vCenter Chargeback Manager – Part 2

In the previous post, I have discussed the basic installation of vCenter Chargeback Manager (vCCM, from now on). In this post we will continue and show the basic configuration of the product.

I suppose you have installed vCCM without any problems and all services are running. vCCM has quite a number of services, which should  start automatically.

To log in to vCCM, you will need a supported browser, in my case IE 9 and Firefox worked well.

On the vCCM server, you launch the application from the Windows menu. From a remote workstation, provide the application URL, which was displayed after installing vCCM.

When you log in to vCCM for the first time, you will be prompted to enter a license key.

vCCM-02-01Figure 1 – License

Provide the License key and the credentials, created during the installation. When the license key has been accepted, you can log in to the application.

We will start with a few generic settings. Most configuration will be done on the tab “Settings”.

vCCM-02-02Figure 2 – Settings

Settings – General

Here you can configure the SMTP settings for outgoing email. In case you want to send generated reports directly to your contacts, you should configure this setting.

vCCM-02-03Figure 3 – SMTP settings

The last option “Enable password protection for emailed PDF documents”, PDF report are password protected when sent by email. The password is sent through a separate email.

Further the Log level can be adjusted, options are: trace, debug, info, warn, error and fatal.

The “Set VM Instance Job Interval”, relates to checks for updated hierarchies, the default 300 seconds is OK.

The last one on this page, Configure Storage Infrastructure Costing Mode is important in case you work with Storage Profiles.

  • Profile Based, means that storage whose capabilities match the storage profile defined on the virtual machine is considered for cost calculation.
  • Placement Based; the storage on which the virtual machine files reside is considered for cost calculation.

Settings – LDAP Servers

You can give Windows Active Directory users access to vCCM. The application only supports Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Active Directory and Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Active Directory. We will continue and use our local account.

Settings – vCenter Servers

This is an important configuration step. To determine the utilization of computing resources by the virtual machines and calculate the total costs, you must first add the vCenter Server instances in your virtual environment to vCenter Chargeback Manager. You can add more than one vCenter Server to the application.

  • The vCenter Server must be accessible over the network.
  • The vCenter Server and its database must have static IP addresses, if not provide the FQDN.
  • System time on the vCenter Server, the Chargeback Manager server, and both database server must be in sync.
  • On the vCenter Server, create a new user, for example: vCCM
  • On the vCenter Server, create a new role, for example: vCMM. Make a copy of the Read-only role and add the following privileges:
    • Storage views.View
    • Storage views.Configure service  *)
    • Global.Licenses
    • Extension.Register extension
    • Extension.Unregister extension
    • Extension.Update extension
    • Profile-driven storage.Profile-driven storage view;
      if you are using vCenter Server 5.0.
    • Global.vCenter Operations User;
      if you have integrated the vCenter Server with VMware vCenter Operations.

vCCM-02-04Figure 4-vCCM role

*) This is different from the official documentation. In my case “Storage Synchronization” in the embedded Chargeback Manager Data Collector failed, until I added the Storage views.Configure service  privilege.

  • In vCenter Server, on the highest level, under permissions, assign the new role to the new user account.
  • On the vCenter Database Server, create a database user, for example: vCCM_DB.
  • The new database user must have read access on the following views of the vCenter database: VPXV_HIST_STAT_DAILY, VPXV_HIST_STAT_WEEKLY, VPXV_HIST_STAT_MONTHLY, and VPXV_HIST_STAT_YEARLY.
  • In the vCenter Chargebackmanager, go to settings and button “vCenter Servers
  • Choose “Add” and be prepared to provide a lot of information:

vCCM-02-05Figure 5 – Add vCenter

  • vCenter Server Hostname/IP: the static IP address of the vCenter server or the FQDN, as discussed before.
  • The vCenter Server Display Name and Description, is exactly what you think it is.
  • The vCenter Server Username is the new vCenter Server user account.
  • The Database URL, in my case it’s a MS SQL instance installed on my vCenter Server.
  • The Database type, default is SQL Server or Oracle.
  • The Authentication Type, available if you choose SQL server. “Credential Based Authentication” refers to using SQL Server authentication. Windows Authentication, in case you created an Active Directory database user account.
  • Database username, the new database user.
  • Register As vSphere Client Plug-in, registers a vCenter Chargeback Manager plug-in to the vSphere Client. Place a thick here.
  • Enable Stats Replication, replicates resource usage statistics from the vCenter Server Database to the vCenter Chargeback Manager Database. Also place a thick here.

vCCM-02-06Figure 6

  • Accept the SSL certificate when presented.

vCCM-02-07Figure 7

  • If everything works according to plan, the vCenter Server should appear in the overview.
  • Verify that “Stats Replication Enabled” is set to true.

