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Re: The business case for OpenShift

On Jan 2, 2015, at 5:58 AM, Andrew Lau <andrew andrewklau com> wrote:

Hi Andrew,

Few points to consider,

- Last time I spoke to a "marketer" for OSE, a selling point was something I don't quite like but, overcommitment and gear idling. Something along the lines of 300%+ what your guaranteed resources actually are.
- I've found smaller nodes performed better, a 30GB ram instance is overkill. Better off going with 4-8GB, giving you better performance and cheaper(?). If you're serious, colocating hardware would bring your monthly costs down dramatically. 
- Businesses with "simple" websites, can still use openshift. A customer is a customer, if they're smaller this falls back to the first point meaning you have more resources available.
- Databases have always been openshift's weak point, but that's also why you've got options for partners through the openshift marketplace. Startups are a prime target audience.
- Education sector, students etc.

I got into openshift when we were working on a startup idea, it failed but the concept was to use openshift to deploy applications and keep them up to date quite regularly, at one point we were doing about 12 new applications a day. The whole concept of git and a powerful API made it easy to keep up to date. When we broke off this concept, we had a bunch of developers who were disappointed about losing an AU based openshift, so we continued this infrastructure, invite only. It paid for itself to a point where we expanded to three different regions (qld, syd, melb), just this week we started doing public signup. [1]

Getupcloud in Brazil are also another prime candidate of a successful openshift as a service. 

P.S. Remember the next release of openshift is coming soon, and I'm not too sure whether the next release will support a migration plan.

The migration story from the 2 architecture to the 3 architecture will involve copying applications from one deployment to the other, and then a set of tools and documentation about how to do that seamlessly.  At the time that 3 becomes ready for production apps, the tools will probably be fairly simple, and then will grow in sophistication over time.  I hope we'll have some of those simple ideas mapped out soon so folks can see what is involved.


​[1] Shameless plug - https://www.ausnimbus.com.au/

On Fri, Jan 2, 2015 at 6:15 PM, Andrew Galdes <andrew galdes agix com au> wrote:
Hello all,

I don't want to come across as pessimistic but rather optimistic to see the light. 

We love the OpenShift technology and we're investing plenty into education for staff and we provide limited (and slowly growing) OpenShift services to our clients. However, we're having a hard time identifying the business case from the clients point of view to adopt the technology as a solution. We conclude that, like all technology, its focus is just that and we should use the right tool for the job and OpenShift won't always be that tool. 

Our web-dev clients we can see benefit from it. It's a saviour for them. However:
  • Businesses with simple 'brocher' or 'business card' type websites have no need for it. 
  • Businesses with retail sites need large databases, opt for iaas for high-tuned and customised environments and need fully customisable environments.
  • Businesses with application websites have their own special infrastructure needs and inter-system communications and often like it onsite. Also the possibility of large DBs.
  • Start-ups with apps in the making are worried that the DB growth issues may well become an issue sooner rather than later. 
So other than OpenShift being a cool technology servicing web developers, who else can benefit?

A little maths shows the costs with Origin on EC2s pushing the acceptable cost barrier:

An EC2 of m3.2xlarge costs $564 per month and has 30GB RAM supporting 60 small gears. That's $9.50 per gear per month. Based on per hour costs and in AU$. The server would need to be running at 100% customer utilisation (not resources utilisation). The PaaS supplier would need to add their margin pushing the prices above the current options. There are always exceptions and the reserved prices are considerably lower. 

I fully understand that any business could host their website and/or web application on OpenShift which is great but as it stands, their sites are working fine and the recourses to provide OpenShift instance is larger.

Happy new year. 

-Andrew Galdes
Managing Director


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