Billing FAQ

This frequently-asked-questions list answers some of your more common questions about Elasticsearch Service billing.

  • Is there a way for me to estimate how much Elasticsearch Service will cost?
  • Where can I see a detailed view of my consumption?
  • How do I view previous receipts and billing history?
  • How can I change who receives receipts and billing notifications?
  • What are the available payment methods on Elasticsearch Service?
  • Who can I contact for more information?
  • Why is my credit card charged?
  • When is my credit card charged?
  • Why is my credit card charged if I canceled my trial?
  • What is the cancellation policy for monthly subscriptions?
  • Why am I being charged if I don’t use any of my deployments?
  • How can I delete my Elastic Cloud account?
  • Can I get a refund?
  • What is included in my paid Elasticsearch Service deployment?
  • Do I have access to Gold/Platinum features as a Standard customer?
  • What are the data transfer and storage charges?
  • How are the data transfer charges calculated?
  • How can I control the data transfer cost?
  • How are the storage charges calculated?
  • How can I control the storage cost?
  • Why is my storage bill for a higher capacity than the size of my data?
  • How does an annual prepaid contract work?
  • What does the prepaid capacity cover?

    Is there a way for me to estimate how much Elasticsearch Service will cost?
    Yes, there is: Try our Elasticsearch Service Pricing Calculator.
    Where can I see a detailed view of my consumption?

    To make it easy to track the ongoing cost of Elasticsearch Service, we’ve added line items to the downloadable invoices.

    Example invoice
    Example invoice

    Additionally, on the Elasticsearch Service Account activity page, the month to date column shows accrued costs and can help you to better estimate the next charge amount.

    How do I view previous receipts and billing history?
    See the billing history, where you can view and download receipts for all previous charges.
    How can I change who receives receipts and billing notifications?
    The account owner can change who receives receipts and billing notifications by changing the email details.
    What are the available payment methods on Elasticsearch Service?
    For month-to-month payments only credit cards are accepted. We also allow payments by bank transfer for annual subscriptions.
    Who can I contact for more information?
    If you have any further questions about your credit card statement, billing, or receipts, please send an email to ar@elastic.co or open a Support case using the Billing issue category.
    Why is my credit card charged?
    If you are on a monthly plan, the charge is a recurring fee for using our hosted Elasticsearch Service. The fee is normally charged at the start of each month, but it can also be charged at other times during the month. If a charge is unsuccessful, we will try to charge your card again at a later date.
    When is my credit card charged?
    You are billed on the first day of each month for usage in the prior month.
    Why is my credit card charged if I canceled my trial?
    If you add a credit card to your Elastic Cloud account at any time during the trial period, the trial is converted to a paid subscription. You then have to pay for any expense incurred by your deployment beginning when the credit card was added. If you delete your deployment at a later date, you will still be invoiced for any usage that occurs between the conversion date and the deployment deletion date.
    What is the cancellation policy for monthly subscriptions?
    There are no cancellation or termination fees for monthly subscriptions. If the service is no longer needed, you can spin down all of your deployments. Usage for that month will be billed at the end of the month in your final bill.
    Why am I being charged if I don’t use any of my deployments?
    Even if you have no activity on your account and you haven’t logged into the Elasticsearch Service Console, your active deployments still incur costs that we need to charge you for. To avoid being charged for active but unused deployments, you can simply delete them. Your account will stay active with no charges, and you can always spin up more capacity when you need it.
    How can I delete my Elastic Cloud account?
    To have your account removed, you can contact support through the Elasticsearch Service Support form or use one of these alternative contact methods. For details about our data erasure policy, see Privacy Rights and Choices in our General Privacy Statement.
    Can I get a refund?
    Charges are non-refundable, but once you delete a deployment we’ll stop charging you for that deployment immediately. You only pay for what you use and you can stop using the service at any time. For any special considerations warranting a potential refund, please use the Elasticsearch Service Console Support form to open a support case and select Billing issue as the category. To ensure quick processing, be sure to provide detail about the reasons for the refund request as well as other matters pertaining to the issue. For other ways to open a Support case, see Getting help.
    What is included in my paid Elasticsearch Service deployment?

    The following come for free with a Standard license for Elasticsearch Service:

    Note that if you go above the free tier of Kibana/ML/APM (for example, a 2GB Kibana instance), you will be charged in full for the size of that instance.

