December 2017 Throttle Updates

MQTT Group Publish Data Rate Correction

Hello IO friends!

We’ve found and corrected a problem with our data rate tracking system that was allowing MQTT group publish events to be counted as a single event for the purpose of data rate monitoring instead of tracking each feed as a separate event. This means publishing to a group with five feed values was counted as 1 data point, even though we were storing 5 data points.

The correction updates our MQTT broker to count a group message with 5 feeds as 5 data points against your accounts total available data rate.

Free Plan Changes in 2018

Speaking of IO+, IO Free, and permitted data rates: starting in January 2018 we will begin lowering the current allowed IO Free data rate from 60 points-per-minute to the advertised 30 points-per-minute. For the vast majority of people using Adafruit IO Free accounts, this shouldn’t be a problem, but we’ll be making the change gradually to avoid disabling a vast swathe of devices all at once.

Each week we’ll be dropping the data rate by 5 points-per minute until it’s down to 30. That’s plenty of useable bandwidth and storage for any of the Adafruit IO projects on the Adafruit Learning System.

Why so many data rate changes?

Our ultimate goal with data rate monitoring and limiting is to make sure we provide a good balance of data storage and response speed across the entire Adafruit IO platform for every user whether they have a free account or an IO+ account.

While IO+ has a higher data rate and more data storage, every message should still move through IO from publish to IO back out to subscribers at the same speed. By our measurements that speed is around 35ms on average for a round-trip from a device to IO and back out to a device. The way we keep that speed steady and available for everyone is making sure no account is able to take an unfair amount of it.

When we make changes like this that can feel restrictive, it’s to make sure resources are shared fairly. The good news is that over a longer amount of time, improving the efficiency of Adafruit IO means we’ll be able to give more away. So, some pain now for more good stuff in the future. If or when we can find a way to double the amount of data we can process at the same cost-per-user we’re at right now, we’re probably going double the data rate for everyone!

Just for comparison and since I was curious about the numbers, Adafruit IO Free provides a steady 30-data-points-per-second data rate which over 30 days comes out to 1296000 messages possible: 30 messages-per-minute * 60 minutes-in-an-hour * 24 hours-in-a-day * 30 days. To use a lower-level Internet of Things service provider as an example, in this case Amazon, you can achieve a much higher data rate (up to 100 messages-per-second per-client, 9000 per-second per-account), but for the same amount of data we provide for free you’d pay about $5 a month at their $5 per million messages price (retrieved December 2017). Your dashboards would also be way less pretty, but that’s another story :D

Stop by the Adafruit IO forum or the adafruit-io room on our Discord server if you have any questions or comments. We’d love to hear what you’re making with Adafruit IO!