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Documentation - HPE Usage and Analytics

Working with showback for HPE GreenLake services

Showback refers to reporting cost and usage data for a given set of technology resources by organizational grouping (e.g., department, project, application, or cost center).  Most IT activity is undertaken to support a business process.  The purpose of showback is to provide visibility and accountability for technology usage and cost.  Showback makes both leaders and teams aware of the cost of the resources being consumed, by generating a report similar to a billing statement for each group's usage, but doesn't actually bill them for the cost.  You choose how to attribute technology resources to an area of your business.  This enables you to work together with IT to keep IT spend closely aligned with your business objectives. 

Chargeback is a related process that delivers the same information as an actual invoice for payment by the internal organization. The key difference between showback and chargeback is the degree to which they drive accountability and guide usage behavior.  

While many organizations use showback as a stepping-stone to chargeback, showback itself is a powerful tool for business leaders, giving better visibility into costs and consumption and exposing opportunities to optimize IT spend.  It's not uncommon for organizations to delay or forego moving to chargeback after finding that showback meets their needs for cost management.

Using HPE GreenLake showback

You can use HPE Consumption Analytics's reporting capabilities and related features to achieve meaningful showback reporting for your HPE GreenLake services.

In a typical showback scenario, as a customer using HPE GreenLake resources, you want a breakdown of resource cost by unique identifier - for example, the cost of your devices or components by department or division (business unit). 

  1. If your data collection already tags resources to your business units using custom attributes, you can simply create a report in HPE Consumption Analytics that uses the field(s) identified by the custom attribute(s) (skip to step 8).
    • The resource field may be the Component ID, Component Name, or Resource ID.
  2. If your resources aren't tagged to your business units, add a tag, if possible, to automatically map them in HPE Consumption Analytics (then skip to step 8).
    • This applies to HPE GreenLake for AWS, HPE GreenLake for Microsoft Azure, HPE GreenLake for Google Anthos, HPE GreenLake for private cloud, and HPE GreenLake standard services (e.g., HPE GreenLake for virtual machines, HPE GreenLake for containers, HPE GreenLake for MLOps).
  3. If you can't automatically tag resources to your business units, export your resource-to-business mapping from an external source to a CSV file, if possible (skip to step 6).
  4. If you don't have a mapping from an external source, create a report in HPE Consumption Analytics to export your resources to an Excel CSV.
  5. Add your business unit mappings to the resources and save the CSV file.
  6. Import your CSV file to HPE Consumption Analytics to create a lookup table with a new field you can use to tag your resources to business units.
  7. Create SmartTags rules and run them against your data collection to add your business unit values in the new tag field.
  8. Create a report in HPE Consumption Analytics that uses the tag field.

HPE GreenLake VM-based services currently provide the best showback capabilities. 

Where the resources captured in your collection are at the infrastructure level, application-level mappings or other desired showback reporting may not be possible. 

The following chart illustrates the above process


Data mapping for showback

Click to view the HPE GreenLake services data mapping for showback, which offers service-specific guidance on fields for selection and grouping fields to enable showback reporting for HPE GreenLake services. 

Next step

The following learning path is displayed in all showback articles, to help you navigate through the content:

To get started, continue to the first article in the process path above.