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A Metering and Billing tool for Server Resources in an OnDemand computing environment.

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000031324D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Sep-21
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Sep-21
Document File: 4 page(s) / 101K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

In an OnDemand computing environment, Server resources are utilized and managed in ways different from current mechanisms. Server resources are used as-needed, and computing infrastructure is not directly owned or managed. Server resources can be physical or virtualized, and resource demand will determine deployment and availability of resources. Users of computing resources will pay for what they use, and this process creates the requirement for Server resources to be metered, charged and billed. An additional requirement is that the metrics used for metering and billing be simple. Existing metering and billing solutions are mostly developed by IT departments of companies for internal-use. Solutions offered by external vendors focus on applications and web services, and not on Server resources. In addition, these solutions are not integrated with existing systems management tools and applications. Server customers require metering and billing solution that targets Server resource utilization, and is integrated with systems management applications. The invention described in this disclosure aims to provide such a metering and billing solution for Server resources.

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A Metering and Billing tool for Server Resources in an OnDemand computing environment.

1. Invention Summary

The Server Utility Meter (SUM) offers a metering and billing solution for Server resources, that can be integrated into an Enterprise Systems Management Application (eg. IBM Director or Tivoli IT Director). SUM will support Symmetric Multi-Processors, Blades, Virtualization and Storage Area Networks. SUM will support metering and billing of all Server resources including Processors, Memory, Network Interfaces and Storage.

SUM will provide consistent management, monitoring and metering of Server resources across the Enterprise. SUM is designed for upward integration with metering/billing tools for applications and web services. The design also allows for upward integration with workload management and provisioning tools.

2. Invention Description

The Server Utility Meter (SUM) comprises of Server resource Metering and Billing components. The metering component is designed to leverage existing resource monitoring software that is typically provided as part of Enterprise Systems Management Applications (eg. the Resource Monitor feature in IBM Director).

2.1 SUM Metering component

Each server resource is metered using Units and DemandUnits. Unit for each resource is defined as an assigned calibrated value. Resources are calibrated based on quality, performance, virtualization etc. An example is 100 CPU Units for 2GHz Gallatin (with L3, Hyperthreading). Unit value is resource-specific, and applied by SUM. The Calibration model used by SUM is modular to support future resource types. The design of the Calibration model to be used by SUM is not covered in this invention disclosure. DemandUnit for each resource is defined as average hourly Unit utilization, and is the DemandUnit value is computed by SUM.

The Server Utility Meter will include a UI to configure resources and servers to be metered. This UI can be used to specify metering duration (start & stop date/time), and recording intervals. SUM will interface with the resource monitoring software provided as part of the Enterprise Systems Management Application that SUM is integrated into (eg. Resource Monitor in IBM Director). This mechanism is used by SUM to monitor and meter Server resources.

Resource Monitor attribute Recording interval

Resource Monitor attribute Recording interval

Resource Monitor attribute Recording interval

System

Figure 1. The Metering concept

One or more monitorable attributes are measured (as DemandUnits) over a specified period of time on a given system or set of systems and the results are recorded for future interpretation and analysis. The monitorable attributes are measured using the resource monitoring software provided as part of the Enterprise Systems Management Application. The metering component comprises of the Meter object

System

Meter Management System

                       System System System

System

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