Parallels H-Sphere Documentation Parallels H-Sphere Documentation

 

Traffic

 

Last modified: 26 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.

This document explains how H-Sphere handles traffic and covers the following issues:

 

Traffic Calculation (basics)

H-Sphere Control Panel calculates traffic per server, e.g. web server, mail server, Windows server, etc. with its own built-in utility that collects data from:

mail traffic logs with /hsphere/shared/scripts/cron/mail_anlz.pl
ftp traffic logs with /hsphere/shared/scripts/cron/ftp_anlz.pl
http traffic logs with /hsphere/shared/scripts/cron/cron_analyze.pl,

parses them every 24 hours with java psoft.hsphere.TrafficLoader and then adds up to make up Summary Traffic. Summary Traffic statistics is updated every 24 hours and is shown to end users in their Control Panels. Because of that, Summary traffic doesn't include the current day's traffic consumption.

Traffic reset. Calculation of traffic overlimit usage. Regardless of account's billing period, charges for exceeding traffic limit are calculated and traffic run up is reset at the end of each month. No user side account activities (changing billing period or switching to another plan) force traffic month closure. For example, if a customer signs up on March 7 for a billing period of 6 months, traffic month will always close on the 7th of each month.

Types of traffic. Summary Traffic is not broken up into incoming or outgoing. Nor is it differentiated by the platform (operating system), however users can see Traffic Details for specific kinds of traffic consumption such as FTP User, Mail, HTTP, Real Server FTP traffic, etc.

Third Party Tools Third party tools like ModLogAn, Webalizer, etc. can also be used to calculate the HTTP traffic statistics on users' domains. Since these tools generate statistics only for HTTP traffic, it will always differ from control panel Summary Traffic readings.

 

Traffic Limit

Traffic Limit defines how much traffic users can run up for one traffic month without being charged usage fee. Initially traffic limit equals free set for the plan. If users have or expect high hit rates, to prevent overlimit charges, they can reserve more traffic. With their traffic limit increased, each traffic month users will be accrued recurrent fee for the whole booked amount, which is usually lower than the usage (overlimit) payments.

 

Traffic Pricing

Traffic prices are set with plan edit wizards.

  • Free*: GB of traffic you allow your users to run up during one traffic month free of charge.
    Free makes up initial traffic limit.
    Note: free GB of traffic set explicitly for two and more month billing period are not divided by the duration of the billing period in months.
    E.g.: setting 10GB free for two month billing period, you allow your customers to run each month 10GB (not 5GB) without being charged.
  • Recurrent: payment accrued each traffic month for each GB of difference between the traffic limit and free units. If the traffic limit is the same as free units, no recurrent fee is charged.
    If users increase their traffic limit in the middle of a traffic month, they are accrued absolute (not prorated) recurrent fee for the whole traffic month.
    E.g.: increasing traffic limit by 5GB on the 15th day of the traffic month means that the user will be immediately charged the recurrent fee for the 5GB for the whole traffic month.
    Recurrent payments are non-refundable if users fail to use the reserved traffic.
  • Extra or Usage: overlimit payment accrued at the end of each traffic month for each GB consumed over traffic limit.
    The pricing for extra traffic is fractional, per KB. So if you set the price of $1/GB, and the user consumes only 10MB overlimit, he will be charged $0.01.

* When increasing plan's free traffic, use mass mail to let the customers under this plan know they need to increase their traffic limit to new free in their user CP without any charges.
* When decreasing plan's free traffic, use mass mail to let the customers under this plan know they need to decrease their traffic limit to new free, otherwise they will be charged recurrent fee.

 

Restricting Traffic Usage and Traffic Limit

Traffic usage can be restricted, which means when end users run up a certain amount of traffic, their sites will get suspended, and visitors won't be able to see the pages, and mailboxes and virtual ftp accounts will stop working. To configure the system to suspend user accounts when their traffic limit is exceed by certain percentage:

  1. Select User Warnings in the Settings -> Notifications menu.
  2. Check the Suspend account if traffic limit exceeded box.
  3. Enter percentage of the traffic limit usage, exceeding which user accounts will be suspended.

Also, you can restrict the maximum possible traffic limit end users can set. To set the Max value:

  1. Select Manage in the Plans menu.
  2. Click Resource for the selected plan.
  3. Click Edit for the Summary Traffic resource.
  4. In the Max field, enter the maximum allowed traffic limit value (in GB).

 

Charging for Traffic

Examples below, starting with easy further to more difficult, illustrate how end customers are charged for using traffic.

