PEER 1 Hosting Coverage Highlights October 2012 - March 2013
PEER1hosting@championcomms.com Champion Communications Ltd. 3rd Floor Radiant House, 36-38 Mortimer Street, London, WIW 7RG
Publication: The Datachain Date: 01/10/12
PEER 1 Hosting delivers optimised Magento eCommerce hosting for Boodles PEER 1 Hosting, a global web hosting provider, has delivered a Magento eCommerce hosting solution, within its PCI Compliant Environment, for Boodles, Britain's leading retailer of fine, bespoke diamond jewellery. The London-based company deployed PEER 1 Hosting managed servers to host its website globally, which went live at the end of June. It selected PEER 1 Hosting based on the reputation of security, flexibility and transparency of its offerings, as well as the promise and delivery of quality service. Another major factor was PEER 1 Hosting’s level 1 PCI DSS compliance accreditation, ensuring the Boodles website meets the stringent industry requirements. Boodles Director James Amos believes PEER 1 Hosting’s Magento Optimised Managed Hosting turnkey solution delivers an infrastructure honed to meet Magento’s intense requirements. It uses proven, optimised and scalable infrastructure components to deliver unsurpassed Magento performance and reliability, backed by an experienced team of infrastructure experts. James said: “PEER 1 Hosting played a pivotal role in helping us create a super-fast, secure and user-friendly ecommerce site that is seeing an excellent return on investment. The hosting solution needed to have the right capacity, and it was crucial that special attention was paid to security due to the high value of our product range. PEER 1 Hosting guided us in exactly the right direction and gave very good advice on the solution to achieve this. It then delivered what was promised. “The site is working very well, and the SLA assures us that if any downtime occurs it’ll be dealt with rapidly and we’ll be informed straightaway – we have been impressed by the level of service so far.” The solution delivers numerous benefits to Boodles, whose website is linked up to PEER 1 Hosting’s 10Gbps FastFiber Network™ around the world, ensuring high speed, quality service and support are always maintained. Customers benefit from faster web response times thanks to the care taken to optimise online performance, as well as a smooth all-round user experience and guaranteed uptime. Daniel Quinn, Account Manager, PEER 1 Hosting said: “We are committed to providing an optimal PCI-compliant hosting environment for eCommerce customers. Online shoppers need a fast, secure and convenient shopping experience and we achieved this for Boodles, by hosting their solution within our PCI Environment.”
http://www.thedatachain.com/news/2012/10/peer_1_hosting_delivers_optimised_magento_ecom merce_hosting_for_boodles PEER1hosting@championcomms.com Champion Communications Ltd. 3rd Floor Radiant House, 36-38 Mortimer Street, London, WIW 7RG
Publication: The Hosting News Date: 02/10/12
PEER 1 Delivers Magento eCommerce for Boodles (The Hosting News) - PEER 1 Hosting, a global web hosting provider, has delivered a Magento eCommerce hosting solution, within its PCI Compliant Environment, for Boodles, Britain’s leading retailer of fine, bespoke diamond jewellery. The London-based company deployed PEER 1 Hosting managed servers to host its website globally, which went live at the end of June. It selected PEER 1 Hosting based on the reputation of security, flexibility and transparency of its offerings, as well as the promise and delivery of quality service. Another major factor was PEER 1 Hosting’s level 1 PCI DSS compliance accreditation, ensuring the Boodles website meets the stringent industry requirements. Boodles Director James Amos believes PEER 1 Hosting’s Magento Optimised Managed Hosting turnkey solution delivers an infrastructure honed to meet Magento’s intense requirements. It uses proven, optimised and scalable infrastructure components to deliver unsurpassed Magento performance and reliability, backed by an experienced team of infrastructure experts. James said: “PEER 1 Hosting played a pivotal role in helping us create a super-fast, secure and user-friendly ecommerce site that is seeing an excellent return on investment. The hosting solution needed to have the right capacity, and it was crucial that special attention was paid to security due to the high value of our product range. PEER 1 Hosting guided us in exactly the right direction and gave very good advice on the solution to achieve this. It then delivered what was promised. “The site is working very well, and the SLA assures us that if any downtime occurs it’ll be dealt with rapidly and we’ll be informed straightaway – we have been impressed by the level of service so far.” The solution delivers numerous benefits to Boodles, whose website is linked up to PEER 1 Hosting’s 10Gbps FastFiber Network™ around the world, ensuring high speed, quality service and support are always maintained. Customers benefit from faster web response times thanks to the care taken to optimise online performance, as well as a smooth all-round user experience and guaranteed uptime.
