Data Center POST recently had the opportunity to speak with Webair CTO, Sagi Brody, about his company’s goals for HostingCon Global. The event, taking place on July 24-27 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, is the largest gathering of the hosting and cloud services community in the world.
Founded in 1996, Webair is a leader in managed hosting solutions, including Managed and Secure Cloud Infrastructure. The company offers a variety of hosting services including Public, Private and Hybrid Cloud, dedicated servers, colocation, Content Delivery Network (CDN) and video streaming. Webair is headquartered in New York and operates an international network of data centers in New York, Los Angeles, Montreal and Amsterdam.
During our Q&A session with Mr. Brody, we discussed how Webair keeps pace with the cloud hosting, colocation and managed solutions industries, as well as what separates Webair from similar companies in the market.
Q and A with Data Center Post’s contributing editor, Kathy Xu
Data Center POST, Kathy Xu (DCP-KX) Question: How does Webair keep pace with the ever changing demands of several different industries: Cloud hosting, colocation and managed solutions?
Webair, Sagi Brody (WEBAIR-SB): Webair is a high-touch managed services provider that has been in business for over 20 years. Managed services is in our DNA. By combining the best of both technical and human ecosystems in our data center facilities, we’re able to be highly responsive, agile and efficient when addressing customer needs across cloud, colo and managed solutions. Taking full ownership and responsibility of our customers’ infrastructure means that our teams must be highly experienced in legacy as well as new and emerging technologies. We are always on the lookout for innovative technology and processes to optimize our operations, and therefore the service we provide for our customers.
DCP-KX Q: What differentiates Webair in the market?
WEBAIR-SB: Our roots are in “full stack management.” When we started as a managed web host in the late 90s, there were no rules as to what a managed host should and should not do. Webair decided to take ownership of the entire infrastructure stack for its customers and scale the management to multi-server and clustered setups.Today, full stack management includes owning the application servers, database servers, shared storage, CDN, security, load balancing, backups and Disaster Recovery solutions. Over the years Webair added cloud compute, cloud storage, and a multitude of other shared infrastructure. However, these platforms were not added to be simply sold as managed infrastructure components, like competitors selling Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), but to make our full stack management better and easier to manage. That means those platforms are already segmented, secure, scalable, and under scrutiny daily from our over 100K-plus web sites hosted on that platform. So, as an ancillary benefit, we can easily pick apart each layer of infrastructure and make it readily available as a standalone managed infrastructure service.
Customers can also have the added assurance that, should they want us to “own” more of their infrastructure stack, we can at any time. What you see today is many colo and cloud providers trying to go up the stack, or “bolt on” these types of managed services. Webair is different because we started with the most high-touch platforms and products and worked our way down over the years. Being able to offer space and power is very simple when you’re focused on much more complex problems. That’s what makes our colocation great. The facility itself is amazing, but when we’re giving tours, we’re talking more about all of the Managed Services available “within the four walls” which are instantly available, local, and secure. This gives customers a security blanket, knowing they can augment their own infrastructure with ours whenever needed. When you compare that story to a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) trying to build a cloud from scratch, it’s very different. Our application hosting customers also force us to keep pace from a technology perspective.
Oftentimes, we find ourselves having to help customers who suffer from application or code problems. From our vantage point, we cannot modify their applications, so we’re always looking for innovative ways to help improve performance from an infrastructure perspective, and without having to force customers to make any changes on their side. Over the years, we’ve added a multitude of CDN, caching, storage and compute platforms that can instantly be turned on for a customer to provide a huge performance boost without the need to change anything on their side. Having our own hosting platform that runs inside the guest OS, such as Linux and BSD, has given us a great foundation on which to innovate and build.
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