Shared Cost Allocation

You can allocate service costs to multiple organizations that share VMs or VM templates. To allocate service costs, you set the allocation percentage for each organization. The total allocation percentage must be 100%, which ensures that any cost remains are fully allocated.

If there are changes in usage, you can adjust the allocation percentage. If an organization is deleted, the shared cost allocation is automatically rebalanced among the remaining organizations.

Note: Cost allocation assigned to a template isn't inherited by services deployed from that template.

To allocate costs to multiple organizations, you can:

  • Split the total percentage of cost allocation evenly across all organizations.
  • Set the cost allocation proportionally to the consumption of each organization.

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.

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.

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) don't typically need to own shared-cost VMs or manage them in the Service Portal.

Allocating shared VM costs

Access through:

Views > Inventory > Infrastructure or Applications

Available to:

Administrator Access Rights

To allocate service costs to one or more organizations:

  1. From the inventory tree, select a VM or a VM template.
  2. On the Summary page, select Actions > Lifecycle Management > Set Shared Cost Allocation.

    Tip: To allocate costs for multiple VMs, select the VMs from the table on the Virtual Machines tab.

  3. In the Set Shared Cost Allocation dialog, specify whether the VM Billing report will display the VM's actual name or a Billing Name you specify.
  4. For example, you can enter the name of the service or applications you're providing, such as Records Database.

    Note: Entering a Billing Name creates a group of shared-use VMs and allows you to search on this name.

  5. From the list of organizations on the left, double-click the organizations that you want to add to the Organizations Sharing Cost list.
  6. From the Organizations Sharing Cost list, select each organization and enter the appropriate cost percentage in the Set Percentage box.

    Tip: You can also click Balance All % to allocate costs equally among all organizations sharing the service.

Reporting on shared cost allocation

If you want to view information about shared VM costs, you can generate a VM Billing report. The following report settings in the VM Billing report generator are directly related to shared cost allocation:

  • Organization: Specifies which organizations to include in the report. If you're generating a billing report for a particular customer, you can filter the report by organization.
  • Cost Details: Specifies how to display services with shared costs.

    Note that when you assign a Billing Name to multiple VMs and set the Cost Details setting to Show all, you may see multiple rows with the same value for the Name column. When you set the Cost Details setting to Show shared-cost services separately, all services with the same Billing Name are grouped into a single table row.

Tip: You can also set a Billing Name without allocating costs to multiple organizations. To do so, add a single organization to the Organizations Sharing Cost list and set the percentage to 100%.

Note that if the VM Billing Report spans a period both before and after you allocated service costs, the report includes only VMs and shared services don't appear. For example, you allocate service costs on Wednesday. Then, you generate a VM Billing Report on Friday 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.

For more information about the VM Billing report, see VM Billing Report.

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

Note: For GCP, if the cost source is shared, permissions to view costs and anomalies aren't respected between the shared groups, so all groups can see the shared cost, regardless of permissions.

On the Results tab, the VMs with shared costs are displayed. Billing Name and Shared Cost Allocation columns can be displayed in VM tables.

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

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 signed 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.