Beware the Costco Cloud

April 01, 2013 - by rachelbalik

Without Costco wholesale stores, Super Bowl parties all over the country might fail. After all, when everyone is drinking beer and yelling at the TV, pretty much anything tastes delicious. Those processed, bulk foods fill you up, even if they leave you regretting it the next day.

But what if you owned a fine restaurant? Sure, you’d need to find a cost-effective way to purchase large quantities of ingredients, but you’d be far more concerned about the quality and whether you could get the ingredients you needed to create a diverse menu.

You’d want a vendor who could deliver the exact quantity of ingredients your restaurant needed, based on how many diners you expect in a certain week. You’d want a vendor who could quickly deliver high-quality ingredients at moment’s notice. You’d want the freedom to be creative with your venue. And to do that, you’d want a vendor you could trust.

When it comes to cloud IaaS, you don’t want to be purchasing from a Costco-like vendor, either. If your application is your business, you need the highest quality cloud hosting available: a service that’s reliable, high-performance and can scale -- without forcing you to buy bulk “ingredients” that will go bad before you can use them.

Otherwise, you get tied into a “one size fits all” membership that forces your application to accommodate your cloud service -- not the other way around. If your application is your business, the Costco cloud IaaS model would mean you don’t really have any control. Ultimately, that’s not a recipe for success. Often it that you build around the infrastructure, leading to extra work.

It doesn’t have to be this way. There are providers who serve as a true partner rather than simply offering a bulk, standard solution. A provider who considers themselves your partner will work with you on a daily basis and learn about your business, so you’re free to explore new approaches that better suit your goals. This can often result in reduced infrastructure costs, leading to increase in profits and growth. Eimar Boejes, CTO and co-founder of Moonshadow Mobile found that when they switched to Joyent, they saw big changes. Moonshadow Mobile helps companies across a range of industries process big data by rendering it visually on maps. In order to do that, they required a high performance cloud that allowed them the freedom to add compute quickly based on demand.

“We got a 70% cost reduction over the traditional cloud providers and could buy exactly the amount of compute we needed, when we needed it,” he said. “The servers spun up within 2 minutes, much faster than on other vendors. And the customer support was excellent in helping us work through bottlenecks.”

To learn more about what business can be like post-Costco cloud, check out of some of these other Joyent customer stories.

Not sure if you’re using a Costco cloud? Look for some of these warning signs:

  • You’re forced to buy infrastructure in “bulk”
  • You have zero visibility into outages
  • You build fixes around problems rather than ask for help
  • You have six, 64 oz bottles of ketchup in your pantry and no idea what to do with them (Kidding)

If any of this sounds familiar, you may want to consider trying something different. And now, you can try it for free. (In case you weren’t counting, that’s cheaper than wholesale!)