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Overview of Service Reporting

Updated: November 1, 2013

Applies To: System Center 2012 R2 Orchestrator, System Center 2012 R2 Service Reporting

Administrators for hardware and server operating systems and hosting providers are often asked to produce detailed reports about the consumption of virtual machine resources and to do billing for their tenants. Collecting the data to create the reports typically requires using many disparate tools, and determining the allocation and consumption of tenant resources is often time-consuming. Internally developed custom tools often do not satisfy all the needs of a hosting provider.

When collected and reported data is inconsistent, a hosting provider’s revenue can be underreported and tenants might be overbilled. Providing incorrect consumption information can damage the profitability of a business and harm relationships with tenants.

A hosting provider can use the reporting information in Service Reporting to deliver transparent and accurate usage data to managers and tenants.

Benefits

After you deploy the Windows Server 2012 operating system, Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server, and System Center 2012 R2, you have all the tools that you need to understand your tenants' consumption of virtual machine resources and Windows Azure Pack services. Then, you can generate reports that you can use to:

  • Create detailed views, for each tenant, of the consumption of the computational, memory, storage, and networking resources for virtual machines and for Windows Azure Pack services.

  • Add accuracy in the billing process and reduce underreporting.

  • Reduce time and costs of managing and developing a usage tracking system.

  • Help your business offer services to tenants that other businesses might not offer.

By using Service Reporting, you can easily view and run monthly reports to share with tenants. You can provide detailed information to managers. You can emphasize areas where incorrect or incomplete tracking data contributes to revenue loss, and call attention to areas that are most profitable.

Architecture

Service Reporting is installed as an optional component of System Center 2012 R2. You can install it by using the initial setup page for System Center 2012 R2 Orchestrator. After you install Service Reporting, you can use Windows PowerShell® scripts to configure it. The scripts establish a connection from the Service Reporting data warehouse to the Windows Azure Pack Usage endpoint and to System Center 2012 – Operations Manager. However, Virtual Machine Manager data from Operations Manager is available only when its agents monitor System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager.

After Service Reporting is configured, users open the sample Microsoft Excel files and modify the connection information to point to the Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services database that is part of the Service Reporting data warehouse.

The Service Reporting data warehouse gathers information from the following sources:

  • Windows Azure Pack for usage data about its VM clouds

  • Operations Manager agents for information about fabric capacity data, which is gathered from System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager

However, the inventory component of Service Reporting does not depend on Windows Azure Pack, so Service Reporting can provide inventory reporting for the environment even if Windows Azure Pack is not installed.

SSIS jobs

The SQL Server Agent job in Service Reporting schedules SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) package execution periodically. It gathers data from Windows Azure Pack and then processes the data. Then, it gathers data from Operations Manager and processes that data. Occasionally, you must use Windows PowerShell cmdlets to change credentials, such as passwords, that the SSIS jobs use.

Reports

The sample reports highlight the capability of online analytical processing (OLAP) data cubes and show usage and capacity data from virtual machines. These reports also show an inventory of operating systems that tenants use. Service Reporting collects data for the reports hourly and stores the data until database grooming occurs.

The sample reports are stored in a file share when Service Reporting is installed.

See Also

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For additional resources, see Information and Support for System Center 2012.

Tip: Use this query to find online documentation in the TechNet Library for System Center 2012. For instructions and examples, see Search the System Center 2012 Documentation Library.
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