H-Sphere Documentation Administrator Guide

 

Traffic

versions before 2.4

 

Related Docs:   Traffic (version 2.4 and higher) Introduction to Billing Transaction and Revenue Reports

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

 

Traffic Calculation

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:

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 traffic consumption. It isn't broken up into incoming or outgoing, nor is it differentiated by the operating system. Still, users can see Traffic Details for specific kinds of traffic consumption such as FTP User, Mail, HTTP, Real Server FTP traffic, etc.

Besides that, H-Sphere control panel allows end customers to enable and use third-party tools like Modlogan , Webalizer, AVStats, etc. to calculate HTTP traffic statistics on users' domains. As these add-ons generate statistics only for HTTP traffic, it will allways differ from control panel Summary Traffic readings.

 

Traffic Cycle

Regardless of account's billing period, traffic usage is calculated and traffic run up is reset at the end of traffic cycle which is one month. For example, if a customer signs up on March 7 for a billing period of 6 months, traffic will be closed and reset on the 7th of each month. Traffic cycle can be forced to close with a traffic limit change or other events, such as billing period closure, changing to another billing period, or other plan. For example, if a customer signs up on March 7 for a billing period of 6 months, but on March 10 changes traffic limit, or changes to another plan/billing period, traffic usage will be calculated and traffic run up will be reset on March 10.

 

Traffic Pricing

Traffic prices are set with plan edit wizards.

  • Free: GBs of traffic you allow your user to run up to during one traffic cycle for free.
  • Recurrent: traffic cycle payment for each GB of increased traffic limit; pre-paid for the whole billing period.
  • Extra: overlimit payment for each GB consumed over the traffic limit; calculated and accrued at the end of each traffic cycle.
    * The pricing for extra traffic is fractional, per KB. So if you set the price of $1/GB, and user used only 10 MB, he will be charged $0.01.

 

Traffic Limit

Initially, users get some free traffic they can run up without being charged. That makes up their traffic limit. If they go beyond this traffic limit, they are charged for each GB of excess at the extra (overlimit) price, which is usually quite high.

If users have or expect high hit rates, to prevent overlimit charges, they can book more traffic in advance by setting higher traffic limit (initially it equals free units). After this, they will pay for the whole booked amount at the recurrent price, which is usually lower than the extra (overlimit) price. Recurrent fee is charged in advance for the whole billing period (not for the traffic cycle) for traffic limit minus free units and is non-refundable if the user fails to use it all up.
Recurrent fee is prorated for the period left to the end of the billing period, if the user changes their traffic limit in the middle of the billing period.

When a traffic cycle ends, the user traffic limit is subtracted from total traffic run up to obtain the excess, and, if the result is positive, it is charged at extra (overlimit) fee. For example, you host a user with the account's billing period of 6 months, 0 free units, and the traffic limit of 6GB. During the first traffic cycle, the user runs up 6.5GB, which is 0.5GB higher than traffic limit. The payment for 0.5GB excess traffic is charged as the extra (overlimit) fee right at the end of the first traffic cycle.

 

Changing Traffic Limit

When a user changes traffic limit, the current traffic cycle closes, and the following calculations are performed:
1. Traffic limit for a traffic cycle is prorated to the period from the start of the traffic month to the day when the traffic limit is changed.
2. The resulting GBs are subtracted from total traffic run up by this day.
* the traffic run up during the last day of the traffic cycle is transferred to the next traffic cycle charges 3. If the result is positive, it is charged at usage fee.
4. The user traffic is reset.
5. A) The user is charged recurrent fee prorated to the time left to the end of the billing period for MBs of increased traffic limit.
B) The user is refunded recurrent fee prorated to the time left to the end of the billing period for MBs of decreased traffic limit.
As the result of traffic cycle interruption the billing period for traffic becomes different from the billing period for the account.

For example, you host a user with 0 free units, the traffic limit of 6 GB, and the billing period of 6 months starting 1 January. By 15 January, the user runs up 3.5 GB of traffic and increases his traffic limit.
1. 6 GB of traffic cycle limit is prorated to 15 days which makes 3 GB.
2. Prorated traffic limit of 3 GB is subtracted from 3.5 GB of traffic run up for 15 days which makes 0.5 GB.
3. 0.5 GB of excess traffic is charged at a usage fee.
4. Traffic is reset.
5. A new traffic cycle is open and since then will close on the 15th of each month.

 

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. Read here for instructions.

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

  1. Select Plans in the Info 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

This table uses examples, starting with easy further to more difficult, to explain how end customers are charged for using traffic.

