#487 Budget request: Price increase for hosted Matrix (chat.fp.o) by Element Matrix Services (EMS)
Opened 2 months ago by jflory7. Modified 2 months ago

Summary

Requesting $3,125.00 USD to pay Element Matrix Services (EMS) to add 200 more user accounts to chat.fedoraproject.org

Background

For over a month, our Fedora Matrix homeserver is blocking new account registrations AND reactivating dormant accounts that are not active for more than a month. This results in a frustrating user experience for people who are either trying to use Matrix with FAS, or have not logged into Matrix for over a month and their account is set as inactive by EMS. Not ideal!

We need to resolve this issue, and either we do it with more funding or we stop offering :fedora.im Matrix accounts.

This ticket is more than a funding request though. We also need to consider the overall sustainability of our spend on Matrix. In a sense, we are penalized for being successful with adoption of Matrix as a communication platform. We pay anywhere between $3-4 a user, which means every user with a :fedora.im account costs approximately $48/year at the most expensive end of the spectrum. We are hitting this issue now at 500 users, but if we keep being successful with Fedora Matrix adoption, our spend is only going to keep increasing if we continue on this same trajectory.

Details

I reached out to our EMS sales rep who informed us that we have maxed out the 500 active monthly users. I requested a quote for bumping by 200 users. The first 100 users are billed at $3.25/user, and the second 100 users are billed at $3.00/user. This gives us the total amount of $3,125 USD for this spending request.

There is some important data to consider when voting on this request:

  • We pay $21,000 USD annually in August each year for 500 users.
  • $3,125 increases our seat limit ONLY until August 2024 (i.e. four months).
  • Baring any changes to pricing by EMS, this means our new annual cost for EMS increases from $21,000 to $28,500.
  • Our total spend on FOSDEM 2024 (community meals, some travel and hotels, swag, etc.) was $2,431.21 USD.
  • Our forecasted spend on DevConf CZ 2024 is $7,800 USD. The increased EMS spend is approximately 40% of our total spend on DevConf CZ.

Outcome

One of two outcomes:

  • Reopen our Matrix homeserver to new account registrations.
  • Stop offering Fedora-hosted Matrix accounts.

Are there alternative hosting solutions to EMS that we could potentially consider? Either another Matrix hosting platform, or self-hosting Synapse on Fedora infra (or on AWS, etc.).

For some reason, the Fedora Discussion topic did not get auto-posted as a new comment here, but it exists and there is already discussion there.

@dcavalca wrote…
Are there alternative hosting solutions to EMS that we could potentially consider? Either another Matrix hosting platform, or self-hosting Synapse on Fedora infra (or on AWS, etc.).

See the Fedora Discussion topic. I shared more thoughts on the option to self-host.

Discussed in our 2024-04-10 meeting.


The Council approved the following course of action:

  1. Pay the ~$3k today to get us 700 users (from 500) from EMS until August 2024.
  2. Start a conversation with Red Hat OSPO and Red Hat CPE about the prospect of hosting the Fedora Matrix homeserver. Investigate the people capacity needed to run and reliably host it.
  3. Continue offering hosted Matrix accounts in the self-hosted option.
  4. Cancel our EMS contract in August.

There was a fifth point in the original proposal, which did NOT have enough time to gain consensus. It will be discussed in the Fedora Discussion topic:

  • Become a Silver member of the Matrix Foundation (i.e. any annual donation between $2k and $80k)

Metadata Update from @amoloney:
- Issue priority set to: None
- Issue tagged with: In Progress

2 months ago

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