There's no pricing details on /business, though, only a "Contact Us" link.
So I'll do what I do every time this happens: click "Close Tab" and move on.
(I don't want to talk to your -- or anybody else's -- sales people. Ever. I know I'm not alone either, so you're artificially limiting your user base if you do this.)
This isn't because we want to force you to talk to sales people (we don't even have any sales people! just us techies here!). The problem is that Sandstorm+Business is still in development, so there's nothing self-service for us to offer you. We want people willing to contact us to do so so that we can get their requirements and keep them updated, but if you don't want to talk to us (understandable -- I'm the same way), then your best bet is to try out the "individual" version now (which actually works OK for companies, but doesn't yet have all the features listed on the /business page).
Within a couple months we'll ship this, and then you'll be able to get it set up without talking to anybody. In fact, we plan to make it all part of the same build, so if you install from https://sandstorm.io/install today then the features will appear over time...
(We're currently not actively working on a managed-hosting version of the "business" features. We'll probably do that someday, but on-prem is a big selling point so we're focusing on that for now. That said, many people use https://oasis.sandstorm.io for work purposes today.)
At the very least, make it a link to "show pricing" and then on the next page give an explanation of like - if you need X, it should cost approximately X. Because we're still figuring things out, we may need to give you custom pricing (from the geeks, not a sales guy, we promise!). "Contact Us" has unfortunately become synonymous with shitty used-car negotiations.
It screams "we'll charge you as much as we think you can afford", kinda like those domain squatters. Oh you're a big company and want this random domain name? $40,000 please.
But in the case of Sandstorm devs, it's just that those features/that product is still in development.
When Walmart calls your sales department, they aren't going to be suckered into a high price. On the contrary, they have a procurement department whose job is to negotiate the price down. They also probably have custom requirements that they want met, so a self-service option wouldn't even work for them.
Typically -- especially among "scalable" startups -- the "contact sales" option is meant specifically for these big fish to utilize, while the smaller fish get a self-service option with standardized pricing. This is what Sandstorm will have in the future.
And I just wanna know if it's a four, five, or six digit figure for God's sakes.
Also I think Sandstorm is really cool. Feel like I should mention that.
There is huge value in your offering. But there is also a massive investment required by users of these apps and .. eventually .. your services. You have to show me a demo full of real apps in use, with solid data ..
The only thing stopping me that none of the current apps fill a need that I currently have - although there are a few things I'm close on (I still use Mozilla's etherpad but could easily switch if I can break my habit)
Sandstorm is a great platform, and the community comprises some of the nicest, most dedicated folks I know. When my cofounder messed up our install a bit, Kenton talked us through fixing it on a weekend no less, right down to giving us database queries to run and then patching Sandstorm to handle our edge case the next week. Awesome people.
At some point some crazy mofo is going to post it to hackernews. Hopefully I don't have to revoke the URL and clean up any spam and y'all just groove with the little community I've got going on there! But just in case, here's one where you can only listen, that might last a little longer:
I posted a URL for that station to my work's Slack, and then people started uploading stuff and rocking out. We've had a great time taking turns DJing, sharing our musical taste with each other, and hijacking the stream when it gets too boring or weird. I've had friends of mine jump on from elsewhere in the world, some who I haven't seen in years, and drop their music on us. We're completely in love with this -- it's a way for us to stay connected through music without disturbing the people who just want to work quietly.
I'm astounded at how easy Sandstorm made this whole thing. These guys continue to blow me away with their ability to create incredibly useful experiences on a small budget and in such a short time.
Lots of apps now that I need to explore and see where they fit for me.
Looking forward to kentonv <.< clearing the path for huginn
That seems like a killer app when wrapped in the smooth awesome deploy of sandstorm.
But one day Google Docs happened to be down while I was doing a phone screen using Google Docs as a whiteboard for the candidate, and I'd heard about Sandstorm's Etherpad, so I signed up, launched that, and shared it with the candidate. Was quick and easy and we were able to go on with the phone screen.
This page contains a partial list of security issues that have not affected web apps when they run in Sandstorm -- typically because of the hardening we do to apps, or because of the hardening we do against the attack surface of the Linux kernel. The purpose is to demonstrate that our security practices provide some degree of useful protection in the face of real-world vulnerabilities."
I like the idea of having a system where I can deploy instances of open source systems for me/friends to use on my own domain/server (like a small message board or something), but if it's entirely behind the being-a-user-of-the-sandstorm-instance first, then the utility is lessened.
The experience does end up pretty different that traditional self-hosted apps, and not everyone will be happy with that, but there are some pretty big advantages to this approach. Users don't need to log into each app separately; instead, they log into Sandstorm once. Apps don't need to implement their own login systems, which means fewer opportunities for security bugs.
