UK2 Partners with Start-Up Loans to Offer Free Hosting to New Businesses

usdollarsBritish web host UK2 and not-for-profit Start-Up Loans are partnering to offer free web hosting to new businesses. Any company receiving funding from Start-Up Loans is eligible for the free service, and then for 50 percent off a 2 year hosting package through UK2 when the 6 months are over.

Start-Up Loans is a UK government initiative which concluded its pilot period in March 2013, and has provided over £73 million ($121 million USD) in funding to over 14,000 companies.

“We’re pleased to partner with UK2 as the majority of our start-ups have a website or are in the process of building one,” Elliot Gold from Start-Up Loans said. “Having complementary web hosting for the first six months, then a discounted rate thereafter will mean that their budget will go that bit further.”

Not only does the partnership lower cost for new ventures which tend to be challenged by overhead costs, it gives UK2 a privileged position with start-ups. By the time the discount plan runs out, UK2 will have had two and a half years to prove their merits to those companies still operating.

The SMB cloud market is expected to reach $95 billion by 2015, and GoDaddy has specifically focused on sole proprietorships and start-ups to grow its already-huge business stateside.

In addition to benfiting UK2’s relationship with its home market’s small businesses, the partnership may also benefit UK2’s branding and public relations.

“Partnering with Start Up Loans is a perfect match as it provides something each recipient needs and offers us the opportunity to give back,” Sara Cunha-Rego, the marketing director for UK2 said.

TextDrive ‘Lifetime’ Customer Accounts to End This Week

servers1Web hosting service TextDrive was founded in 2004 with a novel idea: providing lifetime web hosting for an up-front fee of $199. Unfortunately for many of the early TextDrive customers who hoped to never pay for hosting again, however, TextDrive is shutting down March 14, 2014.

In a message to customers, TextDrive founder and CEO Dean Allen said that recent efforts to revive the service were ultimately unsuccessful.

“It is disappointing to report that after a year and a half of uphill battles and unimagined setbacks, after several costly efforts to regroup and find another way, options to keep TextDrive growing have run out, and we will cease operations on the 14th of March, 2014,” wrote Allen. “For those who wish to know, details of what went wrong will be made available once shutdown operations have completed. Sorry to have let you down.”

Ugh, our hosting is going down and we have 10 days to migrate all of our sites. So much for the lifetime hosting we paid for.

— Jessie Mihalik (@jessiemihalik) March 4, 2014

Pls spread urgent word: TextDrive is going dead on Mar 14th. Owner has been AWOL for most of 2013. Now closing shop w/o notifying customers.

— Carina C. Zona (@cczona) March 7, 2014

Many customers were upset that TextDrive chose to break the news on its website less than two weeks before the service would close, rather than sending customers an email message earlier. Many are scrambling to backup their data and find alternative hosting services before their TextDrive storage is wiped.

Many in the TextDrive community don’t feel particularly bitter, given that they got essentially a decade of hosting for around $200. However, as TextDrive user David Foltz told Wired, TextDrive’s owner Joyent could have refunded customers their money when it seemed that it would be impossible to continue the service. TextDrive might have been able to treat this as the repayment of an initial investment – as though they were “mini-VCs”.

But as service continued to decline, many users felt slighted. As Bill Turner notes on his blog, there have been reports that over the last few months, TextDrive sites have gone down, support tickets have not been addressed, and that at least one employee was not getting paid.

The community of TextDrive customers, however, has quickly helped spread the word of the shutdown, and are providing ideas on what they should do next. For instance, a script has been shared for helping people backup their TextDrive data to StrongSpace.

A former TextDrive employee has also created an alternative to TextDrive called Kaizen Garden. Albeit, users have to pay between $25 and $100 per month. If this service gets enough support, Kaizen Garden hopes to hire another former employee to handle support tickets.

While TextDrive’s lifetime is ending, the TextDrive community may live on in one form or another.

Zayo Acquires Dallas Provider CoreXchange

serverszColo, the colocation division of international bandwidth provider Zayo Group, has acquired CoreXchange, a data center and managed services provider in Dallas, Texas.

The purchase provides xColo with one new stand-alone data center, located at 8600 Harry Hines Boulevard, as well as an additional 12,000 square feet in CoreXchange’s suite in the Dallas Infomart at 1950 N. Stemmons Freeway. The transaction was funded with cash on hand.

