VMware

VMware vCenter Chargeback 1.0 Release Notes

vCenter Chargeback 1.0 | 07/13/2009 | Build 175384

Last Document Update: 07/13/2009

Check frequently for additions and updates to these release notes.

What's in the Release Notes

The release notes cover the following topics:

About the Release

vCenter Chargeback 1.0 is a cost reporting solution for environments virtualized using VMware Infrastructure 3 or VMware vSphere 4. This application provides the functionality to define unit costs and calculate the overall costs based on the actual usage or reservation of computing resources. Some of the important features in this release of vCenter Chargeback are:

For detailed information about the various functionalities, refer to the vCenter Chargeback User's Guide.

vCenter Chargeback is a Web-based application that runs on a Tomcat Server instance and can be accessed using one of the following supported Web browsers:

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.x and 7.x
  • Mozilla Firefox 2.x and 3.x

Hierarchy Management

vCenter Chargeback enables you to create one or more chargeback hierarchies. A chargeback hierarchy defines how the various ESX Server hosts and virtual machines are assigned to different departments, cost centers, or business units in an organization. A chargeback hierarchy can also be same as a vCenter Server hierarchy, which consists of datacenters, ESX Server hosts, and virtual machines. You can also define custom entities in a chargeback hierarchy and include one or more vCenter Server entities under them. Also, virtual machines can be shared across custom chargeback entities.

Cost Configuration

vCenter Chargeback considers the following computing resources while calculating the costs: CPU, Memory, Storage, Network Received and Transmitted, and Disk Read and Write. You can create one or more cost models that define the unit costs for each chargeable resource and the billing policy to be used to calculate the cost for a specified period. In addition, the application enables you to define various fixed costs that can be managed either globally or locally at the entity level within a hierarchy. You can configure the costs at the hierarchy level and at individual entity levels within a hierarchy.

Report Management

The reporting functionality enables you to generate cost reports for a hierarchy and for any entity or set of entities within a hierarchy. The cost report provides detailed information about the cost incurred at various levels within the hierarchy, the individual computing resource usage statistics and the corresponding cost for each virtual machine, and the fixed costs charged. You can also generate a cost comparison report, which provides the cost information for the selected hierarchy or set of entities, by using two different cost models. You can also schedule, archive, export, and email reports.

User Management

vCenter Chargeback enables you to create different users and roles. The application defines a specific set of permissions and some predefined roles. You can create multiple local users and assign various roles and permissions to them. A user can have different permissions at different levels within a hierarchy and across hierarchies. You can also add Active Directory users to the application. The user credentials for such users are defined in the Active Directory. This release of vCenter Chargeback supports only Microsoft Windows Server Active Directory.

System Administration

The vCenter Chargeback Graphical User Interface (GUI) provides an interface to centrally manage the entire system. You can configure the LDAP and SMTP servers with the application, add one or more vCenter Server instances to application, and manage the various data collectors instances. In addition, you can define the report template, set the locale and currency settings, as well as manage the product licenses. The application defines a Super User role that must be assigned to a user to allow him to perform these system administration tasks.

Cluster Installation

In this release of vCenter Chargeback, you can install more than one instance of the application and add each of these instances to a cluster. All the instances in a cluster use the same vCenter Chargeback database and can be accessed through a load balancer. All the instances in a cluster are automatically synchronized. Any user request is routed through the load balancer, ensuring that user requests are distributed across the vCenter Chargeback instances in the cluster.

Virtual Appliance

This release of vCenter Chargeback allows you to deploy the application as a virtual appliance. The steps for deploying the application as a virtual appliance are covered in the Installing vCenter Chargeback chapter of the vCenter Chargeback User's Guide. The vCenter Chargeback virtual appliance is purely for an evaluation purpose. You must use only an evaluation license for the virtual appliance. Unlike the regular installation, the virtual appliance is not configured for SSL support.

Database Management Scripts

vCenter Chargeback provides SQL scripts that can help database administrators to manage the vCenter Chargeback database. These SQL scripts can be run by a database user with the required permissions from the SQL prompt. These scripts are packaged in the vCenter-CB-Scripts-1.0.0-175384.zip file. You must download and extract the contents of this file into a folder. This folder path is referred to as the <Installation_Directory> in the Database Management Scripts section of the System Health, Utilities, and Troubleshooting chapter in the vCenter Chargeback User's Guide.

System Requirements

The vCenter Chargeback User's Guide provides detailed information about the system requirements for installing and running the application. This section provides information about the supported operating systems, database management systems, and vCenter Server versions.

