Standing Cloud Launches Business Edition

In March I wrote about Standing Cloud‘s public launch of a free service to test drive open source applications.  As reported today in TechCrunch, Standing Cloud has now launched it’s Business Edition, a service that enables users to also host applications on any of four cloud providers. As with the free edition, they have made it remarkably easy to get started: you register (including providing payment information), select your cloud provider and application, and go.  Currently, the easiest setup is with Rackspace, where Standing Cloud can automatically assign a billing account to you; this easy setup is coming soon for GoGrid and Amazon EC2.

In the Business Edition launch, the Standing Cloud service provides fast and simple installation, automated regular and manual backups and simple application monitoring.  Importantly, the backups can be restored to any cloud service, not just the one where you started.  You can also easily reboot the application if it seems troubled, upload text files (including templates or other customizations), and if you are so inclined, access the server command line through a terminal window that operates within your browser.  Through September 30, the only fees Standing Cloud is charging is for the server time and bandwidth usage; after that it will cost an additional $19.95/month for their service – which by then will include a number of additional features.

There are now more than fifty open source applications available in Standing Cloud – so they’ve organized them in a searchable list format. There is also no technical limitation requiring that the applications be open source, so if you are looking to promote or enable users to host your commercial application, send me an email and I’ll connect you with the right person at Standing Cloud.

  • I don't know… Standing Cloud looks a bit shaky to me. It appears to be Rackspace-centric, with some great powerpoint slides to boot.

    I have been with Rackspace three times, and each time they severely disappointed me. And, the idea of bundling open-source on top of an ISP and offering it as a value-added service has been tried… plus, 50 isn't necessarily any better than 5. They don't even mention an allegiance with a major CMS…. so what are they good at? Is it Drupal, Joomla, WordPress… or what? I have worked with many ISP's that "claim" to support open source CMS, languages, and apps (including Rackspace)… but in practice, they know nothing about them, haven't optimized their servers to support them, and will frustrate you to no end. So BUYER BEWARE.

    Rackspace had an IPO…. so…. great. They've made some acquisitions. But I did business with several of them, including their supposedly-great cloud start-up; and each was a severe disappointment. Rackspace is definitely no Cisco.

    WRT value-added hosting, I think Amazon has it figured out with EC2 and S3… but no one else has even come close. They don't hype open source… they just do hosting extremely well, in a uniquely compelling fashion, without any claimed bells and whistles.

    • It seems worth addressing a few of your comments – but first, to what PowerPoint slides do you refer?

      We currently support four on-demand cloud server providers: Amazon EC2, Rackspace Cloud, Slicehost, and GoGrid. There are some visible biases toward Rackspace in the system currently, and these are due to a couple of factors: (1) they are substantially less expensive than their competitors for the kind of system we are using for "test drives" (this is why Rackspace is the default); (2) they have been generally more responsive on what we needed for the simple account setup capability. In our next production release (expected this week) you will see EC2 added to the simple account setup, and GoGrid should be there in the following release. Furthermore, we are working on new cloud service interfaces and you will begin seeing those soon too.

      I could go on at length about the relative strengths of each provider, but the most important thing users need to know with respect to Standing Cloud is that ALL cloud providers have outages and failed servers on occasion, Amazon EC2 included. One of the things our system does is automate backups and make restoring your data and application easy – and importantly, it allows you to move it to a different cloud service with very little effort and no knowledge.

      Since you seem knowledgeable about EC2, I assume you have your own account there – in that case, you can use our system with your Amazon account at no extra charge. Give it a try – I would be interested to get your feedback (feel free to send me email directly, the address is on our website).

      • Dave, I shouldn't have taken a shot at you without trying you out – touche! Don't tempt me, though as i am a tough customer. I have yet to find a "truly great" hosting firm – whether it be cloud, elastic, or whatever. If you take my sites on, you are likely in for a tremendous headache – unless there is something truly magical and different, compared to all the other hosting firms I've been through the mill with.

        Thus my reference to Cisco, which tends to find greatness and deliver true customer satisfaction, with almost every corporate customer they have ever done business with (no connection, although i do know a few people there. But no bias).

        The problem with Rackspace is they are stuck on a managed-server model, in the era of elastic cloud computing. And their technical support is centered around Linux and Apache expertise; but nothing above that. So most open source problems (e.g. CMS) are beyond them; and they certainly aren't optimized for any of them.

        But i shouldn't lay that off on you guys! And by PowerPoint slides, that is just a generic term for "vaporware" — you know, claimed greatness without substantive demonstration of such. I'm sure there's a very good likelyhood you have such greatness!

        • PS, yep Slicehost and EC2. I had a Linux guru guide me through creating a VPS on Slicehost – it took us almost 9 hours of command-line Linux work, before i finally got it right. I ran a Collegiate entrepreneurship web startup on there for about 9 months. And EC2 out the Wahzoo.

    • One of the goals of Standing Cloud is to be cloud-provider independent. When you install an app, you can choose from Rackspace, Amazon, GoGrid, and Slicehost. There are plenty of other cloud providers coming, although most are pretty immature when compared to Amazon. Interestingly, Rackspace was the easiest to get “autoprovisioning of a new account” set up so that was implemented first, but expect the others to come quickly. As you can see when you go to install an app, as long as you have an account on Amazon, GoGrid, or Slicehost (or Rackspace) you can quickly install one of the apps.

      I think you are also missing the magic of what Standing Cloud does. Take WordPress as an example. Or Mantis. Or SugarCRM. If you are a typical user and not an expert on the cloud provider or the open source app, it'll take a “while” (several hours, a day, more) to set up the cloud service, download the app, install the app, configure the app, and start the app. With Standing Cloud, you can do this in a few minutes and a few keystrokes. Standing Cloud is then configured to administer the app in the cloud (including backup, restore) as well as move the app between other cloud providers.

      This is an early production version so expect a lot more management features to come quickly. And, the company has focused all of its efforts on the technology build rather than relationships with CMS's, which in my mind is the right place for them to focus to date.

      I'm not sure where the powerpoint slides are that you are referring to.

  • thanks for sharing, nice info 🙂