This increases the zColo footprint by 18,000 square feet in Dallas, to more than 34,000 square feet. Zayo currently operates colocation facilities at 2323 Bryan St. and the Dallas Infomart, where zColo will gain an additional suite with this purchase.

While CoreXchange’s space is located completely in Dallas, Texas, the company recently said that only 20 percent of its customers are actually within the region, thanks in part to it’s online ordering portal, ColoUnlimited.  As a part of the acquisition, Zayo will also assume ownership of ColoUnlimited. zColo will continue operating ColoUnlimited in the Dallas market before integrating into Zayo’s recently announced Internet Portal, Tranzact, in the second quarter of 2014. Tranzact will enable transactional ordering capabilities across zColo’s national data center footprint.

Adding the CoreXchange facilities increases Zayo’s footprint and options for its customers in the Dallas metro area. Zayo has a strong fiber network in the Dallas area, spanning more than 500 route miles and reaching more than 250 on-net buildings.

“Dallas is one of the world’s leading corporate headquarter hubs and has seen tremendous growth in the high tech and energy fields,” said Chris Morley, president at Zayo Group. “Expanding the zColo footprint not only provides more alternatives for colocation in the Dallas market, but provides easier access for customers to tap into Zayo’s international Bandwidth Infrastructure footprint.”

CoreXchange was founded seven years ago by industry veterans from The Planet, Rackspace, NTT/Verio and Exodus Communications. One of those veterans was Peter Pathos from The Planet, which was acquired by GI Partners and merged with SoftLayer. The Planet, which was known for dedicated hosting by the time of its acquisition, was actually started as a colocation company. CoreXchange rose out of those foundations as The Planet moved away from colocation.

Zayo has continuously built its zColo colocation business through acquisitions. The company acquired CoreNAP in Austin, Texas in 2013. The company also recently expanded in Miami Florida.

AppZero Signs Channel Partner Agreement with Dot Net Solutions

AppZero, the fastest, most flexible way to move server applications, announced today it has signed a channel partnership agreement with Dot Net Solutions, one of the UK’s top Microsoft Cloud partners. The agreement is part of a worldwide channel strategy implemented by AppZero to ensure comprehensive global coverage of its award-winning application migration software in the run-up to Windows Server 2003 (WS2003) end of support. Microsoft recommends AppZero Enterprise for application migration for various applications from Windows Server 2003 to either Windows Server 2012 or Windows Azure.

“The challenge in choosing the right partner is finding one with the knowledge and industry expertise to migrate applications with as little disruption to the business as possible—Dot Net met that criterion and more,” said AppZero CEO, Greg O’Connor. “Their industry expertise, combined with their consulting services makes Dot Net a highly valued member of the AppZero team.”

Also joining the AppZero Partner Program are:

  • Infront Consulting, a global IT consulting firm with offices in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Belgium, and Singapore;
  • KMD, one of Denmark’s leading IT and software companies; and
  • Blue Turtle, a leading South African enterprise technology management company.

The partnership with Dot Net will continue to increase AppZero’s global presence, as the July 14, 2015 deadline for the end of support for WS2003 approaches. Enterprises around the world are gearing up to move their Windows production applications onto newer operating systems and/or to the Cloud in order to remain compliant and ensure they are running their applications on a supported platform. AppZero is the only product on the market that can “up-level” Windows server applications onto newer operating systems.

“Dot Net’s partnership with AppZero delivers a vital component to the mix – the ability to migrate legacy applications on older operating systems, to modern alternatives which can run in the Public Cloud. It forms an integral part of our Cloud Managed Platform and we are delighted to announce the partnership between the businesses today,” said Dan Scarfe, Founder of Dot Net.

About AppZero
AppZero is the fastest and most flexible way to migrate server applications to and across any cloud or datacenter, without re-engineering, re-installation or lock-in. Encapsulating Windows applications in VM/OS-free packages, AppZero’s patented software makes complex server applications moveable with ease. For more information, visithttp://www.AppZero.com and follow us on twitter @AppZero_Inc.

About Dot Net Solutions
For the past five years, Dot Net has focused purely on Cloud; offering Infrastructure and Application Development solutions. They have created a complete solution to help organisations embrace public and private Cloud. Dot Net’s Cloud Managed Platform is a collection of tooling and processes that facilitate organisations adoption and migration to System Center, Windows Azure and Office 365. Their managed services platform then delivers management and support on top of this to produce a complete end-to-end solution. For more information, visithttp://www.dotnetsolutions.co.uk.

