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Renting elastic servers

Strange name, interesting idea

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Security for virtualized datacentres

So, it seems that the early adopters of the move towards rentable hosted services are not the bleeding edge, state-of-the-art businesses that the likes of Sun Microsystems had hoped to target with its Grid computing service. Instead, it has been applications developers that have latched on to the technology, particularly as a means of testing new developments on large installations without actually having to buy them.

Not surprisingly, others are now coming along to address this market as well, with Australian outfit, the oddly named Vigabyte, offering an online service that looks right up the developers’ collective street. Out of interest, it claims the name means `variable Gigabyte’ – there will be no competition regarding alternative definitions. The mode of operation is, however, interesting. You want to scale up an installation for a while so that you can test or demonstrate your code on an environment similar in size to the customer? For many a small development shop that investment could mean several years’ penury and piles of subsequently unwanted kit. What they need is an elastic environment that stretches when needed.

So now virtual, dedicated servers can be obtained by the month, with access ordered over the Web; with the company credit card in hand all you need do is fill in the form online. The smallest virtual server comes with 256MB of memory, 80GB of storage, and a monthly data transfer allowance of 10 GBytes, all for a price of AU$49 per month. The one weak point for developers might well be the data transfer limit.

The servers are virtualized out of a large clustered hosting environment so that the resources are shared between customers while at the same time giving guaranteed allocations for memory, storage and data transfer. ®

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