Who We Are
When we first opened up our website, several of the most frequently asked questions were: "Who are you?", "What do you want?", "Are you real?". These questions will be answered from words by the founder: Ken Zheng.
Being in the I.T. industry for over 20 years, I spent lots of time either fighting with the I.T. support team for hardware, or my wife for the money I needed to pay for it.
I always dreamed of a place where I can get the environment to play with new technology.
Amazon being the easiest pick, I opened an account, put in my credit card, and then I forgot to turn off my virtual machine, they continued to charge me until my credit card expired!
Given the utilization rate of servers is ~15% around the world, there should be lots of unused resources out there. With a 5-year-old server I got early last year, and the experience with cloud, we started utilizing Docker, KVM, Guacamole, and more, to put together what we have right now.
Surprisingly, we launched 1350 ContainerVMs on the 5-year-old server with extremely smooth access to the remote desktop over the browser. We think we might have found a way to share the hardware in a cheap way!
We are running the service on hardware paid by our sponsors. Would we need more money to keep this going? Yes. Are we trying to make the money from the users or users' data? Hell No!
Deploying Your Personal (Cluster) Environment
Once the user has been invited and successfully registered with LabxNow (sign up with us or sign in with Google/Facebook), the user environment will be automatically made ready. The environment will contain 1 default Ubuntu 14.04 machine.
A user's machines may be accessed through the web browser via LabxNow. For any and all technical assistance see Support.
The user may stop and start machines individually or as a cluster. The user has 3 total machine slots in the environment; the 1 default (Ubuntu 14.04) machine cannot be deleted, and the user can use the remaining 2 free slots to add 2 additional machines (the spawned machines will be selected from a list of pre-defined images); these additional machines can be deleted to free up the machine slots.
Adding More Machines
By default a user can only add 2 machines on top of the default machine. The user may add an additional machine for every 5 new users successfully referred. See Referral Program.
Using the Environment
The machines themselves can be used as personal work spaces, and the user will be free to install any software supported by the OS. The user can also play around with networking on the cluster, such as setting up additional controls. All machines will include internet access. Usage of LabxNow must agree with Terms of Usage.
Pricing & Technology
For now LabxNow will provide the services with a nominal charge to prevent abuse. You can sign up for 3 VMs (1Core Processor, 1G Memory, 10G Disk Space each) for $1.99/month or $14.99/year. If you are considering donations, or other forms of supporting our services, see Support.
LabxNow Virtualization Technology
By using an effcient blend of virtualized machines in our data centers, and remote access through the web to these machines, LabxNow is created. We are employing the use of the following technologies:
- Docker: All of our supported Linux distributions will be virtualized through the use of Docker Containers and custom Docker Images.
- KVM: The more heavy-weight operating systems will be virtualized through KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine).
- Guacamole: Remote access through the web browser made using Guacamole to a existing RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol and/or it's Linux derivative XRDP), or VNC connection on the virtualized endpoint machine.
There are more magic behind the scenes responsible for the other cool services we provide.
Spread the Word!
Once the user is logged in, the user may check their own referral link (under machine selection). The user may give this link to friends or spread it online; all new users registered and sucessfully activated (or used Google or Facebook login to sign in to LabxNow), will count toward a successful referral. For every 5 new users successfully referred the user will gain the ability to add an additional machine into their environment.
If you enjoy our services and feel that you have done much to spread the word, we would be ever so glad to provide additional forms of compensation; see Support for more details.
Support & Feedback
Any Questions At All
We welcome any and all feedback and questions you have regarding our product and our services. Feedback and questions regarding referral, payment, assistance, and such may all be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will work hard to respond as quickly as possible.