This post is part 4 of a five-part series that explains how infrastructure analytics can be used to improve IT service delivery and reduce costs in a hybrid cloud environment. For a deeper dive, download the white paper “Data Insights and Control for the Service Provider Business Model.”


Are you tired of how long it takes to create your showback reports? NetApp® OnCommand® Insight can reduce your showback report creation time from months to minutes with accurate metering that sheds light on actual costs and creates accountability. No more guessing.


OnCommand Insight showback reports enable you to publish accurate cost and usage metrics for your complete infrastructure, including multivendor and multicloud deployments. This enables you to hold internal departments accountable for their use of the infrastructure in a timely fashion.


With accurate data, IT providers can make intelligent decisions about the costs their users are incurring and suggest better alternatives. For example, an application that consumes large amounts of infrastructure but generates little revenue might be a candidate for decommissioning.


Accurate infrastructure metering also helps service providers avoid billing disputes and achieve timely customer payments.


Despite the utility of the showback process, many organizations do not deploy this sort of reporting because of the difficulties in implementing it. Reports are often time consuming to create and rely heavily on manual inputs, resulting in high operational costs and inaccuracies in the numbers presented to end-user organizations.


OnCommand Insight offers a flexible and easy-to-use platform for infrastructure accountability through its path correlation capabilities. Showback reporting is automated through the OnCommand Insight discovery function. It sums the virtual machine (VM), network, and capacity resources of service paths provisioned to each tenant, business unit, application, project, or server.


Having all this information regarding your infrastructure solves many of the traditional difficulties with showback reporting. The data model enables granularity down to the hour for the “power state” of VMs. Therefore, cluster capacity is not double counted, virtualization platforms are correctly accounted for, and replica capacity can be associated with the business entity accessing the resources. This approach enables organizations to implement extremely flexible, accurate, and automated showback processes with very little incremental effort.


Let’s look at this short video demonstration of how showback reporting using OnCommand Insight can effectively lead to better use of your infrastructure.



Now let’s consider the example of a leading global pharmaceutical company. This company provides a range of information technology, medical supplies, and care management tools to healthcare providers worldwide. The company’s software, distribution, and business services play an essential role in addressing the challenges medical organizations face today and shaping how they will overcome these challenges tomorrow.


The company uses NetApp OnCommand Insight as a centralized monitoring platform to provide visibility into virtual servers, physical hosts, network switches, and a multivendor storage environment. Today, the solution provides detailed heath checks and I/O analysis on the entire environment.


With the visibility provided by OnCommand Insight, the company can easily generate automated showback reporting to business units, saving at least a week of manual labor every month. These insights have helped to reclaim orphaned and underutilized capacity in the company’s hybrid cloud environment, saving more than $500,000 annually in operating expenses. Also, by running I/O profiles on virtual machines, the company can accurately match performance requirements to storage tiers, further reducing costs.


Discover how to introduce accountability for your IT infrastructure costs so you can make data-driven decisions and improve IT services. Download the NetApp white paper, Data Insights and Control for the Service Provider Business Model.

Kurt Sand

Add comment