When it comes to delivering cloud services, enterprise architects have a common request to create a public cloud-type rate plan for showback, chargeback, or billing. Public cloud packaging is fairly standardized across the big vendors as innovations are quickly copied by others and basic virtual machines are assessed mainly on price. (I touched on the concept of the ongoing price changes and commoditization of public clouds in an earlier post.) Because of this standardization and relative pervasiveness, public cloud rate plans are well understood by cloud consumers. This makes them a good model for introducing enterprise users to new cloud services built on OpenStack.Enterprise architects are also highly interested in on-demand, self-service functionality from their Openstack clouds in order to imitate the immediate response of public clouds. We will cover how to deliver on-demand cloud services in a future post.
Pricing and Packaging Cloud Services
Public cloud rate plans are very popular, seeing adoption within enterprises, private hosted clouds, and newer public cloud providers alike. Most public cloud providers use the typical public cloud rate plan as a foundation for layering on services, software, security, and intangibles like reputation to build up differentiated offerings.Enterprise cloud architects use similar rate plans to demonstrate to internal customers that they can provide on-demand, self-service cloud services at a competitive price. To manage internal expectations and encourage good behavior, enterprises usually introduce cloud pricing via a showback model which does not directly impact budgets or require exchange of money. Users learn cloud cost structures and the impact of their resource usage. Later, full chargeback can be applied where internal users are expected to pay for services provided.