Most importantly, having the Sandstorm UI makes it feasible to manage lots of fine-grained app instances that are isolated from each other. Fine-grained containerization in turn has all kinds of advantages, in particular in terms of security. See:
There might be some sense in a way to present it without the sidebar to go to other apps or shared grains or some such, but I can't imagine you'd want to not authenticate users with Sandstorm in that scenario.
- Most apps today do not require login when accessing a sharing link. It's an important design goal for us that your friends don't have to create accounts to collaborate.
- <vaporware>We plan to add ways to bind grains to easier-to-remember names in the future.</vaporware>
1. Apps should definitely work as a guest. Many do, some don't. But when a user wants to then log in, they should use the Sandstorm login button on the top right, rather than apps all having their own authentication code (and authentication bugs!).
2. Apps definitely need prettier links. Right now the grains that do work as a guest still are ugly links like example.sandcats.io/shared/gdgfdfhdsjfjsdfksdjfhsdkjfhsdkjf and you have to do a redirect to create a prettier link. Eventually I do believe Sandstorm devs intend to make it easier for you to set certain grains to be at subdomains or what-have-you.
3. Also note that for static content publishing, there's already an established method for as well, you can see my blog as an example: blog.jacobweisz.com is hosted on Sandstorm's alpha server.
e.g. try this:
This is my friend's bulletin board on his own personal Sandstorm server (admittedly ugly URL - we need to make it possible to make less ugly, but you could work around that with a redirect elsewhere).
Visit it, and then sign in, and you're talking.
Or to generalize just a bit, any good app in the category of "automate all the things". With the recent demise of yahoo pipes, I'm not even sure there is a decent hosted service available in this category anymore, unless IFTTT meets your needs.
I think there's likely a lot of overlap between "people who want their own server" and "people who want to set up automations tying together their various devices and services".
I think Sandstorm sits in the sweet spot between "people who are not only professional engineers but also want to spend the time and effort to maintain a personal server" and "people who don't understand technology and/or will just use what their peers use". Power users, basically.
So yeah. Huginn :)
It would be nice to run Sandstorm apps that store their data and serve static websites from Github. Occasionally they go down, but on the whole I'm more confident that their hosting will be around for a long time.
Even longer term, backing up a grain to a git repo (not necessarily Github) would be pretty nice.
The big difference between Sandstorm and say... GitHub hosting (if the code is written for their APIs), is no matter whether I self-host or use Oasis, I can easily move my data to a different storage medium later.
(Although we have had very few unexpected issues, we still need to take Oasis down briefly during updates. This is something I'm working on fixing, and until then I try my best to schedule updates when people are asleep...)
As to GP's concern about longevity of the service, the key point is that unlike any SaaS service, you can easily move your data off Oasis onto a self-hosted server running only open source software, and end up with exactly the same user experience you had before.
Sandstorm on Digital Ocean might be somewhat better since I could cram more onto one instance, provided I was running multiple things there that I actually used.
I'm not sure a zip file containing binary files in some unknown format gives me that.
<vaporware>Once we have all our federation plans in place it will be easy to have multiple Sandstorm servers that connect to each other so that you can restrict critical secrets (say, your PGP key) to your home machine while putting less-critical stuff in "the cloud", but still have them all connect to each other (essentially: federated Powerbox).</vaporware>
EDIT: Also, yes, a DO box with Sandstorm is what I have some amorphous period of time this summer reserved for. Just not as ideal for me as physically controlling the box.
None of my two mobile carriers. Not my employer's corporate network. No network at any of my friends. And I've yet to see a public hotspot that isn't ipv4 only. Everything ipv6 is dark when I leave the house.
So.. different cause, same problem. Hosting at home is a non-starter.
I agree that a VPN is helpful, a good idea. But unfortunately it doesn't solve my problem in a meaningful way: Running services behind my otherwise decent/fast enough home connection.
If you think about asymmetric internet connections there are many reasons it is the way it is but few of them are good reasons. To contrast this, Google fiber offers symmetric connections with 1 GBit/s upload speed which could change the game for some lucky people.
But even with your current connection, if you mostly have low bandwidth content like text/notekeeping and small documents you should try it. There is no good reason to store private notes and documents in the cloud.
I look forward to a future where I have access to a symmetric fiber connection -- but that will require either a decade of development where I'm from or a move to a more metropolitan area (the latter is not out of the question, of course). In the meantime I have plans to evaluate a bunch of different self-hosted SaaS options on DigitalOcean in the next few months.
We don't trust big corporations.
Hosting ourselves is very expensive.
How could this be organized better? 10 people hosting a small server infrastructure together? Can you trust them?
I believe that sandstorm is making the move very much into the right direction. Self hosting will become cheaper and more convenient. In a few years you can drop some little server box off at two friends places and colocate for them and each one will have their own private cluster. With the storage encrypted, of course.
Setting this up will just require doing the handshake between the servers and between the servers and clients and done.