ElasticHosts founder Richard Davies launched another container-focused venture this week – Springs.io, a pay-as-you-use cloud service targeted primarily at Linux developers. Davies told BCN that while the volume around Docker and other container technologies is high, which is encouraging, their uptake will ultimately depend on how providers balance simplicity with performance.
Springs.io is a spinoff of Davies’ other venture, ElasticHosts, which still uses Linux containers but operates more like a traditional infrastructure as a service provider (customers need to subscribe to the service for set periods).
“We have been listening to the market and what we are hearing is that people are craving simplicity,” Davies said. “They just want to be able to sign up to a service without having to choose instance sizes or worry about over-paying, just as you would with your gas or electricity.”
The benefit containers offer over traditional virtualisation platforms is that they scale more closely in line with the resources an application needs, and they scale much more quickly. But most cloud services are provisioned in fixed virtual and / or physical increments that can only scale by adding or subtracting fixed-size VMs or hardware or both. This, Davies said, leads to massive amounts of waste in terms of asset utilisation (for the provider) and cost (for the consumer). It’s a ‘lost-lose’.
Springs.io uses the same underlying technologies as Docker and other Linux containers (cgroups, namespaces), but whereas they are mostly application containers with a focus on simplifying portability and managing dependencies in micro-services architecture, Springs.io offers operating system containers with a focus on usage-based billing and reactive auto-scaling.
Where most container as a service providers lean heavily upon scripting for scaling and deployment , or run containers within virtual machines, Springs.io supplies auto-scaling for load straight out of the box and requires no user API calls or JSON-juggling for their management or monitoring.
“Docker is exciting to developers struggling with shipping applications, we believe Springs.io is exciting to devops and sysadmins that want simple scaling for a reasonable price,” Davies.