PEER1hosting@championcomms.com Champion Communications Ltd. 3rd Floor Radiant House, 36-38 Mortimer Street, London, WIW 7RG
Daniel Quinn, Account Manager, PEER 1 Hosting said: “We are committed to providing an optimal PCI-compliant hosting environment for eCommerce customers. Online shoppers need a fast, secure and convenient shopping experience and we achieved this for Boodles, by hosting their solution within our PCI Environment. 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. Founded in 1999, the company is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, with European operations headquartered in Southampton, UK. 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™ 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 percent uptime guarantee. PEER 1 Hosting shares are traded on the TSX under the symbol PIX. For more information visit: http://www.peer1hosting.co.uk.
PEER1hosting@championcomms.com Champion Communications Ltd. 3rd Floor Radiant House, 36-38 Mortimer Street, London, WIW 7RG
Publication: Retail Systems Date: 01/10/2012
04/10/12 By Karen Moss PEER 1 Hosting has delivered a Magento e-commerce hosting solution for Boodles, within its PCI compliant environment. The London-based jewellers deployed PEER 1's managed servers to host its website globally, which went live at the end of June. Boodles director, James Amos, says: “PEER 1 Hosting played a pivotal role in helping us create a super-fast, secure and user-friendly ecommerce site that is seeing an excellent return on investment. The hosting solution needed to have the right capacity, and it was crucial that special attention was paid to security due to the high value of our product range. PEER 1 Hosting guided us in exactly the right direction and gave very good advice on the solution to achieve this. It then delivered what was promised. “The site is working very well, and the SLA assures us that if any downtime occurs it’ll be dealt with rapidly and we’ll be informed straightaway – we have been impressed by the level of service so far.” The solution delivers numerous benefits to Boodles, whose website is linked up to PEER 1 Hosting’s 10Gbps FastFiber Network around the world, ensuring high speed, quality service and support. Customers benefit from faster web response times, as well as a smooth all-round user experience and guaranteed uptime. Home
http://www.retail-systems.com/rs/PEER_1_Boodles.php PEER1hosting@championcomms.com Champion Communications Ltd. 3rd Floor Radiant House, 36-38 Mortimer Street, London, WIW 7RG
Publication: Datacenter Dynamics Date: 23/10/12
Peer 1 Hosting and Tier 3 collude to improve service levels on VMWare platforms VMware orchestration to add fluidity to hosted services by Nick Booth
Hosting provider Peer1 and cloud management software vendor Tier 3 have signed an agreement install the latter's cloud orchestration software on Peer 1's POPS in Britain, with further European installations promised in the near future. The partnership, announced last week, was described as a joint effort to deliver VMware-based enterprise cloud to the global markets. The joint enterprise initially gives the software vendor better coverage, but eventually as its presence spreads across Peer 1's global connections, it will enable the host to start offering its own cloud services, said Dominic Monkhouse, UK MD for Peer 1. “Initially the deal is about giving them better coverage, as they are a software vendor rather than a hosting company. But as the partnership matures, their orchestration system gives our resources much more fluidity. Then we can start offering public and private cloud services. And even a hybrid of the two eventually,” said Monkhouse. The cloud platform will cut development time and simplify management and operations, he said. The customers, in turn, will get local data centers and disaster recovery. The partnership makes it easier to place more cloud nodes across the world and to expand a company's global IT Footprint more voraciously, said Monkhouse. VMWare is to be the base of these services. “Why wouldn't you?” said Monkhouse, “it's the best hypervisor, has the market penetration and popularity.” However, solutions for Citrix XenApp and Microsoft's HyperV are mooted, Peer1's senior VP for business development, Robert Miggins, but dates of release are not available. “One of our first clients was a global systems integrator,” said Mark Cravotta, SVP of worldwide sales for Tier 3. “For every four dollars that provision of VMWare services cost them before, they have now shaved costs down to a dollar.” “All the stuff Tier 3 does is amazing and its great to have them as a customer,” said Monkhouse, “they'll offer this as a service to systems integrators. Later though, we will hope to white label their intelligence and sell it ourselves.”
