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Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator's Product, Product Offers, and Billing systems are designed to offer maximum flexibility and scalability by metering components of products individually. This page provides an outline of how these systems combine to provide a complete product and billing solution.

Product and Product Offer Systems

Resource Types

Resource types are preconfigured types of resource that can be offered within a cloud platform, such as virtual machines, disks, storage space, NICs, and subnets. Products can be created for resource types, with more than one product per resource type if required.

Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator is supplied with a list of default resource types that cannot be modified. 

Products

Products are combinations of one or more product components that customers can buy as a single unit, for example a virtual machine or network. Products define which resources are offered to the customer. How these resources can be used, for example if there is an upper limit on the amount of resource to be offered to the customer, is set when configuring the product offer. In order for a product to be purchased by a customer or billing entity, it must be associated with a product offer. Typically, there is only one product per resource type, however in the event that a product can contain more than one product component (for example when creating a VPS Customer product, Server, or Network product), more than one product for resource type may be required to allow different configuration options for product offers. 

Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator is supplied with a list of default products that can be modified if required. For information about how to create a product, see Creating Products.

Product Components

Product components are resources such as RAM, storage space, network bandwidth, or firewalls. A product contains one or more product components. Each product component has a list of measured values, which are measured to provide the Billing Methods with accurate usage statistics when the product component is used by the customer. 

Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator is supplied with a list of default product components that cannot be modified. 

Product Offers

Product offers define how the customer can use each of the product's product components, and how they are billed for this usage. Each product component can be given usage values that are either fixed or specified when the customer purchases the product offer. These usage values can be presented in a list, or within a range, or can be unlimited. Product components within the product offer can be billed using different Billing Methods if required.

Product Offers are used to set the Billing Period, which is used to determine how often the customer is billed.

Product offers can also be used to make products available to selected billing entities and customers. If required, the list of products that a billing entity can use to create product offers can be restricted when managing a billing entity. For more information, see Managing a Billing Entity. This is useful if you want to be able to sell a product to a billing entity, but not allow them to resell the same product to customers.

Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator is supplied with a list of default product offers that can be modified if required. For information about how to create a product offer, see Creating Product Offers.

Overview

The following diagram illustrates how the various components of the Product and Product Offer systems fit together:
 

Billing System

Billing Method

Billing methods define how the customer is billed for their usage of product components within product offers. Each product component can use a different billing method if required. 

Some example billing methods are as follows:

  • No charge - The customer is not charged. 

  • Fixed billing for resources - The customer is billed an initial amount, followed by a fixed amount for each billing period, independent of the resources they use.
     
  • Usage based billing - The measured values of each product component are used to determine how much resource the customer has used during a billing period. The customer is billed for the amount of resource they use during the billing period.

Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator is supplied with a list of default billing methods that should not be modified (this is so that on an upgrade, we know we can replace them without overwriting any of your changes), however these billing methods can be duplicated and the duplicates edited using Flexiant Development Language (FDL). The available billing methods are represented by FDL code blocks in the FDL Code Blocks Widget.

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