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Re: weight vs. volume (95th percentile vs transfer in M/Gbytes)
To enhance what Steve said here. Bytes transfered would be the average if you are using a tool that doesn't degrade its historical data stores. There are certain adjustments to say MRTG that are available that will give you real bytes transfered.
Depending on the provider, Bytes transfered is very possibly a symmetrical sum (kind of like the way old Exodus used to add in the 95th in and 95th out to get your billable 95th). I'd verify that before I made a pricing decision.
You can't push your usage around in funny ways the way you can with 95th, and the provider is making an assumption that your traffic levels will not skew their network's usage in an unfavorable way to them. It does incentivize you to be as bursty as you want, since there is no penalty. It does provide you much more realistic "credits" (your usage < your average is bandwidth that can be used elsewhere] for your low activity periods. Whereas 95th rewards you for time-shifting your peak usage around, bytes transfered or "average" usage gives you the same bill either way.
However, and this is the big thing. For any *large* volume of traffic, you will not get average pricing (unless your average = your max ;) ) because of the insanity your traffic patterns could follow.
I believe most CDNs charge by bytes transfered because their model is significantly decoupled from 95th usage and their premium (over moving the bits in a conventional way) may be sufficient to solve this. Not to mention, their application is typically bytes based, not burst-based.
Stephen Wilcox wrote:
Hi Jim, well transfer is equivalent to an ordinary average if you want to bring it back into something you can compare.. (so divide by number of seconds in a month and multiply by 8 to get to bits per second)