Hello world. :) We’re excited to announce our new startup, Ubicloud. Our mission is to build an open, free, and portable cloud; and provide a compelling alternative to AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud.
There has been a massive transition to the cloud over the past fifteen years. What started as a way for developers to build apps independently, became a ubiquitous industry. More developers and enterprises run their infrastructure on the cloud than ever before.
Yet, when talking to cloud users, instead of hearing excitement, we now hear two common pain points. First, we hear over and over that the cloud has become too expensive. You receive credits to get started with the cloud, but when those credits run out, you pay a huge premium even for simple services.
Second, if you want to run a different cloud provider or on your own infrastructure, good luck. The cloud’s current implementation is geared to lock you in; and this also makes it hard to extend the cloud to your private infrastructure.
To solve these pain points, we set out to build Ubicloud - an open, free, and portable cloud. Ubicloud solves the cost issue by running on bare metal providers, where some of those providers can rent you hardware up to 10x cheaper than AWS. Ubicloud’s open and portable design also avoids vendor lock-in and enables you to run it anywhere.
In a way, Ubicloud offers an open alternative to AWS. It reduces costs and returns control of your infrastructure back to you. All without sacrificing the cloud’s benefits.
We have been working on our GitHub repo since earlier in the year. Then, one day, a fellow Hacker News (HN) user unexpectedly launched us on HN. :)
Our initial cloud offering comes with four services: elastic compute, virtual networking, block storage (non replicated), and identity and access management (IAM).
Across these services, you’ll find three common themes. First, we use open source solutions on our data plane. This enables us to benefit from what many others are already using in production. For example, for our elastic compute service, we use Linux KVM for virtualization and the Cloud Hypervisor as our virtual machine monitor (VMM). Similarly, we use SPDK to provide fast and virtualized block storage.
Second, we make security a forethought. For example, we want to introduce an additional level of isolation for our elastic compute service. So, we contain each VMM within Linux namespaces. Or, we encrypt data in transit with our virtual networking service or at rest by extending SPDK for encrypted storage. We also encrypt the data encryption key itself, ensuring that a compromised host isn’t enough to decrypt customer data. As a best practice, we also have regular rotation of encryption keys built-in.
Finally, we wanted to build a cloud you could start and grow with. We know we’re starting from humble beginnings - just basic functionality across four services. Yet, we chose those services so that when you need to grow, you'll have the right foundation in place. For example, we worked on providing a powerful authorization solution through attribute-based access control (ABAC). This way, when you need to provide fine grained control in the future, you’ll have IAM capabilities that are only available with the hyperscalers today.
In the end, our goal with these three themes is simple. We not only want to provide you with an open and portable alternative to AWS. We also want to give you AWS-grade fundamentals to begin with.
As with any startup, we’re looking to learn from our users. So, we’ve launched Ubicloud in a way where you can set it up on bare metal providers or you can use it as a managed service. On our managed platform, VMs are about 3x cheaper than they are with AWS. If you’re using GitHub Actions, you benefit from even bigger price advantages by changing a single line in your workflow file.
It only takes a few minutes to get started: https://console.ubicloud.com/create-account
As the Ubicloud team, we’re incredibly excited to share our first version! If you have any questions or comments, please reach out and say hi to us at email@example.com.