Virtustream Blog

Demystifying Cloud Economics


in µVM, Technology, xStream Talk

One of the biggest technology shifts over the last decade has been the emergence of, and shift to, the cloud. But what’s driving this shift? There are many factors involved, but the main driver is the ability to free organizations from owning and operating their own expensive data centers. IT budgets are tightening, and cloud enables your business to realize the accounting benefits of using compute capacity as an expense rather than a capital expenditure. 

Along with cost flexibility, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) reduces the need to focus expensive and critical IT talent on non-business differentiating tasks, such as managing network, storage, and computing hardware, in addition to software and support. By allowing your staff to focus on innovation rather than maintenance, your enterprise is able to digitally transform at a faster pace than would be possible with expensive, on-premises data centers.

Clouds Obscure Your Vision

The flexibility cloud provides, however, does come with some complexity. Most cloud providers today bill based on the size of your virtual machine (VM), regardless of the amount of compute it’s actually using. This means that cloud customers don’t always have a clear view of the true cost of their VMs, reducing their ability to manage overall capacity and application costs. When working within a strict IT budget, this can be a huge challenge, which is why Virtustream has worked relentlessly to provide a differentiated consumption-based billing model that addresses these concerns.

Providing Cost Visibility with MicroVM Technology

Virtustream’s MicroVM (µVM) technology and xStream Cloud Management Platform (CMP) are designed in a way that enable you to manage and comprehend the exact amount of capacity you’re leveraging with your applications. By using MicroVM and xStream, our customers gain direct access to precise capacity SLAs and can develop a complete understanding regarding the costs of their VMs, applications, and landscapes.

With our MicroVM technology, Virtustream meters compute consumption based upon four metrics related to overall VM performance (CPU, Memory, Network, and IOP performance). Through this metering, we are able to calculate the ACTUAL amount of infrastructure consumed by a VM, regardless of the configured size, and bill you appropriately for only the compute you are using.

In addition to our advanced MicroVM technology, Virtustream recently announced several billing and reporting enhancements to our xStream CMP which will differentiate the way you can track and report on consumption usage. These include:

  • The ability to categorize VMs based upon any delimiting factor you may desire. This categorization can then be used in conjunction with the billing and analysis capabilities to allow you to understand the true costs of your workloads at any VM, system, application, or landscape level you desire.
  • Enhanced analysis capabilities, allowing you to graphically view MicroVM and storage consumption for any VM, or group of VMs, for any time period up to one year. This allows complete visibility into the costs of VMs, the trends of those costs, and the underlying drivers.
  • Using actual historical data to give cost projections on new VMs, enabling you to have an estimated cost before actually incurring it
  • Providing comprehensive reports which show all consumption and category details in a single setting, thus allowing you to perform custom data analytics on the raw data
Remedying Cloud Economics Confusion

The flexibility that cloud provides can make it extremely difficult to gain true insight when determining the exact costs of operating your applications. Even more difficult than this is attempting to predict future costs. Virtustream understands these challenges, and is dedicated to providing you easier methods to track and improve your consumption usage. We understand that enterprises looking to leverage our expertise want easy-to-use tools and technology, giving them complete visibility into their workloads, costs, and cost drivers. By continuing to enhance our offerings, we aim to provide differentiated cost planning and control which will enable you to further benefit from the existing strengths of the Virtustream cloud.