I just updated my DBaaS article with a new entry: Fly.io. They caught my attention a couple days ago via HN. I really like what they’re doing and wish them the best.
I updated my calculator code with their pricing and was shocked how much they undercut everyone. Then after I found and fixed a bug, they settled in to a more reasonable spot. Still, they now offer a generous free tier that they’re rightly proud of.
Fly.io’s CEO Kurt Mackey replied to the question “are you running your own servers?” in that HN discussion:
We run our own servers. It took a lot of work but it’s really making life easier now. I’m not sure we could offer a free tier like this on top of another cloud.
In fact, some of the other PostgreSQL DBaaS providers offer a free tier but do not run their own servers. How and why do they do it? I think that would be the 80/20 rule or Pareto principle in action. I’m guessing that they must subsidize all the free accounts on the low end with the big spenders trapped into overpaying at the high end. It brings to mind the image of whales being harpooned in a cove.