Last month, this column looked at the shocking case of a data warehousing client whose toughest business intelligence (BI) problem was chargeback. You might think that this individual needed to get out more or find something useful to do. However, upon more careful inspection, this person's firm presented a problem that many enterprises find so intractable that they have given up even trying to deal with it. Last month we looked at the differences between the traditional data center environments and those typical of business intelligence or exploratory data warehousing. We also looked at several principles on which to base a rational chargeback system. These included guiding principles such as centralization; distinguishing between cost and value; and avoiding chargeback systems that discouraged use of the data warehousing resource, that was more complex than the system being metered, or that typically resulted in billing disputes. This month we implement those principles and consider several alternative chargeback systems that avoid detailed metering of CPU cycles, I/O or SQL inquiry statements, and still capture business value.

Let's go right to the heart of the matter. Three alternative methods to chargeback include weighted customer and account pricing, pure user-based pricing and ASP-like pricing. Let's look at these in turn.

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