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I am looking into launching a cloud-based product for consumers where with a prepaid account they can start a server with a simple click and load up the software and access it remotely. The technical side of that I can manage, but I am worried about the costs escalating ridiculously high for both me and my customers

Is there a way I can

  • Limit how much each server can cost me before it will be deactivated
  • See how much a server is currently costing me (so I can deduct it from their account)

with it being extremely reliable as I don't want to have to have a giant bill in any possibility.

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Are you looking to re-sell virtual servers, or provide them on your own network/hardware? It's not very clear. – ionFish May 16 '12 at 19:45
I am looking to sell virtual servers pre-loaded with a software setup. Kind of like the virtual office suite apps you see – Joe Simpson May 16 '12 at 19:55

From your answer:

I am looking to sell virtual servers pre-loaded with a software setup. Kind of like the virtual office suite apps you see – Joe Simpson

It seems that you are not using cloud resources, I would suggest to use standard ISP software to monitor/limit the usage for your virtual servers like ispconfig (Open Source) or Plesk Panel (Commercial).

I don't know if you have already a kind of control panel for your customers, but using a control panel will help them "trust" your service as most isp/paas/saas providers have one.

Hope this helps

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A simple table storing information about what is currently being used and what you currently have should do it.

For example, when someone attempts to buy more space, it checks to make sure you have that space free before allowing it.

When someone moves down a package, the table will report more resource available for others.

Even if you are hosting the stuff on a virtually limitless cloud host just set yourself a limit.

This simple table should also then allow you to work out how much money you are making per GB of space or RAM or whatever.

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