Publication: Retail technology review Date: 26/10/12
PEER 1 Hosting expands e-commerce ecosystem PEER 1 Hosting, the global online IT hosting provider, has announced a partnership with iMegaMedia, provider of e-commerce web design, e-commerce marketing and developer of the Pay4Later Magento Module plugin, which allows online retailers to offer instant credit to customers. Today's iMegaMedia announcement follows news that PEER 1 has partnered with retail ecommerce provider Magento, to deliver an optimised hosting solution to online retailers. The Pay4Later Module provides online retailers with point-of-sale finance solutions (including interest free credit, low rate and classic credit) to offer to customers simply by adding the module to an existing Magento store. The Pay4Later finance option is displayed on the product pages and at the checkout. Express checkout buttons can be added to each product page, allowing customers to apply for credit, and purchase the item(s) entirely online, in less than 5 minutes. Amanda Dunn, Director of Business Development EMEA, PEER 1 Hosting, which recently announced its 100th partner in the UK, said: "PEER 1 is committed to providing the optimal hosting environment for ecommerce. Online shoppers need a fast, secure and convenient shopping experience. With the addition of iMegaMedia's innovative solution to online, point of sale credit, we are able to provide ecommerce businesses with the right technology in the best environment, allowing them access to new sales opportunities."
Paul Tarantino, Managing Director of iMegaMedia said: "We did extensive research as part of the process of choosing PEER1 Hosting as our partner. We considered all of the obvious choices but it quickly became apparent that nothing stacked up to PEER1's offering. Not only is the flexible and scalable service second to none, frankly nobody else can offer the technology. A big element of this is the fact that PEER1 has its own 10GB FastFibre network. Ecommerce is reliant on online advertising to draw in customers and for shoppers to experience a smooth transaction. The speed impact of the FastFibre network is such that bounce rates and empty shopping carts will be significantly reduced. In addition, the accountability and security benefits PEER 1 can offer as a result of being in control of its network, is very appealing. This, combined with the in-house expertise and an environment optimised for online retail, means I am confident that we can offer ecommerce businesses the right environment to build their business, 24x7x365."
http://www.retailtechnologyreview.com/articles/2011/10/26/1685-peer-1-hosting-expands-ecommerce-eco PEER1hosting@championcomms.com Champion Communications Ltd. 3rd Floor Radiant House, 36-38 Mortimer Street, London, WIW 7RG
Publication: Information Week Date: 30/10/12
Hurricane Sandy Surge Challenges NYC Data Centers As Hurricane Sandy raged Monday night, several NYC data centers had to convert to use of diesel generators--and found unexpected problems as the storm surge roiled backup plans. As Hurricane Sandy sent a heavy storm surge into lower Manhattan Monday night, Peer 1 Hosting's status went from "Hurricane Sandy has not impacted operations," to "facility has made the transition over to generator power," to "basement is flooded," to "we are going to implement a controlled shutdown" over the space of a few hours. Peer 1, a managed hosting service, is located three blocks from the tip of Battery Park. Water from the hurricane's unprecedented storm surge reached its location at 75 Broad Street. Both Peer 1 and the Internap colocation and managed hosting service have data center facilities in the building. They were reported to be knocked out. Nearby at 33 Whitehall Street, a Datagram data center was also knocked out, taking down popular websites Gawker, Huffington Post and BuzzFeed. Peter Feldman, CEO of DataGryd, a data center designer with operations on higher ground at 60 Hudson Street, described 75 Broad Street as "a converted office building with a basement that isn't as deep" as 60 Hudson's. His location wasn't affected by the surge and his firm was able to continue operations overnight Monday and Tuesday without incident. But he said he went home where he "paced like an expectant father" as he monitored reports on the area late into the night. Many data centers had to convert from utility power to emergency backup and diesel generators as the public power supply disappeared throughout the evening. Feldman said his own emergency generators and diesel fuel are in the basement of 60 Hudson, but its basements sit atop a set of still deeper "catacomb" channels beneath them that can carry water away from the building if any drains into the basements. But Feldman said reliance on diesel generators, now commonplace around the city, is fraught with its own problems. In many cases, they are located on the lowest floors or in basements. They also have emergency delivery contracts for PEER1hosting@championcomms.com Champion Communications Ltd. 3rd Floor Radiant House, 36-38 Mortimer Street, London, WIW 7RG
