💀RIP Ubiquiti UniFi Cloud 2017–2019 (Alternatives)

Reilly Chase
Nov 7, 2019 · 5 min read

Yesterday I was searching for “UniFi Cloud Hosting” on Google as I do occasionally to check the organic search ranking for https://hostifi.net, and I found out that Ubiquiti had quietly shut down their own UniFi cloud hosting service.

So I posted about it on Twitter to let the Ubiquiti UniFi Cloud users know that our team can help them get migrated to HostiFi.

As of this morning, the page has changed. Instead of directly saying that they no longer offer the service, they now provide instructions on how to manage your account (if you already have one).

What they don’t mention is that if you don’t have a subscription already, you can’t purchase a new one.

Here’s a look back in time at the evolution of Ubiquiti’s cloud offerings, and HostiFi’s rise as an alternative solution built specifically for multi-location businesses and IT service providers.

Early 2016: UniFi Cloud Key

It’s an embedded device that runs the UniFi controller on your LAN

Pros:

  • No need to manage a local server
  • Can be remotely managed without port-forwarding by enabling Cloud Access

Cons:

  • Any slight power outage can cause MongoDB to shut down improperly, causing the device to become corrupted and require a site visit to restore it from backup
  • Cloud Access occasionally stops working and must be locally reconnected
  • Can only support up to 25 UniFi devices
  • No offsite backups

May 2017: Ubiquiti UniFi Cloud

Ubiquiti first announced a UniFi Cloud management offering with very reasonable entry pricing of $199/year for 100 devices

Pros:

  • No device or server for UniFi controller required on the LAN
  • Scale-up as you need to
  • Server updates managed for you

Cons:

  • No phone support
  • No custom domain name or SSL
  • Only available in US, Canada, and Mexico
  • 500 device limit

April 2018: Ubiquiti UniFi Cloud 10x Price Increase

Ubiquiti changed pricing from $199/year for 100 devices to $299/year for 10 devices + $199/year for each 10 devices after.

May 2018: HostiFi Launches

I launched https://hostifi.net as a side project providing UniFi controller hosting at prices closer to Ubiquiti’s original cloud pricing

  • No device or server for UniFi controller required on the LAN
  • Scale-up as you need to
  • No 500 device limit — one of our servers has over 2,300 UniFi devices connected to it
  • Server updates managed for you
  • Each customer gets their own VPS on Vultr
  • Servers automatically built after purchase
  • 16 Vultr data center locations worldwide to choose from
  • Custom domain name and SSL install for you
  • Nightly offsite backups to DigitalOcean Spaces
  • Premium support for all users — email, live chat, phone, screen share
  • Free migration support
  • 24/7 Uptime monitoring

January 2019: HostiFi Full-time

I started working on HostiFi full-time.

Early 2019: UniFi Cloud Key Gen 2 / Plus

Ubiquiti CEO Robert Pera writes a blog post taking a firm stance against the idea of providing UniFi as a SaaS offering and introduces the Cloud Key Gen 2.

https://www.rjpblog.com/2019/01/10/introducing-unifi-protect/

Pros:

  • Either can support up to 50 UniFi devices each
  • The Plus supports up to 20 cameras
  • A new battery included in the device is supposed to properly shutdown MongoDB during a power outage, resulting in less corruption issues

Cons:

  • While it is a good solution for a home or single location small business, it becomes expensive and unmanageable for multi-location businesses and IT service providers who need to purchase, install, and manage a separate Cloud Key for every location/customer
  • Cloud Access can still be unreliable, requiring a site visit to locally disconnect and reconnect it
  • No offsite backups

April 2019: HostiFi Raises a Seed Round from Earnest Capital

https://earnestcapital.com/earnest-founders-1/

September 2019: HostiFi hires a Technical Support Engineer

Safwan Shaikh left Ubiquiti to work full-time as a Technical Support Engineer for HostiFi!

November 2019: HostiFi is looking to hire a Laravel Developer

We are working on a new HostiFi website with more features for our customers, and looking to hire a Laravel developer: https://medium.com/hostifi/were-hiring-laravel-developer-cd32067a0e43

November 2019: Ubiquiti UniFi Cloud no longer offered

Ubiquiti UniFi Cloud is closed down.

Conclusion

In some ways, it’s not surprising to see Ubiquiti UniFi Cloud closing, as it has clearly not been a primary focus there and is in direct conflict to the CEO’s vision for the product.

“ The idea of a cloud based hardware controller certainly seems at least a bit ridiculous when considered with an unbiased mind. Why would anyone tolerate the exorbitant licensing fees and security concerns associated with purchased hardware that unnecessarily tethers to a 3rd party server?”

-Robert Pera

We have a different vision.

“At HostiFi, we’ve created the best of both worlds. Cheap per device cloud-managed UniFi pricing that scales up as you grow, all the benefits that come with a SaaS solution including managed updates, security, and support, and no vendor lock-in — migrate away anytime using the built-in UniFi migration wizard.”

-Reilly Chase

👉 If you are a Ubiquiti UniFi Cloud customer looking to migrate, hit us up on live chat at https://hostifi.net!

We currently have over 600 subscribers who have connected more than 30,000 UniFi network devices to our platform, and we’re happy to help you get started! 🤗

HostiFi

#UniFi and #UNMS cloud hosting

Reilly Chase

Written by

I help IT providers with Ubiquiti server hosting ➡️ https://hostifi.net

HostiFi

HostiFi

#UniFi and #UNMS cloud hosting

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