Information for: DEVELOPERS   PARTNERS

Usage limits and overages

With Cloud Platform you can choose a subscription package based on desired features and traffic volumes. By choosing the right traffic level for a given application, you pay for what you need. Acquia bases measured traffic levels on content that’s delivered to your end users. You can check your subscription usage every day within the Cloud Platform user interface.

Overage protection

Acquia understands selecting the right subscription package can be difficult which is why Acquia offers overage protection to all subscribers.

Overage protection guarantees Acquia won’t charge any overage fees for the first three months of production traffic in the initial term of an Acquia Cloud Platform Subscription Term (“Overage Forgiveness Period”), unless inaccurate information was provided to Acquia for sizing. Acquia’s overage protection allows you to have a risk-free launch with no surprises when your website goes live.

Acquia designed each subscription plan to prevent one-time traffic spikes from resulting in excess billing by offering ample headroom and opportunity to grow. If traffic consistently reaches the existing limit, Acquia’s account managers will work with you to find the right long-term solution to meet your needs.

Usage limit details

The following section has a list of common questions about usage limits, Views, and Visits.

How does Acquia calculate monthly traffic?

Acquia calculates monthly usage based on requests made by the Content Management System (CMS) measured by Views and Visits.

What’s a View?

Views are any requests made to your Acquia-hosted Drupal application. Views exclude static content (image, CSS, JS, etc.), redirect requests, client errors, and activity originating from known bots and crawlers. In other terms, Views count requests generated by and successfully served to actual users, and are not related to the Views module, or content returned by that module.

What’s a Visit?

A Visit is one or more Views from the same user agent within the same hour. You can identify user agents based on IP, cookies, or headers as determined by the implementation.

Example: A user navigates to a website at 10:15 AM, browsing to the homepage and the About Us page within five minutes. Assuming only a single request that meets the definition of a View is triggered when the user navigates to each page, this counts as two Views and one Visit.

How does Acquia measure Views and Visits?

The Cloud Platform platform uses data collected and logged by the platform to calculate Views and Visits. Specifically, Acquia Cloud Platform counts views at the Varnish® layer and includes Dynamic Requests (HTTP 2xx status requests) served. Acquia excludes the following requests when calculating the total amount of Views:

  • Requests generated by known bots
  • Requests generated by Acquia uptime monitoring tools
  • HTTP 3xx (redirect) and HTTP 4xx (client error) status requests

Acquia includes requests served out of Varnish cache in the count if those requests bootstrapped Drupal before being cached.

Where is Views and Visits data for my application?

The data for Views and Visits is available to subscribers with administrator permissions in the Cloud Platform user interface. You can view subscription usage at the subscription, application, or environment level, and identify usage patterns and anomalies, and remedy them. For help with viewing your subscription’s usage information see Viewing your subscription’s usage information.

What happens if a website is close to going over the limit?

The Cloud Platform user interface includes an alert which will let you know when you approach or exceed your usage limit. Acquia doesn’t send automated email alerts, but your Account Manager may reach out to you if you approach or exceed your limit.

Over what timeframe are Views and Visits captured?

Views and Visits are tracked on a daily basis and then aggregated into monthly totals. Acquia defines Views and Visits entitlements included with a subscription on the basis of a calendar month. For a partial month, Acquia will prorate Views and Visits entitlements for the applicable number of days.

Why do Acquia’s numbers for Views and Visits differ from my web analytics tools?

When calculating Views, Acquia considers much of the activity generated by subscribers’ applications. While analytics tools like Google Analytics measure cases of page loads, Acquia measures a level below these page loads, aggregating requests that reach Acquia’s platform.

Several factors can contribute to the differences you may see in Acquia’s calculation of Views and Visits versus Google Analytics and similar tools from other vendors:

Factors causing variability Net Impact
Custom filtering you have implemented in your analytics tool Acquia considers all infrastructure-side traffic in the total count of Views and Unique Visits, including traffic that may be filtered out of client-side collections.
Differences caused by client-side versus infrastructure-side data collection

Client-side collection requires users to accept JavaScript. May apply to a subset of website traffic, and may be filtered out leading to lower client-side collection counts.

Client-side counts may be larger than Acquia’s Views and Unique Visits counts if a CDN sits between client-side and infrastructure-side, filtering out most traffic before it reaches the infrastructure.

