ParkMyCloud Release: 70x Faster, Sequenced Start/Stop, & More!

We just released a new version of ParkMyCloud that’s jam-packed with new capabilities and features! Here’s what’s new.

More than 70x Faster

Previously, ParkMyCloud ingested instances from AWS every 6 hours – which suited most purposes, but meant there was a lag in displaying new instances. Now, ParkMyCloud will auto-ingest from AWS every 5 minutes. This has a few benefits: parking is now more tightly enforced, instance state changes made outside of ParkMyCloud (e.g. directly changed in the AWS console) will be detected within 1 minute, and the entire orchestration engine is more stable and reliable.

Resource Groups for Sequenced Start/Stop

logicalgroup1You can now combine your instances in what we call “Logical Groups” for ease of management. You can park a group as if it were a single instance.

Additionally, you can sequence the order in which you want instances in a group to start and stop, providing configurable delays.

This feature grew directly from user feedback, because of the challenges they have with some database and other legacy applications.  We’re happy to deliver!

Fresh, Compact Dashboard

The dashboard has been redesigned, with new capabilities, including vastly improved search filtering (can now filter by schedules and schedule status, auto scaling groups, logical groups, and more).logicalgroup2

You can also now extend a parking calendar “snooze”. Read more about how our customers take advantage of the snooze feature, and more!

 

 

 

 

To get the full impact of the fresh, fast ParkMyCloud, try it for yourself with a free 30-day trial! Get started here.

ParkMyCloud Raises Series Seed Funding Round

ParkMyCloud Customers, Future Customers, Friends, and Fans,

I am happy to share with you that ParkMyCloud has raised a Series Seed funding round of $1.65 million to grow our cost optimization platform. (Official press release here.)

cofounderscapitalWe’re pleased to partner with Cofounders Capital, an early-stage seed fund focused on software ventures out of the Research Triangle area of North Carolina, as well as several individual investors who contributed to the round, to bring you the best product that ParkMyCloud can offer. We’re privileged to have these startup and SaaS experts on our team as we grow and expand.

This round allows us to bring the cost savings and automation that our customers already enjoy to even more of AWS’s 1 million customers, while continually improving the breadth of ParkMyCloud’s features and user experience. We also look forward to adding support for additional cloud service providers, including Microsoft Azure and Google Compute Engine, in the coming months.

I want to give a special shout-out to our existing customers, who have been extremely helpful and provided excellent feedback about the product, their experiences and where we should focus on adding value. Thanks, all.

I’ll also note that the success our customers have achieved with ParkMyCloud so far is remarkable. The “almost $800,000 saved” by our customers that we quoted in our press release is, amazingly, already out of date – over $800,000 has now been saved, and that’s just the beginning. Our customers’ average ROI of 1700% is another number we’re proud of.

The PMC team is ready to hit the ground running this fall. In the famous words of Larry the Cable Guy… let’s git ‘er done.

Cheers,

Jay

Why ParkMyCloud Uses ParkMyCloud: A Story of the Importance of Drinking Your Own Champagne

drinking-our-own-champagneI think most people can agree that eating your own dog food – or drinking your own champagne, to the glass-half-full crowd – is a hallmark of a business that has created a successful product. The opposite is clearly true: when Alan Mullaly was brought in to Ford, he knew there was a problem when he was picked up from the airport in a Land Rover rather than a Ford car – and when he couldn’t find a single Ford vehicle in the executive parking garage.

For those of us in the software world, there’s another piece to that picture. To tell you how we discovered this for ourselves, I’m going to tell you a story.

It was six weeks after ParkMyCloud’s founding. We had the very first beta version of the product at our fingertips – but before sending it out to beta testers, we gathered the ParkMyCloud team in a conference room to do a bit of usability testing for ourselves. I created a ParkMyCloud user account and hooked up our AWS account so there would be instances to display.

“Now try it out, and let me know if you see any problems,” I told the group.

Heads down, focused on laptops, everyone diligently began to click around, playing with the first generation dashboard and parking schedule interface. For a moment, the room was quiet. Then a chorus went around.

“Hey, what happened?”

“Is anyone else getting this error?”

All at once, everyone around the table lost access to the application. It was gone. For a minute, we were left scratching our heads.

“Okay, what was everyone doing just before it shut down? Did anyone park anything?”

Finally, a sheepish marketing contractor spoke up. “I may have parked an instance.”

As it turned out, he had parked a production server. In particular, the production server running the ParkMyCloud application. D’oh!

Apparently, we needed governance. And we needed it fast. We got to work, and soon after, we released a version of ParkMyCloud that allowed for multiple users and teams for each ParkMyCloud account, all governed with role-based access control (RBAC).

