FAQ

Why are you called Giant Rabbit?

Because "Heath-and-Haight" sounds like an evil law firm in a Dickens novel. Because rabbits are tougher and smarter than most people think. Because we help small organizations do gigantic things.

Can you help me find a real, live giant rabbit?

No. (We get requests like this from time to time.) If you're interested in real, live rabbits, we recommend a visit to the House Rabbit Society; they can help you adopt and care for one.

Why did you start Giant Rabbit?

Because we love technology, but we only get really excited about it when it's being used to make the world a better place. For years Peter and Daniel volunteered for NPOs while they worked other jobs, but they realized they couldn't do a good job in their spare time. They started Giant Rabbit in 2006 so they could do it right.

What's with all the theater people? And a filmmaker?

We like working with smart, creative, self-motivated, compassionate people. Theater attracts people like that, but it generally doesn't pay them enough to feed, clothe, and house themselves. That's where Giant Rabbit comes in.

What's your thing with Open Source software? Every platform you mention is open source.

Open Source fits our personality, it fits our mission, and we feel it often fits our clients' needs. We're willing to use closed-source software if it's the best option, but we don't like black boxes. We like to be able to make changes when we want to, fix things that are broken, and we want our clients to have total control over their own software platform and their own data, forever. We support the open-source ecosystems that benefit our clients, and we contribute code back to them when we can.

Will you provide services for for-profit business?

Sometimes, sure. It helps if your business is making the world a better place in one way or another. Talk to us - we might be a good fit.

If we come to you for web design, will our website look like this?

No. When we design your web site, we build a site that tells your story for your users and expresses your brand values. Your website will look right for your organization and your goals.

Why does your website look like this, then?

When we design a web site, our first question is: "What are we trying to communicate, and to whom?" In this case, we want you to get a sense of who we are and therefore what we're like to work with - because we don't want just any clients, we want the right clients for us.

What do we think we're saying with this web site? We want you to see that we're enthusiastic about technology - we love our web site and we like working on this stuff. We are trying to make this whole process as fun and painless for everyone as it can be. When it works out, it can even be amazing. That's what we're trying to communicate--is it working? You tell us.

What's with the spaceship?

What spaceship?

The spaceship.

Sssh. We don't discuss the spaceship.

Have I seen all the rabbits?

You mean the different illustrations on our site? That depends. There are 7 of them; here's a list:

SF Bay Rabbit
Marin Headlands Rabbit
Nighttime Wolves Rabbit
SF City Hall Rabbit
Workshop Rabbit
20000 Leagues Rabbit
Aviatrix Rabbit

I’m one of your clients. You told us we could save a lot of money by moving to an Amazon Reserved Instance. How does it work?

So, we set up most of our clients on Amazon EC2 Linux servers; they’re high-quality servers on Amazon’s reliable, scalable architecture. But if you’re on a pay-as-you-go plan, they’re not as cheap as some of the other server hosting options available. But Amazon offers super cheap Reserved Instances that bring the price way down. We at Giant Rabbit use Reserved Instances for our own sites, and if we’ve got you on an Amazon server, sooner or later we’re going to suggest that you switch to one too. 
 
It works like this: you pay Amazon an upfront fee, say $350, and then, for the next 3 years, your monthly bill for that server is a lot smaller. That’s it, but the savings are pretty enormous.
 
Say you’re on a pay-as-you-go plan. You have an m3.medium server (a decently fast server that’s enough for many of our smaller clients). There’s no upfront charge, but the server alone is about $51/month (with storage and other add-ons your bill may be a bit higher). Your 3-year total cost will be $1844.64. 
 
Now say you switch to a 3-year reserved server. You pay $337.00 up front; that’s a one-time cost that’s non-refundable. But then your monthly bill for that server plummets--it’s about $11/month, or nearly one-fifth the pay-as-you-go plan. Your 3-year total price is $732.28. Compare that to the 3-year total price for the on-demand instance above--it’s 60% less. Which is crazy. 
 

But wait! Didn’t you say I have to have the same server for 3 years? What if something changes? Don’t we lose a lot of money?

Nope! The cool thing about the 3-year reserved instances is they pay for themselves after about 8 months: that’s how long it takes to start saving money. So as long as you keep your server for 8 months (which you were planning on doing anyway, right?) you’re good! Even if you decide to change after 8 months, you’re not penalized in any way; you just need to start a new 3-year term for your new server speed and size. 
 
So, the way we make sure you don’t lose money is by making sure you’re happy with your server speed before you sign up for a reserved instance. As long as you think you’ll be happy with the server speed for 8 more months, you should sign up for a reserved instance. 
 

How do I know if I’m happy with my server speed?

This is actually pretty subjective; if you’ve ever thought ‘hmm, doing my work on this site is a little pokey,’ shoot us an email, and we can have a brief conversation about it. If you generally do your work just fine, you’re probably fine.
 

What’s in it for you?

For us? Nothing; you pay Amazon for your servers, not us. We just figure you and your board would rather not be paying Amazon any more than you have to be.

So if this is all about Amazon’s pricing, why is it in *your* FAQ?

Because it’s relevant to so many of our clients! And also: Because, while Amazon makes great servers, their pricing information is punishingly opaque if you don’t work with them all the time.