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No notification when reseller goes over their "actual usage" limits?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by electric, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. electric

    electric Well-Known Member

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    In WHM, I'm a bit confused by how the "Limit accounts that xxxx can create by Resource Usage" option works in the Reseller Center.

    The problem is that, if overselling is enabled, it is easy for a reseller to actually use more resources then "max allowed" specifies.

    For example:

    1. Create a reseller and specify a resource limit of 1gb diskspace. Make sure the "overselling allowed" checkbox is enabled.
    2. Reseller logs into their WHM and creates 2 accounts, each with a limit of 50gb diskspace.
    3. Reseller uploads 50gb of files into each account.
    4. Reseller is now using 100gb of disk space, and there is no notification from cpanel.

    Is this by design or am I just not understanding how things work?

    I guess what I'm confused about is that there does not appear to be any way to "pro-actively" know when a reseller is using more disk/bw then what they have been allocated.

    (Yes, I realize we can see the total disk/bw usage by going to the "View Usage/Stats" screen, but isn't there a feature in WHM that can email admin when a reseller is over their limits?)

    Am I missing something?
     
  2. cPanelKenneth

    cPanelKenneth cPanel Development
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    That's the point of overselling. The reseller is not limited by the space allocated. If you don't want that behavior then don't enable overselling.
     
  3. electric

    electric Well-Known Member

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    Yes, thank you. :)

    I understand what is the point of overselling.

    What I'm confused about is that cpanel does not send any notification to the admin when the reseller goes over their "resource usage" limit.

    The usage limit is only in place when reseller wants to create a new account.

    So this is by design, then? (Cpanel has no utility or feature to notify admin when a reseller goes over their disk or bw resource usage limit?
     
  4. cPanelKenneth

    cPanelKenneth cPanel Development
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    Overselling effectively gives unlimited usage and should be handled with great care.

    Correct.

    See above. This is by design.
     
  5. d_t

    d_t Well-Known Member

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    I thought overselling just let the reseller to sell more space/bw but not to use.

    There is an option in WHM -> Reseller Center called "Resource Usage Limits" where you can, theoretically, set the overall limits for an reseller account. However, this only limit reseller to create more accounts. It wold be great if admin can be notified when an reseller account is over limits, as electric suggested.

    In WHM is written:
     
  6. sneader

    sneader Well-Known Member

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    ME TOO!!!

    If I give a reseller 10GB of disk space, I don't mind if he has 100 customers, each with a package that includes up to 1GB of disk space. That is what I call "allow overselling".

    But the reseller should be limited to the 10GB.

    I can't believe anyone would define "overselling" any other way?? :confused:

    Now I better go see how much my resellers really are using! I bet there are problems.... Ugh.

    - Scott
     
  7. hycari

    hycari Member

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    I agree, this really needs clarification. With the way this is written in WHM:

    Overselling means that the reseller will be limited by the resources they have actually used instead of the resources they have been allocated.
    Actual refers to the sum of the usage of all the resellers accounts.
    Allocated refers to the sum of the maximum allowed usage for all the resellers accounts.

    What's the point of even placing the limit then? If you don't check it, then they can use what they want. If you check the box, and enable overselling, then they can still use what they want. What's the point of even having the overselling check box? According to the definition above, I read it as the reseller can "sell" as much as they want to, but they wouldn't be able to actually "use" that amount. Therefore, the reseller should be limited to what they can actually use. Some of my clients like to sell decent size packages, so that they appear more like a real host rather than a reseller.

    Personally, if the overselling box isn't going to work as per the definition above, I think it should be removed entirely. If it worked, it would be an excellent idea, but since it doesn't, then it's a check box that does absolutely nothing.
     
  8. hycari

    hycari Member

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    What I would love to see is dedicated server functionality in a reseller account. With a dedicated server, you can sell as much resources as you want to, but you're going to be limited by the hard drives and capabilities of the server. I want the same thing for the reseller, I want them to be able to sell as much as they want to as far as the numbers are concerned, but be physically limited by how much resources they can actually use. If you limit by resources, and disable overselling, they are forced to create packages within their means. If they only have 1GB of diskspace or whatever, their packages would look pathetic. If you enable overselling, or just remove the resource limit altogether, they can use as much as they want to. The overselling checkbox is really useless because you can just turn off the resource limitation entirely, and it achieves the same results.

