After a seven-year stint as CFO and being co-CEO with the recently retired Fabio Banducci, Gary Sherlock is now the CEO of web infrastructure and cloud hosting provider Peer 1 Hosting.

 

US online shoppers have little tolerance for poor navigation, slow website load times, and interruptions and timeouts, with 65 percent ditching an online shopping cart after experiencing these issues, according to a new study by Peer 1 Hosting.

 

One year ago, Hurricane Sandy pounded New York City and the entire U.S. East Coast. While many of Manhattan’s residents were evacuated to avoid the storm’s destruction, two of PEER 1 Hosting’s data center team members—Mike Mazzei and Jeff Burns—stayed at our facility in lower Manhattan to ensure everything went smoothly during the hurricane. We really didn’t expect the storm to have a significant impact on the data center. At the worst, we thought the facility might lose utility power, and Jeff and Mike would need to switch to the building’s backup generators.

We couldn’t have been more wrong. When the storm surge hit on the night of October 29, 2012, the basement and first floor of the data center quickly flooded. The servers are on the second floor, so they were safe from the flooding, but the building’s main incoming utility switchgear and fuel tank reside in the basement, and they were completely under water. There was a limited amount of fuel in the generator header tank on the 18th floor to power the backup generators on the 17th floor, and Mike and Jeff knew that it would only last a couple hours. We quickly realized that Sandy was much worse than any of us had anticipated, and we quickly had to come up with a new plan to keep the data center running.

The initial reaction was to set up for a controlled shutdown, but Mike asked for one more hour to find a solution and prevent any customers from being affected by the storm. When I talked to him next, he told me that other local PEER 1 Hosting employees, and even some of our own customers, had arrived at the data center to help. Together, they were carrying fuel up the stairs to the 17th floor in a makeshift bucket brigade. I have to admit, I was impressed by this resourceful approach. It wasn’t a perfect solution—nor did one exist in a situation like this—but it worked, and the team was able to keep our servers fueled for days. Eventually, we were able to install a temporary fuel hose up to the header tank that feeds the generators on the 17th floor. And when the storm eventually cleared, PEER 1 Hosting’s data center was one of the few in lower Manhattan with power.

Hurricane Sandy was not our first hurricane, and we’ve seen numerous other natural disasters at some of our other data centers throughout the U.S. This was a very different experience, though, and there was a lot to be learned from the unique challenges that Hurricane Sandy presented. For instance, we learned how to set up an effective bucket brigade, and our customers learned that we stand behind our mission statement of being the most human company on the web. We also learned how we can avoid having to be in that situation ever again, along with some best practices to prepare a data center for a looming storm.

Of these takeaways, one of the most important lessons is that there are some things that data center managers simply can’t plan for. For instance, while I would derive significant peace of mind from never putting a generator or fuel tank in a data center basement again, that simply isn’t feasible, as there are issues of structural support on higher floors. We would also pay much more for the space this infrastructure would take up owing to steeper rent rates on higher floors, even though the generators and fuel tanks are very rarely used.

With that in mind, data center managers can actually do quite a lot to prepare their facilities for large storms. Here are my top tips to prepare for hurricane season and, really, any other natural disaster:

  1. Get sufficient staff in the data center before a storm hits. We were extremely lucky to have local Manhattan customers at the data center the morning after the storm to help with the bucket brigade effort. Without all those extra hands, we would have had to do a controlled shutdown of the data center. If you can’t “staff up” before the storm, think about how you’ll get additional support to the facility if it’s needed. For example, you may want to set up emergency response teams near your data centers. That way, if there’s an outage, fire, earthquake or other disaster, you’ll already have a team close by that is ready to help.
  2. Don’t wait until you need roll-up generators or fuel hoses in your data center—get that equipment on site today. Also, think about other supplies that you might need if the data center team has to stay in the facility for an extended period of time. Especially in your storm preparations, stock up on flashlights, sleeping bags, water and non-perishable food so the crew can stay, fairly comfortably, as long as they need to.
  3. Make sure contracts are in place for maintenance, fuel and any other services that may be needed during and after a storm. These contracts will ensure that you have the supplies and assistance you need to get downed infrastructure back up and running, and the fuel to keep it working. Without contracts, you’ll be last in line, and you’ll probably end up shutting down your data center.
  4. Avoid relying on everything going according to plan. You can plan as much as you want, but it’s impossible to be completely ready for any natural disaster. It’s our policy to regularly test a data center’s critical infrastructure and stock extra supplies on site before a storm, but these precautions were insufficient for Hurricane Sandy. You, too, will likely have to operate on the fly and adapt your disaster procedures during a storm.
  5. For service providers like PEER 1 Hosting, it’s important to also think about customers and how you can help them prepare for a potential natural disaster. Counsel customers on the risks of their critical infrastructure failing and offer to help set up a disaster recovery solution. Another option is to use a public cloud environment so that should one facility go down, customers’ applications will fail over to another data center. Remember to also keep customers apprised if something does go wrong. For instance, if and when a storm hits, keep customers involved and aware of the facility’s status, especially if you think you will lose power or need to shut down. We’ve found that initially emailing customers and then posting frequent updates about a facility’s status on our website is the best approach.