    Do I have access to Gold/Platinum features as a Standard customer?

    Yes, if you are using under 64GB RAM across your deployments.

    If you provision more than 64GB across all deployments in your account in the Standard subscription, an audit alert is triggered and you will be required to upgrade your subscription.

    What are the data transfer and storage charges?

    Snapshot storage and data transfer costs are automatically added to your bill based on metered usage. These include the following:

    • Snapshot Storage (Cloud Storage costs)

      • This is based on how much data your snapshots consume on Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage, or Azure Blob Storage
    • Snapshot Storage Requests (Snapshot API Requests)

      • This is based on snapshot frequency and how many requests are being made to Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage, or Azure Blob Storage
    • Data Transfer into the cluster
    • Data Transfer out of the cluster
    • Data Transfer between nodes in the cluster
    How are the data transfer charges calculated?

    Data transfer costs account for the volume of data (payload) going into, out of, and within the Elasticsearch deployments.

    We meter and bill data transfer using three dimensions:

    1. Data in (free)
    Data in accounts for all of the traffic going into the deployment. It includes index requests with data payload, as well as queries sent to the deployment (although the byte size of the latter is typically much smaller).
    2. Data out
    Data out accounts for all of the traffic coming out of the deployment. This includes search results, as well as monitoring data sent from the deployment. The same rate applies regardless of the destination of the data, whether to another region, to the internet, or to a different account in the same region.
    3. Data intra-deployment
    Data intra-deployment accounts for all of the traffic sent between the components of the deployment. This includes mostly the data sync between nodes of a cluster spread across different availability zones, which is managed automatically by Elasticsearch cluster sharding. It also includes data related to search queries executed across multiple nodes of a cluster. Note that single node Elasticsearch clusters may also incur intra-cluster charges accounting for data exchanged with Kibana nodes or other nodes, such as machine learning or APM. For single node clusters charges are expected to be lower.

    The data transfer usage is calculated similarly to the storage API requests, in that it is summed up to a cumulative amount within a billing cycle. To see current, cumulative rates based on a specific configuration, try our Elasticsearch Service Pricing Calculator.

    We also provide a free allowance of 100GB per month, which includes the sum of data out and data intra-deployment, across all deployments in the account. Once this threshold is passed, a charge is applied for any data transfer used in excess of the 100GB monthly free allowance.

    How can I control the data transfer cost?
    Data transfer out of deployments and between nodes of the cluster is hard to control, as it is a function of the use case employed for the cluster and cannot always be tuned. Use cases such as batch queries executed at a frequent interval may be revisited to help lower transfer costs, if applicable. Watcher email alerts also count towards data transfer out of the deployment, so you may want to reduce their frequency and size.
    How are the storage charges calculated?

    Snapshot storage costs are tied to the cost of storing the backup snapshots in the underlying IaaS object store, such as S3 on AWS or GCS on Google Cloud. These storage costs are not for the disk storage that persists the Elasticsearch indices, as that storage is already included in the cost of the deployment.

    As is common with Cloud providers, we meter and bill snapshot storage using two dimensions:

    1. Storage size (GB/month)

    This is calculated by metering the storage space (GBs) occupied by all snapshots of all deployments tied to an account. The same unit price applies to all regions. To calculate the due charges, we meter the amount of storage on an hourly basis and produce an average size (in GB) for a given month. The average amount is then used to bill the account for the GB/month used within a billing cycle (a calendar month).

    For example, if the storage used in April 2019 was 100GB for 10 days, and then 130GB for the remaining 20 days of the month, the average storage would be 120 GB/month, calculated as (100*10 + 130*20)/30.

    2. Storage API requests (1K Requests/month)
    These costs are calculated by counting the total number of calls to backup or restore snapshots made by all deployments associated with an account. Unlike storage size, this dimension is cumulative, summed up across the billing cycle, and is billed at a price of 1,000 requests. To see current, cumulative rates based on a specific configuration, try our Elasticsearch Service Pricing Calculator.

    We provide a free allowance of 100 GB/month to all accounts across all the account deployments. Any metered storage usage below that amount will not be billed. Whenever the 100 GB/month threshold is crossed, we bill for the storage used in excess of the 100GB/month free allowance.

