Flex Metal Cloud Product Release Update V0.9.9

Flex Metal Cloud Release Update V0.9.9

Thanks SuperMicro!

First, a special thank you out to SuperMicro and specifically their networking team. One of the keys for this on demand private cloud product is to be able to start with a small footprint. We use SuperMicro’s blade servers for our smallest complete OpenStack deployment (a 3 server hyper-converged cluster). As far as we know, our particular servers and chassis have never been used like this before. As a result, when we went to automated the networks, some of the needed functionality in the blade server chassis switches did not exist.

SuperMicro listened to our needs and assigned staff to extend their Netmiko driver for the blade chassis switches. Thanks SuperMicro!

Flex Metal Cloud Release V0.9.9 – November 19, 2020

A repeat of our previous post: Here at InMotion we are reshaping OpenStack from the traditional large footprint deployment.  We have always worked with small and medium sized companies.  No enterprises and just a few large companies on our roster.

So our unique goal – enable the “non-enterprise” to easily provision OpenStack based infrastructure at a cost that enterprises can get due to their unique scale.

Our marketing content was released recently – see the Infrastructure as a Service section of the site. We got really valuable feedback on the marketing content and incorporated some already. A more full V2 based on feedback is coming out this week and next.

We expected to be provisioning around November 17th – and it looks like “around” is going to be on the 23rd or 24th for select beta customers and doors open on Dec 1st or 2nd. With as many moving pieces in this project a few items did get away from us, but we are very excited to be so close.

With this macro goal in mind, in my last post I shared our older goals. Base on what we have learned and feedback from potential customers, we modified them slightly. Here are our refined goals and how we are doing against them at V0.9.9:

Production grade OpenStack and Ceph on a 3 server footprint.

YES! We have Hyper-Converged OpenStack and Ceph on both a “Small” and a “Standard” setup. We are also line up for an upcoming release to include doing 5 servers as the “Cloud Core”, which means 5 servers providing control plane services. A 5 server control plane is for very large deployments or deployments that want additional redundancy over a 3 server control plane.

Spun up in 45 minutes.

Previously we aimed at 20 minutes, but after talking to customers and evaluating the tradeoffs needed to shorten the time, we decided 45 minutes was logical. We are already at 37 minutes and we get to keep many of the health checks in the system that assure a production ready provision.

Add additional servers in another 20 minutes.

YES, under 15 now! And we can add multiple servers in parallel. So adding 10 servers can be done in 10-20 minutes only. Pretty awesome!

Private control plane.

YES! A private control plane is required to truly have private infrastructure that a customer can modify as they see fit. Need another OpenStack service? Add it. Want to configure something exactly your way? Sure. Want to automate the control plane? Well, it is yours, so yes.

Charge by the hour.

YES! This can be tricky with full hardware as decommissioning the hardware means it automatically is “cleaned” and the BIOS flashed to the most recent from the manufacturer. We are working on an ultra clear process for this – we don’t want people to accidently return an active server since all data will be removed completely as soon as that happens.

Keep the costs low and, absolutely, absolutely, beat the TCO of running on the mega clouds including your team costs if you manage your own private cloud with us.

YES! And our pricing calculator for our Ashburn/Washington DC data center is available here. We are working on a new presentation of the pricing calculator thanks to great feedback from our testers. That will be out in the next couple weeks.

So, counting down the hours now, it is so close, but we do want to be sure everything goes well. Thanks to everyone that took the time to help us out with feedback and critiques, it really helps!

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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