Billing

It is essential to measure bandwidth usage of an enterprise, so that it can be kept under proper control. Also, with the ever-increasing demand for the ability to measure bandwidth usage and better billing plans, a service provider has to be flexible in terms of billing plans and bill generation cycles.

The above requirements are satisfied by the Traffic module of IT360, which allows you to cross check your bandwidth usage as given by your service provider.

  1. Features

  2. Scenario

  3. Billing Operations

  1. Creating a Bill Plan

  2. On-Demand Billing

  3. Editing Bill Plan

  4. Adding an interface/IP group

  5. Removing an interface/IP group

  6. Other billing parameters

  7. Deleting Bill Plan

  8. Reports

  9. Available plans

1. Features

2. Scenario:

An Interner Service Provider (ISP) or a Managed Service Provider (MSP) monitor a typical network in the way, as mentioned in the below diagram. The Traffic module of IT360 helps you in effectively monitoring the devices and accurately billing them based on usage.


2.1 Approach: 1 (Creating bill plan for WAN interface)

The Traffic module can be enabled on each of the customer`s CPE and only the WAN interface in the Traffic module can be monitored, thereby creating bill plan for each customer and associating the corresponding WAN interface.

2.2 Approach: 2 (Creating bill plan for IP Group)

In case, if you do not have control over the CPE’s on the customer side, the Traffic module allows you to monitor the Intermediate router WAN interfaces, create IP groups with customer’s IP network or range and associate the corresponding interface of Intermediate router to which they are connected. Finally, you can create Bill Plan for each customer and associate the corresponding IP group.

3. Billing Operations

Two types of billing operations are available under ‘Admin -> Traffic’:

 

3.1 Creating a Bill Plan

A bill plan can be created for both of the above operations, based on any of the following: 

3.1.1 Speed based billing:

To create a bill plan for this type of billing, do the following:

  1. Navigate to either ‘Admin -> Traffic -> Billing Plan List' [or] Admin -> Traffic -> Billing Report'.

  2. Click the ‘Add Plan’ link.

  1. Enter the Billing Details as given in the below table:

Field

Description

Bill Plan

Enter the name you wish to assign for this bill plan

Bill Plan Description*

Describe the plan for detailed understanding and for future reference

Billing Type

Select "speed"

Base Speed

Enter the base speed of the connection in bps (bits per second)

Base Cost

Select the currency from the drop-down box and enter the cost

Additional Speed*

Enter the additional speed of the connection in bps

Additional Cost*

Enter the cost for additional usage

95th Percentile Calculation

Select one of the two options from the drop-down box.
Selecting "In & Out merge" will merge the In and Out values and calculate the 95 percentile value.
Selecting "In & Out separate" will calculate 95th percentile value of IN and 95th percentile value of OUT separately and the higher of the two is considered. This is calculated using 5 minutes average data points. For better understanding, see the example.

Billing Period

Lets you select the option as quarterly or monthly. Incase you select the billing plan as quarterly, the bill will be generated quartely on the dateyou specify in the "Bill generation date"option. Incase you select the billing plan as monthly, the bill will be generated on a monthly basis on the date you specify in the "Bill generation date" option.

Bill Generation Date

Enter the date on which you want the bill to be generated either on monthly basis or quartely basis.

  1. Associating to: This has the list of Routers/Interfaces and IP groups. You can select the interfaces and/or the IP groups that are associated with this plan.
Note: Once an Interface/IP Group is added to one bill plan, the specific interface/IP Groups does not get displayed while creating other bill plans
  1. Email ID To send Reports: Enter the mail ID/IDs, to which the generated Bill report needs to be sent. Multiple mail IDs should be separated by commas.

  2. Click Save.

Example for the 95th Percentile calculation

IN & OUT MERGE:

inbound = [0.139 0.653 0.201 0.116 0.084 0.032 0.047 0.185 0.198 0.203 0.276 0.370 0.971 0.233 0.218 0.182 0.169 0.126 0.131 0.157]
outbound = [1.347 1.435 1.229 0.523 0.438 0.231 0.347 0.689 0.940 1.248 1.385 1.427 3.988 1.265 1.221 1.013 0.992 0.874 0.896 1.002]

Inbound and Outbound merge
= [0.139 0.653 0.201 0.116 0.084 0.032 0.047 0.185 0.198 0.203 0.276 0.370 0.971 0.233 0.218 0.182 0.169 0.126 0.131 0.157 1.347 1.435 1.229 0.523 0.438 0.231 0.347 0.689 0.940 1.248 1.385 1.427 3.988 1.265 1.221 1.013 0.992 0.874 0.896 1.002]

Sorted_In & Out= [3.988 1.435 1.427 1.385 1.347 1.265 1.248 1.229 1.221 1.013 1.002 0.992 0.971 0.940 0.896 0.874 0.689 0.653 0.523 0.438 0.370 0.347 0.231 0.276 0.233 0.218 0.203 0.201 0.198 0.185 0.182 0.169 0.157 0.139 0.131 0.126 0.116 0.084 0.047 0.032]

Sorted In and Out contains set contains 40 samples--5% of 40 is 2, so discarding the top 5% means we must discard the top two samples from the data set. We are now left with:

Sorted_In & Out= [1.427 1.385 1.347 1.265 1.248 1.229 1.221 1.013 1.002 0.992 0.971 0.940 0.896 0.874 0.689 0.653 0.523 0.438 0.370 0.347 0.231 0.276 0.233 0.218 0.203 0.201 0.198 0.185 0.182 0.169 0.157 0.139 0.131 0.126 0.116 0.084 0.047 0.032]

The highest sample from remaining data set is the 95th percentile value for the originating set. So we obtain the following value:

