XenForo Cloud discussion

duderuud

Well-known member
How are you guys define the tiers? Just by raw specs ("1 cpu, 1gb mem, 500mb ssd") or performance driven "Tier 1, for up to 100 concurrent users".

For a full turn key solution the latter would be best. Now only those add-ons need to be available 😉
 

eva2000

Well-known member
We’re providing a fully turnkey, managed instance of XF. You can’t use it just for storage. A certain amount of storage is included and additional storage is available in higher priced tiers.

What about security/DDOS protection ? I assume something like Cloudflare Magic Transit, Cloudflare SSL For SaaS and Cloudflare CDN/WAF would used for instances running from your subdomain ? But still allow those bringing their own domains to use Cloudflare themselves?
 
Plugin trials? Browse thru the menu of approved 3rd party plugins hosted on the cloud, and try free for 10 days. No more developer concerns about stolen code.

This sounds great to me. Maybe together with a sort of verification process for existing resources/developers (identity, location match, code stability, uniqueness of code, no dumb beginner mistakes, no beginner updates in the past [inexperienced developers], no hacks of the own servers in the past, no negative reviews, no "temporarily no support" announcements, dedicated support availability etc.).
 

StuartKicks

New member
It's very expensive. Proposition for me is

£110 for XF licence with support for a year
£50 hosting for one year
£160 total cost for one year

XF Cloud
£422 a year all in

That's well over double what I pay now and the costs to renew the licence is less after the first year I think?

I get this will suit some people getting access to all features at a fixed monthly cost but this isn't for me, I'd prefer to just pay the upfront.
 

otto

Well-known member
I hope, that project will not interference with the stand alone Xenforo products. I mean in the point of work time of the core developers.

For me - working with servers is part of my life and cant without. But I run not only Xenforo on my server. I also cant run one of my forums without addons.
What GB size of space will be in 60 $ ? How many cost more space?
 

Slavik

XenForo moderator
Staff member
I hope, that project will not interference with the stand alone Xenforo products. I mean in the point of work time of the core developers.

Not at all, this has been in work for months to ensure the platform is as robust and reliable as the software itself.

I get this will suit some people getting access to all features at a fixed monthly cost but this isn't for me, I'd prefer to just pay the upfront.

As with most turnkey solutions, they dont really apply to the DIYers, and thats fine and why the traditional XenForo install isnt going anywhere :)
 

Solari

Active member
Very interesting! Reminds me of the approach the Discourse folks took which was very successful for them. I wish the same for you guys too -- have been using Xenforo for nearly a decade now.

Here's to your continued success!

Ray
 

woody

Well-known member
I'll toss this WAY down the line idea out there....we have XenCloud...I'll bet on a XenCDN down the road....a few years further down, XenAds.

Having a cloud of forums greatly increases the ad volume and opportunity. The company that does my guest ads now takes a 40% cut, and I still make more than double what I did on my own....even with a my own AdExchange account and 15 years of experience. Bringing that to the table in a few years would be a huge windfall for both XenForo AND it's XenCloud clients.
 

Sperber

Well-known member
@Kier , @Mike , I´m trying to get a better understanding of where XenForo Cloud is heading, as I am concerned how this will impact on us small to medium forum owners. I´ld be glad you could help me with that to get a better picture, in which direction XenForo in general and the self-hosted software in particular will evolve medium and long term.

I think I understand, that XenForo Cloud is not intended to be a product used by the mass of private forum owners of small and medium communities. For that the calculation doesn´t seem to match up for hosting a stock XenForo suite. For an existing customer with a basic understanding of running a server on his own, the XenForo Cloud doesn´t pay off wether in the first, the second or any following year. Even for a new customer, who would have to pay the initial full license fees of the self-hosted packages, I don´t see how the XenForo Cloud pricing should offer a bonus for the majority of those small hobby and niche topic forums to be created. Of course, there are those fortunate ones out there where a price tag becomes irrelavant andjust go for it, but for the most of us I assume we have a sharp pencil and a calculator sitting on our desks, analyzing the cost/benefit ratio of such a strategy change hosting wise.

