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Grafana Cloud Billing and usage

Billing and usage

A detailed breakdown of your monthly usage and estimated bill is available in the Billing/Usage dashboard, which is available by default. On this dashboard, you’ll find:

  • Estimates of your total bill for the month, with the amount further broken down between metrics and logs.
  • Estimates of your total usage for the month, also broken down between metrics and logs.

One quick way to confirm data ingestion into Grafana Cloud is to look at this Billing and Usage dashboard and zooming into the last 5 minutes to check for current active series usage or logs.

To learn more about the data we use for billing, see What are active series and DPM?

NOTE: 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

A monthly active user is a user who has logged into their Grafana Cloud stack at least once during the billing month, or that is identified as being on an on-call rotation or in an escalation chain in Grafana OnCall during the billing month. For accounts with multiple stacks: if the same user logs into multiple Grafana stacks they will be counted only once.

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. Open the Cloud portal.

  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

Use this section to set up an alert for active series usage

  1. In Alerting, navigate to the Alert rules tab and click + New alert rule.

  2. Select Grafana managed alert.

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

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

  5. 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)
    )
    
  6. Run the query if it hasn’t run yet (click Run queries)

  7. 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

  8. 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

Use this section to set up an alert for Data points per minute (DPM) usage ie. implied billable series

  1. In Alerting, navigate to the Alert rules tab and click + New alert rule.

  2. Select Grafana managed alert.

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

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

  5. 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)
    )
    
  6. 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.

  7. 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])).