iiNet virtual private server offering gets backing from Microsoft

Aimed at small businesses building Web applications

Perth-based internet service provider iiNet (ASX:IIN) is set to launch a virtual private server (VPS) offering for business customers wanting to build their own Web applications.

The VPS product will provide Cloud-based virtual machines on iiNet infrastructure and will be primarily targeted at Web and application developers. Though initially built on Microsoft Windows Server 2003, an iiNet spokesperson confirmed the ISP plans to transition to Windows Server 2008 in coming weeks. A range of Linux-based operating systems can also be used by customers.

The VPS offering uses "enterprise-class" IBM infrastructure and NetApp-based storage, according to iiNet.

According to iiNet business general manager, Steve Harley, the offering would remove restrictions typically found on a shared hosting environment, including control over the operating system.

"With your own control, you can install software of your choice, but with a shared environment the hosting company will install the software they support," he said in a statement.

"Finally, for updates to be made to libraries and permissions, users have to ask the hosting company to make these changes on a shared system, and it is up to the hosts discretion. With a VPS, you can update yourself."

iiNet is offering three VPS plans, ranging from a basic, $29.95 per month plan with 20 gigabytes (GB) of storage and 50GB of bandwidth to a premium plan at $99.95 a month offering 50GB of storage and 250GB of bandwidth on higher performance infrastructure. Each offering provides a single static IP address.

The ISP opened a new data centre in the former offices of subsidiary Westnet in April last year, at the time hosting 88 server racks and primed for approximately 750,000 services. iiNet touted the energy efficiency of the facility, which uses a hot aisle containment system to halve its power usage effectiveness rating.

The announcement also comes in the wake of staff cuts at its head office earlier this month as part of a wider review of staff structures.

iiNet's chief regulatory officer, Steve Daly, told Computerworld Australia that the number of cuts was "small" and included staff across its subsidiary service providers including Netspace, Westnet and AAPT’s consumer retail division.

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @computerworldau

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