SAN ANTONIO (04/12/2000) - Don't pack it or stack it. Rack it. Internet server outsourcing company Rackspace.com creates and leases customized Web servers for customers who don't want to do it themselves.
Differing from virtual hosting or collocation facilities, startup Rackspace has announced a service that uses an online configuration utility to let customers specify a Web server configuration. Rackspace will then build the server for them. In addition, Rackspace supplies the software, routers and communication lines to get customers quickly serving up Web pages. Clientele manage the Web server content remotely, while Rackspace locally monitors the Web software, server and router operations.
A contract with Rackspace to build, configure and maintain a Web server starts at about $12,000 per year.
The company - with investments of more than $19 million - can set up, install and configure a server overnight using Intel or Sun Web servers running Windows NT, Linux or Solaris. For users in a hurry, a separate service offers one-hour configuration.
Knowing that many e-commerce companies may not have the staff or don't want to be troubled with setting up a Web server, CEO Graham Weston and co-founder Richard Yoo were inspired by a report prepared by Forrester Research in Cambridge, Mass. The study says the outsourced Web server market will grow to more than $5.3 billion in 2002 and exceed the revenue projected for collocation and Web hosting facilities.
Wind Up Records, the record label for the rock band Creed, is one of the companies that chose Rackspace. "We really liked the idea of having complete, total access to the server but didn't want to deal with maintenance," says Rick Wiley, Web manager for Wind Up in New York.
Companies can make changes quickly to their server configurations as their businesses grow. "Creed is on the verge of a top 40 hit, and we may find tomorrow that their page hits triple over a month," Wiley says. "We need to think forward and be able to expand our server overnight."