The IBM Cloud Quantum Standard plan is not free, except when running jobs on simulators. Use the information in this topic to help you understand how much you’re paying and how to limit your costs.
The information in this topic only applies to those who are using the Standard plan for IBM Quantum on IBM Cloud. There are no costs associated with IBM Quantum Platform Open plan.
An instance administrator can limit how much is spent. To set cost limits, navigate to the IBM Cloud Instances page (opens in a new tab), then click the instance and set the Cost limit. The cost limit refers to the total cost of all jobs run with this instance since it was created, and it will always be greater than or equal to the Total cost. After the instance reaches the specified number of total seconds, no further jobs can be run and no more cost is incurred.
The cost limit is always specified in US dollars (USD), then converted to runtime seconds. However, for monthly billing purposes, you are charged in your local currency, specified on your IBM Cloud account. Because currency exchange rates can fluctuate, the cost for X runtime seconds might be different when initially calculated in USD than when you’re actually charged in your local currency. As a result, if your local currency is not USD, the total amount charged for the number of seconds specified in this field could vary from the dollar amount you specify.
An instance administrator can remove the cost limit. To do so, navigate to the IBM Cloud Instances page (opens in a new tab), then open the instance and click the edit button by the Cost limit. Delete the value and click Save.
When the instance’s cost limit is reached, the currently running job is stopped. Its status is set to Canceled with a reason of Ran too long. Any available partial results are kept.
No further jobs can be submitted by using this instance until the cost limit is increased.
You are sent a monthly invoice that provides details about your resource charges. You can check how much has been spent at any time on the IBM Cloud Billing and usage page (opens in a new tab).
Additionally, you can determine cost per instance or per job at any time.
To determine how much has been billed to an instance during the current billing cycle, from the Instances page (opens in a new tab), click the instance to open its details page.
These are the fields relevant to cost:
- Billing cycle usage: The amount of quantum time used by this instance during the current billing cycle. Quantum time is the duration a quantum system is committed to fulfilling a user request.
- Billing cycle cost: The total cost of running jobs during the current billing cycle.
- Total usage: The amount of quantum time used by this instance since it was created.
- Total cost: The total cost of running jobs on this instance since it was created. Only administrators can set this value.
You can view your billing cycle on the Billing and usage page (opens in a new tab).
To determine how much has been billed to each job associated with an instance, from the Instances page (opens in a new tab), click the instance to open its details page. Next, on the left side, click Jobs.
These are the columns relevant to cost:
- Usage: The amount of quantum time used by this job. Quantum time is the duration a quantum system is committed to fulfilling a user request.
- Cost: The total cost of running this job.
You can estimate how long a job will run, and therefore its cost, by estimating the job run time. For details, see the Estimate job run time topic.
You can set up spending notifications to get notified when your account or a particular service reaches a specific spending threshold that you set. For information, see the IBM Cloud account Type description (opens in a new tab). IBM Cloud spending notifications must be used with other methods of cost management for several reasons:
- The notifications trigger only after cost surpasses the specified limit.
- Cost is submitted to the billing system hourly. Therefore, a long delay might occur between the job submission and the spending notification being sent.
- The billing system can take multiple days to get information to the invoicing system, which might cause further delay in notifications. For more information about how the IBM Cloud billing system works, see Setting spending notifications (opens in a new tab).