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Bandwidth Billing

We charge based on Total Transfer billing which suits many Managed Hosting customers just fine. Why? It results in lower bandwidth charges.

Many Managed Hosting customers experience sustained levels of traffic over their billing month as opposed to traffic with sudden peaks. That's why billing based on the commonly used 95th Percentile (or burstable billing) method is not ideal, as it would result in paying for bandwidth that isn't used during the month. Total Transfer billing ignores these natural peaks and valleys, and only measures your actual data transferred. As a result, we do not use port based monitoring to determine your bandwidth traffic because the traffic crossing your public port would count against your bandwidth allocation. Instead, we use network-wide monitoring which measures the traffic flow on our entire network. Only the traffic flowing to and from your server that leaves the datacenter which it resides in is counted towards your bandwidth allocation. Nothing else.

How Does it Work

We take a sampling of your traffic flow coming in and out of the datacenter which your server is located in, at the edge of our FastFiber Network™. The sample ignores any traffic sitting on the network, within that datacenter, and only counts the traffic between your servers and your customers. This data is presented as a bandwidth graph inside the MyPEER1 customer portal where we group your servers into Bandwidth Allocation Groups (BAGs). A BAG includes a single server with a single IP address or a single server with multiple IPs. For more complex hosting environments, multiple servers and their IPs are also be combined into a BAG. We measure the bandwidth usage of each BAG by pooling all IPs assigned to the server. You then have the choice of viewing your bandwidth usage by BAG, server, or individual IP address in daily, weekly, or monthly intervals.

Monitor Your Usage in Simple Graphs

Your bandwidth usage is displayed in three formats - a line graph and two separate bar charts - with blue for inbound traffic and green for outbound traffic. The line graph (A) shows your bandwidth usage in daily bytes. Move your cursor over an area within the graph and you'll see direction, time, and amount. The first bar chart (B) shows your total BAG bandwidth usage in GB, with each section within the bar displayed proportional to the total. The second bar chart (C) shows your total BAG usage in GB compared to your allocated amount. If you need a more granular view, expand each BAG to list all the servers within it, and each server to list all the IPs assigned to it. Measure each at any level for a given time period.

Bandwidth usage monitor Managed Hosting billing

Bill Back Your Customers for Bandwidth

If needed, you can use the data available in your dashboard to bill back the bandwidth used by your customers. Simply click on Export to CVS to download the raw data file. Use it to generate invoices, custom reports or whatever you like.

Our Bandwidth Sampling Formula

If you consider yourself a geek, you likely want the formula, so here it is. Every 1024 Ethernet frames (roughly, though not necessarily, equivalent to IP packets), the network device in question will copy the frame's header to a buffer. When that buffer fills up or a certain amount of time has elapsed, the buffer will be enclosed inside a packet and forwarded on by the device to the collector. As packets arrive at the collector, the enclosed headers are extracted.

A number of calculations are then performed to interpolate over the excluded frames and arrive at a very accurate estimate for what the actual usage is. The more times an IP's traffic is sampled, the more accurate the results. The margin for error drops to less than 0.073% at 10TB. Even at a few hundred gigabytes, the error is still less than 5%.

Here is the simplified equation for estimating the error.

c is the number of samples of a particular class we have.

%error <= 196 * sqrt(1 / c)

Here's a chart of what this equation looks like:

Bandwidth Sampling Formula Managed Hosting

We have configured our system to include all the IP addresses that are under our management. This means we understand where the data is flowing to and from, within the network or outside the datacenter. When we retrieve data for bandwidth billing, we include only inbound and outbound traffic, to and from the datacenter. Traffic within the datacenter is excluded and is not counted in billing. For this reason, traffic within the datacenter never shows up on the customer portal.

* Please note, Total Transfer billing method applies only to Managed Hosting and not Colocation.