Account Activity

EPAM Cloud Orchestration provides you with a set of tools that assure user friendly and effective project management in Cloud.

Being a self-service, EPAM Cloud provides managers with the full control over the infrastructure at any stage of its existence and performance, and allows to estimate the necessary resources usage and future costs.

The Project management guide, given in the 'Documentation' section, gives the tips on configuring your project settings and contains guidelines for various routine situations, as well as useful links and documents overviews.

Project Costs Details

Project Managers and Coordinators often ask questions like: "Who created the VM?", "When was it changed?", "Why was the VM created?" and "How much does it cost?" You can get the answers to all these questions by using a couple of CLI commands.

  • To see the list of all the project instances with all the details, such as the date of the instance creation, instance owner, the date of the last event that happened on the VM and the name of the person who performed the latest changes, use the or2din command with the -a/--audit flag:
or2din -p project -r region --audit

Below, you can see an example of the command response (the long line is split into several smaller lines to fit the page):

  • To provide the possibility to see the cost of a specified instance, we added the --instance parameter to the or2report command. The instance-based reports can be of hourly or resource types and include not only the price of the instance, but also list the elements that comprise this price:
or2report -p MY-PRO --month 8 --year 2014 -i XXXXXXXXX --type resource

This command will create a .csv file containing a resource-based instance report for August, 2014.

Please note that you can get instance-based reports only starting from August, 2014. The instance reports for periods earlier that August, 2014 won't include volume and checkpoints costs.

Getting Full Project Cost

To get the ability to receive a unified report for a set of projects, please, contact our Consulting Team or Help Desk and ask to activate an EPAM Cloud Account. After the account activation, you'll be able to get a single report for all the projects associated with this account.

An EPAM Cloud Account is a logical group of Projects, registered in UPSA, that can be associated to a cost-center. When you submit a request for creating an account, you have to specify the following details:

  • the account name
  • the list of the projects to be included to the EPAM Cloud Account
  • the primary and secondary contacts

The people specified as the account contacts will get access to the EPAM Cloud Account reporting information even if they are not assigned to the projects associated with this account.

When the EPAM Cloud Account is activated, you can use the or2report command with the -a/--account flag:

or2report -m month -y year --account account_ID --type total

The requested report will be mailed to you as a .csv file and contain the list of your projects, the cost centers in which they are priced (each cost center is bound to a virtualization region), the reporting period and the cost:

You can also request receiving the monthly EPAM Cloud Account reports with the summarized costs for all the projects associated with the account. The people specified as the EPAM Cloud Account Primary and Secondary contacts will get these reports.

Getting Reports for Specific Groups of Resources

EPAM Orchestrator supports an option of requesting reports for specific groups of resources within the same project, for example, resources used for development or testing. For that purpose, assign different tags to different resources using the following CLI command:

or2settag -p project -r region -i instance_id -t tag

To get a report only for resources with a specific tag, send the following command:

or2report -p project -r region -m month -y year -g tag

Alternatively, you can set and manage tags via the Cloud Management Console using the VM Management Wizard.

To request a report only for tagged resources from the Reporting screen, specify the tag in the toolbar:

Reports by tags take billing info starting from the moment of tag creation. The resource price that existed before the tag was added, will not be taken into account in a tag report.
Tags are not available for resources in Azure regions.

For more information on using tags for reporting, refer to the Account Management Guide.

AWS Region Utilization

EPAM Cloud Orchestrator provides an ability to use Amazon Web Services (AWS) resources (EC2 Instances and EBS Volumes) the same way as EPAM Cloud virtual Instances and volumes. The only difference between them is another ID structure of instances and volumes in AWS.

As you might know, AWS provides plenty of services, such as Elastic IP or RDS. You can get access to those services via Maestro CLI Tools using Cloud Formation templates.

You can find the detailed instruction on setup and utilization of Amazon Web Services-based infrastructure through EPAM Cloud Orchestrator in the AWS Region Utilization guide. The guide can be found at the bottom of this page as well as in the 'Documentation' section.

Project Costs Optimization

The cost of your project infrastructure in Cloud is mainly a sum of prices for your VMs. The price consists of static and changeable costs.