more fuel, but those contracts did not anticipate that the city's bridges and tunnels would be closed down when the fuel was needed. His only hiccup was that "it took four hours instead of two hours" to get his fuel tanks replenished, a delay that did not endanger his operations but might have been fatal in some other cases with smaller reserves. As it was, the status reports by Peer 1 throughout Monday offer a replay of events that at first seemed to be well in hand, then led to unexpected shutdown. At 2:10 p.m., Peer 1 sent a message to customers: "We don't expect to encounter any issues caused by Hurricane Sandy, but we want to ensure you know that we are prepared. We know your IT infrastructure is critical to your business. We strongly recommend that you back up your data and take any other necessary precautions to avoid disruption to your business." That turned out to be good advice. At 5:40 p.m., Peer 1 customers were notified that the data center had shifted to generator power "due to a drop in commercial power." At 8:36 p.m., customers learned that operations continued on diesel power, but the building lobby had taken in some water, the first direct cause for alarm. Two hours later, at 10:27 p.m., the good news was that observers in the building could see "some lowering of the water level outside the building." But the bad news was flooding was being detected in both first and second basement levels, though there was still plenty of fuel on hand. "Extent of the damage will not be determined until the basement is accessible. The fuel system has a header with 5000 gallons of fuel and will be the primary supply for the next 12-24 hours," the update said. The next update at 3:30 a.m. Tuesday said: "We are still running from emergency generator power. Water has receded and we are currently waiting for a report back from building engineers on the status of the fuel and power systems that were located in the basement." At 8 a.m. Tuesday, the declining fuel situation began to look dire: "At this point we have an estimate of 4 hours for the fuel left on our generators. Our techs and facility are continuously working to get emergency fuel delivery on time and was looking to set-up a temporary tank and pump since the basement is still flooded. In the event of not receiving the fuel on time, worst case scenario is we will have to gracefully shutdown the facility." And at 9:30 a.m., the hammer fell: "We are going to implement a controlled shutdown of NY Data Center at 10:45 a.m. ET. Customer communications is being prepped." It was a message that had to be repeated by several other facilities. Peer 1 appears to have continued operating until the flooding affected its ability to keep its basement diesel fuel pumps operating, as reported by Data Center Knowledge. http://www.informationweek.com/hardware/data-centers/hurricane-sandy-surge-challengesnyc-dat/240012583 PEER1hosting@championcomms.com Champion Communications Ltd. 3rd Floor Radiant House, 36-38 Mortimer Street, London, WIW 7RG
Publication: The Register Date: 31/10/12
New York tech firms form 'bucket brigade' to fuel flagging servers Shifting fuel 17 floors up by hand Three technology firms have joined forces to avoid any data center downtime in the aftereffects of Hurricane Sandy amid the continuing power outages crippling Lower Manhattan. Employees of Peer 1 Hosting, blog host Squarespace, and Fog Creek Software have formed a 'bucket brigade', lugging diesel up to the backup generators located on the 17th floor of the 75 Broad Street offices in which they are based. So far they have proved successful â€“ Peer 1's servers are still rolling, the only one in the building still to do so. "Bucket brigade going strong. Weâ€™ve gone through half of our morning fuel delivery and are expecting a truck with 5,000 gallons coming at noon. Potential issues are lack of bucket brigade manpower into the night, and our fuel pumps burning out," said the Squarespace blog. "Spirits are strong and everyone from Peer 1, Fog Creek, and Squarespace is working together." The generators for the servers are high up in the building, safe from damage, but the company's problems stem from the fact that the fuel reserves and the equipment to pump the diesel upstairs are located in the basement and were disabled by flood waters. The firm is dependent on fuel trucks unloading what the generators need in 55 gallon drums and then lugging it upstairs on muscle power alone.
Workin on a chain gang...
With the storm largely past, work is now beginning to pump out water from the basement of the building, but it seems that the damage is more extensive than first expected and a water main may have ruptured. Certainly attempts to pump out the basement water and get the fuel pumps working are failing so far. Peer 1 appears to be the only hosting company still capable of offering a service below 34th Street, but that situation can't last much longer. The site is totally dependent on regular deliveries of fuel and having enough manpower to get it upstairs, and both can't be sustained indefinitely. "This situation is untenable. We can’t keep manpower going 24/7 for days," Squarespace warns. "The building’s first attempt at an alternative method for pumping fuel to the 18th floor has failed, as the fuel pump wasn’t powerful enough. They believe they have sourced an alternate pump, but given the situation in New York City right now, we’re in a wait-and-see posture. Fuel- and water-pumps are in short supply." ®
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/10/31/new_york_bucket_brigade/ PEER1hosting@championcomms.com Champion Communications Ltd. 3rd Floor Radiant House, 36-38 Mortimer Street, London, WIW 7RG
Publication: V3 Date: 31/10/12
Superstorm Sandy underlines importance of datacentre resilience requirements by Dan Worth