95th_in & out = 1.427 Mbps


IN & OUT SEPERATE:

inbound = [0.139 0.653 0.201 0.116 0.084 0.032 0.047 0.185 0.198 0.203 0.276 0.370 0.971 0.233 0.218 0.182 0.169 0.126 0.131 0.157]
outbound = [1.347 1.435 1.229 0.523 0.438 0.231 0.347 0.689 0.940 1.248 1.385 1.427 3.988 1.265 1.221 1.013 0.992 0.874 0.896 1.002]
After sorting, we obtain:
sorted_in = [0.971 0.653 0.370 0.276 0.233 0.218 0.203 0.201 0.198 0.185 0.182 0.169 0.157 0.139 0.131 0.126 0.116 0.084 0.047 0.032]
sorted_out = [3.988 1.435 1.427 1.385 1.347 1.265 1.248 1.229 1.221 1.013 1.002 0.992 0.940 0.896 0.874 0.689 0.523 0.438 0.347 0.231]
Each sample set contains 20 samples--5% of 20 is 1, so discarding the top 5% means we must discard the top sample from each data set. We are now left with:
remaining_in = [0.653 0.370 0.276 0.233 0.218 0.203 0.201 0.198 0.185 0.182 0.169 0.157 0.139 0.131 0.126 0.116 0.084 0.047 0.032]
remaining_out = [1.435 1.427 1.385 1.347 1.265 1.248 1.229 1.221 1.013 1.002 0.992 0.940 0.896 0.874 0.689 0.523 0.438 0.347 0.231]
The highest sample from each remaining data set is the 95th percentile value for the originating set. So, for each set, above, we obtain the following values:
95th_in = 0.653 Mbps
95th_out = 1.435 Mbps
The higher of the two computed 95th percentile values becomes the final 95th percentile value used for billing:
95th percentile = 1.435 Mbps

3.1.2 Volume based billing:

To create a bill plan for this type of billing, do the following:

  1. Navigate to either ‘Admin -> Traffic -> Billing Plan List' [or] ‘Admin -> Traffic -> Billing Report'.

  2. Click the ‘Add Plan’ link.

  3. Enter the Billing Details as given in the below table:

Field

Description

Bill Plan

Enter the name you wish to assign for this bill plan

Bill Plan Description*

Describe the plan for detailed understanding and for future reference

Bill Type

Select "Volume"

Base Volume

Enter the base volume in bytes

Base Cost

Select the currency from the drop-down box and enter the cost

Additional Volume*

Enter the additional volume in bytes

Additional Cost*

Enter the cost for additional usage

Data transfer calculation

Select one of the three options from the drop-down box.
Selecting "Download" will take only downloaded data for billing.
Selecting "Upload" will take only uploaded data for billing.
Selecting "Download & Upload" will take both uploaded and downloaded data for billing.

Alert

Checking this box will activate threshold based alerting. This will send alerts, if the user specified threshold value has been exceeded.

Billing Period

Lets you select the option as quarterly or monthly. Incase you select the billing plan as quarterly, the bill will be generated quartely on the dateyou specify in the "Bill generation date"option. Incase you select the billing plan as monthly, the bill will be generated on a monthly basis on the date you specify in the "Bill generation date" option.

Bill Generation Date

Enter the date on which you want the bill to be generated either on monthly basis or quartely basis.

  1. Associating to: This has the list of Routers/Interfaces and IP groups. You can select the interfaces and/or the IP groups that are associated with this plan.
Note: Once an Interface/IP Group is added to one bill plan, the specific interface/IP Groups does not get displayed while creating other bill plans
  1. Email ID To send Reports: Enter the mail ID/IDs, to which the generated Bill report needs to be sent. Multiple mail IDs should be separated by commas. The email subject can also be customized as per the user requirement.

  2. Click Save.

3.2 On-Demand Billing

Bills can be generated on demand. By clicking the icon for a particular bill plan in the bill plan list, a bill can be generated for the time period from the beginning of the billing cycle to the current date.

3.3 Editing Bill Plan

Bill plans can be edited by clicking the icon against the required bill plan.

3.4 Adding an interface/IP group

An interface/IP group can be added during any point of the billing cycle. The bill will be generated for this interface/IP group during the mentioned billing date for the billing plan.

3.5 Removing an interface/IP group

When an Intereface/IP group is removed from a bill plan, the bill for that interface is generated at the same instant.

3.6 Other billing parameters

Editing base speed / volume, base cost, additional speed / volume, additional cost, billing calculation (95th Percentile / Data transfer) will take effect only from the succeeding billing cycle. Editing email ID and threshold alerting will take effect at the same time.

Note: "Billing period" and "Bill generation date" CANNOT be changed. When the interfaces/ IP groups are unmanaged/ deleted, bill is generated for the interface or IP groups at that instant. If you modify the cost in the bill plan, It will be effected from the next billing cycle and NOT at that instant.

3.7 Deleting Bill Plan

You can delete a bill plan by selecting the required plan and clicking the Delete link. Please be informed that deleting a bill plan will lead to deletions of all the reports, generated by that particular bill plan. 

3.8 Reports

The generated Reports can be viewed by navigating to either ‘Admin -> Traffic -> Billing Report’ [or] ‘Admin -> Traffic -> Billing Plan List’ and then clicking the Report tab.

3.9 Available plans

You can view all the plans or a single plan, by selecting the suitable option from the drop-down box. By default the Report page shows only the recent reports of all the bill plans. If you want to view all the generated reports for a particular bill plan, select the required bill plan from the Available Plans drop-down box. The reports are arranged with the most recent report on top.

 

See Also

IP Group Management



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