Go Daddy has quietly begun offering a VPS "Cloud Server" powered by Mac OS X, becoming the largest hosting provider to offer the solution. Go Daddy is billing it as "a complete IT solution" for small to medium sized businesses."
The new offering allows users to run virtual servers atop a Parallels hypervisor atop Xserve, Apple's 1U rackmount server. Each customer server comes with e-mail, address book and iCal server, offers iPhone integration, and come with built-in wikis, blogs and podcasting, according to the Go Daddy web site.
The registrar and web host is offering plans that start at $99.99 a month for an economy plan (recommended for up to 10 users), with prices ranging to $549 a month for top-end plans for more than 50 users.
Media Temple became the first hosting company to offer hosted virtual servers running VPS OS X Leopard Server back in mid-2008 in a beta offering, but discontinued the program in October.
"A combination of issues ranging from stability, licensing and technology limitations forced us to make this hard decision," Media Temple said on its web site. "We were excited about Snow Leopard but unfortunately Parallels Server for Mac isn't scheduled to support Snow Leopard for a few more months."
At last summer's HostingCon, Parallels CEO Serguei Beloussov said the small business sector presented the greatest potential for cloud computing. "I believe that in the future, small businesses will not have IT infrastructure," Beloussov said. “It is potentially one of the largest changes in IT. I truly believe that over time there will be no SMB applications hosted in-house.”
While the industry’s tech titans may have the largest data centers and cloud platforms, Beloussov said that web hosting companies have the most important assets. “You have the customers for the two most important applications – web and email,” he said.
As the world's largest domain registrar and one of its largest web hosts, Go Daddy has perhaps the largest potential audience for Parallels cloud partnering ambitions with hosting providers.