Tuesday, January 25, 2011

SpotCloud Beta Update (Jan 25th)

Another strong week of development on the SpotCloud.com platform. Unfortunately, some of the coolest new additions relate to our administration and management system so we can’t show them to you. However, we plan to do a major 1.2 release next week with lots of other new eye candy for you.

We’ve also been busy signing up and on-boarding new providers from all over the world and hope to have all continents covered by our February public launch. A few notable additions to the SpotCloud market this week include, Brazil, Iceland, and Italy. I’d like to point out that we could use additional capacity from Asia, so if you have capacity or know of someone who does, please send them along.

Setting ECP SpotCloud Permissions
We’ve encountered a minor work-flow oversight that relates to the installation of ECP SpotCloud Edition. When installing ECP, users seem to skip the last step which is to set the correct permissions for their SpotCloud user. To help, we’ve updated our Setup_broker.py script which will complete the setup as well as configure the correct permissions.

Pricing Your Capacity
One of the most asked questions lately is “How do I price my capacity on the market?”
We've created a SpotCloud Pricing Guide for capacity providers. You can grab it here. In an upcoming release we will also include a market overview for sellers.

Documentation Error (Storage requirement)
I’d like to outline an error in the original SpotCloud Setup Guide whereby we outline a “2TB” per-host requirement. This is not correct. The actual number is 500GB per Host. In reality, you’ll be okay even if you only provide one server.

Some more press: “Can a New IaaS Cloud Really Compete?” http://ruv.net/a/if

Friday, January 21, 2011

How to Make Money on SpotCloud (Provider Pricing Guide)

One of the first questions SpotCloud providers ask me after they've setup their infrastructure and made their capacity available on SpotCloud is how to effectively price their capacity. There really is no easy answer, there are a lot of factors that dictate SpotCloud capacity pricing.

For example competition from a particular geography can lead to a higher or lower price. (Basic supply and demand) What I have noticed is that providers from specific regional hot spots such as Brazil, Russia and Asia tend to be able to price higher than places like San Francisco which tend to be more capacity saturated. Another question is what should the price be based on. My answer is typically it should be a combination of your fixed costs and a markup. It's also better to base it on the element that is the hardest (costliest) to share and delegate which in our case is typically RAM or potentially bandwidth. Also before you can hope to define a price you need to be able to understand what your own costs are on a monthly basis, utilization is also a key component.

To help with the SpotCloud pricing process, we've created a simple SpotCloud Provider Pricing Guide in the form of an Excel spreadsheet on Google Docs or Download the Excel Spreadsheet directly. (Feedback is greatly appreciated)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

SpotCloud Beta Update

We continue to see significant participation on the SpotCloud sell-side with providers from around the globe signing up for the service (Here’s a nice overview from GigaOM). We are currently adding providers to the market as we get ready to open the platform to buyers in the next few weeks. We have a select group of buyers who are currently helping us test the system and plan to include a broader group in early February.

We want to highlight that we are continually improving the workflow to help simplify on-boarding of both buyers and sellers. One area in particular that we want to bring to your attention relates to entering your hardware pricing information after you’ve registered as a provider. For those of you who have submitted API registration, you will receive an email once approved. At this point it is important to log into the platform and enter your hardware prices so that your capacity can be made available on the SpotCloud market. If you don’t set a price, your capacity will not be visible to buyers. Going forward we plan to improve the workflow to make this requirement more obvious.

To help you select the optimal price we plan to add a market overview for sellers so that it will be easy to assess how other providers are pricing their capacity. Furthermore, a number of sellers have indicated they’d also like to be buyers. These features and more have been added to our roadmap.

Over the coming days we will be rolling out new features frequently including improved interface elements and reporting. So, log in frequently to see the changes!

New SpotCloud API’s
We’re also happy to inform you that we’ve published the first drafts of our Buy and Sell side API’s. These API’s are great if you're looking to define a broader automated workflow (such as time of day or utilization based costing) you may want to download a copy of our API docs.

For Sellers
For Buyers

If you’d like access to a SpotCloud API sandbox, please get in touch.

Sample Spot Cloud Appliance
A few of our beta users have asked us for a sample SpotCloud appliance to test their third party platforms. We’ve created a small appliance & guide to help you!

SpotCloud Appliance Creation Guide (For Buyers)

This guide will help buyers through the process of creating a virtual machine image (an "appliance") that will work well with SpotCloud.

Sample SpotCloud Appliance (XVM2) 345MB
http://dl.enomaly.com/varnish - user: root - pass: spotcloud

This is a fully functional SpotCloud appliance built on Ubuntu JeOS & Varnish Cache. It includes a one time command line configuration example accessible via SSH console on any SpotCloud provider. Once configured, the appliance automatically locks itself down preventing further access. It's fully functional and serves as a great SpotCloud example appliance.

What Does it do?

Varnish is the key software that speeds up your web site. It is Open Source, built on industry standards and requires very few resources. Once configured this appliance will automatically replicate your website to any SpotCloud instance in the world. Just point your dns to the ip address. (Anycast + Geotargeting recommended) Essentially it's an instant global CDN.

Getting Started as a Provider
If you haven’t already done so, we’re giving you two options for participating as a Capacity Provider in the SpotCloud Beta.

1. Using the free Enomaly ECP SpotCloud Edition
You can use the Free Enomaly ECP SpotCloud Edition to provide capacity to the market.

2. Using your own cloud platform
It’s easy to integrate your own cloud with SpotCloud (some service providers have completed the process in a few hours). We’ve written a guide to assist service providers (capacity sellers) who would like to integrate their internally-developed or third party cloud infrastructure software platforms or services with the SpotCloud market.

Register to get the download at www.spotcloud.com and get access today!

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