Turn Containers into Money Making Machine for Hosting Business

| April 5, 2016

01Just recently, during WHD.global 2016 Ruslan Synytsky, Jelastic CEO, shared his thoughts on the hottest topic in the cloud nowadays – containers, as well as how our past experience and new trends influence the present and future of hosting business. So today we’d like to have a deeper look at his presentation and questions raised in it.

New Trends

To be competitive in hosting business the service providers must catch the wave of the current trends and demands of customers. You can offer better hardware, better support, but it's not enough for the differentiation.

Interesting statistics, since 2000, 52% of the companies in the Fortune 500 have gone bankrupt, been acquired or come to a halt. The conclusion is that if you do not change / adapt your business the most likely you are gone in the near future.

So let’s see where the current trends are going and what waves we should catch to be ahead or even to survive.

According to Google Trends statistics:

  • People are moving from traditional hosting to cloud solutions with very intensive pace
  • Demand on PaaS and IaaS solutions is growing, so imagine the results if you can combine both of them in one business
  • The popularity of DevOps and Microservices is rapidly growing. No surprise - people want automation, easiness in the development flow and fast time to market
  • Docker interest overcame VPS just in two years and still raising

Docker Phenomena

Docker was born in a PaaS project – dotCloud. That was a public cloud service provider. But Solomon Hykes figured out that the team created something bigger that can be used more widely and can change the game in the cloud.

Amazing success, very fast growth, estimated valuation of the company behind the Docker technology is more than $1bln. And it took only about 2 years to get to this point.

And now Docker is changing the business model of many cloud providers by offering freedom of choice across infrastructure providers, reducing lock-in and providing advanced level of automation.031

Why Сontainers?

Faster deployment time: engineers and business spend less time and efforts to bring updates to its products.

Better utilization: you can put much more workloads on the same infrastructure that results in better ROI.

Easy to scale complex application: you put different stacks into an isolated container and scale the layers like application servers, databases, load balancers independently.

Easy to migrate: as Docker can be run on top of any IaaS or bare metal it provides more freedom for end customers, if you do not satisfy your customers they move to another infrastructure service provider in a day. So, this point can kill your business if you are not ready to offer a new level of services and if you ignore the growing trend.5

How to get to the Container Market?

Hosting service providers can offer CaaS or PaaS with containers support, same as big cloud players but become competitive providing local support and managed services on top. Many customers would love to use Docker, but it’s still too complex for them due to the lack of deep technical experience. Also hosting companies can use containers to improve the business efficiency of their own SaaS offerings.6

Among the target customers are:

  • SMBs looking for Public Cloud
  • ISVs looking for VPC
  • SMEs looking for Private Cloud

There are two main sources of customers for business on containers:

  • Reach new customers that are looking for more deployment and development automation  
  • Migrate existing legacy VPS customers and provide them more options to get better service7

Possible Barriers for Business on Container

Let’s see what can become a barrier to move to the new trendy multi-container orchestration business:

Lack of expertise as new trends require new knowledge. Just containers without strong expertise how to solve the real problems / needs of the end customers are useless. To solve this you need to start building your expertise -  hire experienced DevOps guys, learn best practices from others, start investing your time into the knowledge collection.

Fear to invest in something new and unknown. Of course, it’s risky to invest into the trendy technologies, as you can go in a wrong way. But if you don’t try you will be out of the game pretty soon.

Competition with big players. Big cloud players are eating your lunch already, so you need to hurry up to get your piece of cake. Find the benefit you can play on and build your container business around it (local presence, managed services, extra services on top, expertise in some specific sphere etc.)

Solutions to Start Your Business

You can go in different directions. One of the most obvious is to build your own containers platform based on open source solutions. If you have an experienced development team you have a chance to get a luck, but be ready to invest a lot of efforts and face many technical challenges during the development.

Or you can get a ready to go solution, save efforts and money and invest them into knowledge building and go-to-market strategy.

One more option is to resell existing solutions without upfront investments in hardware and software.Business Platform

Combine your experience with new trends and get maximum from that. Contact us to learn more about DevOps, PaaS, CaaS, how it fits your business and how to start with our ready-to-go solution or reselling program.

Feel free to look through a complete version of the presentation below: