Verio Now Serving as Windows 2003 Host for SMBs

By Patricia Fusco | Posted September 24, 2003

Verio, a subsidiary of NTT Communications, Tuesday announced the availability of Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Web hosting to its shared hosting partners serving U.S.-based small- and medium-sized businesses. Smaller businesses are now able to leverage the unique programming capabilities of Windows Server 2003 and a 99.9 percent service level agreement (SLA) guarantee from Verio.

Available directly from Verio or through ViaVerio partners, the cost-effective Web hosting solution based on the Windows Server 2003 operating system is particularly attractive to smaller Web developers that can take full advantage of the .NET platform for developing distributed applications and software integration using XML Web services.

Developers Dig IT
Based in Pottsboro, Texas, Jon Roach is one-half of the team behind Ozzworks.com, a small Web development firm and ViaVerio partner. Roach said that in the past, many smaller enterprises have been reluctant to adopt Web-based technologies because of the high costs involved.

"Verio is changing this by enabling Ozzworks.com and other ViaVerio shared hosting partners to offer more robust solutions with reduced development and maintenance costs, such as solutions hosted on Windows Server 2003," Roach said. "The versatility of the Microsoft .NET Framework allows us to create powerful Web applications for our clients — they are amazed with the functionality of their new Web-based solutions."

Ozzworks.com is nearly a year old and growing fast. Roach attributes the company's success to focusing on delivering leading edge ASP.Net applications in a cost-effective manner to attract smaller businesses to We-based services.

"ASP.Net facilitates more powerful applications for small businesses, and Microsoft's Windows Server 2003 facilitates ASP.Net out of the box," Roach said. "This gives us an advantage in what Web-based services we are able to deliver to small enterprises quickly and painlessly, without breaking the bank."

Assured Performance
By offering Windows Server 2003 hosting plans, Verio is helping smaller businesses capitalize on Web-based applications free from conventional costs associated with in-house implementations. In addition to simplifying the application development cycle for ASP.Net developers, Verio is offering a 99.9 percent SLA guarantee. William Toll, Verio product manager for Windows shared hosting, said the assurance program is a natural extension of its Windows 2000 hosting programs.

"We offered our 99.9 percent SLA our Windows 2000 hosting programs," Toll explained. "Once we completed the pilot program for Windows 2003, which we launched in April, we knew we could extend the same level of service to our Windows Server 2003 hosting plans."

Verio supports its SLA through a third-party backend system known as MOM. The Microsoft Operations Manager monitors Verio's systems and related applications. Toll said the program is smart enough to detect and fix problems, which is particularly important to small businesses.

"Small businesses can not afford downtime. If it's an e-commerce business and their site goes down, then their cash flow stops," Toll said. "Uptime is very important to small businesses — it's their top priority when choosing a Web host."

Verio customers on the Windows platform also benefit from a number of additional features and enhancements to Windows Server 2003. This includes increased and ongoing server security for Internet Information Services (IIS) and improved fault-tolerant architecture of Verio's network monitoring systems. Additionally, symmetric multiprocessing and hyper threading, used to distribute computing tasks across CPUs on a server, enables Windows Server 2003 to deliver increased scalability as small businesses add more sophisticated applications to their Web sites.

Popular Demand
All new Verio small business Windows customers will be provisioned on Windows Server 2003 hosting plans. Verio has great expectations for the new operating system. Toll said it helps lay the groundwork for the adoption of Web hosting offerings that play a critical role in the implementation of Web services by small and medium businesses.

"We're experiencing some pent up demand for Windows 2003 services," Toll said. "We're seeing a lot of out Windows 2000 customers migrating to Windows 2003 — especially since we extended the 99.9 percent SLA to them — and we're seeing a flood of customers come in from other hosting companies that aren't yet offering Windows 2003 services."

By offering products such as Web hosting on Windows Server 2003, Verio is reinforcing its commitment to small- and medium-sized businesses, as well as ViaVerio partners. As a Microsoft Certified Partner and a participant in the Microsoft ASP.NET Web hosting program, Verio is one of the first service providers to deliver this particular new technology to the small-business market.

Pricing and Availability
Verio offers Windows Server 2003 through its shared hosting reseller partners through the ViaVerio Shared Hosting Reseller Program, as well as through Verio retail channels. Retail pricing starts at $24.95 a month, however reseller pricing varies with the number websites and complexity of the applications served.

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