Web Hosting News in Review - March 2009

April 10, 2009
Despite the ongoing recession, the level of web hosting activity in March showed us our industry might be quite resilient. For example, the world's largest hosting event saw a 150% increase in attendees, so there is clearly a lot of optimism in the community. But however resilient, there is a financial reality out there and costs have to be considered. When they are, British IT business leader, Kate Craig-Wood suggested companies should “Fire Men First” because they were the most expensive. Sorry Ms. Craig-Wood, traditionally it’s been women and children first in any major disaster, hasn’t it? I wonder if that was the case at an Australian web host that had its services cut off in March? The big news at HostSearch in March was our support for the Information Technology Effectiveness Index (ITEI) Initiative which promises considerable returns for the web hosting community and certainly help it keep on course through economic issues.

Plenty of green activity in March… A survey suggested 78% of online shoppers value green-powered websites, while a web host decided to fund clean energy projects in Montana and outside the US. In addition, AISO.net announced a total eco web server, a new website and a new brand identity. Good to see also that despite the recession, plenty of contracts were won in March. Internet Central’s bespoke hosting services clinched a pharmacy deal while DediPower won an Icom contract. In addition, March saw a continued shift toward the Cloud indicated by 3Tera introducing the first Cloud computing service level agreement.

The big news in the world of domains in March was the general availability of .Tel domains, which led one company to warn that they could be subject to cybersquatting. In addition, in March there was news that .Tel domain names would become more affordable, while  Easyspace offered the domain for general availability. Other domain name news included  Papa Tiger offering private domain registration for $1.99 and ResellerClub announcing a .IN promotion. 

Again, despite the recession (or because of it?), masses of partnerships in March. VerticPortals selected NaviSite’s managed dedicated servers for a new Mariah Carey campaign, Hosted Solutions was chosen for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, the NSG Group chose Verizon Business for their Global Network, Go Daddy became a Microsoft BizSpark program hosting partner,  Webfusion partnered with Commission Junction, and Pabst Productions partnered with Tucows to provide managed internet services.

Plenty of awards received, milestones met and other achievements of note in March. 123-reg reached the two million domains landmark, while Uber Bandwidth achieved a connectivity milestone. In addition, CirtexHosting celebrated its six year anniversary, Consonus successfully completed a second annual SAS 70 Audit, Attenda won the 2009 VMware EMEA Hosting Partner of the Year AwardWeb Host UKFast entered the Times of London’s Best 100 Companies to Work for list, and  DataPipe was named as a Stevie Awards finalist.

Further evidence that the downturn might not necessarily be impacting web hosting badly was the number of expansions either going on of announced in March. Integral Solutions announced it would build a data center while HostDime opened an Orlando customer support facility. In addition, NTT Com launched a premium data center in Vietnam and AYKsolutions announced a new Denver data center. Beyond that, The Planet announced the launch of a London data center, and Macquarie Hosting strengthened its sales and operations team. The fact that there were so many people on the move in web hosting in March might also be seen as evidence of a healthy industry. Drupal services provider Acquia got a new CEO while EvoSwitch hired Eric Boonstra as Commercial Director. In addition, Network Solutions named a new President.

Of course, as ever, many hosts offered new products and services in March to stay ahead of the pack. Colocation-store.com announced a number of new packages, Concentric offered encrypted instant messaging, SingleHop offered LEAPmobile for Android and Blackberry mobile phones through SingleHop.mobi, and LFC Hosting announced Microsoft SQL Server 2008 support. Likewise, and also as ever, many hosts decided to enhance current offerings to maintain their edge. UK2 Group announced it would offer a “next generation control panel”, TurnKey Internet introduced a free web site migration service for dedicated servers,  MaximumASP offered disaster recovery services, Host Color doubled VPS hosting resources and added 1 free month to plans, HostingPanama migrated to the R1Soft Continuous Data Protection, Domainz linked Quick Shopping Cart with QuickBooks, and AvaHost enhanced its reseller options.

And of course, people like a good deal and the best way for a web host to stay in front is a great promotion, of which there were countless in March. Host Color offers a rebate to female customers, SherWeb offered an Exchange promotion, EIRCA Ltd. unveiled its sixth annual running of a St. Patrick's Day promotion, and Verio launched a stimulus package for viaVerio channel partners. In addition, ResellerClub announced a Big Birthday Bash, WebhostGIANT offered 50% off web hosting plans, and Pipe Ten Hosting offered free R1Soft backups. In addition, C I Host offered a load balancing promotion.

All round, a decent month… Let’s hope the remainder of April is the same!

Top 3 Hosts From Our Search

1Steadfast Networks
3Tech Logic Solutions