CloudServe shifts to wholesale market

CloudServe, which originally launched as a low-cost OpenSim region hosting provider, has shifted to serving the wholesale market instead.

Instead of selling regions to individuals, the company now focuses on serving grid owners and land resellers.

Frank Corsi

Frank Corsi

“We have been for a while,” said Frank Corsi, the company’s chief technology officer.

One reason is that CloudServe doesn’t want to compete with its own customers, he said.

And it’s a very different market.

“I’m not going to compete with the $3 land regions,” he said. “I’ve been there, done that, and it doesn’t pay. It’s more hassle than it’s worth.”

CloudServe currently rents 12 giant servers from OVH, located in data centers in France, Ireland, and Canada. Each server has 256 Gig of RAM and 40 CPU cores. They are organized into a private cloud, and customers then rent virtual servers inside that cloud.

CloudServe control panel for managing server details.

CloudServe control panel for managing server details. (Image courtesy CloudServe.)

This means that customers can use CloudServe’s management panel to instantly add RAM or CPU, scaling their capacity up and down as needed.

For example, someone could rent extra capacity for just one day.

“If you want a RAM increase for one day for a party you’re having, you can increase it for one day then turn it down,” said Corsi.

As a result of focusing on land resellers, CloudServe has added a great deal of flexibility to its packages. A customer can have some regions attached to Metropolis, other regions attached to OSgrid, some regions on ATEK, and other regions on their own private grid.

CloudServe control panel for managing users. (Image courtesy CloudServe.)

CloudServe control panel for managing users. (Image courtesy CloudServe.)

Or a customer can rent a single simulator and load it up with 20 empty regions. Then, when those regions are rented out, the customer can move them to their own simulator.

“It’s real cost effective in the long run for people who do many things,” he said.

CloudServe control panel for managing currency.

CloudServe control panel for managing currency. (Image courtesy CloudServe.)

In addition, since each customer has their own virtual server, they get their own RAM allotment, their own disk space, and there’s no interference with anything else.

CloudServe automatically does nightly OAR backups at whatever time the customer select, and there’s a system in place that restarts crashed simulators.

maria@hypergridbusiness.com'

Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China.

  • Alex Ferraris

    It is time to face it. CHEAP regions create more problems than solve them. It is not the way to go. First your scripts will go, second your textures. Plus a 3, ,5, 8 dollars region like Frank said does not pay the time and effort needed to maintain these regions.
    AviWorlds may be the most expensive grid but ONE thing I am certain. Only 10 regions or less per server. Quality and real power!
    I think that is the way to go. You just cant think you will have a good region that is LOCATED in a server that is processing and holding more than 50 other regions. That is what is needed in order for the grid who is offering 5 dollars regions to maintain the server cost effective.

    • I don’t agree with you.

      There’s room for everything.

      It’s just that companies selling to the low-end mass market have to be organized differently than companies selling to the wholesale market in bulk.

      To make money from selling $3 regions one at a time, you have to have a super simple interface, you have to automate EVERYTHING so you reduce your support costs to a minimum, you can’t provide any variety or flexibility because those all add to the cost. It’s just a different business model.

      In fact, the two can co-exist very well.

      For example, you could rent a large amount of land from CloudServe, so that the per-region rate is really low, then resell them to individual users. Which, in fact, is waht many people are doing.

      • Alex Ferraris

        Well I dont believe a region has to be free or cheap. It needs to be sort of an investment.
        But then again Im not worried about filling the grid with regions soecially cheap ones.
        If You are going to be looking to create a well balanced inworld economy one must think that cheap regions is not the correct way of doing it.
        All you say its needed in order to offer cheap regions in the end will not be so cheap for the grid owner.
        Plus you cannot compare 10 regions only per server with 60 regions in a server.

        • Frank Corsi

          What does a grid owner expect from a customer looking for free or cheap land? Will that customer buy from stores? Or will they contribute at all to the in world economy? Most times they will not. Also the cost to run a grid with staff and overhead does not justify offering low cost land options.

          • Frank — That depends on your business model.

            If you’ve got a way to convert a certain number of free residents to paying customers, then it might be worth it. And as land prices drop, the feasible conversion rate is going to get lower.

            Say, for example, you’ve got a role-playing grid, and you charge through the nose for game-related equipment (which is non-exportable so it’s unique to your grid, of course) then it could be worth it.

            Or a breedables grid. Or a gambling grid. It all depends on your monetization strategy.

            With most social grids as they’re set up right now, with most of the revenues coming from land rentals and just a little coming from currency exchange, then I’m with you — offering free land isn’t worth it.

        • Alex —

          Yes, there will always be people who will figure out a way to overcharge customers. For example, there’s a company in my town that sets up hand-coded HTML websites for small businesses, charges them a couple of thousand bucks to do it, then charges them AGAIN for every single change that they make. These are websites that those business owners — if they were Web savvy — could have set up for $20 on Blogger and had a million times more functionality, and get it done faster.

          After all, there are still people to pay their AOL subscriptions every month — even though they have cable or DSL broadband.

          Yes, it annoys me quite a bit, but I realize that there are people who would rather pay a substantial premium than do any of their own research.

          But don’t come here, to Hypergrid Business, and tell us that a region is “an investment.” It’s not an investment any more than a rented apartment is an investment. Maybe the furniture you put there is an investment — the stuff you build and buy. But not the rented land itself!

          Rented land is simply rented server space. Every 18 months, the cost of drops by half. Every 18 months.

          You don’t have to lower rates for your customers — that’s your prerogative.

          But anyone who Googles “OpenSim hosting” or “OpenSim prices” ends up on the HB hosting page — and they can instantly compare all the rates.

          There’s only so much you can offer in terms of more prims or better performance because you run into limits on the viewer side — there’s only so many prims you can see at once.

          So unless you’re offering something super special, this isn’t the appropriate place to argue for higher land prices.

    • “The era of cheap and free should stop and the era of QUALITY and POWER is here.” yes, I heard SL never has issues….so let’s all push pricing up to 300 or so………

      • Alex Ferraris

        Yes I agree.
        The region prices should not be like SLs ,
        But they should still have a value and quality plus power.

  • And to some renting regions for 3 bucks a month is only to help offset the costs not to make profit. I quite enjoy my place in the metaverse and could support if with no income from it but to help bring some real users and to offset cost a bit. This plan works already since I have advertised this prices. I have not sold any 3 dollar regions in fact I have sold 3×3 and 6×6 varr’s what a shock Maybe my prices for Varr are unresistable

    • They are! The varregion prices you’ve got are unique and super low. It almost makes me want to build something that requires a varregion… like a giant train set where the train goes through mountains, across rivers, and through cute little villages…

      or a sailing-themed build with lots of open ocean…

      or a space-battle sim…