Web hosting company WebCentral has adjusted its business model to meet the demands of more sophisticated Web sites, offering customers a managed database service.
Aimed at mid-level corporates, the company has been offering a service based on Microsoft's SQL database technology. The product offering, named SQL EASY, combines Web hosting with database administration, server hardware maintenance and 24-hour support.
WebCentral CEO Lloyd Ernst said the company needed to offer a service that met the needs of organisations that use database technology to manage sophisticated Web sites and intranets.
Database administration tasks such as managing replication, scheduling and capacity planning are all managed by one of WebCentral's four certified database engineers, while the service provider's network operations staff continue to monitor the performance of the applications.
As well as the cost savings associated with outsourcing database administration, users see cost benefits through renting the database application. Typical SQL licensing may cost up to $10,000 per processor, Ernst said, whereas through Microsoft's ASP licensing model, WebCentral can rent out a complete service, which includes licensing for around $424 per month per processor.
In the first three months of making the service available, WebCentral claims it has sold $600,000 worth of services and expects to make $5 million over the next 12 months.