By llaszews on Oct 01, 2011
This entry along with the next three will be about the key attributes of cloud computing. Cloud computing is not virtualization, putting your computing resources on the internet or consolidating IT resources. There are four key atributes that you must have to really be 'on the cloud'. Metering and chargeback – Metering and chargeback are mechanisms for gathering compute resource usage (metering) and then charging back the user, department, or company for the computing cycle that they consume. In the client/server model, metering and chargeback were not necessary because each user had their own personal computer and typically each department or customer had their own database server. Today, most cloud services are offered on flat pricing model structured upon usage of computing resources for fixed unit of time (month or days). Although this model reduces the cost of using IT infrastructure, end users and developers pay a price regardless of actual usage. If a user subscribes for a compute infrastructure for a month and even if they actively use it for only 10 or 15 days, they still have to pay for entire month. This pricing model is typically derived by calculating the overall cost of the infrastructure (acquisition cost + operational cost + margin) and then dividing the amount by a fixed unit of time such as months, days, or years. Using sophisticated metering and chargeback tools provide both public and private cloud providers the ability to monitor actual usage of resources by the users and then charge them accordingly. Accurate resource usage information (metering) up to the minute or second in time can lead to a true pay as you go model which is a key premise cloud computing. Oracle Enterprise Managers captures very detailed information about the resource usage and stores it in its repository that can be later used for chargeback purposes.