Funding and longevity

I was looking for a CDN and I ran across fly.io which actually seems more useful. Quite frankly, I really like all your architectural choices so far. I was initially looking for something more like Cloudflare’s Argo, but it looks like that use case is fairly easily supported here and much more which is super-cool.

However, you guys took a small seed round and I’m old and grizzled. I don’t want invest any time to test this out, even though the product looks promising, unless you are making money/margin on the pricing right now. Can you confirm? Thanks.

We’re also old and grizzled. :wink:

We make decent margins right now since we have our own hardware. The prices you see are almost all cost / 0.3, when servers are at optimal capacity we’re making 70% margins.

There’s more funding than you can find on the internet, but we’ve been unit-profitable most of our life. We use the investment money primarily to build awareness, get more customers, and give us a cushion while the bottoms up, self service revenue model gets to a reasonable scale (it took years last time we did this).

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Heh, no doubt. To make something like this, you have to be since no one remembers how to do anything with bare metal anymore! :slight_smile:

Excellent. Scaling up a hardware business takes years unless you’re going to do massive overcommit shenanigans in which case it’s probably going to fail anyway.

I generally think “the cloud” is generally terrible, useless, and for suckers, but I’m excited to try this out. An observation regarding latency for elixir liveview applications, currently, I have a small app deployed in Europe since I have 40% north american traffic and 30% india. A liveview update from west coast US to Europe is taking around 550ms. On localhost, it’s about 250ms (which requires some optimization to get to 100ms, but that’s neither here nor there). After doing some ping tests, it seems the min-latency is 5ms from various locations in Europe and NA and max will be 30ms for India. This could translate to a 250-300ms improvement in redraw times. To compare, if I do all the performance optimizations I can, I might eek out an extra 150ms on the redraw and a reverse-proxy probably would probably save 100ms.

I’m not sure if people truly understand what this means, but the difference between a 0.5 second redraw(not annoying) and a 0.25 second (bordering on instantaneous and acting like a desktop application) redraw would be an absurd improvement in user experience. Utterly absurd…if the cpu performance checks out.

Which brings me to my next question regarding sizing, I’m having trouble getting my head around what to expect coming from cpu pricing. The fact that providers have completely different performance is another matter, but I don’t understand what rough equivalent I’m looking for.

For instance, $5/month usually gets you 1 shared cpu and 1 GB of ram, which matches up with shared-cpu-1x. Then $10 / month - 1 shared cpu / 2 GB also makes sense.

After that, dedicated-cpu-1x / 2GB jumps to $31. I would imagine that is 2 vCPU - 1 core and 1 hyperthread. With 4GB, that is $40. That “looks” like the equivalent of a cpu-optimized droplet on DigitalOcean. Or maybe the dedicated cpu plans on Linode. And no one can compete with BuyVM on price/performance, so that’s a bad example.

Maybe I’m misunderstanding, but it seems that you’re missing shared-cpu-2x, shared-cpu-Nx? I know it’s not your value-prop, but do you have any rough comparisons/benchmarks? It would make transitioning easier.

For what it’s worth, I believe the founders have a successful exit in the past. Says a lot about the team behind Fly.

Our dedicated-cpu-X VMs are very close to DigitalOcean cpu optimized droplets. They’re actually single vCPU (so one hyperthread), but not shared between VMs. dedicated-cpu-2x is the equivalent of a single core with both hyperthreads.

vCPUs are some hand wavy voodoo most of the time. We pay around $20-30/mo per core, so $10-15/mo per hyperthread. It varies by location so our costs are higher than someone like BuyVM.

We are missing those sizes and we need to ship them! Shared CPUs work really well for databases and things, and we’re getting pretty good at managing steal. The servers we use have enough CPUs that we can count on ~8 or more being idle at any given time.

We haven’t done any comparison benchmarks of our owns, but at least one person has done some work comparing us to FaaS services: shared-cpu-1x performance on CPU bound tasks

I’m not sure any exit feels successful. :slight_smile: But we are all in a pretty fortunate spot and disinclined to sell our company.

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