Cost-saving vCloud Feature: vApp Leases

June 27, 2012 by Jake Robinson

When it comes to cost control in the cloud, Bluelock Portfolio gives you great insight to where your inefficiencies are hiding. Portfolio is known for helping to spot those pesky over-allocated resources within your Virtual Datacenter, but what about in temporary workloads? Here at Bluelock, we see a few different temporary workloads that apply:

  • Software Development Build Testing
  • Online Classroom Labs
  • Software Sales Demonstrations

These types of workloads might run very efficiently during the time they are in use, but what about when the build test is done, or class is not in session, or the sales demo is complete? How do we control these types of costs in the cloud?

VMware vCloud Director has a neat little feature called 'Leases.' VApp leases allow you to set a time limit on how long the vApp runs, or even how long it sits before it is deleted. Leases could traditionally be thought of as a technical control to keep enough free resources in your datacenter, but it means a lot more in the public cloud. Leases allow those temporary workloads to be powered off automatically after a period of time.

Let's take our classroom example. The class runs Monday through Friday, So the vApp does not get used Saturday or Sunday. It makes perfect sense to power off the vApp for the weekend to save cost, and simply power it back on when we come in on Monday. Let's set up our lease to stop this vApp on Friday at 5PM:


As you can see, I set my lease the the number of hours until about 5PM on Friday, when class ends. When we come in on Monday, we simply reset the lease to the end of the week again, and reap the cost savings benefits.

Let's take it a step further with our software build tests. I may run a number of build tests in my development virtual datacenter, and I want them to go away. Permanently. Whenever I need a new build test vApp I just redeploy from my private catalog. Let's set up the lease to stop the vApp at the end of the week, and permenently delete it:

There we go. We have a "runtime lease" that is set to power off the vApp at the end of the week, and then a "storage lease" to clean it up for us an hour later.

Brilliantly simple cost savings, right within vCloud Director at Bluelock.