DDoS Protection Brought to the East Coast by r00t-Services.net

bigdatar00t-Services.net is expanding its superior anti DDoS solutions to the Eastern U.S., bringing its powerful and unrivaled DDoS mitigation services to Washington D.C. and beyond. After operating in Europe for nearly a year and providing top tier protection against any type of attack for websites, game servers, mail servers, Bitcoin mining pools, and more, r00t-Services.net has decided to place a second PoP on the east coast. And with new threats like NTP-based rDDoS and compromised Kloxo installs, DDoS protection is now more crucial than ever.

Because of the increase in frequency and severity of DDoS attacks in recent years, anti DDoS solutions and DDoS protection have become a crucial component to successfully operating any online service. DDoS attacks are highly damaging and can effectively bring a service to a complete halt, causing downtime and compromising security. Despite the unpredictability and danger of potential DDoS attacks, most hosting providers are unable to protect against or mitigate damage in the case of such an attack.

With anti DDoS solutions from r00t-Services.net, you can stay with your hosting provider and protect your server remotely without transferring any data. DDoS mitigation in a r00t-Services.net facility takes place using state-of-the-art hardware from RioRey running custom software. The new proxy systems are housed inside an Equinix facility and a generous 100Gbps of upstream bandwidth is dedicated to mitigating DDoS attacks. With competitive pricing, excellent customer service, and the most know-how, r00t-Services.net’s anti DDoS solutions come with instant setup and can even protect against new types of DDoS attacks just being discovered in 2014.

Looking to provide the lowest latency and highest performance possible to our U.S. customers, we know that keeping our networks located closer to our customers and their visitors allows us to provide the best and fastest protection possible. The east coast is an excellent connectivity point for both the U.S. and Europe, making it ideal for services or websites that target both.

Who wouldn’t love to combine the amazing customer service and spectacular server security of an expensive DDoS mitigation service with the cost of a bargain service? r00t-Services.net started as a response to this dilemma—paying less for DDoS protection has often meant sacrificing reliability. Going with a cheap provider often meant more and more downtime, which is exactly what anti DDoS solutions are meant to prevent. Filling in the gap, r00t-Services.net is cost-effective, affordable, and dependable with an exceptional 99.9% uptime across all of its services and a network that is monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

r00t-Services.net only employs specialists with years of experience and extensive knowledge of networking and UNIX systems, in order to ensure that any and all issues can be resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible. With servers in the USA and Europe to provide the lowest latency and highest performance, we ensure the highest level of performance and service combined to ensure customer satisfaction. Protect your server or website against all kinds of DDoS attacks from UDP and TCP floods to HTTP attacks and enjoy the natural speed and optimization that DDoS protection brings with it with r00t-Services.net.

New GoDaddy CIO Arne Josefsberg to Oversee Global Cloud Infrastructure

salespeopleGoDaddy named Arne Josefsberg Executive Vice President, Chief Information Officer and Chief Infrastructure Officer on Wednesday.

Josefsberg will oversee GoDaddy’s global cloud infrastructure and information systems. He joins GoDaddy from ServiceNow, where he gained experience with technology advances and an expanding cloud computing strategy. Josefsberg also previously spent years with Microsoft, building on and working with one of the world’s largest infrastructures.

GoDaddy is planning to make use of Josefsberg’s expertise in building scalable cloud computing environments, data centers, large-scale operations and IT systems as it expands into new markets.

“As GoDaddy expands our global reach and product portfolio, a world-class and scalable technology infrastructure is critical to our success,” GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving said.

“GoDaddy has the size and scale that allows us to reach a previously under-served customer base, and necessitates a global infrastructure that allows us to serve them seamlessly,” Josefsberg said.

The emphasis on infrastructure which is global and scalable fits with GoDaddy’s intention to expand into 60 markets by 2015.

GoDaddy announced a partnership with Microsoft to offer cloud tools earlier in the week, as it continues to develop its appeal to small businesses as a one-stop shop for web needs.

GoDaddy counts 12 million customers currently, most in the US. If its infrastructure is built up to the point of bringing the same level of service to the 97 million small businesses it estimates are outside of the US, then GoDaddy will profit enormously from its global expansion.

Open-Xchange Signs Distribution Agreement with Openprovider for Benelux

OpenproviderNUREMBERG, Germany and ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands – Open-Xchange, producer of messaging, collaboration and office productivity software, today announced a distribution agreement with Openprovider for The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.

