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How does NERC pricing work?

NERC offers you a pay-as-you-go approach for pricing for our cloud infrastructure offerings (Tiers of Service), including Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) – Red Hat OpenStack, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) – Red Hat OpenShift and NERC Storage Tiers. NERC offers a flexible cost model where an institution (with a per-project breakdown) is billed solely for the duration of the specific services required. Access is based on project-approved resource quotas, eliminating runaway usage and charges. There are no obligations of long-term contracts or complicated licensing agreements. Each institution will enter a lightweight MOU with MGHPCC that defines the services and billing model.


Service Units (SUs)

Service Units (SUs)



Service Units (SUs) can only be purchased as a whole unit. We will charge for Pods and VMs on a per-hour basis for any portion of an hour they are used, and any VM "flavor"/Pod reservation is charged as a multiplier of the base SU for the maximum resource they reserve.

GPU SU Example:

  • A Pod or VM with:

    1 A100 GPU, 24 vCPUs, 95MB RAM, 199.2hrs

  • Will be charged:

    1 A100 GPU SUs x 200hrs (199.2 rounded up) x $1.803


CPU Example:

  • A Pod or VM with:

    3 vCPU, 20 GB RAM, 720hrs (24hr x 30days)

  • Will be charged:

    5 CPU SUs due to the extra RAM (20GB vs. 12GB(3 x 4GB)) x 720hrs x $0.013


OpenShift Pods are summed up to the project level so that fractions of CPU/RAM that some pods use will not get overcharged. There will be a split between CPU and GPU pods, as GPU pods cannot currently share resources with CPU pods.


Storage is charged separately at a rate of $0.009 TB/hr or $9.00E-12 KB/hr at a granularity of KB/hr. For ease of reporting, storage SUs are shown in GB but calculated in KB. OpenStack volumes remain provisioned until they are deleted. VM’s reserve volumes, and you can also create extra volumes yourself. In OpenShift pods, storage is only provisioned while it is active, and in persistent volumes, storage remains provisioned until it is deleted.

Storage Example 1:

  • Volume or VM with:

    500GB for 699.2hrs

  • Will be charged:

    .5 Storage TB SU (.5 TB x 700hrs) x $0.009 TB/hr


Storage Example 2:

  • Volume or VM with:

    10TB for 720hrs (24hr x 30days)

  • Will be charged:

    7,200 Storage TB SU (10TB x 720 hrs) x $0.009 TB/hr


Storage includes all types of storage Object, Block, Ephemeral & Image.

Please note

After issuing the shutoff command to an OpenStack VM, it will not use CPU or GPU but will continue to use storage. Any extra Images you create will also use storage.

High Level Function

To provide a more practical way to calculate your usage, here is a function of how the calculation works for OpenShift and OpenStack.

  1. OpenStack = (Resource (vCPU/RAM/vGPU) assigned to VM flavor converted to number of equivalent SUs) * (time VM has been running), rounded up to a whole hour + Extra storage.

    NERC's OpenStack Flavor List

    You can find the most up-to-date information on the current NERC's OpenStack flavors with corresponding SUs by referring to this page.

  2. OpenShift = (Resource (vCPU/RAM/vGPU) requested by Pod converted to number of equivalent SUs) * (time Pod was running), rounded up to a whole hour.

How to Pay?

To ensure a comprehensive understanding of the billing process and payment options for NERC offerings, we advise PIs/Managers to visit individual pages designated for each institution. These pages provide detailed information specific to each organization's policies and procedures regarding their billing. By exploring these dedicated pages, you can gain insights into the preferred payment methods, invoicing cycles, breakdowns of cost components, and any available discounts or offers. Understanding the institution's unique approach to billing ensures accurate planning, effective financial management, and a transparent relationship with us.

If you have any some common questions or need further information, see our Billing FAQs for comprehensive answers.