Initial meeting about Cooperative Hosting


I think GreenNet would be interested in getting involved with this (though
of course we’re still not formally CoTech members, hopefully that will
change soon)


GreenNet’s name was certainly mentioned when I was chatting with @shaun about this yesterday. :slight_smile:


Should be a good meeting, be great to finally meet more of the CoTech
group! See you tomorrow :slight_smile:


Any chance of remote participation?


Indeed. Would be great to have GreenNet involved.


Don’t know what connectivity might be available. If there’s something there I don’t see why we couldn’t open up a channel. Watch this space…


We’re here. If anyone wants to join in remotely let us know here.


Can you come in via skype?


Yes please I would like to be in on skype : felixwave


Now back in the office, and writing some more notes into the shared document at

Thanks to all for taking the time to get involved in the discussion, which I thought was positive and has great potential. Lots still to tease out and clarify, but I got a sense that do have a real opportunity here that is worthy of further investigation.

Please take the time to add to and edit these notes, and/or begin work on associated documents in this folder.


Thanks for sorting all this Graham and thanks to everyone who took part.


Hello all,

I wasn’t present today but have a keen interest in this myself, in particular as a viable alternative to AWS. That is a huge task though, as modern application development practices (12 factor and the like) demand SaaS and PaaS, not just IaaS.

From what I see above you have a choice between a commercially viable AWS replacement that aspires to be community directed (but professionally executed) or a more values driven proposition which would be unlikely to compete on price or offering with AWS or a near competitor of it.

I heavily favour the former, but that’s just me. What was the feeling in the room leaning towards?


We know that launching a cloud service - probably using OpenStack - will be hard. So we want to do other things first - shared web, virtual servers, domains. We want to get to the point where we have these products being served from one of the co-operatively owned/managed datacentres that we can access: so that the whole stack will be co-operative. Then we will look at a cloud service.

CoTech Gathering 2018: Shared Hosting and Infrastructure

I’ve spent quite a long time looking at OpenNebula, which is much simpler to run than OpenStack. I was considering it as a fairly good initial offering for a co-op like the one that is being discussed, but stalled largely due to time and hitting a wall with my knowledge of networking.

In any case, OpenNebula offers IaaS and is very extensible. I’ve actually been working on a local development environment for it so I can work out user provisioning. It isn’t impossibly difficult although the API isn’t as nice as OS or AWS.

It is actually doable, I think. It’d even be reasonable simple to do sensible CI.

I’m based in York and now work full time in Sheffield: I gather some people here are based in Sheffield, maybe we could chat over a drink?


That’s really interesting. I’m based in Manchester but @chris is in Sheffield…

We’ll be meeting again soon when we know more. Would be great to have you involved.


Hi @hkt I’d be on for meeting and having a chat over a beer, pm me regarding possible dates / locations? Chris


Since we (Webarchitects) do shared web, virtual servers and domains already the next step for us would be to look at how to deploy something like OpenStack or OpenNebula (looks interesting, hadn’t come across it before) — creating a new co-op consortium to offer the same services as we offer currently doesn’t really make much sense to me… or am I missing something?

Offering shared web, virtual servers and domains, and more, for example OpenShift, provisioned using GitLab CI on top of OpenStack or OpenNebula is the direction I think we would be interested in going in (note that GitLab appears to be heading down the Kubernetes road)…

Currently we don’t have CI setup at but I’m going to see if I can deploy that over the Christmas holiday.


In terms of the sense (or otherwise) of the initial service offering, my understanding from our discussion yesterday was that we are taking an evolutionary approach - starting where we are currently, establishing the basics, exploring the immediate opportunities and learning what will work by way of the likes of AWS alternatives, etc., so that we can expand into new service offerings over time.


I think we all want to make a co-op cloud offering.

Yes, Webarchitects offers shared web etc already. So do other coops and other members and prospective members of CoTech. However, as we discussed yesterday, if we work together, bring together assets and skills, we may be able to make a new, compelling proposition that is mutually beneficial and offers new opportunities:

  • Taking over shared web and domain business from another coop that doesn’t want it any more, as discussed
  • Taking advantage of new co-operatively owned and managed data centres so that we have a full co-operative stack
  • Aggregating business that is with us already or with other co-ops (and that isn’t already with Webarchitects)
  • Trading on the manifest appeal that we are tech coops cooperating
  • Making use of and developing front end systems to help pull in new business

Given the likely availability of kit and good quality low cost (and cooperative) co-lo, we can do these things. We don’t yet know who does what and who pays what to whom, but I am sure we can work that out in a way that is mutually good. It is all in addition to what we have already, even if the products are similar.

That’s worth doing anyway in my view. But it would also put us in a position to raise the money needed for cloud.


Hi All,

Sorry I’ve been off the radar the past couple of days, thanks for the
meeting was great to meet you and awesome conversation we had, looking
forward to building on this and getting started, as mentioned I plan to
spend Christmas learning openstack and potentially open nebula, I’m free
to contact anytime so if anything needs to be discussed do let me know,
also @chris if you can drop me a message to see if we can get a link into
your services, thanks, have a great Christmas guys!!