

Costs vary per region.

Google Compute Engine Pricing

IBM SoftLayer

IBM SoftLayer Pricing

vCommander uses IBM SoftLayer's "Public Node" pricing for cores.

vCommander uses several of IBM SoftLayer's resource configurations to create predefined instance types for three regions: Central US (Dallas - DAL01), Europe (Amsterdam - AMS01), and Asia (Hong Kong - HKG02).

IBM SoftLayer Pricing

vCommander uses IBM SoftLayer's "SAN Storage" pricing.

Rackspace

Rackspace Pricing

vCommander uses Rackspace's  Infrastructure Service Level pricing.

Rackspace Block Storage Pricing

vCommander uses Rackspace's "Standard Volumes" pricing.

Azure

Microsoft Azure Pricing

vCommander uses regional US Dollar pricing as well as Azure's "Pay-as-you-go Plans". vCommander supports promotional instance types available at the time of publication.

Microsoft Azure Managed Disks Pricing

Microsoft Azure Unmanaged Storage Pricing

vCommander does not consider volume discounts, temporary pricing promotions on storage, or Azure Hybrid Use Benefit.

Due to an Azure limitation, costs for unmanaged standard (HDD) disks are based on allocated space, rather than used space.

vCommander uses US Dollar pricing.

Azure Classic

Microsoft Azure Pricing

vCommander uses regional US Dollar pricing as well as Azure's "Pay-as-you-go Plans".

Microsoft Azure Storage Pricing

vCommander uses US Dollar pricing.

Configuring cost models

Access through:

Configuration menu > Costs > Cost Models tab

Available to:

vCommander Roles of Superuser and Enterprise Administrator

To create a cost model: Click New Cost Model, or, to use an existing cost model as a template, select a cost model in the list and click Copy Cost Model.

NotePencil-smallFor Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, you must copy an existing cost model for that public cloud.
NotePencil-smallIf you have configured vCommander to retrieve AWS billing data, ensure that any costs you add to the AWS cost model are entered in the same currency as your AWS bill.

To edit a cost model: Select a cost model in the list and click Edit Cost Model.

Name and Targets Page

vCommander multi-tenant model allows you to target a cost configuration to a part of your infrastructure.

This page does not appear if you are editing:

the Default Private Cloud cost model. You cannot change the name or target of the default cost model.

a cost model for an unsupported public cloud. You cannot rename these cost models, and they do not have a target.

Enter a name and select one or more targets in your infrastructure. Do not assign the same cost model to both on-premise and off-premise targets. For more information, see On-premise and off-premise cost models above.

Depending on what part of your infrastructure you want to target, you can toggle between the Operational View and the VMs and Templates View. A cost model applies to the Operational view or the VMs and Templates view, not both. If you use the Operational view to assign a target, templates will not be covered by this cost model. (Templates would still be covered by the Default Private Cloud cost model, unless another cost model has been applied to the VMs and Templates view). The more templates you have, therefore, the more significant the difference between the two views becomes.

cost-model-tree

If two cost models target the same VM, the following rules apply:

The cost model nearer to the VM in the hierarchy is used.

A cost model applied to the Operational view always takes precedence over a cost model applied to the VMs and Templates view.

See also How Service Costs are Displayed in vCommander.

Resources Page

On-premise cost models: Enter yearly costs for Reserved and Allocated memory, and for Reserved and Allocated CPU.

Off-premise cost models: You cannot set memory and CPU costs for a public cloud cost model. See On-premise and off-premise cost models and How does vCommander calculate public cloud costs? above to learn more.

NotePencil-smallReserved CPU and memory are resources that can only be accessed by one VM. Therefore they warrant higher costs than allocated CPU and memory, which may be accessed by all VMs.
Storage Page

vCommander allows you to track up to seven levels of tiered storage costs based on the different types of storage media you use. The values you enter here are used to calculate and display the costs of VMs, datastores and datastore devices for reporting purposes.

NotePencil-smallYou can configure more meaningful storage tier labels.

The cost you enter for each storage tier is per year per GB.

NotePencil-smallYou cannot specify storage tier costs in Amazon Web Services cost models. If you need to edit Amazon Web Services storage costs, contact support@embotics.com.

If required, change the storage tier defined as default by selecting Set As Default. The default storage tier can be changed when a VM is deployed.

Indicate how you want storage costs to be calculated by selecting one of the following:

Provisioned Storage Sizes: vCommander uses the provisioned storage size of the VM. This option reflects the full cost of allocated storage, regardless of whether or not the allocated storage is in use.

