When the team behind Civo launched an OpenStack-based cloud for our sister company LCN.com, we always knew that we wanted our own one too! We're the jealous younger sister!

After their success and the stability of their platform over the past year, we set off in building our own. Where we differ from LCN is in both our target market and the way we'll be running the offering. So let's explain both those points and hopefully it'll become clear why we're different to other cloud providers.

It's important to make clear from the start that this blog will be written by the techies for the techies! While we have an excellent marketing department, they won't be getting their hands on this section - so we're looking forward to having some fun here!

Who are we looking for

As a company with a really strong percentage of technical developers on staff, our target market is developers, devops people, techies of all sorts. There are companies out there offering all possible features and services and have lost track of truly supporting a single market properly, trying to offer every possible feature and overwhelming everyone with choices and clutter. So, we've decided to focus on a market that is just the same as us.

We've built a nice wrapper API around OpenStack's API so you can easily script builds, a command line client and a modern clean dashboard that tries to get out of your way and let you get the job done.

Finally, our plan is that the live chat facility will always be manned by absolutely technical people. The CTO, developers and ops guys (and some that are definitely devops) will be answering your queries and helping with any problems you're having.

How will we run it differently

We feel there are two primary differences in how we'll operate compared to other cloud hosting providers: 1) transparency in how things work, if/when there are problems and what our plans are, 2) committing to building the features our users want - publicly.

So, as our first offering of transparency to the community we'd like to talk a little about our infrastructure, it's not to say that it will always be this, but it's how we're starting out. We run on Dell servers 100% at the moment. We've already said we use OpenStack; we're currently running the Mitaka release deployed with OpenStack Ansible. We're planning on keeping this up to date as much as possible, but there are current showstoppers in OpenStack Newton that are preventing the upgrade

Our Nova compute nodes have 20 physical cores in each (E5-2650) and 196GB of RAM. They have fully SSD storage in them - 5.5TB of usable space running in a RAID 50 configuration (for the optimum balance of speed and stability). These are backed to a Ceph cluster that keeps three copies of all the data (so effectively there's four copies of each instance's disk - one on the local CPU in the compute node and three in Ceph).

Our internal network is 100% 10GbE split across multiple networks for different purposes. We connect to the internet via world-class connectivity provided by Ai Networks and host our kit in ServerChoice's custom datacentre.

Get involved

Having gone through a successful alpha process, we're looking for the first beta testers - to be known as our Civo Club 100. We've accepted some people already, but at the time of writing there are still more places to be had.

We ask for regular feedback from you - what you like, what you don't like, what would you like us to add - and in exchange we'll give Club 100 members £20/month credit to spend on our services for life!

We look forward to working together with you, our customers, in building the best developer-focused platform in the world!