Introducing Hourly Billing

April 9, 2014 1:01 pm

hourly-cloudIntroducing hourly billing. Now you can enjoy Linode services billed in hour increments, add services to your account without needing to pre-pay, and be invoiced at the end of each month only for the hours you used.

We’ve made this as simple as possible: resources are still bundled together so it’s clear what you’re getting, and there is a monthly cap on the hourly services which keeps things predictable.

Compute, persistent storage, and network transfer are bundled into a flat rate. While many cloud providers have complicated and unpredictable billing where you pay separately for instance time, storage, network transfer, IP addresses, each keystroke, etc – we kept pricing simple by integrating everything into one price. No calculator required.

Our monthly caps keeps your bill predictable. For example, the base Linode plan is $0.03/hour with a monthly cap of $20/month. Keeping a Linode only for a few hours means you only pay the hourly rate. But, you’ll never pay more than the monthly cap for a Linode, despite months having a different number of hours in them. We’ve priced our hourly rates so even in the shortest month the monthly cap is achieved. Easy and predictable. It’s the best of both worlds.

New customers will default to hourly billing. Existing customers can convert from the Account tab. Note that annual discounts are not available under hourly billing.

Full pricing is listed on the pricing page. You can read more about how this works in our billing guide.

We really hope this change is simpler and more convenient for everyone. Enjoy!

39 Responses

  1. Finally, it’s happened. Very exciting news, thank you.

  2. Can new customers still take advantage of yearly discounts?

  3. Cool. Had my first VPS experience on AWS EC2. No way. I was lost about disk I/O. Did several backups and zipped things, and got a $80 fee for disk I/O. Low cpu, low memory, low bw but did some zip-unzip operations and saw my money flying. Had to cancel it. Now let’s linode.

  4. How will this work if you’re enrolled with Linode Managed? Will the $100 be charged at the end of the month or as soon as a Linode is added to an account?

  5. Nowhere in the billing guide does it actually explain how bandwidth overages work for anything other than a full month.

    Example: how much bandwidth comes with a linode per hour? Is it /720? Does a 1GB linode come with roughly 2.8GB per hour? If I spin up a 1GB linode for an hour, and it uploads 5GB of data, how much overage do I get charged?

  6. @Nick: Yearly discounts are not available under hourly billing model.

  7. Excellent! I love the simplified pricing! Great stuff.

  8. Hourly billing is on a per account basis not per linode basis?

    Do I have to create a separate account to manage metered linodes while retaining the prepaid option (& discount) on my persistent linode (long term happy customer)?

    Will the prepaid discount be eliminated before my renewal date (Nov 2015)?

    FWIW, I like the idea of giving Linode my metered business rather than your competitors!

  9. Does this mean yearly billing is no longer available?

  10. @tasaro: Any plans to change that? That’s a huge benefit of pricing for other platforms like EC2, Google Cloud Compute, etc. Very exciting news though!

  11. Thank you Linode! <3

  12. You mean you’re not going to make an uber complicated calculator to like EC2’s and Azure’s? It makes too much sense. Oh well, I guess I’ll continue being a happy Linode customer!

  13. @Stefan: Managed is $0.15/hr, capped at $100/month.

    @Adam: Transfer is prorated and overages are $0.10/GB. It is still pooled between all Linodes under your account and incoming transfer is still free.

    @DJ: Yes, hourly billing is per account. There are no plans to eliminate the discount for existing prepaid accounts at this time.

    @Charlie Melbye: No immediate plans to change that for hourly accounts, however we’ll continue to evaluate. Thanks for making a case.

  14. How do we create an hourly billed instance through the API?

    Doesn’t seems like the API docs are updated: https://www.linode.com/api/linode/linode.create

  15. Happy to see this finally made it. 🙂 Congratulations guys!

    -Heckman

  16. Dear Linode

    I run my server in linode and I expect my server to run 24/7.I always wonder when amazon and others flaunt their per instance /per hour model,

    how many real world scenarios exists where i would need 100’s of servers running for lets say 1-2 hrs only( Lets say if my website is listed on yahoo & google homepage for 1 hour –> will i ever be able to make N servers up and running etc etc) , It will be interesting if you guys can post statistical information after a few months.

  17. Carl – if your account is metered then PaymentTerm is ignored and you’ll receive metered Linodes, NodeBalancers, etc. I’ll follow up on the API docs to reflect this.

  18. Maybe I’m being dumb, but I don’t get it.

    On the face of it this seems like a nice (and cheap!) way to keep a spare Linode around that I can fire up for a few hours, as and when needed, for testing stuff on, before committing changes to a ‘live’ Linode. However your Billing Guide page says:

    “…If My Linode is Powered Off, Will I Be Billed?

    If your Linode is powered off, but is still added as a service on your account, you will still be billed for it.

    If you want to stop being billed for a particular Linode service, you need to remove it from your account entirely…”

    So, in the use case scenario, I describe above, there’s nothing to be gained from this hourly billing that’s any different from the current situation where, if I need a temporary Linode, i can fire one up for a day, then cancel it and receive a pro-rata refund on the monthly fee for the days I didn’t use.

    I’m not having a go here. I’m just curious as to why Linode are adopting the hourly paid model when the services they offer don’t really seem to demand it.

  19. When a Linode exists its resources are reserved – regardless of if it’s running or not. RAM, disk space, the actual data, its IP address, etc are all still consumed from our point of view, so a shut down Linode being free is not an option for us.

    As stated in the blog post, the benefits are that one no longer needs to prepay a month or more to add services that they may only need for a few hours or days. Instead they can be invoiced AFTER, and now it’s per-hour granularity instead of daily. All of these things combine to be more convenient and lower the barrier to using our services.

