How Unit Consumption Works
This page describes ThousandEyes’ usage-based billing model. The usage model is only for tests from cloud and enterprise agents, as described on the ThousandEyes Pricing page. In this model, each test consumes a specific number of test units, based on the test type and the test configuration. For licensing information on other ThousandEyes features, see Endpoint Agent Licensing and Configuring Internet Insights.
ThousandEyes counts units for both scheduled tests and instant tests. Any test that is configured and enabled to run on a cloud or enterprise agent will consume units.
Each test interval, the test's cost is deducted from the monthly units purchased by the customer's organization, based on the current test configuration. Each month the account is reset to the number of units that was contracted by the customer's organization.
You can set usage quotas for each account group as described on the Quotas Tab.
Usage is not based on agent status (offline / online), or whether a test run occurs, but rather on the test configuration itself. This means that enterprise agents that are offline but not disabled (indicated by a red circle on test view maps) are still incurring units for any tests running on those agents. If you have an enterprise agent that’s offline for an extended period, remove that agent from any test configurations that might be running on that agent, until the agent is back online.

Why This Model?

A usage-based billing model allows customers to have flexibility in test deployment. Rather than locking in a contract based on specific test types, locations and intervals, you can manage your own testing use cases, and add or modify tests as needed, based on your current business requirements.
Charging by volume of tests is simple: the more tests you run, the more units you consume. It’s similar to driving a car. The more miles you drive, the more gasoline you use.

Unit Billing Use Case: Acme

Consider the following scenario: Acme Manufacturing needs to monitor ten separate targets, from various locations around the world. These targets are all various Acme websites and portals with related domain names such as acme.com and acme.cloud.com.
Typically when evaluating ways to optimize unit consumption, you can use the ThousandEyes unit calculator. You can also contact your account team for additional tools and assistance.
For the purposes of this example, let’s assume that Acme has configured a total of 10 page load tests running at 5-minute intervals from 20 cloud agent locations, with a 30-second timeout. The test interval for the page load and HTTP server portions of this are both configured as 5 minutes. The same page load test specifies a separate HTTP server timeout of 5 seconds – but because the test interval is still the same, there is no additional charge for the HTTP server portion of this test.
Acme subsequently purchases another company called Apex, and needs to monitor two new targets: a new website, http://apex.com, as well as an API integration website for their own product, http://acme-api.com. In addition to their original page load tests, Acme wants to add a few more tests, including additional HTTP server targets, and one DNS trace test to validate the new company’s DNS configuration.
Rather than increasing the monthly allowable usage ceiling in the contract, Acme can be flexible in the deployment of the new tests by reducing the number of agents running the original page load test from 20 to 16, and re-allocating the saved units to the new tests.

Optimizing Your Test Intervals

Ideally, test intervals should be 1, 2, or 5 minutes except in special cases.
Don’t reduce test intervals just to save money. There are other ways to maximize value that won’t reduce your ability to quickly detect outages that matter to you.
Balancing test coverage against value optimization involves a series of trade-offs. If you reduce the test frequency, you’ll lose visibility and the ability to be proactive. For example, if you get an alert about an outage, but it only triggers an hour after the outage has started, a lot of users might be filing tickets and complaining – so, what have you saved?

Capacity Planning

Usage-based usage billing allows you some flexibility in your test deployment. In order to achieve that, it’s recommended that you build in a small overage allowance so that you can easily add new tests or change test configurations in response to changing business requirements.
Sometimes, unexpected changes can put additional burdens on your networks and infrastructure, and the network team as well. A typical overage allowance might be 5-10%, and will depend on your specific enterprise needs.

Calculating the Cost of a Test

Tests incur units based on the test configuration, which includes a projected number of test runs per month. The cost of each test run in units is based on the following:
  • Type of test
  • Test interval setting (frequency)
  • Number and type of ThousandEyes Agents running the test
  • The test’s timeout setting
These settings are available for each test from the Test Settings page, on the Basic Configuration tab (1 - 3) and the Advanced Settings tab (4):

Base Equation

The basic per-test unit consumption is shown in the equation below.
This equation is used for Network, DNS, and Routing tests as follows:
  • Agent to server
  • Agent to agent
  • DNS server
  • DNS trace
  • DNSSEC
  • BGP
Enterprise agents use only 1/2 the number of units that cloud agents do. See the Test Types Unit Rate Table below.

