This presentation has five parts.
First, we introduce Rapid.Space, its founders and goals.
Second, we introduce the current state of Rapid.Space in terms infrastructure and scope.
We then explain the advantage of Rapid.Space concept compared to other cloud solutions.
In a fourth part, we introduce how Rapid.Space can be used by developers through a minimal set of services.
In the fifth part we provide a practical comparison between Rapid.Space and other cloud solutions.
Rapid.Space may be a new name for you. We are going to present here who we are and what is our goals.
Rapid.Space was founded in 2020 by Nexedi, Amarisoft and a few VIPs of the IT and telecom inudustries.
Nexedi brings its open source stack, in particular its billing platform, its edge-cloud platform and its big data platform, all open source.
Amarisoft brings its purely software defined 4G/5G stack which covers all aspects needed for commercial deployment, including SA, NSA, NBIoT, etc.
The goal of Rapid.Space is to provide sovereignty and trust through full reversibility. You may consider this goal as providing the kind of thing that companies such as Huawei, Palantir or AWS are not able to provide due a combination IP and legal policies.
This goal applies to every business which Rapid.Space is targetting.
Rapid.Space already provides a reversible cloud platform that can be used for public or private clouds. All components of this platform are open source, including the hardware, meaning that any customer can "clone" this platform on-premise or have it operated by a third party at no license cost.
Rapid.Space intends to provide a reversible big data platform with a scope simllar to Palantir. All components of this platform are open source, including the hardware, meaning that any customer can "clone" this platform on-premise or have it operated by a third party at no license cost.
Rapid.Space intends to provide a reversible Edge computing platform which includes everything needed for Industry 4.0, including PLC, sensors, actuators. Again, all components are open source.
Rapid.Space intends to provide a reversible RAN platform which supports 4G/5G and can be used for both private and public networks. Most components are open source. Some components may be licensed source, meaning that any customer can "clone" this platform on-premise and audit its source code at some license cost.
Everything except VRAN in Rapid.Space is open source: software (SlapOS), hardware (OCP) and business procedures. VRAN is based on a licensed source stack which may eventually become open source at some point.
The Rapid.Space Handbook explains every aspect to build a Rapid.Space node and operate it, either as a public cloud or as a private cloud. This is a major difference with any other cloud provider which usually keep their operating process secret.
Rapid.Space is sovereign-by-design.
Servers of Rapid.Space are owned by national companies with no capital relation.
It is therefore impossible for one company owning Rapid.Space servers to "spy" another company's Rapid.Space servers. Only governments are allowed to "spy" servers in certain countries, whenever local legislation defines such possibility. However, governement in country A can not spy servers in country B in the case of Rapid.Space because there is no way for companies with no capital relation to instruct eachother anything.
The Rapid.Space company which orchestrates all servers worldwide does not have access to passwords or certificates which act as credential to servers. This approach is sometimes called "Zero-Knowledge". Whenever it is used, it is impossible for Rapid.Space centralised management platform to access servers in other countries or user information.
Rapid.Space infrastructure is growing. It is now deployed in Europe and Asia. It will soon be deployed in USA.
Rapid.Space has two web sites: https://rapid.space (available worldwide except mainland China) and https://rapidspace.cn (mainland China). This provides a global coverage.
The primary service of Rapid.Space is a high performance virtual private server (VPS) at reasonable cost, combined with a CDN infrastructure for accelerated web content delivery.
Rapid.Space is available in Europe (France, Germany, Sweden, Nertherlands) and in China. It will soon be available in Taiwan and a second DC will open in China.
Rapid.Space IPv6 backbone is based on a hybrid mesh network which relies on hundreds of routers worldwide. Thanks to babel technology (RFC 6126), all sorts of congestions can be avoided. Latency can be minized.
Rapid.Space provides HTTPS front-ends (HTTP1, HTTP2, HTTP3) in 10 different locations worldwide. In China, Rapid.Space front-ends are places on all major carriers: CT, CU and CM.
Read online: How does Rapid.Space and SlapOS compare to AWS?
Based on an early assessment, 85% of cloud services provided by Amazon AWS could actually be implemented with Rapid.Space low cost, high performance cloud and the vairous open source stacks such as SlapOS (75% services) and a few third party Free Software (10% services).
Rapid.Space is cheaper, ensures global delivery of services (including in China), is fully reversible (customers can quit Rapid.Space easily) and is open to all sorts of contribuions or adoptions of its open source technology. This is the advantage of being "Hyper Open".
