Just Another IT Blog

It's time to share some of my experiences, crazy ideas, tips and tricks !!!

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I know I own you guys the second part of my Chargeback Design series.
I don’t want this year to come to an end with this pending … let’s wrap it up.

As you might remember from the first post, you can install Chargeback Manager apart from Data Collectors!!

But wait, there’s no VMware Chargeback sizing or architecture guideline out there to help us decide how to build this solution.
I will share with you how architect  your solution with just a few simples questions:

First question: Does it require external access ?
With external I mean something outside of your control and governance, could be the internet, a partner’s network, etc.

If yes, then install the Chargeback Load balancer component only and place the server on your DMZ.

When you install a fresh new instance of Chargeback, the load balancer is installed by default, also it’s the only load balancer solution certified to work with Chargeback.
The load balancer will ensure that each instance of Chargeback Manager will serve an equal number of users.

You might be wondering, what if my load balancer goes down ?!?! 
Well, you lose access to Chargeback Portal. You can mitigate this risk, enabling VMware’s High Availability (HA). In case of any outage, HA will bring the Load Balancer server back in minutes. But, what if I cannot afford an outage of minutes ?!?! You could still use VMware Fault Tolerance (FT) to protect the Load Balancer server, as long as the VM is a single vCPU.

Second question: Does the Chargeback Portal need to be highly available ?
Some companies don’t need it to be running 99,99999% of the time. They are just concerned about monthly billing reports or showback reports that can wait until you fix the server ; )

But if your answer is yes, then you need to install at least 2 instances of Chargeback Manager, and point then to the same database and Chargeback Load Balancer.

 Obs: make sure you install the same version of Chargeback on all components of the solution).
Check the Chargeback Installation Guide about how to install those components and what ports need to be opened to the Load Balancer communicates with the Manager.

 Some Guidelines:
External Access: Place Load Balancer on DMZ
Need for High Availability: N+1 Chargeback Manager
Amount of Chargeback Manager: 1 for each 50 concurrent users

yeah, yeah, what about Data Collectors sizing ?!?! 
We will cover Data Collectors on a third post (that one became to large).



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