Despite the bad economy there's never been a better time to start a company. Why? Because you don't have to buy a single server or application. Whip out your credit card, load and go - on a cloud-powered data center.
But this isn't just for startups: any do-more-with-a-lot-less IT group can use this.
Download now, run anywhere I visited the guys at JumpBox and came away impressed. They've packaged up over 40 open source apps as virtual appliances that will run on most virtual machines - VMWare, Parallels, Hyper-V, VirtualBox (free & lightweight), Xen and Amazon's EC2 - out of the box.
You can try it with a free download of any of 10 apps - heavy on Wikis for some reason - and see for yourself. As the JumpBox web site puts it:
JumpBox simplifies server software deployment with pre-built, pre-configured software applications packaged for deployment on virtualization platforms. [We've] packaged the application's software, dependencies, and application data into a single ready to deploy virtual computer. . . . [E]ach one captures years of system administration experience and best practices in a format that requires minimal technical knowledge to deploy.
I'll drink to that.
The JumpBox comes configured to run on all the supported vmachines - you don't even have to choose. Makes it easy to change platforms too.
Cloud support Used to be that starting a company meant ordering a bunch of new gear. With cloud support you can skip that costly step by setting up your apps on Amazon's EC2. Pay by the hour and gigabytes stored.
Jumpbox makes their money selling you subscriptions to JumpBoxes. They support and update 'em and you use the apps. The cloud support option is available on their $42/mo and above plans.
The Storage Bits take This is open source and virtualization for the rest of us. My little notebook computer has enough power to run a business - if I could just get the support and the apps to do it.
With JumpBox it looks like I can. Try it and share your experiences in the comments.
Comments welcome, of course. Disclosure: I didn't take any money for this - not even a lunch. I just like what they're doing.