Aegir-based Business Models
Aegir is the only fully free and open source distributed provisioning system for Drupal. It allows you to manage anywhere from a few sites for a single organization, to thousands of sites across as many concurrent instances of Drupal, on as many servers, and for as many clients, as you need. Since it's all built on Drupal and Drush, it can be customized and extended using all the tools we're already familiar with.
At Koumbit Networks, a lead development shop behind the Aegir project, we are developing or already have in place several distinct business models, largely enabled by our Aegir infrastructure and expertise.
For our "classic" web development practice, Aegir provides scalability and flexibility, as well as, enabling a streamlined development-staging-production workflow, such as dCycle. It also allows us to host and maintain hundreds of production sites, including weekly updates to our custom platforms. We'll explore both of these solutions to common pain-points that afflict many Drupal dev shops.
For a number of years, Koumbit has been offering Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) services. That is, hosting dedicated VPSs running Aegir systems, mostly for larger consulting clients. To enable this, we've built Aegir and Drush Puppet modules to maintain standardized configurations, and ease deployment. This has matured to the point where we are now launching a public dedicated Aegir hosting service, well-suited to smaller development shops: AegirVPS. This model presents some interesting challenges and benefits, which I'll explore in more detail by presenting a case-study of our recent work in this field.
We are also continuing to develop our Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering, that will essentially allow site developers and designers to create and manage their own custom Drupal instances and platforms within our centrally managed Aegir system. This will allow not only automatic provisioning, and management of sites and custom platforms, but also the secure, automated set-up of SFTP, SSH, etc. This will open the door to a variety of interesting reseller program possibilities.
Finally, we'll touch on how we're leveraging e-commerce integration and other contrib modules, as we spin-off a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model: OpenAtria.com. This will allow clients to purchase subscriptions to pre-built sites, which are then transparently provisioned and maintained for them by an Aegir system.