Mobile // Mobile Applications
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10/13/2010
12:56 PM
Michele Warren
Michele Warren
Commentary
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Alliance Lifts Cloud Computing Into Stratosphere

Now that there's computing in the cloud, businesses can deploy and manage online applications faster and easier than ever before. Two companies recently teamed up with hopes of raising the bar even higher. Their focus: full-featured software that can be downloaded on the fly.

Now that there's computing in the cloud, businesses can deploy and manage online applications faster and easier than ever before. Two companies recently teamed up with hopes of raising the bar even higher. Their focus: full-featured software that can be downloaded on the fly.OnApp delivers what it calls an "elastic" cloud engine that allows hosting providers to set up and manage cloud servers on commodity hardware. They can do that by using OnApp's web-based user interface and virtual machine templates. The cloud-based applications themselves come courtesy of JumpBox, which packages its open-source web applications as "ready to use virtual machines."

Carlos Rego, general manager of OnApp, says users get the best of both worlds -- full-fledged applications (versus stripped-down models), with flexibility and full control over their resources. "This is truly self-provisioning," he says. "Users go to a GUI, select an [application], and hit Submit. In 60 seconds, they're ready to log on and start working. And they can be as granular as they want to be about the server specs: 'I want to run application X with 256 Mbytes of RAM and 1 CPU, for example.'"

Rego says the OnApp-JumpBox cloud model is a win-win for everybody, giving hosting providers an enhanced portfolio of offerings and a steady revenue stream. Their customers -- the end users -- get the benefits of SaaS (convenience and low cost) without the drawbacks (lack of flexibility and loss of control). "This type of offering is really tailored for small businesses," Rego says. "Some of these apps can be finicky to install and run if you're doing it outside of the cloud. A company could spend thousands of dollars to hire someone to do it for them."

JumpBox's library currently consists of 50-plus apps, including ones for blogging, CRM, database management, e-commerce, and security. To date, OnApp has deployed about 40,000 cloud servers around the globe.

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