Ensim today announced the pending availability of WEBppliance Basic for Linux, control panel software designed for dedicated Web servers. According to the company, the product will begin shipping next week at a cost of $149 per server, with discounts for quantity purchases.
WEBppliance Basic takes dedicated servers where Ensim's WEBppliance Pro software led shared servers, providing a Web-based interface to common tasks faced by administrators, including management of subdomains, FTP accounts, MySQL databases, and even mail aliases.
Ensim Vice President of Marketing Steve Dauber said despite a soft tech industry, the Web hosting business continues to grow. Dauber cited an IDC study indicating the market may reach $20.8 billion annually by 2006, up from $4.8 billion in 2001. Dauber also said it's the right time for a management package aimed at dedicated servers, which have been dropping in price and stand poised to break out of their relatively small niche in the Web hosting market thanks to typically better performance and security. According to Dauber, WEBppliance Basic is the first product of its kind for dedicated servers.
The problem WEBppliance Basic is aimed at is simple enough: though Linux, upon which WEBppliance Basic is run, provides access to a plethora of Internet service software, management of the assorted packages can prove difficult for Web managers unskilled in Linux system administration.
According to Dauber, the primary features WEBppliance Basic brings to the table are wizards-like Quickstart Guides and a professionally designed user interface that shares much in common with the Pro version of the product, making for easier transitions from shared to dedicated servers.
WEBppliance Basic runs on top of a server running Red Hat 7.3, and can either be installed on a preexisting installation, or it can download and install the components it requires for a full installation. The amount of software WEBppliance is not inconsiderable, including recent versions of the Sendmail mail transport agent, OpenSSH for secure console logins, ProFTPD for FTP transactions, the Web scripting language PHP, Majordomo for managing mailing lists, and MySQL, for database operations.
Dauber said WEBppliance pro will not be sold directly to consumers, but will instead be offered through Ensim Service Provider Partners, a list of which may be found on Ensim's Web site.