There are a lot of cloud services out there, that require a specific and not insignificant amount of resources to be spun up, which save a lot of money by putting those instances to sleep when not in use for a certain period of time.
One example that comes to mind, is the Cloud9 IDE, which a lot of you probably use (I use it on my Chromebook). They provide a free "instance" of their IDE, including a virtual webserver so you can "run" your code and view it via your browser.
This is a great resource, but if you use it as your day-to-day IDE (or anything more frequently than one or two times per week), that "spin-up" time is monumentally annoying. Imagine if typically all you want to do, is modify a few lines of code, and you have to wait several minutes for the thing to spin up. Ugh!
Okay, first-world-problems for sure, but what's cool about Cloud9, is that they allow you to pay a fee in order to ensure that your workspace is always live. You never have to wait for it to spin up again. It's actually quite a heavy fee in my humble opinion: $20 - but still worth it for me.
Meanwhile, my ServiceNow developer instance...
which is an incredibly awesome service provided for free to me that I have no right to complain about, and which I would be lost without!
goes to sleep every time I stop staring at it, and seems to be asleep nearly every single time I need to use it.
This is for good reason, and I absolutely understand that. I don't feel entitled to having a permanently spun-up instance of ServiceNow. In fact, I don't feel entitled to have a development instance at all. I'm highly grateful to have one at all.
So, I really want a permanently spun up instance, but I don't think it's feasible or reasonable for ServiceNow to provide that to me necessarily for free... so, how about I pay for it?
I'm happy to pay to extend my "sleep time" (the period of inactivity before which the instance will sleep) to something like 30 days (if not infinite). I'd be happy to pay somewhere between $5 and $20 per month for this.
I can also see companies being inclined to want to engage this service for their development teams, so that it could perhaps be offered as a "team" service to businesses, as well as on an individual basis (Cloud9 does the same thing).
What do you guys think?