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VC Joins the Ranks of Web Hosts

Legendary venture-capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers has joined the seemingly endless list of companies offering Web-hosting services. LogicTier, the company's new wholly owned subsidiary, is promising better end-user experiences and app management than its competitors.

The company, which is targeting small and midsize companies, has already signed five customers, including [email protected] While most other Web hosts guarantee service to their clients, LogicTier is going further, guaranteeing that end users will not be left on hold when they go to a site.

The company promises a maximum 19-second wait to access data at one of its hosted sites. Most end users get a response in eight seconds or less now, according to LogicTier. The end-user guarantee will be a key weapon as LogicTier competes with Qwest Communications International Inc. and other major-league Web hosts. "LogicTier is taking Web hosting two steps further than other Web hosters because they are guaranteeing applications performance and the end-user experience," says Tim Weiss, a consultant for TeleChoice.

LogicTier has lined up an impressive roster of partners that should help it live up to its promises. AT&T is on board for bandwidth and network infrastructure and Level 3 for its data centers. Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Oracle, and Marimba all will provide hardware and delivery technologies.

But there are obstacles. In order to guarantee application performance and site accessibility, LogicTier must first control each site's security, the transport layer between the server and the browser, and bandwidth. "Customers are just getting used to the idea of turning over the application to a service provider; it may take a bit more time for them to hand over every back-office function associated with that application as well," Weiss says. "LogicTier may be a little early to the game with their offering."

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