For better or for worse, pricing a product is a complicated exercise to go through. Over the past two years, as we’ve built this product we have queried and surveyed hundreds of hobbyists, professionals, startups, SMBs and enterprises about their use cases, requirements, price sensitivity, perceived value from the product, etc.
The price you see today for Docker Cloud is a reflection of that work. That is not to say, this is the final price, nor that it won’t evolve over time or that other tiers won’t be made available. There are plans to introduce tiers that cater to individual hobbyists as well as teams and enterprises.
Some of you are frustrated about this pricing, and we understand. It seems that overnight you went from using a service that was offered to you for free, to being asked to pay $0.02/node/hour. Now, if you are a hobbyist, as Geoff Bowers mentioned above, we are giving away your first node and private repo for free, and if you were a Tutum early supporter, you’ve been given additional free credit to help you transition from our free beta service.
If you are using the service to run your business, we ask you to think about the value that it is providing and to then judge whether or not it is worth the cost. We like to believe that it is, but we realize there are other alternatives at your disposal to consider. The team here at Docker even makes available great and free open source software, such as Docker Engine, Swarm, Compose, Machine, etc., to help you build, ship and run your applications on any infrastructure.
The most common comparison I see is that of Docker Cloud pricing and Cloud Provider infrastructure cost; most often with DigitalOcean’s $5/month node. The thing is, infrastructure has become a commodity. Infrastructure is available from a great number of different providers around the globe, with little differentiation, and prices will keep dropping.
The service that Docker Cloud offers, which is to manage your applications end-to-end across any infrastructure, shouldn’t be viewed as a commodity; it is a service built on top of a commodity (in this case, infrastructure).
We believe that our service’s value actually increases as infrastructure cost lowers since the managerial overhead of that infrastructure will continue to grow as you add more nodes, which prevents you from working on the things that truly matter.
We ultimately provide a managed end-to-end solution that will save you time, expertise, and possible headcount compared to rolling your own solution. We think the cost of Docker Cloud will be more than made up for in technological, individual, and organizational efficiencies.
Lastly, I’d like to add that this pricing is the same tentative pricing that was communicated to the community many months before Docker Cloud became available. We apologize to any Tutum users that feel they have been blindsided, but we tried our best to convey this information early.
As always, thanks for your support and we hope to see you join us on Docker Cloud