Digex, Compaq and Microsoft this week announced a joint effort to develop robust server hosting services for application service providers.
Compaq and Microsoft are investing $50 million each in Digex in exchange for Digex stock to fund the new ASP services. Digex plans on rolling out Compaq ProLiant and StorageWorks servers running Microsoft's Windows DNA platform that includes Windows 2000 and SQL Server software.
The new service efforts are designed to "reduce time to market and total cost of ownership" for ASPs, says Mark Schull, president and CEO at Digex, the Beltsville, Md. ISP and Web hosting service provider.
Digex is not planning to offer business users application rental services of its own, but instead, Digex customers have the option of buying services from any of Digex's ASP partners, Schull says. "We will not be competing with our ASP partners," he says.
Digex plans on rolling out several service packages later this year that will include an ASP Server Platform, ASP Application Platform, ASP Partner Interfaces and ASP Solution Certification offerings.
The ASP Server Platform is designed to automate service provisioning and will integrate administration and security tools onto one server system. The ASP Application Platform will offer ASP's Microsoft e-commerce, messaging and office software packages that will run on the ASP Server Platform.
The ASP Partner Interfaces are designed to offer ASPs standard software interfaces based on XML and Microsoft BizTalk. ASPs will be able to share business and server resource information with their customers using these interfaces. And Digex is creating an ASP Solution Certification lab that will be used to continually test and optimize its ASP hosting services.