As Superstorm Sandy headed towards the east coast of the US on Monday evening, preparations centred on ensuring the safety of as many citizens as possible. This involved the government and emergency services doing all in their power to pass on information and help out wherever they could. Sites like Twitter were used as key information distribution points, while the authorities urged residents to ensure their phones had fully charged batteries as the storm approached so they could access information. Meanwhile, for the government, emergency services, the media and otherbusinesses, the need for systems that were up and running and available was of vital importance. As such, attempting to keep datacentres in the New York area online was of critical importance. Datacentres are famed for their stringent resilience and back-up measures, with most touting 99.999 per cent year-round availability and numerous back-up options. However, in the face of Superstorm Sandy, there were only so many preparations that could be carried out before it hit and wreaked its havoc, forcing many firms into drastic, ad-hoc responses. One provider that knew it would be hit by the storm was Peer 1 Hosting, and so it took as many precautions as it could before the storm hit, as Robert Miggins, senior vice president of business development at the firm, explained to V3. "We began preparations last Thursday at datacentres in several locations, including New York, looking at things like whether we had enough food and water in our datacentres for staff and if they had places to sleep and if our fuel contracts were all in place and so forth," he said. However, despite these plans, the scale of the storm soon caused major issues. "When the storm hit, it soon cut off the commercial power supply, so thesystem switched to the back-up generator in the building," he said. PEER1hosting@championcomms.com Champion Communications Ltd. 3rd Floor Radiant House, 36-38 Mortimer Street, London, WIW 7RG
"However, the generators are housed in the basement which was later flooded, so this cut off the fuel supply to the generator." This meant all the providers working out of the datacentre were knocked offline. But Peer 1 had a second back-up plan up its sleeve. The firm was in the unique position of having a second fuel tank on the eighteenth floor of the building, which uses gravity to run fuel back down to its own generator on the seventeenth floor. This kicked in as planned when the first generator went offline and, although fuel was low, the firm's planned fuel supply truck delivery arrived on Tuesday. However, then the firm encountered another problem it had not considered. The fuel nozzle from the truck wasn't compatible with the one on the generator. So the firm's staff, led by datacentre manager Mike Mazzie, began the arduous task of physically carrying fuel supplies up 18 flights of stairs to the fuel tank, in a human chain system up the stairs.
Miggins said some of the firm's customers, who had come down to see what was happening to the equipment, even started helping out when they saw what was going on (pictured left). This is still ongoing as of Wednesday morning US time, although Miggins is hoping a component to fix the supply lines will arrive to end this somewhat heroic effort. One firm that fared less well was Datagram. It had plans in place to run back up fuel systems for its servers hosted at 33 Whitehall in NYC - just around the corner from Peer 1 - but flooding complicated matters beyond its control. This had the result of knocking massive websites such as Gawker andThe Huffington Post offline for several hours. "Once Consolidated Edison lost power to Lower Manhattan, Datagram's emergency systems kicked on maintaining power to Datagram's datacentre," Datagram said on its website. "Unfortunately, within a couple hours of the storm hitting Manhattan's shores, the building's entire basement, which houses the building's fuel tank pumps and sump pumps, was completely filled with water and a few feet into the lobby. "Due to electrical systems being underwater the building was forced to shut down to avoid fire and permanent damage." It was this problem that hit sites like The Huffington Post, as its chief technology officer John Pavley explained, with its own failover processes rendered inadequate by the scale of the storm. "We host The Huffington Post in many different datacentres across the country. We have a main datacentre for the website in New York City and a back-up in Newark, and so when we had the issue in New York, we worked really hard and got everything to fall back to Newark," he explained.
However, this site was later affected by the storm too, knocking the website offline for a period of time, forcing it to put it stories out on socialmedia sites like Facebook and Twitter, before services were restored. The experience of firms likes Huffington Post and providers like Peer 1 underlines how resilience and back-up plans can never be relied upon as a fail-safe guarantee in such circumstances and the importance of ensuring staff are adaptable and flexible can never be underestimated. Now the storm is slowly subsiding many firms will be preparing for a return to their offices to assess the devastation and possible hindrance to their normal working practices. As such, Forrester analyst Stephanie Balaouras provided a thorough checklist of important steps firms of all sizes could use as a guide to help them deal with the aftermath of the event, such as using social mediatools. "If your existing enterprise collaboration platforms are unavailable consider leveraging collaboration platforms such as Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, or even private Facebook groups that can be very quickly set up and are easily accessible to employees on many different devices,"she wrote in a blog post. "This will allow some semblance of normal work and ongoing communication and collaboration to continue during the crisis." Most nations, like the UK, are lucky that they aren't usually in the path of a giant storm but the lessons from Hurricane Sandy are clear: If you're creating your firm's back-up and resilience plans prepare for the worst - and then prepare for the unexpected too.
