October 30, 2023 By Trent Shupe 3 min read

Businesses rely heavily on monitoring solutions to ensure the optimal performance and availability of their applications. While features and capabilities are important to evaluate, it’s also important to consider pricing to ensure the right solution that will meet your needs. 

Over the years, many legacy APM providers have developed complicated pricing structures that make it difficult to understand exactly what the solution will end up costing and discourages broad adoption by charging per user seat. That may have worked well in the past, but it can be insufficient for today’s modern cloud-native environments.

Remember the issue last year when a company got a USD 65 million surprise bill from their observability solution? While that specific pricing policy may have been changed, many legacy APM vendors still employ complicated pricing structures that produce unexpected charges and fees. Let’s take a look at some key pricing features to consider when evaluating an APM or observability platform.

Transparent and predictable pricing

Instana’s pricing structure is transparent and predictable. Instana follows a per-host pricing model, where customers are charged based on the number of hosts — physical or virtual — that need to be monitored. This straightforward approach eliminates confusion and simplifies budgeting, making it easier to estimate and control monitoring costs. In contrast, legacy APM tools like New Relic employ a more complex pricing framework, including charges for a combination of hosts, user seats, throughput and data retention, leading to potential surprises in monthly bills.

All-inclusive monitoring

Be careful with solutions that offer a low entry price but have additional charges for different features. With Instana, customers get access to all features and capabilities — all included in the base price. This means that you don’t have to worry about paying extra for essential capabilities such as distributed tracing, root cause analysis, service mapping, synthetic monitoring or anomaly detection.

Pricing built for microservices and containers

As the industry shifts towards microservices and containerized environments, Instana’s pricing structure aligns perfectly with these modern architectures. Instana offers granular pricing that allows you to monitor individual containers or microservices without having to pay for an entire container cluster or host. This level of flexibility allows you to only pay for what you use, helping to optimize costs and meet the specific needs of your application architecture. Most organizations monitoring cloud-native applications want to extend observability and monitoring information to all application stakeholders. When legacy APM providers employ usage-based pricing models, it creates a quandary for customers, making them choose between providing the tool to everyone that needs it and keeping costs down.

Easier scalability and growth

For growing businesses, Instana’s pricing model provides a more scalable and cost-effective path when compared to New Relic. As new hosts or containers are added to the infrastructure, you only pay for the additional resources being monitored, not the users monitoring it. This scalability aligns with your organization’s growth trajectory, allowing you to avoid unnecessary costs for infrastructure that is not yet deployed. And since Instana does not charge per user, it’s easy to onboard new users as you grow your business. In contrast, many legacy APM vendors, like New Relic, have complicated pricing structures that can become a significant cost burden as your business expands, as each new addition of a host, throughput, or data retention tier comes with additional charges.

Pricing considerations are a critical component when evaluating a monitoring solution. Having the right set of capabilities won’t do much good if the pricing structure inhibits you from using them when needed. Instana’s pricing structure offers organizations a more transparent, predictable, and cost-effective solution. Its per-host pricing, all-inclusive features, granular pricing for microservices, and scalability accommodate businesses of all sizes, so you only pay for what you need.

When considering a monitoring solution, it’s vital to evaluate not only the features but also the financial implications, making Instana a compelling choice for optimizing monitoring costs. If you have a legacy APM tool that produces surprise bills based on usage, it’s time to move to Instana. 

Explore Instana Price Calculator today
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