Feeds

Scottish cloud abacus gobbled by control freak RightScale

Need a job in Scotland?

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

If you think keeping track of the technical differences between cloud systems is hard, try figuring out what compute, storage, and network capacity on various platforms can cost. It's enough to give you migraine, which is why cloud control freak RightScale, which spans multiple public and private systems, has acquired small Scottish startup ShopForCloud.

Now known as PlanForCloud in the wake of the acquisition, ShopForCloud was founded by Ali Khajeh-Hosseini, who is the technical lead for the company, and his brother, Hassan, who is the product and marketing manager.

Ali got his BS in computer science at Robert Gordon University, his MS in high-performance computing at the University of Edinburgh, and was working on his PhD at the University of St Andrews with a specialty in cloud computing when he decided to create a pricing and capacity planning tool that would span the public clouds.

The ShopForCloud site was launched in January this year, which has a simulation engine to figure out what you will need on the various clouds to run your workloads - and then uses live pricing data from cloud providers to tell you what it will cost you to run your software.

Right Scale PlanForCloud founders

PlanForCloud founders Ali and Hassan Khajeh-Hosseini

RightScale CEO Michael Crandell told El Reg that while his company had put some rudimentary capacity tracking and projection software into the RightScale dashboard, you have to actually be using the tool for a while with real data to do any forecasting. With PlanForCloud, the simulation engine allows you to configure a greenfield cloudy infrastructure installation and then see how you would create it on Amazon Web Services, Google Compute Engine, and Rackspace Hosting Cloud.

"As cloud computing gets more popular, costs get out of control," says Crandell. "You need a PhD to analyse pricing, and pricing is always changing, making it more difficult."

Ali could attest to the truth of this, and sought to make a business out of it. At the moment, the PlanForCloud service remains free, but will no doubt help RightScale make money directly as well as indirectly in the coming months.

RightScale is similarly a service that itself runs on a cloud, and it does a bunch of different things. RightScale is used to build dynamic operating system and application stacks that are assembled on the fly from a repository rather than from static gold images. The tool is used to deploy and monitor cloudy stacks as they are running, and also knows how to autoscale applications across infrastructure as workloads rise and fall. It also has auditing, tracking, authentication, and cost-accounting features that span Amazon Web Services, Datapipe, IDC Frontier (a subsidiary of Yahoo! Japan), Logicworks, Rackspace Cloud, and SoftLayer as well as private clouds based on CloudStack from Citrix Systems, Eucalyptus from Eucalyptus Systems, and OpenStack, from NASA and Rackspace Hosting.

For the moment, RightScale has just made some nominal user interface tweaks PlanForCloud and is looking to expand the office in Edinburgh. To be specific, this new part of RightScale is located in the TechCube in central Edinburgh, and if you have Ruby, Rails, jQuery, Postgres, GitHub, Heroku, and AWS skills, then maybe you can get a job in the new RightScale Scotland office.

Crandell says that RightScale will keep PlanForCloud as a free service but will do integration with its eponymous tool, allowing for real-world data to be dumped into the simulation engine for better forecasting.

With the acquisition of PlanForCloud, RightScale now has 207 employees and is looking to hire. The company has over 55,000 customers using its free and paid RightScale tools and has launched 4.35 million virtual server instances to date. The company does not say how many physical servers are under management and how many concurrent VMs are under management at any given time.

Financial details of the acquisition were not given. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
The cloud that goes puff: Seagate Central home NAS woes
4TB of home storage is great, until you wake up to a dead device
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
Intel offers ingenious piece of 10TB 3D NAND chippery
The race for next generation flash capacity now on
Want to STUFF Facebook with blatant ADVERTISING? Fine! But you must PAY
Pony up or push off, Zuck tells social marketeers
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
SAVE ME, NASA system builder, from my DEAD WORKSTATION
Anal-retentive hardware nerd in paws-on workstation crisis
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.