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vCloud Usage Meter 4.4 Offline Reporting

In this blog post, we will talk about what vCloud Usage Meter 4.4 Offline Reporting is and who it is for.

Offline reporting is intended for partners who use Usage Meter in data centers with no Internet access. Those partners can still report their usage data each month by following the steps described in this blog post. Offline reporting is recommended to be used only when there is no other way for reporting, such as using a proxy server.

Additionally, offline reporting is only applicable for new Usage Meter 4.4 installations.

What is vCloud Usage Meter offline reporting?

Let’s first start with what offline reporting is. Offline reporting is when Usage Meter is configured in offline mode. In this mode, your Usage Meter appliance collects usage data without sending it to vCloud Usage Insight. This reporting method does not require access to the Internet, and your usage data is stored locally on your Usage Meter appliance. 

Who can use offline reporting?

Offline reporting with Usage Meter 4.4 can be used by partners who want to meter their usage data in data centers with no Internet access. For security and compliance reasons, these partners require that their usage data is not automatically sent to the cloud.

Note: If you plan to use offline reporting, you need to inform your aggregator that you will manually upload your usage data to vCloud Usage Insight.

How does offline reporting work?

You need to activate offline reporting during the deployment of vCloud Usage Meter 4.4. After selecting offline reporting, you do not need to connect to vCloud Usage Insight to complete the Usage Meter configuration. However, you still need to register your Usage Meter in VMware Commerce Portal. Also, you must have access to vCloud Usage Insight, where you will upload your usage data. After that, you can add products for metering in vCloud Usage Meter 4.4.

You need to download your usage data once the month completes or several times throughout the month and then go to vCloud Usage Insight and upload it. Alternatively, you can use the Usage Meter 4.4 download, unpack and upload scripts available through my.vmware.com.

Note: If you try to upload usage data that has already been uploaded to vCloud Usage Insight, then this data will not be uploaded twice.

At the end of the month, you will have your usage data populated in your monthly billing order in VMware Commerce Portal. However, you still have the chance to check your usage before submitting your MBOs and manually edit it if there is such a need.

Important considerations

  1. You must fully upload your usage data for the reporting month to vCloud Usage Insight within the first 48 hours of the following month. The reporting period starts at 12:00 AM UTC on the first day of the month and ends at 11:59 AM UTC on the last day of the month. Thus, you must upload all your usage data no later than 11:59 AM UTC on the second day of the next month. After uploading your usage data for the month, you can delete the raw data you have downloaded.
  2. If you upload your usage data outside the reporting period, then you need to open a service request to upload your usage data.

How to report your usage data in offline mode?

  1. First, go to the Usage Meter 4.4 web application and click on the Usage tab. This tab is only available when Usage Meter operates in offline mode.
  2. Then, select the month for which you wish to download your usage data. The default option is set to the current month.
usage data download-1

Note: If you download usage data before the reporting month has ended, then partial usage data will be downloaded, and this will also be reflected in the name of the data file. You can upload partial usage data to vCloud Usage Insight to check your current usage.

usage data download-2
  1. Next, go to vCloud Usage Insight to upload your usage data. Click on Usage Meters on the left-side menu.
usage data upload-1
  1. Then, click on UPLOAD USAGE DATA. Select the raw usage data file you have downloaded and click SELECT FILE to upload it. As a result, the uploaded usage data will be associated with the UUID of the Usage Meter instance.
usage data upload-2
usage data upload-3

Note: After successfully uploading your usage data, it will take up to 24 hours until the uploaded usage data appears in vCloud Usage Insight.

  1. Optionally, go to Usage Meters, select your Usage Meter, and click Details. You will see the last upload date for this appliance.
upload usage data-5
  1. Finally, go to Reports to see your aggregated usage for the reporting period. In this example, we have uploaded partial usage data to check what our current usage is.
usage data upload-4

In addition, check the Usage Meter 4.4 documentation to learn how to run the Usage Meter 4.4 offline scripts to download, unpack and upload your usage data or watch the demo.

Note: Unpacking your usage data includes extracting your usage data in folders organized by reporting days. It helps you check the usage data collected by your Usage Meter appliance. The unpacked data cannot be uploaded to vCloud Usage Insight, just the raw .data file.

Demo

Additionally, we have prepared a quick demo to showcase how Usage Meter in offline mode works.

Have more questions?

Contact us at usagemeter@vmware.com or leave a reply.

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