Star Launches Managed Virtualisation Service

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Business ISP Star is offering a service that will allow organisations to offload virtual server management onto its own hosted machines

Business ISP Star is offering to take the increasingly complicated task of running virtualised servers off IT managers hands, after launching a fully managed virtualisation platform that allows business to shift their internal virtual machines onto servers in Star’s own data centre.

The new service is called vPlatform, and the idea behind is that for a monthly fee starting from £90 per server (per month), businesses can get peace of mind by renting hosted infrastructure from Star, thereby guaranteeing service quality. That price allows up to 20 virtual servers to be hosted at any one time.

Businesses will be able to deploy, configure and decommission multiple virtual machines on-demand, to suit their changing business requirements.

It says that the vPlatform service is suited both for businesses that have already deployed virtual machines in-house, or businesses that are considering virtualisation for the first time.

With virtualisation skills in demand, Star believes that it already has the skills necessary to manage virtualised machines for customers that are seeking a more cost-effective and flexible means of managing their computing assets.

vPlatform is apparently based on a dedicated VMware ESX cluster, and is monitored and managed by Star’s own team of specialists. By doing this, it allows the business ISP to offer service level agreements (SLAs) to guarantee that the service is continually running at optimum efficiency. This also removes the expense and complexity of a company running and maintaining their own infrastructure inhouse.

“The growth in adoption of virtualisation in UK businesses has been strong, with many companies now utilising virtualisation platforms for business-critical applications,” said James Griffin, Head of Hosting Strategy at Star: “Along with the many benefits of virtualisation, managing a critical business infrastructure in this way also brings with it specific challenges.”

Star is also claiming a green angle with the service, as it says it ensures the power consumption of all computer hardware is maximised, to “pass on further cost savings to customers.”

“vPlatform gives customers the ability to quickly scale up or down the number of virtual servers required. It takes customers less than two minutes to configure and provision a new virtual machine using vPlatform, compared with conventional server deployment, which can take weeks,” said the company. “With administrative control delivered via a dedicated portal, customers can allocate additional resources, such as; RAM, processors or storage, to any virtual machine instantaneously. What this really means to customers is that they have ready access to a huge pool of computing power and resilient storage.”

The vPlatform service also allows for off-site backups of all data.

Star is by no means the only vendor to offer a managed virtualisation service. Earlier this year IT consultancy Glasshouse Technologies launched a managed service to help companies manage their virtualisation infrastructures, known as the Virtualisation Optimisation Service.