Parallels H-Sphere Documentation Parallels H-Sphere Documentation Dedicated Servers


Billing Dedicated Servers

(version 2.5 and higher)

Related Docs:   Dedicated Servers Intro Introduction to Billing

Last modified: 24 Dec 2007


WARNING: This documentation covers Parallels H-Sphere versions up to 3.1. For the latest up-to-date Parallels H-Sphere documentation, please proceed to the official Parallels site.

Dedicated servers' billing is implemented within the unified H-Sphere billing scheme. Similarly to all other resources, dedicated servers are sold by means of plans in which you can choose resources to be available to clients and determine their prices. The exception is custom-built servers which are assigned directly to clients who ordered them.


Bandwidth Billing Types

By bandwidth we mean both the amount of data that can be transmitted in a fixed amount of time (measured in megabits per second) and the traffic - the amount of data transferred to/from the server for the given billing period (measured in gigabytes).

Dedicated server plan wizard allows you to choose between two basic approaches to bandwidth calculation:

  • Average is calculated as the sum of all samples for a period devided on the number of the samples;
  • 95th percentile which is basically the upper-range value resulting from sorting all samples for a time period, and then truncating (dropping out) the 5-percent maximums. A customer may want using this type of billing if only his dedicated server traffic is quite even (flat).

According to, "small servers with low bandwidth usage will typically use the average bandwidth billing while larger servers tend to use the 95th percentile.

The average bandwidth billing is quite simple to determine. The total amount of traffic inbound and outbound over the billing period is added up and then billed to the customer. This means that if the net link to a collocation server transfers 20GB of data, this is what the customer will be charged at. This is very simple and straightforward that most customers don't have a problem with this. The important thing to know is it looks at total data traffic to and from the server.

The 95th percentile calculation is a bit hard formula to explain. The easiest way to explain it is to give an example of how the calculation might be computed after a bit of explanation.
In order to determine the amount of data transferred to a server, the provider will monitor the network port that a server is attached to. Every 3 to 5 minutes, they will get a reading for the data transfer rate recorded over that time period. These are then stored in a database. At the end of the billing period, the database is queried for the entry that is the 95th percentile in overall size. This number is then put into the formula, i.e:

(95th Percentile rate) x (billing period length) = Bandwidth usage

Now, this in general will benefit most individuals since most network connections are idle for the majority of the time they are idle. However, if a site has a high sustained data transfer rate that is used for more than 5% of the time the link is up, it can be very expensive. Let's look at two examples using a shorter time span of 1 day to make it simple.

Example 1: Over a 30 day period, a webserver gets about 30GB of traffic. For 28 of these days, the traffic consists of only 0.5GB/day. The last two days has 8GB/day of traffic. In this case of bursting traffic, the 95th percentile would be around 0.5GB/day. Using the 95th percentile calculation, the bandwidth charge would be: (0.5GB/day) * (30days) = 15GB
Example 2: Over a 30 day period, a webserver gets about 30GB of total traffic. For 20 of these 30 days, there is only a small amount of traffic that doesn't add up at a single GB. The remaining 10 days sees traffic of 3GB/day. The 95ht percentile in this case would be 3GB. Using the 95th percentile calculation, the bandwidth charge would be: (3GB/day) * (30days) = 90GB

As you can see, the consistent traffic with several days of busting traffic in the first example actually is more beneficial to the customer compared to the second example with its traffic that bursted for more than 5% of the time. The majority of servers on the Internet are going to be similar to Example 1 and not Example 2".


Bandwidth Billing Types Options

For each of the above schemes, you can choose either to calculate only outgoing or incoming traffic as well. There are two measure unit types: mbps (megabits per second) and GB.

To summarize, there are the following bandwidth billing types options:

  • Bandwidth, 95th percentile (in + out), mbps;
  • Bandwidth, Average (in + out), mbps;
  • Bandwidth, 95th percentile (in + out), GB;
  • Bandwidth, Average (in + out), GB;
  • Bandwidth, 95th percentile (out), mbps;
  • Bandwidth, Average (out), mbps;
  • Bandwidth, 95th percentile (out), GB;
  • Bandwidth, Average (out), GB.

Related Docs:   Dedicated Servers Intro Introduction to Billing

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