For about a month or so now I've been serving as consulting CTO for a stealth mode NYC startup in the SaaS/SCM/BI space. We've been researching and vetting a suite of products for integration as a SaaS offering. Lots of vendor phone calls, trial installs, conversations with industry leaders who really know their stuff.
My client has now inked some licensing paperwork. With the clock ticking on some expensive software licenses, it's time to move on to the rapid prototyping stage. We're looking at utilizing VPS (virtual private server) images -- perhaps "in the cloud" on EC2, perhaps at a more conventional datacenter -- to allow quick and flexible server provisioning as we explore the caveats of integrating these disparate architectures in varying configurations.
This prototype will serve multiple purposes: as stated above, we need to get to know the gotchas of operating and offering these products as a suite, as well as gain domain- and product-specific knowledge. We need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of various arrangements of the products and the supporting/surrounding infrastructure. The CEO of course needs something to put in front of potential investors and early clients.
I am really looking forward to this -- it's going to be a lot of fun. And, as always, a great learning experience.