May 27th, 2009

A New Way to Measure Disk Usage Starting June 1st

Starting June 1st, 2009, LuxSci will change the way that it determines monthly disk space usage.  Going forward, an account’s monthly disk space usage will be its “peak disk space usage” — i.e. the maximum disk space used during the month.

If an account’s peak usage exceeds its purchased disk space limit, the account will automatically use “supplemental disk space” to make up the difference with no noticeable change for users.  Supplemental disk space is a convenience that costs 150% of what the same disk space would cost if planned for and purchased ahead of time.

Why does it matter?

Accounts at LuxSci are permitted to exceed their disk limit and pay for the extra/supplemental space as needed.  Accounts are not disabled or shut down.*  Most accounts at LuxSci use what is called a “soft disk space limit”, as opposed to a “hard disk space limit”.  Determining exactly how much disk space an account used during the month is pertinent in determining how much, if any, supplemental space was used.

*For those accounts who would prefer to be partially suspended when their disk space limit is reached and who never want to pay for supplemental disk space usage, LuxSci offers the option of a “hard disk space limit”.  This can be enabled by the Account Administrator; however, we have found that very few accounts chose this option.

How did we used to measure usage?

Since 1999 and the early days of the Internet, LuxSci used a “95% disk space usage measurement”.  Essentially, we took all of an account’s disk space usage measurements for the month, tossed out the largest 36 hours worth, and then took the maximum of what was left.  This offered forgiveness for small-duration excess usages.  However, the concept of “95% usage” is not familiar to most people and caused confusion.  Additionally, the cost of exceeding the disk space limit once the largest 36 hours of usage was removed was very high.  All of this reflected the no-longer-true notion that disk space is really really expensive.

Why the change?

Now that disk space costs much less, we have decided to retire the “95%” measurement and charge a straight “maximum usage” measurement for simplicity. We have also significantly lowered the cost of using supplemental disk space to be only marginally more than adding disk space to an account’s disk space limit in the first place.  We feel that the benefits are:

  • Much simpler concept of how much disk space an account has used.
  • Much more affordable charges for using extra space.
  • Less of a need to upgrade an account just because disk space usage is near or above the “limit”.

One more perk for paid-yearly accounts

In addition to lowering the cost for supplemental disk space usage, LuxSci is now waiving those fees for yearly accounts when those fees are less than $1.00.  It’s our way of saying “thank you” for your yearly commitment to LuxSci.

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