We still use those roles today (incidentally, the “demo” team does not have access to production servers).

The lesson here is that using your application for yourself uncovers important usability issues. Some of these can’t be discovered as quickly as the one above, but only over time – like awkward flows, and reports that skip over meaningful data.

But of course, we also get the same benefits that the product gives to our customers – like saving money. In fact, after the approach was suggested to us by one of our customers, we adopted an “always off” schedule for ourselves. All of our non-production servers are parked 24×7. When our developers need to use them, they log in to ParkMyCloud and “snooze” the schedules for the length of time they need to use them.

This eliminates the need for central schedules, which works especially well for our multi-time-zone development team. Using this schedule, we save about 81% on our non-production servers.

I would encourage anyone who creates products to lead by example and use your product internally — and I assure potential ParkMyCloud customers that we drink our own champagne every day.

ParkMyCloud selected as one of the 20 Most Promising Cloud Solution Providers 2016 by CIOReview

Cloud-CIO-Review-logo-2016We are happy to share that ParkMyCloud has earned a place in the list of CIOReview’s 20 Most Promising Cloud Solution Providers 2016, an annual listing of 20 companies that are at the forefront of providing cloud solutions and impacting the marketplace.

“The companies selected for our 20 Most Promising Cloud Solution Providers 2016 list are an elite group of companies whose products and solutions are changing their respective industries,” said Jeevan George, Managing Editor of CIOReview. “We are proud to feature ParkMyCloud in this edition for its range of revolutionary solutions that is setting a new benchmark in the cloud arena.”

An article on CIO Review highlights how ParkMyCloud helps users optimize cloud computing costs.

About half of AWS EC2 instances support non-production workloads, such as development, testing, staging, and QA, and can be turned off at night and on weekends when developers go home. Yet most companies leave them running 24×7.

Read the full article on CIO Review.

ParkMyCloud Tutorial Session – August 2016

Last week, Dale (ParkMyCloud CTO) held a tutorial web session to share (1) how to get started with ParkMyCloud, (2) what’s new in the platform, and (3) the best ways to use ParkMyCloud in your environment, including best practices from several of our customers.

If you missed it, not to worry. Here’s a recording of the session, with links to points of interest below.

[2:12] Demo begins

[6:33] ParkMyCloud dashboard

[7:40] Automatic parking recommendations

[9:08] How to park instances

[9:24] How to create custom parking schedules

[11:57] Dashboard tour

[14:56] How to create teams and overview of roles

[19:09] How to add multiple AWS accounts to a ParkMyCloud account (IAM Roles method)

[23:13] How to display Auto Scaling Groups on the PMC dashboard

[25:15] How to move instances between teams

[26:20] Reports – how to download reports on your usage and savings

[29:11] What Team Leads will see on their dashboards

[31:28] Customer use case: the Always Parked Schedule

[35:01] What Team Members see on their dashboards

[36:44] What Purchasing role team members see in ParkMyCloud & how to pay

[41:06] Viewer question: Will you support an “invite” format for new users in the future?

[42:15] Viewer question: What is the pricing of ParkMyCloud?

[43:07] Viewer question: How many AWS accounts can you manage in your ParkMyCloud account?

 

ParkMyCloud Selected as Top 10 Cloud Application Startup 2016

CRN the channel co logoWe’re happy to share that CRN has selected ParkMyCloud as one of the Top 10 Cloud Application Startups of 2016 (so far)!

At the halfway mark of each year, CRN takes a look back at the previous six months in the channel and throughout the IT world. The Cloud Application Startups category seeks Software as a Service (SaaS) applications offering solutions that broaden notions of what can be achieved by deploying applications in the cloud while solving diverse real-world problems for all types of business users.

ParkMyCloud was selected for our ability to slash AWS bills by more than 60 percent, through our simple app with no up-front costs. 

 

cloud-it-logoAlso this week, our CTO Dale Wickizer published an article on Cloud IT, “Four Ways to Control AWS Spend“:

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has grown immensely and recently cracked a $10 billion annual run rate. This means AWS is growing 70 percent year-over-year, which is staggering for a company of their size. Moreover, AWS recently doubled their compute power and now boasts 10 times more power than their nearest 14 competitors combined.

Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) makes up nearly 70 percent of AWS’s revenue. That is almost $7 billion, and it is growing at 88 percent year-over-year. A little over half of that compute power supports nonproduction workloads, such as development, testing, QA, staging, training and sandbox environments. Many of these environments run 24 x 7, even though they are not being used. It would be like you leaving your car running all the time, even when it’s at home in your garage, which is insane. 

So how can companies unlock savings from these non-production environments? Here are four key ways…

Read the full article on Cloud IT.

 

Cheers & happy parking!