Detailed Private Cloud Pricing Background

Flex Metal Cloud Release Update V1.1

On-Demand Private Cloud Pricing

A repeat of many previous posts: Here at InMotion we are reshaping OpenStack from the traditional large footprint deployment.  We believe that Open Source based private clouds are a critical counterpoint to the mega public clouds. The leading open source cloud management system is OpenStack. But, OpenStack is complex as is is both a very large software system and complex servers and networking under the software.

Enterprises and IT providers are the primary users today due to these challenges. But for OpenStack to truly compete with the mega clouds, we believe it also needs to be easier to get started for smaller teams and even individuals.

So our unique goal – enable smaller teams to use OpenStack based infrastructure at a similar cost to what enterprises enjoy due to their scale.

So how did we do this?

We made OpenStack Private Clouds trivial to spin up and down. And trivial is a thing of beauty in this case.

But first, we had to make sure these clouds will be low cost to test and learn and stay low cost in production.

Cost of your Private Cloud

To keep your private cloud prices low to start, we set a mission to safely run on 3 servers. We knew that those servers would need to be as cost effective as possible. They would also need to mimic operational approaches used by Open Compute and the big public cloud providers.

We were successful in creating that 3 server footprint and selected two types of hardware to form the “Private Cloud Core”. The first, called the Small has a mid-sized CPU with 8 cores, 64GB of RAM, and a 1TB SATA SSD. The Standard has a larger CPU with 16 cores, 128GB of RAM, and 3.2TB NVMe SSD.

These clouds are billed by the hour with discount for longer usage. “Short Term Usage” (STU) and “Long Term Usage” (LTU) charts will be available within the Flex Metal Central control panel in an upcoming release. They are available from your Account or Tech Support Team member currently.

Of note – a full on-demand hosted private cloud price comes in under $700 per 30 days for the 3 server Small under LTU. The Standard is under $1400 per 30 days. If you are not bringing your own IPs, we do charge for IPv4. IPv6 will be free, but we are working on that in a new release. Check prices here.

All prices for these clouds are for the unmanaged platform. This keeps the private cloud price far below public cloud prices. You will have access to our team for special onboarding training, both free and paid, based on your level of expertise. Our team will work closely with you until you are comfortable taking the reins.

Managed Private Clouds will also be available for those who do not wish to run their own clouds. Even with the management costs, your per VM price will remain well below the public cloud costs. And you will be running on a private first platform that allows you to maximize the servers without running up huge scaling bills.

How does on-demand lower private cloud prices?

Key to keeping private cloud prices low is to all for easy scaling up and down of the cloud. Public clouds have long had an advantage over private clouds is the relatively inelastic way private would scale.

Previously, to scale the private cloud, you would have to preplan the purchase, get the gear in, set it up, then join it to the cloud. So that is not really scalable in comparison to the public clouds. And what happens when the burst of resource needs is over? Scale down means taking out gear? That is clearly not cost effective.

So we set the goal of allowing a private cloud to scale in under 1 hour and to scale down easily after usage. And, yes, this was accomplished. A server can be added into a standard deployment in about 20 minutes.

Scaling down is more complicated since we want to be certain there are no active workloads on the servers, but that can be done in under an hour already, but has some manual steps currently.

We will link to that guide shortly here.

Also, if you believe in Open Source and your company is using a “Mega Public Cloud”, please consider our new hosted private cloud product called Flex Metal Cloud. Built on Open Source, no lock in, better costs, and private from the start.

Todd Robinson
Todd Robinson President at InMotion Hosting, BoldGrid, and – a big OpenStack fan!

I would really appreciate any thoughts and guidance you might want to share. Please connect with me on LinkedIn or leave a comment below with requests or questions — even corrections if I managed to mess up something!

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