# Plan & Account Settings: Traffic consumption: System Behavior:
1. Billing period = 1 month;
Free = 10GB;
Recurrent = $2;
Usage = $4;
Traffic Limit = Free = 10GB (Initially, traffic limit always equals free units)
User stays within Free units. User pays nothing.
2. By the end of the traffic month, user runs up 15GB. User pays for ( 15GB - 10GB Traffic Limit = ) 5GB overlimit. The amount of charge is ( 5GB x $4 usage ) = $20.
3. On the 15th day of the traffic month user changes traffic limit. By then, he has already run up 4GB. When the user changes traffic limit, traffic month closes. The old traffic limit is prorated to the number of days in the closed period: ( 10GB / 30 days ) * 15 days = 5GB. This means, the user having run up 4GB for 15 days hasn't exceeded the prorated to 15 days 5GB traffic limit and will be charged $0.
4. On the 15th day of the traffic month user changes traffic limit. By then, he has already run up 6GB. Just like in the previous example, prorated traffic limit (which equals free units) makes 5GB. The user has exceeded it by ( 6GB - 5GB prorated traffic limit = ) 1GB and will be charged ( 1GB overlimit x $4 usage = ) $4 usage fee.
5. Same as in 1-4, but user has previously changed traffic Limit to 20GB User stays within Traffic Limit. No matter how much traffic user has run up, if he stays within traffic limit, he pays for the ( 20GB Traffic Limit - 10GB Free Units = ) 10GB of booked traffic, which makes ( 10GB x $2 recurrent = ) $20 recurrent fee.
6. By the end of the traffic month, user runs up 25 GB. User pays for ( 20GB Traffic Limit - 10GB Free Units = ) 10GB of booked traffic at the beginning of the traffic month plus ( 25GB - 20GB Traffic Limit = ) 5GB overlimit at the closure of the traffic month. Recurrent fee = ( 10GB booked x $2 = ) $20. Usage fee = ( 5GB overlimit x $4 = ) $20. The total fee is ( $20 recurrent + $20 usage = ) $40.
7. On the 15th day of the traffic month user changes traffic limit. By then he has run up 9GB. When the user changes traffic limit, traffic month closes. Traffic limit is prorated to the number of days in the closed period: ( 20GB / 30 days ) * 15 days = 10GB. This means, the user hasn't exceeded the traffic limit and will be only refunded prorated half ($10) of the $20 recurrent fee charged at the beginning of the interrupted traffic month for (20GB Traffic Limit - 10GB Free Units = ) 10 GB booked at $2 recurrent price. The total fee for this traffic period is $10 recurrent fee.
8. On the 15th day of the traffic month user changes traffic limit. By then he has run up 12GB. Just like in the previous example, prorated traffic limit makes 10GB. This means, the user has exceeded the traffic limit by ( 12GB - 10GB = ) 2GB and will be refunded prorated half ($10) of the $20 recurrent fee charged at the beginning of the interrupted traffic month (see previous example) and charged ( 2GB overlimit x $4 usage price = ) $8 usage fee. The total fee for this traffic period is ($10 recurrent + $8 usage =) $18.

 

Traffic Configuration Changes

This example shows how traffic configuration changes affect end user account billing:

Free 2 GB
Traffic Limit 4 GB
Monthly (recurrent) for 1 GB $3
Extra (usage) for 1 GB $5
Billing period 2 months

In the middle of the billing period's first month traffic configuration is changed from the plan edit wizard:

Increasing prices

Decreasing prices

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

Extra (usage)

$5 -> $6

Extra (usage)

$5 -> $2

By the end of the 1st month the customer runs up 8 GBs.

  • Traffic limit remains 4 GBs.
  • Recurrent fee isn't recalculated.
  • Usage calculations are based on new free 5 GBs that cover traffic limit and $6 of usage fee:
    8GB run up - 5GB free = 3GB overlimit
    3GB overlimit x $6 new usage = $18.
  • Traffic limit remains 4 GBs.
  • Recurrent fee isn't recalculated.
  • Usage calculations are based on traffic limit of 4 GBs that cover new free GBs and $2 of usage fee:
    8GB run up - 4GB of traffic limit = 4GB overlimit
    4GB overlimit x $2 new usage = $8.

The first traffic cycle is closed. User traffic is reset. A new traffic cycle is open. Calculations for the 2nd traffic cycle are the same as for the 1st one.
The end of the billing period closes the second traffic cycle. User traffic is reset. A new billing period opens a new traffic cycle.

  • Traffic limit remains 4 GBs.
  • User isn't accrued any recurrent fee as now his 4GB traffic limit is covered by 5GB free.
  • Traffic limit remains 4GB.
  • User is accrued $6 recurrent fee:
    4GB of traffic limit - 1GB free = 3GB;
    3GB x $1 recurrent x 2 months = $6.

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.


Related Docs:   Traffic (version 2.4 and higher) Introduction to Billing Transaction and Revenue Reports





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