Shade It is now officially a technology company with two different products. In addition to a cloud computing service that works well for gaming, the company is launching Shadow Drive, a cloud storage service based on Nextcloud.
“It’s now been a year and a half since Octave Klapa acquired Blade with a vision: to remove technological barriers and bring the power of cloud computing to everyone,” Stéphane Heliot, co-founder and executive vice president, said at a press conference in Paris.
Octave Klaba is the founder of OVHcloud and acquired Shadow (formerly Blade) to saved from bankruptcy. Since then, OVHcloud has been an important partner of Shadow. All Shadow servers have been moved to OVHcloud’s data centers.
in May 2022The company revealed its roadmap for the foreseeable future. It includes three different pillars – a consumer cloud computing service that has been Shadow’s flagship product since day one, a new cloud storage service and a dedicated enterprise offering.
After a few weeks of testing, Shadow officially launched the Shadow Drive cloud storage service. If you’ve been following Octave Klaba’s projects, you might remember his earlier foray into space with hubiC. It was designed as a competitor to Dropbox, Google Drive, or Microsoft OneDrive but never took off.
Shadow hits the reset button with Shadow Drive. This time, the company is using Nextcloud as its basis. If you are not familiar with Nextcloud, it is a popular open source online storage application that you can run on your own server.
Shadow Drive is a hosted service, which means you don’t have to run your own server or manage anything – just like… WordPress.com It can manage your WordPress site for you. Users can either get a free account with 20GB of storage or pay $8.99 or €8.99 per month for 2TB of storage. Then, they can store, share, and sync the files so that those files can be accessed through a web browser, desktop app, or mobile app.
“Shadow Drive is based on two offerings, free and premium — Simple,” said Shadow CEO Eric Sell. We will never monetize the personal data of our users nor do we advertise on our site.
This launch is only the first step because Shadow Drive is still a work in progress. The iOS app is still in beta for example. The company also plans to add WebDAV support so that you can add your cloud storage account as a network drive in File Explorer on Windows or Finder on macOS. There will be more Nextcloud modules in the future as well.
Cloud computing service for gamers and businesses
As for Shadow’s flagship service, the cloud computing service, the company rolled out its Premium plan just a few weeks ago. There are now two configurations.
By default, subscribers get the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 equivalent, 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage for $29.99 per month or €29.99 in Europe. It’s a Windows instance, which means you can install whatever you want, like Steam, 3D editing software, and more.
Users can add the “Power Upgrade” option on top of their basic subscription for another $14.99 per month (or €14.99). This time around, you’ll get an AMD EPYC 7543P CPU with 4 cores and 8 threads, 16GB of RAM and an Nvidia RTX A4500 GPU.
I tried Shadow’s Power upgrade, and it was Very smooth experience. Shadow already has 8,000 customers using this new configuration and the company is working hard to add new slots.
Shadow is currently available in eight data centers. Since latency is key to cloud computing service, the company only accepts customers who live near the data center. The service is available in the United States, Canada, France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Italy, Sweden and Denmark. On December 7th, Shadow adds Spain to that list.
Users can access their Shadow instance from a computer, phone, tablet, Android smart TV, or Apple TV. The idea is that you should be able to access your powerful Shadow PC from the simplest PC.
That’s why Shadow is also releasing the first version of the Raspberry Pi app today. Once your monitor, keyboard, mouse, and (optionally) gamepad are connected, you can access your Shadow instance.
Recently, the company has also been working with enterprise customers who want to control multiple Shadow Instances. For example, Bandai Namco Europe used the service for their Elden Ring press campaign. But Shadow can also be used by architects, animation production companies, and all kinds of employees who need a powerful computer but don’t necessarily want to buy tower computers.
Shadow formalizes this offering with Shadow Business Solutions. There are three different configurations:
- Spark (Intel Xeon CPU 2.5GHz up to 3.1GHz, 8 vCore, 256GB SSD, 12GB RAM, NVidia 1080/P5000 GPU)
- Aurora (Intel Xeon 3.3 GHz up to 4.5 GHz CPU, 8 vCore, 256 GB SSD, 16 GB RAM, NVidia RTX 5000 with 12GB VRAM GPU)
- Lightning (Intel Xeon 3.3GHz up to 4.5GHz CPU, 12 Cores, 512GB SSD, 32GB RAM, NVidia RTX 6000 with 24GB VRAM GPU)
These configurations cost €59, €89, and €139 per instance per month, respectively. You can either bring your own Windows license or get a Windows Server 2019 license for an additional €30 per month.
On December 5th, the company will begin offering an administration tool so that business customers can create, modify, and stop Shadow PCs from a proprietary administrative interface.
Again, this is only the first step as the company plans to add some features that will be important to business customers, such as rights management, configuration redundancy, group management, and backup management.
Finally, Shadow is also considering a new revenue stream using instant computing instances. In this case, Shadow will serve up GPU instances on demand for training AI models and other GPU-intensive tasks. As you can see, Shadow is still investing across the board to add new products, new countries and new customers. It’s still a relatively young company and cloud computing is a new industry.
So it will be interesting to see if Sony and Microsoft end up capturing the cloud gaming market and if the big cloud hosting companies start investing heavily in cloud computing as well. For now, it looks like Shadow is back on the right track.