  • Static:
    - Soft and Labor
  • Changeable:
    - Capacity (CPU+RAM)
    - Storage (Used space in GB)
    - Checkpoints

The other price affecting factor is the region in which the infrastructure is located. Each region has a certain coefficient that applies to services provided within the region and modifies actual costs.

It is important to know that monthly project costs can be significantly reduced in case project members take respective steps to infrastructure usage optimization.

We have described five simple steps that can be taken in order to reach this goal:

  • Scheduling: Setting schedules to start and stop you instances automatically on a regular basis.
  • Checkpoints accurate usage: A checkpoint can add up to 40% to a standard price of the VM. To minimize costs and release the infrastructure, it is recommended to create checkpoints before making changes to your resources and remove checkpoints after the changes are introduced and no reverting is needed any more.

When deleting a checkpoint, please keep in mind that the process can take significant time, even several hours. During the checkpoint deletion, the instance is unavailable.

  • Resource usage optimization: removing the unused VMs, stopping the VMs when they are not needed.
  • Checking Account Optimization Ratio Report: this report is a part of the monthly Summary report retrieved by project superiors at the end of each billing month. the report provides statistics on the active usage of projects' VMs and can be a good basis for further infrastructure optimization.
  • Use cheaper region: You can chose a cheaper region to run your infrastructure, if it fits your project needs.

All these steps and other useful information are given in the training called Five Hints to Optimize Costs. The target audience of the training are project managers and coordinators. However, this information can also be useful for common project members.

Please feel free to contact EPAM Cloud Consulting team to order a webinar on Cloud Costs Optimization.

Managing Dedicated Instances

EPAM Cloud supports a solution based on dedicated instances concept, that allows to add hardware resources under Orchestrator control. This means that after a hardware server is registered in Cloud, its billing and events information becomes available via Orchestration.

Hardware server registration in Cloud is initiated by a user's request to DEV SRV team, responsible for hardware support in Cloud.

Dedicated instances related to hardware resources are assigned to the special region, EPAM-HW1, and this region name should be used in commands addressing the dedicated servers. Billing of hardware servers depends on their location.

After a hardware server is registered in Cloud, the user can retrieve the following server-related information:

  • Hardware resources list: to get the information on all the hardware servers registered for your project, run the or2din command with -r EPAM-HW1 region:

    or2din -p DEMOPRO -r EPAM-HW1
  • Hardware resource billing: to get the information on your hardware servers cost, run the or2report command with -r EPAM-HW1 region:

    or2report -p DEMOPRO -r EPAM-HW1 -y 2015 -m 06
  • Hardware resource audit: to get the information on the hardware-related events, run the or2audit command with -r EPAM-HW1 region and -g HARDWARE flag:

    or2audit -p DEMOPRO -r EPAM-HW1 -g HARDWARE

To remove a hardware server from under Orchestrator control, run the usual or2kill command providing the related dedicated instance's ID:

or2kill -p DEMOPRO -r EPAM-HW1 -i instance_id

The information on dedicated instances is also available on Cloud Management Console, same as the information on any other instance in Cloud:

Management Tools on Cloud Console

EPAM Orchestration provides Project Managers and Project Coordinators with a tool that allows them to manage their project Cloud settings within minutes.

Using the Manage EPC wizard, available on Cloud Dashboard, Project Coordinators and Project Managers can fine-tune user permissions, project quotas and notifications policies:

Manage EPAM Cloud Wizard is available only to the users who have Project Coordinator or Project Manager role on one or more projects, activated in Cloud. This is true even for those who do not have either zCloudAdmin or zCloudUser on the projects on the projects where they have the Project Coordinator role.

The permissions management facilities allow to customize the default permissions granted to a specific user according to their UPSA role, or change the default permissions set applied to the users with a specific UPSA role on the project.

The quotas management facilities allow to tune monthly project utilization quotas, by regions, and set up the necessary notifications and actions plan which allow to improve resource usage and expenses control.

The subscription management tool allows to set up the notifications that will be sent to different groups of project members, and allow them select whether they want to receive these notifications or not.

You can find the detailed information on the wizard on the Manage EPC page and in our Account Management Guide.

