VMware Aria Cost powered by CloudHealth

Enhance Your Cloud Management Practice with VMware Aria Cost

Let me introduce myself – my name is Jeff Nichols and I’m a Solutions Architect with the VMware Partner Solutions Engineering (PSE) team. I manage a distributed set of development labs for our team. Cloud connectivity is an integral part of most of our POCs, and as it can be expensive, controlling cost is critical.  I wanted to share some insights on how I use VMware Aria Cost powered by CloudHealth to manage those cloud costs but first let’s understand a little about VMware Aria Cost and what it is intended to help customers achieve.

VMware Aria Cost is a cloud management platform that helps organizations optimize their public cloud spend and plan for future growth demands. It does this by providing visibility into cloud usage, cost and performance data. Our PSE team uses this data to identify areas where we can reduce our cloud spending, such as by rightsizing instances, turning off unused resources, or implementing cost-saving policies.  

Furthermore, VMware Aria Cost can provide detailed cost forecasting, enabling my team to plan ahead and make informed decisions about future cloud infrastructure investments. With the ability to model different scenarios, the team can assess the impact of new growth demands on their cloud spend, allowing them to proactively manage costs and avoid unexpected bills.  

So let’s jump into the details and see how my learnings might be able to help you and your organization drive better cloud spending practices.  

My take on budgeting and planning projects

Before I jump into VMware Aria Cost powered by CloudHealth, let me explain how I approach cost management.    

As an example, let’s use a basic 3-node vSAN cluster on Google Cloud Platform running GCVE.  Using historical info, and the tools supplied by hyperscalers, I can estimate how much it’s going to cost to run this cluster per month. I typically take that monthly total and divide by 4.25 to get an estimated cost per week.  From there it’s a matter of looking at POC (proof of concept) projects and estimating how much time they need to be cloud-connected.    

For example, if it costs around $20,000 per month for a 3 node vSAN cluster running GCVE, and the POC needs the cluster for about 2 weeks, then the cloud budget for that POC is $9,500.  

I do similar budget exercises for all 3 of the hyperscalers we currently use:  

  • GCP – GCVE
  • Azure – AVS
  • AWS – VMC on AWS

How you can utilize VMware Aria Cost powered by CloudHealth

VMware Aria Cost powered by CloudHealth is a powerful cloud management platform that can help drive financial accountability against budgets.  I’m using a subset of the available features to report on and manage spend versus targets, more specifically, I use the Cost History Report (see image below). 

Using FlexOrgs

VMware Aria Cost FlexOrgs were recently introduced to simplify management.  FlexOrgs can be configured to show individual users only the costs you deem relevant for their use case.  In my case, it means I don’t have to sift and sort through piles of data that aren’t related to my cost centers.  Your VMware Aria Cost Technical Account Manager can help get you set up to use them. 

Seeing costs in VMware Aria Cost

My typical workflow to find costs would go like this:  

  1. Log into VMware Aria Cost powered by CloudHealth  (https://apps.cloudhealthtech.com/)  
  1. Search for my “FlexOrg”  (bottom left)  
  1. Select a “Dashboard” (top left)  
  1. Expand “Reports”  
  1. Expand “Cost”  
  1. Click “History”  

Under ‘Cost’ and then ‘History’, you’ll find data on costs per month along with a breakdown of spending by category.  

Setting budgets and policies

VMware Aria Cost has granular control of alerts and actions. These can include sending notifications or triggering actions.   I use alerts to let me know if my spending trend will potentially exceed the budget.  To do this, I configured budgets and policies.  

First, configure a budget for each hyperscaler under “Setup –> Budget”  

Next, create a policy to trigger when conditions are met.  This is done under “Setup –> Policies”.  

Policies can be configured to do many things, including defining guidelines and guardrails, but I’m using them to simply generate and send an alert.  See the references section below for more information.  

In the example below, VMware Aria Cost powered by CloudHealth will notify me when the projected monthly spend exceeds 80% of budget.

Final remarks

VMware Aria Cost powered by CloudHealth helps me manage and forecast cloud spend for the labs and projects I manage. I use the reporting and notification features to have accurate and timely information on cloud costs.   

In summary, VMware Aria Cost helps the PSE team to reduce public cloud spend and forecast new growth demands by providing visibility into cloud usage and costs, enabling cost optimization, and providing detailed cost forecasting.    

Looking to learn more about VMware Aria Cost powered by CloudHealth?  Check out some of our other resources below or reach out to our team today:  


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