Looking back on Hurricane Sandy, it was a very rough recovery and one that I hope to never experience again. But I also believe that the lessons we learned have made us a stronger and more capable company, and I am very proud of what we accomplished for our customers.

Leading article image courtesy of NASA Goddard Photo and Video

About the Author

Hurricane SandyRyan Murphey is VP Datacenter Operations at PEER 1 Hosting. With more than 13 years of experience in data center management and customer-service management in the hosting and network industry, Murphey currently directs the design, budget and capacity planning for PEER 1 Hosting’s 19 data centers across the United States and Canada.

The post Why Data Centers Are Now More Prepared Than Ever Following Hurricane Sandy appeared first on The Data Center Journal.

 

July 22, 2013 — Web hosting and cloud hosting provider PEER 1 Hosting announced on Monday it has partnered with Dell to provide cloud and managed services to Dell customers in Canada.

Keep on reading: PEER 1 Hosting Provides Cloud, Managed Services to Dell Customers in Canada

 

(The Hosting News) – PEER 1 Hosting, the global web hosting provider, today announces the successful achievement of its PCI audit, which sees its London and Los Angeles data centres become PCI compliant; increasing its line-up of PCI compliant data centres to 6 globally. The audit allows PEER 1 Hosting to offer secure hosted PCI environments to customers on both sides of the Atlantic.

PEER 1 Hosting carried out the annual audit of its PCI environment to maintain and extend continued compliance. The audit review process coincided with PEER 1 Hosting increasing the number of geographical PCI compliant locations available. As such, the successful audit is an important addition for PEER 1 Hosting customers requiring a PCI environment in multiple locations for disaster recovery purposes – especially those operating in the financial services and eCommerce sectors that require highly secure hosting environments.

Fabio Banducci, president & CEO, PEER 1 Hosting, says: “We have seen a marked increase in customers requesting PCI solutions, with banks and associated payment gateway providers increasingly requiring this as standard. As a company we offer a consultative approach and understand the differing requirements that customers have, especially with something as complex as PCI Compliance.

“We understand PCI Compliance because we have gone through the process ourselves. We have longstanding customers using our PCI environment, and so the move to make our London and Los Angeles data centres PCI compliant shows our continued commitment to having the most security-aware and educated organisation and staff.

“We have invested in hardened operating systems necessary for PCI builds, and have put in place an on-going refinement of PCI sales processes, assisting customers with understanding complex PCI requirements – all part of powering the potential of businesses online.”

PEER 1 Hosting has a growing team of dedicated security professionals whose sole aim is to ensure continued compliance for PEER1 and solutions and services, making it easier for customers looking to achieve PCI compliance. This commitment was reflected by the organisation recently when the entire team undertook the Security Awareness Training.

Disclaimer:

PEER 1Hosting provides customers with a fully audited and maintained PCI Environment for customers to host their PCI Solution in. PEER 1 Hosting also offers a range of dedicated and managed services that can assist a customer in achieving PCI Compliance.

However PEER 1 Hosting is unable to guarantee that a customer will achieve PCI Compliance as this only depends on the customer’s internal and external security practices that are not within PEER 1 Hosting’s domain to manage.

