Subscription cost disappointment

reetp

Active Member
Aug 19, 2013
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Not sure where else to post this so thought I'd post it here for whoever it may concern.

Having had one licensed Prox server for some while - thank you - I decided I had finally enough regular $$ to pay for a license on two other units I run. I really wanted to make a "donation to the cause" than anything. The boxes aren't that important to run the Enterprise repos - it's really more a case of legally removing the license popup and contributing in a small way.

I went to go and pay and then realised I had to check the CPU count..... and found that both are older units and they both had 2 CPUs, although neither really use all the resources by a long way.

That wiped the smile off my face. 2 x €95 = £190 as opposed 4 x €95 = £380 on top of the box that I already pay for.

I'm happy to pay to contribute towards Prox as it is a great tool (I do my voluntary open source dev elsewhere), but that was 'disappointing' and there's a limit to my generosity which this unfortunately exceeds. Neither box is that important.

Perhaps there should be a 'remove the nag' level license or somesuch.

Anyways, thanks for your hard work. I really wanted to chip in, but........

B. Rgds
John

cc: office@proxmox.com
 

bobmc

Renowned Member
May 17, 2018
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I have to agree with much of what you say. I do think there is a case for a subscription-tier aimed at the 'home-lab' user, which perhaps just allows removal of the 'nag' and perhaps 'homelab subscriber' status in the forums.

Having said that, I really appreciate the efforts of the proxmox staff to a) develop the product and b) be actively involved in the community. Elsewhere that level of support doesn't happen very much and I think that's the main reason why the community is so active and why I try to contribute and help out other users when and where I can - seems only fair to me.
 

H25E

Member
Nov 5, 2020
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For me, the popup isn't that annoying. Specially taking into account that it's going to appear only on your unsubscribed nodes, where you are using proxmox basically for free. But that's my personal opinion.

But what I think it could be really useful, would be a simple donation page, inside their official page. This way, people who only want to contribute once, or have limited budged, or want to give an extra on top of their regular subscription, have a way to do it. So I think that what's missing here it's a donation page maybe.
 

reetp

Active Member
Aug 19, 2013
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Yes, please note I am in no way trying to criticise a great product. Prox is fab.

But I do think they may be missing a sales trick here.

The sales staircase can have a huge leap to the first step which can be a barrier for entry to a lot of small users - be that home users or SMEs.

That perhaps needs a slightly lower level than currently exists.

Many home users & SMEs use older kit which often have dual/multiple CPUs with lower core counts instead of single CPUs with higher core counts. That makes it more expensive out of the box. I'd have paid £190 per year, but £380 was more than I budgeted for amongst the many competing interests we have for our cash.

No, the popup isn't that annoying - I can easily remove it I could be bothered - but I was thinking in terms of trying to encourage smaller contributions somehow. So for a smaller amount you get to remove the nag, but don't get access to the enterprise repos.

With me that would have been an extra £190 per year for Prox, or as it now transpires, nothing.

Ironically one of these additional servers has the same amount of cores as the one that I have a license for, but over 2 CPUs, so costs twice as much for the same system.

CPU count for sales is a bit of a blunt tool, and in my case a deterrent to donation.

I guess the rational is that if they did this then they would lose a load of sales with people 'downgrading' their subscriptions. I'm not convinced - I wouldn't downgrade for my main box as I want that as stable as possible and it is good value for money.

Donations are all well and good, but people react better to some sort of reward for their cash, no mater how simple. Hence the thought of removing the nag box if you have contributed somehow.

Anyways, I was just thinking out loud and don't meant to offend anyone!
 
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Labersin

New Member
Aug 3, 2022
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I would worry that those who come after the introduction of the small fee to remove the nag would just see the nag itself as a money grabbing scheme from proxmox. at least at the moment we know the nag is not related to money but support and testing of patches.

I do agree it would be nice for a smaller home-lab type fee but I think the reward for it should be something other than removal of the nag (and the good feeling of supporting good work).

The nag should probably be automatically removed when you change to the non-subscription repo after acknowledging that the system is for home or non-production use and that if it is for production use you are taking the risks on your own head.
 

reetp

Active Member
Aug 19, 2013
56
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28
I would worry that those who come after the introduction of the small fee to remove the nag would just see the nag itself as a money grabbing scheme from proxmox. at least at the moment we know the nag is not related to money but support and testing of patches.

It effectively already is! If you have a subscription it goes.

I think it was introduced around 3.1 - remember the debate about it around then. e.g.

https://forum.proxmox.com/threads/details-about-the-new-pve-no-subscripton-repository.15742/

Nope, I have not disabled it on my boxes. I am not that bothered. I'd like to have made a contribution, but it is a bit all or nothing right now.

