There are many providers vying for cloud supremacy. Amazon EC2 is a favorite of many but that doesn’t mean others are not interested in taking a share of the market. The internet search giant is trying to dominate even in the cloud. Google Compute Engine is what some will call an alternative to Amazon’s EC2. As in cases like this, it is normal for people to establish comparisons. However, there is more to life in the IaaS world than just offering virtual servers in the cloud.
There are a lot of technology companies out there that the general public doesn’t even know about. These types of companies often offer services geared towards other corporations and do not sell directly to end users. Most people with computers will know about Microsoft but very few would have heard about Joyent. If you are not into cloud computing or if you are not in search of alternatives to Amazon EC2 cloud, you would know nothing about Joyent. That said, the company has been around for about 10 years and that says a lot when you think that most startups die off only after a few years in operation.
Initially, Joyent specialized in web hosting and through merger and acquisition, it has grown into a cloud infrastructure based entity.
Joyent offers three main products: Compute Service, Manta Storage Service, and Private Cloud.
This is the service that allows you to buy a virtual server. This is similar to Amazon Web Service. You have the option to choose either a Linux, SmartOS, or a Windows server. This is a great option for those who might want to setup a server environment running multiple Operating Systems. There is no need to buy hardware and worry about future upgrades. All you need is to purchase the virtual server and scale up as the need arises. Pricing for the entry level server starts at $0.020 per hour. Windows servers are more expensive to run and there is a good reason for that.
Manta Storage Service
This is like having a personalized Google search with more intelligence. You are able to automate stored data and run analysis on the data. The service allows those who are familiar with Python, Perl, Ruby, Java, grep, and awk to drill down and get information from big data. Developers will be pleased to know that they don’t have to learn a new programming or scripting language in order to interact with Manta Storage Service. You can imagine many use cases for this service. You have a lot of data, you write a program to analyze and produce meaningful results. Once you are done, you can move on without worrying about what to do with your hardware. For those who want to run a sequences of data analysis for a determined period of time, this can help predict cost. This cloud based data crunching tool is great for prototyping and short term projects. There is of course nothing stopping you from adopting this service as a permanent solution.
This is another product by Joyent for those who might be worried about the inherent security issues of running in a public cloud. The company also offers the possibility of a hybrid solution where you can keep some of you data on-premise. You will also be able to manage your system using Joyent cloud management solution. This is similar to what most cloud IaaS and PaaS offer.
One of the great things about Joyent is that it provides an alternative to those who might be looking for cloud solutions and who might not want to go with Amazon Web Services or Google Compute Engine.
The company also supports open source initiatives and that can only help nurture new ideas and maybe bring something new to the cloud.