What is Standalone Storage?
Standalone storage is a performance add-on that is used when an app has reached a certain level of complexity or activity. It allows us to make app specific adjustments at the database index layer that can greatly improve performance.
It is a great option for customers on the Pro plan and above, who have built a fairly complex app and noticed an increase in load times around specific forms and pages.
Standalone storage may be a good option for you if you can answer yes to either of the below questions:
- Are there specific pages that are taking 10 seconds or more to load or submit (in the case of forms) but other record based pages load quickly?
- Does the app have a fairly complex connection structure where updating a record results in a chain of child records updating other child records?
With standalone storage you get your own isolated database and search index that is NOT shared with any other customers. The only traffic and requests being sent to this server, would be your own. This can be hugely beneficial because there wouldn’t be any unexpected latency associated with other customers.
- Index tuning can be employed to decrease query response times for specific slower queries.
- Data backups only contain your data and are done more frequently.
- You can use custom encryption keys.
- Job concurrency dedication - jobs can execute more rapidly.
This allows us to find frequently made queries that might not be as efficient as they would be with proper database index coverage. For example, maybe your app references the Projects object based on the Project ID field. Having that specific data indexed could drastically reduce load times for connection fields, formulas, even just filtered views. Doing this sort of tuning is not an option without standalone storage or a private server.
Currently index tuning is something we do hourly ($150/hour) as needed. The first hour is included with the standalone storage add-on. In most cases index tuning is not required but it is available if needed.
You can see the frequency and retention of data backups on this page.
With the shared environment, we limit the number of jobs that execute against specific apps and database servers at a given time. This can create a small backlog of jobs where your jobs wait in a queue before getting executed alongside other apps on that shared server. With standalone storage, you don’t have to wait in that line while other customer jobs run. On standalone storage, each app is allowed 4 concurrent jobs and each account is allowed 14 total concurrent jobs.
Think of it like the security line at the airport during a holiday for a normal coach passenger. Then consider having first class priority access, where you just get to go to the front of the line.
Calculation Limit Increases
In order to optimize performance, formula fields (eg. sums, counts, etc.) with filters are currently limited to processing 10,000 records. A formula field that includes a filter that tries to calculate a connected object with more records than this will display inconsistent results.
Similarly, report views can only perform calculations on up to 10,000 records. You could potentially display more than 10,000 records in a report, but each summation is limited to 10k records for its grouping.
With standalone storage, we can lift these limits to so these calculations can accommodate a much higher number of connected records, up to 100k.
Standalone storage is billed as an add-on in addition to the costs of your existing subscription plan. We also offer both a monthly and an annual pricing option. The annual option reflects a discount for the annual commitment and is not refundable if you decide to cancel. You are eligible to pay annually if you're also paying annually for your regular subscription.
The add-on price is based on a combination of plan, location, and app demands (API calls, record count, and complexity). Please reach out to us at email@example.com for a quote and to prepare for the migration.
There is a one-time setup fee of $150.
The process to set up the underlying hardware requires up to 2 business days. Transferring your data to the server depends on the size of your data but often takes no more than a couple of hours. The time in which we do the actual migration will be subject to your preference and approval. For example, we wouldn’t want to do this during the busiest part of your day.
Standalone Storage vs Private Server
The difference between standalone storage and private servers/clusters is standalone storage offloads just your data into its own server. The big win is the ability to do index optimization which can increase performance. Everything else stays the same - you’d still be using builder.knack.com and api.knack.com. The API, app, and record limits are all still the same.
If the biggest issue is that there are some pages that take a long time but everything else runs fine, standalone storage could be a good choice. For other performance improvements or additional record capacity, a private server is more well suited. With a private server or cluster, you gain all of the advantages from standalone storage, but many more. These are outlined on this page.
If you are not sure what the best option is for you, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I change plans - will my standalone storage pricing change as well?
It won’t change automatically. The underlying hardware type is initially set based on your subscription plan and in order to change that, there are costs and down time involved. If you expect to change your plan, it is important to coordinate with the Knack team ahead of time. If you are considering changing your plan in the coming months, it may make sense to wait before opting into standalone storage.
What if I don’t see improvement?
There are some scenarios where we’ll need to do some index tuning. This is something we would do at our hourly rate and would be based on internal query statistics we have access to, as well as input from you about pages or views that take exceptionally long to load.
What if I have an annual plan?
Standalone storage can also be billed annually, following the same policy as our standard plans. If you purchase an annual subscription, you will receive two months free.
What if I want to go back to the normal storage option?
If you decide that you no longer want standalone storage, you’ll need to coordinate that with the Knack team. This is something that we’d need to schedule ahead of time as to minimize any down time for your app. Note that the costs for standalone storage are not refundable.
Is my standalone storage server secured and maintained?
Yes, we maintain these servers in the same way we maintain the rest of our infrastructure. Security patches, system updates, security practices are all the same.
Do I still have API limits or record limits with a standalone storage option?
Yes, there are no changes in any existing limits with regard to API calls, or record counts. The limits are based on your chosen subscription plan.