New pricing disappoints me immensely

Yesterday, I got an email with “pricing update”. And I have to say: The new pricing disappoints me immensely. The original pricing made FaunaDB attractive for small projects and hobby projects.

If I understand correctly there is now a “hard limit” for the “free plan”. I just want a smooth transition in terms of pricing and no fixed costs. I also find it extremely unfair to change the conditions just like that.

However, I am glad that I have only used FaunaDB to try it out until now …

How do you see this change?

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I saw the term “hard limit” also but didn’t read further to get a definition.

For me “hard limit” means when you reach the limit it does not work anymore …

I don’t care about limits at all. IMHO free plan should not be used at live project at all (not small or hobby). Someone have to pay for servers. And Fauna team is not a Google or Amazon. They don’t have such capabilities to throw money on giving free resources to kill competition.

However I am unhappy that they limits functionality like collections observability.

I use free plans to tryout and evaluate different services. Having limited set of functionality in free plan will bite back.

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Of course I am willing to pay. But I don’t like it when the terms are changed just like that. And the “pay as you go” principle was the main reason why I started with FaunaDB…

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Digging deeper. To avoid the hard limit of 100,000 read ops per month (wasn’t it daily?) I need to upgrade to the Individual Plan: $25/mo. That is the base fee even if I don’t incur activity. Hmm, I am in one of those user application domains where customers complain about paying a $10 per year license fee. PayGo was a great choice that I believe spurred entrepreneurial activity.

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I totally agree!
Fauna should allow pay per usage plan instead of minimum 25$ plan.

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write a blogpost for Fauna and you’ll basically get 1 year of Individual Plan for free

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But you do incur in activity even if you’re not actively reading and writing to the database. Eg: Your data is still occupying storage and Fauna needs to keep working (temporal features, making backups, etc).

Of course I’d prefer if Fauna lowered the lowest tier to something like $10 + usage, but $25 is more than fair.

I agree having a minimum monthly fee seems to go against the serverless ethos of pay-as-you-go, but OTOH consider how many dev hours you’ve saved by using Fauna (eg: not having to implement authorization). Also, that pricing is for all your Fauna databases. You can have multiple projects running on those $25.

To give some perspective, you’d be paying a similar fee if you ran a single API with a single Postgres instance (a very small one). Of course you wouldn’t get get any of the Fauna features (scaling, realtime, multiple regions, auth, etc). And again, that would be for just a single database.

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Pier, et al, everyone has made valid points, but I am concerned about the dramatic change. What’s to say that 6 months from now that $25 for the Individual Plan doesn’t go to $100? I created something from nothing. There is nothing comparable to what I have, so it takes time for people to embrace it. I am totally self-funded, but there comes a tipping where it is no longer feasable. I recently switched from Heroku to Vercel when their Mongo database provider switched to a Atlas price structure. Well, that priced me out. That’s when I discovered Fauna. I’m not looking for “free”. I just want a plan that scales with my user base. Right now, I have five users.

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I was very happy when I found Faunadb for my new project. I thought it was very innovative and entrepreneur friendly. It was different from other database systems and I think it is superior in many ways. But setting up a project on Fauna actually means being addicted. It would be very difficult to switch to a different system later. Now we have to evaluate the radically changing price policy. The switch from pay-as-you-go to a monthly fixed fee is obviously a bit unsettling. I have no idea what kind of change we will encounter in the future.

Yes, these systems are costly systems and they need to make money. I absolutely understand and accept this. But whether the transition should have been sharp like this, I’m not sure. Even to try the newly introduced 3rd party security applications integration, you need to switch to a paid account. How can I decide to use these features without testing them?

I don’t think there is a correct pricing policy for such a system that has only just been recognized by people. If there is financial power, it is necessary to act more for the benefit of people in order to include them in the system. It’s like pay as you go. I hope they review this decision and find a reasonable solution for us and themselves.

