Atomia + OpenStack: A complete solution for selling cloud hosting
We here at Atomia are big fans of OpenStack and have been for a long time. It’s been fascinating to see the project grow and evolve into what is today a mature, very powerful cloud hosting software stack. Now with the arrival of the 13th OpenStack release, Mitaka, we thought a reminder of what Atomia adds to OpenStack would be in order.
This blog post will give you an overview of how Atomia’s software lets you automate billing, customer management and provisioning for OpenStack, turning it into a complete solution for selling cloud hosting. We will also list some of the other business benefits you get by using Atomia.
Quick info about OpenStack, and what Atomia adds
OpenStack is a powerful open source software for creating public and private clouds. As a cloud hosting provider, you can install OpenStack on your own infrastructure and immediately have access to state-of-the-art cloud hosting features. Since it’s a very active project with thousands of developers and hundreds of supporting companies, you get a lot for free.
OpenStack is a fantastic cloud software stack, but it it does not give you a complete solution for running an effective cloud business. For example, it doesn’t have a billing system, or a billing portal for end users, or service automation. This is where Atomia comes in, adding all the missing pieces and then some.
By combining OpenStack and Atomia you get a complete solution for running a cloud hosting business on your own infrastructure.
Atomia works with all OpenStack distributions. You can use standard OpenStack, or one of the custom distributions from companies such as Canonical (Ubuntu OpenStack), Huawei, Red Hat, etc. This is possible because we use the OpenStack APIs, which are always the same.
Atomia always supports the latest version of OpenStack. OpenStack is under rapid development and — just like Atomia — has two major releases every year. We always make sure we support new OpenStack releases from day one.
Benefits of adding Atomia to OpenStack
We are big believers in the power of automation. Our software adds so much automation that your business will practically run itself.
All this automation comes with significant benefits:
- You drastically reduce the risk of manual mistakes.
- You reduce the cost of running your platform.
- You end up with fewer bottlenecks in your organization.
The end results are happier end users and a more cost-effective business, whether you’re an ISP, a hosting provider, or a telco that wants to offer cloud and hosting services to your end users.
By installing Atomia on your servers you get a massive feature set that your business can benefit from, all of them centered around the efficient running of a hosting business and all the needs related to that. We tend to say that Atomia gives you a complete solution, and we’re not exaggerating. Atomia gives you features such as:
- A self-serve billing portal for end users, putting less strain on your support.
- An online storefront for selling your services, easily integrated with your website or used as a stand-alone signup page.
- A powerful admin control panel for your staff.
- An elegant cloud control panel for selling storage and VPS.
- Automated invoices. No more manual billing tasks taking up valuable time and resources.
- Accept payments easily from all over the world:
- Via credit card.
- Via payment gateways such as Paypal, Worldpay, Adyen, Dibs, Authorize.net and more.
- Via wire transfers.
- Support for multiple currencies.
- Reseller support.
- Support for multiple brands.
- Use a payment model that fits your business
- Charge for usage (like Amazon Web Services).
- Charge for subscriptions (like for example “traditional” VPS hosting).
- A mix of the above.
- The ability to bundle services and products.
- Automated provisioning of virtual machines and services, i.e. service automation.
- Support for a large number of value-add services such as
- Email hosting
- DNS hosting
- Domain names
- SSL certificates
- The option to offer both shared hosting and cloud hosting.
Atomia is white-label software. You can easily customize and brand all customer-facing elements.
Virtual Data Centers vs VPS hosting
With Atomia and OpenStack, there are two main approaches to selling cloud hosting:
- Virtual data centers, i.e. private clouds. Your customers get their own OpenStack tenant with full access to all OpenStack features and the OpenStack Horizon GUI for advanced cloud management.
- Simplified cloud/VPS hosting, where your users get access to an elegant cloud control panel provided by Atomia.
In both cases, Atomia automates your billing and provisioning, and gives your end users access to a self-serve billing portal.
This is all running on your infrastructure, so you are in full control.
Getting up and running is easy
Atomia is that rare enterprise-level software that you can actually install and configure yourself. You don’t need expensive consultants and tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars in setup fees.
Our software can easily be installed on a few of virtual machines in your existing OpenStack cloud, and from there integrates with your OpenStack installation via the standard OpenStack APIs.
The steps go like this:
- Install OpenStack on your infrastructure (if you don’t already have it).
- If you’re selling virtual data centers: Brand the OpenStack Horizon dashboard.
- Install Atomia on virtual machines in your OpenStack cloud, or on separate servers.
- Set up what kinds of products, bundles and payment methods you want to use.
- Brand the Atomia web control panel.
- Brand the Atomia web storefront.
- Customize Atomia’s automated email templates for things like invoices, welcome messages, etc.
- Launch and start selling cloud hosting!
What you end up with is an environment that looks like this:
- VPS and cloud hosting with Atomia and OpenStack
- Sell virtual data centers, private cloud
- Billing for OpenStack
- Keep this in mind when launching a cloud service
Don’t hesitate to get in touch to learn more and get started.