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The Cloud feature of the Billia software creates virtual data centers with custom specifications. It is a quantity based product and works with funds, which when depleted, the system recalculates how long it can maintain the data center depending on the balance of the user’s Wallet instead. In the absence of funds, it suspends the Cloud for 30 days. In the presence of funds, it then sets the Cloud to work according to that amount by creating a negative balance, without actually taking from the Wallet money. Negative balance needs at some point to be cleared otherwise the service could get automatically terminated, the amount taken from the user’s Wallet and in case that results in negative Wallet balance – the user will be put On Hold.
The Cloud feature is a plugin integrated by ApiHawk AppCell that prvisions the cloud management platform OnApp. This way anyone can set up a data center with custom power specifications (RAM, CPU, capacity etc.) with numerous machines without actually having a physical datacenter.
The Cloud will be stored on a certain server space that can operate with different performances depending on the specifications set. These include:
|OS||- Choose to work on a Linux or Windows environment.|
|RAM||- Choose the Memory capacity – starting fro 512MB up to 24GB.|
|CPU||- Choose the Power core capacity – starting from 1 core up to 24 cores.|
|Capacity space||- Choose the type of storage solution – HDD or SSD, starting with capacity from 10GB up to 500GB.|
Setting up a data center means creating an account, where AppCell provisions and integrates the Cloud. After provisioning the data center account, AppCell also generates the first requested virtual machine. From then on a user could create multiple additional machines in that same data center.
How the Cloud works
The power specifications determine the price of the Cloud. It is per hour which can be calculated as total daily, weekly, or monthly cost as well. The Billia Cloud is a quantity-based product, which means that it doesn't rely on subscriptions or a fixed expiry date. The product works as long as the user can afford it, i.e. has a payment loaded into the system (new deposit), hence – at its disposal. How long the payment would last depends on the user, it could be for days, weeks, months, etc.
Initially paying for the Cloud purchase is the same as depositing money into a system for it to use. The Cloud will be working with that prepaid amount until it is depleted. Once the amount is a few days away from being depleted the system starts to periodically send notifications to the user to remind them they need to deposit the new payment for the new time period.
Depletion of the prepaid amount
Once the initial amount is completely depleted the system doesn't cancel the Cloud service right away, otherwise it risks losing customers, valuable user data and functionalities. So instead it aims at providing more time for the customer to continue the service. The way it would go depends on the fact whether Auto renew is turned on or off.
In the case that the Auto renew option is off then the system is basically set to stop operating when the initial amount of the Cloud is depleted. So the data center goes into Suspended state for 30 days. This gives time for the user to decide what to do with the service, as although it is non-operational - it is still existent.
In the case that Auto renew is turned on, the system needs to check if the user can in fact "afford" at that moment to continue the service. For that, it performs a check on the user’s Wallet (the current Balance and Credit of the user) to see the amount the user has at hand. Then it takes it into account and calculates for how long the Cloud could be maintained with that amount considering its price per hour. The amount is not spent, rather the data center starts piling up negative balance with that Wallet’s limit.
Overall, there are three scenarios on how the Billia Cloud data center can work:
If the Cloud data center has a positive balance – it will continue working until the amount is finished. It is recommended that the user manually and on time makes a new deposit for the Cloud, in order to avoid Scenarios 2 and 3.
If the Cloud data center has depleted the amount, no new payment has been made and the user’s Wallet balance is positive – it will continue working for that exact amount without actually withdrawing it.
If the Cloud data center has depleted the amount, no new payment has been made and the user’s Wallet balance is empty, the Cloud will become non-functional and in Suspended state.
Multiple Data centers
In the case the user is working with more than one Cloud data centers, the same rules apply. These data centers most probably have different properties, which means their cost differs as well. If they end up with depleted funds at the same time, then any existing funds in the user’s Wallet are calculated in ratio to those data centers, i.e. the system will distribute the Wallet funds in the respective proportion, so that the data center that costs more for the same time period will be assigned a larger portion of the Wallet balance.
Example: A user owns two data centers, one that costs $100 per month and one more advanced that costs $200 per month. At the end of the month these amounts are spent for both Clouds and the system checks the user’s Wallet, which reports $120. The system then continues the work of the two data centers in ratio 1:2, so that the first data center continues working for the amount of $40 and the second one – for $80. The system doesn't withdraw any amount from the customer’s Wallet, instead it sets the data centers to work on negative balance - -$40 and -$80.
Naturally, changes and modifications can always occur, so the system adapts when necessary.
If the user makes modifications to the data center, e.g. increases the RAM capabilities, then the price goes up and new payment durations will be different.
If the user has decided to spend Wallet money, which the system has already calculated for the use of the data center, then another recalculation will occur with the rest of the amount which will make the data center operational on negative balance for less time.
If the user deposits more funds while the system has already calculated the previously present amount for the use of the data center, it recalculates again and the Cloud will continue working on negative balance longer.
Negative Data center balance
In case of Cloud fund depletion and positive user Wallet balance, the data center starts piling up negative Cloud balance with that Wallet’s limit. That negative balance needs to be cleared in order for the data center to start working properly without any outstanding sums, so the user needs to complete a payment towards that negative balance.
Still, paying the outstanding amount will result in the data center reaching zero balance, so after that a new payment needs to be made, in order for the Cloud to be deposited with enough funds to have positive balance. Otherwise, the data center’s activity will be again dependent on the Wallet.
In the case that the Wallet is at zero balance and the Cloud already has negative funds which are not cleared, the system sets the Cloud data center in Suspended mode for 30 days. During that time it is not operational and also continues to charge per hour price for keeping the data on the server.The charge during Suspended mode is called Mode Off pricing and costs slightly less then the regular one, which is Mode On pricing.
There are two ways for the Cloud service to be canceled completely.
The Suspension period lasts for 30 days during which at any point the user can manually select to pay the outstanding amount (the negative balance due to the Wallet calculations and after that the Mode off pricing). After that the service can be manually canceled.
If the user doesn't manually pay the outstanding balance during the Suspension period, after 30 days the amount will be taken out of the user’s Wallet and the service will be automatically terminated. In this case, if the user doesn't have sufficient amount of funds in their Wallet, its balance becomes negative and the user is set on On Hold, which disables them to make any purchases at all, until the Wallet’s negative balance is cleared.