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 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.

You can now set a total cost for the License, Labor, Network, Maintenance, and facilities cost drivers in vRealize Operations :

Note: The total cost set by you is distributed across resources in the data center. For example, if you set the total cost for the RHEL license, the cost is divided across all the hosts and VMs which use the RHEL license.
According to the industry standard, vRealize Operations 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 might 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 , which overrides the values in the reference database. Based on your inputs, vRealize Operations recalculates the total amount for the private cloud expenses. After you add a private cloud into vRealize Operations , vRealize Operations 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.
  • Datastores: 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 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 the 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.

To know more about Reference Cost, see Reference Based Costing for Azure VMware Solution and Google Cloud VMware Engine.

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 in vRealize Operations 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.
Note: 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 .

Infrastructure Type

You have the option to select the infrastructure type as either vCenter or VMC on AWS, based on your selection the cost drivers are displayed on the Cost Drivers page. You can add or edit the cost drivers as per your requirement.
Note: You can edit the cost driver values either in All Datacenter mode or Specific Datacenter mode. Ensure that you download and upload the cost driver configuration file in the same mode (either All DC mode or Specific DC mode).
For the vCenter infrastructure type the following private cloud cost drivers are applicable.
  • Server Hardware : Traditional
  • Server Hardware : Hyper - Converged
  • Storage
  • License
  • Applications
  • Maintenance
  • Labor
  • Network
  • Facilities
  • Additional Cost
For the vCenter infrastructure type the following private cloud cost drivers are applicable.
  • License
  • Additional Cost

All other costs from VMC that are not directly attributed to specific hosts like load balancer, Tax, and other costs are grouped under additional cost driver and equally distributed among all hosts.

Export and Import Cost Drivers

Except for additional cost drivers, you can export or import the remaining cost drivers associated with your private cloud. With this functionality you can edit the cost driver values from the excel sheet instead of editing them from the user interface. You have an option to select all cost drivers and export them or you can select individual cost drivers and export them.
Note: The import and export functionality is applicable only to vCenter cost drivers, the functionality is not available for VMware Cloud on Amazon Web Services.
Table 1. Expense Types
Cost Drivers Description
Select Datacenter The Select Datacenter option allows you to choose the data center for which the cost driver changes are applicable.
Note: You can select a specific data center and modify the cost driver values of that data center, or you can modify the cost drivers and apply the changes to all the data centers.
Export Click export to export the cost details for all the cost drivers. You can select individual cost drivers and export them also.
Import Click import to browse and upload the updated cost driver configuration file (xls/csv). The import cost driver file should have the same template as that of the exported file.
Note: You might be prompted with error messages if the uploaded file has errors. You can ignore the error or you can download the log file. You can click ignore error to omit the incorrect values and include the correct ones.
Server Hardware : Traditional 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.
Note: You can now select an individual server from the server group and specify the unique cost for each individual server.
Server Hardware : Hyper-Converged The Server Hardware : Hyper-Converged cost driver, tracks the expenses associated with hyper converged infrastructure components. The Server Hardware : Hyper-Converged cost driver includes expenses for the Hyper Converged servers like vSAN activated servers and vXRail. The expense provided is for both compute and storage.
Note: The customizations that were performed for vSAN server costing under Server Hardware : Traditional in the earlier versions will not be carried forward to 7.5 as the vSAN activated servers will fall under Server Hardware : Hyper-Converged servers now.
Storage You can calculate the storage cost at the level of a datastore based on the tag category information collected from vCenter Server. You see the storage total distribution based on category and the uncategorised cost details.
Note: The vSAN datastores are not displayed as part of this cost driver page.
License You see the licenses cost distribution for the operating systems cost and VMware license of your cloud environment.
Note: For Non-ESX physical servers, VMware license is not applicable.
Maintenance 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.
Labor 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 data centers.
  • 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.
Network 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 the internet bandwidth, and is estimated by count and type of network ports on the ESXi Servers.
Note: For physical servers, the network details are not captured. So, the network cost is considered as zero.
Facilities 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.
Application Cost You can see the cost of different application services you are running in your environment compared to your overall expenses. Some examples of application cost are, cost of running SQL server cluster and cost of running Anti-virus on VMs.
You can select a data center to view the information specific to the data center.