Gandi Cloud servers in 2020: the same vision but new ambitions

Mar 14, 2020  - written by  in Cloud

Introduction

Dear Gandi Cloud customers,

In 2008, Gandi was among the first to offer virtual machines (VMs) available on demand that could be resized as desired. This is what we today call Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), which we continue to offer via our Gandi Cloud service. Even if today the market is dominated by a few giants, the virtual machine service Gandi imagined more than 10 years ago is still one of the most flexible out there.

These past months, the redesign of our environment and our user interfaces has taken a considerable amount of time. And as a result, the development of new features has suffered. For those who’ve been our Cloud customers throughout, we haven’t forgotten you, and we thank you for the trust you place in us.

Despite all that, while backtracking a bit, on the destination towards which we wish to go, and following the route left for us to reach it, we are keeping the same global vision as when we launched Gandi Cloud ten years ago—we want to offer you quality service, with the most flexibility and simplicity as possible, with the transparency that’s Gandi’s signature for the past 20 years.

From now on, there are many options available to us and we want to take a moment to share with you our vision, the existing Gandi Public Cloud possibilities, and to let you know about some of the future developments to come in the short and long term.

Our vision and our mission

Our vision

If we should adapt to new demands and technologies, our desire is to continue to offer an alternative, flexible, simple, and open solution.

  • Alternative by integrating into the development and roll-out of our services—as well as in their use—the values of transparency, respect, and engagement at the heart of Gandi for the past 20 years (#Nobullshit)
  • Flexible, by giving you the maximum amount of freedom to resize your resources and your infrastructure according to your actual needs
  • Simple, by making the access to our services, their use, and their billing as simple as possible. Because yes, naturally, the administration of servers and infrastructure is not something everyone has the knowledge and experience to do
  • Open, by integrating the latest tools and technology standards, by supporting and being engaged with free tools and open source projects

These last two points will guide us significantly in our development work over the next few months.

Our mission

Through our Cloud/IaaS service, our mission is to provide flexible virtual machines, adapted to the needs of enterprises that develop and deploy applications and internet sites.

We consider it our calling to provide a quality alternative that upholds the values that have guided Gandi for more than 20 years. That’s why this year we still have a lot of work to do around standardizing the technologies that underlie our Cloud service in order to bring them in line with current technological standards in the community.

We’ll be doing this over the course of the next few months and in parallel we’ll be working on other feature upgrades and usability improvements.

Features of Gandi Cloud today

Ultra flexibility as priority

Change CPU/RAM configuration at will

  • RAM, from 256 MB to 24 GB, by increments of 256 MB—adjust the amount of memory that you want in order to have an appropriately sized machine but not an overpowered one
  • CPU, from 1 to 16 cores by increment of 1 core only, and on demand. You can change the number of CPU cores for a few hours only in order to absorb a spike in traffic on your site for example

Add up to 8 volumes to your server

On the management of disks, we’re looking to also offer the maximum versatility. To that end, you can:

  • Create a volume and expand it up to 2 TB.
  • Attach it to a server, or even detach it in order to attach it to another server located in the same datacenter.
  • Attach up to 8 volumes on a single server
  • On each volume, activate snapshots to store previous versions of your data, in order to protect yourself from any mistakes. 3 options for automatic snapshots are possible. It’s also possible to take an on-the-fly snapshot to save a precise moment

Floating public IPs: IPv4 and IPv6

You can associate a Gandi Cloud server to up to 4 public IPs.

IPv4 addresses are billed, but IPv6 are free. You can also choose to use only IPv6 adresses for your server. IPs float in the same datacenter. That means you can move an IP address from one IP (v4 or v6) to another.

Private networks: Free and included with your servers

By implementing a private network between certain of your servers, you can isolate certain services or machines from the internet, in order to guarantee the highest level of security.

Today the private network is included with any Gandi Cloud server totally free of charge. The only condition being that the servers will need to be in the same datacenter.

Developments to come

Short term

Visibility of your consumption

We should work on showing costs of Cloud resources, in order to be more transparent, and to thereby give you ore information in order to understand and regulate your usage so that it matches your needs as closely as possible.

Create a server with an entirely personalized configuration

Even if it’s already possible to completely modify the configuration of any server created from a template offered at the point of creation, we are going to implement the option to personalize the server at the point of creation itself.

Possibility to test a Gandi Cloud server for free

We’re going to implement a system of free trails on our Cloud servers. To limit the risk of abuse, we’ll nonetheless be restricting this to manual, human-verified requests.

Volume repulsion at creation?

This feature existed as a “best effort” the v4 version of the Cloud service. It was very infrequently used, and we made the choice to remove it from the interface in v5. In the end, it’s not out of the question to offer this again. If you found it useful, please let us know on the Gandi Cloud forum: https://talk.gandi.cloud/

Increasing maximum RAM on servers

Without offering servers up to 1 TB of RAM, we’re going to increase the maximum capacity of servers (today at 24 GB) in order to respond to changes in usage and needs.

Medium term

Integration in v5 of our load balancing solution

We have our own caching and load balancing solution that utilizes the couple Varnish/HAProxy. Present as a “WebAcc” resource in the Cloud v4 interface, we’ll integrate it on the Cloud v5 platform in the coming months. This option will let you improve the availability of your services and to simplify their maintenance.

Moving towards OpenStack

Several weeks ago, we started the considerable work required to move our Cloud service infrastructure towards OpenStack. Today, OpenStack is the open source standard for the deployment and management of Cloud resources. By using this new standard, we can:

  • Let you deploy a VM with your own VM images and let you use standard tools to manage and provision your VMs (for example Terraform)
  • Implement a billing system that’s more refined and more predictable and give you the choice of how to consume your Cloud service
  • Construct new services, containers, or even container infrastructures on demande…

This transition requires a few more months of work and will be transparent for customers in the first instance. That will allow us to easily integrate you in the current ecosystem of Cloud tools and to more easily and quickly develop new solutions and features.

Conclusion

There are many challenges and bright prospects for Gandi Cloud in 2020 and even after!

The above list is not exhaustive, so please do not hesitate to:

  • Come share your perspective on our discussion platform:https://talk.gandi.cloud/
  • Send us your feedback, whether positive or negative (as lon as you keep it constructive!)
  • Send us your ideas and the problems you encounter
  • Finally, check out the new Gandi Cloud landing page: https://www.gandi.net/en/cloud

The Gandi Cloud team