JumpBox, providers of IT infrastructure solutions, announced a major upgrade to their offering, including the unveiling of their new product, which delivers open source server applications as a service. Here’s what resellers should know.

“Open Source as a service,” as JumpBox calls it, is exactly what it says on the tin. The company now allows 55 of their namesake “JumpBoxes,” each one a virtual machine containing an open-source server application like Ruby on Rails or MySQL, to be deployed in on-premise, cloud, and hosted environments. The packages can be downloaded directly from JumpBox with a paid subscription.

The idea is simple, JumpBox says: make it easier for administrators and VARs to leverage open source. These JumpBoxes are compatible with a who’s who of cloud and virtualization platforms, including Amazon EC2 and VMware, and they have the option to back up data to the cloud automatically.

Along with the announcement of Open Source as a Service comes the official word that JumpBox has streamlined the ability to launch their product on Amazon’s cloud platform.

Delivering applications as a service is old news by now. But combining the cost-effectiveness of open source with the benefits of leveraging the cloud for utility computing? JumpBox might just be on to something.

Still, plenty of companies are pursuing simplified open source distribution models. A case in point: Novell and partners like Groundwork Open Source, Ingres and Zmanda are promoting so-called SUSE Linux appliances, which are turn-key bundles packed with an operating system, middleware and application.

Sign up for The VAR Guy’s Newsletter; Webcasts and Resource Center; and via RSS; Facebook; Identi.ca; Twitter and VARtweet.