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I have built a prototype using fauna (using user access control), with the intention of using social login at some point (with basic credentials too). I don’t want to have to integrate this myself, even though I could (seen examples from next-auth PRs etc), as I believe leaving the auth and security out of my project scope would be a smart move.

I think it is great that Fauna has created the functionality to integrate with 3rd parties easily with the database and roles. But the $150 per month price wall has made me re-consider fauna. Firebase and AWS cognito include this functionality for a lot less.

Are there plans to include this functionality in the $25 plan in the future?

I think that streaming must be costly to run so it makes sense to go in the $150 tier. But the 3rd-party auth isn’t that costly to operate in my opinion so it’s a bummer that it isn’t available in the $25 tier

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I agree wholeheartedly with this even more than the rest (all good points).

Before this price change I feared fauna was too underpriced and at risk of being unsustainable.

But they’ve gone a bit too far. While the plans/tiers make sense for a few scenarios, it’s a huge spike for a few others.

What if individual customers want to make the subscription themselves? I.e, when a contractor delivers the software when ready and then customers manage it on their own. Not everyone is using a SaaS model after all.

Sure, 25 USD / month is reasonable in US, Europe, etc but in South America small businesses would benefit from an smaller smarter plan around 10 ~15 USD.

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Indeed. I’m in Mexico and unfortunately $300/year just for the DB makes Fauna only available to my bigger clients.

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I’m also hugely disappointed by the pricing changes. The main reason I chose FaunaDB was because of the pay-as-you-go pricing model and being able to scale up, but more importantly, being able to scale down to zero usage. It was also advertised as a global database with new regions to be added which never happened: https://fauna.com/blog/global-multi-cloud-replication-in-faunadb-serverless-cloud). Now for apps to use new regions (when they come online) and use the temporality features (more than 7 days retention) it would now cost $500/month. :grimacing:

Why is it not possible to keep the utility plan (https://web.archive.org/web/20201111213920/https://fauna.com/pricing) and charge a bit more for the resources? Again, I chose FaunaDB because of the features of this plan:

  • Billing based on consumption units defined in plan detail
  • No predefined usage limits, use as much as you possibly can
  • Pay only for the resources your queries consume each month
  • We will never interrupt or throttle your app, no matter the overage

I’m not really sure what value FaunaDB now provides in comparison to other services like Firebase, AWS AppSync, MongoDB Atlas + Realm, Hasura + Heroku / Digital Ocean?

I really love the work that the FaunaDB team has done and the community on Slack and here on the forums and hope this post doesn’t come across in an unappreciative way. I’ve just been quite caught off guard by these changes :disappointed: and thought it better to provide some feedback.

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The truth is none of those databases has all the features Fauna offers.

For example, Firebase is cheaper and has sync/realtime but querying and data modeling are extremely limited. Also no multi-region and no temporality features, not even 24 hours. Authorization is also very limited compared to Fauna.

To run Hasura in a production environment on Heroku will cost you close to $60 per month, for a single Posgres instance. And, again, you won’t get as much as what Fauna offers.

Etc.

If you are really so short on budget that you can’t afford $25 you could look into the Fauna writer’s program like @vasco3 suggested. By having one article published you’d get one year of Fauna.

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Quite a lot if you look under the hood, none of these provide even the consistency guarantees or multi-region features that Fauna offers. To continue, a more seamless pay-as-you-go or truly zero operations approach as Fauna provides is hard to find and many offer no relations or have a very weak story when it comes to querying compared to Fauna.

Granted, you might not need these features which is perfectly fine and the fact that you tell us why you chose Fauna and are not a fan of the pricing is valuable to us. I’ll repeat that, this feedback is valuable, and we are reading it, so keep the conversation going and reach out to us in case the pricing blocks you from pursuing an existing use case.

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The main point is simply that the terms and conditions have just been changed. I invested my time because of certain boundary conditions. These conditions were simply changed, which in my opinion is not serious. Who guarantees that these conditions will not change again in 6 months.

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Thanks for listening. I hope you can find a solution that keeps Fauna competitive on a lot more markets.

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