Actual Storage Sizes: vCommander uses the storage that the VM is using at the time of calculation. This option does not take into account any storage that has been allocated to the VM but is not being used.

To learn how to assign datastores to an appropriate storage tier, see Setting the Storage Tier for a Datastore or Datastore Cluster.

Operating System Page

Enter the yearly operating system costs. vCommander detects the operating systems in use and adds them to the available choices. You can configure a global cost, costs for OS families, or costs for specific operating systems. If no cost is defined for a specific OS, vCommander uses the cost for the OS family; if no OS family cost is defined, vCommander uses the Global Default cost.

Support Page

Enter the yearly operating system support costs. The behavior of the OS support costs is the same as the OS costs (see previous section).

Custom Page

You can configure a cost for any custom attribute in vCommander. Once applied to a VM, that cost is added to the VM's nightly billing records (and thus is included in the VM Billing Report and the VM Comparative Economics Report. The cost is also added to the annual cost, which can be displayed in the Details pane of the VM's Summary tab.

NotePencil-smallIf you include a custom attribute on a service request form and if you configure that custom attribute with a cost, that cost is included in the Estimated Cost chart on the Request New Service form for users whose role allows them to see costs.

To set costs for custom attributes, select the custom attribute you want to work with from the drop-down menu and click Configure. What you see in the Custom Costing or Cost Formulas dialog depends on whether the custom attribute is a List-type or a Text-type attribute:

Text-type attributes: Enable Add this attribute's value to VM's annual cost and click OK.

NotePencil-smallTo avoid format conflicts, we recommend that Text Type custom attributes used in cost models do not contain regular expressions. All custom attributes used in cost models are validated as positive numbers. vCommander automatically validates costs (up to two decimal places) as whole numbers. To use regular expressions to validate the input for cost-based custom attributes, you must match this pattern to avoid validation failure. Note that you must use a period as the decimal separator, not a comma.

List-type attributes: You can specify costs for list-type attributes in two ways. To specify fixed costs, select Custom Cost and specify the costs for each value in the list. To calculate a custom cost for each value, select Custom Calculation and see Configuring Cost Models for more information.

To create a new attribute, click Create a new custom attribute. (See Using Custom Attributes to Add Infrastructure Metadata for more information.)

NotePencil-smallYou can apply a custom attribute value to VMs with the Set Custom Attributes command (see Applying Custom Attributes).
VM Uptime Page

To ensure accurate costs, vCommander allows you to specify whether costs are calculated continuously or only when the VM is running. A VM's uptime is stored as a percentage in the nightly billing records.

NotePencil-smallPublic cloud VMs: If a VM is powered on or off in vCommander or the Service Portal, then the uptime percentage is exact. If the VM's power state changes outside vCommander, then the state change is retrieved during the regular polling cycle, but vCommander is unable to obtain the time stamp, so the data may not be exact.
NotePencil-smallUpgrade note: Billing records created before the introduction of the VM uptime feature are considered to have an uptime percentage of 100% for reporting purposes.

This setting affects costs shown for deployed VMs, as well as costs in the VM Billing Report and the VM Comparative Economics Report.

Unlike when vCommander calculates costs based on power state history, when cost predictions are made, the VM is assumed to always be running. This means that costs shown in service catalog entries, request details, service requests emails and landing pages always show costs for running VMs. Likewise, costs shown in rightsizing recommendations also show the cost for running VMs.

In the Default Private Cloud cost model, all costs are calculated continuously by default.

In public cloud cost models, VM instance costs (memory and CPU) are calculated only for running VMs, while storage, operating system and support costs are set to be calculated continuously by default. The exception to this setting is the Amazon Web Services cost model when using the Yearly Term pricing plan, in which all costs are calculated continuously by default.

If you configured custom attributes on the previous page of the wizard, you can also specify whether these custom attribute costs are calculated continuously or only while the VM is running.

Deleting cost models

Access through:

Configuration menu > Costs > Cost Models tab

Available to:

vCommander Roles of Superuser and Enterprise Administrator

To delete a cost model, select a listed cost model and click Delete.

It's not possible to delete any of the default cost models (Default Private Cloud, Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure).

For VMs that had been assigned to the deleted cost model, the next cost model higher up the tree is applied. If no cost model is found, the Default Private Cloud cost model is applied.

If you delete a cost model target from your infrastructure, associated cost models are not deleted.