Cloud-hosting firm ElasticHosts has launched Elastic Containers, an Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offering that claims to save companies money by charging them only for consumption rather than capacity.
Containers are an operating system-level virtualisation method that is cheaper and more flexible than traditional hypervisor-based virtualisation. Elastic Containers are only possible because of recent improvements made to the main Linux kernel, but this does mean the service is limited to Linux-based servers.
Users are billed for each megabyte used over a 15 minute period, a model which differs from traditional IaaS billing, which forces customers to purchase capacity in blocks. This is deemed inefficient becausefirms pay for more capacity than they need rather than risk losing money from any downtime.
“We’ve analysed hundreds of servers from some of our largest customers and noticed two major differences,” says Richard Davies, CEO and Co-Founder of ElasticHosts. “Firstly, a server running a typical workload will see 50 percent cost saving versus other major IaaS clouds, since typically less than 50 percent of total capacity is used through a full weekly cycle. Secondly, a server which frequently runs below its peak capacity, either due to idle periods or because it only occasionally needs to handle a large load, can save 75 percent or more.
ElasticHosts says its containers will remove the guesswork associated with the traditional model, and ensure its customers no longer have to sacrifice performance to reduce costs, allowing them to take full advantage of the benefits of moving to the cloud.
It says the reason that it is able to offer containers now is due to advances made in the mainline Linux kernel.
“We have been building towards this elastic vision for six years and now the technology has caught up to enable it,” he explains. “We were one of the first European cloud infrastructure companies in 2008, first to use the Linux KVM hypervisor, first to offer free choice of server sizing and first to offer SSD at all instance sizes.
“Now our breakthrough next-generation Elastic Containers are the first and only cloud servers that can provide truly elastic, intelligent auto-scaling.”
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