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A US technology consultancy firm is touting a 'soft landing' for companies whose web hosts have gone tits up or fled the scene.

RampRate offers to "identify and weave together disparate, best-of-breed infrastructure technologies" to enable rapid migration from Web hosting companies that have abruptly left the business, to established, stable service providers.

In recent weeks, the Web hosting market has been rocked by the sudden departure of some of the industry's biggest players. Metromedia Fiber (MFN) has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, LoudCloud sold its hosting business to EDS, and Intel announced its departure from the market. Given the continuing financial woes of WorldCom and telecom provider Qwest, and let's not forget KPNQwest and Global Crossing, concerns remain that the worst may be yet to come.

RampRate has pinpointed and partnered with vendors in domain management, content delivery network, disaster recovery and storage, to provide migration solutions for enterprises at risk of their supplier failing them to make a smooth transition.

Together with its research partner Tier 1, RampRate reckons it can match client needs with vendor capabilities (looking at factors such as SLA agreements offered, pricing and technical capabilities). Despite the sector's woes, RampRate reckons there are still an abundance of financially sound players

RampRate said that its services are typically free to the client, so it makes its money as a sales channel for the service providers (it has more than 100 on its books) it recommends. Although it lists Miramax and Microsoft among its clients, RampRate will have to get overcome a possible lack of its awareness of its brand in persuading users to let it make sourcing decisions on their behalf.

It will also have to persuade firms of the merits of best of breed rather than all-in-one solutions. ®

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