A lot of people ask us about our technology, our purpose, vision and plainly why we exist. In this article we are going to present spearhead.cloud both from a technical and commercial point of view with a bit of focus on the why of spearhead.cloud.
High performance everything
First, Spearhead Systems is specialized in the delivery of high performance it services, specifically for the infrastructure. We have been delivering comprehensive IT services for some of the most demanding global companies. In 2011 we decided we would use this know-how and build out our own specialised hosting service. Initially we were thinking a shared service, one where like-minded companies would be able to use modern, high performance technology at a more affordable price. Spearhead would manage the entire life-cycle and complexity. We quickly realized that we were talking about a cloud computing platform and so decided to build out a specialized, high performance B2B cloud.
Great place to get started with the cloud
spearhead.cloud fits in nicely for those companies that are just starting to work with the public cloud or those that need an additional, specialised tier of high performance systems. spearhead.cloud is built on a radically simplified platform that allows our customers to easily scale to meet new business requirements but more importantly it truly delivers on the promise of the cloud, offering elastic, affordable infrastructure with sane and predictable pricing. For example, we have no outgoing/incoming bandwidth costs for our compute. We find it rather strange that every other cloud provider has found a way to charge ridiculous amounts of money for something that they themselves do not pay for on a metered/usage basis. Lot’s of little things like this (are what set’s us apart from our “competition” although we do not actually compete, rather complement the existing solutions (we are AWS, Azure and GCP partners amongst other providers).
An affordable cloud
spearhead.cloud is a more affordable solution because we have chosen to pass back our savings directly to our customers. This goes further when you look at our tech stack. Our entire platform is built on Dell x740 Enterprise servers, Dell and CISCO networking and Joyent Triton software. The software is what really sets us apart: not only are we 100% open source, you own everything and can never be held captive to our platforms, we are standing on the shoulders of giants that have defined the container market before containers were even a thing. Even "serverless" as it is now known was something pioneered at Joyent.
Shared nothing architecture
We often talk about our “shared nothing” platform which paves the way for the high performance we can deliver as well as our affordable pricing, specifically in comparison with the larger well known clouds. What it boils down to is that our building blocks are our physical servers, called compute nodes. We engineer our compute nodes such that they are a perfect match for specific workloads and we do not over-provision memory and disk. All disks are local to the compute node where customer specific workloads run and such we can get much better sustained IO from our systems rather than having to go out on the wire. We do provide shared storage in the form of spearhead cloud “volumes” which are basically performance optimized NFS which you can attach to one or more of your running instances.
Your virtual machines or containers disks are always local and our compute nodes are sized so that we avoid the “noisy neighbor” problem: all workloads are provisioned to the right compute node based on many traits such as the type of workloads, type of virtualization (container or vm) and other factors that ensure we deliver performance. One of the most important aspects is that we do not over provision our CPU to the point where “noisy neighbour” symptoms are possible. Indeed this is a specific design choice that we are sticking to and while our investors have said that they would rather we “squeeze” more customers onto our compute nodes, even they have come to understand the value of having piece of mind and how our customers have appreciated the fact that we are much more than a cloud company, we are specialists and we would never damage our art for the sake of squeezing more profit from our systems.
We believe that as technology improves and we drive more performance we offer that saving directly back to our customers because the more we can do with less, the more efficient we are and of course with efficiency we also make more money. Our fundamental difference is that our business is built on efficiency and not cunning marketing and sales tactics, such as those often seen in utility computing from big tech.
A human company
Lastly, spearhead.cloud is a human centric company, our people are what truly set us apart and some of our global customers are testament to our quality of service. We deliver a comprehensive support service for all of our customers and while we do have different tiers of support, not a single customer is left to wander forums, arcane mailing lists and blank contact forms. Spearhead.cloud is about people more than anything else, people you will come to know by name and can call or write to get personal, professional support. We can help not just with our own technology, we pride ourselves on being systems generalists and we can dive in to help our customers with their unique and specific requirements.