  • Staying within traffic limit doesn't cause any overlimit charges:

    Plan & Account Settings: Traffic consumption: System Behavior:
    Free = 10GB;
    Recurrent = $2;
    Usage = $4;
    Traffic limit = Free
    By the end of the traffic month user runs up 9GB. - Traffic month closes.
    - Traffic usage is calculated, but as user stays within traffic limit, he doesn't pay anything.
    - A new traffic month opens and traffic is reset to 0.
  •  
  • Exceeding traffic limit brings overlimit (or usage) charges:

    Plan & Account Settings: Traffic consumption: System Behavior:
    Free = 10GB;
    Recurrent = $2;
    Usage = $4;
    Traffic limit = Free
    By the end of the traffic month user runs up 15GB. - Traffic month closes.
    - Traffic usage is calculated and user is accrued usage fee for 5GB overlimit (= 15GB run up - 10GB of traffic limit).
    - Usage fee accrued makes $20 (= 5GB overlimit x $4 usage price).
    - A new traffic month opens and traffic is reset to 0.

  • Changing traffic limit neither closes traffic month nor resets traffic already run up.
    Because of that:
    • when reserving more traffic than plan's free GB in the middle of the traffic month, users are immediately accrued absolute (not prorated) recurrent fee for the whole traffic month.

      Plan & Account Settings: Traffic Consumption: System Behavior:
      1 month billing period starts Jan 1;
      Free = 10GB;
      Recurrent = $2;
      Usage = $4;
      Traffic limit = 10GB
      By January 15, the user runs up 9GB and increases traffic limit to 12GB.
      By January 30, the user runs up 13GB.
      - Traffic month doesn't close on January 15.
      - User is accrued absolute recurrent fee for 2GB over free (=12GB of new traffic limit - 10GB free).
      - Recurrent fee accrued makes $4 (= 2GB over free x $2 recurrent price).
      - On January 31 traffic month closes.
      - Traffic usage is calculated, and user is accrued usage fee for 1GB (= 13GB run up - 12GB traffic limit).
      - Usage fee accrued makes $4 (= 1GB x $4 usage price).
      - A new traffic month opens, traffic is reset to 0 and user is accrued recurrent fee for 2GB over free (= 12GB of traffic limit - 10GB free).
      - Recurrent fee accrued makes $4 (= 2GB over free x $2 recurrent price).

    • when downgrading account traffic limit to plan's free in the middle of the traffic month, users are refunded absolute (not prorated) recurrent fee already prepaid at the beginning of the traffic month.

      Plan & Account Settings: Traffic Consumption: System Behavior:
      1 month billing period starts Jan 1;
      Free = 10GB;
      Recurrent = $2;
      Usage = $4;
      Traffic limit = 12GB
      By January 15, the user runs up 4GB and decreases his traffic limit to 10GB.
      By January 30 the user runs up 9GB.
      - On January 1 user is accrued absolute recurrent fee for 2GB over free (= 12GB of traffic limit - 10GB free).
      - Recurrent fee accrued makes $4 (= 2GB over free x $2 recurrent price).
      - Traffic month doesn't close on January 15 and 4GB of traffic already run up aren't reset. User is refunded absolute recurrent fee for 2GB of downgraded traffic limit.
      - Refund of recurrent fee makes $4 (= 2GB over free x $2 recurrent price).
      - On January 30 traffic month closes.
      - Traffic usage is calculated, but as the user stays within his traffic limit, he pays nothing.
      - A new traffic month opens, traffic is reset to 0.

  • Changing billing period or switching to another plan neither closes traffic month nor resets traffic already run up.
    At such occasions the system checks account traffic limit and if:

    • traffic limit = current plan/billing period free GB,
      updates it to new plan/billing period free GB:

      Plan & Account Settings: Traffic Limit and Traffic Consumption: System Behavior:
      Source plan:
      Free = 10GB;
      Recurrent = $2;
      Usage = $4;
      Traffic limit = 10GB;
      Traffic month starts January 1.

      Target plan:
      Free = 50GB
      By the time the user switches to a new plan, he runs up 14GB. - Changing plans doesn't close traffic month.
      - Traffic charge calculations don't take place.
      - Traffic already run up isn't reset.
      - Traffic run up for the rest of the traffic month under a new plan is added to 14GB run up under the former plan.
      - Traffic limit is upgraded to new plan's free 50GB.
      - If by the end of the traffic month user exceeds 50GB traffic limit, he is charged at the new usage price.
      - On January 31 a new traffic month opens and traffic is reset to 0.

