Bungee Takes On Salesforce.com, Google in PAAS

Startup Bungee Labs looks to provide an alternative to Web application platforms from larger vendors such as Salesforce.com and Google.

Platform-as-a-service provider Bungee Labs, keeping a promise it made back in April, is allowing customers to run Bungee's Connect grid computing software on their own infrastructure instead of on servers from Bungee.
Companies can download the Web-based virtual image for the Bungee grid application software, which registers with Bungee's data center.
When customers go to deploy an application, they can choose to host it themselves or put it on Bungee's servers or even the Elastic Compute Cloud from Amazon.com's Amazon Web Services, a Bungee partner.
"What we're enabling is the ability to host their applications where they want," Brad Hintze, director of product marketing at Bungee Labs.
This solution strikes a different chord than the PAAS offerings from Salesforce.com, Google App Engine and other solutions in the space that happily charge customers to host applications and data on another company's servers. Indeed, until now, customers could only leverage Bungee Connect on the company's hosted, multitenant grid.
Some companies, particularly those with lean budgets, love this hosted approach because they don't have to buy the extra servers and storage, let alone maintain the software and hardware underpinning the applications.
But some are reluctant to embrace this model because they don't want their sensitive data sitting on the Internet, even under lock and key on highly secure data centers owned by Google and Salesforce.com.
That is why Bungee chose to give up the keys to its grid Mercedes and let its customers drive, according to Hintze.
However, Hintze also told eWEEK he doesn't expect that most companies will self-host the Bungee Connect grid because of the cash they can save running applications on another company's data centers. It seems money spent on power, hardware and software adds up.
Not only that, but sometimes it's easier to put the reliability, availability and uptime requirements in the hands of another company.
Pricing for the Bungee Connect grid is $500 per virtual image per month. Existing Bungee customers who want the self-host service must contact Bungee to tell it to flip that switch. New customers can ask for the service from the start.
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 App Engine, all wield some form of Web platform. Etelos' provisions are entirely based on the open-source LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP/Python/Perl) stack, while Salesforce.com leverages its own proprietary Java implementation. Google is currently letting developers write to Python.
Other than offering companies the newfound freedom of hosting their own Bungee grids, Bungee's differentiation point is to appeal directly to developers to let them develop, test, deploy, host and collaborate on applications as a service for CRM, human resources and ERP applications.