Openprovider has been reselling Open-Xchange software to local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and web hosting companies in the Netherlands for the last two years. This agreement sees this remit extended to cover Belgium and Luxembourg.

“The Benelux countries are very fragmented, in terms of Internet and hosting services. The market trend is for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to buy these services from local providers that they have a personal relationship with”, says Frank Hoberg, EVP Sales and Co-Founder, Open-Xchange. “Our partnership with Openprovider caters for this preference, as local ISPs and hosting resellers also prefer to buy services from local distributors that speak their language and understand their specific needs.”

Openprovider offers partners a hosted and managed installation of OX App Suite that can be bundled with other applications and services before being resold to consumers and SMEs. OX App Suite provides users with a consolidated platform for their digital activities. It enables people to manage their photos, videos and music as well as their emails and contacts. The software also supports secure file sharing with friends & family and business partners – even without them needing an account.

In the SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) model, customers subscribe to applications instead of purchasing, typically on a monthly basis. With this pay-as-you go approach, SMEs have access to an easy-to-use, low-cost services and business applications.

“Hosted communication and filesharing services based on Open-Xchange are of great value to resellers, ISPs and webhosters to build additional revenue from their existing subscribers and attract new customers”, said Arno Vis, CEO of Openprovider. “We have a proven track record with dozens of resellers that successfully market Open-Xchange to their customers as we help our partners to bundle, price and position OX App Suite in the best way for their specific target audiences.”

Among others, Openprovider supported the launch of OX App Suite at Dutch service providers PC Extreme, Argeweb and Vevida.

For more information, resellers, ISPs and webhosters are invited to visit www.openprovider.com.

About Openprovider
Openprovider is the leading wholesale provider of domain names, SSL certificates, Parallels licenses and Open-Xchange in the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain with offices in the Netherlands, Spain and Russia. For more information, please visit www.openprovider.com.

About Open-Xchange
Open-Xchange develops, markets and sells web-based communication, collaboration and office productivity software, which enables full integration of email, documents, scheduling and social media. Built for the cloud, OX App Suite connects business and personal worlds, across devices and legacy systems. Sold and delivered through cloud and hosting providers, telcos and local Internet services companies, OX App Suite gives individuals the freedom to collaborate, work and communicate in the way they want to. Founded in 2005, the company is privately owned and headquartered in Nuremberg, Germany, with offices in San Jose, CA, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. For further information, please visit: www.open-xchange.com.

CloudSigma Advances Data Recovery in the Cloud with Snapshot Management Technology

Zurich, Switzerland – CloudSigma, a public cloud IaaS provider with advanced hybrid hosting solutions, today announced that it has enhanced its solid-state drive (SSD) storage offering with highly-granular, affordable snapshot management technology to improve data protection and access in the cloud. Now, customers can seamlessly and cost-effectively incorporate enterprise storage strategies into their cloud infrastructure while meeting complex compute requirements. With CloudSigma’s snapshot management capability, customers are not only able to snapshot live running drives, but also clone them to create full drives to run separate VMs from.

The new drive can either be at the same site or a second site, assisting with off-site data recovery and eliminating companies’ cloud backup concerns. Off-site backup is easily managed from the WebApp, allowing CloudSigma to not only guarantee that IOPS bottlenecks are avoided thanks to its SSD storage, but that data can be recovered on a drive-by-drive basis. As one of the few cloud providers that offers this level of granularity, CloudSigma is uniquely able to meet companies’ custom requirements and complex workloads, ensuring enterprise information is highly-available, regardless of its dataset type.

“CloudSigma’s storage management technology reveals the power of live snapshotting to greatly improve data access in the cloud,” said David Hill, principal, Mesabi Group. “It’s not only able to copy drives for effective, cloud-based disaster recovery, but also applies to other practical use cases like allowing companies to create a fully functional copy of a production environment for testing and development to show what would happen when any changes are put into production. It’s scenarios like this that are helping customers appreciate all the benefits of what CloudSigma’s live, granular snapshotting can mean for their computing environment.”

The new snapshot management technology is fully integrated into CloudSigma’s existing platform. Customers are able to completely automate their snapshot management processes by creating snapshot management policies. These policies allow customers to define scheduled snapshots, snapshot retention policies and more. Multiple policies are possible and each policy can be applied to one or more drives. This approach is eliminating the time and cost needed to manually manage storage in the cloud. Companies can also further save on resources because CloudSigma only charges for the incremental data stored on a per GB basis, with no added premium.

