Charge Back Feature

In this topic:

About Charge Back

Enabling or disabling Charge Back

Also see:

Quality of Service


Exporting Data Usage Reports Script

About Charge Back

The Charge Back feature allows IT organizations to track and measure I/O statistics per host group. This feature allows I/O resources to be "metered" so that organizations, such as Cloud Service Providers, can determine the resources used per host group and charge back the costs of storage-related expenses to customers. Charge back can also be used to determine usage in order to evaluate future storage needs and appropriate resources more effectively within an organization.

The Charge Back feature is a host group setting. When enabled, performance counters for the host group are added to the performance recording session. These counters are used to provide data usage metrics:

  • Total Bytes Written/sec
  • Total Bytes Read/sec
  • Total Reads/sec
  • Total Writes/sec
  • Total Bytes Provisioned

See Recorded Performance for more information about counters.

Data Usage Reports

Data Usage reports can be created to collect and export I/O statistics for host groups during a specified date range. The performance counters added when the feature is enabled are used to provide data in the reports. Statistics include Total Bytes Transferred, Total Bytes Read, Total Bytes Written, Total IO Operations, Total Read Operations, Total Write Operations, Data Status and Total Bytes Provisioned. Data is gathered and recorded in the database every two minutes.

All statistics, except Data Status and Total Bytes Provisioned, are cumulative for the specified time period. The time period is specified by entering a start and end date and data on both the start and end date is included in the calculation. Total Bytes Provisioned shows the storage space provisioned to a host group. It is the sum, in bytes, of the sizes of all virtual disks served to the host group. The Total Bytes Provisioned statistic is not cumulative, so the amount of provisioned space is shown for the time period during which it was valid.

The Data Usage report provides total statistics for one or more selected host groups during a time period specified by start and end date.

The Detailed Data Usage report provides the same statistics for one selected host group. All statistics are provided on an hourly basis.

Data can be provided in the reports for up to one year as long as it has been recorded and still exists in the database. The report data can be exported in several formats including CSV and XLS. This data can then be imported into billing systems in order to charge back customers. See Reports for more detailed information about these reports.

  • Since performance counters are added for this feature to function, a performance recording server must be configured. If a recording server is not already configured, it can be configured when the feature is enabled.
  • Always use a remote SQL server running Microsoft SQL Server to record data that will be used to charge back customers. A local SQL server (running SQL Server Express on a DataCore Server) should only be used for temporary demonstration purposes. See Recorded Performance for important information about configuring a recording server, as well as instructions for changing the recording server if necessary.
  • Recorded data for a host group cannot be reported after that host group is deleted from the configuration. Do not delete host groups unless recorded data is no longer needed.

  • When Charge Back is disabled for a host group, all counters used for charge back are removed from the recording session, regardless of whether they were being recorded for purposes other than charge back. Those counters must be manually added again to the recording session if they need to be recorded for other purposes.
  • The Charge Back feature is not available for VMware hosts discovered through the VMware vCenter Integration feature.

Enabling or Disabling Charge Back

To enable charge back:

  1. Open the Host Group Details page for the host group.
  2. In the Settings tab, select the Charge Back Enabled check box.
  3. If the recording server is not configured, the Performance Recording Settings area will appear to configure it.
    1. Select Remote SQL Server. (Only select Local SQL Server for temporary demonstration purposes.)
      1. In Remote server, enter the hostname and server instance name of the remote SQL Server. (For example, hostname\SQL Server instance name)
      2. In Database name, enter the name of the database in which to store the recorded data. If the database does not exist, it will be created on the remote server.
      3. To use Windows login credentials to authenticate, enable the Use Windows Authentication check box.

        The credentials must be configured on the remote SQL Server.


      4. To use the SQL Server credentials for authentication, clear the Use Windows Authentication check box and enter the Username and Password configured for the SQL Server login.
    2. Click Test Connection. The status of the connection will be displayed in the box.

      During the test, the status will read:


      A successful connection status is:


      If the test completes and the status is "connection failed", check the network connection or ensure proper name resolution exists.

    3. Click Apply. The performance counters required for the Charge Back feature will be added and recording session will be started.

To disable charge back:

  1. Open the Host Group Details page for the host group .
  2. In the Settings tab, clear the Charge Back Enabled check box.
  3. Click Apply. The counters added for charge back will be removed from the recording session.