Release date: 2021-05-27
The release notes for Snow Commander version 8.7.0 include new features, upgrade notes, deprecated and removed features, resolved issues, and known issues. To access release notes for previous versions, go to the Release Notes Archive.
Cloud Expense Management Enhancements
Several enhancements have been made to improve the overall cost management experience. These include multicurrency, changes to the Portal dashboard, custom waste reclamation reports, and other items.
Commander now supports multicurrency throughout the product. Admin Portal and Service Portal users may configure their preferred currency, and all costs will be displayed as desired. The configured currency for each user will be reflected in all aspects of Commander, including cost models, reports, dashboard, quotas, recommendations, and all other areas. This enables Commander to support several new use cases which include:
- Companies spanning multiple geographies may now cater to the local currency of each region.
- Different hyperscale cloud providers may report costs in different currencies. All Commander costing data is now accurate in these cases.
- Per-cost model configuration allows administrators to configure additional costs in their preferred currency instead of having to convert to the single global currency.
- Billing reports can be generated in any currency, as appropriate for the person that will consume the report.
Note that currency exchange rates are retrieved from the European Central Bank (ECB). However if you have custom foreign exchange needs, the ECB rates can be overridden with Snow Professional Services. Please contact your account team or create a case through the Snow Support Portal. if you require exchange rate customization.
Billing Retrieval Configuration — With Azure Enterprise Agreement (EA) accounts, you must specify the currency of the billing data being retrieved from Azure. You must manually adjust the currency to the currency of your EA account. For more information, see Retrieve Azure Billing Data. No currency specification is needed for other cloud accounts.
The main Service Portal dashboard has been updated with a month-to-date cost, now displaying the overall monthly spend to the main dashboard page that can be seen when first logging into the Service Portal. This allows Service Portal users to visualize how their spending is tracking compared to the previous month and to project where it will be at end of month.
Note that this new visualization is replacing a previous widget that would display only VM costs. This new month-to-date cost widget includes all private and public cloud costs, however this will be a noticeable change for upgrading users.
You can now identify unutilized resources in AWS and Azure, providing the ability to reclaim significant cloud cost savings.
For AWS, the report identifies elastic IP addresses that have no associations, unattached EBS volumes, and snapshots with no originating volume. For Azure, the report identifies unattached managed disks, unassigned vNics, and Blob Storage that’s not currently associated to a VM.
These new custom reports are configured as Command Workflows on a per cloud accounts basis, and are available from the Snow Globe Community. For more information, see AWS - Waste Reclamation Report Configuration and Azure - Waste Reclamation Report Configuration.
To help further integrations and automation, these new features are introduced in the Commander REST API.
Cost model currency — View the currency that has been set in the cost model.
- We also augmented the /billing-records endpoint. By default, costs are returned in USD, but you may specify ¤cy=CAD to convert to your desired currency. The returned results have also been augmented to return the native currency as well (the currency that was returned by the cloud provider).
You can upgrade to Commander version 8.7.0 from versions 8.0.x - 8.6.x. See Upgrade Commander in the Installation Guide.
Before upgrading, it's recommended that you review all release notes between the version you're currently using and the version you're upgrading to. Release notes for previous Commander versions are available at Release Notes Archive.
Upgrading to version 8.7.0 from a previous version will affect the following:
- Commander can work with currencies supported by the European Central Bank. If the default currency isn't one of these, then it will be defaulted to USD.
- After upgrade, currency will be configurable and any previously saved templates, custom components, reports, or alerts containing costs will default to USD currency.
- After an upgrade from 8.5 or earlier to 8.7, a Migrate Billing Records task will launch to migrate billing data to a new table format. The time to run the task may exceed an hour in large environments. Cost data will be unavailable until after this task is completed.
If you have an Azure EA cloud account and want to use the historical costing data, after upgrading to 8.7.0 you must use REST API to reset billing records for the timespan you need.
Deprecations and removals
These are the deprecations and removals for version 8.7.0. Any deprecations or removals encountered in subsequent 8.7.x releases will be noted in the relevant release notes.
- Microsoft SQL Server 2012 SP4 and Microsoft SQL Server 2014 are deprecated as of version 8.7.0 and will be removed in a future release.
- vCenter datastore scanning is deprecated, and this functionality will be removed in a future release.
- Service Portal access for non-organizational users is deprecated, and this functionality will be removed in a future release.
- VM Billing Report for Public Clouds: You can use the VM Billing Report for private cloud environments; however, for public or hybrid cloud environments it's recommended that you use the Cloud Billing Report. The ability to use the VM Billing Report for public clouds will be removed in a future release.
- End of Life Policy, Suspect Policy, and Approval Policy and the relevant VM states are deprecated as of version 7.0.2 and will be removed in a future release.
- Quarterly and weekly timespans for displaying costs in the Admin Portal and the Service Portal are being deprecated. The options that will remain for showing costs are Daily, Monthly, and Annually.
- Quarterly and weekly timespans for displaying costs in service request emails have been removed. The options remaining for showing costs are Daily, Monthly, and Annually.
- 20137 Cloud templates for services now display the annual cost in the Service Catalog and service request, without any custom attribute costs.
- 20126 Admin Portal and Service Portal Estimated Cost details now includes applicable custom attribute costs for each resource and annual costs for the stack itself.
- 20053 Removing a security group from an AWS load balancer no longer causes SQL constraint exceptions.
- 20047 Korean characters are no longer truncated when exported in CSV files.
- 20038 The Service Portal Cost Dashboard now correctly displays the costs in the currency specified by the Service Portal user’s preference.
- 19889 Characters that are input in Firefox are no longer duplicated when you open a console connection to a virtual machine.
- 19740 Files that are in the <commander_install_directory>\tomcat\certificates directory will be maintained when Commander is upgraded.
- 19729 vRouters now send out gratuitious ARPs when they are deployed. This allows freed up fenced network IP addresses to be immediately reused.
- 19483 After an extended period without activity in the Service Portal, you will be signed out automatically.
- 19233 The default comment length for new service requests, change requests, and workflows has increased to 8000 characters. If required, this limit can also now be modified through a system property.
These are the known issues for version 8.7.0. Any known issues encountered in subsequent 8.7.x releases will be noted in the relevant release notes.
- 20314, 20304 Private cloud costs may not accurately reflect storage costs after a billing reset has been run against a private cloud account.
It's recommended that you don't perform a billing reset on a private cloud without guidance from Snow Support.
- 18280 The estimated license cost for an Azure SQL VM incorrectly displays the license cost on the SQL Server. It should display the license cost on the VM that the SQL Server is running on. Note that the actual costs for an Azure SQL VM are correctly displayed.
- 16002 When the WebMKS console connection method is configured, Internet Explorer 11 users may be unable to see the mouse pointer in the console session.
Workaround: To open a console to a Windows VM from Internet Explorer 11 when using WebMKS, try enabling mouse trails with the shortest option. Or, use the VMRC plug-in method instead of the WebMKS method. For Linux VMs, use the VMRC plug-in connection method. See Console connection methods to learn how to change the console connection method for HTML5 browsers.
- 9223 In some cases, when you attempt to generate a Cloud Billing report and use the Group By option of Cost Adjustments, the report will fail to generate.