SingleStore Free Tier: Here for Good

PlanetScale’s termination of their Free Plan came at an interesting time for us —  we just finally launched a Free Tier of SingleStore Helios Cloud two months ago. We’ve recently received a lot of questions on how we are planning to make our Free Tier sustainable, and what market we’re after with it. (And read until the end to also learn about a migration tool we launched this week!)

SingleStore Free Tier: Here for Good

In this blog post, we uncover some of the decisions we've made —  and how we can deliver a generous, performant free offering that is here for good. And if you're curious about the technical implementation, we've also written about how we designed and built our Free Shared Tier.

why-build-a-single-store-free-tierWhy build a SingleStore Free Tier?

At SingleStore, we already have a predictable and growing revenue engine ($100M+ ARR) of pretty large check sizes. Some of the most critical and high-performing applications at very large companies run on SingleStore. So, why build a free offering? Even PlanetScale CEO Sam Lambert appropriately tweeted “You can’t hit $100M in revenue by charging $29 a month for databases...” — and he’s right, we know that.

Our Free Tier offering serves a different purpose to our business compared to our competitors. It’s not the lifeline, the vanity metric, the VC-driven number — it’s more than that. Free Tier is how we bring our loved, powerful and versatile database to applications and workloads for every developer and their apps. It’s how we want our developer community to build more with SingleStore. Here are our convictions for the free tier:

1. There is a clear market opening for SingleStore to all workloads, at every scale

Modern apps are powered by diverse workloads:  analytical queries on real-time data, hybrid search (vector + full-text) and transactions. Being an HTAP engine, SingleStore handles these workloads using a single engine with a single source of data. Forget ETL between your transactional store (MySQL, PostgreSQL), your vector databases (Pinecone, Milvus) and an analytical engine (BQ, Redshift, Snowflake); build your apps, all you need is a SingleStore database.

Our all-in-one message is especially powerful for developers at the smallest scale. Don’t let your database choice limit what you can ship.

2. We can deliver performance at even the smallest scale

We didn’t want to lose what makes us SingleStore in our Free Tier offering. Built on our Shared Edition, Free Tier delivers fast hybrid search and analytical queries alongside your point reads and writes.

We’re constantly innovating and improving our Free Shared Tier,  bringing larger limits, tiered price points and more performance. We’re really excited about this, and it’s just the start of our serverless vision for SingleStore.

3. There is a massive developer swell of SingleStore users within existing customers

Existing customers can build their side projects, dev tests and other experiments without consuming credits. Our Free Tier empowers a culture of innovation and progress within our customers. And, we’ve already seen some really interesting new workloads and applications driven by prototypes built by developers on the Free Tier.

Our Free Tier isn’t at war with our large enterprise deals or our GTM engine. It’s a propeller of our next innings of growth — driving new run-rate business and our expansion within existing customers.

single-store-free-tier-a-decade-in-the-makingSingleStore Free Tier: A decade in the making

Over the course of the last decade, there have been some key investments we’ve made to ensure we can deliver a performant, cost-effective Free Tier offering. The way we’ve designed the Free Tier also incentivises us to scale , where the cost per customer goes down as we get more users. It was very important to align our incentives here to encourage more adoption of our service.

Here are some of the key architectural decisions we’ve made:

  • Complete separation of compute and storage designed for transactional and analytical workloads. We call this Workspaces. This ensures that idle Free Tier databases detach and aren’t consuming compute — the main driver for our COGS.
  • Fast attachments of databases to Workspaces. Without this, launching compute with Free Tier would be too slow and unusable.
  • Resource pools and database-level RBAC. These features have been battle-tested in our database engine, and can now be leveraged by our Free Tier as well.
  • Mature control plane for Helios Cloud service. Over the last few years, we've grown and matured the control plane for our cloud service. We have solid observability, internal alerts and everything else that one would expect from a developed managed service offering.

If you want to learn more, we again encourage you to read our more technical blog post.

try-it-outTry it out!

We would love you all to try out our Free Shared Tier. If you can't find this feature and would like to try it out, feel free to reach out directly through our Forums, or just tweet at us.

Finally, this week we launched a very simple "PlanetScale to SingleStore Migrator" tool that you can try if you're looking for an alternative to their free tier offering.