Configuring Cost Models

Cost models control projected costs displayed throughout vCommander, such as service catalog costs and deployed VM costs. Cost models 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 cloud 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.

In this topic:

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 have most values set to zero and don't include explicit settings for memory and CPU costs. Because public cloud vendors don't 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 vCommander calculates projected public cloud costs.

Cost Model Details - Public Cloud

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:

Infrastructure and comparison cost models

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

  • Supported Clouds: Cost models for supported clouds are assigned to infrastructure managed by vCommander. vCommander currently supports VMware vCenter, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Hyper-V SCVMM.
  • Other Public Clouds: Cost models for other public clouds are used only by the VM Comparative Economics Report to project costs for the following public clouds:
    • IBM SoftLayer
    • Rackspace

These cost models can't 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.

Public cloud costs used in vCommander 7.5 are in US dollars and are current as of January 2019.

How vCommander calculates 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 doesn't cover the exhaustive list. Items like prepaid volume discounts, networking and I/O, and storage and backup costs are treated differently by the various cloud providers.

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 doesn't consider volume discounts.

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 doesn't 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.

GCP Cloud Platform

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.

If you have a custom public cloud price list, contact Embotics Support (support@embotics.com) to help you update the vCommander costs accordingly.

Updating Public Cloud List Prices

Public cloud prices used in vCommander are updated with every release and are in US dollars. To make sure your AWS, Azure and GCP list prices are current, you can use the command workflow Update Public Cloud List Prices. This workflow will update vCommander with the latest cloud list prices. The workflow checks whether your list prices are current, then updates them if necessary. You can configure this workflow to run on a recurring schedule, so that your price list is always current. Before scheduling it, you'll need to add credentials using the following procedure.

Configuring credentials for the Update Public Cloud List Prices workflow

Access through:

Configuration menu > Command Workflows

Available to:

vCommander Roles of Superuser and Enterprise Admin

Prerequisites:

To configure credentials:

  1. Go to Configuration > Command Workflows and select the Update Public Cloud List Prices workflow.
  2. Click Edit.
  3. In the Command Workflow Configuration dialog, click Next to go to Steps.
  4. For Credentials, either
    • select the REST credentials that already exist and skip the remaining steps for adding credentials (skip to step 11)
    • OR

    • click the Add Credentials link.
  5. In the Add Credentials dialog, set the Credentials Type to Username/Password.
  6. For the Name field, enter REST API.
  7. Enter the Username and Password using the credentials for the dedicated local vCommander account that you created in the prerequisites part of this procedure.
  8. Optional: Enter a Description.

    The Category will be automatically set to System Credentials.

  9. Click OK.
  10. Back in the Command Workflow Configuration dialog, click Next until you reach the Summary page.
  11. Click Finish to complete the command workflow configuration.

You can now run and schedule the Update Public Cloud List Prices workflow. For more information, see Running and scheduling command workflows.

Configuring cost models

Access through:

Configuration menu > Costs > Cost Models tab

Available to:

vCommander Roles of Superuser and Enterprise Admin

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.

Public clouds:

  • To create a new public cloud cost model, you must copy an existing cost model for that public cloud.
  • Ensure that any costs you add to the cost model are in US dollars.

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 doesn't appear if you're editing:

  • the Default Private Cloud cost model. You can't change the name or target of the default cost model.
  • a cost model for an unsupported public cloud. You can't rename these cost models, and they don't have a target.

Enter a name and select one or more targets in your infrastructure. Don't 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 Deployed View. A cost model applies to the Operational view or the Deployed view, not both.

Public cloud: Because the region can't be determined from the Deployed view targets, we recommend that public cloud cost models always target the Operational view.

Templates and images: If you use the Operational view to assign a target, templates won't be covered by this cost model. Templates are covered by the Default Private Cloud cost model, unless another cost model has been applied to the Deployed 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 Deployed 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 can't 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? to learn more.

Reserved 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

This page appears only for on-premise cost models.

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.

You can configure more meaningful storage tier labels.

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

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 doesn't 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

On-premise cost models: Enter the yearly operating system costs. vCommander detects the operating systems in use and adds them to the available selections. 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.

Off-premise cost models: You can't 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? to learn more.

Support page

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

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.

If you include a custom attribute on a service request form and if you configure the custom attribute with a cost, that cost is included in the Estimated Cost chart on the Request New Service form.

To set costs for custom attributes, select a custom attribute from the drop-down menu and click Configure. What you can do depends on the custom attribute type:

  • Text-type attributes: Enable Add this attribute's value to VM's annual cost and click OK.
  • To avoid format conflicts, we recommend that Text Type custom attributes used in cost models don't 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. 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. See Calculating Custom Costs for an example.

See also Using Custom Attributes to Add Infrastructure Metadata.

Apply custom attribute values to VMs with the Set Custom Attributes command. See also 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.

Public 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 uptime percentage may not be exact.

Upgrade 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 AWS and Azure cost models, by default, 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.

In GCP cost models, by default, VM instance costs (memory and CPU) and OS costs are calculated only for running VMs, while storage and support costs are set to be calculated continuously.

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 Admin

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, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform).

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.