To boldly sell cloud where you’ve never sold before…

Jim Freeman

Jim Freeman
Director, Presales & Architecture

You may have heard of the OnApp Federation.  It’s a global network of OnApp cloud and CDN providers, connected together by a single marketplace that allows each member to buy and sell compute and CDN capacity.

But, did you know we have customers massively subsidizing their cloud management costs from the money they make through Federation sales?

This could be you!



The Federation? It sounds very Star Trek…

The OnApp Federation (this is not what Trekkers mean by "federation space")It is! It’s just like Star Trek’s United Federation of Planets, except the different races are cloud providers, the different planets are, ah, datacenters maybe? Perhaps the starships are workloads, warping between different Federation locations…

Ok, so it’s not exactly the same, but it does share the same basic principles of any kind of federation. Each member of the Federation is an independent OnApp cloud or CDN provider, offering their own mix of services under their own brand, using their local cloud infrastructure.

But, at the same time, they can take advantage of each other’s resources, buying capacity from other members, and selling capacity to other members.

Federation members buy capacity to add scale and reach to their cloud: there are hundreds of different locations across the world. Through the Federation you can white label those resources and create a truly global public cloud, without the CAPEX you’d need to compete with hyperscale clouds like AWS, Azure and GCP.

They sell capacity to monetize spare resources. With Federation sales you can make make a serious dent in the cost of running your cloud platform in the first place.

How do you sell via the Federation?

Let’s say you have a cloud in Tokyo, Japan and you notice, thanks to OnApp usage trends, that you are only running at 50% capacity. That’s a lot of infrastructure you’re running, consuming power, without you being able to monetize it.

So, in your OnApp control panel, you can assign this infrastructure to a ‘federated’ zone in one of three pricing tiers. You publish the zone to the OnApp Federation – again, all through the OnApp UI – and other OnApp service providers can buy it. They can then create virtual machines on your infrastructure, and you then get paid for the resources consumed.

With just a few clicks in your OnApp control panel, you can publish one or more of your compute zones on the public marketplace and monetize your infrastructure with zero sales and marketing effort.

So what about buying….?

A great example here would be if you are a service provider in the UK, but one of your customers has requested some resources in South America. The CAPEX needed to rent data center space, buy servers, networking equipment and bandwidth will be very high – but with the OnApp Federation, none of that effort is needed.

You can maximize your ROI by purchasing through other OnApp service providers in South America, so your customers can ‘self serve’ resources there, the same way they do in your local UK cloud.

Through the OnApp UI, you can view a map of the world and see all available locations to subscribe to. With a few clicks, you subscribe to a location, white label the names of the Compute, Network & Storage zones, add the location to your billing plan or bucket, and then your customers can provision resources in any of your subscribed locations.


But what if I don’t want to publish zones on a public marketplace…?

No problem! You can also create a private federation between your own clouds. Let’s say you had one cloud in London and one in New York: you can, via trust tokens, allow each control panel to sell resources from the other without your clients having to log into a different control panel – and without other providers being able to see or consume your infrastructure. Again, it’s all easy to set up within the OnApp UI.

What about CDN?

It works for CDN too! In fact, the CDN marketplace came about first, and enabled us to scale out for compute as well. The OnApp CDN Federation has over 170 CDN PoPs in 113 different cities worldwide, allowing you to create a global public or private CDN solution for use internally, or for your customers.

Is that all there is to it? Actually, no…

What we’ve been looking at today is the commercial story for the Federation, from the service provider viewpoint. However, there’s something even more exciting that the OnApp Federation enables – workload fluidity across clouds. But that’s a topic for another post…

How to get started?

Firstly, get in touch with your account manager and they can enable the Federation on your license, and get you ready to start buying and selling. To ensure everyone has a great experience, we require seller clouds to meet some prerequisites (that’s why we have three different pricing tiers). You can find full documentation on our documentation portal.

If you’re new to OnApp and want to see OnApp cloud, CDN and the Federation in action… get in touch for a demo. Thanks!