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.

Matt Asay Contributing Writer
Matt Asay is a veteran technology columnist who has written for CNET, ReadWrite, and other tech media. Asay has also held a variety of executive roles with leading mobile and big data software companies.
Matt Asay
2 min read

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.