NaviSite Hosts Microsoft-Based ISV Sandbox


NaviSite, a longtime application hosting provider, is now offering a "sandbox" for ISVs and VARs so they can test running their applications as services.

The ISV sandbox, running on Microsoft infrastructure called Microsoft Solution for Windows-based Hosting Applications, is available now. It's targeted at those looking to offer software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions.

"This is an enablement platform for people trying to enter the SaaS space, where the big barriers are cost and time to get set up," said Mike Mazur, vice president of channel sales and alliances at NaviSite, Andover, Mass.

Using the sandbox infrastructure, an ISV can figure out how to optimize the application and determine which hardware and software resources are required.

"They can buy virtual slices [of infrastructure], prepopulated with the tools needed to get their app up and running. Once it's optimized and ready, they take a snapshot of resources needed to offer their software as a service," Mazur said.

The ISV then can determine whether to keep the hosted application on NaviSite's servers or move it elsewhere.

The NaviSite solution mirrors what SaaS pioneer Salesforce.com has done with its sandbox. Jamcracker and other SaaS infrastructure players also offer similar capabilities.

As Microsoft tries to gain traction in the SaaS and managed services worlds, it needs to gain credibility for its Windows SaaS business application powers. Salesforce.com and NetSuite rely largely on Linux operating systems and Oracle database infrastructure, and Salesofrce.com also uses Solaris. New Microsoft arch-nemesis Google, which earns its millions selling ads rather than its Internet search service, is also Linux-focused.

NaviSite, a long-time hosting partner for Microsoft, Progress Software, Infor and other applications, also runs applications on Solaris and Linux infrastructure. The company is expected to offer sandboxes in those environments as well.