    I really wish for a midpoint between these two options. This would be incredibly beneficial both for the host, and for the client. If we set the hard limit, the reseller feels like they can't compete, and that's not good for the host, and if we enable overselling, then we have to keep an eye on the client and crack down on them when they go over. I think we can both have what we want out of this.
     
  9. electric

    electric Well-Known Member

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    At the very least, cpanel should send an email to the admin if the reseller has exceeded their allowed TOTAL disk space.
     
  10. hycari

    hycari Member

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    Agreed, something would be better than nothing.
     
  11. sneader

    sneader Well-Known Member

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    Looks like nobody has yet submitted a Bugzilla to request an enhancement. So, I used Electric's initial posting, and created a Bugzilla here:

    http://bugzilla.cpanel.net/show_bug.cgi?id=7897

    Please comment on it, and vote, as you feel appropriate.

    - Scott
     
  12. hycari

    hycari Member

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    I've commented, and voted. Here's the comment I put:

    We need to be able to allow our clients to oversell so that they look like big hosts, and we need to be able to control what they actually use. So to recap, we'd like for them to SELL as much as they want, but only USE what's in their prescribed limits.

    The way cPanel currently describes this feature is correct, however, it doesn't actually prevent the reseller from using too much resources. If you check the limit the reseller box, and check overselling, it's the same thing as not even checking the limit box in the first place.

    I'd love to see this fixed. I call this issue a bug, because the way cPanel describes it in WHM, is the way I'd like it to work. And, it doesn't work as described.
     
  13. sneader

    sneader Well-Known Member

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    Kenneth, I love you man and appreciate all you do here in the forums. But you are dead wrong on this. :)

    As a web host, I have several web servers co-located in data centers. The data centers will give me 2000 GB of bandwidth per month. Let's say my base hosting package I sell customers includes 100GB of bandwidth.... even though each customer barely uses 1GB, can I only put 20 customers on this server? No, of course not... I can OVERSELL.

    Now, will the data center alert me and/or be concerned if I go over my 2000GB allocation. By your statement, they would not. Crazy. Of course they will! I will get notified as I approach the limit, and I will get billed if I go over.

    Just because I oversell does not mean I get unlimited resources with nobody knowing or caring.

    cPanel should handle it the same way as the rest of the hosting world operates.

    My two cents.

    Scott

    PS cPanel DOES stop resellers from adding more accounts when they have gone over their monthly bandwidth allotment. I just don't get any notification. At least this is something. :) And it proves that cPanel does understand the overselling concept.
     
  14. cPanelKenneth

    cPanelKenneth cPanel Development
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    My reply was rather flippant, wasn't it? My apologies for that. :eek:


    We are considering some of the items mentioned in this thread, both from the notification angle and different ways of enforcing limits. It's too late for such to be added to 11.24 however.

    In my opinion overselling as a business model works best when one is selling a service rather than set quantities, such as X amount of disk space. It should also be done in a controlled manner so as to grow capacity as demand increases.

    The notification aspect is the easiest and I believe should be done when the overseller creates an account that would put him over the limit, rather than waiting for the disk space to be consumed.

    To use an example with reseller Kumquat who has a disk limit of 10 GB. If he creates two accounts, assigning each 10 GB, a notification should be sent as part of creating the second account.

    Of course all this is still in the design stage. We do appreciate your input on this and will continue to monitor this thread for such.
     
  15. hycari

    hycari Member

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    This would be excellent! I'd love to have both notification and enforcement, but if we as hosts could just get notifications it would be great.

    From my viewpoint, if we could prevent the reseller from going over his resources it would be better than to have to ask him to upgrade later.

    Sometimes, our clients abuse the resources, and then we have to go and ask them if they could either upgrade or reduce diskspace. They get a little irritated at this. If we could prevent or at least be notified before they get into the "resource abuse" portion, we could save all of us a headache.

    I'm glad that this is getting attention, and I look forward to seeing this. I think we're all on the same page, and are asking for the same feature.

