Zerto CSP Automated Billing (Call Home)

KB Number:
000001110

Symptoms:
A CSP administrator needs to setup automated billing using the Zerto Call Home server.

Cause:
Every new CSP joining Zerto needs to setup an automated billing mechanism with Zerto. In order for it to function properly, certain configurations need to be in place.
This article elaborates on these configurations and provides additional details about the process. 

Solution:

General information

ZVR 3.0 - 6.5

Automated Billing works in 2 separate flows that work independently:

  1. Billing data is transmitted directly from the cloud ZVMs.
  2. Billing data transmitted via the ZCM for all ZVMs connected to it.
  3. If an internet connection is not an option due to security reasons – see the section for "Billing as of Zerto 7.0.’’

General Requirements:
Each cloud ZVM must have a valid cloud production license applied (no trial licenses should be installed).  Without a valid cloud production license, no billing data will be transmitted (sites with NFR licenses will not transmit billing data).  Users should apply their cloud production license supplied from their account team annually
 
Requirements For Sending Billing Data:

  • Channel 1: Send data via the Zerto Cloud Manager (ZCM)
    • All cloud ZVMs must be connected to the ZCM 
    • The ZCM must have internet access to Zerto’s Call Home server autologs.zerto.com over port 443.
    • The ZCM VM clock must be correct and set by network time protocol (NTP).
  • Channel 2: Send data directly via cloud ZVMs
    • All cloud ZVMs must have internet access to Zerto’s Call Home server autologs.zerto.com over port 443.
    • Each cloud ZVM must have the “Enable Online Services” option enabled under its Support Settings section.
      • Note: Customer ZVMs in “To-cloud BC/DR” do not participate and do not need any internet access (this is due to the ZCM managing the Cloud ZVMs).
      • All cloud ZVMs VM clocks must be synchronized and set by network time protocol (NTP). 
  • Note: Zerto recommends that both channels are available to insure billing accuracy and resiliency.

    Additional Details:

    • Data is sent securely (using https):
      • DNS - autologs.zerto.com
      • Port - 443 (standard https port)
    • The billing data is uploaded for processing on the 3rd day of each month. Zerto generates a report for a CSP based on the information received from all of their cloud ZVMs, aggregating data from all sites and removing duplicate data. The billing report (xlsx) is sent automatically to the CSPs primary billing contact.
    • If no rejection is received, CSPs are invoiced automatically according to the report.

    Notes:

    • Only cloud production ZVMs should have the cloud production license installed.
      • Test environments should be installed with Not-for-Resale (NFR) licenses, which can be obtained from your Zerto Account Manager.
      • Customer ZVMs in “To-cloud BC/DR” must not have access to the cloud production license key and will not have a license key applied in their environment. By pairing to a ZCC, the customer will consume the CSPs license as a cloud tenant. 
    • ZVM/ZCM internet connection through a proxy is supported, however connection via authenticated proxy is not supported. If a proxy is to be used, it must be set for the user running the ZVM service, which is "localservice" by default. To set a proxy for the localservice user review the following KB: https://www.zerto.com/myzerto/knowledge-base/setting-up-a-proxy-with-zerto/.

    Connectivity Troubleshooting:

    If automated billing reports aren’t being accurately generated or not generated at all, the CSP should use the following troubleshooting steps:

    • Confirm that the cloud production license is installed on all relevant cloud ZVMs.
    • Verify that outbound internet access is available from each of the cloud ZVMs and the ZCM over port 443, specifically to the address autologs.zerto.com.
      • Note: If applicable, the above address may be excluded from any proxy details for the servers.
    • Ensure that the “Enable Online Services” option is enabled under each ZVMs Support Settings section.
    • Ensure that it is possible to successfully navigate to the following URL from all cloud ZVMs: https://autologs.zerto.com/testpage.
    • Ensure that ZVM and ZCM VMs clocks are synchronized and set by NTP.

    Billing As Of Zerto Version 7.0 And Higher:

    Starting with Zeto 7, if a ZVM is licensed for a software subscription and not connected to Zerto’s Automated Billing Server, then the user is alerted for 15 days that the ZVM is not sending usage data to Zerto’s Automated Billing Server.  If the ZVM connection to Zerto’s Billing Server is not in place after 15 days, then the ZVM is disconnected from the VRAs.  When the ZVM is disconnected from the VRAs, checkpoints are no longer generated on the recovery VRAs. 
     
    Troubleshooting For Zerto 7

    1. In previous versions CSPs had the option to choose to connect either the ZCM or the ZVMs.  Starting in Zerto 7, all cloud ZVMs and ZCAs must be connected to Zerto Automated billing service. 
    2. Confirm that the cloud production license is installed on all relevant cloud ZVMs.
    3. Verify that outbound internet access is available from each of the cloud ZVMs and ZCAs over port 443, specifically to the address autologs.zerto.com.
    4. From each ZVM and ZCM, open a web browser and try to access autologs.zerto.com.
    5. Ensure that "Enable Support notification and Product Improvement feedback" option is enabled under each ZVMs site settings à "About".
    6. Test the connectivity by either clicking on "click here" button in the banner or by clicking on the three bars on the top right of the screen -- > License à
      "Test Usage Transmission to Zerto."  If the test is successful, you will receive a success message and the banner will be removed.
    7. If a proxy is to be used, it must be set for the user running the ZVM service, which is "localservice" by default. To set a proxy for the localservice user review the following KB: https://www.zerto.com/myzerto/knowledge-base/setting-up-a-proxy-with-zerto/
    • Note: If due to security reasons it is not possible to connect your ZVMs & ZCAs to the internet, you will need to apply a special license to all of the ZVMs/ZCAs. In order to obtain a license, please contact your account manager. Zerto Support can also be reached in case of any issues.

    Affected Versions:
    ZVR 3.0 and higher

    Hypervisor:
    VMWare/Hyper-V

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