Cloud Cruiser became HPE Consumption Analytics on Nov. 1, 2018. You'll still see the old name in places while we update this site.



Consumption Analytics Documentation

Home > HPE Consumption Analytics Portal > Optimizing your cloud cost > Using What-If to model changes

Using What-If to model changes

Cloud Cruiser's What-If feature allows you to model changes to your virtual machines and see the impact to your cost, and compare the current state of your workload against possible future states. You can create a What-If model for each decision you want to explore, such as downsizing over-provisioned VMs, moving to a different region, or even switching cloud providers.

To use the What-If, you choose a period of actual usage that is representative of the future, choose a specific set of VMs that you want to model, change something about those VMs (region, size, etc.) to create a potential future state, then compare what your usage actually cost you to what it would cost you in that future state.

What-If supports Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. Note it does not support Google Cloud Platform.

You can model the cost of your workload in a public cloud even if you’re not yet using that cloud provider. Cloud Cruiser regularly retrieves rates from both AWS and Azure, which means your model is always using up-to-date rates.

If you want to share a What-If model with others you can export it to a CSV file.

Before you begin

To use the What-If feature, you must have the Manage What-if permissions capability. See Permissions.

Understand the What-If results

Results of the What-If model are shown in the format shown in the image below.

What-If Overview



The baseline period of usage is shown in the upper left of the page:

  • Baseline Period: The period of usage. The cost for your future scenario is calculated against this baseline. The Baseline Period is the number of days prior to the End Date you want to model.
  • End Date: Set this to be the final day of the period you want to use as your baseline. For example, if you set the End Date to April 6, 2017 and your Baseline Period to Previous 30 Days, the period will be March 8, 2017 through April 6, 2017.


An overview of your model's changes is shown in the upper right of the page:

  • VMs Changed: How many VMs you changed in the Scenario.
  • Cost Difference: The cost decrease or increase from the Baseline to the Scenario.
  • New Cost Total: The total cost for all your resources for the Scenario.


Resource panel: Shows the VMs from all of your AWS and Azure public cloud collections. Note this does not include Google Cloud Platform. The default columns shown are needed for What-If modeling, including the resource name and, if needed, an ID that uniquely identifies the VM.

Note you can customize the table fields in the Tools panel. Toggle Tools with the pencil icon.


Baseline: Shows the specific service the VM is an instance of and the VMs actual cost for the baseline period.


Scenario: Shows the service you want to model. The baseline represents what is and the scenario represents what that would become.

Create What-If models

What-If is based on Cloud Cruiser’s tabular reports, you have most of our report authoring tools available to you to create a meaningful What-If model. (For more information, see Reports.) For example, if you wanted to downsize over-provisioned VMs you might start by sorting the table by CPU utilization percentage to bring the least hardworking VMs to the top. You might also filter out VMs that are irrelevant to the current model, add contextual columns to identify the VMs that support a particular application or project, and group on a column to work with a segment of VMs at a time.

To create a What-If model

  1. In the left menu, click What-If. To create a new model, click the + icon in the upper right of the screen, or if modifying an existing model, click the model's name.
  2. Set the period of usage that best represents the future. This is the period of actual usage, against which the cost for your future scenario is calculated. The Baseline Period is the period of time preceding the End Date.
  3. Select one or more VMs that you want to model in your What-If scenario, and click Edit Selected. The Select New Service window appears.

Select New Service

  1. Select a cloud provider: Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure. The available regions, operating systems, and services appear.
  2. Select the region and operating system.
  3. Select the specific service that you want, or use the search to narrow the list. You can select any service offered by Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure. The service catalog marks the baseline service in gray so you can compare it against others.
  4. Click Save.

The scenario updates to show:

  • Your selection
  • Its cost for the baseline usage quantity
  • The difference versus the baseline cost

When you’ve finished creating a scenario that represents your possible future state you can save the model to refer to or update later. The values in the scenario cost column can change in a saved model without you editing it because Cloud Cruiser keeps them up-to-date with changing public cloud rates.

If you have an Azure collection, What-If uses your discounted EA rates to calculate the cost for your scenario, not the general pay-as-you-go rates. This makes your model more accurate. If you do not have an Azure collection, What-If uses the pay-as-you-go rates.

The cost for any AWS VM in your scenario does not take into account reserved instances you own. This is because What-If models changes to a specific VM, and cannot know whether one of your RIs will be applied to that VM versus some other VM. Therefore, depending on your RI ownership, your cost for AWS VMs may be high. This can make your scenario compare poorly to the baseline, which reflects the cost you actually paid (lowered by RIs).

Video example

The following video is a high-level introduction to using What-If:

Last modified


This page has no custom tags.


This page has no classifications.