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Grafana Cloud Billing and usage
Grafana Cloud

Billing and usage

A detailed breakdown of your monthly usage and estimated bill is available in the Billing/Usage dashboard located in the folder named GrafanaCloud in your hosted Grafana instance. Metrics are billed on the 95th percentile of active series ingestion per minute (DPM). Logs and traces are billed based on total ingestion. Grafana Users are billed on unique logins, with additional per user costs for IRM and Enterprise plugins. Load testing (k6) is billed based on Virtual user hours (VUh).

For detailed information on user activity, see Usage Insights dashboards.

To learn more about controlling your data usage, see the following topics:

Reconcile invoices

To reconcile the dollar amounts on your invoices with those on the Billing/Usage dashboard, set the dashboard time-picker to a few hours after midnight UTC at month end. This is necessary because the billing script that generates the final bill runs after month end (UTC), and the metrics used to render dollar amount panels on the dashboard (for example, grafanacloud_org_metrics_overage) are written from the results of the billing script.

Graph of ‘Logs additional usage amount’ resetting from approx $25k back to zero at around 01:20am

Note: The bill itself is calculated with data taken from exactly midnight at month start to midnight at month end (UTC). As an example, the underlying raw usage metric grafanacloud_instance_active_series is an input to the billing calculation, and is queried from exactly month start to month end (UTC) by the billing script.

Usage limits

In addition to the usage information displayed in the Billing Usage dashboard, the following limits can be useful in configuring overage alerts:

  • grafanacloud_instance_metrics_limits
  • grafanacloud_logs_instance_limits
  • grafanacloud_traces_instance_limits

The Grafana Cloud usage limits reference doc provides details.

Billing for active users

For Grafana Users, a user is considered active if they log in to a Grafana instance during the billing month. Users are only billed once per month across all stacks in your account.

For Incident Response & Management (IRM), a user is considered active if they perform any of these actions below or if they are included in OnCall schedules or escalation chains:

  • Changed status of alert group or OnCall configuration
  • Got paged or paged someone
  • Created, declared, edited, updated, or deleted an Incident

If an Enterprise data source plugin is installed, the plugin costs apply to all active users for that month for Grafana Cloud Pro plans. For a quick estimate for plugin costs and to compare available plans, see our pricing calculator here. To review installed Enterprise plugins, visit the Manage Subscription page in your Cloud Portal and scroll down to the Enterprise plugin section.

On the 1st of every month the monthly active user count resets to zero. Please refer to your Billing/Usage dashboard to monitor your active user count and estimated charges.

Set an email to receive billing invoices

To select an organization member to receive billing invoices:

  1. Navigate to your Cloud portal at grafana.com.

  2. From the menu on the left, click Members.

  3. Click Update for the member who will receive invoices.

  4. In the pop-up that appears, use the dropdown menu to set Receive billing email to Yes and click Update Membership.

Billing alerts on metrics consumption

Setting up alerts on your metrics consumption can help prevent unexpected charges. For more details on how metrics are billed see Active series and DPM.

We suggest that you set up two separate alerts for the following:

  • Active series
  • Data points per minute (DPM) ie. implied billable series

Each of the above can lead to overages, so it’s important to catch usage spikes in either one of them early.

For more details on how alerts and alert routing works, see Grafana alerting.

Set up an alert for active series usage

Follow these directions to set up an alert for active series usage.

  1. In your Cloud instance, navigate to the Alerts & IRM > Alerting > Alert rules.

  2. Click Create alert rule.

  3. Select Grafana managed alert.

  4. In query panel A, select grafanacloud-usage from the data source dropdown menu.

  5. Select the Code option in the upper-right corner of the panel.

  6. Enter the following query:

    (
    # Number of active series:
    sum(grafanacloud_instance_active_series)
    *
    # Current price per billable-series (calculated from current usage levels and your contract):
    sum (grafanacloud_org_metrics_overage / grafanacloud_org_metrics_billable_series)
    )
    
  7. Run the query if it hasn’t run yet (click Run queries)

  8. Set your budgeting threshold by dragging the red tab at the right of the graph, or by setting an IS ABOVE condition in the panel which has this threshold setting (probably panel B or C).

