2020-Newsletter


Welcome to the Cloud Assert Newsletter 2020!

2020 has been filled with multitude of both challenges and successes for Cloud Assert.  We have doubled our customers, tripled our team size, released number of updates across our product portfolios and so on... We got this far only because of some of the great people like you all and the teamwork that made us drive for results and customer success. It has been a fantastic journey so far, and we are happy to serve you in the coming years with a bond of love and trust. 

We have delivered some awesome features through last year enabling Hybrid Cloud & Microsoft CSP scenarios, starting from integrations with top Cloud and Virtualization platforms, Managing multiple Azure Stack Hub instances in a single portal, Metered Billing and Cost Management solutions, Identity Server support in customer on-boarding, Role Based Access Control (RBAC), Bulk Provisioning and Built-in Approval Workflows.

All with full self-service and extensible automation support, which reduces IT support and management cost, making the ROI very attractive. 

Continue reading for this years' Cloud Assert highlights 💫


Microsoft Announcement about Cloud Assert at Build 2020!

Cloud Assert, an ISV partner, is announcing the availability of their Multi-Cloud Management toolset that runs in disconnected mode. Their solution allows Azure Stack operators to manage multiple Azure Stack Hubs through a single pane of glass either directly from the Azure Stack Hub portal or through their standalone interfaces. The offering also provides functionality for tenant users to deploy and manage resources on different Azure Stack Hubs from a single location. In addition to these management features, Cloud Assert's existing solutions such as Usage and Billing for Azure Stack Hub now support collecting usage from multiple instances and generating aggregated reports and invoices


Hybrid Cloud Management

Provisioning and Management of IaaS VMs across VMware vCenter, System Center / Hyper-V, Microsoft Azure, Azure Stack Hub, Azure Stack HCI, AWS, etc., with multi-tenant portal experience. It provides a single-pane of glass experience for all your cloud needs. 

Features Added:

Supports for external users to log in to Hybr customer's portal
Hybr now let's you configure more than one AAD directory. This helps administrators / contracting MSPs to login to the customer portal and manage resources on behalf of their tenants

User and Subscription traceability
User screen shows the list of subscriptions details that a user has access. This helps give a visibility of users and their subscription access.

Resource, Subscription and Connection traceability
Connection and Subscription details are now part of Resource list which gives a better visibility of resources and their relationships.

Report APIs for Third-party integrations

Cost Report and Subscription APIs for external system integration

Pool support for VMM infrastructure
Ability to create and assign resource pools for connections
Ability to request reseller relationship to customers for Microsoft CSP services
Hybr allows resellers to invite customers to accept the partner invitation for Microsoft CSP services 

UI Customization 
1. Ability to customize the portal colors for Admin and Tenants 
2. Ability to show only active subscriptions in Tenant portal 
3. CSP licenses purchase history of customers are visible for Administrators ​

1. Software Defined Networking support 
2. Configuring gateway 
3. Site to Site VPN creation 
4. BGP feature 

Others
1. Security improvements for Apache Guacamole console connect feature
2.
 Multiple subscription management per tenant company.
3. Identity Server support in Hybr.
4. Email preference for invoice, subscription management, soft budget notifications etc.
5. Resource Pool support for VMM infrastructure via Hybr

6. Hybr supports faster VM provisioning time using Linked Clone and improved customization
7. Tenant has the ability to Attach and Detach a VM network on existing virtual machines
8. Improved ISO mount capability which automatically lists all the ISO of VMM and vCenter
9. Restrict Virtual Machine access to owners and tenant admin only.
10. Provide virtual machine access to non-owners of the same tenant company
11. User level quota: Ability to set quota limit to restrict the number of virtual machines per user
12. Ability to customize a virtual machine's core and memory at the time of VM creation 

Fixed: 

1. When a success or error notification appear on screen, Users can now perform other activities such as clicking on buttons or navigating to other screen in the portal. This was restricted in the earlier which is fixed now.
2. Plan settings page ui improvements 
3. Minor UI fixes ​ 

Changed:
1. Improved Empty state design for pages that has no data to show Minor UI Improvements 
2. Notification toaster now appears to the top right of the screen instead of top center.
3. Notification toaster message has a progress bar that denotes when it disappears.
4. Changed the order of the CSP Subscription id from 2nd to 1st position in Cloud Service subscriptions page. 
5. CSP offer price now shows with 2 decimal places instead of one. 

