Connectivity Cost: Major Holiday Update !
Connectivity Costs is one of the workflows in the Edge module that seems to be the most successful with our users. It allows users to centralize the financial modeling of their Transit, Peering and IX contracts in one place, and track costs for each of these throughout the month, and every past month.
For a refresher on this workflow, take a minute to read this blog post from 2021 on Why and How to Track Connectivity Costs.
Today, we add quite a few highly anticipated features to it, read on!
Landing page calendar drawer now collapsible
The drawer with the invoice and contract expiry schedule is now collapsible, which was a common request from users whose contract dates are always the same: it can now be hidden, and the preference will stick for each user.
Dynamic Interface Selection
In the previous iteration of Connectivity Costs, interfaces has to be manually selected and added to the relevant Cost Group in order to bind them to a contract and financial model. For networks with a vast footprint, these external facing interfaces keep coming in and out of the picture, and users demanded to be able to manage this part of the configuration more efficiently. This is now done: from the already popular Capacity Planning workflow, we have ported the Dynamic and Static Interface Selector module into Connectivity Costs.
In addition, we've improved it significantly to make things even easier to maintain - amongst others, users can now assign interfaces in a cost group based on:
- Interface Name and Description regular expressions
- Device Names, including regular expressions (comes in handy if a portion of your device names is Site or Function related - think edge-01_ams01 for an Edge Router in Amsterdam)
- Device Labels, allowing you to exclusively focus on specifically tagged devices
- Last but not least: users can now choose between Logical Only interfaces, Physical Only interfaces, or both - for instance, depending on which of the physical or logical part of an Aggregate logical interface your SNMP accounting is going to come from
Interface or Group level additional costs expressed in any currency
Users can add Cost Group level (monthly or yearly) costs to their cost groups, but can add Interface Level costs as well. Until now, the currency of the parent Cost Group would be used to evaluate these additional costs into the daily computations.
With this release, users can now select the currency for both. Here's an example of where it comes in handy: optional interface charges are often used to document cross-connects. Our customers also tend to use local providers in whichever area they are sourcing bandwidth from. This often results in Bandwidth as documented in the Cost Group financial model being expressed in the local currency, and data-center cross connects (usually from a global data-center contract) expressed in another currency. Problem solved !
While at it, we made the Interface-Level UI for adding/editing costs more usable, see for yourself - in the example below, the cost group is in dollars and the interface charges for the cross connect in Euros.
New Computation Methods
Based on feedback from our users, we also added a few new computation method flavors as to how our engine should compute monthly invoices. To the existing Peak of Sums and Sum of Peaks we added two new models:
- Peak of Sums (Multiple interface sets)
- Peak of Sums (Max of In and Out)
And to make sure our users select the right one when configuring a cost group, we also gave better in-UI explanations of how each computation method works in the back-scenes:
What comes next ?
In future quarters, we are going to both extend the workflow to deal with non-edge costs, and also create functionality for users who have documented their costs into the workflow to be able to price any slice of their traffic.
Stay tuned, and in the meantime do let us know what you'd like to see next in this workflow !