Our virtual and storage environment has seen dramatic growth in the past year and a half. As such we are being forced to look at how we handle our existing resources and how we bring in more. Like most IT departments our budget is typically meant to encompass all business units and account for their needs, as unpredictable as that can be. We are looking at implementing a department charge-back policy whereby a business unit can 'buy' ESX and storage resources. Money will never really change hands but its a matter of having a solid foundation for trackability and resouce usage/owner consumption documented and detailed for justification as resources are required in the future.
Our company provides web and data services to clients. When a project comes in we want that project's pricing to include the cost of the esx and san resources. I am looking at the best way to do this and software that will assist in the reporting of resource utilization and distribution.
For instance, all of our storage is Equallogic. Mostly 6000xv's but some ps6500e's as well. A SAN cost's us about 55,000 cdn. So if you figure out usable space divided by the cost its something like 1.30 / gigbytes there abouts. So say we put a price on storage at 1.50 dollars per gigabytes. Later the customer comes back and states they need more, I want to be able to record that in a software that will graph this growth over time based against a resource pool.
My second question is, what is a fair price to charge a customer for a VM? If say for instance a dual core, 8gb of memory server with a single disk was worth 3000. Would you charge 1500 for that vm? 1000? 500? Obviously you will scale the VM to lower resources then a physical server which pretty much comes with a minimum of 4-8gb ram and a quad core cpu now. So where do you factor in your price points? How do you determine how much to charge? A percentage of the ESX host's initial purchase price?
Im really interested in how others are handling.
Hello Scott. Have you happened to have seen VMware vCenter Chargeback? It is exactly what you are asking for. Please take a look at the following page.
There are some excel spreadsheets for calculating your costs as well.
As for calculating a fair cost for the servers you provide, I think that depends on number of different factors. Mainly the initial cost of the server, electricity usage, software licensing(VMware, Microsoft,...), resources allocated, bandwidth and your departments salaries.
vCenter Chargeback will allow you to setup costs for all of these to help you determine a cost.
I'd suggest charging a monthly rate, rather than a one-off rate.
You get recurring income
KMac, thanks for pointing that out. I have been reading up on the product and am interested in brining down an eval copy when i have the time to dedicate to it. Without researching prices my gut feeling is thats its probably a fairly decent chunk of money - like a lot of VMWare products. Im not saying thats necessarily a bad thing or that they are over priced, but were not an enterprise environment with enterprise funds. I was hoping there might be some other products, even opensource, that others were aware of they could suggest. Regardless, it is on my agenda.
Bulletprooffool, thanks for that suggestion. I never actually thought of that. Surprising, because there is no gaurantee that after a test/pilot project or development work on a project that project team wont decide to eliminate or give up their resources at the end of the development cycle. Paying an outright one time fee kind of defeats the purpose if those used resources can be freed up and recycled back into the availability pool. The flip side to though, is forcing a one time fee makes them obligated to resuse the same set of vm's/storage resources for differing projects as they would have in a physical world.
Hello Scott. I completely understand your reservations about the pricing. Although what you could do is to grab a demo of the product and see how it works and the numbers/reports it generates. After that you could always create some of your own spreadsheets that serve the same purpose. As you already stated this is for internal clients so I would guess that the numbers do not have to be exact. To be honest in your situation I would make templates myself!
Good luck to you.