I was just thinking about how to encourage small donations if nothing else.
 
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pveuser113

New Member
Aug 5, 2022
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the mental gymnastics some go through to justify why they should be given things for free is amazing....

I do agree it would be nice for a smaller home-lab type fee but I think the reward for it should be something other than removal of the nag (and the good feeling of supporting good work).
for your 50 quid would you like 24x7x365 support available?
 
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damo2929

Member
Mar 15, 2022
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the mental gymnastics some go through to justify why they should be given things for free is amazing....


for your 50 quid would you like 24x7x365 support available?
no just a email support and the lack of nag screen.
wouldn't need an SLA on a home lab.

or if you have a licence key being able to have discounted home lab support.
 
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CanadaGuy

Member
Nov 19, 2019
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I would worry that those who come after the introduction of the small fee to remove the nag would just see the nag itself as a money grabbing scheme from proxmox. at least at the moment we know the nag is not related to money but support and testing of patches.

I do agree it would be nice for a smaller home-lab type fee but I think the reward for it should be something other than removal of the nag (and the good feeling of supporting good work).

The nag should probably be automatically removed when you change to the non-subscription repo after acknowledging that the system is for home or non-production use and that if it is for production use you are taking the risks on your own head.
I'm not sure I see you 100%. I'm extracting real personal value from the product, but my work has no commercial value. I'd be happy contributing for no other reason than to "pay what I can". Enterprise repository access (if only to remove the "nag") but I think commercial support requires commercial expenses, as the commercial support is the "real" work being done by the team.

The community support is top notch from my perspective thus far. Personal email support too requires dedicated time from their commercial staff. Maybe it could be "forum support" where PVE staff browse on their lunch break and contribute to solutions as a "best effort"
 
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CanadaGuy

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Nov 19, 2019
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You want them to give support in their free time?
important: "best effort" means as much as they feel like (or don't). The idea is that it provides some exclusivity in a forum, that is not flooded by ALL free support posts, that some employees MAY (in their own desire) view and comment on issues. Maybe someone is having trouble with a feature, and that feature developer has a keen interest in a technical discussion? As an SME, some people love talking shop with knowledgeable customers. This would just facilitate that.

"best effort" would mean "0% effort, or more" without any sort of guarantee. At minimum it would provide supporting users a place where they can solve problems with other supporting users, knowing that a supporting user probably has above average knowledge with the product. Again, no one forced to use it, just a way to facilitate and encourage meaningful knowledge sharing.
 

leesteken

Famous Member
May 31, 2020
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If you want a exclusive/private forum where Proxmox staff may or may not show up, why not start your own forum? Ask people an admission fee and buy Proxmox staff lunch ;-).

I think that the problem is that (non-commercial) users will never agree on what it is worth, will always find a reason why now is not a good time to pay, and can't actually afford the real cost of the time of the staff (to look at a single person's issue instead of developing for all users). Which leads me to believe that volunteers helping people in a public space is the only way to go. I'm actually surprised (but thankful) that Proxmox puts as much time and money into this forum as they do.

Personally, the enterprise repository is not worth it to me because when somethings breaks, it also takes longer to get the fix. If I buy a subscription and don't use the benefits, then it feels weird to have the number of sockets determine the price. I'm sure any other pay-per-X will also get lots of complaints and the current approach appears to pay the bills for Proxmox.

A donate-what-you-want might resolve these long discussions about price and fairness, but I'm honestly not sure whether it would be worth the effort to Proxmox (since they have still not done it). Letting people know what a good products PVE and PBS are, help to test the product and improve documentation or getting your employer to use it might help getting more commercial/paying users that provide long term stable income.

Or maybe I'm also making up reasons not to pay and I should just get a (single socket and unused) subscription again...
 

CanadaGuy

Member
Nov 19, 2019
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If you want a exclusive/private forum where Proxmox staff may or may not show up, why not start your own forum? Ask people an admission fee and buy Proxmox staff lunch ;-).

I think that the problem is that (non-commercial) users will never agree on what it is worth, will always find a reason why now is not a good time to pay, and can't actually afford the real cost of the time of the staff (to look at a single person's issue instead of developing for all users). Which leads me to believe that volunteers helping people in a public space is the only way to go. I'm actually surprised (but thankful) that Proxmox puts as much time and money into this forum as they do.

Personally, the enterprise repository is not worth it to me because when somethings breaks, it also takes longer to get the fix. If I buy a subscription and don't use the benefits, then it feels weird to have the number of sockets determine the price. I'm sure any other pay-per-X will also get lots of complaints and the current approach appears to pay the bills for Proxmox.