Publication: Wired.co.uk Date: 31/10/12
The pros and cons of Manhattanbased data centres By Cade Metz
Hurricane Sandy may have come and gone, but it's still causing problems inside the massive computing facilities erected on the southern tip of Manhattan. When the hurricane crashed into Lower Manhattan on 29 October, two major data centres were seriously damaged as waters flooded their basements. One went completely dark, knocking out several big-name websites, including Gawker, Gizmodo, and The Huffington Post, and the other could go down in a matter of hours. Both basements -- 33 Whitehall Street and other just blocks away at 75 Broad -- house fuel pumps that plug into generators designed to provide backup power in the event of a blackout. The hurricane had already knocked out the local power grid, and when it sunk the pumps, these massive computing facilities also lost at least part of their Plan B.
According to DataGram -- an internet service provider and web hosting operation that operates the Whitehall Street data centre, a stone's throw from the southern tip of Manhattan -- its backup generators successfully kicked in after the power grid went down, but this didn't last long. "Within a couple hours of the storm hitting Manhattan's shores, the building's entire basement -- which houses the building's fuel tank pumps and sub pumps -- was inundated with water taking the building generator system offline -- essentially shutting down the entire building," read a message posted to the company's website. Much same the thing happened at 75 Broad Street, but according to Robert Miggins -- senior vice president of business development with Peer 1, one of the hosting companies that occupy the data centre -- the facility remained online because there's also a generator on the 18th floor. This generator, however, is rapidly running out of fuel, and unless its tanks can be replenished, Peer 1 will go down too. "We're working as hard as possible to supply fuel to that upper generator," Miggins tells Wired. "But that's hard. It's hard because there has been a disasterâ€Ś but it's also hard because this is New York. Manhattan is an island. You have to get the fuel from somewhere else and drive it over a bridge." The situation shows that in many ways, Lower Manhattan is one terrible place to put a data centre. As 33 Whitehall and 75 Broad struggled to stay online, so did 111 Eighth Avenue, a facility owned by Google that sits a little farther up the island. But at the same time, these facilities are there for good reason. Despite the drawbacks, Lower Manhattan is prime data centre real estate. After all, Wall Street is the hub of the business world, and there are 8 million people on the island of Manhattan. Companies as disparate as Google, AT&T, and the world's biggest financial firms all want their machines on the island, hoping to keep network delays as small as possible. Data centre outfit Digital Realty Trust recently opened at facility in Lower Manhattan, at the request of certain customers, according to a company spokeswoman. But Lower Manhattan is also a communications hub, with many of the internet's trans-Atlantic cables plugging into facilities at the tip of the island. This is also where you need to be if you want to reach the rest of the world. It's also where you need to be if you want to quickly connect to the rest of the US says Andrew Blum, a writer who has made a study of the internet's physical infrastructure in this book, Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet. It might be cheaper to set up your data centre across the Hudson River, but that can slow down traffic, especially if you've got readers or customers in Manhattan, Blum says. "If you're in the
boonies of New Jersey, then the first hop is going to be 111 Eighth Avenue or 60 Hudson anyway," he says, referring to another large Manhattan facility. New York has operated this way for decades -- well before data centres were built with servers and network switches. The data centre at 60 Hudson Street -- in Tribeca, just north of Lower Manhattan - once served as the brain of Western Union, the old telegraph company. "It was packed with telegraph cables and pneumatic tubes," says Peter Feldman, the CEO of DataGryd, a company that now leases space in the facility. Today, the data centre is home not only to DataGryd but such communication giants as AT&T and Verizon. Likewise, 75 Broad Street was once home to the International Telephone & Telegraph corporation. It has been a data centre for nearly a hundred years. In other words, you won't see it or any of its sister facilities moving out of Manhattan anytime soon. As Miggins points out, Sandy isn't your average storm. "Sandy scrapped the entire eastern seaboard and wreaked billions of dollars in havoc across twelve states," he says. "We're just a blip on the map." And as we published this story, Peer 1 and 75 Broad had not actually gone dark. Yes, DataGram was offline, but within hours of the storm, many of its customers had found ways of getting back up and running. Several other major Manhattan data centres have also stayed up amid the storm, most notably the Google-owned 111 Eighth Avenue. According to Equinix -- a tenant at 111 Eighth -- some of its customers experienced outages after a generator failed to operate properly, and there have been other reports of outages at the facility. But it appears that the building's core infrastructure stayed up. Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and it's unclear how the company makes use of the data centre for its own services. According to Robert Miggins, a fuel truck had arrived at 75 Broad by about 1:30 pm PDT, but those at the facility were still struggling to get the fuel into the generator onto the 18th floor. He wasn't completely confident that this would happen -- and he acknowledged the severity of the situation -but he also said that when you run a data centre, it's not exactly unexpected. "This is what we're here for," he said.
