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Free is not always so… free: Part 1

By Benjamin Haynes on March 6, 2023

Since the initial publication of this article, Directus has announced the end of its Community Cloud offering effective April 22, 2023.

Over the past month or so, we’ve been seeing astounding growth across our managed cloud services — especially within the Community Cloud tier we offer for free. This has been extremely exciting to watch, and we’re very grateful to our users for this surge in popularity. However, as you might imagine, this led to us waiting with bated breath for our AWS bill to come in.

What we found is that the success of our free cloud service led to a doubling of our infrastructure costs in just one month. And while this is to be expected based on our cloud activity, we were put in the difficult position of how to cover this large (and still snowballing) expense.

For over 15 years, our goal has been to provide a premium suite of software for free, while working towards a commercial model where a portion of our growing user base entrusts us with paid managed services that fund ongoing and sustainable product development.

However, the problem we’re seeing is that despite their ample resources, larger companies continue to use our open-source platform for free, without contributing back to the development of the project.

We are in the process of crafting a solution to this unfortunate reality, but we still have some work to do. In the meantime, to rein in our infrastructure costs, we've paused the ability to create new Community Cloud projects. Existing Community projects remain unaffected, and of course, you can still try Directus by self-hosting it on your own infrastructure.

We wanted to share these behind-the-scenes details with you so that we can explore and align on a fair and appropriate solution together. Over the next few weeks, we are going to discuss internally, brainstorm some divergent options forward, present those findings, and give you the chance to share your ideas in a live community town hall event.

We’re all on this journey together. Thank you for your understanding and continued support.

Stay tuned!

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