JumpBox service to deploy apps on Amazon EC2

JumpBox is now offering an easy deployment of open-source applications. By deploying virtualized instances of apps on Amazon's cloud service, quandaries may be obviated.

Installing an open-source enterprise application has never been easier. No hardware? No sophisticated IT department? No problem. At least, not if you use one of 38 JumpBox-enabled open-source applications, as it announced recently.

A rising number of companies offer virtualized instances of popular open-source applications, but JumpBox takes it a step further, deploying to the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service, almost completely obviating hardware and setup quandaries.

JumpBox offers small to midsize organizations a library of open-source applications packaged as pre-built, pre-configured virtual appliances through JumpBox Open, its annual subscription service. Public Amazon Machine Images (AMI) for 12 JumpBox applications, including Ruby on Rails, (Alfresco, Movable Type, Magento), Drupal, SugarCRM and more have been made available for free. AMIs for the full suite of 38 applications are available to plus and premium subscribers to JumpBox Open.

Pricing of JumpBox Open starts at $299 per year (for one persistently running JumpBox instance of each application), rising to $999 per year to run up to 15 simultaneous production instances of any JumpBox-enabled application. In other words, it's dirt-cheap.

Powerful software, low price, and no fuss. What's not to like? If you're an SMB customer, probably not much.

But if you're an open-source application vendor, I suppose it's still an open question how JumpBox will work with you to share revenue. In my conversations with the JumpBox founders, this potential conflict has come up, and I know the JumpBox team is working on it. How well it gets resolved may well determine how much emphasis open-source vendors will put on the JumpBox sales channel which, in turn, could decide the fate of JumpBox.

With or without the vendors, however, this is a great service and suggests a bright future for enterprise software.

Disclosure: I work for Alfresco and advise several of the companies whose open-source applications JumpBox distributes.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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