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Most services can be billed in the two main modes: per usage mode and fixed term mode.
In the Per Usage Mode an Administrator obtains a Credit which is an equivalent of a predefined sum of money. Later on Users of this Administrative Domain can start required services like VMs or Volume Storage or VPNaaS, FWaas, etc.. Services are started at the level of CREODIAS Dashboard User interface. Each of such Resources has its price in an hourly mode. Every 10 minutes the billing system checks on the used Resources and calculates a cost for this 10 minute period. This cost decreases the initial Credit. When the Credit goes below the predefined level – a warning is issued to a customer to resupply his Credit.
Billing checks are done every 10 minutes. This means that the current credit value is calculated every 10 minutes. But the events of service start – service stop are recorded with subsecond accuracy. Service usage time can be calculated to subsecond accuracy though statuses are changed not more often than 10 minutes. Pricing is quoted in hourly, monthly or longer time quanta. But where relevant the actual charging is done with subsecond accuracy – then fractions of an hourly price can be calculated and applied to a given service.
The ESA Prepaid services are available mostly in the Per Usage Mode. Each ESA Administrative Domain obtains the initial Credit and operates in the limits of this Credit. Domain Administrator on the ESA side is able to check on the Credit usage of each individual Project in the Domain.
In the Fixed Term Mode a Tenant buys a service for a fixed time period. The service price can be paid via a separate invoice or can be paid with the use of the same Credit mechanism as in case of Per Usage Mode.
In case of ESA Prepaid services the Bare Metal dedicated servers are available only in the Fixed Term Mode.
Other customers (ESA&Scientific or Business) are able to buy most services in both Per Usage Mode and Fixed Term Mode. Per Usage Mode allows for greater flexibility of the use. Fixed Term Mode is generally more economical but a customer has to exactly know what detailed services and for how long are really needed.
Fixed Term Mode services can be bought via EO Customer Portal that allows not only for service purchase but also for tenant account management, accounting and general support.
Apart from Per Usage and Fixed Term billing there are two ways of transaction management with customers. In Post-Paid Mode a service or Credit is delivered to a customer according to contract and a VAT invoice is issued. The invoice is later on paid by the customer. In Pre-Paid Mode no Credit or service is delivered to a customer – but a pro forma invoice is issued and delivered to a customer. After a customer pays the pro forma invoice – a final VAT invoice is issued and a Credit or services are only then provisioned to a customer.
- Per Usage Mode: billed via a Credit; very flexible as services can be changed continuously; not all services available in Per Usage Mode (Bare Metal Machines).
- Fixed Term Mode: more economical (better process for long term service reservations); requires good planning and understanding of the needs; suitable for long term production purposes.
- Post-Paid payments: suitable for well-known contract customers.
- Pre-Paid payments: suitable for new or small customers, low transactions costs for the service provider.