Tue. Jun 11th, 2024

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VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) is a comprehensive solution strategically crafted to manage Software-Defined Data Centers (SDDC). It seamlessly integrates various components to provide a unified and efficient infrastructure. The integration components within VCF contribute to its versatility, allowing organizations to streamline and enhance their data center operations.

When viewed from an operational perspective, two crucial elements come to the forefront: Metering and Billing. These elements play a pivotal role for Service Providers and Partners utilizing VMware Cloud Foundation. Metering involves the measurement and tracking of resource usage, while Billing ensures the accurate calculation and invoicing for the services provided through the SDDC.

In summary, Billing is a crucial component within VMware Cloud Foundation, enabling Service Providers and Partners to accurately invoice clients based on monitored resource utilization. This capability ensures transparent and equitable financial transactions, while also supporting optimal resource management and allocation in the dynamic environment of Software-Defined Data Centers.

What is VMware Chargeback?

VMware Chargeback is a tool provided by VMware that allows service providers to manage and allocate costs associated with virtualized environments. It helps both providers and tenants understand resource consumption and allocate costs accordingly.

VMware Chargeback functions as a plug-in for the tenants, offering a metering and billing interface. This interface facilitates the tracking, measurement, and billing of usage and services provided through the VMware Cloud Director, service.

What is New Now?

In the realm of service providers utilizing VMware solutions, there is a well-established understanding of chargeback—an approach to tracking and assigning costs based on resource usage. Service providers are typically aware of how chargeback integrates with VMware Cloud Director, a platform for managing cloud resources and services.

Now, with the introduction of VMware Aria Operations version 8.16, there is a notable transformation in the way Chargeback is handled. In this release, Chargeback undergoes complete integration into VMware Aria Operations.

Architecture:

VMware Chargeback before and After Architecture

In contrast to previous versions, Chargeback is no longer a standalone application; rather, it has been smoothly integrated into the expansive VMware Aria Operations framework. This integration indicates that Chargeback is now an integral component of a more extensive and interconnected system or platform. It has transitioned from being an isolated tool to being intricately designed to operate seamlessly within the broader context of the VMware Aria Operations framework.

Launch Points:

Launch Point for Service Provider and the Tenants

To commence the workflow, service providers will commence the process from the VMware Aria Operations page. Within this interface, they will have the capability to effortlessly integrate VMware Cloud Director with Chargeback. Subsequently, providers can proceed to establish Chargeback configurations and fine-tune various outbound settings, such as email configurations.

Moreover, providers hold the authority to articulate Pricing Policies and allocate them to the corresponding tenants. This involves specifying the rules and criteria that govern how charges are applied. Additionally, providers can delve into configuration options encompassing billing settings, enabling them to tailor the financial aspects of their services. They also have the flexibility to configure tenant notifications, ensuring timely and relevant communication. Furthermore, providers can take advantage of the system to set up and share detailed reports, facilitating transparent and comprehensive insights into the usage and costs associated with their services.

However, tenant users can access Chargeback capabilities through the VMware Cloud Director portal by utilizing the Operation Manager plugin.

Chargeback Feature in VMware Aria Operations Product Page:

Chargeback feature in VMware Aria Operations

VMware Cloud Director (VCD) Operations and Chargeback

  • All the capabilities of Chargeback (previously known as VMware Chargeback or Tenant App) are available natively in VMware Aria Operations.
  • Dedicated launchpad view for VMware Cloud Director Infrastructure layer for all key Chargeback and operations capabilities.
  • Ability to build and assign VMware Cloud Director pricing policies through VMware Aria Operations policies.
  • Ability to manage tenant view or Operations Manager (metrics, pages, and data retention).
  • Support for tenant user and email management capabilities.
  • Support for tenant reports, alerts, and notification management capabilities.
  • Chargeback overview across Organizations, OVDCs, vApps, and VMs.
  • Support for bill generation and scheduling.
  • Support for VMware Cloud Director (VCD 10.5.1 and above) on VMware Aria Operations on-prem (VMware Aria Operations 8.16).
  • New and improved operations manager plugin in VMware Cloud Director (VCD 10.5.1 and above).
  • New migration flow to migrate from VMware Chargeback (VMware Chargeback 8.16) to VMware Aria Operations based Chargeback (VMware Aria Operations 8.16) and VMware Cloud Director operations (VCD 10.5.1 and above).

Please Note: VMware Aria Operations 8.16 has many more updates, this blog just focuses on the VMware Chargeback integration.

What challenges this integration overcomes?

  • Chargeback’s features seamlessly integrate into the broader VMware Aria Operations environment.
  • Onboarding is simplified, providing a more user-friendly experience for customers.
  • No extra tasks are needed for maintenance and upgrades of the standalone application.

Useful Resources:

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