Here at RightScale, we’ve just passed the 3 million server milestone. Driven by our growing customer and free-user base, and their ever-increasing cloud usage, the 3M mark represents a benchmark in the industry, and is noteworthy in three different ways.
First, 3 million is impressive in the data center business. Many well-known hosting companies house between 50,000 and 100,000 servers, and estimates for the world’s largest computer companies with large data centers range up to 1 million. (See the DataCenterKnowledge report here.) It’s difficult to compare our statistic with these installations, since many may be running largely under a pre-cloud operational model. Nevertheless, launching 3 million is quite a number by any comparative metric, and there’s no question that it was achieved only with new levels of automation and dynamic configuration that are core to RightScale.
The second reason 3M is worth noting has to do with how fast we got there. After our founding in 2007, it took us about 27 months to reach 1M, another 12 months to reach 2M, and then just 6 months to reach 3M. That’s more than twice as fast for each subsequent 1M servers. Likewise, one year ago in Sept. 2010, we had launched 1.5M servers – and we doubled in the last 12 months.
The third reason this milestone matters is that the servers our users launch have increased in power, and persist for a longer duration, as each month passes. In fact, since January this year server runtime has increased on average 30%. So the trend is clear: companies are running “bigger iron” in the cloud — and keeping it running longer — than ever before. Here is a graph of the size distribution we recorded this summer:
Certainly, the growth rate we’re tracking for the quantity, power and longevity of servers launched on RightScale remains quite healthy and mirrors the broad adoption of cloud services industry-wide. But equally important is the range of customers driving this growth, representing a wide variety of industries, use cases and services powered by RightScale on the cloud. For example, during the last year:
- media giant Pearson converted a traditional educational software offering to a SaaS based model that allowed faster onboarding of new customers;
- consumer goods company American Girl (a division of Mattel) launched their virtual world with a major advertising push behind it and sailed smoothly through the holiday season;
- online game company Zynga launched new games that consistently broke records;
- and companies like Amdocs and Trader Media spoke at our User Conference last June about new enterprise services launched on both public and hybrid clouds.
All of these RightScale customers contributed toward the 3M milestone, and we continue to be dazzled by the solutions they achieve using cloud infrastructure. We’re looking forward to the next million servers launched by our customers, and the amazing services they’ll power with them.