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This article was published on September 17, 2008

Ep3: Companies Who Make Money: JumpBox

Ep3: Companies Who Make Money: JumpBox
Steven Carrol
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Steven Carrol

Steven is a web applications developer, living in south of France, originally from London. His current project is In the nin Steven is a web applications developer, living in south of France, originally from London. His current project is In the nineties, he was a designer / director of a highly successful design, manufacturing and distribution company (Intimidation).

At The Next Web conference earlier this year, those tech savvy entrepreneurs Patrick, Boris and the rest of the crew set up live streaming for everyone who like me could not attend in person but didn’t want to miss out on all the fun. It was a great first, having a tech conference using tech to globalize the attendees list.

Well as all good things must be copied (evolution) MA @ TC did the same for the recent TC50 conference. Which again was a great first for Techcrunch. However, there was one little glitch, (OK there was more than one but lets stick with one). Their Internet connection was lame and as a result many of the nervous entrepreneurs royally screwed up their presentations of a lifetime.

Now Dropbox is a great little company I have been tracking for a while, they have managed to garner an almost cult like following while in Beta, but like many others who found themselves onstage but with an intermittent connection they dropped the ball during their pitch and public launch. See below for the most scary moment of any entrepreneurs life. The ball started rolling away at about 3 minutes:

Streaming Video by Ustream.TV

Dropbox should have used a Jumpbox!

Now Jumpbox may have been the ideal solution to the lame Internet connection problem. Jumpbox is a little startup who are actually making money! But explaining what they do is also a little scary. In a nut shell they make open source applications run in virtual environments, and one of their products is a virtual LAMP stack. Now for the English version.

Imagine your a small group of developers and you want to build an app in an isolated test environment, but don’t necessarily want to go through the pain of setting up a Linux distribution for your LAMP or Rails app (believe me, you don’t) or going even further the Linux distribution then some other open source software. So instead you simply install virtualization software such as VMware or Parallels then you install your Jumpbox LAMP distribution. It’s a 1, 2, 3 process and you’re all done.

So in the above nightmare scenario, you could bring your ‘Mac’ intending to demo on that and realize once you get there that their Internet connection was unstable or even that their A/V setup for whatever reason for whatever reason requires that you have to run it on their PC.

So you just download the free VMware player, put your LAMP or Rails JumpBox containing your app on a USB stick and move it to their system. Then you have an isolated and movable application which is stable. You can also clone it and give a complete copy to the guy running the projector while you’re still futzing with your copy. Heck you could give all your audience members a demo to take away on CD if you really wanted to.

Here is a quick demo of Jumpbox to get some idea of it’s power:

Such a simple solution has obviously found a wounded market place who are gravitating to Jumpboxes to help them set up a whole host of open source applications (ready out of the box) and for developers it’s almost a dream come true and a nightmare avoided!

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