Everything in Rapid.Space is open source: software (SlapOS), hardware (OCP) and business procedures.
All costs of Rapid.Space are public and described in "Business Model of a Low Cost Cloud Operator". The price of Rapid.Space is based on electricity, real estate, hardware amortisation, networking, operation management costs (software, human), hardware maintenance, financial costs. A 20% margin is added to cover all other risks related to the operation of a cloud service.
Anyone can contribute to Rapid.Space their own service in addition to the 70+ existing ones.
Anyone can contribute servers and datacenter to extend the worldwide coverage of Rapid.Space, as long as Rapid.Space procedures are respected.
Rapid.Space can be deployed on-premise too in a way that is typical of hybrid cloud.
It is also possible for one to operate a completely private infrastructure based, as Teralab does.
It is even possible to deploy Rapid.Space services on third-party public or private clouds (AWS, OVH, Azure, Alicloud, Hertzner, Huawei, VMWare, etc.) and benefit from all Rapid.Space services including its IPv6 backbone, CDN, IaaS, PaaS, etc.
Basically, there is no blocker, no secret, no anti-competitive practice of any sort in Rapid.Space.
Thanks to its global IPv6 backbone and its CDN front-ends, it is possible to create simple applications that will select automatically the best front-end for each user. Thanks to this technology, users can always access corporate applications (ERP, CRM, etc.) with 100% success rate. This approach is much more suitable for corporate applications than DNS based technologies which only provide 99% success rate. 99% is fine for e-commerce. But if the accountant of a company can not access the ERP of a company (because he or she is the 1% of the 99%), it is not acceptable.
Currently, EU has the cheapest prices for cloud. Rapid.Space is only 30% to 60% cheaper compared to EU brands.
US and China have the most expensive prices. Rapid.Space is 2 to 20 times cheaper compared to US or China brands.
Let us now discuss how Rapid.Space can be used by developers to host their applications or IT infrastructure.
Rapid.Space's concept is to provide to developers the minimum they need in order to deploy an application worldwide.
There are three basic services: Virtual Private Server (VPS), Content Delivery Network (CDN) and Software Defined Network (SDN).
VPS provides a way for developers to install their applications. It is similar to dedicated server services from companies such as OVH or Hetzner in Europe.
CDN provides a front-end solution to deliver data to end-users or to collect data from IoT. It is similar to Cloudflare or qiniu CDN in China.
SDN provides a way to interconnect Rapid.Space CDN and VPS through a latency-optimized IPv6 network. This service is quite unique: it also provides a way to interconnect Rapid.Space to other cloud services (AWS, Azure, GCP, OVH, Alicloud, UCloud, Qingcloud, etc.) with good networking performance.
Based on this minimal approach, developers should install by themselves open source software on VPS and build their applications: database (MariaDB, PosgreSQL, MongoDB, etc.), web server (Apache, Nginx, etc.), load balancer (Haproxy, ProxySQL, etc.). They should rely on the vast libraries available in python, PHP, ruby, Java, golang, nodejs, etc. to extend features.
Developers may use whichever tool they prefer for devops: SlapOS, OpenSVC, Docker, Kubernetes, Ansible, Chef, Puppet, buildout, etc. Even though Rapid.Space is based on SlapOS and buildout, Rapid.Space service can be used with other devops technologies.
The philosophy of Rapid.Space is thus the opposite of conventional cloud providers in the USA or in China. Rapid.Space. Rapid.Space provides very few services and lets developers rely on open source to achieve what they need. Thanks to this approach, developers can keep control on their applications and later move, if they wish, to another cloud platform.
There is no vendor lock-in.
The VPS basic service is a big server with a lot of RAM, computing power and SSD storage.
It is designed for fast I/O with direct attached storage (kernel pass-through), 10 Gbps LAN and 1 Gbps shared transit.
This combination is ideal for high performance database (ERP, CRM, data warehouse, etc.) or big data clusters (AI, BI, etc.).
Servers can be installed automatically based on Ansible technology (or pre-seed soon).
A single server can be partitioned with VMs, containers or jails.
VPS provides no system redundancy. It is up to developers to implement redundancy at application level if they need high availability or disaster recovery.
The CDN service accelerates content delivery to end-users by reducing the time for end-users to negotiate SSL/TLS sessions and by keeping a copy of content close to end-users.