“What’s great about our snapshot technology is that it is completely non-disruptive,” said Robert Jenkins, CEO, CloudSigma. “Once the drive snapshot is created, an exact replica can be generated quickly at any time based on that snapshot. This replica can then be used as a ready-to-go replacement, should a disaster occur. Combining this with our existing private patching capability, companies can also easily pull that clone back into their private compute environment, as if nothing happened. We are truly transforming storage management in the cloud, even for companies with the most complex compute and security needs who can now make our public cloud a key part of their business continuity strategy.”

CloudSigma CEO Robert Jenkins will be speaking at Storage Visions 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada during the session, Up there, Somewhere: Opportunities and Challenges for Consumer and Enterprise Cloud Storage. The session will be held today, Monday, January 6, 2014, at 1:30 p.m. PT. If you are a member of the media or analyst community and are interested in setting up a meeting at Storage Visions this week, please contact Meredith L. Eaton via email cloudsigma@marchpr.com or phone +1 617-960-9877.

About CloudSigma
CloudSigma is a pure-cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) provider that’s enabling the digital industrial economy through its highly-available, flexible, enterprise-class hybrid cloud servers and cloud hosting solutions, both in Europe and the U.S. CloudSigma is the most customizable cloud provider on the market, giving customers full control over their cloud and eliminating restrictions on how users deploy their computing resources. With CloudSigma, customers can provision processing, storage, networks and other fundamental computing resources as they please, as well as extend private networks out of existing infrastructure and elastically into CloudSigma’s IaaS cloud to create easy to manage and transparent hybrid cloud solutions. For more information, please visit www.CloudSigma.com.

UK and Canadian Companies Consider Data Sovereignty Key Factor in Web Host Selection

servers1Security and data privacy are the top reasons 25 percent of Canadian and UK businesses are planning on moving their company data outside of the US, according to a study released by Peer 1 on Wednesday.

While performance and reputation are still important considerations for the majority of companies choosing a hosting provider, security is by far the biggest consideration with 96 percent of respondents citing security as their top concern. In fact, nearly 70 percent of respondents said they would sacrifice performance to ensure data sovereignty.

Peer 1 Hosting commissioned the study of 300 businesses in Canada and the UK to provide a look at how privacy concerns are impacting hosting decisions.

Despite the concerns for their data, and 82 percent of companies indicating that privacy laws are an important factor in determining which countries to host their data, more than half of companies surveyed host most of their data in the US.

According to the survey, Canadian companies are more likely to move data from the US, with one in three reporting to have plans to move away from US data centers.

“With data privacy and security concerns top of mind after NSA, PRISM and other revelations around the world, businesses in the UK and Canada are taking real action,” Robert Miggins, SVP business development, PEER 1 Hosting said. “Many are moving data outside of the US, and even more are making security and privacy their top concerns when choosing where to host their company data. It’s clear that hosting and cloud providers need to take note and offer their customers true choice in terms of the locations and environments where they store their data, ensuring they can maintain security, compliance and privacy to the best extent possible.”

The survey provides even more evidence that the US government’s surveillance program has done more harm than good, especially for service providers in the US. Recently, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said the NSA’s surveillance program hurts confidence in US cloud computing services, which this study shows to be the case.

In August, a report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation predicted that concerns around NSA surveillance could drive up to $35 billion of cloud business away from the US over the next three years.

Lengthy Outages for Hacker News, FastHosts

Brought to you by Data Center Knowledge

criminalcomputerIt was a rough weekend for uptime, with significant outages at UK hosting provider FastHosts and the startup news portal Hacker News.

Customers of FastHosts were offline for up to seven hours Saturday after a utility power outage triggered connectivity problems. “Our datacentres switched over to UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply) power whilst our backup generators started up for prolonged backup power,” the company said on its status page. “Mains power to the site returned after a few moments, however although power was quickly fully restored to both datacentres we experienced a network issue that occurred as a result of this interruption to service.”

Meanwhile, visitors to Hacker News have been greeted by timeouts and an error message  (“Yeah, that didn’t work. Try again, perhaps later?”). The outage began Sunday and the site remained down as of early Monday. The error message contains a reference to CloudFlare’s network, but the CDN says the problem is at Hacker News itself. “They’re having problems with their server,” tweeted CloudFlare CEO Matthew Prince. “Not a problem on our network. We’ve been in touch to see if we can help.” Hacker news is a social news site operated by startup incubator Y Combinator.