Joyent Matches Amazon Cloud Infrastructure Prices

Joyent expands instance types to match Amazon's in size and price, adds "reserved" instances to better compete.
VMware Vs. Microsoft: 8 Cloud Battle Lines
VMware Vs. Microsoft: 8 Cloud Battle Lines
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Joyent president CEO Henry Wasik keeps a recent news story on the wall of his office "to remind the staff of what we're up against." The headline reads, "Amazon to Cloud Rivals: Try To Catch Us."

Joyent is determined to catch Amazon. Wasik said the Joyent cloud was initially equipped with a basic set of 10 virtual server selections. On Thursday, the company introduced 13 instance types that closely align with Amazon's most popular virtual server types, from AWS Micro up to Standard Extra Large and Quadruple I/O Extra Large.

"As people move off of Amazon [Web Services], we want them to be able to slide over to the equivalent instance" in Joyent, said Wasik.

Joyent is actually increasing its virtual server selection with additional choices, 71 in all, to make its cloud service more attractive to customers. That means Joyent now has a match for AWS Store Eight Extra Large and AWS High-CPU Extra Large, along with many other options.

[ Want to learn more about Joyent? See Joyent Cloud Competes With Google, Amazon. ]

It also adjusted its pricing so a given instance type is a near match to its AWS equivalent. In some cases, the price appears to be less than Amazon's, but Wasik said Joyent in some cases offers a slightly smaller resource, either in memory or storage, than Amazon and sought to maintain equivalent, not lower, pricing.

Joyent has added "reserve" pricing to its server instance pricing structure to match Amazon's Reserved Instance pricing. As with AWS, reserve pricing will commit the customer to a designated amount of use of a server type for either a one-year or three-year period, in exchange for a lower price.

Joyent's expansion of server types coincides with Dell's decision, announced Monday, to abandon the infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) market. Instead, it will resell Joyent's cloud services. "We're pleased with Dell's selection of us," Wasik said. Out of three named partners, Joyent is "the partner to be the public cloud provider," he said. Until Monday, Dell said it was operating two IaaS facilities of its own, planned to add more and expected to be a major converged hardware supplier to cloud service providers. The latter is still the case.

Even as a Dell partner, Joyent can't quite match Amazon Web Services' global spread. It operates data center facilities in Emeryville, Calif., Ashburn, Va., Las Vegas and Amsterdam, serving what Wasik termed "thousands" of customers, including large enterprises.

Wasik joined Joyent as CEO in November. His former company, Force10, was acquired by Dell in August 2011, and Wasik for a time served as head of Dell Force10 unit. With Joyent's designation as a prime Dell partner, it's clear he still maintains his connections inside Dell.

Joyent is known in some ways as the residual brain-trust of Sun Microsystems' Solaris expertise, where the open source version of Solaris operates as SmartOS. It's also known for employing the authors of and sponsoring Node.js, the increasingly popular server version of JavaScript that shows up in mobile applications. But Joyent also hosts workloads running Linux and Java, and thus is in a position to substitute for Amazon's EC2, if customers choose to switch allegiance.

"We're really oriented toward giving the customer a lot more choices," said Wasik. In other words, watch this space for how effectively Joyent IaaS competes with Amazon IaaS.

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