In previous episodes, we looked at:
- who we built Connhex for
- what its features were going to be.
This post shares a few technical details and the business model behind Connhex.
💡 This section, although far from detailed, is a bit tech-heavy. Feel free to skip it if that’s not your thing.
Technically speaking, Connhex is a set of microservices that talk to each other. While a comprehensive deep dive on its architecture is out of scope here, let’s briefly touch on a few key points:
- data enters Connhex through one of several protocols. Each call is authenticated and authorized against cached data - this is how we ensure security without compromising performance.
- data entering Connhex is transformed and stored into a timeseries database - again, for performance reasons. Extracting the database writer to a separate entity ensures that data can be consumed afterwards in a unified format, regardless of how it entered Connhex.
- communication between services is achieved through a shared bus. This allows for inter-services communication, while still keeping overhead as low as possible.
- Connhex Control is a super-admin UI that gives customers fine-grained access to lower-level services and device configuration.
- every service is dockerized and the container orchestration is differentiated between the Professional and Enterprise version.
You can clearly see the design principles reflecting those aforementioned key features. For example, we chose not to use a computational-heavy message queue, like Apache Kafka, to obtain a lightweight - thus economical to run - infrastructure.
Another remarkable feature of this architecture: in its Professional version, it is on-premise-first. We designed it for those customers who need their data to stay local, without settling on sub-par solutions. Unlike other on-premise IoT platforms, Connhex Professional is not just a copy and paste of the cloud version. It is also perfect to be deployed on VPSs: this offers the best tradeoff between cost and performance for thousands of simultaneously connected devices.
While this may seem a counterintuitive choice - it’s 2022 and everyone is moving to the cloud - it is a perfect fit for a small share of the IoT market. And we want to focus on being the best choice for that small segment.
After this short overview of our engineering choices, let’s look at the business side of things. How is Connhex going to be profitable?
Despite great improvements over the last years, enterprise software still suffers from opaque pricing strategies.
We wanted transparent and fair pricing, so we drafted a few guiding principles:
- clear pricing on our website, wherever that’s possible. If a customer needs us to customize Connhex, it’s clearly unfeasible to come up with a quote before understanding what is actually needed.
- no explicit or implicit lock-in. Our customers should be able to leave us anytime without being penalized for it: they trusted us with their money and we value this a lot.
- giving options. Different customers may have different needs, so we should set up different pricing strategies for them to choose what best suits their needs.
Keeping these principles in mind, here’s Connhex pricing strategy:
- no recurring fees if customers decide to host Connhex themselves. Just a one time fee to buy a Connhex license, with the option of getting any future version at a hefty discount;
- an annual fee if we host, monitor and update Connhex - on top of the license price;
- if we are hosting and managing Connhex and the customer decides to bring that task in-house or partner with another supplier, we just transfer ownership of the server Connhex is hosted on. No painful migrations and server switch-off according to our schedule.
So there you have it. This is who we built Connhex for, what its key features are, how we engineered it and how we are selling it to. Next time we’ll talk about what the future holds for Connhex: make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to hear that story.
Want to learn more about Connhex? Just visit www.connhex.com or get in touch with us!