About PEER 1 Hosting

PEER 1 Hosting is one of the world’s leading web hosting providers, specialising in Managed Hosting, Dedicated Servers, Colocation and Cloud Services. Based in Vancouver, Canada, with European operations headquartered in Southampton, UK, the company has been serving commercial customer needs since 1999. PEER 1 Hosting is built on two obsessions: Ping & People. ‘Ping’ represents its commitment to best-in-breed technology, founded on a high performance 10Gbps FastFiber Network(tm) connected by 20 state-of-the-art data centres. ‘People’ represents its commitment to delivering outstanding customer service to its more than 13,000 customers worldwide, backed by a 100 per cent uptime guarantee. For more information visit: http://www.peer1hosting.co.uk

PEER 1 Extends PCI Compliance Accreditation

 

(The Hosting News) – PEER 1 Hosting, the global web hosting provider, today announces the successful achievement of its PCI audit, which sees its London and Los Angeles data centres become PCI compliant; increasing its line-up of PCI compliant data centres to 6 globally. The audit allows PEER 1 Hosting to offer secure hosted PCI environments to customers on both sides of the Atlantic.

PEER 1 Hosting carried out the annual audit of its PCI environment to maintain and extend continued compliance. The audit review process coincided with PEER 1 Hosting increasing the number of geographical PCI compliant locations available. As such, the successful audit is an important addition for PEER 1 Hosting customers requiring a PCI environment in multiple locations for disaster recovery purposes – especially those operating in the financial services and eCommerce sectors that require highly secure hosting environments.

Fabio Banducci, president & CEO, PEER 1 Hosting, says: “We have seen a marked increase in customers requesting PCI solutions, with banks and associated payment gateway providers increasingly requiring this as standard. As a company we offer a consultative approach and understand the differing requirements that customers have, especially with something as complex as PCI Compliance.

“We understand PCI Compliance because we have gone through the process ourselves. We have longstanding customers using our PCI environment, and so the move to make our London and Los Angeles data centres PCI compliant shows our continued commitment to having the most security-aware and educated organisation and staff.

“We have invested in hardened operating systems necessary for PCI builds, and have put in place an on-going refinement of PCI sales processes, assisting customers with understanding complex PCI requirements – all part of powering the potential of businesses online.”

PEER 1 Hosting has a growing team of dedicated security professionals whose sole aim is to ensure continued compliance for PEER1 and solutions and services, making it easier for customers looking to achieve PCI compliance. This commitment was reflected by the organisation recently when the entire team undertook the Security Awareness Training.

Disclaimer:

PEER 1Hosting provides customers with a fully audited and maintained PCI Environment for customers to host their PCI Solution in. PEER 1 Hosting also offers a range of dedicated and managed services that can assist a customer in achieving PCI Compliance.

However PEER 1 Hosting is unable to guarantee that a customer will achieve PCI Compliance as this only depends on the customer’s internal and external security practices that are not within PEER 1 Hosting’s domain to manage.

About PEER 1 Hosting

PEER 1 Hosting is one of the world’s leading web hosting providers, specialising in Managed Hosting, Dedicated Servers, Colocation and Cloud Services. Based in Vancouver, Canada, with European operations headquartered in Southampton, UK, the company has been serving commercial customer needs since 1999. PEER 1 Hosting is built on two obsessions: Ping & People. ‘Ping’ represents its commitment to best-in-breed technology, founded on a high performance 10Gbps FastFiber Network(tm) connected by 20 state-of-the-art data centres. ‘People’ represents its commitment to delivering outstanding customer service to its more than 13,000 customers worldwide, backed by a 100 per cent uptime guarantee. For more information visit: http://www.peer1hosting.co.uk

Source: PEER 1 Extends PCI Compliance Accreditation

 

In the past few years, the term “big data” has become a bigger part of web hosting vocabulary. For a long time, relatively small collections of data were stored in conventional database systems including MySQL and MS SQL. Big data stretches past the limitations of most database systems, and pushes storage and processing resources to the limit.

While big data has been becoming a more significant issue for web hosts and their customers, cloud services have been growing too. For many companies, the cloud is the obvious place to store vast quantities of data.

At HostingCon 2013, you will hear about the alternatives to cloud hosting for storing and working with big data. In one session, “Addressing Big Data Needs Outside of the Cloud,” you will learn how a good dedicated server can deliver the benefits of the cloud at a lower cost, allowing you to offer big data hosting in your existing infrastructure.

Features of the best big data solutions

According to TheWHIR, the global big data market is valued at more than $100 billion. To secure a share of this rapidly growing market, hosting providers need to understand what customers expect from big data solutions.

