Lightstep Observability billing is based on the amount of data allotted to your organization for each billing period.

The amount alloted to you is a bundle that includes the following products:

  • Number of services sending data
  • Active metric time series
  • Amount of span data ingested
  • Number of Streams (saved span queries)

You can monitor your usage using the following pages in Account management:

  • Overview: Usage of your complete allotment
  • Span data ingested: Details of your span usage
  • Active time series: Active time series ingested by individual metrics or services

View your usage overview

You access the Usage overview page from the Account management menu. Usage page

The user’s role determines what is displayed on this page.

Your usage for each part of the bundle is calculated across all projects in your organization for the duration of a billing period.

Usage is updated every 24 hours at 02:00 UTC.

Hover over a usage bar to see the breakdown per project (not available for active services). Per project breakdown

You can view contract details to see the number of products allotted to your organization by clicking What are my contract details? Contract details Contract details modal

Use the Billing period dropdown to review previous usage. View previous usage


If your usage goes over your allotment, the bar for that item displays in red, along with the percentage you are over. Usage overages

Additionally, Lightstep sends an email to Billing Admins when an account is close to any of their limits and again when the account starts incuring overage charges. Email

You can see and manage your email notifications in Account Settings.

View ingested span data

You can see details for the amount of span data that Lightstep has ingested over the last 24 hours by clicking Span data ingest in the Account management menu. Access span data usage

The Span data ingest page contains bar graph that shows the amount of data (GB) ingested for each serivce emitting span data to Lightstep, ordered from largest to smallest, along with a line chart showing that ingest over the billing period. A table at the bottom of the page provides detailed usage for each service.

Span data ingest page

When you hover over a time series in the line chart, the Value column in the table shows the value for that point in time. When not hovering over the chart, the Value represents the lastet value for that service.

View active time series

Choose Active time series in the Account management menu to see both the amount and the rate of active time series ingested by metrics and services, over the last 30 days. Active time series page

You can switch between metrics and services using the dropdown. Choose between metrics or services

Lightstep uses the attribute or the attribute you registered to determine the services that emit metrics.

The top bar chart shows your metrics or services, ordered from largest consumption to least. Most ingested ATS

The line chart shows the rate of ingestion for either your metrics or services. The table below the chart shows individual values. ATS line chart

When you hover over a time series in the line chart, the Value column in the table shows the value for that point in time. When not hovering over the chart, the Value represents the lastet value for that metric or service.

User role access

On the Overview page, users with the Billing admin role can see the dollar amounts of invoices and overages, as well as contracted overage rates in the Contract Details modal. Warning and overage emails are sent only to them. Overage charges

The Billing admin role can only be assigned by your Customer Success representitve.

Users with the Admin role can view everything except the dollar amounts. Admins do not receive the email notifications.

All other users can see usage and overages (without dollar amounts), but can’t access contract details.

Understand Lightstep billing and overages

Lightstep Observability’s pricing plan is based on on an active bundle. Each bundle in your contract includes an allotment of data for each billing period, across these products:

  • Active Service Bundle: Distinctly named services reporting to Lightstep and the associated allotment of data for that bundle.

    Billing is determined by the service’s name. If multiple projects have the same-named service reporting to them, you’re billed for only the one service.

  • Active Time Series: The number of unique metric time series sent to Lightstep, pro-rated by the hour.
  • Span Data (GB): The gigabytes of span data sent to Lightstep.

  • Streams: The number of existing Streams (including retained span queries).

Usage of the allotment is summed across all products in your organization for a billing period. Note an active service used across projects (for example, in staging and production) is billed as a single service.

When you use more than the contracted limit of Active Time Series, Span Data (GB) or Streams, you incur overage charges for the exceeded amount. When you use more than the contracted limit of Active Services, you incur overage charges for additional bundles. Lightstep provisions additional bundles for each extra service and then updates the underlying included allowances of active time series, span data (GB) and Streams to account for the additional bundles. This ensures that you are not double charged for any overages for those items.

How active time series are calculated

An active time series is any unique combination of a metric name and metric attribute(s) sent to Lightstep. For example, this table shows individual time series for each hour, differentiated by the attributes.

If your metric is a distribution type (that is, it automatically aggregates values by percentiles), it is billed as five separate active time series.

Active time series

Other ways to monitor and investigate usage

Along with the Billing and usage pages, you can proactively monitor and investigate usage on a per-project basis.

Active time series and span data:

You can create a dashboard, as well as alerts, to monitor both your active time series and the amount of span data being ingested. When you notice an increase, you can transfer a chart to a notebook for investigation. Billing usage dashboard

Active services:

You can view your active services from the Reporting Status page. View active services

Streams (retained span queries)

The Streams view lists your existing Streams. View Streams