Nephoscale, a Silicon Valley based cloud startup, today announced a new IaaS platform that gives more power to the developers. It is a fault tolerant and scalable cloud services infrastructure that gives users more control over compute, network, and storage resources. They have come into the crowded infrastructure services marketplace with a quick and easy scaling mantra. Will they be able to stick around and survive? It is something time will tell.
What do they offer?
They are positioned similar to Rackspace with both cloud based server instances and dedicated hosting. They offer Linux and Windows server (Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition) instances at metered pricing. Their low end server instance starts at 5 cents per hour. They also have a membership plan where users can pay an annual membership and get their server instances at half the price (useful for those who want to run their instances 24/7/365). They have a per GB pricing for bandwidth which is the industry standard.
They also offer object based cloud storage which allows uses to create multiple storage partitions and multiple keys (different key for different users in an organization) which can be managed through their portal. The storage can scale to hundreds of petabytes unlike the traditional enterprise filesystems with hierarchical structure. They have a metered pricing model which has become a norm for cloud based infrastructure services.
What is their differentiation?
From what I gleaned from their website (which looks surprising similar to AWS), their main differentiation is in what they call as CloudScript. It is a programmable interface to their infrastructure services which lets users provision and manage all aspects of their infrastructure services using a single API submission. For example, a developer who uses hundreds of compute and storage instances need not make several API calls to access each one of these instance. Instead they can manage all these instances with just one API call and get it done. So it makes the process of scaling programmatically much easier for the developers.
NephoScale is entering a very crowded infrastructure services market. As someone who believes in a future of open federated ecosystem, I welcome them into the marketplace. However, I am not sure if their differentiation is good enough for them to succeed in the highly competitive marketplace. I will be keen to observe how they are progressing in the next couple of years.