Cost Drivers are the aspect that contributes to the expense of your business operations. Cost drivers provide a link between a pool of costs. To provide a granular cost visibility and to track your expenses of virtual machines accurately in a private cloud, vRealize Operations Manager has identified eight key cost drivers. You can see the total projected expense on your private cloud accounts for the current month and the trend of cost over time.

According to the industry standard, vRealize Operations Manager maintains a reference cost for these cost drivers. This reference cost helps you for calculating the cost of your setup, but might not be accurate. For example, you might have received some special discounts during a bulk purchase or you might have an ELA with VMware that may not match the socket-based pricing available in the reference database. To get accurate values, you can modify the reference cost of cost drivers in vRealize Operations Manager, which overrides the values in reference database. Based on your inputs, vRealize Operations Manager recalculates the total amount of private cloud expenses. After you add a private cloud into vRealize Operations Manager, vRealize Operations Manager automatically discovers one or more vCenter Servers that are part of your Private Cloud. In addition, it also retrieves the inventory details from each vCenter Server. The details include:

  • Associated clusters: Count and names

  • ESXi hosts: Count, model, configuration, and so on.

  • Data stores: Count, storage, type, capacity

  • VMs: Count, OS type, tags, configuration, utilization

Based on these configuration and utilizations of inventory, and the available reference cost, vRealize Operations Manager calculates the estimated monthly cost of each cost driver. The total cost of your private cloud is the sum of all these cost driver expenses.

You can modify the expense of your data center. These costs can be in terms of percentage value or unit rate, and might not always be in terms of the overall cost. Based on your inputs, the final amount of expense is calculated. If you do not provide inputs regarding expenses, the default values are taken from the reference database.

You can see the projected cost of private cloud for the current month and the trend of total cost over time. For all the expenses, cost drivers invRealize Operations Manager display the monthly trend of the cost variations, the actual expense, and a chart that represents the actual expense and the reference cost of the expense.


If the vCenter Server was added from more than six months, the trend displays the total cost for the last six months only. Otherwise, the trend displays the total cost from the month the vCenter Server was added into vRealize Operations Manager.

Table 1. Expense Types

Cost Drivers


Server Hardware

The Server Hardware cost driver tracks all the expenses for purchasing of hardware servers that are part of vCenter Servers. You see the server cost based on CPU age and server cost details.


You can calculate the storage cost at the level of a datastore based on tag category information collected from vCenter Server. You see the storage total distribution based on category and the uncategorized cost details.


You see the licenses cost distribution for the operating systems cost and VMware license of your cloud environment.


For Non-ESX physical servers, VMware license is not applicable.


You see the maintenance cost distribution for the server hardware and operating system maintenance. You can track your total expense with hardware and operating system vendors.


You see the labor cost distribution for the servers, virtual infrastructure, and operating systems. You can view the total administrative cost for managing physical servers, operating systems and virtual machines. You can track all expenses spent on human resources to manage the datacenters.

  • Labor cost includes expenses on backup appliance virtual machine (VDP virtual appliance).

  • For physical servers, operating system labor cost and servers labor costs are applicable, virtual infrastructure cost is not considered.


You see the networks costs by NIC type. You can track a network expense based on different types of NICs attached to the ESX server. You can view the total cost of physical network infrastructure that includes internet bandwidth, and is is estimated by count and type of network ports on the ESXi Servers.


For physical servers, the network details are not captured. So, the network cost is considered as zero.


You see the cost distribution for the facilities such as real estate costs, such as rent or cost of data center buildings, power, cooling, racks, and associated facility management labor cost. You can point to the chart to see the cost details for each facility type.

Additional Cost

You can see the additional expenses such as backup and restore, high availability, management, licensing, VMware software licensing.

You can select a data center to view the information specific to the data center.