22 November, 2017

Money matters: flespi pricing explained

We spell the flespi platform pricing policy for you to fully cover the sensitive issue of finance and leave no aspect untouched.

On our pricing page, we did our best to explain every aspect of our pricing policy as clearly and concisely. But requests for clarification keep coming. So, we are putting together a more detailed commentary and complementing it with a few examples to leave no questions unanswered.

Pricing details

Below is a slightly regrouped pricing table from the website (all prices are specified per month):

Free Commercial
Default — all you get for a fixed fee (you can’t have less)
channels 3 3
connections per channel 1 000 50 000
streams 3 3
flespi devices 100 1000
storage (see clarification below) ∞ (1 GB included)
containers 100
abques 100
SLA Best effort $ 0 $ 0
Cost so far: $ 0 $ 100
Extras — employ additional elements as your project grows (drop them if scaling down).
Available for Commercial use only.
extra channel (see clarification below) $ 30
extra stream $ 10
extra 100 devices $ 1
extra 1 GB storage $ 1
SLA Basic $ 900
SLA Premium $ 3000
Cost so far: $ 0 $ 101 — ∞

Quick summarizing points:

  • you cannot extend any of the limits in the Free version. E.g., you can have up to three channels, but you can’t go any further. To start scaling up, you need to switch to the Commercial mode first.
  • even though the flespi panel shows the total storage volume for each element type, the storage is not redistributed between the elements. E.g., When you create two streams, you get 100 MB of storage for each one. Even if the first stream only uses 20 MB, the second one still has its 100 MB, not 180 MB.
  • storage is not limited in both Free and Commercial modes.

Platform restrictions

flespi platform imposes some storage and traffic restrictions that are generous and reasonable enough for you not to be too concerned about them. However, we want to put them straight, clarify what they mean, and give tips on how to avoid hitting them.

Controlled value Free Commercial Action if exceeded
API traffic per minute 200 MB 2 000 MB platform suspended for 1 minute
API requests per minute 500 10 000 platform suspended for 1 minute
Active connections per channel 1 000 50 000 channel suspended for 1 minute
Stored data per channel 100 MB 1 000 MB channel suspended for 1 minute
Channel traffic per minute 100 MB 1 000 MB channel suspended for 1 minute
Stream traffic per minute 100 MB 1 000 MB stream suspended for 1 minute
Stored data per device 1 000 MB 10 000 MB new messages are discarded
Stored data per stream 100 MB 1 000 MB new messages are discarded
Stored data per container 1 000 MB 10 000 MB new messages are discarded
Stored data per abque 100 MB 1 000 MB new messages are discarded
Customer logs storage period 10 days 30 days obsolete log records are deleted

Platform suspension means that all REST API requests are temporarily rejected. Channel suspension means that all existing channel connections are closed and the new ones are rejected on the channel's URI.

Clarification 1: storage types and calculation

We have a few different types of storage in the flespi platform — channels, streams, devices, containers, and abques have dedicated space to store the data.

Which types of storage do we limit?

The data stored on the flespi platform includes messages queued in the channel, device, and stream buffers, data in containers and abques. The platform restrictions table above specifies limits for each element type. Exceeding the limit immediately triggers the corresponding action (suspension or discarding messages). All these limits are strict and governed by the platform architecture.

We do not limit the amount of data transferred through the channel or stream!

How do we calculate your storage use?

  • We snapshot the storage used throughout the flespi platform (channels + streams + devices + containers + abques) daily.
  • We sum the data for each day of the given month (28, 29, 30, or 31).
  • Divide by the number of days in the month.
  • Round the resulting number up to the nearest gigabyte.
  • Charge you.

Example: Say, you use Commercial plan and had one channel and one device in the system throughout the given month. The daily storage use is illustrated in the table and diagram below.

flespi storage use calculation

The average monthly use amounted to 4 000 MB.
4 000 MB — 1 000 MB included in the Commercial plan = 3 000 MB => you owe us $ 3!

How to make sure I do not use too much storage?

If you notice that the messages pile up in the buffer quicker than you expected but you still want to keep your storage use within certain limits, you can go one of the two ways (or both):

  1. reduce TTL in the element settings — this will lead to messages living less time in the buffer thus not accumulating that fast.
  2. read messages from the element buffer more frequently — once you read the messages from the buffer into your application, you can clear the buffer.

Clarification 2: extra elements in the platform

If your infrastructure requires more elements in the flespi platform than the default Commercial plan allows, you are welcome to go beyond the limitations by as much as you need. At extra cost. How will we charge you? You can find the monthly prices for extra elements in the table above or on the pricing page.

What if you use the element for less than a month?

The logic is similar to storage calculation. We will collect daily statistics for each element type and average it for the given month rounding up to the closest integer where necessary.

Example: You created the fourth channel on November 1 and used it for 15 days. Then created the fifth channel on November 1 and used it for the entire month (30 days). Therefore, in November you had (5*15 + 4*15) / 30 = 4.5 = 5 channels on average.
You will pay $30 * (5 total channels — 3 default channels) = $60.

***

We understand the importance of financial matters for the business and believe that trustworthiness and openness is the best strategy. We left no aces up our sleeve and put everything in plain view. If there is still any ambiguity or confusion in our explanations, please let us know, and we’ll fix it.



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