WS2008 now available as a cloud service from a third-party

Server hosting company ServePath has added Windows Server 2008 servers to its cloud GoGrid service.

Besides the fact that GoGrid is among the first cloud-based WS2008 services available, it is also affordable. For deployments of up to eight servers, the company charges on a pay-as-you-go basis of 19 cents per server RAM hour and 50 cents per gigabyte of outbound data transfer. (At more than eight servers, the company wants you to commit to a pre-paid plan.) Users also gain access to the hosting company's F5 load-balancing gear, which can be configure as needed, the company's Web site claims. A typical array of Windows software can also be served via the cloud, for instance Windows Server 2008 (32 bit) /IIS / ASP.NET / MS SQL 2005 Express. The 64-bit version of Windows Server 2008 is promised to be available soon.

The company also offers hosted versions of Windows Server 2003, plus Linux flavors CentOS and RedHat Enterprise Linux, and Web app framework, Ruby on Rails. San Francisco-based ServePath bills its GoPath service as a unique hosting provider because it gives its customers deep administrative control of their cloud servers. While this is a blatant marketing pitch by the company (and not necessarily unique), the company does offer a decent array of admin controls including static IP addresses, full root and administrator access, private networks and load balancing.

GoGrid likens itself to Amazon's EC2 hosting service, at half the price and with Windows as an operating system option.

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