How Rackspace bills for bandwidth
Rackspace introduced the concept of charging customers for only the bandwidth that they actually use in a given period. Other providers use what is commonly called the 95th percentile method. This method takes readings of inbound and outbound bandwidth usage at regular intervals, and the larger value of the two is recorded. At the end of the billing period, the highest 5 percent of the readings are discarded, and the customer is charged for a full month of use at the 95 percent mark.
Although this method provides some level of protection against short traffic spikes, the disadvantage occurs during hours of lower use. With 95th percentile billing, your lower, off-hour use is billed at the higher 95th percentile rate. Traditionally, this period of lower bandwidth usage is approximately 50 percent of the hours in the billing period, resulting in significant charges for bandwidth that you did not use.
Rackspace, however, charges based on aggregate transfer. This method is ideal for our hosting customers because it results in lower bandwidth charges. Instead of penalizing for peak hour consumption (as in the 95th percentile method), this method charges you for only the bandwidth that you use.
Finally, Rackspace charges for only outbound bandwidth, meaning that routine site maintenance, such as content publishing and uploads, is not counted against your bandwidth allocation.
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