Chargeback: A scenario example

Chargeback: A scenario example

System Center 2012 Chargeback Scenario

This scenario helps you apply cloud-based pricing on Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) fabric and show that information to customers to try to minimize virtual machine (VM) oversubscription and underutilization. This scenario includes examples to help illustrate how System Center is used by an example administrator, Chris Green.

This scenario is intended to serve as a high-level example, not as comprehensive or detailed guidance. We hope that you will use the example scenario as a guide to posting descriptions of your own scenarios that are particular to your business or organization. Then, other members of the community can follow your scenario descriptions to get ideas for how to combine System Center components to meet their business requirements. You can view an example template on the TechNet wiki at 


Technical Scenarios

Technical scenarios provide guidance for challenges that are either solved by using multiple System Center components or by using special configuration or customization.  Several scenarios have been documented here in the TechNet Wiki, and this list will continuously grow.

System Center 2012 components and other requirements
  • System Center 2012 SP1 - Virtual Machine Manager
  • System Center 2012 SP1 - Operations Manager
  • System Center 2012 SP1 - Service Manager
  • Microsoft Excel 2010

Scenario description/overview

By using various System Center 2012 components together and with minimal configuration, you can use:

  • Virtual Machine Manager to define and store the fabric information
  • Operations Manager to discover info about the fabric
  • Service Manager to retrieve Operations Manager data discovered from VMM, define pricing, and produce reports

The scenario focuses on administrative tasks and is optimized for an administrator persona.

Chris Green at Contoso Hosting Solutions is an administrator and he needs to communicate with his customers to show them how the VMM capacity they pay for is consumed. Using chargeback reports, he can use cloud-based pricing to:

  • Define a price for each VMM cloud (pricesheet)—analogous to an SLA
  • Review sample chargeback reports
  • Customize a sample chargeback report for use in his IT organization
  • Minimize oversubscription by customers
  • Minimize underutilization by customers

How does this scenario fit into your IT strategy?

Microsoft’s cloud strategy is hosted on the Private Cloud Solution Hub where architectural guidance is located. The strategy describes how a private cloud enables organizations to deliver information technology as services by providing a pool of computing resources delivered as a standard set of capabilities that are specified, architected, and managed based on requirements defined by a private organization.

How do you prepare System Center for this scenario?

In order to prepare your environment for this scenario, you should review guidance in the System Center 2012 Integration Guide hosted on the Microsoft TechNet wiki at . There you can review community information of each System Center component in its role as a programmable platform to be used for the Microsoft Private Cloud.  It is intended to provide an abstraction layer that guides partners and customers on their decision process for methods to build automated solutions across System Center components and between System Center and other systems.

Once you have the System Center 2012 components and other requirements met, you’re ready to test the scenario.

How to accomplish this scenario

(A bulletin board for your ideas)

What you need to do

  1. Create sample VMM fabric
    You’ll need to have VMM fabric created including items such as clouds containing CPUs, memory, storage, and VMs. You can read more about configuring fabric resources in VMM at
  2. Install the Operations Manager management packs
    You must install the management packs on Operations Manager so that Service Manager can discover VMM fabric details. You can read more about installing the management packs at
  3. Install the Service Manager chargeback feature
    The chargeback feature isn’t installed automatically in Service Manager SP1 Beta, however chargeback is easy to install manually using a PowerShell script included with Service Manager. You can read more about installing chargeback at  
  4. Configure the Operations Manager CI connector in Service Manager
    The Operations Manager CI connector imports VMM fabric information into Service Manager as discrete configuration items. For example, a gold cloud and all its constituent parts like VMs, CPUs, and storage are imported into Service Manager using the Operations Manager CI connector. You can read more about importing data from Operations Manager at  
  5. Create price sheets in Service Manager
    Price sheets are the mechanism that a service provider is able to assign a cost and price to the services they offer. You can read more about creating and publishing price sheets at  
  6. Publish price sheets
    Once created, you need to publish the price sheets. You can read more about publishing price sheets at  
  7. View and configure chargeback reports
    You can view the sample Excel report included in Service Manager to review cost centers, clouds, VMM user roles, price sheets, spending trend, and overall spending. You can read more about viewing and configuring the sample report at  
  8. Customize chargeback reports
    You can customize the sample Excel report included in Service Manager or you can create your own using OLAP data cubes. You can read more about creating your own reports using OLAP data cubes at  
  9. Meet with customers and present reports (and hopefully show oversubscription and underutilization
    We can’t provide a specific plan for this step because the actions you’ll need to take actions that are unique to your organization. However, we recommend that perform the following tasks.
    • Prepare the sample chargeback report for each cost center or customer.
    • Review the report for items that being oversubscribed to and for items that are being underutilized.
    • Meet with a representative for each cost center or customer to show them the fabric resources that they subscribe or pay for.
    • Explain how items are priced and provide an overview of their ongoing costs. Also, present information that might indicate oversubscription and underutilization.
    • Collaboratively plan for growth and possible ways to address oversubscription and underutilization.

Tips and other things to try (optional)

Troubleshooting tips (optional)

TechNet Library topics, Tech Center pages, blogs, forums, etc

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