Enabling Chargeback in a Service Provider Cloud by Kristian Nese

Enabling Chargeback in a Service Provider Cloud by Kristian Nese

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imageIf you read Michael Lubanski’s article on whether you have a private cloud or not, you’ll understand that in Cloud and Datacenter Solutions Huborder to actually have a “cloud” you need to enable the five essential characteristics of cloud computing. If you don’t meet those requirements, it’s not a bad thing – it just means that you don’t have a cloud. No shame in that. Just be aware that you need elasticity, ubiquitous access, self-service, shared resources and metered services.

Metered services is important because one of the big advantages of cloud computing is the “pay as you go model”, where you only pay for what you use. This allows you to shift capital expenditures to operating expenditures – which most financial leaders in your organization are going to prefer. And that’s the topic of today’s blog post by Kristian Nese, proclaimed SCVMM ninja! Kristian will show you how to use SCVMM, SCOM and SCSM to put together a chargeback system that you can use as part of your cost model. Enjoy! –Tom.


I have blogged extensively about Hyper-V, VMM and Katal lately, and this blog post is part of this unstructured blog series,image where I today will focus on chargeback.

Prior to configuring Katal, we must have the basic components in place

  • Windows Server 2012
  • Hyper-V
  • System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 SP1
  • System Center Orchestrator 2012 SP1
  • SPF (Service Provider Foundation – a part of Orchestrator in SP1)

As part of the SP1 release, Microsoft introduced a framework for Chargeback.

The direct link is as follows:

SCVMM->SCOM->SCSM

  1. You must have your private clouds configured in Virtual Machine Manager. In order to get Katal up and running, this is key.
  2. You must integrate SCOM and SCVMM so that the configuration items and objects are discovered by SCOM, and monitored. This is important since SCOM will give you some reports for the chargeback solution. To import the Chargeback solution, read the rest of this blog post.
  3. SCSM will get the configuration items from both SCOM and SCVMM and let you create price sheets that you can associate with your clouds.

Now, the third step mentioned here might not necessarily be a requirement to have a qualified chargeback solution. However, Service Manager may give you some additional features and dynamic, as well as extended reporting capabilities. This blog post will not include Service Manager, but be limited to SCVMM and SCOM to get the most out of it.

Step 1: Configuring the Fabric in VMM

Using SMB3.0 with VMM 2012 SP1

CSV2.0 in Windows Server 2012

Patching your Fabric with VMM 2012 SP1

The Network Virtualization Guide in VMM 2012 SP1

Configuring NIC Teaming and QoS with VMM 2012 SP1

The links above contains relevant information and guides on how to configure the Fabric resources with all the new capabilities in Windows Server 2012.

Step 2: Create a Private Cloud in VMM

Follow these steps to create a private cloud in Virtual Machine Manager 2012 SP1.

In ‘VMs and Services’, click ‘Create Cloud’ from the ribbon. This will launch the cloud wizard.

Assign a name and eventually a description for your cloud

Select which resources should be available, at the host group level. If you have added a vCenter and VMware infrastructure to VMM, you can also add a VMware resource pool.

Select logical networks. In terms of abstraction and the new way to do networking in VMM, it’s important to select a logical network that is associated to a VM network. The tenants will access the VM networks in the portal, and you must create them whether you like it or not. A VM network can either have isolation (with network virtualization) or not, which is using the logical network directly.

Select Load Balancers. Currently in Katal, there is no support of deploying Services. Only virtual machines.

Select VIP templates. VIP profiles is to no use if you’re not dealing with services. If this is a cloud that should be accessed by App Controller as well, both load balancers and VIP templates will be relevant since App Controller supports services.

Port Classifications. The classifications that should be interested to make available in a cloud, would be the classifications associated with VM networks. Choose all that apply.

Storage. Specify which storage classification that should be available in this private cloud.

Library. Choose a read-only library and eventually a library where the tenants can store their virtual machines. For Katal, this may be too much to expose, and you can just use the templates you make available to Katal afterwards, if that is appropriate.

Capacity. Configure the elasticity of this private cloud. If you don’t specify any values here, you can scope the quota in Katal afterwards.

Capability Profiles. If you want to make sure that it’s only Hyper-V capable virtual machines that should be deployed, then mark ‘Hyper-V’. This will check the hardware profile on the virtual machine if it’s suited for this cloud. You can also create custom capability profiles. More info on this link: http://kristiannese.blogspot.no/2011/08/capability-profiles-in-scvmm-2012.html

Click finish once you are done.

Step 3: Create Plans in Katal for the tenants

Logon to your Service Management portal to create Plans.