Supported Operating Systems

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 with SP2 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008

You can install and run vCenter Chargeback on any supported localized Windows operating system. However, all the labels and text messages in the installer and application user interface (including the plug-in in the VI Client) are displayed in English only. Also, users must enter only ASCII and extended ASCII characters. The application does not recognize non-ASCII characters.

Supported Database Management Systems

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 (Standard and Enterprise)
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 (Standard and Enterprise)
  • Oracle Database 10g (Standard and Enterprise)
  • Oracle Database 11g (Standard and Enterprise)

Supported vCenter Server Versions

  • VirtualCenter Server 2.5 Update 3
  • VirtualCenter Server 2.5 Update 4
  • vCenter Server 4.0

Preinstallation Tasks

Before you install and use the VMware vCenter Chargeback application, you must:

  • Create a vCenter Chargeback database and database user
    You must create a database for vCenter Chargeback to store the application-specific data. In addition, you must also create a database user with permissions to create and delete schema, as well as read from and write to the database.
  • Set a static IP address on the machine
    You must set a static IP address on the machine on which you plan to install vCenter Chargeback. You can obtain a static IP address from your network administrator. Preferably, obtain and set static IP addresses on all the servers and databases that the application will communicate with.
  • Ensure that MSI installation is enabled
    You must ensure that MSI installation is enabled on the machine. If it is not, you must manually install Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Redistributable Package (x86) before running the vCenter Chargeback installer.
  • Check whether the required ports are free
    Ensure that the ports that you specify during the installation are free. While installing vCenter Chargeback, you must specify the port numbers for the HTTP port (default 8080), load-balancer port (default 8009), and HTTPS port (default 443).
  • Ensure that port exceptions are configured on the Windows Firewall
    If the Windows Firewall is enabled, you must set port exceptions for the HTTP, load balancer, and HTTPS ports on the Windows Firewall. If these exceptions are not set, the application will not be usable.
  • Ensure that system time of all the servers and databases are in sync
    You must ensure that the system time of the machines on which you install vCenter Chargeback and vCenter Chargeback database are in sync. If you plan to install a separate data collector on a different machine, then the system time of this machine must be in sync with that of the other machines.

Quick Install

Download the vCenter-CB-1.0.0-175384.zip file, and extract the contents. vCenter-CB.exe, one of the files in the archive, is the installer file. To start the installation:

  1. Run the vCenter-CB.exe file.
    The installation wizard is displayed.
  2. Click Next on the Introduction screen.
  3. Accept the end-user license agreement, and click Next.
  4. Provide the path for the installation directory, and click Next.
    Ensure that the installation directory path has at least one directory (for example, C:\vCenterChargeback10\) and does not point to just a drive (for example, C:\). If the specified installation directory exists, ensure that it is empty. If the specified installation directory does not exist, the installer will create the directory.
  5. Provide the following vCenter Chargeback database-related information, and click Next:
    • Database Type: The type of database used to create the vCenter Chargeback database. This can be either SQL SERVER or ORACLE.
    • Database URL: The IP address of the system on which the vCenter Chargeback database is installed along with either the port at which the database listener service is running or the vCenter Chargeback database instance name.
      For Oracle Database, the database URL can be in any of the following formats:
      • <IP Address>:<TNS Listener Port>
      • <Host Name>:<TNS Listener Port>
      For SQL Server, the database URL can be in any of the following formats:
      • <IP Address>\<Database Instance Name>
      • <Host Name>\<Database Instance Name>
      Note: For SQL Server, enter the instance name and not the port number.
    • Database Name: Name of the database in which vCenter Chargeback stores the application-specific data.
    • Database Username: Name of the database user. The database user must have privileges to create and delete schema, as well as read from and write to the database.
    • Database Password: Password for the user name that you have provided.
    If the installer successfully connects to the database, the next screen is displayed.
  6. Provide the following information for the vCenter Chargeback application, and click Next:
    • IP Address: Static IP address of the machine on which you are installing vCenter Chargeback. Do not use localhost instead of the IP address.
    • HTTP Port: An unused HTTP port through which vCenter Chargeback communicates.
    • Load-Balancer Port: An unused port through which vCenter Chargeback can communicate with the load balancer (Apache Server).
    • Server Instance Name: A user-defined name for the vCenter Chargeback instance. This name is used by the load balancer to identify the instance.
    If the specified ports are free, the next screen is displayed.
  7. Provide the following details for installing the load balancer, and click Next:
    • IP Address: Static IP address of the machine on which you are installing vCenter Chargeback. Do not use localhost instead of the IP address.
    • Admin Email Address: Email address of the server administrator.
    • HTTPS Port: An unused port through which the Apache Server communicates. The load balancer listens on this port for user requests.
    If the specified port is free, the next screen is displayed.
  8. Enter a user name and password for the administrative account that will be used to manage the vCenter Chargeback application, and click Next.
    The password must not exceed 24 characters in length.
  9. The Install Data Collector option is selected by default. Click Next.
    You must have at least one instance of the data collector that is running and registered with the application for the database synchronization jobs to run.
  10. Review the information displayed on the Pre-Installation Summary screen, and click Install.
    The installer starts installing the various components and creating the database schema. If the installation is successful, the URL for accessing the vCenter Chargeback application is displayed.
  11. Note this URL, and click Done.

