Avnet Adds ParkMyCloud to Save 60% or More on AWS Costs

SaaS-based service, now available to partners directly and via distributors, spins down instances when not in use; Azure and Google are on tap.

Lorna Garey

August 29, 2016

4 Min Read
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Lorna GareyBeginning today, Avnet will offer ParkMyCloud SaaS-based scheduling automation. ParkMyCloud bills itself as an easy-to-use on/off switch for AWS EC2 instances and auto scaling groups — much like a sensor that switches a light off when no one is in the room.

ParkMyCloud is also distributed through SHI and has its own partner program with strategic, reseller and referral options. The year-old company has customers globally, from Canada to Taiwan, and is in talks with regional U.S. resellers. The service can be sold on a partner’s paper via integration with existing cloud optimization offerings.

ParkMyCloud's Jay ChapelCEO and founder Jay Chapel says he’s actively looking to engage the channel.

“We’ve heard from partners that our technology can help land them new customers,” he told Channel Partners. Chapel started his tech career as a channel manager and worked with IBM’s Tivoli sales team before moving to Ostrato, then starting ParkMyCloud.

The service works only with AWS now, but Chapel says support for Azure and Google cloud are coming by Q1 2017 in response to customer demand. After installation, the system runs analytics on a customer’s AWS environment to discover servers that should be “parked” and estimate how much money may be saved. Partners can also schedule pre-set on/off times from a dashboard.

Chapel says customers typically trim between 60 and 75 percent of AWS costs, with production shops saving less than a company with, say, developers who use AWS sporadically for testing.{ad}

“It can be a significant amount, that’s for sure,” said Chapel, citing customers that default to the “off” position and activate instances only when needed.

If you think Amazon must look at ParkMyCloud as costing it money, not so, said Chapel.

“We’re an AWS technology partner,” he notes, adding that his AWS account manager evangelizes the service. “Amazon has this approach to its customers that it helps them optimize their environments. As tools are added, the environments become …


… stickier. It’s harder to move off Amazon to other cloud services. They really do focus on driving optimization.”

Amazon itself offers AWS optimization and cost-cutting tools like Data Pipeline and EC2 Reserved Instances and Spot Instances — all to help lessen the sticker shock that can set in as use of cloud grows. 451 Research’s current Cloud Price Index says that while public cloud costs dropped an average of 6 percent between October 2015 and this month, that decrease isn’t universal. Object storage pricing, for example, has remained at the same level for 18 months, with no relief in sight.

ParkMyCloud pricing starts at $1 per month per instance up to 29 instances; thereafter it’s $3 per month per instance.

“The average cost of an instance per month in our platform is around $55,” said Chapel. It’s difficult to estimate a typical EC2 cost given the myriad of options, but one reference customer, audio and video technology company Avid, reduced its annual AWS spending by $55,000.

For partners, sales margins on the service are around 20 to 30 percent.

“We want to be channel-friendly,” said Chapel. “We’re doing webinars, we’re doing regional-based lead sharing and hoping to do some regional events as we build up our channel program.”

He says that the sweet spot for partners is customers with at least 100 to 150 AWS instances, but the company has direct subscribers with as few as six instances. The largest customer runs between 6,000 and 9,000 instances per month.

The platform is self-service; anyone can begin a free trial. However, Chapel says that as customer engagements get larger and more complex, he’s actively looking to bring in partners. “We’ll ask, ‘Are you working with a partner?'” he said. “If so, we’ll reach out.”

Optimization isn’t a new idea — large AWS customers have always written scripts to shut down instances when not in use. But as an environment grows, that home-grown approach becomes cumbersome, especially for customers that want to do authentication and governance.

“It’s a pretty simple sale,” says Chapel. “We’ve heard from partners that this is the tip of the spear.”

Follow editor in chief @LornaGarey on Twitter.

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