    Part of the reason why I treat this as a bug, is because cPanel's wording in the WHM, is that it enforces it. This is what it says in WHM:

    "Overselling means that the reseller will be limited by the resources they have actually used instead of the resources they have been allocated.


    Actual refers to the sum of the usage of all the resellers accounts.
    Allocated refers to the sum of the maximum allowed usage for all the resellers accounts."

    By that wording, it says that the reseller will be limited. However, there are no limits. That's the whole reason why I've been arguing that this is a bug, not a feature enhancement. I'm merely asking for cPanel to do what it says it will above.

    At any rate, I really appeciate what you're doing Kenneth. I'd be very grateful to get anything, whether it be notifications or enforcement.

    Thanks!
     
  16. sneader

    sneader Well-Known Member

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    Ditto to everything hycari said, including that this should be treated as a bug. It simply does not work as described. And we all want it to work as described. :)

    Thanks Kenneth!!

    - Scott
     
  17. hycari

    hycari Member

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    The only problem is that for the accounts that still exist, they can continue to use bandwidth :)

    Scott, thanks for putting the bugzilla report in. It seems like this issue might be taking off now. I hope that a few more hosts would support this as well.

    Thanks!
     
  18. cPanelKenneth

    cPanelKenneth cPanel Development
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    The Reseller Center page describes the Resource Limits with this phrase:

    Code:
    Limit accounts that RESELLER can create by Resource Usage.
    
    Please note that according to that sentence, the limitation is enforced at time of account creation.

    The remaining sentences describe how the limits are interpreted by cPanel (the software) depending upon whether overselling is enabled or not. It does not alter the fact that resource limitation is primarily enforced at account creation, not after.

    The functionality of resource limits works according to the descriptions provided in the Reseller Center Interface. The Reseller is prevented from creating new accounts once the limit is met.

    The event of reaching the limit is determined by whether overselling is enabled or not. Further complicating this event is that one limit is somewhat constant over the lifetime of the reseller ( disk usage ), whereas one is cyclical ( bandwidth ). Hence bandwidth will actually be enforced after account creation, due to its cyclic nature.

    Please note that there are two separate matters discussed in this thread, related by the overselling topic: whether resource limits are enforced, and improvement of the overselling feature.

    According to the specification of the feature, as well as the wording on the Reseller Center Interface, the resource limits are properly enforced when reached, both with and without overselling enabled. This is a verifiable fact. Please note that I am not arguing whether the implementation is proper or improper.

    As I mentioned in my prior post, we are re-examining this feature, both to improve the functionality ( such as notifications ) as well as to provide clarity of meaning. These require redesign of the feature. Redesign by its very nature must fall under the enhancement category, rather than bug.

    One such redesign might entail a cyclic check, and quota change, of disk space. This would bring it more inline with how bandwidth works ( aside from the fact that bandwidth is reset at the beginning of each month, that would be rather painful for disk quotas ).

    Decisions have yet to be made regarding the direction to take the feature change(s). We are still examining the entirety of the matter.


    Personally, I wonder how reseller's customers might feel if their account was suddenly limited due to a change in the overselling feature. Could this entail liability problems for the reseller? What about the person/company who provides the reseller, would that person/company also be liable for anything?

    To illustrate:

    cpanelkenneth has an account with reseller kumquat. For $x / month, cpanelkenneth is provided with 10 GB of diskspace. Reseller kumquat of course has other accounts besides cpanelkenneth's.

    cPanel 11.27 is released with a change to overselling that now enforces limits after the fact of selling. Kumquat's server is upgraded to cPanel 11.27. After the upgrade, cpanelkenneth finds that he can now only use 2GB of disk space, despite the fact his account agreement is for 10 GB of space.

    How will/would this situation be handled? How is it currently handled by resellers and their accounts when the monthly bandwidth is met?

    As a reminder, the above is example is simply part of my personal musing on the matter.
     
  19. hycari

    hycari Member

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    My Answers are in bold

    The Reseller Center page describes the Resource Limits with this phrase:

    Code:
    Limit accounts that RESELLER can create by Resource Usage.
    
    Please note that according to that sentence, the limitation is enforced at time of account creation.

