Meet Ubicloud, a fresh startup shaking up the cloud computing scene. Founded by the brains behind Citus Data (acquired by Microsoft in 2019), Ubicloud aims to revolutionize the game by offering essential cloud computing services on affordable bare-metal servers from providers like Hetzner, OVH Cloud, Leaseweb, and even AWS.

What makes Ubicloud stand out? Well, it provides a layer of core services on top of these servers, including a managed service and an open-source version that lets developers build their own cloud on bare-metal providers.

Currently, Ubicloud focuses on a few key components like compute and a PostgreSQL database service. They also throw in necessary networking capabilities for creating public and private virtual networks, along with built-in attribute-based access controls. The team plans to expand their offerings to include block storage and a Kubernetes-based container service in the future.

Co-founders Ozgun Erdogan and Umur Cubukcu, previously from Citus Data, have a deep background in cloud services. They emphasize that while Ubicloud won’t replace the full range of AWS offerings, it zeroes in on the most valuable 10% of those services, providing developers with a simpler and more affordable experience.

Cubukcu acknowledges the growing gap between hardware costs and what big cloud providers charge, but he sees Ubicloud bridging that gap with a managed service that offers a similar experience at a lower cost. He highlights the progress in reducing egress fees, which benefits services like Ubicloud.

Developers using Ubicloud have the flexibility to choose where they host their services. Currently, the platform is gaining popularity for running GitHub Action runners, handling long-running workloads, and providing a PostgreSQL database service.

Erdogan mentions an upcoming Kubernetes platform that will enable the team to offer more features on top of their infrastructure-as-a-service layer.

While the concept of an open-source AWS competitor may sound familiar, the Ubicloud team distinguishes their approach from past projects like OpenStack. They claim their managed service is available from day one, offering a straightforward sign-up and usability within minutes.

Ubicloud is riding the wave of a changing open-source landscape, utilizing existing projects for virtual networking and storage services. The startup recently announced a successful $16 million seed round, with investors including Y Combinator and 500 Emerging Europe, as well as several angel investors.

With a team of 10 employees spread across San Francisco, Amsterdam, and Istanbul, Ubicloud is gearing up to make cloud computing more accessible, affordable, and user-friendly.