Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator has a number of levels of account management to enable delegation of control to the appropriate level. These are detailed in this section.
At the highest level, the licensee is the direct customer of Flexiant who has installed the Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator software and, therefore, has permissions over the whole platform. In a billing context, we refer to the licensee as the master billing entity or MBE.
Licensee access enables them to manage the hardware platform, specific products and billing entities. Wherever in this documentation a licensee is referred to, it is the entity licensing and/or running the Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator software.
It is recommended that the licensee does not have customers directly, as this makes billing complicated. If the licensee wishes to have its own customer organisations, we suggest that the licensee admin user creates a billing entity which the licensee organisation retains control of, and creates accounts for its customers in this billing entity.
Billing entities are organisations that the licensee sells platform access to. These in turn have customer accounts, which contain user accounts. A billing entity can also have its own child billing entities, which sell platform access to their own customers. Billing entities that have one or more child billing entities (i.e. another billing entity that resells access to the first billing entity's portion of the platform) are referred to as parent billing entities.
For administrative purposes, billing entities can also assume the identity of any of their customers when logging into the control panel. Some settings are customisable on a per billing entity basis.
For more information on customising the appearance of the platform for billing entities, see Branding and White Labelling.
It is recommended that parent billing entities (i.e. those with child billing entities) does not have customers directly, as this makes billing complicated. If a parent billing entity wishes to have its own customer organisations, we suggest that the parent billing entity admin user creates a child billing entity which the parent billing entity organisation retains control of, and creates accounts for its customers in the new child billing entity. The parent billing entity can have two child billing entities, one of which it retains direct control of. For a diagrammatical explanation of this situation and its remedy, see below.
A customer is an organisation that buys access to the resources on the platform from a billing entity. A customer can be a large organisation with multiple users, or an individual, who would have a single user account within their customer account.
Each customer can support multiple users, each with their own access details. Users are authenticated using their e-mail address, and each user can have access to multiple customer accounts if required. More information on users and user management is available on the Managing a User page.
To achieve maximum scalability and flexibility, Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator organises resources both physically and virtually in groupings. For physical resources these are clusters, and for virtual resources these are Virtual Data Centres. Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator also provides the ability for users to be able to sort, view and manage their individual resources in a way that suits them using Tabs and Widgets.
A cluster is a set of compute, storage and routing nodes. Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator needs a minimum of one cluster, but can have an unlimited amount. Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator supports large numbers of nodes per cluster, (1000+) so clusters are usually used for segregation of hypervisor, location, or service offering.
Clusters can be on the same network and physical location as each other, or they can be in entirely different geographic places.
Virtual Data Centres (VDCs) are logical groupings of virtual resources within a customer account, for example, virtual machines, disks, snapshots, and networks. They exist to provide convenient groupings around which customers can organise their infrastructure. Each VDC is assigned to a specific cluster.