Of course, identifying the traits of a good solution depends on understanding what the term “big data” actually means.

Frequently, big data is used to describe particularly large data sets, which are often used for in-depth analysis. With a massive collection of data, analysts can uncover patterns that would be impossible to see on a smaller scale.

But big data is about more than storage capacity. It presents a series of related issues, related to the speed in which data is collected and the complex processing that may be required.

In addition to high volumes of storage, most enterprises looking for a big data solution will want:

  • Fast read/write access for adding and processing data
  • High availability of data
  • Scalability that allows the data set to grow continually

The cloud is a good solution for big data, but not the only one. Quality dedicated servers in a robust infrastructure can meet the demands of enterprises with less complexity, and at a reduced cost.

Learn about big data solutions at HostingCon 2013

As more hosting and internet service companies begin to offer big data solutions, the smart ones explore a wide range of delivery models, finding one that delivers on customer demand while getting the most from existing infrastructure and hardware.

In “Addressing Big Data Needs Outside of the Cloud,” Robert Miggins from PEER 1 Hosting will explain several options for hosting big data, and summarize the benefits and limitations of each approach. In addition, you will hear how Sociocast chose PEER 1 Hosting over a cloud solution to achieve better service at a lower cost.

“Addressing Big Data Needs Outside of the Cloud” takes place on Wednesday, June 19th at 10:00am.

To get your pass for HostingCon 2013, register now.

For all the latest HostingCon news and information, visit HostingCon – Premier Industry Conference and Trade Show for Web Hosting and Cloud Service Providers

 

May 14, 2013 — UK web hosting provider Peer 1 Hosting announced on Tuesday it has released the results of its latest survey which found that the fear of security threats is preventing 92 percent of IT decision makers from adopting the cloud.

Keep on reading: PEER 1 Hosting Study Shows Security Concerns Continue to Hinder Cloud Adoption

 

(The Hosting News) – The fear of security threats is preventing 92% of IT decision makers from adopting the cloud, according to an infographic released today by global web hosting company PEER 1 Hosting. The infographic, based on the results of a survey of 120 IT professionals, revealed a number of concerns when weighing up the cost of the cloud.

Flexibility in the cloud encourages 89% of decision makers to make a purchase, while 71% of respondents feel scalability is a key benefit to their business. However, only one in five respondents trusted the cloud enough to make a full transition – with 78% preferring to opt for a hybrid cloud solution.

Dominic Monkhouse, MD EMEA and SVP customer experience at PEER 1 Hosting, commented: “The security risks presented by the cloud are the same as those associated with using Gmail, Facebook or Dropbox, yet people still store even their most personal details in these public domains. In our research we’re seeing that although companies understand the multiple benefits of the cloud, they’re still being put off by security risks.

“These results show that the industry needs to do more to communicate the fact that enterprise cloud solutions use even more stringent security protocols than consumer software. Our public cloud offering utilises the best security solutions available.”

The survey, carried out at the Cloud Expo tradeshow in January, highlighted a high demand for simplified, cost-effective business cloud services. Nearly half of the respondents (42%) claimed they were put off by the cost of migrating to the cloud, with one in eight (12.5%) believing the cloud is a solution to the capex / opex debate.

PEER 1 Hosting recently launched its enterprise grade public cloud. The platform provides best-in-class security as well as built in disaster recovery and cloud management functions for day-to-day automation. The solution is powered by Tier 3’s cloud services, which are virtualised with VMware to provide security, performance and reliability in the cloud.

To learn more about PEER 1 Hosting’s Mission Critical Cloud, please visit: http://www.peer1hosting.co.uk/cloud-hosting/mission-critical-cloud

To view the infographic please visit: http://www.peer1hosting.co.uk/sites/default/files/images/cloud-hosting/weighing-the-cloud-infographic.png

About PEER 1 Hosting

PEER 1 Hosting, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cogeco Cable Inc. (TSX: CCA), is one of the world’s leading web hosting providers, specialising in Managed Hosting, Dedicated Servers, Colocation and Cloud Services. Based in Vancouver, Canada, with European operations headquartered in Southampton, UK, the company has been serving commercial customer needs since 1999. PEER 1 Hosting is built on two obsessions: Ping & People. ‘Ping’ represents its commitment to best-in-breed technology, founded on a high performance 10Gbps FastFiber Network(tm) connected by 20 state-of-the-art data centres. ‘People’ represents its commitment to delivering outstanding customer service to its more than 13,000 customers worldwide, backed by a 100 per cent uptime guarantee. For more information visit: http://www.peer1hosting.co.uk

