DO Ideas 2

Upcoming hard caps: Paid bandwidth vs. throttle option?

In this [1] Hacker News thread there was a discussion about soft bandwidth caps that will eventually become hard caps. I realize that 1Gb/sec becomes at a constant rate over 300Tb/month, so clearly a cap is to be expected, but it would be great to have the option of throttling the connection after reaching a certain quota, hence offering a truly unmetered option.

(Come to think about it, I don't know how you apply those caps to short-lived droplets, but that's another story.)

[1] http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5059723

  • Ezequiel Garzon
  • Sep 11 2018
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  • Moisey Uretsky commented
    September 11, 2018 19:26

    No problem =]

  • Ezequiel Garzon commented
    September 11, 2018 19:26

    I'm humbled at receiving all this detailed feedback, and please don't feel the need to convince me any further. I'm (still...) at best a technology enthusiast who never managed to surpass 1GB of bandwidth in a month, mainly due to repeated use of apt-get. Not only that, but I've been grandfathered by an inch!

    The AWS thread I posted and the success of Cloudability demonstrate, however, that I'm not the only paranoid in the block. Clearly, as Jonathan points out, email alerts, contingency options and such are desirable in addition to a spending limit, but although I've never dealt with clients I'd think they could very well be upset both about downtime as well as unexpected (and potentially unlimited!) bandwidth costs.

    I think we all agree choice is always good, but Moisey and his team has to prioritize, and again third-party services may very well what this industry expects anyway.

    OK, enough for now. Thank you both for listening!

    Cheers,

    Ezequiel

  • Moisey Uretsky commented
    September 11, 2018 19:26

    For cloud spending one of our alumni from TechStars handles this space quite well:
    www.cloudability.com

    So we can just integrate with them and anyone who is worried about their total spend can track it, get alerts, etc.

    To do it right, its actually a lot of work, and we'd rather focus on our core product and service especially when there's a great alternative available that you can also tie in all of the other services that you are paying for.

    Other than that we just wanted to make it simple by giving one flat price that's also ridiculously low!

  • Jonathan Tittle commented
    September 11, 2018 19:26

    Ezequiel -

    At $0.02 per GB, $2 per 100GB, and ~$20 per TB with DigitalOcean, you won't find pricing lower. Amazon S3 requires that you consistently use and pay for over 100TB of transfer before you even get that $0.05 per GB pricing and if you're really pushing that much data, you should be making enough to cover the costs associated with running the service that's pushing it.

    Using Hard Caps on bandwidth is a horrible idea, no offense, due to what Moisey mentioned below. Personally, I know my clients and I would be extremely upset if everything just went down because we were unable to quickly change the limit in time. It doesn't matter if that downtime is 1 minute or 1 hour, it's service-effecting.

    What seems more realistic is this:

    1). Based on the amount of transfer a client has, when they reach, say 70%, 80%, and 90% of their transfer limit, send them an e-mail letting them know.

    2). In the e-mail, if possible, it would be nice to give them an expected overage and cost of that expected overage. As an example, let's say we have a 1TB limit and we're using 100GB a day consistently, in 10 days, we'd be out of bandwidth, so on day 7, 8, and 9, we should get an e-mail telling us we've used XX GB/TB and if traffic stays like this, we can expect to push 3,000GB this month, which will cost us $XX. Inside, let them know they can upgrade their VPS to XX for XX more per month and how much bandwidth is included.

    #2 is a great way to push sales, especially to those that *are* pushing that much traffic, need reminders, and would gladly upgrade to a larger VPS over paying $100-$300 in overages.

  • Moisey Uretsky commented
    September 11, 2018 19:26

    Unfortunately that would be a very bad idea, in most cases if a server is pushing more traffic its because its getting more visitors, if the cap was hard then just when your website, blog, application became popular you would hit the cap and all traffic would be turned off, it would make your website go completely down.

    On top of which we aren't offering tiers and instead letting all customers regardless of the size of their virtual server or total traffic pushed take advantage of one of the lowest prices in the industry.

  • Ezequiel Garzon commented
    September 11, 2018 19:26

    That's great to know! You guys are developing an amazing product with incredible attention to feedback. Because of that... even if it doesn't affect me as a grandfathered customer, I strongly recommend providing a way to set a hard spending limit (per customer or, better yet, per droplet).

    If (new) customers are automatically billed their bandwidth outages, they will lose control of their spending. To this day it puzzles me beyond belief that AWS doesn't offer such a feature, even though somebody hinted it would "soon" be implemented... back in 2006! [1]

    Finally, in my mind a spending limit set by the customer will vastly reduce the number of angry emails and related issues by overly confident customers.

    [1] https://forums.aws.amazon.com/thread.jspa?threadID=10532

  • Moisey Uretsky commented
    September 11, 2018 19:26

    We've officially rolled out our bandwidth pricing for new customers:

    1TB - 10TB included with $0.02 cents per GB after that.

  • Moisey Uretsky commented
    September 11, 2018 19:26

    Current customers including existing and future virtual servers. =]

  • Jonathan Tittle commented
    September 11, 2018 19:26

    @Moisey,

    When you say existing customers, is that existing as in customers as a whole, including current and future droplet deployments by those customers, or customers and their droplets created prior to the new bandwidth and pricing going into effect?

    We're definitely not pushing TB's of data right now and most likely won't be for a while (and I don't expect to push 50-300TB per VPS in the first place), just looking to get an idea of what to expect.

  • Moisey Uretsky commented
    September 11, 2018 19:26

    For existing customers there will be no need to worry about that since they will be grandfathered in.

    For new customers it will just be our default pricing.

    We will include a set amount of bandwidth that is Free with each size virtual server and then the rest will have a flat and very low price per GB of transfer.

  • Ezequiel Garzon commented
    September 11, 2018 19:26

    Thanks (again) Moisey! Will users be able to opt out of this billing (at the risk of disconnecting their VPS)? Or will these additional purchases of bandwidth occur automatically?

  • Moisey Uretsky commented
    September 11, 2018 19:26

    We will be introducing bandwidth pricing but it will reflect our pricing for servers compared to the industry standard, meaning it will definitely be low!

    We will note be throttling bandwidth, so you will be able to continue to use the network how you like, except you will just be billed for usage so there won't be throttling on your virtual servers.

  • Ezequiel Garzon commented
    September 11, 2018 19:26

    Oops, I meant over 300TB/month.