Publication: Ask Grapevine Date: 01/11/12
Powering human potential Sheila Bouman, Chief People and Performance Officer, PEER 1 Hosting, discusses what makes the company a great place to work
What made you move into HR after beginning your career as a teacher? Through my experiences, Iâ€™ve always been committed to helping people be and do their best, whether that is in the classroom or the workplace. Over the last 15 years, I have consulted to organisations about what changes they need to make in order to truly unleash the potential of their people. HR is only one of the enablers; it also requires a focus on business strategy, leadership, and culture. PEER 1 Hosting, who were previously a client of mine, also take this broader perspective when it comes to helping people thrive. By working as a peer executive, rather than a consultant, I have an opportunity to truly drive the change that will help our people be and do their best. What advantages does your career background have for your current role at PEER 1 Hosting? After 15 years as an organisation development consultant, I joined PEER 1 Hosting to help create the 'most human experience' on the web. Before joining PEER 1 Hosting I co-founded Navigo, where my team helped leaders plan and implement complex changes by focusing on the people part of a change. One of the big incentives for me was that PEER 1 Hosting is a Vancouver-based company that has grown into one of the world's top five hosting companies. As an organisation, we are constantly pursuing changes that are good for our customers and good for our people. In my new role, I have an opportunity to apply my experience in leadership development, strategy implementation, change management, corporate coaching, and culture development. Each one of these impacts our people, and I get to ensure that the impact is as positive as possible. What makes PEER 1 Hosting a great place to work? Our purpose is to power human potential, and to do this, we focus on three key elements: caring relationships, learning and growth, and recognition. As our company grows, it is our goal to help every employee grow as people and as professionals. Employees are entitled to $3,500 (approx. ÂŁ2,200) annually to pursue the learning of their choice, and also participate in
regular in-house workshops and training. Leaders at all levels participate in a rigorous development process to deepen their self-awareness, relationships, and inter-personal and leadership skills. We combine in-person workshops, monthly webinars, peer and executive mentorship, coaching, and regular feedback and development planning. Learning is fundamental to leadership, and we are creating a culture where people are transparent about their strengths, challenges, and learning goals. Caring relationships are fostered by hiring people that share our values of truly caring about people and their success. We are vigilant in protecting this culture, and quickly provide feedback, coaching and consequences to those that don’t consistently live these values. In addition, one of the questions in our annual engagement survey asks staff to identify if they have caring relationships. This is our top rated score every year. Rewards and recognition are used not just to celebrate results, but to recognise the behaviours that lead to those results. Sometimes recognition is given electronically through “shout-out emails” but as much as possible through face-to-face, real-time channels. We are also in the process of implementing a formal internet-based peer recognition program that will allow staff to recognise good work done by colleagues, by awarding points that can be redeemed for what is most meaningful to the person. This process creates transparency around celebration of the behaviours and results that are important to success. What are some of your greatest achievements as Chief People and Performance Officer at PEER 1 Hosting? My curiosity, forward thinking and unconventional tactics have led PEER 1 Hosting to win the “Great Place to Work” award, as well as become a premier Internet company to work with and for. I strongly believe that there is potential in everyone and that discovering this potential is all about finding the right approach for the right person.
Publication: eWeek Date: 01/11/2012
Fuel Buckets Keep New York Data Centre Live Through The Hurricane Peer 1 remained online, thanks to a bucket brigade carrying fuel up 18 floors When Hurricane Sandy hit New York this week, a lot of big-name sites were taken down, after their ISPs were flooded or lost power. But some smaller sites remained online, despite using an ISP located in the evacuation zone, thanks to luck, planning, and sometimes a bucket brigade that carried fuel. Huffington Post and Gawker were among the high profile casualties, after the superstorm took out power, communications and 25 percent of the mobile towers in 10 states. Peer 1 Hosting rents co-location space to a variety of smaller sites within 75 Broad Street, a high rise building in Lower Manhattan. The building had been surrounded by water, debris and wrecked cars, but the provider stayed online.
With a little help from our friends The hero of this story is engineer Mike Mazzei of Peer 1 who, along with four other staff, had remained at the data centre since late last week when the firm began preparations for Hurricane Sandy. While Mike struggles to keep the data centre running, Peer 1′s spokesman Robert Miggins takes up the story: “It’s a combination of proper planning and a couple of lucky bounces that has kept us live.” There was time to prepare for the storm, so Peer 1 made sure that all of its East Coast data centres were topped up with fuel for their back-up diesel generators, and food for staff who might be staying there round the clock. The 75 Broad Street is a long-established “telecom hotel” in which Peer 1 is just one of several tenants. The storm hit on Sunday, and the surroundings began to flood. The city’s power for the area shut down, and 75 Broad Street building failed over to shared diesel generators, provided by the owners.