    Alert setup
    Alert setup

  9. Add optional descriptive details to your alert, for example:

    • Summary: If your current active series count continues, you will eventually exceed your monthly metrics budget.
    • Description: Your active series usage is currently higher than the alert threshold. Please consult the cardinality dashboard to ensure it is not a result of cardinality explosion or misconfiguration, or reconsider your monthly budget.
      Alert details
      Alert details

Set up an alert for DPM

Follow these directions to set up an alert for Data points per minute (DPM) usage (i.e., implied billable series).

  1. In your Cloud instance, navigate to the Alerts & IRM > Alerting > Alert rules.

  2. Click Create alert rule.

  3. Select Grafana managed alert.

  4. In query panel A, select grafanacloud-usage from the data source dropdown menu.

  5. Select the Code option in the upper-right corner of the panel.

  6. Enter the following query:

    (
    # Data points received per minute:
    sum (grafanacloud_instance_samples_per_second*60)
    /
    # Divide by "Included DPM" to approximate billable-series
    sum (grafanacloud_org_metrics_included_dpm_per_series)
    *
    # Current price per billable-series (calculated from current usage levels and your contract):
    sum (grafanacloud_org_metrics_overage / grafanacloud_org_metrics_billable_series)
    )
    
  7. Set your budgeting threshold by dragging the red tab at the right of the graph, or by setting an IS ABOVE condition in panel B.

  8. Add optional descriptive details to your alert, for example:

    • Summary: If you continue at your current DPM usage level, you will eventually exceed your monthly metrics budget.
    • Description: The billable series due to DPM (total data points received / data points included per series) is currently higher than the alert threshold. If the ActiveSeries Usage alert is not firing then you likely have some series with a DPM higher than what’s included in your plan. To view the DPM of your metrics, you can use the following query: count_over_time{__name__=<your_metric_name_here>}[10m])).

Common billing questions

Select a question to learn more about Grafana Cloud billing.

What are active series?

An active series is a time series that receives new data points or samples. When you stop writing new datapoints to a time series, shortly afterwards it is no longer considered active. Visit our documentation on active series to learn more.

What is DPM?

Data points per minute (DPM) represent a single measured occurrence, or sample, of a metric within a time series, consisting of a unique value and timestamp. Visit our documentation on DPM to learn more.

What is VUh?

A k6 Virtual User hour (VUh) is a user or thread emulated during a k6 test, rounded up to the nearest complete hour. Visit our documentation on k6 billing to learn more.

When does the billing cycle begin?

Usage is calculated per calendar month. The Billing/Usage dashboard displays estimates based on usage for this month so far.

Will I be billed during my 14-day trial of Grafana Cloud Pro?

No, trial usage is never billed. Once the trial completes, the account will automatically update to the Grafana Cloud Free plan.

Why do the Total Billable Series not decrease after I have reduced active series?

The Total Billable Metrics Series panel displays the 95th percentile of the total number of active series sent and the total DPM across all active series. Billing based on the 95th percentile of usage prevents costs for unexpected or temporary spikes in usage and forgives the top five percent of usage “time” in each calendar month, which is roughly the top ~36 hours of usage (0.05*720 = 36). When metrics usage remains at a high volume for longer than 36 hours, this becomes the projected billable metric series amount and reducing metrics usage will not greatly adjust the 95th percentile for the current calendar month. Visit our documentation on Usage and cost calculations to learn more.

Why is Billable series higher than Active series?

Billable series are determined by:

  1. the number of active series: how many unique metric series
  2. the number of data points per minute (DPM): how frequently the data is being sent to Grafana Cloud.

Usage is defined as the maximum of either active series or DPM: usage = max(active_series, total_dpm/1)

This is why we recommend using a 1-minute DPM as the global default and only increasing the scrape interval per job as needed for more graph resolution. See Optimize your scrape interval to improve data points per minute (DPM)

Why are the Cardinality Management dashboards displaying “No Data”?

The Cardinality Management dashboards use the previous two hours of metric ingestion to visualize how metrics and labels are distributed across the time series data you send to Grafana Cloud Metrics. If you have not shipped data within that timeframe, no data will be displayed. Visit our documentation on analyzing metrics usage with cardinality management dashboards to learn more.