SWsoft Acquisitions Add To Hosting Automation And Server Virtualization Portfolio - InformationWeek

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SWsoft Acquisitions Add To Hosting Automation And Server Virtualization Portfolio

The vendor has acquired Plesk and Yippi-Yeah E-Business, complementing its work developing server-virtualization software

To add to its portfolio of hosting automation and server virtualization software, SWsoft Inc. disclosed Monday that it has acquired Plesk Inc. and Yippi-Yeah E-Business GmbH for an undisclosed amount. Both Plesk and Yippi-Yeah make software that hosting providers use to manage customer accounts--no easy task in the highly fragmented worldwide mass-market hosting business.

SWsoft, maker of Virtuozzo server virtualization software and the HSPcomplete suite of hosting automation apps, will sell Plesk Server Administrator and Confixx Professional, developed by German software maker Yippi-Yeah. Plesk's software acts as a control panel for hosting companies, allowing them to use templates for automated creation of clients, domains, DNS, and notifications settings. Confixx has similar capabilities and provides SWsoft with a presence in Germany.

Mass-market hosting is a growing market, says Joshua Biel, VP of research and development for Tier 1 Research. The market will grow from $3.1 billion in 2002 to $3.8 billion this year, claiming more than one-third of the $9.1 billion US hosting market.

SWsoft's acquisitions of control panel software from Plesk and Yippi-Yeah complement its work developing Virtuozzo in the utility computing market, Biel says. Server virtualization is an important trend in data centers today, but ultimately there needs to be some way of managing the physical servers on which they reside.

Most service providers that host only Web servers and E-mail are small and don't have a lot of money to spend on large management packages, says SWsoft CEO Serguei Beloussov. "Prior to this, we weren't selling control panels separately, but rather as part of HSPcomplete, which is a more expensive, comprehensive package."

HSPcomplete includes software for managing hardware, operating systems, applications, backups, IP pools, customers, resellers, E-commerce storefronts, and customer payments. The package also starts at about $10,000. "Smaller hosting companies don't need HSPcomplete," Beloussov says. Now they can buy just the software they need.

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