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LinuxPlanet: Infocrossing and S/390 Linux: An ASP’s Story

“They keep their computers in cages at Infocrossing, like a
gigantic prison for miscreant microchips. The cages aren’t to keep
the computers in, though, but to keep intruders out. Infocrossing,
Incorporated, headquartered in Leonia, New Jersey, is in the
Application Service Provider (ASP) hosting business. With a strong
background in traditional mainframe environments, IBM’s System/390
architecture was a natural choice for Infocrossing as they started
branching out into the Linux hosting business.”

“Application Service Providers, for those not familiar with the
term, are companies that offer application software to clients on a
centrally-located (and centrally-managed) host. The idea is that
businesses gain the benefit of running sophisticated applications
while avoiding the cost of deploying the needed hardware and
software in-house. In the days before the Internet, such
arrangements were common and were built using mainframe computers
and remote timesharing connections. It was in this environment that
Infocrossing was born, over twenty years ago. Now the Internet —
and virtual private networks (VPNs) that exploit its ubiquity —
give companies like Infocrossing a new way to bring their services
to customers. At the same time, ASPs are creating new opportunities
for mainframe systems, especially now that Linux is a reality at
the high end.”

“Tom Laudati, Senior Vice President for Enterprise Engineering
at Infocrossing, says that the company brought mainframe lessons
into a distributed world, unlike some companies which moved in the
other direction. “All the disciplines we learned as far as backup
and recovery and implementing new pieces of software to make sure
they work with your other software, we’ve learned over the past
twenty-five years. When you put that PC on the desktop, this all
goes out the window.” They realized that distributed
infrastructures, such as intranets, weren’t being managed
adequately for mission-critical business needs, and decided this
gap represented an opportunity. Over time, Infocrossing started
offering managed hosting of UNIX and NT systems, and eventually
they branched out to provide colocation facilities as well.”

Complete
Story

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