Its early morning and I’m on my way to VMware’s internal sales training event but I wanted to take a minute to write about a product that I have been a part of for almost a year and a half now, both before it was available and now as we are on-boarding partners into it each day.
Partners in the VMware Cloud Provider Program (VCPP, formerly VCAN) are all too familiar with vCloud Usage Meter, a tool that is used to measure licensing usage in VMware’s consumption based licensing model for Service Providers. One of the big asks in the past was for automatic reporting to take care of some of the manual processes. Fast forward to 2018 and vCloud Usage Insight was GA’d to address just that.
Now, we have many hundreds of partners utilizing this service and we are looking at how to make it better from here. So lets talk about some of the new features! The two big ones are around troubleshooting and data retention. Lets dive in.
In the recent update to the SaaS offering, we’ve added a data received status to each usage meter registration. This is a simple Information circle icon left of the Usage Meter name in the Usage Meter list. When hovering over the icon, it lets you know when/if data has been received from a Usage Meter for the previous month. Its a quick an easy way to visually understand which ones to troubleshoot because it will be red if nothing is received and green if it was. If data has not been received, you can simply log into the referenced appliance, go to the Automatic Reporting page (top right of Appliance Web UI) and on that page click “Submit Now”. Give it a little bit and you should see the status change on Usage Insight. If you still don’t see a change, make sure DNS and SMTP are working on Usage Meter. If still not working, check to make sure that HTTP port 443 is open from the Usage Meter appliance to the internet.
Another feature added was the reports page. This is a nice add for users that focus on or are concerned with Data retention requirements in the program (as you all should be!). This new page, found on the left side of the Usage Insight service page, gives you the ability to request a copy of not only each Usage Meter’s individual Monthly Usage Reports but also the aggregated report that was sent to the Business Portal. This is great when you need to round up all of your usage meter files in one shot.
vCloud Usage Insight isn’t a required part of VCPP metering architecture (yet!) but its proving to be VERY useful in helping partner alleviate issues and concerns around monthly reporting. We want to make this process as easy and simple as possible and I believe we are seeing those efforts paying off.
There is still more to come, especially with changes coming to the programs bundle structure. But as we move forward, utilizing vCloud Usage Insight will only help make working with those changes even easier. Thank you to all the partners that have worked with us on this product and those that continue to provide feedback, we are always happy to hear it and look forward hearing more of it!