June 2017 Newsletter

June 2017 Newsletter

Wish you a Very Happy New Year 2017!

We have delivered some awesome features through last year enabling Hybrid Cloud scenarios, starting from integrations with top Cloud and Virtualization platforms, Backup service, to taking care of some basics like Role Based Access Control (RBAC), Consistent experience, Bulk Provisioning and Customer Signup and approval workflows. All with full self-service and extensible automation support, which reduces IT support and management cost, making the ROI very attractive. Summary of available features and what is coming soon in this new year:

VConnect: Usage & Billing:

VConnect for Windows Azure Pack

Summary of VConnect Features Shipped in First half of 2017

The VConnect platform for Windows Azure Pack delivered many new cloud integrations and innovative features for Service Providers and Enterprises in the year 2016.  Some of the innovations delivered include: Role Based Access Control (RBAC), IT Process Automation with Operations Templates, IT Support Automation with Wizard driven Custom Commands, System Center, VMware vCenter, AWS, Azure Platform support, Inline Backup as a Service with Veaam and fine grained control for Administrators with various extensibility points and available customizations.

Here is the complete list:

  • New integrations: Tenants can provision and manage across all platforms using a single-pane of glass experience
    • OpenStack
  • Bulk-provisioning of VMs
    • Tenants can use a grid-based UI to trigger bulk provisioning of VMs of different types and deployment specs
  • New Tools for Admins and Tenants
    • VConnect Admin Windows App: to quickly edit Operations templates (.JSON), test the flow and deploy to WAP environment
  • Auto Management Policies
    • VConnect admins can apply policies for VM operations like poweroff, poweron etc... for any connection.
  • Group Resources and Access Control
    • Tenants are now able to change the Resource Group of a VM
    • Tenants can create Custom User Groups for Access Control to provide specific access
  • Custom Connection and Service Request
    • Custom connection is available as a part of connections. Admins can create and import scripts of their own as .zip archives
    • Service request is available as an extension for the tenants to run the custom scripts
  • Backups improvements
    • CommVault Backups - a new integration that will provide similar set of capabilities to the existing Veeam Backup integration for VMware.
    • Support multiple Veeam/Commvault connections in admin site connection level
    • View tenant created backups in connection level
    • Backup extension - to view subscription based schedules and respective restore points
    • Veeam Backup repository as a part of connection - to create backups in the specified repository
  • ​Plan level Improvements
    • ​Configure: Admins can be able to filter vm templates, networks and backups for a connection.
  • VM Management Improvements:
    • VM List grid shows memory usage of vms for VMware and System Center vms
    • Disk usage records are now generated for VMware , System Center and Amazon web services integrations
    • Custom properties for system center vms can be added in database and the data can be retrieved from server
  • VM Deployments Enhancements
    • Operations tab- view details will show the details of success or failed deployment
    • FinalizeParamsOp - An operation template is added to override params in deployments 
    • Tenants can now retry deployment if given access by admin via database
  • Other improvements
    • Admin can now restrict tenants from creating networks from plan level
    • Support for dependent fields in VM templates enables admins to create conditional drop-down fields in the VM provisioning UI
    • Made datastore computation logic for VMware VMs a configurable one 
    • Made DatastoreCluster a configurable parameter for VMware
    • Ip pools will now display the allocated and reserved Ips


VConnect Features in Second Half of 2017

  • Monthly Licensing Model
    • Enable SMBs and HSPs to budget the licensing costs as an ongoing operational expense rather than a capital expense.
  • Backups
    • CommVault Backups for Hyper-V VMs.
    • Improved status display for job creation and deletion requests.
  • Networks
    • Azure admin and tenant networks.
  • Other improvements
    • Logging of vm operations in database.
    • Custom command execution as operation template and deployments to be shown for the same.
    • Clone Vms for VMware.
    • Notification in the Plan Setting page if the connection is not configured.
    • Reconfigure, paramspec and Runtime Devices for openstack
  • More in the works...

Usage & Billing for Windows Azure Pack

Summary of Usage & Billing Features Shipped in First Half of 2017

Usage and Billing solutions have consistently evolved from a mere cloud charge back tool to a utility which can help manage subscriptions, audit invoices, have flexible charge back models such as flat fee model, consumption/usage based model, tiered model, make payments on behalf of the customers and so on. Moving forward, Usage and Billing solution will extend its reach in managing resources, making analysis of the resource consumption and generating reports, trend analysis of resources and cost.

Here is the complete list:

  • Pricing Configuration and Marketplace Improvements
    • A fixed Monthly fee can be set for Pricing Profile.  This enables Admins to offer Plans with a recurring flat monthly fee in addition to usage based charges, if any.
    • Admins can now control the sequence in which Plans appear in the Market Place.  This can be configured through the Pricing Profile feature.
    • Purchase multiple instances of an Add-on with a single click.  For example, if a SSL Certificate or a Domain Name is offered as a fixed-fee Add-on, then Tenant wouldn’t have to purchase those SSL Certificates or Domain names one by one anymore.  They get a shopping cart like experience to buy multiple of those in a single transaction.
  • Policy Management
    • Minimum commitment time frame can be set in Pricing Profiles.  This gives Admins the option to establish a minimum commitment duration for certain Plans that they offer to Tenants.
    • Admins can now prevent deletion of Add-ons containing VLANs if that results in the Tenant over-subscribing to available quota.
    • Low credits check can now be waived for specific Tenant users.  This enables Admin to configure the system to automatically suspend a Subscription when the usage exceeds the given credit limit, for select Tenant users rather than all users.
  • Billing and Invoicing Improvements
    • Admins can use new global settings to specify if taxes are applicable and included in the invoices.
    • The Subscriptions download CSV file now includes Subscription date.
  • Email Notifications
    • Admins now have the option to automatically notify Tenant users upon a subscription creation and deletion.
  • Notable Bug Fixes
    • Preventing display of Add-ons in the Usage Overview tab when they were deleted in the past billing cycles.
    • Removing entries for Add-ons with zero billing amount in the CSV download file.
    • Ensure Promo credits are applied for fixed-fee Add-ons.
    • Ensure Plan Pricing Profile mapping can be saved when the WAP portals have custom realm names (i.e., if the realm names are other than: http://azureservices/AdminSite and http://azureservices/TenantSite).
    • Co-Administrators will not see all the subscriptions of the owner rather only the subscriptions assigned to them.


Usage & Billing Features Coming Soon in 2017

  • Email Alerts
    • Email notification of usage summary will be sent to tenants on daily, weekly and monthly basis.
    • Email alerts will be sent to tenants when the resource utilization exceeds the quota.
  • Resource Management
    • Resource utilization and costs will be categorized based departments or plans.
  • Marketplace Improvements
    • Marketplace items will be ordered based on rank, popularity and category.
  • More in the works...


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