Cloud host and storage vendor Linode has stepped up its bid for managed hosting business with the announcement today of new software and features that it is integrating into its standard managed cloud hosting plan.

Specifically, the new offerings include:

  • Licenses for customers to run cPanel and Web Host Manager (WHM), commercial server-management packages that provide graphical front-ends for server administration, on cloud servers.
  • Free site migrations performed by Linode staff.
  • A 20 percent discount on use of Linode's Professional Services solution, through which customers can hire Linode staff to perform administrative tasks.

Each of the features will now be a standard part of Linode's managed hosting offering, as long as customers commit to using the service for at least three months. Linode is touting the "added value without added cost" that the integration brings to its managed solution.

From the channel perspective, this is another example of vendor efforts to meet demand for managed cloud hosting that does not require special talent or investment by enterprises. And while in some ways Linode's decision to offer cPanel and WHM, which give customers more power to administer servers on their own, might seem at odds with the company's concurrent promotion of options for outsourcing server administration entirely, the new services as a whole present a more diverse set of managed hosting options that make it easier to tailor solutions to a particular organization's needs.

They could also help Linode to continue expanding within a wide and diverse segment of the market. Stephen Clemens, vice president of Linode Managed, reported that since the company introduced its managed hosting services, it has seen significant adoption of the offering by not only medium-sized organizations, as it expected, but also smaller customers.

Clemens added that "not only is the number of customers growing, the average number of Linodes per customer continues to grow," a trend he attributed to two factors: First, "existing Linode Managed customers are adding more Linodes as their businesses grow," and second, "an increasing number of larger customers are joining the Managed fold."