Note: If you have selected the Enable Stats Replication option. By default, the stats collection level is set to 1 in vCenter Server. With this level setting, the split utilization data for disk read and disk write, and network transmitted and network received cannot be fetched. See VMware KB 2010099 to correct this.

Settings – Data Collectors

The next step is checking the Data Collectors. During the installation of vCCM, we have installed the vCenter Chargeback Manager Data Collector. Optionally you can install the vCloud Director data collector and the vShield Manager data collector.

Go to Settings and button “Data Collectors”. Information about all Data Collectors is displayed at this location.

vCCM-02-08Figure 8 – Data Collector

  • Data Collectors must show Registered = True. This means the Data collector is enabled.
  • The Job State for each Job Type should not show “Failed”, but “Active” or “Done” are fine.
  • Under some conditions, the first run of the Storage Synchronization might fail. Further the VMware VirtualCenter Management Webservices service must be running on the vCenter Server. For vCenter Server 5.0, the VMware vSphere Profile-Driven Storage service must also be running on the vCenter Server.
  • For more details, have a look at table 2-1 in the vCenter Chargeback Manager User’s Guide
  • At this moment, I will skip the Cloud Director Data Collector.

The other settings are less important for creating reports. We will discuss these briefly.

Settings – Report View

vCCM provides a report view that is used by all the generated reports. You can configure the report view to display a specific set of information in each of the generated reports.

Reports have multiple sections. You can pre-configure headers, titles and footers.

  • The Title section appears only on the first page of the report.
  • The Header section is the report header that appears on all pages except the first.
  • The Footer section is the report footer that appears on all the pages.

vCCM-02-09Figure 9 – Header

Settings – Attributes

An attribute provides additional information about an entity in a hierarchy. You can define an attribute in the application and then assign it to an entity.

For example, you can create an attribute called Geo_location, and then assign it to various entities and set values indicating their geographic locations. The attributes set on the hierarchy and entities can be used to filter the hierarchies and entities on which a report needs to be generated or scheduled.

vCCM-02-10Figure 10 – Attributes

Settings – System Health Thresholds

The System Health tab provides information about the status of the entire system based on the response time of the various servers and databases in the system. The response time limits can be set in the application.

vCCM-02-11Figure 11 – System Health

Settings – Manage Computing Resources

On the Computing Resources page of the Settings tab, you can specify the computing resources that will be available to the users in vCenter Chargeback Manager.

vCCM-02-12Figure 12 – Computing Resources

This concludes the basic configuration. In the next episode, we will create our first Reports. Thank you for reading, and as always, I welcome your comments.

This is the second post of a serie of three posts. Also read:

vCenter Chargeback Manager – Part 1

vCenter Chargeback Manager – Part 3

7 Responses to vCenter Chargeback Manager – Part 2

  1. […] vCenter Chargeback Manager (vCCM, from now on). Part 1 was all about the installation of vCCM. In Part 2, the basic configuration was discussed. In this part, I will explain some of the philosophy behind […]

  2. camberton says:

    Hi, when i try to add a vcenter, i get the error message “Invalid vCenter Server database. The vCenter Server database must have the following views: VPXV_HIST_STAT_DAILY, VPXV_HIST_STAT_WEEKLY, VPXV_HIST_STAT_MONTHLY and VPXV_HIST_STAT_YEARLY”.

    In SQL Studio, i can see views but not exactly with same name. They are like that : VMW.VPXV_HIST_STAT_DAILY…

    Do you think this can be the problem ?


  3. camberton says:

    Hi, thanks for your reply. I saw this thread and there are 2 things : my SQL uer account must be db_owner on the vCenter database (it’s ok) and if the views don’t exist, i must create them. But they exist, with name VMW.VPXV_HIST_STAT_DAILY instead of VPXV_HIST_STAT_DAILY. They have VMW at the beginning.
    Must i create new views with exact name VPXV_HIST_STAT_DAILY….

    Is there an impact on the vcenter ? it is an prodction environnement.


  4. paulgrevink says:

    Production environment, in that case I would recommend logging a support call at VMware.
    If no support, I would proceed this way; I expect no problem creating extra views.
    At all times, I would make a database backup (and/or snapshot the vCenter VM), just in case vCenter should fail.

    Best regards,


  5. camberton says:

    Thx i will do a support ticket, don’t want to risk.

    Best regards

  6. camberton says:

    Hi, i solved my problem. In fact, i changed the schema (in sql) to the sql user from dbo to MVW and i can add a vcenter.

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