    • traffic limit > new plan/billing period free GB > current plan/billing period free GB,
      updates it to new plan/billing period free GB. Users are refunded the absolute recurrent fee already prepaid at the beginning of the traffic month:

      Traffic Configuration for 1 and 2 Month Billing Periods: Traffic Limit and Traffic Consumption: System Behavior:
      Traffic limit = 6GB

      1 month billing period
      Free = 5GB
      Recurrent = $2

      2 month billing period
      * set explicitly:
      Free = 12GB
      By the time a user on 1 month billing period switches to a 2 month billing period, he runs up 10GB. - At the beginning of the traffic month user is accrued recurrent fee for 1GB over free.
      - Recurrent fee accrual makes $2 (= 1GB over free x $2 recurrent price).
      - At the billing period change, traffic month isn't closed.
      - Traffic already run up isn't reset.
      - Traffic run up for the rest of the traffic month is added to 10GB run up before changing to a 2 month billing period.
      - Traffic limit is updated to 12GB free.
      - User is refunded absolute recurrent fee prepaid at the beginning of the traffic month.
      - Refund accrual makes $2 (= 1GB over free x $2 recurrent price).
      - If by the end of traffic month user exceeds 12GB traffic limit, he is charged at a new usage price.


    • traffic limit > current and new plan/billing period free GB,
      leaves it as it is. If the absolute recurrent fee calculated based on new plan/billing period free and the new recurrent price is bigger than the recurrent fee already prepaid, the user is accrued the difference. If it is smaller, the user is refunded the difference:

      Traffic Configuration for 1 and 2 Month Billing Periods: Traffic Limit and Traffic Consumption: System Behavior:
      1 month billing period
      Free: 5GB
      Recurrent: $2

      2 month billing period
      * set explicitly:
      Free = 12GB
      Recurrent = $3
      By the time user on 2 month billing period with 14GB traffic limit switches to a 1 month billing period he runs up 15GB. - At the beginning of the traffic month user is accrued recurrent fee for 2GB over free (= 14GB of traffic limit - 12GB free).
      - Recurrent fee accrual makes $6 (= 2GB over free x $3 recurrent price).
      - At the billing period change, traffic month isn't closed.
      - Traffic already run up isn't reset.
      - Traffic run up for the rest of the traffic month is added to 15GB run up before changing to a 1 month billing period.
      - Traffic limit remains 14GB.
      - As recurrent fee calculated based on 1 month billing period free ($18 = 9GB over free x $2 recurrent price) is bigger than recurrent fee already prepaid ($6), the user is charged the difference of $12.
      - If by the end of the traffic month user exceeds 14GB traffic limit, he is charged at the new usage price.

 

Traffic Configuration Changes

This example shows how changes to traffic configuration in plan edit wizard affect end user charges for traffic consumption:

Plan and account settings:
Free: 2GB
Traffic Limit: 4GB
Recurrent: $3
Extra (usage): $5
Billing period: 2 months

At the beginning of the traffic month the user is accrued recurrent fee for 2GB over free (= 4GB traffic limit - 2GB free).
Recurrent fee accrual makes $6 (= 2GB over free x $3 recurrent price).
In the middle of the first traffic month traffic configuration is changed from the plan edit wizard:

Increasing Prices

Decreasing Prices

Free 2GB -> 5GB Free 2GB -> 1GB
Monthly (recurrent) $3 -> $4 Monthly (recurrent) $3 -> $1

Extra (usage)

$5 -> $6

Extra (overlimit)

$5 -> $2

By the end of the traffic month the customer runs up 8GB.

  • Traffic limit remains 4GB.
  • Recurrent fee isn't recalculated. No refunds.
  • Usage calculations are based on new Free as they cover traffic limit and new Extra price:
    8GB run up - free 5GB = 3GB overlimit
    3GB x Extra $6 = $18 usage fee.
  • Traffic limit remains 4GB.
  • Recurrent fee isn't recalculated.
  • Usage calculations are based on traffic limit and new Extra price:
    8GB run up - 4GB of traffic limit = 4GB overlimit
    4GB overlimit x Extra $2 = $8 usage fee.

The traffic month is closed. User traffic is reset. A new traffic month is open.

  • Traffic limit remains 4GB.
  • User isn't accrued any recurrent fee as now his 4GB of traffic limit are covered with free 5GB. If by the end of the traffic month user exceeds his free units, he is charged for excess at new Extra price.
  • Traffic limit remains 4GB.
  • User is accrued $3 recurrent fee:
    4GB of traffic limit - free 1GB = 3GB;
    3GB x $1 recurrent = $3.
  • If by the end of the traffic month user exceeds his 4GB traffic limit, he is charged for excess at new Extra price.

Tip:

  • when decreasing plan's free traffic, use mass mail feature available at the bottom of the search result page to let your customers know they will be charged recurrent fee unless they decrease their traffic limit to new free.
  • when increasing plan's free traffic, use mass mail to let your customers know they can increase their traffic limit to new free without being charged.

 

Tracking End User Traffic Consumption

To see how much traffic your customers consumed over a certain period, use Transfer Traffic Report.



© Copyright 2017. Parallels Holdings. All rights reserved.