One of the key traits of cloud computing is the fact that it follows a utility model with resources able to be metered by use. That’s a glorious thing as lots of benefits drop out of that – the ability to pay by use, the ability to cost recover with granularity and the ability to give visibility to usage and hence spend. All that’s great, but what happens when you’re trying to utility meter an existing environment?
That’s where 6fusion comes in. 6fusion is a provider of cloud management software and they’re releasing today a resource meter for vSphere, VMware’s cloud computing operating system. Apparently 6fusion has a patent over a particular metering algorithm, the Workload Allocation Cube. The WAC (of course there had to be a three letter algorithm);
dynamically blends the critical compute resources required to operate practically every x86 based software application, yielding a single unit of measurement. It’s called a cube because a cube has six sides and there are six compute resources that comprise a single WAC unit: CPU, Memory, Storage, Disk I/O, LAN I/O, and WAN I/O.
The WAC is quite an interesting concept really. There has been much discussion about how cloud computing should be charged – and the concept of the WAC is to set a stake in the ground to find a kind of mid-point that is fair to all. Now of course there will be people who say this methodology of averaging resource use into one single unit of usage is to blunt an instrument, but it’s kind of an interesting concept. According to 6fusion, the WAC drives benefits because;
- It makes consuming cloud resources simple
- It enables cost profiling pre-cloud migration
- It inspires global interoperability
- It allows data center managers to measure and optimize the cost of supply
- It creates an exchange value to drive supply and demand
Like I say, a really interesting idea for those trying to wrangle this problem. With 6fusion’s product, vSphere shops can;
- Meter any workload running on either physical or virtual servers (including web applications or traditional client/server applications)
- Access “real time” WAC consumption information for the entire system
- Gain cloud resource meter data in real time through the vSphere Client interface (along with short-term historical data)
- Log into 6usion’s UC6 web based console to access longer-term data as well as run and export reports
- Use UC6 console to view what is being metered versus what is running live in the cloud
Interesting. 6fusion’s Cloud Resource Meter will be available for download on the VMware Solution Exchange and 6fusion’s web site upon final release. vSphere users can pre-register for the tool here.
(Cross-posted @ The Diversity Blog - SaaS, Cloud & Business Strategy)