Keboola FOR FREE? Yeah, it’s possible.
BizzTreat started and grew up with Keboola. With their Connection (familiarly nicknamed as "kábécéčko"), we have implemented a lot of projects. We remember the times when mysql was on the backend, SQL was written in a text editor and was uploaded as CSV to the storage so that it could be released via Postman (the blues already know, I apologize to the others, you know, the memories..#notaneyeremaineddry). Connection has really grown into an enterprise-wide product. We are all the more pleased that the girls and boys from Keboola have decided to run a pay-as-you-go subscription to allow companies / teams of any size to start with KBC.
Free Plan (btw, funny name!) contains:
- One Keboola Connection Project
- Unlimited ETL/ELT workflows
- SQL / Python Transformations
- SQL / Python sandboxes (renamed to “Analytical workspaces”)
- XS Snowflake backend
- 250 GB data storage
- 300 minutes / 5 time-credits to run jobs
- $8.40 for each additional time credit (1 hour of running jobs)
Let's take a closer look at this offer.
One Keboola Connection Project
If you are a small company or one small analytical team or you do not need to deal with the access rights of individual team members / other teams etc. then one project will be definitely sufficient. At least in the beginning. At BizzTreat, we started a bunch of BI projects in a single KBC Project. This restriction will definitely not hinder you in the beginning.
Unlimited ETL/ELT workflows
Great. This costs nothing, so okay. I just can't forgive myself: how does Connection implement the ELT concept when it's a classic ETL tool? I'm probably missing something, but maybe we'll soon find out.
SQL / Python transformation
The Free Plan is limited to the XS Snowflake backend in the EU Azure region. You can even use your own Snowflake account when initializing the project, so you don't have to be performance-limited to XS warehouse, but unfortunately it won't reduce the price of the credit / minute. Our experience is that for smaller projects, the XS size of the Snowflake warehouse is completely sufficient. If you are not doing real-time transformations (ELT), then you usually do not care if the job runs for an hour or two, if the whole update fits into the night processing window and the business has the data ready at 8 in the morning. So, thumbs up here.
Unfortunately, Python transformations still remain limited to 1 vCPU and 8GB RAM, which is unfortunately not enough for most Python transformations. So, Python in Free Plan remains for playing rather than for serious work. But what you would not want for free?
One more note on XS. The official website states that Free Plan only works with the XS warehouse, but when you create a Workspace (formerly Sandbox), the UI lists it as "Small". After logging into Workspace, you will find that there is really only XS, so don't be carried away that you actually have S warehouse available in SQL workspace.
250GB is enough. Don't worry. At the beginning you will definitely fit into them, because Snowflake can compress data really nicely. Unfortunately, the pricing page of Keboola doesn't say what happens if you don't fit in 250GB. Will the jobs stop, as in case of using up the time credits? Or is it necessary to upgrade to Enterprise? Unfortunately, the official price list does not mention the possibility of paying
300 minutes / 5 time credits for running jobs
It's enough or not? Is it enough for serious work? Unfortunately, unlike the Enterprise version of Connection, the credits in Free Plan really include all jobs, i.e. loading data into Workspace (Sandbox) and even running queries in Workspace (unfortunately I was not able to test it exactly, but Keboola had this in plan for a long time). So, if you have 10 minutes a day for all the jobs, you'll find soon that you can't fit in 300 minutes neither with one-man development nor with your daily orchestration. Unfortunately, the unpleasant fact is that each job has a relatively large overhead, which you also pay for. For example, when downloading data from Google Analytics, the actual query to GA takes 3 seconds, but you pay for the whole job 59 seconds. It’s a shame. The plan should probably be called Pay-As-You-Go rather than Free Plan, because you actually pay $ 8.40 per hour of your jobs running and you get the first 5 hours a month for free. It doesn't matter, even so this offer is very interesting for many teams. What I'm very sorry about is that Keboola unfortunately gives you absolutely no way to manage your spending in the Pay-As-You-Go plan, find out what it costs you, etc. The only thing that works is that when you run out of credit the jobs stop until you pay extra. So, at least that way.
The Pay-As-You-Go subscription Keboola Connection is definitely an interesting offer that we support a lot. It means that this super ETL tool originating from Czech meadows and groves (better said from Karlín and Holešovice) is more accessible to a much wider range of potential customers. We will see what the practical experience will be like. We just hope that the whole set of conditions will allow smaller teams to work within the available budgets and will not only lead to a constant "opportunity for upgrade".
So what? Have you already registered your Keboola Free Plan project? Not yet? So, come on, Keboola promises gifts for early birds’ registrations.