To access the Service Management portal, you must use the correct port as you specified during installation. Default is 30091, and the tenant portal is using 30081.

Navigate to ‘Plans’ in the Service Management portal and click ‘New’, and ‘Create’.

Select a friendly name for your plan and click next.

Select services for a hosting plan. In my case, I only want to provide a virtual machine cloud.

Once you’re satisfied, click finish.

Back to the portal, we can se that we have a new plan, but there’s still some configuration to do.

Before tenants can subscribe to the plan, we need to make it public. Click on the plan to configure it.

You will see ‘plan services’. Click on ‘Virtual Machine Clouds’ to configure the plan.

Configure the plan to connect to both your ‘Cloud Provider’ which is the SPF server. In my case, I’m using Orchestrator and SPF on a single machine.

Configure the Virtual Machine Cloud. The cloud I created in VMM will be visible here, and I can use it together with Katal.

If you scroll down further, you must also specify the quota, templates, hardware profiles, networks and actions that should be available for the tenants.

Once you’re done, click save, and then click ‘Make public’.

Navigate back to ‘Plans’ in the Service Management portal and verify that the newly created plan is Public.

I have now created a plan in Katal that is exposing my cloud in VMM, ready for tenants to subscribe and create virtual networks and virtual machines.

Note that there’s several other options during these steps, like advertising, invitation code and different control mechanisms that I won’t cover in this blog post, but it’s worth to take a closer look at for real world deployments.

Step 4: Integrate SCOM and SCVMM

Once you have the pre-req in place for SCOM and SCVMM integration (IIS, Windows Server and SQL MPs, SCOM console installed on SCVMM server), you can setup the integration within the SCVMM console.

Navigate to ‘Settings’ in the SCVMM console

Click on ‘System Center Settings’ and launch the ‘Operations Manager Server’ wizard.
The first page will tell you what you need to have in place prior to running this configuration.

Specify the server name of your SCOM server, and the credentials to access the management group. I have given my SCVMM service account the required permission in my lab environment.

Take actions if you want to enable PRO and integration for maintenance mode between SCVMM and SCOM. I recommend you to enable both to get the most value from this integration. Click next once you’re done.

Configure connection from SCOM to SCVMM. I use the same credentials here, since SCOM will use my SCVMM service account when connecting to the SCVMM server.

Click next and finish, and SCOM will import the SCVMM MPs from SCVMM during this process.

To verify the integration afterwards, review the log in SCVMM, check the Operations Manager connection, and also see in the monitoring pane in SCOM that the MP is viewing data from SCVMM.

Step 5: Install Chargeback report files on the Operations Manager management server

Log on to the Operations Manager management server.

In the Chargeback folder, copy the subfolder named Dependencies from the Service Manager management server to the Operations Manager management server.

On the Operations Manager management server, start Windows PowerShell and then navigate to the Dependencies folder. For example, type cd Dependencies.

If you have not already set execution policy to remotesigned, then type the following command, and then press ENTER:

Set-ExecutionPolicy –force RemoteSigned

Type the following command, and then press ENTER to run the PowerShell script that imports chargeback management packs and that add chargeback functionality to Operations Manager:

.\ImportToOM.ps1

After the script has completed running, type exit, and then press ENTER to close the Administrator: Windows PowerShell window.

Ensure that Operations Manager has discovered information from virtual machine manager such as virtual network interface cards, virtual hard disks, clouds, and virtual machines.

Step 6: Viewing Chargeback reports in Operations Manager

Navigate to the Reporting pane in Operations Manager Console.

Find the System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager reports and launch the ‘Chargeback’ report.

Before running the report, you must include some data. Choose between hosts, services, VMs, clouds and so on, and specify the date. To get an overview of the costs associated with these resources, you can specify cost for memory, CPU, VM and storage classification.

Run the report once you are ready.

Summary

Hopefully this blog post showed how you can have a chargeback solution with System Center and Katal. Once the tenants starts to subscribe on a plan that again is connected to a cloud in VMM, you can easily run reports towards that cloud to get an overview of how much resources they are consuming.

Kristian Nese
Virtualization and Some Coffee Blog


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Leave a Comment
  • What about SPF and Usage option introduced in UR1? Can you show how to configure it?

  • I have tried all the steps but still i am unable to generate the reports?

  • I am in the same boat as Herbert, I can generate the Excel Spreadsheet; however when trying to get the chargeback reports in Operations Manager there is no report showing up. I am running the 2012 R2 version with Update rollup 2. Any help would be greatly appreciated!