Known Issues

The known issues in this release are listed in this section. Workarounds, if any, are provided in the issue description.

Hierarchy Management Issues

  • On deleting a chargeback hierarchy, hierarchy does not exist message appears
    If you are accessing a chargeback hierarchy from more than one client (Web browser) and delete the hierarchy from one of the clients, vCenter Chargeback displays the following error:
      Hierarchy with Id 'N' does not exist.
    where N is some positive number.
    This error appears on the other clients only when you try to perform any action on this hierarchy. You must refresh the Hierarchy Manager tab by selecting another hierarchy.

  • Hierarchy creation fails with the error Hierarchy with name 'X' already exists
    If you have registered vCenter Chargeback with a vCenter Server and try to create a hierarchy with the same name as the vCenter Server, the application displays an error similar to the following:
      Hierarchy with name 'X' already exists.
    where X is the provided name of the hierarchy, which is same as the vCenter Server name.
    This error occurs because vCenter Chargeback creates a default hierarchy for the vCenter Server with the hierarchy name same as the vCenter Server name, when the application is registered with a vCenter Server.

  • vCenter Chargeback does not show the status of the virtual machines
    This release of vCenter Chargeback does not show the status of the virtual machines in the chargeback hierarchy and vCenter Server hierarchy. All the virtual machines in the hierarchies have the same icon and do not indicate whether they are powered on, suspended, or powered off. Also, the vCenter Server hierarchy displays all the virtual machines including the ones that are suspended or powered off. This, however, does not affect the usage and cost calculation. The usage statistics are tracked by vCenter Server and stored in the vCenter Server database. This information is used by vCenter Chargeback to calculate the costs.

  • Sort order of the entities in a hierarchy is different in vCenter Chargeback as compared to that in the vSphere Client
    In vCenter Chargeback, the entities at each level in a hierarchy are sorted alphabetically. Therefore, the sort order of the entities in a hierarchy is different in vCenter Chargeback and vSphere Client. There is currently no workaround for this issue.

  • Changes to a chargeback hierarchy are not reflected in the concurrent user sessions
    Hierarchy creation, deletion, and renaming operations performed by a user are not automatically reflected in the concurrent user sessions. The concurrent users must log out and then log in again to see these changes. Any other change to the chargeback hierarchy, such as adding or deleting an entity, might not reflect immediately in the concurrent user sessions. After a change is made to the chargeback hierarchy, the hierarchy must be manually refreshed in the concurrent user sessions. Users can refresh the chargeback hierarchy by clicking the refresh button next to the chargeback hierarchy or by loading another chargeback hierarchy and then reloading the required chargeback hierarchy. The refresh button appears only if vCenter Chargeback detects changes to the chargeback hierarchy.

  • Chargeback hierarchy shows vApps as resource pools
    In this release of vCenter Chargeback, the icon used to represent vApps in the chargeback hierarchy is same as that used to represent resource pools. There is currently no workaround for this issue.

  • Unable to delete chargeback hierarchy history
    If a virtual machine is added to a vCenter Chargeback entity, the computing resource usage details for this virtual machine are associated with the entity until the virtual machine is moved or deleted. This information persists and cannot be deleted from vCenter Chargeback. Also, if the virtual machine is moved to another entity, this history cannot be reassociated with the new entity. Therefore, you must be careful when adding virtual machines to a vCenter Chargeback entity. If you add a virtual machine to an entity by mistake and then move it to another entity, the resource usage information for the time period that the virtual machine belonged to the former entity cannot be deleted or reassociated with the new entity.

