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 () 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.
Bill Back Your Customers for Bandwidth
Our Bandwidth Sampling Formula
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:
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.