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Launch HN: Nullstone (YC W22) – An easier way to deploy and manage cloud apps

Hi HN! We’re Brad and Scott from Nullstone (https://nullstone.io), a developer platform to deploy and manage cloud apps and infrastructure. Here’s a demo: https://www.loom.com/share/924b1f57ba2143eeabb43ee8cbe3fe88?….

Running your app on a major cloud provider makes a lot of things easier, but it’s tedious to configure IAM, security groups, networking, secrets, autoscaling, health checks, zero-downtime deployments, and more. It is also difficult and time-consuming to release and synchronize app and infra changes across many apps and environments.

Nullstone provides an intuitive developer experience to deploy any app—be it an API, web app, static site, or one-off job—to AWS or GCP. We provide a simple, consistent experience for automatically deploying to any platform (e.g., Fargate, Kubernetes, Lambda, etc.). We provision and configure infrastructure depending on your use case (e.g., networks, clusters, datastores, load balancers, third-party logging providers, and much more). We offer many features that are hard to build in-house: automatic secrets management, GitOps, and preview environments.

Everything runs in your own cloud accounts. You own your data and we cannot access it. Secrets are stored in your secrets manager. We support all app types (e.g. APIs, web apps, frontends, jobs, etc.) and platforms (e.g. containers, serverless, s3 sites, VMs, etc.).

Instead of being a black box, our infrastructure modules are open source and you can hot-swap each module for your own Terraform. You can automate deploys and preview environments via GitHub integrations, CI/CD integrations, CLI, or API. All infra/deploy logs are easily accessible through the UI, CLI, and API.

We scan our modules against compliance frameworks to provide a foundation of compliance for your infrastructure. If there are vendors or platforms we don’t support, we provide a quick framework and open hooks to add support.

Nullstone is intended for software teams that don’t want to build an in-house platform. Our customers span many industries and have used us to reduce cloud costs by up to 90%, provide developer self-service, fully automate deployments, migrate to containers, and more.

Previously, we built an internal developer platform at McKinsey (serving 300 workloads across 1000 engineers) to solve a major pain point: engineers were building apps in weeks only to wait months to provision and secure infrastructure (and once provisioned, making changes to the apps was a frustrating back-and-forth process). Later I joined a cybersecurity company and as our team grew, I saw the same challenges: we were spending more time configuring infrastructure than building the product.

We decided to build Nullstone because no existing solution fit our needs. Some of the products we found were all-in-one solutions, meaning we had to sacrifice the tooling we liked and use infrastructure with insufficient security, compliance, and reliability controls. Other products, built for enterprises, provide a poor developer experience in exchange for costly licenses and significant internal resources to operate.

To provide a fully customizable experience that is easy-to-use for developers, we had to solve a few problems. (1) We had to present infrastructure as code configuration in a way that isn’t overwhelming, but allows for flexibility to handle various architectures. (2) We had to insulate developers from infrastructure-as-code errors that would confuse them, while maintaining a level of transparency that devs demand. (3) We had to build tooling around module development because infrastructure takes 10x longer than app code to get feedback on whether it’s working properly.

Nullstone is free for individual use. After that, we charge $100/user/month. A user is anybody committing code that is deployed through Nullstone.

Our docs are at https://docs.nullstone.io/ and our public roadmap is at https://github.com/orgs/nullstone-io/projects/1/views/1.

We would love for you to try it out and give us feedback, and we look forward to your comments!

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