Jan 16 2014

Is Your Business in Search of Tools for IT Expenses?

A wide range of reporting and analysis tools is available for chargeback and showback programs.

The value of IT is often felt but not always realized by line-of-business managers and coworkers. Sometimes, it truly helps to put dollars and cents behind the use of IT to force a shift in the way resources are dispersed and consumed within an organization.

Which tools can IT workers turn to if they're looking to roll out a chargeback or showback solution? Here are a few good options:

VMware’s vCenter Chargeback Manager is designed to work with VMware-based cloud bodies. In particular, it interfaces with cloud infrastructure facilitated via VMware’s vCloud Director, part of the company’s vCloud Suite management package. Providing the metering capability to measure, analyze and report on utilization and costs, vCenter Chargeback Manger offers flexibility in cost transparency by permitting configuration and associate of various cost models to the cloud entities it tracks. Cloud providers can validate and adjust financial models as needed, based on resource consumption.

The Cloud Cruiser chargeback and financial analytics platform lets IT managers monitor costs from a number of perspectives. A customer analysis module can detail how users are consuming cloud services by revenue, service, technology type and geography. A profit management component can provide visibility into costs and revenue by IT customer or service so organizations can find ways to reduce costs and increase profitability. The demand forecasting tools can help IT teams plan for ups and downs in cloud usage requirements and set a strategy for overall organizational growth based on better decisions about actual provisioning needs.

Some other products that specialize in key components of the cloud environment include:

  • The Embotics vCommander Cloud Management Software suite, which can track virtual asset costs in real time, including translating network GHz performance, for example, into dollar amounts.
  • VMware vCenter Chargeback Manager, which tracks virtual machine costs.
  • Microsoft’s Windows Server 2012, which includes monitors for demonstrating CPU, network, memory and storage use that IT managers can summarize in reports for users.
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