    We also provide a free allowance of 100,000 API requests to all accounts each month across all the account deployments. Once this threshold is passed, we bill only for the use of API requests in excess of the free allowance.

    The free tier allowance is calculated as an aggregation across all of the account deployments. For example, if the account has 3 deployments that each issue 50K API calls per month, they will be billed for 150-100 = 50K snapshot calls.

    The same method applies for snapshot storage: If the account has 3 deployments using an average of 50GB each per month, they will be billed for 150-100 = 50GB snapshot storage.

    A single snapshot operation does not equal a single API call. There could be thousands of API calls associated with a single snapshot operation, as different files are written, deleted, and modified. The price we list is per 1000 API calls, so a rate of $0.0018 for 1000 API calls would cost $1.80 for a million calls.

    How can I control the storage cost?

    Snapshots in Elasticsearch Service save data incrementally at each snapshot event. This means that the effective snapshot size may be larger than the size of the current indices. The snapshot size increases as more data is used in the cluster, as well as when the data is updated frequently, as records are added, deleted, and modified. As well, API requests are executed every time a snapshot is taken or restored, affecting usage costs. In the event that you have any automated processes that use the Elasticsearch API to create or restore snapshots, these should be set so as to avoid unexpected charges.

    From the Snapshots section of the Elasticsearch Service Console you can set both the frequency that snapshots are taken and the number of snapshots that are stored. As well, beginning with Elastic Stack version 7.6, you can use Kibana to configure a snapshot lifecycle management (SLM) policy to automate when snapshots are created and deleted, along with other options. To learn more, see the Kibana Snapshot and Restore documentation.

    Note that reducing either the snapshot frequency or retention period limits the availability and the recency of available data to restore from. Your snapshot policy should be configured with both costs and data availability in mind in order to minimize the potential for loss of data.

    Why is my storage bill for a higher capacity than the size of my data?
    This may be a result of your snapshot and restore policy. Because snapshots store data incrementally at each snapshot event, the effective snapshot size may be larger than the size of the current indices. For details, see How can I control the storage cost?.
    How does an annual prepaid contract work?

    If you have signed up for an annual contract, you are prepaying for a predefined capacity use, effectively a reservation of the instance type you want to use. If you consume less than the prepaid capacity within a given month, the credits are lost and not carried over to the next month. If you spend more than you have prepaid in a given month, you will be charged overages (additional costs) at list price for the additional consumption.

    In any billing cycle, either of the following occurrences can trigger additional costs (overages):

    1. You have made changes to your deployments that generated additional costs. These changes can be:

      • Adding a new instance to your deployment
      • Increasing the instance RAM
      • Adding more availability zones or nodes to an instance
      • Switching to a different, more expensive region
      • Creating a new deployment
    2. You have generated data transfer and storage costs.
    Example

    Assume that you have reserved an aws.data.highio.i3 instance with 8GB of RAM and 2 availability zones in the EU (Frankfurt) AWS region, at a yearly price of $1200, excluding any discount.

    At the end of each month, your usage is summed up, and the prepaid capacity is deducted. Let’s say that in the third contract month you used an additional aws.data.highio.i3 instance, with the same configuration and region as your original instance, for 80 hours. You will then be invoiced for the additional 80 hours x $0.4532 (the cumulative rate for this configuration at the time of writing) = $36.26.

    Additionally, let’s say that you have used an average of 120GB of storage. Since the first 100GB are free of charge, you will be invoiced for the extra 20GB x $0.033 (the storage price per GB at the time of writing) = $0.66.

    Your invoice for this example month will be $36.26 + $0.66 = $36.92.

    What does the prepaid capacity cover?

    In you have an annual contract, your prepaid credits are used primarily to cover the reserved capacity as defined in your contract. The credits are calculated and applied on a monthly basis. This means that the annual prepaid amount is prorated for the duration of a given month and then applied to that month’s usage.

    If you have a lower usage than the prepaid capacity (for example, you have scaled down your deployment), any remaining prepaid usage will be applied against the additional charges you incurred during the month, including data transfer and storage.

    If you still have remaining credits for the current month even after covering the additional charges, the credits are lost and will not be carried over to the next month.

    If your usage is higher than the available prepaid credit for the current month, you will be charged overages for the month.

    You can use a different region than the one you prepaid for. If the new region is more expensive, the difference in price will be charged as an overage.