Why I joined the Archera team
Hello, my name is Ram Parasuraman. I am a Product Management Executive. Over my career, I have worked on several SaaS services, most recently at Cohesity, Riverbed and Aviatrix. I have also advised early stage startup companies building SaaS. Recently, I joined the Archera team as a strategic advisor and in this post, I will share some of my early observations on where I believe the Archera solution adds value to cloud infrastructure and services production deployments.
Pandemic Driven Transformation
In the past 2 years, mankind has undergone significant transformation, in the way we live, interact with our friends, parent our kids, or the way we work. It has been a humbling period where several things we used to take for granted are now precious. Businesses have had to adapt swiftly to accommodate their employees, customers, and partners who are all going through challenges and transformations themselves.
The cloud emerges as the spinal cord to deliver applications
One of the clear trends that we have seen is the emergence of the cloud as a primary medium for delivering and consuming applications. Whether it is video conferencing, email, customer support, or supply chain management, delivering applications from the cloud has become a new default. Users need access to these applications from anywhere in the world, as such, given restrictions and health mandates, the concept of an office or work location has become obsolete.
Cloud infrastructure planning is tricky
For companies deploying to the cloud, especially those who are new to cloud deployment models, there is a learning curve on planning for cloud infrastructure. They need to deploy and scale their applications to match consumer demand. Cloud Infrastructure is fluid and ephemeral compared to on-premise. Planning for cloud infrastructure takes a different cast of characters and a more dynamic approach. DevOps teams take initial responsibility vs. centralized IT teams. Finance gets involved as there is Opex vs. Capex involved. There is now an emerging discipline of FinOps at the intersection of operations teams and finance that works to get a handle on planning for cloud infrastructure. All this is fascinating to watch from my vantage point.
Planning for cloud infrastructure takes a different cast of characters and a more dynamic approach.
My first hand experience with the pain
For the better part of the last decade, I have been responsible for delivering SaaS services across various domains ranging from managing IoT sensors, inter-cloud networking, application performance optimization, and storage. In all these roles, our cloud operations teams have done cloud resource planning on an ad-hoc basis, often leveraging spreadsheets, periodic back of envelope estimations, manual scripting, and other laborious processes. This might work when the scale is small, resource demand is predictable and cloud providers don’t change their pricing or offerings. In practice, none of this really holds, and in fact, each parameter changes. This becomes even more amplified due to a pandemic, where software providers had to contend with unprecedented demand spikes and the need to distribute their software across the globe. Cloud providers continually change pricing, packaging, and available options.
Keeping up with all these changes is challenging and there is no easy solution to predict demand or right-size cloud infrastructure. Cloud infrastructure is paid for every minute, whether or not it is used, so getting over-sizing can prove expensive. Similarly, under-sizing resources mean that bursts are harder to handle and end up costing much higher than pre-paying for instances. As companies learn, they go through extremes of sizing and as with any economic demand curve, it needs continuous monitoring and proactive planning. This pain point has been under-served until now…
Enter Archera formerly, Reserved.ai.
My first encounter with Archera was through an episode on the Big Break software podcast. While listening I was a little skeptical listening to Aran, CEO of Archera. I kept thinking “we have heard this cost visibility, cloud tagging and attribution story one too many times.” For me, the game changing moment was when Aran began talking about reducing risk, proactive planning, and creating a secondary marketplace. I started digging a little deeper into the company, scouring through press and the background of the founding team. I was impressed with the pedigree of the team, made of people from AWS, Azure, and Meta. These team members began working with the cloud when AI driven cloud services were just in their infancy. Curious to learn more, I decided to talk to the team and never looked back after I got the demo of the product.
I kept thinking “we have heard this cost visibility, cloud tagging and attribution story one too many times.” For me, the game changing moment was when Aran began talking about reducing risk, proactive planning, and creating a secondary marketplace.
Managing risks for FinOps
I joined the team at Archera as a strategic advisor because the solution is truly in a league of its own and has immense potential. Visibility into cloud contracts and their associated costs achieved with a deep integration with ELAs and contracts for cloud providers, this goes above and beyond visibility solutions in the market. But for me, the true game changer is Archera’s value proposition for FinOps teams with its two way marketplace for its Guaranteed Reserved Instances (GRIs). With GRIs, Archera underwrites instances so that if they go unused, Archera will reassign it to someone in the pool that needs compute instances. In effect, this is a secondary market or a liquidity pool for cloud instances so that supply and demand for cloud resources are matched. In my head, I mapped this to an AirBnB for cloud instances where you replace vacant rooms with unused instances. This is a true game changer in my mind.
What makes Archera different is that our product:
- Provides Guaranteed Reserved Instances which is insurance against over or under provisioning of cloud infrastructure
- Facilitates a two way marketplace matching demand to supply for cloud resources amongst its customers
- Creates a private liquidity pool of resources for an MSP or Cloud service provider to manage risk within its customer base.
- Provides complete visibility and AI driven planning and forecasting tools for FinOps teams to structure their contracts better.
In these capabilities, Archera goes above and beyond plain vanilla visibility and cost management tools. It provides a peace of mind that is invaluable in these crazy times. Development teams can go back to innovating without constantly fearing cost bloats, contract implications and such pressures.
The Archera team is one that is hungry to learn, adapt to customer and provider demand and continuously use data to optimize operations. Archera’s vision is a powerful one and has far reaching implications for application developers, DevOps, and cloud service providers.
At the end of the day, it is all about the people, the product and problems that we solve. The folks at Archera are incredibly talented, customer obsessed and eager to learn. A strong and diverse team coming together to solve critical problems, I believe will change the way we think about consumption in the cloud.