With the limitation of not being able to use third-party addons I guess, this is the point where the standard forum owner has to quit on XenForo Cloud. Looking at my communities and forums it´s just unthinkable, to run them without 3rd-party add-ons (3PA). I don't want to put my hand in the fire for this, but from the segment of privately operated forums I can't think of a single one visited in the last 10+ years, that is operated without 3rd-party add-ons and a stock XenForo instance. Chris meanwhile pointed out, that add-ons aren´t supported yet, which implements there are plans to include support for 3PAs down the road. That raises some questions how this shall be achieved. Since 3PAs became available, there is the ever recurring demand of a XenForo own certification authority, regarding code quality, coding standards and best practices. To date XenForo has declined to become part in this. Vice versa, to support 3rd-party add-ons in XenForo Cloud, from my understanding there would have to be a deployment system from where those 3PAs could be ordered and rolled out to the Cloud instance. If that is what´s in the pipe, from my perspective this would in fact be the(!) major addition to XenForo since March 8, 2011 and the release of XenForo 1.0.0 - and rest assured, I´ld embrace it with a "Shut up and take my money!" on my lips. But to be honest, over the past years I´ve lost the believe, that such a certification authority will exist in the next 10 years.

That being said, it leads me to the conclusion, that XenForo Cloud doesn´t seem to be targeted to the private forum owner. XenForo Cloud comes as a SaaS and seems to be able to occupy and accomodate the growing demand in the B2B segment of outsourcing services and offerings that would be unprofitable and too cost-intensive to operate within the company's own structures. This is where all aspects from the announcements would come together, making perfect strategic and operational sense. The demand is high, the market volatile and I have no doubt, that XenForo Cloud would outperform and outrank the competition in that segment, likewise creating a new branch for and securing XenForo Ltd. with a third (fourth?) economical leg - something we all would benefit from the one or other way.

If the above is what XenForo Cloud is meant to become, there could be no doubt, that this will consume a lot of efforts, manpower and time. Marketing, customer relation, development, maintainance, finances - the operating business won´t perform or evolve by itself, even when the product comes as an SaaS. I wouldn´t be that concerned when XenForo Cloud instead to the above would be an "as-is" hit and run offer. But how I interprete XenForo Cloud and the strategy behind, this is some serious business and a lot at stake - which bring me back to the point, how the shifting of human resources will impact and delay the development of the self-hosted XenForo software, since a statement to extend resources as they are needed is somehow to vague. Even when I understand, that you can´t go into each and every detail, from the responses around the introduction of XenForo Cloud you´ve surely already sensed, that this is the most concerning for many users.

Don´t get me wrong here: the point of opening a market window to SaaS is a great opportunity for XenForo Ltd and there is nothing to argue with that. Nevertheless, as a customer and consumer I´ld just like to get a close up of what can or cannot be expected in the upcoming time, to be able to make concious decisions if needed. I´ld really appreciate, you guys could take a few minutes and shed us some more light on those matters.

(Please, bear with me regarding existing typos - english isn´t my native language and I was somewhat short in time)
 

Seeker-Smith

Well-known member
One question I do have is smtp service. Will cloud customers have access to a server that will handle sending out newsletters?
 

Kier

XenForo developer
Staff member
@Sperber

I don't really think there's much more we need to shed light on than we've already said. You've acknowledged yourself that the cloud platform and self-hosting approach will appeal to different customer bases (though there may be some overlap). Though of course there are more types of customer than just "private forum owner" vs "B2B" and I think you may be underestimating the market slightly. But your conclusions are mostly correct in that there's a gap which we can meet the demand for with the Cloud platform.

