Business ISP Star has launched a new virtualisation service for enterprises aimed at helping them to keep up with changing requirements.

The new service is delivered via a hosted infrastructure, called vPlatform and has been designed to help business customers provision their own virtual machines. deploy, configure and decommission multiple virtual machines on-demand, to suit their changing business requirements. Through using the service, customers can allocate resources such as; RAM, processors or storage, to any virtual machine instantly.

The service will appeal to a variety of customers claimed Martino Corbelli, marketing director at Star "There's a mixed audience. There will be organisations who are virtualisation virgins and there will be people who have taken the first steps into virtualisation themselves and who want to move to a professional environment with things like improved security, and 24/7 support.

One area where the company is expecting some interest is in the test and development environment." Star's Phill Harber, product marketing Manager for vPlatform said that the ISP had seen some companies developing their business infrastructure on their own machines, picking them up and dropping them into a VPlatform to save the power costs.

And the cost is a big driver said Corbelli. The service will cost £90 per month, per server, which seems like a large amount for a virtual server but "in some cases, businesses can spend £60 to £70 a month just to power a server - and that's before taking into account the cooling and the technical support," said Corbelli. "Businesses these days don't want to buy new hardware and software; our customers want to reduce their computing real estate. A service like this does save them a lot of money," he added. Corbelli also pointed out another big plus for the service "everything is backed up by Star, meaning that's a chore that no longer needs to be carried out by the customer."

vPlatform is powered by a dedicated VMware ESX cluster. Star chose VMware after also considering the merits of Hyper-V, explaining that there were technical reasons for the choice and not because VMware are market leaders.