Consumption Analytics Documentation

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Managing rate plans

Rate plans enable you to define alternate rates for individual services for one or more customers. By default, all customers are associated with the Default rate plan. You can create alternate rate plans that contain a subset or all of the Default plan’s services, and then assign those alternate rate plans to customers.

During the charging phase, the charging algorithm first checks whether the customer is associated with a rate plan. If the customer is associated with a rate plan, the charging algorithm searches that rate plan to check whether there are any applicable services. If the service is found, the customer is billed using the rate profile found in the rate plan. If the service is not found, or if the service has no rate, the charging algorithm uses the rate defined in the Default rate plan. For this reason, all services must be present in the Default rate plan.

Rate types

When creating a rate plan, you define how much is charged for each service in the plan. The following general options are available to define that amount:

Rate Type Description
Basic Any usage of the service is charged the Unit Price and/or Fixed Price you define for that service.

The service is charged different rates based on usage, with those rates and usage-ranges defined in tiers. You can select from the following tiered rate types:

  • Sticky Tiers - Metered
  • Sticky Tiers - Allocated
  • Final Tier - Metered
  • Final Tier - Allocated
Passthrough Usage is charged the rate or amount passed through from the data source.

With Sticky Tiers, initial usage is charged according to the Unit Price and/or Fixed Price you set for the first tier. As usage accumulates, it might reach the maximum usage limit you defined for that tier. When that happens, further usage is charged at the rate you defined for the second tier, and so on for all tiers you defined. For example, with a tier for 0 to <5GB, and a tier for 5GB and up, actual usage of 7GB results in 5GB being charged at the rate for the first tier and 2GB being charged at the rate for the second tier.

With Final Tier, usage accumulates and enters new tiers, just as with Sticky Tiers. However, at the end of the interval defined by the service, all usage is charged according to the Unit Price and/or Fixed Price set for the final tier reached in that interval. For example, with a tier for 0 to <5GB, and a tier for 5GB and up, actual usage of 7GB results in all 7GB being charged at the price for the second tier.

Tiered rate types can be of the metered or allocated variety. Tiers for a metered rate type are defined by the amount of the service used, such as bytes of data transferred. Tiers for an allocated rate type are defined by how long the service is made available to be used, such as VM-hours. Among the tiered rate types, metered services can use only the Sticky-Tiers-Metered or Final-Tier-Metered rate types, while allocated services can use any of the tiered rate types.

If you select a metered rate type (Sticky Tiers-Metered or Final Tier-Metered) for an allocated service, time-based units are used to determine the tiers reached. For example, if you have a service for a 50GB disk, and you use monthly charging for that service, the single-day time-based unit for that service in a 30-day month is 1.67 GB-months (50/30=1.67). If you have a tiered rate plan with a tier for 0 to <40GB and a tier for 40GB and up, 1 day of usage (1.67 GB-months) is charged at the rate for tier 1. Usage for an entire month (50 GB-months) would be charged depending on the type of tier you selected. Sticky Tiers-Metered would result in the first 40 GB-months being charged at the rate for tier 1, with the last 10 GB-months being charged at the rate for tier 2. Final Tier-Metered would result in all 50 GB-months being charged at the rate for tier 2. 

Advanced options

In the Rate Plan window, toggle the Show Advanced Options field to Yes to show additional columns that provide more definition to your rate plan:

Field Description
Charge Precision Defines a level of precision in how service usage is measured. For example, if you set a value of 3, service usage is rounded to three decimal places for charging.
Min Commit Defines an amount customers are obligated to purchase regardless of their actual usage of the service. If a customer uses the minimum amount or more, they are charged normally. If they use less than this amount, extra charges are added to bring them up to the minimum. This allows you to charge similarly to a mobile telephone provider, whose customers get a certain number of minutes per month for a flat fee and then pay by the minute for usage over that amount.

Commit Interval

Defines how often the Min Commit obligation is applied (Daily, Hourly, or Monthly).
Account Level Defines a level of your account structure to charge for all of the tiered usage. For example, assume you have a service using a final tier rate type, with a tier for 0 to <5GB of usage, and another tier for 5GB of usage and up. Also assume you have an account structure of Business Unit, Department, and Region. Normally, all usage is charged according to the tier reached by any account in the structure, so if Region A uses 4GB and Region B uses 4GB, each Region is charged according to the rate set for the first tier. However, if you define an Account Level of Department for the service, all usage of the service at the Region level of the account structure is totaled before determining the appropriate tier to charge, so if Region A uses 4GB and Region B uses 4GB, the total is 8GB, and the Department defined for those Regions in the account structure is charged for 8GB at the rate defined for the second tier.
Requested Identifies the total size of the data storage.
Commit % Defines the percentage customers are at least charged based on Min Commit value. If a customer reaches the commit percentage or more, they are charged normally. If they use less than the commit percentage, then extra charges are added to bring them up to the agreed commit percentage.
Max Shrink Defines the percentage to reduce from the minimum commit. If  the Max Shrink  field is empty, then no reduction is applied.
Round Usage Identifies whether charges are calculated from rounded usage values. By default, rounding is disabled. When rounding is enabled, the Unit Price is multiplied by the usage quantity rounded to the nearest whole number to produce the charge. Decimal values of 0.5 and lower are rounded down, and decimal values above 0.5 are rounded up.


If you are using a tiered rate type and you have defined an Account Level for the service, the Min Commit value is applicable only to accounts with customers defined. For example, say your account structure is Business Unit, Department, and Region, and you have set an Account Level of Department. For tiered usage at the Region level to be rolled up to the Department level, you must have at least one customer defined at the Department level. For more information, see Creating customers.

