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Nerdio Fundamentals: Nerdio Cost Estimator (Part 3 DaaS)

0 commentsJuly 26, 2019Videos

Joseph Landes:
In this session, we are going to talk about an incredibly popular tool that Nerdio has to offer, the Nerdio Cost Estimator. We know that one of the biggest challenges MSPs face in building a cloud practice in Microsoft Azure is deeply understanding the cost of purchasing Azure from their distributor or, in some cases, directly from Microsoft. MSPs are concerned that in moving to a consumption-based selling model that they may accidentally quote their customers an incorrect or unrealistic price for Azure services. The Nerdio Cost Estimator aims to solve this challenge by providing MSPs with an easy-to-use tool that has considered all of the pricing challenges one may encounter when quoting Azure deals to their customers.

Joseph Landes:
In this session, we will walk you through the Cost Estimator, looking at a common use case, Desktop as a Service, where the customer wants to leverage Azure for a simple virtual desktop environment for a small organization. Enjoy the session.

Vadim Vladimirskiy
The next use case we’ll look at is the Desktop-as-a-Service. This is more about a situation where you have a company that wants to stand up an office that has virtual desktops in it, instead of putting physical desktops for that office. There’s going to be no line of business servers, no application, no database servers in this deployment. But it’s going to be a bit more flexible in terms of what type of users you can have, so, you can see, once I select Desktop-as-a-Service, I now have the option for both VDI users and for GPU users. We can say, “All right, let’s go with a 25-user deployment here.” And let’s say five of them are going to get dedicated virtual desktops as VDI. And then let’s say none of them are going to have graphic needs.

Vadim Vladimirskiy
We can also include Office 365 in this particular case, so let’s say 25 for that and let’s say yes for reselling RDS. We can select, let’s say “no” to Azure Hybrid Usage because this is for a small environment. It’s unlikely that the customer already has that. The partner can obviously purchase it through software subscription, but let’s just say, “No.” Let’s also say one year to the reserved instances. We’re going to do in-region backup, we’re going to do no DR, and we are going to have Hybrid AD.

Vadim Vladimirskiy
Now, why do you need Hybrid AD? Because we’re not putting any applications or data in this environment. We’re just putting the desktops, so they have to connect back to their data somewhere, right? That may be their data and applications may all be Saas-based and not require any VPNS or connectivity back to a corporate environment. But in this case, let’s assume that there is an existing corporate environment with some applications that are going to accessible through VPNs. So, we’re going to enable Hybrid AD and have VPNs selected as “yes” as well.

Vadim Vladimirskiy
And in this case, let’s say we are not going to use RDS collections. In every case before, we looked at RDS collections as “yes.” In this case because it’s only 25 users, we can get away without the additional complexity of having a connection broker and having a scale set. We can scale things slightly differently. Now, the next question is around auto-scaling. You will recall it’s disabled right now because the reserved instances are set to one year. But let’s play this out with reserved instances set to “no.” Meaning we are going to be paying for things … Doing pay-as-you-go. So, we’re going to “pay-as-you-go.” We’re going to do desktop auto-scale, “yes.”

Vadim Vladimirskiy
And then once we have desktop auto-scale, then the system asks you, “Okay, how many users out of those 25 are going to be running 24×7, 12×7, or 8×5?” So, let’s say we’re going to have 15 users that are going to be 8×5. We’re going to have, you know, five users that are going to be 12×7, and we’re going to have our five, you know, VDI-type users running it 24×7. Okay?

Vadim Vladimirskiy
And then again, our bandwidth, our storage ops, our CPU port ratio, that is an important metric we need to tweak here because that’s going to determine that size of the recommended RDS session host. So, let’s go really aggressive here and let’s say we want two users per core, meaning it’s just a … You know, they have a pretty heavy application loads where every two users need their own CPU port. We’re not dealing with GPU, so this is going to be disabled. And then we are going to have to specify the size of the VDI desktop and given that these are very, you know, very advanced users, we are going to give them … Let’s say, a four core 16 gig of RAM d-series VM. Version three.

Vadim Vladimirskiy
Okay. Keep getting our discount at the same level, keeping our Office 365 discount, let’s say, at 15%. And, you know, same region and everything. You can see we don’t have the option for on-ramp regions because this is meant for a smaller environment. So, that’s probably not relevant in that type of an environment. We click “view costs” and we have our breakdown.

Vadim Vladimirskiy
So, what we see is it’s $104 per user on average. Right? Because it’s a smaller environment with a large percentage of those users having dedicated VDI machines, right? So, out of 25, 20% are on VDI, so that adds to the costs. Especially since the VDI machines are pretty beefy with four CPUs and 16 gigs of RAM. We’re going to have a small amount of file storage for, you know, for things like user profiles, and desktops, and document redirection. We can also include Office 365 E-3 licenses. We’re going to do backup, we’re going to be using no reserved instances, no on-ramp regions. We are going to provide RDS, you know, as a partner, that’s what they would do and desktop auto-scale is on, and Hybrid usage is not enabled.

Vadim Vladimirskiy
Okay. So, here is our environment. We have a modestly sized domain controller file server, Hybrid AD domain controller, a single RD gateway, and then 10 cores worth of RDS session hosts. Now again, from a cost perspective, we need 10 cores. In reality, we would probably end up going with, you know, either a single eight core, or a single 16 core, or may three four cores or something like that. You know, depending on if there is a natural split between the different user groups. If you have a user group that’s going to be doing kind of accounting work and another user group that’s going to be doing marketing work, you may give them different session hosts. But if all of them are going to be exactly the same, we may just want to go to a larger VM when we actually go to deploy.

Vadim Vladimirskiy
And then as we mentioned, five of these machines are going to be VDI desktops and those are going to be four core, 16 core of gig of RAM VMs. You’ll see here we have a monthly price only. We have nothing upfront and that is because we’re not purchasing either reservations or software subscriptions to be able to do software and show Hybrid usage. So, that’s why this number is all per month. There’s no upfront commitment. You can see that there is a pretty significant number in the desktop compute and storage. There’s a small amount of bandwidth. You have some auto-scale savings that’s right here, that basically shows you how much you’ve saved by the auto-scale settings that are going to shut those machines off or resize them based on the user work hours.

Vadim Vladimirskiy
So, that number offsets this number. You have, you know, no DR, server compute for all of the services, 335, et cetera. So, again, if you look at all of that, if you roll it all up, you are up to $104 per user, including all the licensing. Now, let’s see if we can tweak it a little bit more, make it a little more efficient. We’re going to go three years RI and we’re going to go with Hybrid usage. Then our cost is going to drop pretty dramatically from $104 to $67. And now you’ll see here we have an upfront component and we have a monthly component, as well, and an average. Obviously, this number dropped too.

Vadim Vladimirskiy
So, desktop auto-scale savings goes away, but the total desktop cost is much lower. The reason it’s much lower is because we are having … We are using these three-year reserved instances that provide more savings than doing of the auto-scaling itself. Okay, if we kind of mix and match or if we say “no” to this but “yes” to Azure Hybrid usage, then you know, we’re taking this number up quite a bit.

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