ServerBeach opens the box for

Vancouver-based hosting provider ServerBeach Ltd. is introducing what one exec describes as an “optional platform” for those tech-savvy customers who want more control over their dedicated servers.

Dax Moreno, ServerBeach’s general manager, said some smaller customers had been long wanting the ability for “do-it-yourself virtualization” and to utilize a single box or group of servers in whichever way they need, be it for running Web sites or applications, backup and storage and security.

“(Customers) saw all the tools and hardware there; we just didn’t allow them to open it up the way they wanted,” said Moreno. “Now we’re opening it up and we’re letting them do exactly what they want to do.”

Customers get the choice of the Citrix ZenServer or Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisor, both of which allow IT admins a central control panel through which to allocate resources to dedicated servers or start spinning new instances inside that server.

“So that one single dedicated hardware server can be four or five virtual servers depending on what the customer wants them to do,” said Moreno.

ServerBeach, a division of Peer 1 Hosting Inc., targets primarily small-to-medium sized customers who are comfortable being the primary systems administrator for their servers.

Michelle Warren, president and founder of Toronto-based MW Research and Consulting, said the new tools for enhanced virtualization capabilities will enable IT managers and admins better management and cost control over IT hosting initiatives.

“ServerBeach’s announcement is very exciting for SMBs,” said Warren.

As for other players in the hosted infrastructure space, Warren said this new capability will serve to extend ServerBeach’s reach and grow its market potential, “which increases the competitive pressure” on both Fusepoint Inc. (acquired by Savvis Inc. in 2010) and Q9 Networks Inc., both based in Toronto.

“While each hosting company has to shift towards virtualization … this expanded announcement does highlight the significance of virtualization and the SMB market,” said Warren. “I expect to see similar news from both Fusepoint and Q9.”

Warren added that another benefit for customers is that ServerBeach has the technical expertise combined with the size and reach of Peer 1 Hosting.

It was in July 2010 that Peer 1 began offering the SMB-focused ServerBeach service out of its Toronto facility, then newly built. It was already offered out of four other facilities in Los Angeles, London, San Antonio and Herndon, Va.

Follow Kathleen Lau on Twitter: @KathleenLau

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