In the heady days of 2008, when server virtualisation was young-ish and low hanging fruit of physical servers could be found on every rack in data centres and server rooms around the world, VMware slipped out an update to its Lifecycle Manager that included chargeback features. Chargeback enables metering of IT resources, even …
Failed basic marketing?
Boy did they pick the wrong term for this. In most companies that deal with credit card payments "chargebacks" mean the company lost money.
Wooden dollars invented in 2008?
The concept of internal billing for IT services has been around as long as IT itself has.
Still I suppose if someone can make "server" into sexy "cloud" then anything is possible with a bit of marketing spin, we just aren't marketing ourselves correctly.
IT services Time billing failure...
I once worked at a internal IT dept (of a Major OIG/MoD/Shipbuilding Co.) that had to bill its time to multiple internal corporate projects as separate entities (in many cases they were, but under the same roof.)
Unfortunately the only time billing system we had was the same inflexible one that the projects used in the manufacturing process they carried out.
When doing multiple installations and support via remote VPN to end user workstations across projects i was forced to bill my time not by the total time taken but a fraction (which was utterly unrealistic and a farce for a so called separate services supplier.)
Suffice to say the end result was that the IT dept was running at a massive loss in time charged back against the various projects and eventually the main company went titsup in a spectacularly public way(mostly due to a customer deciding to cancel their order which was well into production due to unforseen cost overruns.)
If a IT Dept is constantly operating in a fire-figthing mode, then there is something seriously wrong in the management structure that needs urgently fixing before the workers burn out and start jumping ship or get pushed out due to performance degradation. If they are constantly grinding through new staff then there is little hope for the company (or their unhappy customers due ot SLA's constantly slipping.)
Without a realistic billing system that can take into account that multiple jobs can be carried out simultaneously to multiple clients then there is no hope of accurately giving a true end cost of such services that higher management can factor into overall business running costs and that staff are meeting (or are close to) SLA's under onerous time management regimes.
ANd so the circle turns ... running as a large outide Coomputer Bureas to becoming the cloud. The ONLY difference is that the printouts get there faster, now, due to remote printing. L
Re: MainFrames anyone?
Definitely, this is all just piecing distributed systems back to mainframe levels of efficiency and automation. Virtualized workloads, automatic partitioning, dynamically scaling volumes, integrated service management were all in place with the mainframe.
Coincidentally, at the HP Discover 2012 Conference that opens today in Las Vegas, HP will be conducting a track on chargeback and how new tools have been developed to identify and manage costs in the cloud. Here's a link to the track: http://www.cloudcruiser.com/newsevents/events/2012/TB3008.html.
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