It can also be used to circumvent network congestion for global deployment of business applications of Web sites.
The CDN service also provides a way to buffer IoT data and forward it to the data processing backend. It reduces the risk of losing IoT data due to network congestion or backend downtime.
The SDN service is a Layer-3, software defined network (SDN) that is based on routing rather than on switching. Routing is simpler to manage and scalable.
Rapid.Space SDN is based on the idea that every service should be assigned a globally unique, public IPv6 address, at the edge or in the cloud.
Every service deployed on earth with Rapid.Space SDN can find the shortest route (in terms of latency) to any other service. Routes are updated in real time and are capable to circumvent network downtime or congestion of Internet transit providers.
Network isolation can be implemented through packet filtering.
Rapid.Space SDN is native on Rapid.Space cloud, edge and on-premise deployments. It can also be installed on third-party cloud providers ((AWS, Azure, GCP, OVH, Alicloud, UCloud, Qingcloud, etc.) or on local area networks (LAN).
Overall, Rapid.Space SDN leverages IPv6 to eliminate the burden of traditional Layer-2 network management.
Some types of services can be difficult or time-consuming to implement. This is the case of services that require clustering (use of multiple servers), hard real-time (industrial edge) or radio frequencies (4G/5G VRAN).
For each of these services, Rapid.Space provides a solution based on open source software.
Rapid.Space provides a "Big Data" platform that combines the features of a data lake with transactional object storage, high-availability scalable relational database and out-of-core data processing in python (AI, physical models).
Rapid.Space provides an "Edge" platform that is optimised for automation (factory, building, etc.) and remote deployment of AI models.
Rapid.Space provides a "VRAN" network management system suitable for 4G/5G private networks (factories, hospitals, etc.) or public networks (telecom, government).
All advanced services are available to selected B2B customers as preview. General availability is expected in 2021.
All services are provided with source code under open source license (Big Data, Edge) or business license (VRAN).
Wendelin is an open-source, 100% Python-based platform for data ingestion, storage, analysis, and visualisation. It covers the following features:
Rapid.Space's Wendelin industrialises the complete chain of data-based applications from the collection of data at the edge over local IoT bridges to the central data analysis and visualisation on the cloud. Thanks to the integration of popular data science technologies such as Jupyter, SciPy, Pandas, Plotly and scikit-learn, the Wendelin platform provides an extensive collection of data analysis tools.
Wendelin is suited for industrialisation and unification of data-based services from data collection to visualisation. The ingestion and transformation of data is modelled by a business process-oriented approach, enabling traceability of data supply chains and pricing of data transformations.
Wendelin supports the real-time collection of data from multiple sources (machines, websites, e-commerce, clients and suppliers). Data engineers can choose from more than 100 ready-made plugins for different web services and databases thanks to the integration of ARM's open-source data collection solutions Fluentd (for streaming) and Embulk (for batch data). Collected raw data can then be aggregated and structured with PyData libraries such as Pandas and SciPy and finally be analysed automatically with machine learning tools such as scikit-learn or TensorFlow. Examples are intelligent searches and finding correlations.
Data Science Industrialisation
The business process-oriented approach of managing data analysis operations makes Wendelin a perfect fit for unification and automation of recurring data science tasks on a production system. Wendelin unifies data engineering through the usage of Python on both the analysis environment and the production cluster. All data is stored in Wendelin's distributed transactional object database NEO. Native out-of-core access to persistent NumPy ndarrays provided by the wendelin.core library allows for scalable analytics. Analysis operations can be implemented without restrictions on the available memory, and they do not need to be recompiled for running on the production cluster. With wendelin.core the complete NumPy API is available when accessing out-of-core ndarrays (unlike other solutions such as Apache Spark or Dask, which depend on a compatibility layer).
Wendelin includes a scalable cloud-based implementation of MariaDB which provides high availability and high performance relational storage, as well as ETL-type connectors to other relational storages.
Success Cases & Services
The components of the Wendelin platform, ERP5, NEO and SlapOS are successfully used in automotive (PSA, Toyota) and aerospace industries (Airbus Defence and Space). Wendelin itself is used in Germany for ice detection on wind turbines and noise and vibration monitoring of construction sites. Services provided by Nexedi cover automation of data collection at the edge, deployment and management of a Wendelin cloud, analysis and visualisation as well as consulting on single topics or implementation of full-fledged big data applications on the Wendelin stack.
