Cloud hosting software developer OnApp announced Wednesday that it has released a free version of its platform for building infrastructure-as-a-service cloud hosting environments, making it possible for hosting providers and other users to try building a cloud environment without any up-front investment.
The free version of OnApp is available for environments of up to 16 cores.
On Tuesday, at World Hosting Days, OnApp announced that it had launched a new SAN storage software component for its platform, which also includes the IaaS software and a content delivery network system.
A free entry-level version makes OnApp, already a popular cloud hosting software platform, a more attractive option for hosting providers looking to start small when launching a cloud hosting service.
In a conversation with the WHIR at World Hosting Days in Germany, chief visionary officer Carlos Rego says OnApp’s free version is also aimed at attracting small-volume users with tight budgetary restrictions, such as university students, looking to build cloud infrastructure for the first time.
Users in that circumstance tend to go with open source tools, which, in the cloud hosting space, would likely mean OpenStack.
If such a user has an opportunity to get comfortable with OnApp for free, says Rego, they’re more likely to regard it as an option at some later date when, for instance, they might be working at an organization with some larger-volume requirements for building a cloud.
Of course, a commercial cloud hosting solution built on the free version of the tool certainly has the potential to grow beyond the 16-core limit, creating another paying OnApp customer. In the press release, the company says the system is designed to make it simple for cloud hosting providers to move from the free version to a paid version.
“Our mission has always been to remove entry barriers to the cloud, and the free version of OnApp Cloud is the next logical step,” says OnApp CEO Ditlev Bredahl, quoted in the press release. “There are other ‘free’ platforms, of course, but there are three crucial differences with OnApp: it’s a technology proven in more than 1,000 cloud deployments worldwide, including hundreds of service providers; it doesn’t require months of development to get production ready; and you can upgrade to 24×7 support whenever you need to.”
According to the announcement, support for the free version is provided via the OnApp forums. Support from OnApp itself is another reason a user might migrate to the paid version.
Talk back: how key is cost in you considerations of a cloud hosting platform? Are you more likely to try OnApp now that there’s a free version? Let us know in the comments section.