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Exclusive: AWS spot instance optimisation tool coming to Westcon-Comstor
Tue, 7th Feb 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Westcon-Comstor is gearing up to launch an AWS spot instance optimisation tool which will enable users to take advantage of the potentially significantly lower pricing of spot instances – without the need to constantly monitor for them.

The new tool, currently in trial, will be part of Westcon-Comstor's BlueSky platform.

Darryl Grauman, Westcon-Comstor APAC vice president services and cloud, says the new offering will enable customers to schedule a workload to take advantage of spot instancing when it comes up, enabling them to save potentially significant amounts on the cost of running the workload.

“We have got a lot of customers we're working with using AWS and a lot of people have these workloads that are out there and they want to take advantage of the AWS spot instances,” Grauman says.

“But the problem is you can't have someone sitting there fulltime, looking out for spot instances and seeing what workloads fit and doing it on a fulltime basis. It just doesn't make sense.

The distributor already has a reserved instance optimisation tool, showing customers what they should be doing around reserved instances and providing analytics and optimisation recommendations around the reserved instances.

“Now we're moving that next step into spot instances,” Grauman says.

Westcon-Comstor is already in pilot with two organisations – one in New Zealand and one in Australia – with those pilots expected to last a month.

The pilots will be testing how much the organisations can save using spot versus on-demand instances.

“It's all about the cost savings,” Grauman says.

“When you move into cloud the biggest instance a lot of people have got is how they get a handle on the costs.

Grauman says where once getting a server required an engineer to go through a procurement process, now a server can be launched at the touch of the button – with the accompanying spend involved.

“With our platform, people are able to gain some governance over that cost.

“Over the last year or so they've been using our platforms to understand their cost baselines, now customers – resellers and end users – are saying ‘how do we make this even better?'

Grauman says while AWS has some ‘amazing' things on offer, many resellers and end users don't have the ability to take advantage of them.

“I can't put someone on a console to sit and watch for when spot instances are available 24/7. I need tools to be able to do this.

The ‘business in a box' option

Westcon-Comstor is also launching new Maestrano ‘business in a box' offerings this month. The company is currently in pilot and has more than 100 business applications that resellers will be able to harness. Maestrano is an Australasian software-as-a-service startup, whose service synchronises data from leading business apps.

“All of these applications are Lego blocks,” Grauman says. “We're providing this big Lego set for resellers and we're working with a number of big resellers who have businesses that have vertical channels – the trades, advertising, whatever – and they can pick from these Lego blocks something that will fit their customers.

The reseller can then offer the business solutions ‘in a box' – completely integrated and with BI tools as part of the package.

“So you don't have to integrate your CRM with your ERP system, with your invoicing, with your email: it comes out of the box.

Grauman says Westcon-Comstor is working with a number of resellers to take different offers to market.

“Some are asking for very simple packages – a collaboration bundle, a security bundle, one is asking for a ‘trademan in a box' application suite.

Other more complex bundles include seven or eight different applications.