The Appbox +Elastic - Bytesized Hosting

The Appbox +Elastic

Hey guys,

Today I'm happy to announce that after months of hard work I can introduce the newest member in the Appbox family: The Appbox +Elastic. This plan is a bit different from our normal setup so please bare with me while I explain the origins. If you are not interested skip to "The how".

The why

Right now most providers out there, us including, offer plans that are pretty static. Plans are static because we always optimise for price per GB and disk i/o performance. We take a server, we take a harddisk, cut it a few pieces and divide the price among the pieces. We can only create 5 or so pieces at max before we risk overloading the disk. If you want more storage you simply take two pieces of the disk to double the specs and the price. This makes the offers pretty rigid. Because of this the most often request has been 'I don't need double the space can I just upgrade with 100GB?' or 'Can I double my space without upgrading the bandwidth or CPU cores?'. In order to solve these issues we created the +Elastic that offers just that. The flexibility to create an elastic plan that can change depending on your requirements.

The what

The Appbox +Elastic has what we call a "base plan". At the time of writing this base comes with 200GB of storage 0.5TB of bandwidth and one transcode core for Plex for 8 EUR. Now the magic behind +Elastic plan comes in with the addon modules. With these addons you can create an account with 300GB storage and 10TB upload. Or a 8TB storage with 1TB and 12 CPU cores. All the stats can be modified at any time so if your requirements change so can your account. The only technical limitation I haven't beaten yet is that right now you can't reduce the storage yet but I hope to conquer this in the coming weeks.

But that's not all! The +Elastic runs on a hybrid solution where we combine SSDs with normal platter harddrives. Active files will be kept on the SSDs giving you a little extra punch without being restricted to the SSD small storage size.

Files on these plans will be stored redundant in a RAID-6 like setup. This means that two disks can be lost before your files become at risk. This feature is a bit controversial. Not everybody cares the same amount about their files since we are usually a second backup location instead of a primary one. Even still, I decided to do this anyway because of two reasons:

  • We want our service to be trusted enough to be the primary backup location;
  • It helps improve our service level. Right now a dead disk means an unhappy email to our members. Most users understand but they are never happy about it. It also causes downtime while we replace the disk or sometimes do the reinstallation. Both of these issues are solved with the built in redundancy.

The beta

The +Elastic plan is still in Beta testing and while I expect everything to work well, as we had two Alpha versions, things might still need some tweaking. I also gave this plan a chance to prove itself until August at which point I will decide if it has a future.

All these extra features come with an additional cost, and based on the Beta stage we will see if there is room for improvement. You can always grab one of our pre-built Appbox plans.

I believe the +Elastic plan is the future, it is the start of a professionalization that the industry needs.

The how

The beta for the +Elastic is available right now. You can find the +Elastic on our plans page:

On top of everything Appbox has to offer, the +Elastic beta offers the additional features:

  • Customize an account to your specifications;
  • SSD/HDD hybrid for increased performance;
  • Redundant storage;
  • 4Gbit connection;

This plan starts at 8 EUR.

In closing

I believe that it is a huge risk building a platform like this in an industry where the cheapest boxes are usually the most popular. I, however, want to build the best experience you can have. The Appbox itself was the first step towards achieving this goal and the +Elastic is the logical evolution. I hope this gamble pays off, worst case I tried something new and failed.

Keep rocking and see you on the +Elastic plan.




Please sign-up for an account to join the discussion.