Subscription plans

When signing up for the CrateDB Cloud service, you have a choice of four different plans. Each plan is preconfigured for different use cases, depending on what your product needs are. By presenting plans in terms of ready-made configurations of database storage, memory, and computation capacity, the customer is spared the complexity of finding the exact required hardware combinations themselves.

At the same time, the plans also offer flexibility, since your use case may change. Not only is it possible to switch plans, but within a given plan you can scale the required capacity for a cluster up or down. In order to make it transparent and yet easy to use, this scaling is measured in terms of Database Transaction Units (DTUs).

This reference gives a brief description of the plans and subsequently explains the meaning and usage of DTUs for scaling and pricing within each plan. This should make it easy to choose the right plan for your CrateDB Cloud subscription.

Table of contents

CrateDB Cloud subscription plans

CrateDB Cloud’s service comes with four different subscription plans: Development, General Purpose, IO Optimized, and Storage Optimized. Besides these, we also offer the CrateDB Cloud Contract.

  • The Development plan is aimed at users who want to try out what CrateDB Cloud has to offer. It offers modest but robust storage, memory, and computation capacity. Although intended for setting up trial clusters to evaluate the product, it offers full flexibility and functionality. The capacity can be scaled along three scale units. Per scale unit, one DTU is added (or subtracted).


The Development plan is not covered by 24/7 support.

  • The General Purpose plan suits all general use cases. This plan offers significant storage, memory, and computation capacity. The General Purpose plan can also currently be scaled between three scale units, each adding (or subtracting) one DTU.
  • The IO Optimized plan is, as the name suggests, optimized for write and query speed. It offers double the capacity for inserts and queries per second of the General Purpose plan, but does not increase storage capacity.
  • The Storage Optimized plan is, by contrast, suited for use cases that are primarily about (warm) storage and have less emphasis on querying. It offers half the insert and query capacity of the General Purpose plan, but four times the storage capacity.

The CrateDB Cloud Contract

The CrateDB Cloud Contract allows you to pay for a full year’s worth of the service of your choice in advance. You purchase a certain number of DTUs for one of the subscription plans mentioned above, and pay them up front for the full year. Depending on the specifics of the contract chosen, it may be possible to negotiate a discount based on the up front payment. The CrateDB Cloud Contract is only available via our supported cloud providers. For more information, contact our Sales team.

The process depends on whether you sign up via Azure or via AWS, as described below:


To sign a CrateDB Cloud Contract via Microsoft Azure, follow the initial steps for signup while selecting the CrateDB Cloud Contract as your subscription plan. This will automatically alert our Sales team, who will get in touch with you to configure the specifics of your contract according to your needs.


To sign a CrateDB Cloud Contract via AWS, simply follow the link to the Contract page on the AWS Marketplace. The Contract will be visible as a product you can subscribe to. The pricing information is indicative of the cost of a single DTU for a given subscription plan (see the descriptions of the plans above) for the full year.

AWS Marketplace CrateDB Cloud Contract offer

By subscribing to the CrateDB Cloud Contract product, you will automatically be put in contact with our Sales department, which will further help you configure the right plan and contract according to your needs.

Explaining DTUs for scaling and billing

What are DTUs and how do they work? As mentioned above, to make finding the right combination of hardware capacity more tractable and accessible, CrateDB Cloud’s offers use DTUs. These DTUs have essentially two purposes: they allow the user to choose the right combination of plan and scale to find the capacity they need, and they provide clarity for the purposes of pricing. In order to keep things simple, scaling in each plan is currently set up so that one scale unit = one DTU, and billing is set up so that bills only for DTUs/hour actually used.


Note, however, that scale units do not necessarily start at one DTU; for example the Development plan starts at three DTUs and then scales up to five DTUs.

Let’s break this down further to clarify what each of these statements mean.

As seen above, CrateDB Cloud’s cloud offer is divided into four plans. Each plan has a starting scale (scale unit 1), which can be scaled up to scale unit 2 or 3. Because the hardware capacity in each plan is different, a scale unit in the Development plan, for example, is of a different size (in terms of storage, memory, and computation) than a scale unit in the General Purpose plan. But scaling within each plan (i.e., scaling between the minimum capacity for that plan and the maximum capacity for that plan) is made easy by the division into scale units, each of which corresponds to one DTU.

An overview showing the range in terms of capacity of each plan, within which the scaling of that plan operates, can be found on the subscription plan overview when subscribing directly via the CrateDB Cloud Console. In the case of our cloud providers, the overview can be found on the Azure offer page and the AWS offer page, respectively. In each case, you can also find the price per DTU/hour for each subscription plan in the same overview.

To summarize:

The DTU approach to scaling means that although the offered plans differ considerably in capacity both between each other and per scale unit within each plan, the DTU system allows you to easily compare these different magnitudes.

The same principle applies to the pricing. If you scale within a plan, you will readily know how much capacity you are getting and also how much you will pay per hour. This is because you know the capacity of the plan, the fact that one scale unit = one DTU, and the price per DTU/hour for that plan. This provides both flexibility and transparency.

The precise calculations of required hardware capacity, actual usage of that hardware, and a corresponding cost are all handled by The user only needs to consider a plan, a scale within that plan, and the price in DTU/hour that corresponds to it.

A practical example

Say you have a use case where you expect to need approximately 6000 ingests per second and want corresponding capacity in storage, without having to worry about the precise storage size. Also, you want this to be easy to set up and clearly priced and billed.

CrateDB Cloud provides a straightforward solution to such a use case. Simply compare the plans on offer. You will quickly identify that the desired capacity falls within the General Purpose plan, which begins at 2000 ingests/sec. and scales in 2000 ingests/sec. units. You therefore subscribe to this plan and scale it up two times, from 2000 to 6000 ingests/sec.

Now you have a ready General Purpose plan for your cluster at scale unit 3. Since each scale unit is currently simply one DTU, and the General Purpose plan begins at one DTU, you will directly know that your total cost is three DTU/hour of that plan. Of course, as always, only actual usage is billed.

Cautionary notes

For clarity, we add here a few notes of caution:

  • The correspondence between one scaling unit and one DTU is provisional and may change in the future.
  • Remember that not all plans, currently or in the future, necessarily start at one DTU. The Development plan currently starts at three DTUs of that plan. Therefore, when referring to the pricing per DTU/hour on the cloud offer, keep this in mind. This means the price for a single DTU/hour, as listed on the cloud offer pages, is not necessarily the minimum price for a given plan. This is true even if you do not scale further upwards, since your plan may start at several DTUs even without you scaling it up further.
  • New plans may be offered in the future with different capacity ranges that may suit your use case. This reference document will then be updated accordingly. Plan terms and prices are subject to change.


How helpful was this page?