Traffic served by a CDN if you’re using one (including Acquia Edge). Using a CDN other than the Platform CDN, decreases Acquia’s collection of Views and Unique Visits, as some website traffic is filtered and not counted as Views and Unique Visits.
Administrators and editors accessing the back end of the application to make content or configuration changes Views and Unique Visits counts include administrators and editors accessing the back end, but these may be filtered from client-side collection.
Decoupled or mobile systems accessing your application over an API Views and Unique Visits include API calls, if such API calls result in a successful (2xx) non-static non-Option request. However, these may not be tracked by client-side collection.
Tracking across multiple environments Client-side tracking generally measures only activity hitting a prod environment. Views and Unique Visits counts include activity that hits any dev, staging, or other non-prod environments as well.
Client side use of ad-blockers Client-side tracking doesn’t capture activity from users who have implemented ad-blockers. Views and Unique Visits counts include activity from all users, regardless of their implementation of third party software.
Use of private file systems which bootstrap Drupal Views and Unique Visits counts include requests that bootstrap Drupal, which include requests delivered through the use of private file systems. Client-side tracking generally would exclude such requests.
Frequency and use of uptime monitoring and security scanning tools Uptime monitoring and security scanning tools generally bypass client-side tracking. Views and Unique Visits counts include activity generated by these services provided they bootstrap Drupal.

Acquia’s billing will always be based on the total number of Views and Visits, and not on the numbers displayed in other analytics tools.

Does Cloud Platform track any identifying information for my application’s users?

Cloud Platform doesn’t track any identifying information for your application’s users.

Does Cloud Platform visit tracking require that users accept browser cookies?

Cloud Platform doesn’t require users to accept browser cookies.

How do I know what size plan I need?

Estimating required sizing begins with analyzing historical (for existing applications) and anticipated (for new applications) traffic volumes. Acquia’s Solutions Engineers will help you in finding a good starting point. With overage protection, you are guaranteed a no-risk launch, with the opportunity to adjust, if needed. For more information, contact your Account Manager.

What happens if I choose the wrong plan?

Acquia’s Solution Engineers will work with you to choose the best plan based on the data you supply during the sales process. You can upgrade to a plan with more Views and Visits at any time during the term of your contract.

Can I decrease my plan size during a month when I expect lower traffic?

Cloud Platform plans are an annual commitment, so you can’t reduce your plan size during the contract term.

If my traffic is highly seasonal, can I have different plan sizes throughout the year?

Work with your Account Manager to ensure your plan best fits your seasonal traffic pattern.

What happens if I have an overage?

If you have an overage during any particular calendar month, you have the option to pay the one-time overage fee. Fees apply if you exceed your limit by 20% for a given month, or by any amount for two consecutive months. Overages will be calculated using the then-current rate card, and will be billed monthly in arrears. Alternatively, you can upgrade your subscription for the rest of your contract term. The Acquia Cloud Platform user interface will display alerts whenever you approach or exceed your plan’s limits.

Note

Acquia provides overage protection for the first three months of a new subscription.

Acquia recommends you to upgrade your subscription if you expect more overages in the future. When you upgrade your subscription, Acquia will waive any overage fees incurred before the upgrade. For more information about contract upgrades (including how to handle seasonal spikes) and for help in determining the best solution for your needs, contact your Account Manager.

Does bot traffic count towards Views and Visits?

Acquia Cloud Platform identifies common bot traffic on a best-effort basis and removes it from the counts of Views and Visits.

You can use Edge Security and other Web Application Firewall (WAF) solutions to block malicious traffic. For more information about protecting your website from malicious bot traffic, see the Acquia Knowledge Base.

What infrastructure is included to support my applications?

The Cloud Platform platform ensures you have all the infrastructure required to support your expected traffic and potential traffic spikes. All Cloud Platform subscriptions run on Acquia’s scalable cloud platform with a 99.95% uptime SLA.

Activity on non-production environments and tracking against Views and Visits entitlements

Acquia’s usage tracker includes data from traffic that hits non-production environments, such as Dev or Staging.

This activity is counted against Views and Visits entitlements for several reasons:

  • Non-production environments are integrated with Acquia’s offering. Thus, you can fully build, vet, and test your applications prior to fully deploying or going live.
  • Generally, activity on non-production environments constitutes less than 5% of the total traffic. Prior to a launch, the traffic in these environments peaks. Acquia recommends that you maintain 10% or more headroom on your subscription in anticipation of potential spikes. This includes incremental development activity.
  • Acquia doesn’t charge any additional costs if your non-production environments require additional resources. While you can’t perform load testing in these environments, Acquia ensures that you’re able to build your most ambitious applications on Acquia as part of your core subscription.
  • Acquia does not want to discourage normal development activities over concerns about the impact of non-production traffic on a subscription’s total utilization, however we do need to discourage non-production environments from being used for live sites or load-test-like activities. If you are concerned about exceeding your monthly traffic allocations, contact your Acquia account managers and they will help you determine the best approach for your business needs.

Note

If you purchase a load testing environment, Acquia will never bill overages or request that you upgrade your subscription as a result of activity hitting a load testing environment. However, if you perform load testing on your Dev or Staging environments, Acquia reserves the right to charge for any overages incurred.