Extended Equation with Timeout

For Web and Voice tests, a timeout is added to the base equation as shown below.
This equation is used for Web and Voice tests as follows:
  • HTTP server
  • FTP server
  • Page load
  • Transaction
  • SIP server
  • RTP stream

Test Types Unit Rate Table

The number of units consumed per test run is shown in the table below, by test and agent type.
Layer
Test Type
Units per Test Run
Network
Agent to server, agent to agent
1 cloud or 0.5 enterprise
DNS
DNS server, DNS trace, DNSSEC
1 cloud or 0.5 enterprise
Routing
BGP
8 units per 1,000 test rounds
Web
HTTP server, FTP server, page load, transaction
1 cloud or 0.5 enterprise, multiplied by the timeout in seconds
Voice
SIP server, RTP Stream
1 cloud or 0.5 enterprise, multiplied by the timeout in seconds

Additional Notes on Test Unit Rates

Some test types have additional nuances that impact usage billing:
  • For Web and Voice tests, the minimum timeout is 5 seconds, maximum is 180 seconds.
  • The cost of a Routing Layer BGP test is independent of the number of BGP monitors selected. The Routing Layer BGP test runs every 15 minutes for 4 test runs an hour.
  • For agent-to-agent tests between a Cloud and an Enterprise agent, the source agent is used to determine the billing rate. This test can be either unidirectional or bidirectional. If bidirectional, both directions incur units.
  • Page load tests allow you to configure different test interval frequencies and/or timeouts for the Page Load view and HTTP Server view.

Frequently Asked Questions

How are units deducted from my balance?

Every time a test is run, the number of units consumed by the test are deducted from the balance on the organization’s account. Unit consumption information is accessible to users having a role with the View organization usage permission, by navigating in the app to Account Settings > Usage tab tab.

How can I estimate the consumption of units by a test?

ThousandEyes provides a calculator for customers to determine the cost of a test based on the inputs:
Note that the usage calculator is not available on the menu, only through the URL.

How can I view my balance?

Users who have a role that includes the View organization usage permission can view both to-date usage and usage projected to the end of the billing period. To do so, go to the Account Settings > Usage tab. For organizations that have multiple accounts, administrators can view a breakdown on an account-by-account basis.

What is the projected usage?

Projected usage is calculated by taking the current amount of units consumed during the current billing cycle and adding to it the current rate of unit consumption X the remaining days in the billing cycle. This usage projection changes if test configurations change in a way that alters the rate of unit consumption.
The ThousandEyes platform will not allow you to configure tests that take your projected consumption above your monthly capacity.

What happens if my organization exceeds our monthly quota of units?

The billing contact and Organization Admins for the organization will be notified by email when any of the following are true:
  • When projected usage for the month reaches 100%, we will not allow you to set up new scheduled tests, or re-configure existing tests in a way that increases unit consumption.
  • If actual usage for the month still reaches 100% (i.e. through the use of a large number of instant tests), we will disable scheduled tests to stop unit consumption.
  • Overage billing policies vary by customer. Normally, usage is capped to prevent overages. If you need additional flexibility to allow for overages, talk to your ThousandEyes account team. See Unit Quotas Use Cases for examples.
  • Quotas cannot be set lower than the currently consumed units for the billing period.
  • For tests running on enterprise agents, units are counted against the quota of the account group that owns the enterprise agent, not the account group that owns the test.
For more information on alerting based on unit consumption, see Displaying and Alerting for Unit Consumption.

Do Instant Tests Count?

Yes. Instant tests count towards your monthly consumption.
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On this page
Why This Model?
Unit Billing Use Case: Acme
Optimizing Your Test Intervals
Capacity Planning
Calculating the Cost of a Test
Base Equation
Extended Equation with Timeout
Test Types Unit Rate Table
Additional Notes on Test Unit Rates
Frequently Asked Questions
How are units deducted from my balance?
How can I estimate the consumption of units by a test?
How can I view my balance?
What is the projected usage?
What happens if my organization exceeds our monthly quota of units?
Do Instant Tests Count?