Empowering Your Cloud Choices

I often get asked, “What does HOSTING do, exactly?” The cloud market is a big one – over 3,000 service providers – so how we refine understanding among our audience is key.

This blog sets out to answer that question, using a model we developed. We call it the Empowered IaaS Management Model. Think of it as a continuum. On the left, you have the self-service guys – Amazon is the poster child. These players support a shedload of dev/test environments. They provide a minimum of tools. Essentially, they stand up a VM for you, and hand you the keys. Unless you want to pay extra, you don’t get a support number to call, so it’s most cost-effective if you BYO support and expertise. And, as you’d imagine from that model, they don’t have any visibility in to your environment. If you have an issue, you better know how to solve it, because they can’t help. But it’s quite cost-effective.

On the far right, you have the high end, full IT outsourcers like IBM, CSC and HP. They are expensive, and they’re good. They target guys with money, i.e., Fortune 500 companies, and those who have a philosophy of full IT outsourcing. Translation: they don’t hand over the keys to your VM. They manage it for you. You have no visibility. And you pay handsomely for the privilege. If your business has an outsourcing mentality (and a big bank account), these guys are for you.

And then there’s the middle: As my mom always says, “Extremes are never good.” You’ve probably figured out that the middle is where HOSTING fits. There’s a nice little spot for us that sits somewhere between cost and services. And we think that’s where our target market – mid-sized enterprises – like us to sit. Here’s why: We give you visibility and control through a robust tool set, including the HOSTING Customer Portal, where you can not only spin up VMs quickly and manage your domains, but manage and monitor firewalls, security, availability and other services you deem necessary for your business-critical app’s. It’s a one-stop shop.

Via the HOSTING Customer Portal, you can now access HOSTING 360° Report – a monthly cloud visibility report that covers key areas of your cloud environment – availability, performance, recovery, security and capacity – but gives you the ability to prioritize these areas against your business KPIs. Essentially, you get to tailor the relative importance of these things, and run your cloud accordingly. In addition, we pride ourselves on live customer service. You call 1 number, regardless of the environment you run, you directly reach a live person with at least sys admin skills (not an operator), and he or she is comp’d on whether or not you’re happy – not first call resolution or how quickly they get you off the phone. We have Centers of Excellence (security, network, database, etc.) that back up our support services, and we have professional services if and when you need them. Meanwhile, we have a cloud that outperforms the big guys. In short, this means we’re big enough that you should care, and small enough that we care about you.

Of course this model is not black and white. You’ll see moves like IBM (far right on the continuum) buying SoftLayer (far left on the continuum). We’ll see how that works out… In the meantime, stick with the guys who know what they want to be when they grow up.


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