How we offer support for third party add-ons on XenForo Cloud is something we are actively investigating and we’ll share more details in the future, but right now and at launch XenForo Cloud will not support third party add-ons, so it will not be suitable for those sites that require them. We are not expecting existing XenForo sites with add-ons to migrate - if you’ve already installed the software and you manage your own server and upgrades, you’re not the initial target market.

In terms of the future development of the product, quite clearly the success of our Cloud platform depends on the success of the software itself and the one thing that Cloud customers and self-hosting customers have in common is the XenForo software.

We've been working on the Cloud platform for some time and we've continued to maintain, support and develop the software simultaneously. It will continue to be our focus alongside launching and developing the Cloud platform. Concerns about how we will run and staff the business strike me as slightly odd - we want to continue developing our software and we want to launch a new platform so there are more options for those wanting to use the software. The resources to achieve that will be managed as they need to be so we can fulfil our objectives.

I hope that provides the assurances you need.
 

Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
One question I do have is smtp service. Will cloud customers have access to a server that will handle sending out newsletters?
We send emails through our own SMTP server, and provide automatic bounce handling and unsubscribe handling as part of the platform. You're free to use your own SMTP service if you prefer, particularly if you have a preferred provider like Mailchimp or similar.
 

Sperber

Well-known member
I don't really think there's much more we need to shed light on than we've already said. You've acknowledged yourself that the cloud platform and self-hosting approach will appeal to different customer bases (though there may be some overlap). Though of course there are more types of customer than just "private forum owner" vs "B2B" and I think you may be underestimating the market slightly. But your conclusions are mostly correct in that there's a gap which we can meet the demand for with the Cloud platform.

How we offer support for third party add-ons on XenForo Cloud is something we are actively investigating and we’ll share more details in the future, but right now and at launch XenForo Cloud will not support third party add-ons, so it will not be suitable for those sites that require them. We are not expecting existing XenForo sites with add-ons to migrate - if you’ve already installed the software and you manage your own server and upgrades, you’re not the initial target market.
Thanks for the clearification. This gives me a relief, that the self hosted versions will at least remain and be available mid to long term.
Concerns about how we will run and staff the business strike me as slightly odd - we want to continue developing our software and we want to launch a new platform so there are more options for those wanting to use the software. The resources to achieve that will be managed as they need to be so we can fulfil our objectives.
As a company it may indeed become irritating, when customers ask how the company intends to drive their business internally. But the concerns shouldn´t be looked at as odd, but for sure that´s depending from which side you´re looking at Xenoro Cloud.
I hope that provides the assurances you need.
Not as I had hoped for, honestly spoken (you can´t comfort everybody), but fair enough that you´ve taken the time to respond and to give a heads up. Appreciate that, thanks!
 

Kirby

Well-known member
Will XenForo Cloud hosting (also) be available on servers exclusively located in the EU?
Otherwise it would most likely not be usable for EU customers that have to comply with GDPR.

As far as I have read the announcement and discussion so far, it is a "tunr-key" solution that offers to use custom styles.
Will this also cover adjustments to templates that are necessary due to XenForo upgrades or would that still need to be done by customers?
 

Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
Will XenForo Cloud hosting (also) be available on servers exclusively located in the EU?
Otherwise it would most likely not be usable for EU customers that have to comply with GDPR.
A range of locations will be available, including in the EU.

Will this also cover adjustments to templates that are necessary due to XenForo upgrades or would that still need to be done by customers?
Any customisations will be the responsibility of the customer.
 

Jake B.

Well-known member
Any customisations will be the responsibility of the customer.

Piggybacking off of this, do the upgrades happen automatically, or do they need to be manually triggered through the normal adminCP upgrade process? If they are automatic, is it only for third point releases, or first and second as well?
 

Seeker-Smith

Well-known member
We send emails through our own SMTP server, and provide automatic bounce handling and unsubscribe handling as part of the platform. You're free to use your own SMTP service if you prefer, particularly if you have a preferred provider like Mailchimp or similar.
Just to clarify if I have a user base of 20K I'll have no issue mailing all users?
 
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