Learn how Lightstep billing works.

This page describes Lightstep’s billing plans, how to calculate Active Time Series (ATS), and who can access billing features.

Visit Lightstep’s pricing page to learn about pricing, and contact your customer success representative with any questions.

Understanding billing plans

Lightstep has two billing plans. The Subscription unit plan applies to users with contracts starting on or after May 4, 2023. All other users are on the Active service bundle plan. Click these tabs to learn about the plans:

  • Under Lightstep’s Subscription unit plan, you purchase a monthly number of subscription units. You then apply those subscription units to Lightstep telemetry.

    The table below shows how the different telemetry types map to one subscription unit. Note that you can always purchase more subscription units by contacting your customer success representative.

    Telemetry Quantity = 1 subscription unit
    Metrics 25 ATS
    Trace data ingest 10 GB
    Trace data retention 32 GB-days

    The metrics telemetry type includes the following:

    • Application metrics sent to Lightstep.
    • Infrastructure metrics sent to Lightstep.
    • Span-derived metrics, also known as streams.
  • Lightstep’s Active service bundle plan is based 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.

    • ATS: 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 ATS, 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 ATS, 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

Active Time Series (ATS) are part of your Lightstep bill. The table below shows how Lightstep calculates ATS for sample data from 8:00 to 12:00.

The table has four time series – time series are unique metric-name-and-attribute combinations. A time series is active if you send at least one data point to it in an hour:

  • In the 8:00 hour, there are two ATS.
  • In the 10:00 hour, there are four ATS.
  • In the 12:00 hour, requests.customer=spacecat.service=rocketlauncher isn’t an ATS. It is an ATS from 8:00 - 11:00.

If you got a Lightstep bill for this time frame, you’d have 13 total ATS.

Active Time Series

If your metric is a distribution type (that is, it aggregates values by percentiles), Lightstep bills it as five separate ATS.

Accessing billing features

Your access to billing features depends on your Lightstep user role. This table lists billing activities and what the different user roles can do.

Billing activities Billing admin Admin Member Viewer
Create, edit, and delete metric ingestion rules      
Export billing information to CSV      
Get emails about billing warnings and overages      
View contract details    
View metric ingestion rules
View usage and overage percentages
[For Active service bundle plans only] View overage costs      

Only Lightstep Customer Success representatives can assign the Billing admin role. Contact your Customer Success representative to assign or reassign the Billing admin role.

Billing emails

Billing admins receive an email from Lightstep when the account:

  • Approaches an allotment limit.

    For Subscription unit plans, Billing admins get emails when the account goes above 80% and 100% of the monthly subscription-unit limit.

  • Incurs overage charges.

    Only users on the Active service bundle plan can experience overages and receive overage-related emails.

Next steps

Visit the links below to learn more about monitoring Lightstep usage and billing.