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Re: Cirrus CI limiting free compute time

From: Timothe Litt <>
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2023 21:14:01 -0400

At $3500/mo, you could buy a pretty decent physical server in less than
a month.  Last one I bought was ~USD $2500 - I went for a model year
behind (besides being cheaper, I have no use for the "efficiency"/large
core mixes).  Several Tb of disk, ECC memory, 6 cores (12 counting HT),

You do need to do the system admin, have physical space & power - but
one box can host all 8 of your VMs.  And the dollar cost is low after
the 1-time investment.  (OK, 1-time every 5 - 8 years...)

You don't need much (external) network bandwidth once setup - a git
mirror is cheap, as is start/stop/status for CI jobs.

Cloud virtual seems like a bargain initially, but as you've discovered,
in the long run they make money by enticing you with special
introductory offers, then eventually raising the costs.

Timothe Litt
ACM Distinguished Engineer
This communication may not represent the ACM or my employer's views,
if any, on the matters discussed.

On 21-Aug-23 20:53, Dan Fandrich via curl-library wrote:
> The curl Cirrus CI pages now link[1] to a notice that they're limiting their
> free CI tier starting next week. The new limit will be "50 compute credits" per
> month, which seems to buy us about 260 hours of compute time. Unfortunately,
> curl has been using about 6000 hours of compute time per month lately[2]. At
> that rate, our free time will be used up on the first day.
> They have an easy-to-use credit-card entry form for us to buy credits, but it
> looks to me like that would cost us almost $3500 per month (presumably USD).
> Another option is to rent one or more virtual servers somewhere and hook them up
> to Cirrus CI for only $10 per month. To replace our current usage would require
> at least 8 virtual servers, though, so still several hundred dollars per month.
> Finally, we could migrate all but the FreeBSD jobs to one of the CI services
> still offering a reasonable free tier (Azure and GHA). We can almost squeeze in
> our FreeBSD builds within our the Cirrus CI monthly credits, and I'm not aware
> of another CI service that offers FreeBSD servers, so that's probably the
> cheapest way forward. But it probably means more latency and slower build
> results as we load the other services even more.
> Dan
> [1]
> [2] (must be logged in)

Received on 2023-08-22