The Planet: Value Menu for Managed Hosting
The Planet, the managed IT hosting company that works with MSPs and VARs, is bundling a free Plesk control panel, 10GB of cloud storage, and Symantec Endpoint Protection for free with any new server purchase. They’ve also revealed a new line of low-cost server offerings. The Planet says it’s striving to be the “hosting industry’s value leader.” We say it’s a move into the freemium arena. Here’s why.
Here are the details on the value bundle, directly from The Planet’s press release:
- 10GB of Storage Cloud: Through a partnership with Nirvanix, the company’s Storage Cloud provides the speed and flexibility of on-premise Network Attached Storage (NAS) with the scalability and global accessibility of cloud storage. Stored on the Nirvanix local node in The Planet’s Dallas D2 data center, customers are connected to The Planet’s world-class network for unprecedented performance and rapid access to data.
- Symantec Endpoint Protection: Customer data is protected with a single agent that combines Symantec AntiVirus software with advanced malware threat prevention. Integrated security technologies include antivirus, antispyware and firewalls to prevent security breaches.
- Parallels or cPanel Control Panels: Customers can choose from either the Parallels Plesk Panel with 100 domains for Windows or Linux, or cPanel/WHM for Linux only. Both help hosters more easily and effectively manage their servers with intuitive interfaces, tools to manage domains and e-mail accounts, and options to automate daily tasks.
And for the low-cost server:
- With the Pentium [Dell] G6950 SATA, customers can take advantage of 2GB of RAM, a 250GB SATA hard drive and 2TB of bandwidth for $99 per month. The G6950 SATA Plus model – priced at $125 per month – provides twice the RAM and hard drive space.
The strategy here is as smart as it is obvious: dangle a low-cost server in front of a customer and use the value bundle to sweeten the deal. Then, once they’re hooked on The Planet’s ecosystem, sell them bigger, badder servers, more cloud storage, and more services on each server. First free basic services, then a premium for more- freemium.
I find this strategy fascinating: rather than fight an uphill battle with industry leader Rackspace for name recognition, The Planet is trying to carve a niche for themselves as the “value” option. For that alone — and their philanthropical efforts – The Planet is well worth watching.