Bungee Jumps into Federated Hosting

The startup takes a platform-as-a-service approach as it seeks a toehold among Etelos, Salesforce.com, Google and others.

SAN FRANCISCO-Startup Bungee Labs is taking the next step in what it believes is the first comprehensive platform-as-a-service offering with federated hosting for its Bungee Connect platform.

Programmers who build applications on Bungee Connect, which was announced April 23 at the Web 2.0 conference here, can host those applications on their own infrastructure running the new virtualized Bungee Application Server. In addition, they can put applications on the multitenant Bungee Grid at data centers in the United States and Europe, as well as on the EC2 Elastic Compute Cloud from Amazon Web Services.

Companies in the Bungee Connect Early Adopter Program can download the Bungee Application Server containing a single instance of the Bungee Runtime Software for hosting their Bungee applications within their own servers. The Application Server is a VMware-based software appliance that runs as a complete management and delivery server.

Companies in June also will be able to self-designate the hosting location from within their online Bungee Connect development and management account, adding another layer of freedom to the PAAS.

Bungee's new offerings come at a heady time for Web platforms, which sit on companies' data centers to free IT staffs from buying gear to host their applications.

Etelos, Salesforce.com and Google, with its new App Engine, all wield some form of Web platform. Brad Hintze, director of product marketing at Bungee Labs, said Bungee goes straight for the developer to let them develop, test, deploy, host and collaborate on applications as a service for CRM (customer relationship management), HR and ERP (enterprise resource planning) applications.

The idea behind federated hosting with the Application Server, according to Hintze, is to appeal to those customers that are reticent to deploy their applications on Bungee's multitenant grid. Some companies just don't want to hand over their data to a company that doesn't have a major footprint or a long track record.

It's also what could help Bungee distinguish itself from the rest of the Web platform pack.

"Federated hosting of application services tied in to SAAS does not exist," Hintze told eWEEK. "When you tie in to Salesforce.com infrastructure, you must host in their environment-you can't have Salesforce running behind your firewall. Same with Google's App Engine. If you want to deploy an app, it would have to be on their infrastructure, not tied in to yours."

Bungee also expects to win on pricing. Bungee-powered applications deployed on the Bungee Connect multitenant grid in the United States and the European Union, and at Amazon EC2, are billed at 6 U.S. cents per user-session-hour. Federation pricing for the Bungee Application Server starts at a monthly subscription license fee of $500 per month, per server.

Readers who want a visual breakdown of the pricing can check out this post on ReadWriteWeb.

Moreover, Bungee Labs this summer will make community source code available for the Bungee Application Server under several software source code licenses. BCSL (Bungee Community Source License), BCSL (Commercial Use and Bungee Community Source License) and RDO (Research and Development Only), are available for review.

Bungee's new PAAS offerings come ahead of the big news at the Web 2.0 Expo April 23, which will be a demonstration of Microsoft's own cloud-based platform, called Live Mesh.

Amit Mital, general manager of Live Mesh at Microsoft, will introduce the platform, which has been covered by eWEEK and Microsoft Watch's Joe Wilcox.