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New Cloudant Lite & Standard Plans are live in Bluemix Public

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The IBM Cloudant team is excited to announce that new, provisioned throughput capacity based Lite and Standard plans are now live on Bluemix Public in all regions! In a previous blog post, we shared the reasons for the change and what is happening to the Cloudant Shared plan. Now that the plans are live, we are sharing a bit more detail on using Cloudant under this new pricing model.

What is happening with the Cloudant Shared plan?

As of today, September 27, 2016, you will have 30 days to provision new Shared plan instances. On October 27, 2016, the Shared plan will no longer be available for new service instances, in favor of the new Lite and Standard plans. IBM Cloudant will continue to support existing Cloudant Shared plan instances for a minimum of one year until September 27, 2017.

How does the pricing work for Cloudant Lite and Standard plans?

Cloudant pricing is based on two major metrics:

  • Provisioned throughput capacity
  • Data usage

The provisioned throughput capacity is a per second metric and is broken out between three request classes: lookups, writes, and query. Lookups are single doc reads, writes include doc and index writes, and queries include any read to a Cloudant index. See the latest updates to the Cloudant documentation for details on what API requests make up each of these request classes. The data usage consists of both primary data and indexes.

Cloudant now comes in two plans:

  • Lite
  • Standard

The Lite plan can be provisioned if you want to evaluate Cloudant and comes with a fixed provisioned throughput capacity and 1GB of data storage. The Lite plan will be perpetually free and you won’t be charged unless you opt in to the paid Standard plan. The Standard plan comes with a increased provisioned throughput capacity to start and includes 20GB of data usage. You can scale the provisioned throughput capacity to meet the needs of your application, and pay for data usage as volume grows beyond the included 20GB.

Pricing is based on per hour allotment of these metrics, with approximate monthly charges shown in the Bluemix UI. Check out the Bluemix Public catalog tile for Cloudant and the Bluemix Pricing page for detailed pricing information.

How do I change between the Lite and Standard plans and adjust my provisioned throughput capacity?

You can change between the free Lite and paid Standard plans for a specific Cloudant instance within the Bluemix Dashboard. You will be prompted as shown below to ensure you want to make this change.


Once you have chosen the paid Standard plan, go to the Account tab on the Cloudant Dashboard to adjust the provisioned throughput capacity to meet the requirements of your application. Cloudant has three specific self-service capacity settings for you to choose from. If a larger capacity is required, hit the Contact Support button, and open a support case with details on the required capacity for your Cloudant account and we will set it up.


How do I view my current consumption of the provisioned throughput capacity?

In the Cloudant Dashboard, the Usage section is now a top tier tab. You can see a real-time view of usage against your set provisioned throughput capacity for lookups, writes, and queries. The bars will turn red when you reach the maximum throughput capacity. You can also see an overtime view of data storage, broken down by primary database data, and for the index types of views (MapReduce), Search, and Geospatial.



What changes are in the Cloudant API?

Cloudant Lite and Standard plans have a set provisioned throughput capacity of lookups/sec, writes/sec, and queries/sec. If your usage of Cloudant exceeds one of the thresholds, you will receive a 429 response code stating “too many requests” for the given request class. See example below of a script that is writing documents to the Cloudant API and periodically hitting the 429 too_many_requests error.



You should ensure that your application uses staggered retry logic when encountering the 429 response code. Cloudant’s official client libraries for java, node, and python have the capability to retry requests that come back with a 429 response if your application is only temporarily over the plan’s limit. Note that if your application persistently exceeds its allocated provisioned throughput capacity, you should move to a larger allocation to avoid application issues. Additionally, the maximum request body size to an API request for Cloudant is 1MB and you will receive a 413 response code stating “the request entity is too large” if you exceed it. For more details, see the documentation.

What if I require data isolation or a specific data center location?

Cloudant Lite and Standard plan instances can be provisioned immediately in each of the Bluemix Public regions of US South, United Kingdom, Frankfurt, and Sydney. If you require an isolated environment for your Cloudant instances due to specific security or compliance reasons, such as HIPAA, you can choose the Cloudant Dedicated Hardware from the Bluemix catalog and request it. Cloudant Dedicated Hardware plan environments can be deployed on a choice of any IBM data center locations and are priced at a flat monthly rate plus the cost of the consumption of Standard plan instances on top of it.  See this blog for more details.


If you have a specific location requirement, reach out to us by opening a support ticket in your Cloudant Dashboard or emailing

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