A donate-what-you-want might resolve these long discussions about price and fairness, but I'm honestly not sure whether it would be worth the effort to Proxmox (since they have still not done it). Letting people know what a good products PVE and PBS are, help to test the product and improve documentation or getting your employer to use it might help getting more commercial/paying users that provide long term stable income.

Or maybe I'm also making up reasons not to pay and I should just get a (single socket and unused) subscription again...
Good reply! I think it covers my own sentiments pretty clearly.

To be clear, if I could find interested clients, I'd love to do it commercially, but it seems that "platform as a service" seems to be taking over from "server as a service". I think I just travel in the wrong circle and don't know the right people that would fit the PVE target market.

In case it isn't clear, Kudos to Proxmox!
 

dietmar

Proxmox Staff Member
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A donate-what-you-want might resolve these long discussions about price and fairness, but I'm honestly not sure whether it would be worth the effort to Proxmox (since they have still not done it).
We had a donate button for many years. The only problem was that nobody pressed it!
 

leesteken

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May 31, 2020
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Dunuin

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Jun 30, 2020
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In my opinion that isn't a nag. I used alot of nagware in the past and if the Proxmox team wanted nag you, to buy a subscription, this would be way more annoying. Like freezing all guests every 24 hours in case you didn't logged in for a day to read the nag, or showing a nag screen all 10 minutes while logged in and forcing you to wait 10 seconds before you are allowed to close the popup. Or sending you nag emails once per month you will have to respond to in case you don't want your PVE to be completely disabled.

Its just once per login and I don't really notice it anymore as I'm used to close it, so that popup is closed in under a second.

Its more a warning that your server isn't production ready and that is a valid warning.

Be happy that all you can complain about as a homelabber/non-profit organization is that one popup when logging in. And not missing features or artificial limits like most other hypervisors do it when using their free version of the software.
 
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CanadaGuy

Member
Nov 19, 2019
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In my opinion that isn't a nag. I used alot of nagware in the past and if the Proxmox team wanted nag you, to buy a subscription, this would be way more annoying. Like freezing all guests every 24 hours in case you didn't logged in for a day to read the nag, or showing a nag screen all 10 minutes while logged in and forcing you to wait 10 seconds before you are allowed to close the popup or sending you nag emails.

Its just once per login and I don't really notice it anymore as I'm used to close it, so that popup is closed in under a second.

Its more a warning that your server isn't production ready and that is a valid warning.

Be happy that all you can complain about as a homelabber/non-profit organization is that one popup when logging in. And not missing features or artificial limits like most other hypervisors do it when using their free version of the software.
Yeah, the login "nag" is pretty tame.

The availability of cluster without a license is pretty good I must admit. BUT I only have a cluster configured in case I need to bring down my primary PVE server for longer than an hour or something like that, and the cluster makes it easy to keep things. I don't run things on my secondary PVE server, as it is actually running on my main desktop inside client Hyper-V :p

I absolutely am not complaining about what I get for free. I think my best solution is "shut up and donate". Is there a ledger or similar where donations are logged? Would I literally be the only one donating $50? every now and then? Is $50 more of a headache in administration than the actual value Proxmox can extra from the $50? I think that's my REAL question...maybe if donations went to an employee "party fund" or something.
 

leesteken

Famous Member
May 31, 2020
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Would I literally be the only one donating $50? every now and then? Is $50 more of a headache in administration than the actual value Proxmox can extra from the $50? I think that's my REAL question...maybe if donations went to an employee "party fund" or something.
Does Proxmox really need to provide a way to donate your $50 every now and then? Or can you just save up a few $50's and buy a subscription for a limited time?
Note that it's a donation; you have to make the effort and they can do with it whatever they want. If you want it the other way around, then that's a contract not a donation.
I absolutely am not complaining about what I get for free. I think my best solution is "shut up and donate".
I'm not trying to single you out or confront you personally, but indeed: less talk and more payments (if people can and want to).
 

CanadaGuy

Member
Nov 19, 2019
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Does Proxmox really need to provide a way to donate your $50 every now and then? Or can you just save up a few $50's and buy a subscription for a limited time?
Note that it's a donation; you have to make the effort and they can do with it whatever they want. If you want it the other way around, then that's a contract not a donation.

I'm not trying to single you out or confront you personally, but indeed: less talk and more payments (if people can and want to).
No no, purely suggestion on my part. Indeed, they could do what they want with it as that is my intent.

You are right though...from the FAQ it looks like I can let the subscription lapse, and the only thing that should happen is that updates from the enterprise repository should stop. Indeed, they have done just about everything they possibly can to make it easy for free loaders like myself to contribute financially.
 
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