  20. I’m somewhat disappointed the yearly discounts will disappear altogether. There’s a standard industry practice of getting discounted pricing for reserved resources. I would (personally) love the ability to have both reserved and metered resources on my account such that I can have my reserved server that is always online and few others that I only add / delete as needed for certain tasks.

  21. Matt – we haven’t figured out just yet how longer term commitments / reservations will work with metered, but it is something we’d like to do. Stay tuned and thanks for the comment.

  22. I have to say it doesn’t make sense to me. If you still charge me if it’s turned off then why even offer it? I’m not going to build my whole server which takes a few days to get fine tuned and then wipe it out everytime I need to test something? Gotta admit I am quite confused. If you can make persistent disks and charge for the storage when it’s not tied to a Linode that makes sense. Please tell me who and when anyone in their right mind would be able to use this? Unless they are just playing.

  23. Justin: Not everybody uses servers as static objects. For lots of work loads, servers are dynamically created and destroyed as needed, either in response to load (like backends behind a NodeBalancer handling traffic for a site) or for other processing (like a cluster of computational systems that scales up when there’s more work to do, and scales down when there are no pending jobs). For workloads like that, being able to add and remove systems with more granular proration and with post-payment makes way more sense.

    For people who are using servers as static objects, there is no change from the previous pre-payment system, except that the bill comes at the end of the month rather than the beginning: the price for keeping a server running for a month has not changed.

  24. Not everyone uses VPSs as actual servers; I use another popular pay-by-the-hour provider so I can try things out in an “it doesn’t matter” environment. It is very cost effective.

    With the other provider if one doesn’t want to be billed for a powered off VPS, then the VPS must be destroyed. One can back up the image, and then pay for storage of that image at a lower rate again. My total expenditure for several months of intermittent usage is just a few bucks.

    Great for playing about with. However… I’m keeping my Linodes for production, thank you very much. I don’t want to change billing for the whole account, so this new facility is not (yet) useful to me. But its early days yet for Linode in this field, I’m sure they will eventually get to per-linode hourly charging rather than per account, and will build an off-line option to keep unused disk for a deleted Linode.

    Shows Linode are staying relevant in the market.

  25. Justin – For your use case, just keep doing what you’re doing. It sounds like this doesn’t affect you in the way you described how you use Linode.

    But for others, hourly billing is important. Not needing to pay for the entire thing ahead of time is important. And the freedom to spin up Linodes on a temporary basis is important. Scaling, or auto-scaling, sandboxes, experimentation, testing deployments, etc — there are a number of use-cases where this is freaking awesome.

    The disk image storage service is something we are working on. Stay tuned 🙂

  26. Regarding yearly discounts, it would be most awesome if you guys can do the same thing as you do with monthly price – cap it at a certain maximum.

    The per hour rate is set, but it’s capped at a maximum monthly rate. Just cap the yearly rate for a any running Linode in the same way, so it would never exceed the maximum yearly amount (which is less than monthly x 12).

    I say ‘just’ but I realise of course that it’s probably quite complicated to do behind the scenes.

  27. Curious..

    1GB host:
    0.03 x 24 = $0.72/day

    $0.72 x 31 = $22.32

    Now if its capped at $20/month, is it essentially a”free” $2.32?

  28. George: Correct, so long as those hours were accumulated in the same calendar month.

  29. I’m an existing customer. Will I still be able to renew my contract for another 2 years at the 15% discount? Or am I automatically converted to a metered contract after the current prepaid period?

  30. Mark – Yes you can renew, we won’t be forcing anyone off annual.

  31. Thank you. You guys just keep on delivering!

  32. Good stuff 🙂 Thanks for the upgrades! I’ve been very happy with my service to date, and I especially love how you’ve structured the business. I’m a big fan of sustainability and actually paying what things cost. Much less bullshit that way.

    cheers!
    -dre

  33. Does this upgrade affect internode bandwidth? Communication between nodes does not count towards our quota still? Is the bandwidth throttled? Or is only Internet bandwidth throttled?

  34. @George the method is best worked out by 0.03 x 24 x 7 x 4.333333333333333 so the total value is $21.84 to them really irrelevant but thought I would point that out.

  35. Thanks guys, that helped clear things up. I guess I am living in the past lol. Static servers are all I am use to. I am glad some people can benefit from this. As always Linode you guys rock.

  36. I am looking for billing like if i shut down my cloud server than i should not charged do you offer such billing i only pay when my server is up and running please suggest me if possible.

  37. Hello Naval,

    Since the resources are allocated to your server (which is what you are really being charged for) you are still billed for these resources even when the server is powered off.

    Best,
    Lev

  38. I just like to say I love the new billing, here were it good for me and where there could be improvements.

    First my linode usage:
    1)Permanent servers.
    2)Test servers that gets destroyed after a week or couple days.
    3)Test servers that I keep around but shutdown as template that I clone to explore different ways of achiving the same goal and then chose the best to clone in production in a Permanent server #1

    So for #1 the old billing was also working for me, for #2 the new billing is awesome but for #3 its obvious that I may use cpu and ram for maybe 1 day of the month but I am definitely using the storage for 100% of the month and I dont like having to pay as if the linode was powered on so I was thinking that linode may offer the possibility to keep my storage linode off for like half the price of the linode per hour this way it wouldn’t completely break the new billing and it could also be a way for linode to sell storage containers.

    Anyways hope you put this in your future plans.

    Keep up the great work love linode BTW.

  39. Never mind my last comment I found this.
    https://www.linode.com/docs/platform/linode-images

    But is there a paid option if I need more than 10GB or 3 images ?

    Would be fantastic.

    #LinodeIsAwesome

Leave a Reply