Hosting software hopes to bank on .net

Ensim has released the latest version of its WEBppliance software for automating Web site management aimed specifically at...

Ensim has released the latest version of its WEBppliance software for automating Web site management aimed specifically at service providers hosting Web sites that are run on Microsoft Web servers.

The hosting automation product developer has predicted heightened demand for Web hosting services on Microsoft servers, saying that it expects Linux-based Web hosting to get a run for its money.

At the moment, according to Ensim, about 40% of Web hosting is done using Linux-based servers, compared with only 20% on Microsoft servers.

"Linux and Windows are in a race and Windows is accelerating in big part because of the .Net services initiative," said Andy Kim, Ensim's vice-president of marketing.

The company released WEBppliance 3.0 after working with Microsoft for six months on developing the first software that automates Windows-based Web hosting.

Previously, Ensim's Web hosting automation software was aimed exclusively at clients who were hosting Linux-based Web sites.

The latest version of WEBppliance offers telecommunication and service providers the ability to deploy and maintain Windows-based Web sites quicker and more efficiently, the company said, by allowing them to automate certain management functions.

The software offers a set of four control panels that streamline administrative functions, as well as user, domain and reseller management tasks, cutting down on manpower time, the company claimed.

Especially important for the reseller channel, the software allows for branding of end-user interfaces and other customisation options, Ensim said.

WEBppliance 3.0 also complies with the Microsoft Windows for Web Hosting Prescriptive Architecture Guide and supports Microsoft tools and services, such as FrontPage 2002.

WEBppliance 3.0 is priced at $179 (£123) for a five-domain licence, and for managing a larger number of domains, the company charges a one-time fee of $349 (£240) per 250 domains. These prices include the software licence, patches and basic e-mail and web support for 30 days, the company said.

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