Rapid.Space's Edge operates seamlessly as an extension of Rapid.Space cloud that can offload at the Edge critical services that can not be hosted on the cloud.
Rapid.Space's Edge solution is based on rugged industrial hardware from selected vendors of open source hardware (Edge-core, Olimex).
It is designed for applications such as Industry 4.0, smart buildings, hospitals, etc. It supports continuous operation of critical functions that need to remain available even in case of Internet or cloud downtime.
This includes industrial automation (virtual PLC), AI model as a service, IoT buffering, resilient networking and safety functions.
Rapid.Space VRAN in an "all-in-one" solution to deploy public or private radio networks that can share the same frequency bands for both 4G and 5G thanks to DSS protocol.
Rapid.Space's VRAN solution is based on rugged industrial hardware from selected vendors (Edge-core, BJT, AW2S).
Rapid.Space includes automated network operation management suitable for private networks with thousands of users deployed over unlicensed frequencies.
A dedicated Rapid.Space infrastructure can also be provided to deploy public networks over licensed frequencies with millions of users. It is described in this sample offer.
By removing vendor lock-in and technology silos, Rapid.Space VRAN service can support innovative applications based on the convergence of cloud computing, edge computing and telecommunications.
Any service that does not fit into Rapid.Space basic services (VPS, CDN, SDN) or advanced services (Big Data, Edge, VRAN) can be developed as a custom service.
Rapid.Space provides a Platform as a Service (PaaS) so that developers can add new services to Rapid.Space.
Server-based custom services are developed with buildout language and SlapOS nano-container technology. They cover features such as:
A collection of sample buildout profiles is provided. They cover a wide range of cloud services and even include an open source ERP.
Client-based services can be developed in HTML5 as a Progressive Web Application (PWA). A collection of sample PWA is provided too.
Rapid.Space recommends developers to consider PWA in priority because it brings scalability, ease of deployment and better user experience at not cost.
Rapid.Space expects that most server based deployment will eventually disappear with a few exceptions for transactional applications, big data and networking infrastructure.
Rapid.Space is different. It is Hyper Open, which brings reversibility, portability, sovereignty and trust. It is also minimalist. It does not try to offer too much in order to create a vendor lock-in.
This makes Rapid.Space excellent in terms of long term cost, control and interoperability.
But it requires more effort initially.
Rapid.Space adopts minimalism whereas conventional public clouds are based on hundreds of services.
The underlying idea in Rapid.Space is that most services are simple enough to be implemented by a single developer through package installation (deb, rpm, npm, etc.). If some automation is needed, any open source technology (buildout, SlapOS, OpenSVC, Ansible, Docker, Kubernetes, etc.) can be used.
Rapid.Space minimalism means that Rapid.Space needs to be extended for large projects.
Because Rapid.Space is Hyper Open, this is not an issue. Any service that a developer needs can be developed using buildout language or as a PWA, and added to Rapid.Space.
This would be nearly impossible with conventional public clouds.
A developer can start with Rapid.Space on a public cloud and later move on premise and become completely independent.
Because Rapid.Space is Hyper Open, developers are allowed build a "clone of Rapid.Space". Unlike conventional clouds, all software, all operation management procedures are open source. There is no vendor lock-in.
Rapid.Space even sells the same hardware as the one it uses: http://shop.rapid.space/
As a minimalist and hyper open cloud, Rapid.Space provides the best solution for long term cost control.
It is also ideal for any developer concerned by security, privacy or reversibility.
However, this can have a cost. Rapid.Space does not provide the same level of documentation, tutorials and sometimes "on site" assistance as conventional public clouds. Developers need to be already used to GNU/Linux to benefit from the most of Rapid.Space.
A well trained developer will not find this to be a problem, especially if he or she has been using Linux for a long time. Rapid.Space VPS, CDN and SDN are far enough to develop a POC or MVP.
For a scalable commercial product, the effort to automate all operation management with buildout may be significant. Yet, there is no better or more efficient alternative on the market because most devops tool tend to ignore the feedback loop between monitoring and orchestration.
For a serious commercial project, this significant cost of developing custom buildout scripts will be compensated by cost control and reversibility which are not available on conventional public clouds.
For more information, please contact Jean-Paul, CEO of Rapid.Space (+33 629 02 44 25 or firstname.lastname@example.org).