The devices’ primary capabilities come from antMan, which allows users to build and deploy virtual servers that can be accessed from any browser. Those virtual servers can be configured to run most any OS. antsle includes templates for several Linux distributions, several versions of Windows, and FreeBSD. The prebuilt templates make it very simple to bring up a new virtual server, which can then be customized to meet development needs.
The device supports both the KVM hypervisor and LXC containers, giving users flexibility around what type of virtualization technology they want to use. Antsle’s nomenclature refers to those virtual machines as “antlets,” and the company claims that the antsle one can run hundreds of antlets concurrently, meaning that several virtual service environments can be up and running to meet on-premises SaaS needs.
AntMan also makes it extremely simple to build virtual private servers and includes simplified container management. That means MSPs can spend their time on deploying services as opposed to configuring host environments. The appliance removes many of the barriers faced by those looking to build on-premises clouds and meets the basic needs to provision custom cloud applications.
One of the product’s biggest value propositions is its simplicity. Users don’t need to learn the intricacies of cloud management, provisioning, and deployment to move a customer into a private cloud environment.
What’s more, MSPs can remotely manage and provision cloud services and bundle additional services such as backup and disaster recovery on top of those web application offerings. antsle also provides a simple way to introduce customers to intranets and internal website and content management systems. The company offers quick-start templates for WordPress and many other web server-type applications that normally were only deployed using a cloud host.
Of course, savvy MSPs could build their own private cloud servers; all it takes is some hardware and open source software, such as Gentoo Linux, KVM, and LXC. However, the roll-your-own approach will not include anything along the lines of antMan, which in itself makes the antsle one worth the price of admission.
While antsle may be blazing some new ground, other appliances are sure to come to market in the near future. That said, it will be interesting to see what technologies those other competitors leverage.