12 Oct 2016

HC SEO About Our Fault-Tolerant Infrastructure & Cloud Services

QSAN Enterprise Storage Are Network Hosting Solutions

Our founder and CEO, Dimitar Avramov, has recently spoken to HostSearch about HostColor's business, our products, and our strengths. We have decided to publish the interview here. However, in order not to copy the original one, published at HostSearch, we have decided to present it a little bit differently.

One of our executives spoke to HostSearch in 2009, so their first question was what happened since then and what's new with Host Color?

"In 2009 the whole industry and HostColor itself were into traditional web hosting. Very few companies ran compute clusters or any kind of networking model of computer infrastructure. Eight years ago, software producers used to talk a lot about the Cloud, but mostly in future tense" answers Dimitar and says that HostColor was "there with the others". According to him the company always had a stable infrastructure and a good, hard-working support team. What Dimitar hasn't mentioned in the interview is that, in 2010, the European branch of HC, HostColor Europe deployed and used for a few years a quite unique Shared Cloud Infrastructure, a cPanel cluster of physical servers, which allowed the company to offer high-performance Shared Hosting. Although quite good, this one has been dropped and replaced with VMware-based Cloud computing infrastructure as Host Color decided to change its service model and create virtualized data centers in its main U.S. and European locations.

As a result that today, HostColor.com operates a fault-tolerant Cloud infrastructure in its Midwest U.S. Data Center. Our storage area network is built with QSAN hardware technologies, which allows us to that guarantee 100% uptime by SLA, while the Cloud provisioning is done with the VMware Cloud computing platform. As Dimitar has probably decided not to use too many details, in order to keep his answers as shorter as possible, he did not mention that Host Color's Public, Private, and Hybrid Clouds feature High Availability (HA) by default.

What does High Availability Cloud has to offer?

The High Availability (HA) functionality increases the Cloud service availability and reduces application downtime. It provides uniform, cost-effective failover protection against hardware and Operating System (OS) failures. The HA monitors cloud servers to detect a failure on the underlying physical hosts or an Operating System failure on the client's cloud virtual machine. When an outage is detected, the HA restarts the cloud server on other physical hosts part of the HC Cloud infrastructure, without manual intervention. The operations resume automatically.

Dimitar also said that Host Color's network peers to more than 70 ISP and major U.S. national and international networks and that the company is happy to be part of the Equinix ecosystem. "Adding our own data center infrastructure partners in the U.S., Europe, and Asia to that, means that Host Color provides computing capacity in more than 80 locations worldwide", adds Host Color's CEO and explains that our company has become an IT host that "clients use for Cloud computing, High-Performance websites, apps, and installations".

When Host Search Editor Tippawan asked "What would you consider as your main strengths to compete with others?", Dimitar's answer was:

"It has always been the commitment of our employees and our business values. I hate to see that many web hosting providers are just there to add as many clients as they could to their portfolio and then sell the business. Unlike them, IT Hosting is a traditional business for us. We analyze the way the web hosting industry changes, adapt to these changes to stay competitive, and create IT service frameworks that work best for businesses. We customize a lot, even on a network level. Automation is important, but we try to customize IT Hosting and Cloud services as much as we can".

In a question about HC's overview of current products and services Dimitar said that Host Color's "flagship IT service is our Hybrid, Public, and Private Clouds, based on VMware Cloud computing technology". He also added that two other services that "make a difference" for HostColor are the Public Cloud Server offerings and our Unmetered Dedicated Servers services. According to Dimitar "Managed Website (Managed Web Hosting) is a fast-growing market niche, that Host Color has been developing for few years". He adds that, another important service for Host Color is SSD VPS, but that "this type of IT hosting became more or less a commodity market inside web hosting industry, as everything is automated", so HC's strength on the SSD VPS market niche comes from its low latency Internet network that adds up to the high-performance VPS".

"We don’t pay a lot of attention to what others do, I mean it. The only exception is a few companies that managed to establish themselves as technology innovators in the web hosting industry. Those very few deserve to be monitored or sometimes even followed, it is fair to say that. When it comes to Colocation, for example, Equinix is one of them. However, we believe in our approach to IT Hosting business and Cloud computing. We are ethical in our Sales and marketing, we don’t mislead prospective clients and don’t promise any service we could not deliver. Add to that the fact that we try to customize our web hosting services as much as it is possible and I think it is more than enough to rank with the best", this is what HC's CEO answered to the HostSearch question "How do you differentiate your products in a competitive market?"

A question that we should be very grateful for is the one that gives us a chance to explain the difference between our SSD-based virtual servers and our Cloud solutions. Dimitar said that Host Color has divided them into SSD VPS and Cloud Server Hosting that use SSD storage.

SSD VPS is just a traditional VPS that uses Kernel-based Virtual Machine virtualization. A client may opt-in for our Fault-Tolerant storage, which means using Cloud-based storage as an add-on service, or to use storage on the same physical server where the VPS processing work is done.

The Cloud Servers are based on VMware Cloud computing and feature High Availability (HA) by default. The HA service provides failover protection against hardware and Operating System (OS) failures. The High Availability monitors Cloud Servers to detect a failure on the underlying physical hosts or an Operating System failure on the client's cloud virtual machine. When an outage is detected, the HA restarts the cloud server on other physical hosts part of the HostColor cluster, without manual intervention. The operations resume automatically. The data resides on Fault-Tolerant Storage Area Network (SAN), which uses enterprise-class SSDs.

In another question about our "VOD and Online Streaming hosting services", Dimitar explained that Host Color enables Video on Demand (VOD) and Online Streaming providers to leverage its low latency network and high-quality infrastructure.

To answer a question about Host Color's data centers Dimitar said "We have our own Colocation data center, based out of South Bend, Indiana. Like most other data centers, we got our colocation site leased from the building owner and we have been developing it since 2003. We are also happy to be in the Equinix ecosystem. HostColor.com data center is connected to Equinix facility at 350 E Cermak in Chicago. In Europe, Host Color Europe's primary colocation site and virtual data center are built in Equinix, Sofia facility".

One of the last questions was about the "good reviews" that Host Color receives on the HostSearch.com website. Dimitar responded: "To be fair to you, we do not get that many reviews at all. However, it is true that most of them, even all of them are very positive. We just don’t go after our clients to ask them to review us and don't offer any incentives, as many other companies do. Most of the customers are business owners and companies. They care very much about stability and performance. As long as they get a good service, they are very much focused on their own business". Dimitar adds that Host Color's team is always happy when customers "decide to say something about us, but it is not something that we work on a lot" and admits that this could be seen as weakness from marketing point of view". Dimitar added:

"HostColor has a stable growth rate and has adopted the business culture of being sustainable and not pushing for sales 24 hours a day. Let’s be honest", it is not a problem if we have a low or even zero growth rate in any quarter. It would happen. That’s life. The most important thing is to have a sustainable business".

The last answer was about any promotions targeted at HostSearch customers and in general about the way Host Color does promotional campaigns. Dimitar answered that what Host Color's team members usually say to the customers is that, they will be happy to provide any customer with any complimentary services or discounts. "What we need to see is commitment at the customer's end, not just to us, but to develop a service, a product, or a business, that we are proud to host and serve. This is much more than a one-time giveaway or a discount code any company would release", added HC CEO.