Technology giant Intel has launched the AppUp Small Business Service, an offering running on the company's Hybrid Cloud platform that is designed to enable server manufacturers, software vendors and service providers to offer small businesses the advantages of cloud computing with applications and data running on their own premises. Intel's AppUp Small Business Service represents a new business model for Intel.
The solution consists of a server, a catalog of prepackaged small business applications from a broad range of software providers, and Intel-developed software to securely manage and track use of the application software. Small business customers access the solution through service providers, paying on a monthly basis for the software they use, just like in the cloud, but getting the responsiveness and control of running their applications and data onsite.
"We developed the Intel AppUp Small Business Service to build a foundation on which the industry can innovate and provide small business customers with a more convenient, secure and high-performance experience," said Bridget Karlin, general manager of Intel Hybrid Cloud. "Small businesses are the ultimate beneficiaries because this service gives them a compelling new option for improving their business results through IT. This Intel-based solution comes ready to use, and doesn't require their own IT staff or the capital cost of a server."
Features include use of a subscription-based delivery model for software applications. Intel-developed software activates, deactivates and then tracks the customer's usage of those applications on a platform that is secured using Intel Trusted Execution Technology (Intel TXT) in Intel Xeon processors. Each month, that server tracks software usage and sends an encrypted report to an Intel data center. Intel invoices the small business's service provider, which bills the small business customer.
In addition, service providers can remotely manage their customers' servers that employ this Intel Hybrid Cloud reference design by using a Web portal hosted by Intel and secured by a Web application firewall and HTTPS encrypted communication. Using Intel Active Management Technology (Intel AMT), service providers can remotely troubleshoot, diagnose and support the servers. The company's Virtualization Technology (Intel VT) and virtualization software enable delivery of "virtual appliances" to the small business user, providing preintegrated operating systems and small business software that can be turned on or off as needed, and maintained by the service provider.
The AppUp Small Business Service also provides a delivery mechanism and a catalog of a variety of software for small businesses from software providers including Astaro, GFI Software, gloStream, Intuit, Level Platforms, Microsoft, SIOS, Tally and Vembu. A growing number of applications will be soon available in the catalog from additional software providers, the company said in a statement, including Allscripts, Apani, Asigra, ClearCenter, Coversant, Critical Links, Elina Networks, Ensim, eTurns, Fonality, KineticD, Lumension, McAfee, Novell, Pragma Systems, StorageCraft, Symantec and WorkSpace Communications.
Service providers work with their small business customers to choose what they need from the catalog. The service provider orders the solution, and the Intel AppUp Small Business Service delivers the software to the Intel Hybrid Cloud server deployed at the customer's premises. Initial server platforms include the Lenovo ThinkServer TS200v and a white box server. A range of additional server models from Acer, NEC and others will soon be available.