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Infrastructure as a Service

July 13th, 2009

Infrastructure hosting is critically important to any SaaS provider. Hosting infrastructure is a major fixed cost. This is especially true for small and mid-size companies providing services to large multi-nationals. We provide solutions for a number of Fortune 500 companies, who have very stringent availability and security requirements. On the internet scale, the volumes are fairly low – most corporate applications are serving less than 100,000 users, but the standards imposed by the companies being served are very high. This results in a high cost of entry, and a lot of unused capacity. So the ability to seamlessly scale up and down with a pay-per-use model that matches incoming revenue is very attractive to a SaaS provider.

This type of capability is starting to become available. Amazon is well underway with its services providing infrastructure for those in the Java/Sun camp. Microsoft is playing catchup with it’s Azure services platform, putting it’s Windows Server OS into the cloud. Our platform is .NET based, so I’ll be closely watching the evolution of Azure, with a view to whether and when our company might consider moving to an Azure platform. Microsoft is due to announce it’s pricing model this week – then we’ll see how attractive this solution is from a cost standpoint.

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