Hosting Heats Up

Note: Currencies in US dollarsWith Fall Internet World just around the corner, some traditional and new players are jockeying to position themselves as the software hosting platform vendors of choice.A week before Internet World kicks off in New York, Intel went public with its anticipated foray into the hosting business.

Note: Currencies in US dollars

With Fall Internet World just around the corner, some traditional and new players are jockeying to position themselves as the software hosting platform vendors of choice.

A week before Internet World kicks off in New York, Intel went public with its anticipated foray into the hosting business. Intel told financial analysts about its data-hosting plans earlier this summer.

Via its Intel Online Services initiative, Intel announced Tuesday that it is offering customers a choice of servers and/or services. Intel will host for customers Web, database, commerce and various customized applications. Intel will provide users with administration, maintenance, monitoring, reporting/analysis, technical support and account management services. For customers who have hosting requirements outside of Intel's expertise, Intel also is offering so-called co-location services, via which customers can place their own network servers in an Intel server-hosting facility--with the customers, rather than Intel, providing the required administration and management.

Professional services firm US Interactive announced on Tuesday it will work with Intel Online Services to evolve Intel's hosting platform. Intel is an investor in US Interactive.

Microsoft Buys Into Infrastructure

A similar alliance was inked between services vendor USWeb/CKS and Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday. USWeb announced that it will use Microsoft's recently announced Windows DNA 2000 infrastructure as the base for the USWeb/CKS Internet framework, called iFrame, upon which customized ebusiness applications can be developed. USWeb calls iFrame a "combination of standards, application components, methodologies and tools" for building hosted applications.

Microsoft plans to invest over the next 12 months $67.5 million in USWeb/CKS for training, development and management around iFrame-based services. Starting in 18 months, USWeb will begin paying Microsoft royalties based on service offerings it sells that are based on the iFrame technologies. As part of the arrangement, Microsoft also announced it will buy $14.9 million of USWeb stock some time in the next five years.

Another Microsoft hosting partner, Citrix Systems, had some hosting news of its own on Tuesday. Citrix announced that British Telecom has selected Citrix' "application serving" technology for BT's online application rental service for hosting ERP applications over the Internet. Citrix is billing the move as "the first instance of a network service provider (NSP) becoming a third-party host or [application service provider] ASP."

Not to be outdone, Interliant--"one of the oldest ASPs," according to company claims--announced Tuesday a deal to host Lotus' QuickPlace, a Web-based team collaboration tool. Interliant has a growing catalog of rentable applications it calls AppsOnline.Com.

More On Tap

More hosting announcements are anticipated at next week's Fall Internet World '99 show. For one, Microsoft and Verio Inc. are slated to go public with plans announced earlier this year to host Office 2000 Server Extensions (OSEs). Verio is combining these web-based Office services, such as community and subscription, with Verio's web site and intranet hosting capabilities and creating a suite of services it is calling "Virtual Office."

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