  • Re-added virtual machine does not have the cost information configured on it
    If you delete an ESX host from a vCenter Server, all the virtual machines belonging to this ESX host are deleted from the chargeback hierarchy. After re-adding the ESX host to the vCenter Server, you can add the virtual machines on this ESX host back to the respective chargeback hierarchies in vCenter Chargeback. However, any entity-specific cost configuration set on the virtual machines prior to deleting the ESX host from the vCenter Server is lost. This information is not available on the virtual machines after they are re-added to the chargeback hierarchies. You must, therefore, migrate all the virtual machines on an ESX host before removing the ESX host from the vCenter Server.

  • Changes to the chargeback hierarchy are not reflected immediately
    If the changes made to a chargeback hierarchy are not displayed immediately in the Web browser, you must refresh the chargeback hierarchy to view the changes. You can refresh the chargeback hierarchy by selecting another hierarchy and then reselecting the required chargeback hierarchy.

Report Management Issues

  • Blank space in the report under the Chargeback Cost Details section
    This is a formatting issue with the report. If you have deselected the Show cost model info option on the Cost Info tab, the cost model information is not displayed in the report, which results in a blank space between the Chargeback Cost Details section and the Usage Charges section for each entity.

  • Scheduled reports for a vCenter Server user might not contain the correct entities
    A report scheduled for a vCenter Server user might contain the usage and cost details for entities on which the user does not have permissions. The report might also exclude some entities on which the user has permissions. There is currently no workaround for this issue.

  • Columns and rows in the report are misaligned
    If you are generating reports one after the other without performing any intermediate operation, some reports might have the columns and rows misaligned. This issue exists only in the vCenter Chargeback user interface. If you export the report to a PDF or RTF file, the columns and rows are properly displayed.

  • Units for Network Received and Transmitted is not displayed in the Chargeback Cost Details section of the report
    Depending on the number and type of information selected for display in the Chargeback Cost Details section of a report, the units for the Network Received and Transmitted computing resource might not be displayed in the report. The value for Network Received and Transmitted is displayed in GB/Hr.

  • Report displays Disk IO and Network IO in the Chargeback Resource Summary section
    In this release of vCenter Chargeback, Disk Read and Write is displayed as Disk IO and Network Received and Transmitted is displayed as Network IO in the Chargeback Resource Summary section of a report.

  • CPU usage is 100% during report generation
    If five or more reports each having more than 1000 pages are generated simultaneously, the CPU usage of the machine on which vCenter Chargeback is running might reach 100%. The CPU usage reduces after the reports are generated. There is currently no workaround for this issue.

  • Report generation schedule is automatically changed
    If vCenter Chargeback stops running and is restarted, all the reports generation schedules that were set to run during the period that the application was not running are immediately started. Also, these report generation schedules are automatically updated to run at this new time. For example, suppose you have created a report generation schedule that generates a daily report at 6:00 PM. If the application stops running at 4:30 PM, and you restart vCenter Chargeback at 9:00 AM the next day, the report that had to be generated at 6:00 PM the previous day is now get generated at 9:00 AM. Also, the corresponding schedule is updated automatically to run at 9:00 AM everyday.
    If five or more report generation schedules did not run because the application was not running and each report has more than 1000 pages, then the application might become nonresponsive as soon as it is started. The CPU usage of the machine on which vCenter Chargeback is running might reach 100%. Wait for all the reports to get generated before performing any operation.

  • Errors displayed when rescheduling an archived report
    When you reschedule an archived report, vCenter Chargeback might display errors if the archived report was generated by a report schedule that is currently expired. vCenter Chargeback displays the error Invalid at the top level of the document. No data.
    If you click OK on the error dialog, the Schedule Report screen is displayed. On entering the schedule information and clicking Schedule, vCenter Chargeback displays the error An error has occurred. Please contact system administrator.
    The new report schedule is created and can be accessed from the Scheduled Reports page. However, this new schedule has incorrect information. You must change the schedule information for this newly created schedule from the Scheduled Reports page.
    Alternatively, you can create a new schedule for the report, if the report schedule has expired.

User Management Issues

  • Search for LDAP users returns LDAP users and LDAP groups
    In the Permissions page of the Users & Role tab, when you search for users of the type LDAP User, the displayed search results include the LDAP users as well as the LDAP groups that match the search criteria. If the search criteria is not provided, then all the LDAP users and groups are displayed. There is currently no workaround for this issue.

Internationalization Issues

  • Non-ASCII characters are not displayed correctly in the exported report and the report sent by email
    If the report includes non-ASCII characters, these characters are not displayed correctly if the report is exported to the PDF or CSV format. vCenter Chargeback, however, displays these characters correctly. This issue also occurs when the report is sent through an email. If the report name has non-ASCII characters, the generated report name and emailed report name might differ.

