completely serverless would have been unheard of during the late-90s dot com boom, but new cloud computing platforms have made it possible for small companies to scale quickly, easily, efficiently, and cost effectively. However, even if services like Amazon's have made hosting and scaling a web app more simple, there is still a good deal of server management involved. Enter Mosso, a Rackspace-backed company that merges the idea of cloud computing with the familiarity of a managed, shared environment.Outages aside, there's no doubt that the rise of web scale computing platforms, like Amazon's EC2 and S3 services, have lowered the barrier of entry for Internet startups. Going
In September of 2006, Richard MacManus theorized that "in the future [...] the big Internet companies like Google, Microsoft and Amazon, will operate 'server farms' that become too cost efficient for other companies not to utilize."
So far only Amazon of the big web companies have opened their hosting architecture up to outsiders, but a number of smaller players have tapped into the growing market for cloud based hosting solutions. Mosso's platform seeks to match the scaling power of a compute cloud with the ease and simplicity of a shared hosting environment.
Unlike competitors such as Joyent or Amazon, Mosso's system does not offer customers root level access to their servers. Instead, servers are preconfigured with a range of software options and are fully managed similar to a shared hosting environment. Keeping their hosting platform standardized is what allows them to easily monitor and scale the service as needed. For example, last week Mosso experienced a significant spike in load on its PHP cluster and added 10 servers without customers noticing, company executives told me.
Today, Mosso is announcing a new payment scheme that they feel is an industry first for a cloud computing platform. According to Mosso, scaling on Amazon or other compute cloud options means adding more instances, which means you're still paying on a server by server basis. Mosso's new pay structure is based 100% on requests, which they feel is more accurate in terms of charging you only for the resources you use.
Mosso's pay structure starts with a base fee of $100 per month, with a rate of $0.25 per gigabyte of bandwidth, and $0.50 per gigabyte of storage. They also charge $0.03 per 1000 requests with 3 million included. Being charged per gig on bandwidth and storage is a familiar pricing structure for anyone on shared hosting or a managed server.
The company is also announcing an updated control panel and will soon roll out a MySQL backup utility that will take automatic snapshots of databases down to the table level. That sort of utility wouldn't be possible on EC2, according to Mosso, because every instance is configured differently.
Note: Due to a miscommunication on our part we briefly ran this story yesterday on our web site when in fact the new Mosso pricing plan was not going live until today (February 19). We apologize for any confusion this caused.