Improvements:
1. Performance improvements in Marketplace page in Hybr tenant portal 
2. Improved pagination and performance in Virtual Machines screen in Hybr tenant portal 
3. Other minor bug fixes 
4. Squashed a few bug fixes 
5. Improved the performances of Virtual Machine Screen





Usage and Billing Solution

Features: 
Resource Provider specific billing charts in Hybr tenant portal 
Billing cost break down charts based on the providers such as vCenter, System Center, Azure, AWS, Azure Stack etc., 

Support for operators to reset the cost and regenerate the Invoice from UI 
In situations like a modified pricing profile or a changed metered pricing during the middle of a month, the billing cost must be recalculated. This requires admin to seek product support for resetting the cost computation. With this feature, the reset process can be initiated from the Hybr UI which saves the turnaround time for the administrators. 

Rate of Exchange in Billing 
Admin can configure the ROE for customers of different countries wherein Reports and Invoices will reflect the conversation rate. 

Billing Accounts:
1. Ability to add user roles for billing accounts
2. In the tenant portal, usage costs can be viewed by users who have access to the billing account.
3. Support for Monthly Fixed Cost irrespective of the number of days in a month
4. Performance improvements for Microsoft CSP workflows
5. Configure additional email recipients for Tenant Invoices 
6. Tenant user can view subscription usage and costs that are managed by them
7. The tax settings are moved from Invoice settings to General Settings 

Invoice: 
1. Ability to generate invoices in multiple languages
2. Support for a customized invoice through HTML templates
3. New default layout for invoice: This includes costs grouped by resource provider, invoice summary page and other improvements. If customer needs to see old invoice IsV2InvoiceEnabled in AppSettings should be set to false 
4. Azure Subscription Id and other external Ids from the source to be shown in customer invoices 
Ability to display usage history with costs for pre-existing data: This is controlled through IgnoreSubscriptionCreatedTimeInHistory in AppSettings; default value is false.  

Report APIs: 

1. Cost Report and Subscription APIs for external system integration
2. Support for operators to reset cost from UI

Others:

1. Improvements to Usage Data collection in Multi-Stamp environments
2. Support for usage collection and billing for vCenter Snapshot disks in addition to other VM metrics 
3. Performance Improvement fixes for Pricing Profiles  
4. The ability for admin to copy email notifications to other users 
5. Email notification settings for billing subscription changes 
6. More control on customer invoices: Admin would be able to mandate approvals before the invoice is available for the customer. This makes easier for admin to review and make any changes if required. 
7. Resource Level cost in Admin and Tenant Reports for Azure Stack Hub 
8. Support for Azure Stack Hub Version 2002, 2005 & 2008
9. Bug fixes and improvements  




Microsoft CSP Automation and Billing Platform

Azure Plan support for CSP 
Hybr supports Azure Plan for CSP Resellers who have migrated their customers from old Azure usage services.

Exchange Rates: 

Ability to define prices in one currency and charge customers in multiple currencies through exchange rates. This feature is particularly useful for Microsoft Cloud Solution Providers as the price list from the Partner Center is not available in all currencies.


Invoice:
1. Invoice support for Azure Plan in Hybr. 
2. Invoice changes that includes section based invoice line items. The invoice line items are segregated based on Usage types, license types etc. ​

Auto import CSP customers to Hybr 
Import all your CSP customers automatically. This saves a lot time when you manually import 100's of tenant users

Configurability & CSP screen visibility for tenant portal 
CSP admin has the ability to enable/disable CSP screens such as profile and marketplace for the tenant users

Ability to assign licenses to users in MS CSP main screen in Hybr admin and tenant portal 
1. Assigning licenses to users are now fast and easier 
2. Licenses and Users screen are brought to the main CSP page in Hybr tenant and admin portal 

1. Display Add-On Costs during the purchase workflow 
2. Optionally hide invoice payment status from the portals 
3. Configure additional email recipients for Tenant Invoices 

Purchase CSP services by Admin / Resellers for customers 
Ability for resellers to purchase Microsoft CSP offers on behalf of a customer. Earlier version of Hybr only had the ability for the tenant to purchase offers and with this feature.


Others:

  1. Support for configuring meter pricing for software subscription.
  2. Support to convert trial subscription to paid. 
  3. Support for individual Mark UP for Azure Reserved Instance and Software Subscription 
  4. Bug fixes and Performance improvement 
  5. Installer Improvement 
  6. Improvements to CSP Office 365 License data collection 
  7. Improvements to reseller price calculations for Office 365 Licenses 
  8. Azure Plan: Ability to charge Reserved Instances and Software Subscriptions (Visual Studio, Microsoft SQL, etc.,) 
  9. Licenses: Improvements to recurring cost calculation for licenses 
  10. Ongoing cost reports and forecast is now supported for Office 365 Licenses, Azure Usage, Software Subscriptions & Reserved Instances. 
  11. Office 365 cost split-ups based on license count in a billing cycle
  12. Support for showing Microsoft CSP Trial Offers in Hybr admin and tenant portal 
  13. Add-on plans - Ability to add multiple Add-ons for a subscription