Month-End Closure

After a month ends, we verify and synchronize all the billing data form EPAM Orchestration and Amazon Web Services and make sure that all the bills made out for our clients are correct.

On the 5th of each month we send e-mail reports to EPAM Revenue Group. These reports contain the costs for the previous month for all the projects activated in EPAM Cloud. It includes both EPAM Cloud and AWS costs.

Billing managers from Revenue Group send extract from the whole reports to the particular Account managers in part of their accounts and verify if Customer agree reimburse these costs. If these costs are billable - billing managers can issue invoice to the Customer (according to the Contract terms and conditions).

You can receive montly reports by EPAM Cloud Account that combines a number of projects. To activate an EPAM Cloud Account please, contact our Consulting Team or Help Desk and ask to activate an EPAM Cloud Account. After the account activation, you'll be able to get a single report for all the projects associated with this account.

Project Deactivation

After a project has been activated in EPAM Cloud, it can pass into one of the following states:

  • Deactivated in EPAM Systems
  • Deactivated in EPAM Cloud but active in EPAM Systems
  • On Hold

Project Deactivation in EPAM Systems

When a project is closed at the level of EPAM Systems, its Cloud resources will be automatically terminated after 7 calendar days, unless the project specifically requests their transfer to another project. If you think that a certain virtual machine and the data stored in it can be used by another project or should be stored for further potential use, you have the following options:

  • - Create a virtual machine image and export it. To create a custom image, you need to prepare your virtual machine. Please see detailed instructions on preparing a VM for image creation and on creating its image in the Services Guide. After the image has been created, make a request to the Support Portal to have it exported. This way, the image will be available externally after the project deactivation
  • - Transfer a virtual machine to another project. To transfer a virtual machine together with all associated resources to another project, make a request to the Support Portal stating the name of the destination project and the name of the new VM owner

Please note, that virtual resources continue to be billed for the period of 7 days after project deactivation. Also, when a VM transfer to another project is requested, the VM will be billed to the original project for the period between the request and the actual VM transfer. To reduce the total project cost, terminate your virtual resources as soon as possible.

Project Deactivation in Cloud

If the project decides not to use EPAM Cloud anymore, its virtual resources should be terminated to prevent unnecessary costs. Before deactivating your project in EPAM Cloud, do the following steps:

  • - Request a Resource Report for your project. A Resource Report contains detailed breakdown of all Cloud resources used by the projects with their IDs. In this respect, the Resource Report is more complete than the information on the Management page or the response to the or2din CLI command, as it contains also the data of existing machine images. To request a Resource Report, navigate to the Reporting page and select Resource in the Report type field. The report will be sent to you by email.

    Or, you can use the following Maestro CLI command to request the Resource Report:
or2report -p project -m month -y year -t resource
  • - Terminate all resources or move them to other project(s), if necessary. See above for details on exporting machine images or VM move to other projects. Terminate virtual machines and delete machine images. See the Maestro CLI Guide for details on terminating virtual machines and deleting machine images.

    You can also request termination of all project resources by the Support Team together with project deactivation by making a request to the Support Portal.

On Hold Projects

If a project is put on-hold for some time on the UPSA side, all virtual resources remain and continue to be billed according to the usual rate. Depending on the project specifics, there may be several scenarios of you resource usage optimization:

  • - Some public resources may have to remain running for the duration of the on-hold state
  • - If your infrastructure includes many virtual machines of different configurations, the most optimal solution will be stopping them for the duration of the on-hold state. This can save up to 60% of the infrastructure cost. The same recommendation applies to AWS/Azure/Google Cloud-hosted infrastructures
  • - If there are many virtual machines of similar types, the recommended procedure will be creating an image of one of the VMs and cloning the machines from it when the project returns to the active state. See the Services Guide for details on machine image creation.

Documentation

Below is a list of documents related to this section. You can find the full list of our documents in the Documentation Storage.

Please select a required document:

EPAM Cloud - Account Management Guide

This guide is a brief reference for Project Managers. It is designed to help you configure your project settings within EPAM Cloud, provides information on billing, quotas, audit, permissions management, and contains guidelines for various routine situations.

Five Hints to Optimize Costs

The presentation describes the basics on Cloud Costs composition and gives five useful hints on project costs optimization.