I've had a single Linode for a while now (going on two years, I think). Very happy with the service. I'm curious about some pricing inconsistencies, and haven't been able to find an explanation.

The RAM / Storage / Transfer / Price all scale linearly from Linode 512 to Linode 4GB (if one rounds the price up to the next dollar, anyway). The bundled price for a Linode 512 is about 75% less than if one were to buy the RAM / Storage / Transfer at the published extra prices (at $5 per 90 MB RAM, $1 per GB Storage, and $10 per 100 GB Transfer, a Linode 512 would cost $80.45).

The price of extra RAM & Storage is significantly higher than bundled RAM & Storage (which I have no problem with). The price of extra Transfer is the same as bundled Transfer up to the Linode 4GB level.

After Linode 4GB, the Transfer caps out at 2000 GB per month. This has the effect of making bandwidth more expensive for the Linode 8GB through Linode 20GB machines. Instead of the same 75% "discount" for the first 6 tiers of service, the "discount" becomes 73%, 71%, 70%, & 69%.

In many cases prices go down as volume goes up. I'm just curious as to why prices don't at least stay stable (or even go down) as more money is spent, rather than going up.

Please note: I am not complaining. I love this service and have no complaints*. I've tried hard to find something that I think is better than Linode and thus far have been unsuccessful. I'm just curious if Linode's cost per GB of Transfer really does go up for larger packages, if it is a way of subsidizing smaller packages, or if there is a technical reason why a single VPS can't be allocated more than 2000 GB of Transfer per month.

Follow up question: If there is a technical reason why a single machine can't be allocated more than 2000 GB of Transfer per month, does that mean the normal bandwidth pooling breaks down for the larger instances? In other words, could a machine with a 2000 GB Transfer limit absorb unused Transfer from other Linode instances if it went over its allocation?

I ask because I'm working on a project that has potential (though I know it's a long shot) to go viral and consume a lot of resources, and got curious as to why Transfer is priced as it is.

*Maybe one itty bitty tiny complaint would be the lack of support for FreeBSD instances. I know it is theoretically possible, but is not supported. If FreeBSD were to be added to the supported OS offerings, I'd have nothing to complain about. :)


PS I guess another way of looking at this would be that Transfer costs stay stable at the higher tiers but RAM and/or Storage goes up, though I think my perspective is the more natural one.

4 Replies

It's not a discount. Extras cost more because they are actually a scarce resource.

The host machine has a limited amount of RAM and storage. I'm sure Linode keeps a certain amount of spare capacity to accommodate people who need extras, but there's a hard limit to how much extras can be provisioned. By making upgrades cheaper than extras, Linode is giving you an incentive to upgrade a bigger plan instead of trying to make do with extra RAM and storage on your current plan. Transfer, on the other hand, can be provisioned much more flexibly, because the hosts are fitted with gigabit interfaces that can easily handle hundreds of TB per month.

As for the 2000 GB transfer limit on the larger plans, I think there was some discussion about it when the larger plans were introduced. I can't remember exactly what was said back then, but it's not uncommon for hosting providers to apply a flat transfer limit even with high-end hardware. So, if I wanted to pump out 8 TB per month, I'd buy 5 Linode 4GBs rather than a single Linode 20GB. (It's actually cheaper than Amazon S3.)

It is effectively a discount, in that it is less to buy the bundle than the ala carte price (if that were even possible). Or we can call it a premium on ala carte if that makes people feel better. I recognize the reason why extras cost more than the bundled price…

Regardless, the real question was why bandwidth doesn't scale the same way price wise as after 4GB as it does up to 4GB in the bundles. Just curiosity on my part.


The only explanation we ever got was this post from Caker as a comment on the blog post that announced the kind sized linodes:


Regarding the monthly xfer capping off: There aren’t as many Linodes at this level to play the bandwidth usage aggregation game, therefore we’re not taking chances.

I didn't really find that to be a satisfactory answer (due to bandwidth pooling and the ability to buy bandwidth as extra anyhow), but that's what we've got. I can't complain much, since I'm unlikely to ever buy a linode that large.

Linodes pricing structure isn't something I'll really get into here.

Other than to say I like the Linode service.

I have had friends who think Linode is way too expensive, even at the Linode512 plan, but I do not agree.

Now if Linode charged 100 plus for a Linode512 per month, I would not be with Linode LLC.

That's the honest truth.

Other than that, I think that Linode isn't too bad price wise.

Reasonable, and not unexceptable.

I'm sure if it was, we'd raise our voices as customers, and Linode would be forced to respond if all customers did something like that.

But I've never seen that happen with Linode ever, I doubt it will in the future.

Keep up the great work, Linode!

God bless, and all the best in future services!


I can't wait until you have your birthday of being around! Should be cool to see what comes up this time!


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