by Rich Bourdeau

One of the major tenants of cloud computing is pay for what you use.   While this is true, most cloud management platform vendors only provide monthly reports after the fact to the business that show how much they have consumed.  This does vRealize Show Costlittle to influence the consumption of individual users, because the feedback loop is so long. Users don’t understand the ramifications of purchase decisions until it’s too late.

A good analogy is purchasing something online.  How can you make appropriate choices about which products and options you should buy if you do not see the prices of those services until your credit card bill arrives at the end of the month?   The same is true for cloud services.

As intuitive as this may seem, most public cloud providers do not show actual pricing info to the users requesting resources until they get their bill at the end of the month.  In fairness, they do publish their rates, but there are so many options its difficult to figure out what your actual costs are going to be.   In addition these rates are published independent of their service portal  so that when you are requesting resources, you have no idea how much everything you just requested is going to cost.   What’s the incentive for them to show you up front how much everything is going to cost?  They are more likely to get higher utilization if their customers are not constantly reminded of the prices they will have to pay.

If you ultimately want to move from a model where the business pre-pays an allocation based on prior usage to a provider model where each business pays for what they actually use, then you need to display pricing info to the user at the time they are requesting their services.  This is true for both private and public cloud services.

Regardless if companies are actually going to charge for their services many choose to implement showback at checkout time as a precursor to actually charging.  Displaying pricing info starts the process of influencing consumption behavior by making their consumers more aware of the costs of the services they are requesting.

How VMware vRealize Suite Helps

VMware vRealize™ Automation provides both users requesting service and approvers cost information of the services being requested (see screen shot below).  As users request additional service options, within the min-max guidelines established, the costs of their service is dynamically adjusted allowing them to see the ramifications of their choices.  If optional approvals are triggered, anyone in the approval workflow also sees both the configuration as well as the cost of the service being requested.    To learn more about how vRealize Automation  can help influence consumption behavior with cost transparency please watch this video: Requesting New IT Services  (5:32 min).

vRealize Show Cost Screenshot

Learn more about VMware’s Cloud Automation solution

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