Source: Cloud Security Turns Off 92% of IT Decision Makers

 

(The Hosting News) – Tier 3 is bringing the complete enterprise cloud to the channel. Announced today at Interop, the Tier 3 Cloud Reseller Edition – a new collection of branding and administrative features designed for the channel – now brings cloud infrastructure, platform services and advanced management functions together in a single reseller-ready platform that can be easily re-branded and customized by partners for global enterprise deployments.

Tier 3 is an attractive cloud partner for resellers that serve mid-tier to large businesses, since the company’s cloud natively meets many enterprise requirements for performance, compliance and security, while offering an industry-leading SLA. Available now in ten data centers around the world, the cloud platform’s footprint supports compliance with data sovereignty regulations and deployment of geo-targeted services. Tier 3 also includes advanced cloud orchestration features, called Blueprints, which allow providers to accelerate time to revenue with rapid deployment of complex cloud environments from a library of templates. Partners can also use Blueprints in conjunction with their existing software implementation expertise to offer new, value-added services in the cloud.

Release Highlights
Tier 3’s new reseller features – and a newly announced partner program- are aimed at service providers (SPs),system integrators(SIs) and value-added resellers (VARs) looking to grow revenue from cloud services. The Reseller Edition includes a number of management features that streamline cloud operations for channel partners while accelerating both time to market and customer adoption, such as:

  • Account Management and Account Hierarchies. Partners can easily control, monitor, and bill for cloud usage across their customer base.
  • Advanced Integration. A complete library of API s, single sign on (SSO) support via SAML, and detailed reporting can be used to integrate Tier 3 with existing applications such as billing systems to ease partner and customer deployment.
  • Customizable Services and Locations. Partners can effortlessly enable and disable both node locations and discrete cloud services for their customers.
  • Content Management. Easily customize help resource URLs to match existing repositories, or easily configure links for new locations.
  • Email Templates. Resellers may adjust email notifications sent from the system to match their preferences and branding.
  • Cloud Management Portal Rebranding. Partners may easily alter the visual appearance of the Tier 3 web-based management interface to their own brand.

“Many service providers are still unsure how to grow their business in the era of cloud computing. Large public cloud providers aren’t always channel-friendly, and there is significant risk and complexity to developing a cloud from the ground up,” said Jared Wray, founder of Tier 3. “We built the Tier 3 Cloud Reseller Edition with the channel in mind. From simple white-labeling, to complex custom application development and hosting, Tier 3 helps partners play to their strengths with new cloud products.”

Among Tier 3’s first strategic partners is PEER 1 Hosting, the global web hosting provider. Last month, PEER 1 Hosting launched its Mission Critical Cloud, powered by the Tier 3 cloud platform.

“As we evaluated public cloud services, Tier 3 emerged as the clear choice. Enterprises want the cloud to be more powerful, yet less complex at the same time. That’s precisely what Tier 3 has built,” said Robert Miggins, SVP, Business Development, PEER 1 Hosting. “What’s more, partners are at the forefront of Tier 3’s business. They are highly motivated to make partners successful, and that extends to the features they provide in their platform.”

The Tier 3 Reseller Edition is backed by a partner program that includes several options, ranging from fully-managed strategic relationships, to reseller engagements, to lead referral incentives for agents. Each level includes sales enablement tools and comprehensive support documentation to help channel partners quickly monetize Tier 3’s services. Additional information on the partner program is available athttp://www.tier3.com/solutions/partnerships.

About Tier 3

Tier 3 is a complete cloud management platform for mid-tier to large enterprises as well as SaaS providers. To bring even more value to customers, Tier 3 has combined elements of the traditional enterprise cloud market with those of cloud management platforms. Tier 3’s suite of public cloud products and services include advanced management and orchestration enabling our customers to run workloads ranging from simple development and test environments to the most complex and demanding enterprise applications. The Company is based in Bellevue, WA, with regional presence in multiple locations in North America and Europe. http://www.tier3.com.

Source: Tier 3 Adds Reseller Edition of Enterprise Cloud

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