[GHC DevOps Group] CircleCI status

Greg Steuck (Sh-toy-k) gnezdo at google.com
Thu Dec 13 06:09:24 UTC 2018

Hi Ben,

We are only using ~$400/month in GHC VM donation GCE project (Windows
license claiming the lions share). If you need more compute, there's plenty
of headroom left.


On Wed, Dec 12, 2018 at 3:21 PM Ben Gamari <ben at well-typed.com> wrote:

> TL;DR. CircleCI's free tier will no longer include the large instances
>        used by GHC CI starting next week.
> Hello everyone,
> Prompted by a rather surprisingly short-notice email from CircleCI I
> just got off of the phone with them to discuss a change in their pricing
> model. This new model, which they will be instituting later this week,
> will users of medium+ and larger instances will no longer be covered
> by the free tier of service which we currently use.
> Currently we are using CircleCI for only a fraction of what we would
> like to validate:
>  * commit validation (which we have been checking manually while we
>    transition to GitLab) in a handful of configuration
>  * nightly intensive validation
>  * release binary distributions (but don't yet produce all distributions
> via CI)
> Ultimately we would like to also introduce merge request validation, which
> will add a large volume of builds once implemented later this month.
> However, even our current usage totals to around 2.5 million CircleCI
> credits. Up to this point we have been covered by CircleCI's free tier
> service. However, under the new pricing model the extra-large instances
> which we use are no longer covered in the free tier.
> Note that medium instances are still covered by the free tier service.
> However, the GHC build on such an instance does not fit within
> CircleCI's five hour build-time limit.
> It seems we have a few options:
>  a. Pay for our credits. The 2.5 million credits we used last month
>     would cost approximately 2,400 USD/month. I asked CircleCI last
>     summer and when I was on the phone with them today and they will not
>     offer us a reduced price.
>  b. Find another solution. Thankfully, the move to GitLab has freed us
>     from any particular CI provider.
> Happily, our CI setup is nearly fully Dockerised at this point, so
> moving is quite straightforward. With the move to GitLab, we have no
> need for the provisioning and queue management functionality that
> CircleCI provides.
> Finally, I find the 2,400 USD/month number to be extremely high given
> the service we are getting. By comparison:
>  * The machine sitting next to my desk cost ~$2,500, a couple hundred
>    USD/year in electricity and yet finishes six builds in the time it
>    takes a CircleCI XL instance to finish one.
>  * A machine comparable to mine from Packet.net is only 700 USD/month
>  * A EC2 instance comparable to the CircleCI XL would only amount to a
>    few hundred USD/month.
>  * A dedicated Hetzner box comparable to the XL is ~40 EUR/month
> In my opinion, any of these solutions would be a better use of our
> limited resources.
> Regardless, I have convinced CircleCI to extend us a one-week trial
> period allowing us a bit of breathing room. If necessary we can pay for
> CircleCI on a month-by-month basis if we need additional time.
> - Ben
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