When it comes to finding products that improve efficiency and lower operating costs, few groups are as eager as hosting service providers (HSPs). In a market known for its low margins, the capability to consolidate tasks and servers can make the difference between profits and loss.
Looking to help HSPs better tap their human and equipment resources, Ensim Corp. today announced the availability of Ensim Extend, which is designed to offer scaleability for shared hosting environments.
The product is an add-on to Ensim’s managed services platform WEBppliance Pro for Linux and is designed to allow hosting service providers (HSPs) to grow their
businesses from one server supporting a few Web sites to thousands of servers
supporting tens of thousands of domains.
Steve Dauber, vice president, marketing
Ensim, said that software for the HSP market has been largely a “cobbled together solution.” HSPs ran their operation “using their own stuff and software from 10-person companies. HSP were running a $2 billion dollar industry on it.” And that $2 billion is growing fast. In fact, IDC predicts hosting will be a $20.8 billion industry in 2006.
Given that expected growth, Dauber said scaleability is becoming increasingly important. “We want to provide software products not just for today but for tomorrow as well.”
“When you are growing it’s hard to maintain profitability. Growth has risk. To benefit from growth, you have to operate efficiently,” he said. “Most service providers who bankrupt did so because they overspent on capital equipment. If you have 100 servers you have to make sure you get the maximum benefit from them.”
Ensim recognized that accommodating growth was not something its WEBppliance Pro software was not built for. “WEBppliance Pro offers security, reporting, supportability, extensibility — but not scaleability,” Dauber said.
With Ensim Extend, HSPs can easily implement what Dauber refers to as “smart provisioning” — that is selecting a server based on free capacity, server pools and categories of pools.
Ensim Extend offers the following benefits, according to the company:
- A single interface to manage thousands of Web sites, regardless of
which servers are hosting them.
- Automatic selection and provisioning of Web sites on servers based on
usage, characteristics and policies.
- Support for delegating resources to reseller distribution
channels, including domains, server resources, IP addresses, and
private label DNS.
- Easy migration of Web sites between servers for better load balancing.
- Centralized allocation of IP addresses and reporting for ARIN
compliance. The American Registry for Internet Numbers is responsible for assigning IP addresses.
- Centralized, fault tolerant DNS management for all domains regardless
of the server hosting them.
- Centralized monitoring of HTTP, FTP, POP and SMTP across servers.
- Centralized resource tracking and alerting for disk, CPU, bandwidth and
memory usage across all servers and Web sites.
- Open, central interfaces for billing and order processing integration.
Ensim Extend is available immediately at no charge through
the end of the year. After that, the software costs $149 per month, per 500 domains. To go above 500 domains, Dauber said, HSP would need to purchase an additional 500 domains.