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Billing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Our primary focus is to deliver outstanding on-prem cloud services, prioritizing reliability, security, and cutting-edge solutions to meet your research and teaching requirements. To achieve this, we have implemented a cost-effective pricing model that enables us to maintain, enhance, and sustain the quality of our services. By adopting consistent cost structures across all institutions, we can make strategic investments in infrastructure, expand our service portfolio, and enhance our support capabilities for a seamless user experience.

Most of the institutions using our services have an MOU (Memorandum Of Understanding) with us to be better aligned to a number of research regulations, policies and requirements but if your institution does not have an MOU with us, please have someone from your faculty or administration contact us to discuss it soon by emailing us at or, by submitting a new ticket at the NERC's Support Ticketing System.

Questions & Answers

1. As a new NERC PI for the first time, am I entitled to any credits?
  • Yes, you will receive up to $1000 of credit for the first month only.

  • This credit is not transferable to subsequent months.

  • This does not apply to the usage of GPU resources.

2. How often will I be billed?

You or your institution will be billed monthly within the first week of each month.

3. If I have an issue with my bill, who do I contact?

Please send your requests by emailing us at or, by submitting a new ticket at the NERC's Support Ticketing System.

4. How do I control costs?

Upon creating a project, you will set these resource limits (quotas) for OpenStack (VMs), OpenShift (containers), and storage through ColdFront. This is the maximum amount of resources you can consume at one time.

5. Are we invoicing for CPUs/GPUs only when the VM or Pod is active?

Yes. You will only be billed based on your utilization (cores, memory, GPU) when VMs exist (even if they are Stopped!) or when pods are running. Utilization will be translated into billable Service Units (SUs).

Persistent storage related to an OpenStack VM or OpenShift Pod will continue to be billed even when the VM is stopped or the Pod is not running.

6. Am I going to incur costs for expired allocations?

Currently, a project will continue to be able to utilize expired allocations. So this will continue to incur costs for you.

7. Are VMs invoiced even when shut down?

Yes, as long as VMs are using resources they are invoiced. In order not to be billed for a VM you must delete the Instance/VM. It is a good idea to create a snapshot of your VM prior to deleting it.

8. Will OpenStack & OpenShift show on a single invoice?

Yes. In the near future customers of NERC will be able to view per project service utilization via the XDMoD tool.

9. What happens when a Flavor is expanded during the month?

a. Flavors cannot be expanded.

b. You can create a snapshot of an existing VM/Instance and, with that snapshot, deploy a new flavor of VM/Instance.

10. Is storage charged separately?

Yes, but on the same invoice. To learn more, see our page on Storage.

11. Will I be charged for storage attached to shut-off instances?


12. Are we Invoicing Storage using ColdFront Requests or resource usage?

a. Storage is invoiced based on Coldfront Requests.

b. When you request additional storage through Coldfront, invoicing on that additional storage will occur when your request is fulfilled. When you request a decrease in storage through Request change using ColdFront, your invoicing will adjust accordingly when your request is made. In both cases 'invoicing' means 'accumulate hours for whatever storage quantity was added or removed'.

For example:

  1. I request an increase in storage, the request is approved and processed.

    • At this point we start Invoicing.
  2. I request a decrease in storage.

    • The invoicing for that storage stops immediately.
13. For OpenShift, what values are we using to track CPU & Memory?

a. For invoicing we utilize requests.cpu for tracking CPU utilization & requests.memory for tracking memory utilization.

b. Utilization will be capped based on the limits you set in ColdFront for your resource allocations.

14. If a single Pod exceeds the resources for a GPU SU, how is it invoiced?

It will be invoiced as 2 or more GPU SU's depending on how many multiples of the resources it exceeds.

15. How often will we change the pricing?

a. Our current plan is no more than once a year for existing offerings.

b. Additional offerings may be added throughout the year (i.e. new types of hardware or storage).

16. Is there any NERC Pricing Calculator?

Yes. Start your estimate with no commitment based on your resource needs by using this online tool. For more information about how to use this tool, see How to use the NERC Pricing Calculator.