Change the scheme! Alter the mood! Electrify the boys and girls if you would be so kind.

I was hoping to get through a few weeks of not highlighting specific products, as it’s really not my intention to promote one solution over another.  The reason I wanted to highlight this particular solution is that I think it is one of those ideas that really changes the way organizations operate, while allowing the rest of the company to take some of the cost off the IT department. And what is this game-changing solution?  VMware’s vCenter Chargeback Manager.  So what is it exactly?

VMware vCenter Chargeback Manager is one of those largely unknown features that is part of the vCloud suite.  In reality, it is probably one of the most useful tools when it comes to justifying the expense of a large migration project.  So what does Chargeback Manager really do?  Essentially, it allows your IT department to bill resources to other internal (or external) cost centres.

This unique feature, while often overlooked, is a significant benefit to IT departments.  Firstly, when it comes to budgeting IT infrastructure projects, including the addition of new virtualized servers and the IT personnel requirements, these costs are normally associated with the OPEX and CAPEX budgets of the IT department.  By implementing and using a tool such as chargeback, each individual resources allocation (including VMs, RAM, storage, and associated IT personnel costs) can be charged to an internal department within the organization.  For example, if the HR department requires a VM to manage the hosting of HR files and databases, a project cost proposal can be sent to HR for approval, and once the work is completed, the IT department can use chargeback to send an internal invoice to HR to ensure that the costs associated with the project are paid out of the HR budget, as opposed to the IT budget.

Until now, IT has normally acted as a huge cost centre when in fact it utilizes its resources for other departments.  Through using a tool such as chargeback, the IT department can essentially act as a small business within the organization and host its own provisioning and costing processes to ensure that funding for these projects are paid for by the involved departments, and not solely paid out of the IT budget.

The larger the organization, the more significant these IT cost savings will be.  It will also clarify resources allocation from an auditing perspective, and ensure that project costs are clearly outlined and attributed where required.

Currently this feature is part of the vCenter and vCloud offering from VMware, although I expect that as this model becomes more important to organizations investing in cloud infrastructure, that it will be available for other cloud platforms as a required feature.

For more information on VMware vCenter Chargeback, visit www.vmware.com/products/vcenter-chargeback/

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