06 February 2023 / Last updated: 06 Feb 2023

balenaCloud pricing changes and credits: let us explain

Recently, we added the ability to purchase credits for balenaCloud, and today we’re announcing changes to our pricing effective on March 8th, 2023. Let us explain these changes, our thinking behind them, and look at how they may affect you.

A reminder: balenaCloud credits

Last week, we launched a brand new feature to balenaCloud, allowing you to purchase credits upfront at a discount to reduce the overall cost of running your fleet.
If you can anticipate your future usage and growth on the platform, purchasing credits up front will give you a discount based on the quantity you purchase. These credits are then consumed by Microservices devices in your fleet as and when necessary. This allows you to secure today’s pricing for your fleet and accurately predict costs for the future, mitigating any future pricing changes. It’s fully flexible and allows you to commit as little or as much as you’d like depending on your scaling and usage needs.
Credits dashboard screenshot

What’s a credit?

A credit is a pre-purchased unit that corresponds to one month of usage of one device that exceeds the allowance included within your plan. At the end of each billing period, any available credits are used first before dynamic charges are added to your account. Our Pilot, Production, and Enterprise customers now have full, self-serve access to discounts by paying up front for any volume. The premise is simple—the greater your volume in a single purchase, the lower your per-credit cost will be. Credit purchases of any size will result in paying less for device usage on the platform. For our Production customers already taking advantage of annual volume discounts, the credit concept isn’t new—we previously referred to these units as “device months”.
To find out more, take a look at our credit documentation, or even better, head over to your balenaCloud dashboard where the feature is already live and check it out. You can see how much a certain number of credits will cost and in turn understand what discounts are available.
The idea behind this feature is to allow our customers to save money and reduce their balenaCloud usage costs in a completely self-serve manner. We can’t possibly come up with different pricing packages and strategies to suit the individual business needs of each of our customers, and so we designed and built a system that allows you to tailor the pricing to your own needs. If you are able to predict your fleet growth, the discounts given by credits reward purchase commitment.
We’re hoping this is a win-win as it allows us to get an idea of how you plan to scale your fleet and allows you to get a discount in return for your commitment to the platform. Credits allow you to save on usage costs and obtain a fixed price for future usage by paying upfront for your anticipated usage of the platform today.

Upcoming pricing changes: what’s changing?

Today, we’re announcing that one month from now, on March 8th, 2023, we will be increasing the price of some aspects of the balenaCloud platform. If you purchase credits before this date, you’ll be able to secure device usage at the current price, not only avoiding increased costs but also receiving a discount for purchasing in bulk up front.
At balena, we’ve always taken pride in keeping our pricing stable whilst continuing to improve our products. However, after 5 years the time has come where we have to revise our pricing and update it for 2023. We purposefully held off increasing our prices until credits were available so that we could give our customers a way to mitigate price changes first. Of course, we plan to continue thriving and building even more value into our products in the future.

Ten free Microservices devices

On March 8th, 2023, all Starter fleets will be migrated to Microservices, and customers who have associated seats and devices will see them now included in their plan. Accompanying the Starter fleet type removal, all customers will get 10 free Microservices devices on top of their plan allowance and a better upgrade experience without having to migrate fleet types.

Sunsetting Essentials

On March 8th, 2023, we are retiring the concept of Essentials fleets, meaning no new fleets of this type can be created. By removing Essentials, all new fleets can benefit from the use of multiple containers, the Public URL feature, and balenaHub Blocks. If you have an existing Essentials fleet, you can continue to operate as before, with the ability to add Essentials devices to those fleets.
We are increasing the cost of Essentials, Legacy, and Classic device overages for all plans except Prototype to $1.50. To give customers time to adjust, we’ll reduce the price increase to $1.25 until June 8th, 2023, at which point the $1.50 pricing will take effect.

Microservices overage price for Pilot, Production, and Enterprise plans

The monthly cost of additional Microservices devices over plan allowance is increasing to $2 for all plans except Prototype.

Deactivation costs

Device deactivation costs for each type will increase as they continue to remain bound to the cost of an undiscounted device charge.

Prototype subscription plan

The Prototype subscription plan will increase to $159 per month, or $1,720 annually (about a 10% discount).

How does this affect you?

To help our customers adjust and mitigate the effects of our pricing changes, we released a new way for you to obtain discounts, using credits. If you plan to continue paying monthly, you don’t need to take any action. If you would like to secure credits at today’s prices before the changes apply, check out our docs to learn how to purchase.
If you purchase credits today, discounts will be based at our current prices. On March 8th, 2023, when the price changes take effect, we will calculate the discounts using the updated device pricing. Below are two tables showing the cost per credit at different volumes both before and after the price increase.
Microservices DevicesDynamic (per device)Credit cost for 3 monthsCredit cost for 12 months
Microservices DevicesDynamic (per device)Credit cost for 3 monthsCredit cost for 12 months
Once again, thanks for reading and for your continued support of the balena platform. We appreciate each and every one of our customers and want to make sure we support you all as we make these changes. In that regard, please reach out to your account manager or to [email protected] if you’d like to talk through the changes in more detail and understand how it will affect you going forward.
— The balena team
by Team balenaThe global group of product builders that brings you balena