WorldCom offers managed hosting packages

Building on its commitment to fulfill e-business needs, WorldCom Inc. Wednesday unveiled a series of managed Web hosting packages that it says allow companies to get e-commerce initiatives up and running in as little as two weeks.

WorldCom's managed hosting packages - 18 in all - are preconfigured services that combine popular hardware and software features. The packages are varied to meet the needs of all businesses, from low-end, single-server Web sites to high-availability, e-commerce sites.

With the announcement, made at Internet World, WorldCom is positioning itself as a leader in the growing managed services market, says Courtney Quinn, senior analyst with The Yankee Group. Users can take advantage of WorldCom's global IP network, while accessing the managed services they demand, she says.

WorldCom is using its alliance with managed hosting service provider Digex Inc. to offer the managed services. WorldCom is in the process of merging with Intermedia, Digex's parent company, having resolved issues raised by Digex shareholders unhappy with terms of the merger. The merger is expected to be approved next month, but WorldCom and Digex entered into a joint marketing agreement late last year that connects Digex data centers to WorldCom's network and allows WorldCom to sell Digex managed services.

WorldCom's managed hosting services are available immediately and include six packages that run on three platforms: Microsoft Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Solaris. Each of the packages includes hardware, software, Internet connectivity, support and a service-level agreement. In addition, the technical service and support offered ranges from 24-7 help desk availability to a round-the-clock support team with a single point of contact.

The packages also include security, reporting, administration, monitoring and back-up services and are available in the U.S., Europe and Asia Pacific.

WorldCom executives say they have reduced the cost and time typically associated with implementing a managed hosting arrangement because they have eliminated the need to custom build each service.

The packages are:

-- Single Server Package - Includes a dedicated Web server with database capabilities backed by a 10-day install guarantee. Good for a basic Web site, while allowing customers to load any application they choose.

-- Basic Commerce Site Package - Provides all business needs to get a commerce site up and running securely. Provides separate function-specific servers backed by a 10-day install guarantee.

-- Intermediate Commerce Site Package - Offers enhanced performance, reliability and security. Includes two load balanced Web servers, a dedicated database server and failover firewall, supported by a 15-day install guarantee.

-- Intermediate Application Site Package - Offers increased redundancy and higher performance. Includes function-specific servers and strong security, as well as a dedicated server for customer applications and fully redundant Web and firewall servers, supported by a 15-day install guarantee.

-- High Availability Commerce Site Package - Provides high availability and redundancy, as well as several function-specific servers, supported by a 15-day install guarantee.

-- High Availability Application Site Package - Offers maximum redundancy and performance, with numerous function-specific and application servers, supported by a 15-day install guarantee.

In addition to the managed services, WorldCom will continue to offer collocation, shared hosting and custom hosting services, the company says.

WorldCom: www.worldcom.com

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