What’s New: Cost Management Tools

By Knox Lively,July 11, 2023

Observe currently offers four cost management tools that help smooth out these peaks and valleys to give you more control over your budget, and ultimately peace of mind.

Managing Observability Costs

Organizations today rely more than ever on cloud computing, containerized microservices, and CI/CD tools that allow them to deploy services and applications multiple times daily. As a result, their data volumes have skyrocketed, and they see new types of failures daily that they can’t predict. In addition, this can have significant cost considerations if these orgs rely on a tool that has them locked into legacy pricing models — for instance, the number of hosts monitored.

To combat this, we built The Observability Cloud, which allows us to pass on savings to our customers due to the unique architecture that separates storage and compute. Our flexible and modern architecture allows us to utilize a usage-based pricing model that ensures customers only pay for what they use and provides full visibility into what drives their costs.

However, some buyers demand even more price predictability from their observability tooling, which is why we developed our cost management tools. These features allow you to understand your usage better and help you guarantee that your credit consumption stays within your planned budget — without sacrificing your observability needs.

Cost Management Made Easy

By nature, usage-based pricing models result in peaks and valleys. If a major incident occurs, you may run more queries than usual to find the root cause, resulting in a spike over and above typical usage. Alternatively, if things are running smoothly, routine usage can lead to below-average costs. 

Observe currently offers four cost management capabilities to help smooth out these peaks and valleys to give you more control over your budget and ultimately, peace of mind. Let’s take a look at them now.

Usage Dashboard

Whether it’s running queries or accelerating Datasets, you consume Observe Compute Credits (OCCs) — which ultimately affect your overall credit usage. The Usage Dashboard provides everything you need to monitor your credit consumption in real-time to help you stay within your desired budget. With the many available metrics and visualizations, you’ll find a high-level summary as well as highly detailed credit usage. Everything from your total credits consumed to usage by user, kind (monitor, acceleration, or query,), day, or even by the App is all found in an instant.

Usage dashboard in observe

Drill down into metrics such as daily active users or credit usage by kind to get a sense of who uses Observe, and how they use it. For example, you can easily discover unused Monitors, or users with unnecessarily large query time windows, both of which can lead to unnecessary and excessive credit burn. Or, discover that poorly configured freshness goals from some of your Datasets are consuming your budget. Either way, you can easily find that in the Usage Dashboard.

Credit Manager

Though dashboards are crucial to understanding credit usage patterns and anticipating costs, we provide you with additional approaches to limiting and controlling your credit usage. That’s why we created the Credit Manager, which allows administrators to set hard limits that ensure that you don’t exceed your budget.

credit manager in observe

The Credit Manager drives down costs by automatically adjusting the freshness of certain Datasets, which means that the acceleration process runs less often — thereby consuming fewer credits. This offers a balance between cost and data availability for users. 

Similarly, limits can be applied to queries to ensure users are more thoughtful about what they query and when, without needlessly burning through credits. And if the Credit Manager intervenes during an inopportune time — such as during an incident — it can be delayed for an hour or the rest of the day by any user. 

credit manager override in observe

The Credit Manager also provides flexibility by allowing you to bypass credit limits — related to queries — temporarily or allowing administrators to modify limits whenever necessary. When querying, users receive warnings when their credit usage approaches the preset limit, helping them to adjust their behavior and stay within budget.

Acceleration Manager

Observe periodically pre-computes the latest contents of Datasets in order to make queries faster and more efficient using a process called data acceleration. This process is tuned by a setting called a freshness goal — or simply how often a Dataset is refreshed. As the most important aspect of managing credit consumption, we created the Acceleration Manager, which allows you to strike the perfect balance between data freshness and credit consumption.

acceleration manager in observe

A tighter freshness goal asks the platform to update Datasets more frequently to keep data fresher and more up-to-date, and a looser freshness goal means the platform updates Datasets on a slower schedule. In general, a tighter freshness goal results in a higher rate of credit consumption, and a looser freshness goal results in a lower rate of credit consumption. Thus, tuning the freshness goal allows you to make a trade-off between the freshness of data in these Datasets and the cost of accelerating queries on them. For example, you can significantly reduce credit consumption without sacrificing data relevance by increasing the freshness goal from one to five minutes for a Dataset.

Each organization will have different priorities when it comes to setting freshness goals as some want to prioritize freshness, and others want to prioritize their budget, with most falling somewhere between. Seen as a supplement to the Credit Manager, the Acceleration Manager allows you to easily diagnose and fine-tune Acceleration Credit consumption for Datasets and Monitors in your Observe account.

Acceleration Consent 

The last cost management tool that we’re thrilled to introduce is Acceleration Consent. We specifically designed this feature for those instances when a user queries outside of the “accelerated range” of a Dataset. For example, you start troubleshooting an issue that seems to have popped up in the past few days but quickly realize this issue may be more historical in nature so you select seven — or even thirty — days’ worth of data. In such scenarios, Observe now prompts users for consent before initiating on-demand acceleration.

acceleration consent in observe

This feature ensures that you are fully aware of the implications of the queries you run and maintain full control over your budget. By providing an additional layer of user consent, we ensure that you do not unknowingly incur extra costs due to larger queries.

Balancing Budget and Performance

In conclusion, the Observability Cloud offers a simple usage-based pricing model and provides users with a comprehensive set of cost management features. These features include the Usage Dashboard, Credit Manager, Acceleration Dashboard, and Acceleration Consent, all designed to help users manage their expenses and maintain predictability in their budgets. 

By implementing these cost controls, we aim to alleviate users’ concerns about usage-based pricing and keeping more data for longer, while still providing a best-in-class observability experience.

Steer your observability costs in the right direction and embark on a smarter journey with The Observability Cloud. Click here to request access today!