From 2013 to 2015, Jay Chapel was working as CEO of Ostrato, a company making software to help other companies manage their cloud infrastructure. Chapel, and Ostrato, thought big — he wanted to create the one solution. However, as Chapel himself admitted, “that’s a very large, big endeavor.”
In other words, the tech was hard to develop and Ostrato needed a lot of money to do it — money that proved hard to come by. However, as Chapel and team pitched their product to companies, they found a trend, a single piece of technology within their massive solution that potential customers seemed especially interested in.
So Chapel took that one idea and spun it out. In July 2015, a month after he left his post at Ostrato, he launched ParkMyCloud, a solution that helps companies turn servers on and off as needed to save money. ParkMyCloud, Chapel told Technical.ly, can accurately be described as a “light switch for the cloud.” Just as lights in a house stay off until one turns them on, servers in the cloud stay on until one turns them off. The process of turning servers off is what those in the know call “parking.”
Now, why can’t companies “park” by themselves? Well, Chapel explained, they could. Companies could write custom code turn servers on and off, but this is time-consuming and, depending on the number of servers, can be quite complicated. ParkMyCloud, meanwhile, provides all the code necessary, all tied up with a neat little bow on a user-friendly dashboard, all for a monthly subscription dependent on the number of servers you’ve got.
“The ROI is very good,” Chapel said. So good that ParkMyCloud has customers in nine countries, among companies ranging from McDonalds to Neustar to the Tristar Medical Group. One of the company’s customers, Chapel said, uses ParkMyCloud to manage over 7,000 servers, and is able to “park” about one third at any given time. This amounts to a cost savings of at least $185,000 per month, according to Chapel.
— ParkMyCloud (@ParkMyCloud) November 21, 2016
All this is run by a team of five, plus four contractors and three consultants, in an office in Sterling, Va.
For the moment, ParkMyCloud only works with Amazon Web Services (which Chapel said accounts for more than one third of the public cloud), but the company recently raised $1.65 million in seed funding in a round led by Research Triangle venture firm Cofounders Capital and with that cash they plan to expand into Azure and Google Compute. (Another ParkMyCloud investor is John Chapel, who chairs the company’s board. He’s also Ostrato’s board chairman. We’re waiting to hear back if there’s any relation between the two.)
Apparently, there’s a lot of parking to be done out there in the cloud.