  • The date format in the report is not the same as the date format in the application
    If you are running vCenter Chargeback on a localized operating system, such as Japanese Windows, the date format in the generated report might differ from the date format in the vCenter Chargeback application. There is no workaround for this issue.

  • Errors displayed while accessing vCenter Chargeback from a localized version of Windows Server 2003
    In this release of vCenter Chargeback, you might get some errors when you access the application from a Web browser on a localized version of Windows Server 2003 operating system. You should access vCenter Chargeback from a Web browser on any operating system other than Windows Server 2003. There are currently no workarounds for this issue.

Virtual Appliance Issues

  • Unable to download the data collector from the vCenter Chargeback virtual appliance
    The vCenter Chargeback virtual appliance is only for evaluation purpose. Therefore, this release of vCenter Chargeback supports only a single data collector instance with the virtual appliance. This data collector instance is embedded in the virtual appliance.

Other Issues

  • Unable to download and install the vCenter Chargeback plug-in from the Plug-ins Manager Window of the VI Client
    This is a VI Client issue. Restart the VI Client and accept the vCenter Chargeback SSL certificate. This might rectify the issue if the VI Client is able to communicate with vCenter Chargeback. If the VI Client and vCenter Chargeback are on different network domains, this issue might persist.

  • VI Client does not render the hierarchy completely or displays error while rendering
    If you are using VI Client 2.5 with Internet Explorer 6 on a Windows Server 2003 machine, the VI Client might display some errors, such as Insufficient Memory, when trying to render a very large hierarchy (having more than 1000 entities). Also, the hierarchy rendering is very slow. A probable workaround is to access vCenter Chargeback directly from a Web browser instead of using the vCenter Chargeback plug-in on the VI Client.

  • vCenter Chargeback instance is not recognized as a part of the cluster
    If you have a two-instance cluster and the first vCenter Chargeback instance fails due to some reason, all the requests currently being served by the first instance are moved to the second instance. After the first instance is restarted, if the second instance fails, the request handled by the second instance are not moved to the first instance. That is, the failover does not happen because the second instance does not recognize the first instance as a part of the cluster. A workaround for this issue is to restart all the vCenter Chargeback instances in the cluster. This issue also occurs for clusters with more than two instances. If any of the vCenter Chargeback instances fails and is restarted, that instance starts serving user requests but is not recognized by the cluster until other instances are restarted.

  • The Number of Chargeback Entities value displayed in the System Health tab is incorrect
    The Number of Chargeback Entities value reported on the System Health tab of vCenter Chargeback includes the chargeback entities created in the application, the vCenter Server entities added to the application, and also the entities deleted from the application. As a result, there is a mismatch in the reported number of chargeback entities and the actual number of chargeback entities in the application.

  • vCenter Chargeback does not automatically connect to the database after a database service restart
    If the vCenter Chargeback database fails and is restarted, vCenter Chargeback does not automatically connect to the database. Instead, vCenter Chargeback displays an error message similar to Error unknown object. You must restart vCenter Chargeback for the database connection to be established. This issue exists only with an Oracle database and not with an SQL Server database.

  • vCenter Chargeback GUI does not display the cursor in the text input fields
    If you are using the Mozilla Firefox 2.x Web browser, when you click in a text input field in the application GUI, the cursor might not be displayed. You can, however, enter values in the text input fields. This issue does not exist with Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.x and 7.x, as well as with Mozilla Firefox 3.0.11 and later releases.

  • Imported vCenter Server attributes are not deleted when the vCenter Server entity is deleted
    While adding a vCenter Server entity to a chargeback hierarchy, you can import the attributes defined on this entity. However, these attributes are not deleted from the vCenter Chargeback application when the corresponding vCenter Server entity is deleted. You can manually delete these attributes from the application if the attributes are no longer required and are not assigned to any other entities across the chargeback hierarchies defined in the application.

  • Database URL in the error message is incorrect
    When you are adding a vCenter Server to vCenter Chargeback, the application might display an error similar to the following:

        Unable to connect to the vCenter Database Server:jdbc:sqlserver://123.123.123.321sqlexp_vim;databaseName=vim_vcdb

    The error message might not contain the backslash (\) character in the database URL (<IP Address>\<InstanceName>). The error indicates that the login credentials for the vCenter Server database are incorrect and not that the database URL is incorrect.

  • The purgeStatsData_oracle.sql script fails with a bind variable error
    The purgeStatsData_oracle.sql script when run in the vCenter Chargeback database (an Oracle Database), fails with the following error:

        Bind Variable "01" is NOT DECLARED

    Refer to KB 1012451 for the solution.