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Summary:

Company tells users of its cloud-based MySQL database service to move their instances by May 8 or else. (May 15 for paying customers.)

xeroundscreen

Updated: Xeround is shutting down its MySQL database service next week. An email went out May 1 alerting users of the free that they should move their database instance to another service before midnight eastern time May 8 to avoid downtime. Users of the paid plan have till May 15th to move.

According to the mail (and subsequent blog post):

“It is with genuine sadness that we inform you that Xeround’s service will be terminated in the course of the coming weeks, across all of our currently active data centers.”

Xeround’s free and paid service options run on Amazon Web Services; Rackspace, AppFog, Heroku and HP Cloud. The company could not be reached for comment but rivals are circling — ClearDB and Cloudant posted tweets to woo Xeround users.

This news has to be sobering given the number of cloud-based database services dotting the landscape. The company had raised more than $30 million in funding starting in 2005.  Xeround investors include Benchmark Capital, Giza Venture Capital, Ignition Partners and Trilogy Partnership.

xeround

This story was updated at 4:38 a.m. PST to add the closing date of the paid service, a link to the Xeround blog post, and information on Xeround funding and investors.

  1. WealthCop.com Wednesday, May 1, 2013

    It’s a complete wipeout. This is what I received when I submitted a support ticket asking for clarification of the mass email:

    Hen Chaushu, May 01 12:36 (PDT):
    Dear Teresa,

    Unfortunately, the discontinuation applies to all Xeround users including Xeround Pro, Xeround Basic and Xeround Free.

    I’m deeply sorry for any inconvenience.

    The invoice your were charged of today was for the month of April. Xeround uses pay per usage method and we don’t charge in advance.

    Do let me know if further assistance is required.

    Best Regards,
    Hen Chaushu
    Xeround Support Team

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  2. WealthCop.com Wednesday, May 1, 2013

    P.S. After this, I think it would be smart to go with a company that we know will always be around. Like Amazon, to try the Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS).

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    1. thanks for your comment. the email i got was a little less clear– made it sound like the freebie was dead but unclear about paid..but then again there’s a sentence about shutting down all active data centers…. i guess that’s pretty definitive.

      good luck with your migration. plse post where you end up going.

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      1. WealthCop.com Thursday, May 2, 2013

        In the end, developer wrote the application decided that we should migrate to Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), a service still in beta. Why? Because we know the company will still be round.

        Mike’s comments below are spot on. The convert free users biz model is a losing proposition. We’ve learned that people who use free stuff NEVER convert. The company can offer a free trial (for up to a year at Amazon), but unless you have a triggering mechanism to pay or get out, then a company is doomed. Free users are seldom loyal.

        Next, is cost. Amazon RDS gives two choices: i.) “on demand” pay as you go has high hourly charges or ii.) “reserved instance” pay a portion up front, and hourly charges drop big time.

        Xeround was charging me $75/month = $900 per year.
        Amazon RDS on demand = 0.090 * 24 *365 = $788.40/year
        Amazon RDS reserved instance = $106 (up front) + 0.042* 24 * 365 = $473.92 in the first year, and $367.92 in the second year.

        That about sums up the problems for Xeround.

        Teresa

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  3. Another potential warning about using PaaS type products. I suppose you could call this IaaS since they just provide a database but when you push your core data store to a 3rd party, they’re essentially providing it as a platform for your app.

    The database is traditionally a difficult thing to scale so having someone else do this for you makes some sense, but trusting a small-ish company to it is quite risky when that’s all they do. At least it’s not a proprietary system like Google’s AppEngine data store.

    I’d always argue for running the database yourself on your “own” hardware (e.g. EC2 instances, dedicated servers, etc). That way you get full control over your data, backups and particularly performance optimisations.

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  4. John Wright Thursday, May 2, 2013

    15 days notice seems like a short window. A month or two would have been nice. At least it will be over with soon.

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  5. Here is my insight into some of the root causes of Xerounds problems: http://scaledb.blogspot.com/2013/05/thoughts-on-xeround-and-free.html

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