Lobster is a simple hourly billing panel for virtual machine services. Lobster
does not manage virtual machines directly -- instead, it relies on backends that
it communicates with through VM interfaces; several backends are supported.
See https://github.com/LunaNode/lobster/wiki/GettingStarted to get started.
Lobster allows multiple regions to be defined. Each region has a separate
virtual machine interface, although the interface type may be the same. Plans
are shared across regions, but images are not.
Lobster currently only supports a prepaid hourly billing model. Users pay via
some payment interface, and once payment is recorded as completed, credit is
added to their account. If a user is running out of credit, Lobster will send
low credit notifications; once credit reaches zero, services are suspended, and
eventually the account is terminated.
There are three services billed by Lobster:
* Virtual machines: have an hourly price defined in the plan
* Image storage: billed based on a configurable price per gigabyte-hour
* Bandwidth: users are given a bandwidth pool allocation in each region based on the sum of the plan bandwidth of their virtual machines. If a user uses more traffic across their VMs in some region than this allocation, they will be charged at a configurable price per gigabyte. Bandwidth is billed on a per-calendar-month basis, so usage and allocations are reset each month. Note that if a user only provisions a VM for one hour, then they will receive only a proportional allocation (the bandwidth specified in the plan is the monthly allocation).
Different backends have different features, but Lobster tries to support as
much as possible. Currently these backends are supported:
* CloudStack (experimental)
These provider-specific APIs are also supported:
* Luna Node
* Digital Ocean
Lobster also supports using Cloug  providers as VM backends. Cloug is a cloud
API library that provides a common interface to access multiple APIs, just as
Lobster provides a common panel. Cloug is still under development, but the aim
is to eventually move all VM interface code on Lobster to Cloug.
Payment is generally accepted via a pay-callback system, where we direct the
user to a payment gateway and then wait for a secure callback notification from
the gateway that confirms payment.
Supported payment gateways:
The Lobster project uses Github for coordination.
Note that per the Apache license, any contribution you submit for inclusion in
Lobster shall be under the terms of the Apache license. See Section 5 of the
Apache License Version 2.0 for details.