Macquarie Hosting has launched a software-as-a-service (SaaS) "Sandpit" incubator to allow providers, designers, integrators and developers to test products.
Acting managing director, Stuart Mills, said the SaaS delivery model has been around for some time and customers needed a combination of things like access to technology, software licensing, skills and security, so they can trial their software.
“The incubator is a combination of all of those things. Some of the technologies we’re using are virtualisation, to enable rapid deployment, and to vary resource levels like CPU and RAM to optimise servers for that particular software involved,” he said. “We provide all the hardware, software licensing, virtualisation and skills that go around that.”
Mills said the incubator allows clients to load software and change and optimise it. Macquarie’s new service can also handle enterprise-grade service level agreements.
Over the past year, Macquarie has invested more than $1 million in virtualisation hardware, Internet and security services to support the initiative. It will be providing managed virtual servers, a range of licence rentals such as Microsoft Service Provider Licensing, VMware and Redhat. The incubator will also include testing on a range of virtual machines, access to Macquarie Telecom’s management tools, such as Macquarie View, and supported migration to a fully managed virtualised infrastructure.
Mills said he had noticed an increase in demand from software vendors wanting to transition from packaged software to SaaS.
“Software vendors are looking to move from the ‘I’ll sell you the software and you’ll build it in your datacentre’ model to ‘I’ll rent you the software,” he said. “It’s a lucrative market because at top of mind is availability, security and performance with 99.99 per cent uptime and access to all the technical skills.”