    The remaining sentences describe how the limits are interpreted by cPanel (the software) depending upon whether overselling is enabled or not. It does not alter the fact that resource limitation is primarily enforced at account creation, not after.

    Then in this case, we need enforcement or notification after the fact.

    The functionality of resource limits works according to the descriptions provided in the Reseller Center Interface. The Reseller is prevented from creating new accounts once the limit is met.

    However, existing accounts can continue to add more more diskspace, and use more and more bandwidth.

    The event of reaching the limit is determined by whether overselling is enabled or not. Further complicating this event is that one limit is somewhat constant over the lifetime of the reseller ( disk usage ), whereas one is cyclical ( bandwidth ). Hence bandwidth will actually be enforced after account creation, due to its cyclic nature.

    My issue, is that if you enable overselling for the reseller, his clients could continue using bandwidth, even after the main reseller has exceeded his bandwidth.

    Please note that there are two separate matters discussed in this thread, related by the overselling topic: whether resource limits are enforced, and improvement of the overselling feature.

    According to the specification of the feature, as well as the wording on the Reseller Center Interface, the resource limits are properly enforced when reached, both with and without overselling enabled. This is a verifiable fact. Please note that I am not arguing whether the implementation is proper or improper.

    As I mentioned in my prior post, we are re-examining this feature, both to improve the functionality ( such as notifications ) as well as to provide clarity of meaning. These require redesign of the feature. Redesign by its very nature must fall under the enhancement category, rather than bug.

    One such redesign might entail a cyclic check, and quota change, of disk space. This would bring it more inline with how bandwidth works ( aside from the fact that bandwidth is reset at the beginning of each month, that would be rather painful for disk quotas ).

    Decisions have yet to be made regarding the direction to take the feature change(s). We are still examining the entirety of the matter.


    Personally, I wonder how reseller's customers might feel if their account was suddenly limited due to a change in the overselling feature. Could this entail liability problems for the reseller? What about the person/company who provides the reseller, would that person/company also be liable for anything?

    To illustrate:

    cpanelkenneth has an account with reseller kumquat. For $x / month, cpanelkenneth is provided with 10 GB of diskspace. Reseller kumquat of course has other accounts besides cpanelkenneth's.

    cPanel 11.27 is released with a change to overselling that now enforces limits after the fact of selling. Kumquat's server is upgraded to cPanel 11.27. After the upgrade, cpanelkenneth finds that he can now only use 2GB of disk space, despite the fact his account agreement is for 10 GB of space.

    How will/would this situation be handled? How is it currently handled by resellers and their accounts when the monthly bandwidth is met?

    Here's the thing, if kumquat had been given 2GB of diskspace, and he oversold to cpanelkenneth by selling a 10GB disk package, then kumquat would simply have to upgrade as his client started using more and more diskspace.

    As a reminder, the above is example is simply part of my personal musing on the matter.

    Basically, what I need as a hosting provider is enforcement or notification when the reseller has exceeded his resources that he's USING, not notification if he's allocated more than he has. As a provider, I'm bound by the physical limits of the server. I can oversell my resources, however, I'm still bound by the physical limit of the server. I want the same for my resellers. I want them to be able to sell as much as they want, but be bound by a physical limit. For example, I want to give kumquat a 10GB disk, 100GB bandwidth package. He can sell as many packages as he wants, with whatever resources, but be limited to that limit on actual usage. For example, let's say he had ten clients, and they were all on 10GB disk, 100GB bandwidth packages, kumquat has obviously oversold his resources. However, let's say that all clients are only using 100MB diskspace, and only 1GB of bandwidth. That only amounts to 1GB of diskspace and 10GB of bandwidth actually being used. This would be fine for me. Now if the total amount of diskspace and bandwidth exceeded kumquat's limits, then I would want the whole reseller account to be suspended, or some other means of enforcement.

    Then, when Kumquat gets suspended, it would be his responsibility to upgrade. It would also be good if he and the root user (me) gets notifications that he is nearing his limit.



    Thanks!
     
  20. Bloory

    Bloory Active Member

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    I raised this a while ago and got nowhere.

    At the very least we need a summary of all the resellers on the server, their allocated space and bandwidth and the traffic used to date - it's a pain going through each one via the reseller centre (or am I missing a trick)?
     
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