In this post, let’s have a closer look on the functionality of the service catalog and how chargeback is implemented. Furthermore I’ll explain how you can integrate services from another cloud environment, all under the same umbrella.
Functionality of the Service Catalog
The EMC Hybrid Cloud solution provides self-service provisioning of automated cloud services to both users and infrastructure administrators. It uses VMware vCloud Automation Center (vCAC), integrated with EMC ViPR software-defined storage and VMware NSX, to provide the compute, storage, network, and security virtualization platforms for the SDDC.
Cloud users can request and manage their own applications and compute resources within established operational policies. This can reduce IT service delivery times from days or weeks to minutes. Automation and self-service provisioning features include:
- Self-service portal—Provides a cross-cloud storefront that delivers a catalog of custom-defined services for provisioning workloads based on business and IT policies, as shown above
- Role-based entitlements—Ensure that the self-service portal presents only the virtual machine, application, or service blueprints appropriate to a user’s role within the business
- Resource reservations—Allocate resources for use by a specific group and ensure that those resources are inaccessible to other groups
- Service levels—Define the amount and types of resources that a particular service can receive during initial provisioning or as part of configuration changes
- Blueprints—Contain the build specifications and automation policies that define the process for building or reconfiguring compute resources
Using the self-service portal of vCAC, EMC Hybrid Cloud for SAP offers cloud users a range of cloud operations, including:
- A catalog of SAP applications
- Streamlined deployment of SAP applications
- A catalog of storage and data protection services
- Scheduled protection of mission-critical SAP applications
- On-demand virtual machine-level backup, restore, and billing operations
Integration with another cloud environment
vCAC has the ability to integrate multiple clouds, both private and public. Users can then manage multiple clouds in one unified self-service portal. The figure below shows an example of EMC Hybrid Cloud’s integration to a cloud managed by vCloud Director.
From the vCAC portal you can integrate a vCloud Director-managed cloud in the following manner:
- Connect an endpoint to vCloud Director.
- Create a fabric group and assign the compute resources.
- Create reservation.
- Create a blueprint and map to a catalog item in vCloud Director.
- Create a service and assign an entitlement.
This allows you, for example, to log into the vCAC portal and provision an SAP system from the catalog to a vCloud Director cloud. The newly provisioned SAP system will be able to connect to an existing SAP system in the EMC Hybrid Cloud.
Multi-tenancy and Chargeback
Well-designed Hybrid Cloud for SAP environments should be able to easily support a multi-tenant model implemented at the computing, storage, and network level. While each tenant uses the same physical resource pool, every tenant’s SAP environment should be virtually separated from each other in order to provide clear costs and utilization metrics as well as optimum security and data integrity.
EHC’s computing resources are pooled to serve multiple customers using this multi-tenant model. Through the capabilities of vCAC, resources can be grouped into two tiers:
- Tenants, which can represent different companies
- Business groups, which can represent different business units or entities under the same tenant or different departments such as Finance, Human Resources, or Operations
Large-scale SAP environments also benefit from a tenant or business group model in the following ways:
- Individual billing – SAP environments provisioned by the Finance department should have the OPEX for those environments to be billed accurately to the Finance department (using business groups) and to the Manufacturing department, and certainly not as a single consolidated cost to the organization’s IT department (tenant). Individual billing allows each department to know exactly how much their SAP resources utilization on the Private and Hybrid Cloud will cost.
- Increased business data security – For example, it is obvious that we want to separate the data of Company A and Company B (tenants). However, we may also opt to prevent access of any other business group to the HR SAP systems containing employee payroll details as an added security layer.
And thanks to the multi-tenancy functionalities of EHC for SAP, business users can also handle chargebacks with ease so that they receive accurate usage and cost reporting which impacts their cost centers and provides better operational control.
The VMware ITBM (IT Business Management Suite) within EHC keeps track of resource usage and other cloud capabilities used by tenants over time. ITBM quantifies these IT operations as “metered services.” These metered services and additional resources can be associated with a monetary cost that the Cloud Administrator can then bill to tenants, known as chargeback. EHC’s chargeback mechanisms can benefit SAP customers in the following ways:
- SAP tenants can scale out and scale in their compute and storage reservations on demand, but only pay for what they use
- Chargebacks can be calculated on these parameters: server hardware, labor, storage, networking, OS licensing, facilities, and maintenance costs
ITBM is integrated into the cloud administrator’s self-service portal and presents a dashboard overview of the hybrid cloud infrastructure, as shown in the figure below.
If you want to read more about the topics mentioned in this post or if you are interested in the use cases we have used in our validation tests, I recommend reading the technical white paper ” EMC Hybrid Cloud for SAP: Foundation Bundle” that you can find here. Also take a look at the EMC Hybrid Cloud for SAP landing page.