The Planet Rolls out New Hosting Support Services

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Server hosting provider The Planet is introducing new services that it hopes will appeal to customers who might need varying amounts of support depending on their hosted projects.

Some of the services are for companies that want to manage the hosted infrastructure mostly themselves but rely on The Planet for some basic help. The advanced monitoring service, for example, which costs US$25 per server per month, identifies when a server goes offline and then implements a plan as set out by the customer. A server security service offers patch management, weekly scans to identify deviations that could indicate a security issue, and a help service for resolving specific incidents. The security offering costs $40 per server per month.

The Planet is also offering a fully managed hosting service under a new business unit, Planet Northstar Managed Hosting.

"This is available for customers at the other end of the spectrum who don't just want to outsource the day-to-day administration, they want the whole enchilada," said Urvish Vashi, director of product management for The Planet. Such companies might lack the expertise to manage the equipment or not have the capital to build the support in-house, or they simply prefer to focus on other parts of their business, he said.

The fully managed service includes the development and implementation of security, compliance and scalability plans. It uses a proactive approach that aims to prevent issues before they happen, Vashi said. "We've seen a very reactive model to providing managed hosting in the market," he said.

For now, the fully managed services are available only to customers running Microsoft platforms, but The Planet expects to expand to support Linux. Pricing will depend on the configuration and will typically include multiple servers and firewall, backup and database services. Services will start at about $1,200 per month.

Vashi said the array of new services should be attractive to companies that use hosting for a variety of projects but want different levels of support for each. Currently, such a company might have to use multiple hosting companies to meet the needs for their different projects, Vashi said.

The Planet is not alone, however, in expanding its hosting services. Also Monday, Rackspace announced a suite of hardware, software and services for customers who want to comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, a set of security requirements for businesses that process credit card transactions.

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