Creating rate plans

You can create a rate plan as a new object with all available services. You can also create a new rate plan as a copy of an existing rate plan, with the services and associated rates of that existing plan.

To create a rate plan

For any services that don't exist in this rate plan, the customer is charged the rates defined in the Default rate plan.

  1. In Cloud Cruiser select Financial > Rate Plans.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • To create a rate plan with all available services, click the plus icon and select Create new rate plan.
    • To create a rate plan based on an existing rate plan, right-click that rate plan and select Copy plan to new rate plan.
    • To create a What-If from an existing rate plan, right-click the rate plan and select Create Scenario from this plan.
  3. In the dialog box, enter a Plan Name, and optionally enter a Description.
  4. Click OK.
    The new rate plan opens for editing.
  5. Define which services are in the rate plan:
    1. Click Edit Services.
      The Add/Remove Services dialog box appears.
    2. Select the services you want in this rate plan, and then click OK.
      The rate plan refreshes to show its revised list of services.
  6. Define the rates for each service in the rate plan: 
    1. Click the value in the Rate Type column and select a rate type
    2. If you selected a tiered Rate Type, define the ranges for each tier. For more information, see Rate types.
    3. For all Rate Types other than Passthrough, enter a value in either or both the Unit Price or Fixed Price columns.
      The Unit Price is the amount charged for a defined amount of the service used, such as 4 compute hours per day. The Fixed Price is the amount charged for merely using the service, regardless of how much of the service was used. You can define a Unit Price, a Fixed Price, or both. Using both allows you to use the Fixed Price as the setup charge, and the Unit Price as an additional charge based on usage.
    4. If you want to define advanced options, toggle the Show Advanced Options field to Yes, and then define the advanced fields as needed. See Advanced options for more detail about these fields.
  7. (Optional) Define one or more new date ranges for the rate plan.
    By default, a new rate plan has Effective Dates spanning January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2999. If you know that your rates will change at a certain date, create a new date range that begins on that date. For example, if your prices will increase permanently at the beginning of the new year, create a new Effective Dates range that begins January 1 of the new year, and then define your new service prices within that range.
    1. Next to the Effective Dates field, click the plus icon.
      The New Effective Date dialog box appears.
    2. Enter a new starting date, and then click OK.
      The new range is available in the Effective Dates drop-down field.
    3. Select the new range, and then enter rate types and pricing information for your services in the new range.
    4. If you want to remove a range of dates, select the range in the Effective Dates field, click the minus icon, and then click OK in the verification box.

      Ranges cannot overlap. When you add a new range, the end dates of existing ranges are adjusted to accommodate the new range. This ensures that all of the ranges defined for the rate plan combine to cover every day from January 1, 2000 through December 31, 2999. This also effectively prevents the rate plan from expiring.

      If you want a rate plan to expire before December 31, 2999, add a range with the end date you need, and then delete the existing range that ends December 31, 2999 by selecting that range and clicking the minus button. When a rate plan expires, customers assigned to that rate plan are charged according to the rates defined in the Default rate plan.

  8. Click Save.

Associating customers with rate plans

By default, all customers are associated with the Default rate plan. You can choose another plan to override the Default plan’s service rates.

To associate customers with a rate plan

  1. In Cloud Cruiser, select Financial > Rate Plans.
  2. Select the rate plan you want to edit.
  3. Click Edit Customers.The Add/Remove Customers dialog box appears.
  4. Select the customers for whom this rate plan applies, and then click OK.

    The rate plan assigned at the lowest level of your account structure takes precedence. For example:

    The Administration division is assigned to rate plan X and has two child departments, HR and Facilities. Administration|HR is assigned to rate plan Y and Administration|Facilities is not assigned to any plan. In this scenario, usage by Administration|Facilities is charged according to rate plan X, inherited from Administration, and usage by Administration|HR is charged according to rate plan Y.

  5. Click Save.

Importing rate plans

You can import rate plans into Cloud Cruiser in three ways:

  • Using the native import function in the Rate Plans section of the Cloud Cruiser interface.
  • Running the ccimport utility.
  • Using an ETL workbook to collect the rate data from a data source and then transform and publish the data in Cloud Cruiser.

If you use the native import function or the ccimport utility, you must have a comma-delimited (CSV) file in the defined format, as defined in Rate Plan CSV file format.

When using an ETL workbook, it is best to import rates along with services. See Importing services and rates together.

To use the native import function to import a rate plan

  1. In Cloud Cruiser select Financial > Rate Plans.
  2. In the list of rate plans, right-click and then select Import rate plan. The Upload File dialog box appears.
  3. Select a file, and then click OK.
  4. In the verification dialog box, click OK.

To use the ccimport utility to import a rate plan

  1. Ensure that your rate plan CSV file is in your <install_dir>\bin directory.
  2. In a command line, enter the following command, where <filename> is the name of your CSV file and <defaultStartDate> is the start date to apply when an imported rate plan is missing an effective_date:
    ccimport -t rateplan -f <filename> [-u] [-D <defaultStartDate>]
    For example, to import from the file cloud_rates.csv and update duplicate entries, enter the following command:
    ccimport -t rateplan -f cloud_rates.csv -u

Deleting rate plans

If a rate plan is  no longer needed, you can delete it from Cloud Cruiser. If any customers associated with the deleted rate plan are not associated with another rate plan, they are charged for services as defined in the Default rate plan.

To delete a rate plan

  1. In Cloud Cruiser select Financial > Rate Plans.
  2. Select a rate plan, and then click the minus icon.
  3. In the Delete Rate Plan dialog box, click OK. The rate plan is deleted.
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