Flooding in the basement The problem here was that diesel generators’ fuel tanks were in the basement. The flood water reached four feet in the lobby, and the basement flooded completely with salt water. The fuel pumps failed, and all the companies in the building had to shut down as the diesel generators ground to a halt.
All except Peer 1. The company has its own diesel generator on the roof of the building, at the 17th storey level. That generator had its own “day tank” of diesel fuel, gravity fed from the 18th floor, so the host carried on.
Diesel generators can only go on as long as they have fuel, and Peer 1 knew it would run out at some stage, so it planned for a ”controlled shutdown”. According to Miggins, on 30 October, with only two hours of fuel left, the company offered its customers a choice: “Stay online and take a chance, run a back up, or move your data to the cloud.” Then came two of the lucky bounces: first, as water drained from the streets, some Peer 1 customers based in New York – Squarespace and Fog Creek Software – came over to manually shut down their kit. And then, the bridges to Manhattan re-opened, allowing a diesel delivery truck to reach Broad Street. Since then, regular deliveries of diesel fuel have been possible. So Mike Mazzei had all the diesel he needed – in barrels on the sidewalk outside the building – and a gasping diesel generator 17 floors above. There were no pumps available in the building, and no way to connect the barrels to the fuel line going upstairs. The solution was a typical brute-force New Yorker approach. Squarespace and Fog Creek pitched in, along with Mazzei and his staff, to form a bucket chain lifing the fuel up to where it was needed. A total of 25 people continually fed the tank using five gallon buckets filled from the barrels. “People are just figuring it out together,” said Miggins. “It is about perseverence and getting something done.” “We have also taken measures to cut down on fuel consumption,” said Miggins. “We have shut down the CRAC and air conditioning units, and we are allowing the temperature in the data centre to rise slightly to extend the useful life of the fuel tank.” Peer 1 believes it can go up to 90F without its equipment failing.
Lessons for the future
Fog Creek had access to its servers throughout the crisis Peer 1 believes it can fuel the tank faster than the generator burns the diesel, and staff have been able to take breaks from climbing the stairs. Meanwhile, the building owners are pumping out the basement, but it will take time: “We are now removing one foot an hour, with about 15 feet left,” says the most recent post on Fog Creek’s blog. Getting a replacement pump to get fuel up to Peer 1′s tank is the other task, and that’s not proving easy: “Given the situation in New York City right now, we’re in a wait-and-see posture,” said Squarespace’s blog. “Fuel- and water-pumps are in short supply.” Despite that, both customers and Peer 1 itself are optimistic they can keep running. It’s early days to learn any lessons for the future, says Miggins, but the company is likely to look for a permanent back-up fuel pump. It might do well to find ways to reduce its energy needs, so that its diesel will go further. Most data centre owners agree that data centres should not need air conditioning at this time of year in temperate conditions like New York.
Publication: PC Advisor Date: 01/11/12
Hurricane Sandy: Backup generators fail at major New York hospitals Expert advises that generators be moved to higher ground, and that data centers in the city consistently test backup systems By Matt Hamblen Devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy forced at least two major hospitals and a data center in lower Manhattan to resort to backup generators fueled by diesel for power. In these cases the backup processes failed. In two of the outages, bucket brigades were formed to carry diesel fuel up many flights of stairs to feed generators. At the two hospitals, hundreds of people, including patients in critical condition and mothers with newborn babies, had to be evacuated. One of the more ironic cases occurred at Bellevue Hospital, located along the East River in lower Manhattan, where excessive water caused a backup pumping system to fail even though it had been sealed to protect against flooding. Bellevue, a public hospital, had to evacuate hundreds of patients on Wednesday after floods caused the failure of pumps that were moving diesel fuel from the basement to backup generators on the 13th floor. At one point, the National Guard was called in to mount a bucket-brigade to lug the diesel fuel up the stairs to the generators. The hospital clearly had a working continuity plan with the backup generators when it lost power on Monday from Con Edison, However, the diesel pumps shorted out from floodwater even though they were encased with submarine doors that had rubber gaskets, said Alan Aviles, president of the Health and Hospitals Corp., which runs Bellevue. "It's easy to judge from a ringside seat ... but this [kind of storm] has never happened before," Aviles said when asked about the adequacy of the hospital's continuity planning on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight show last night. Bellevue officials will investigate exactly how the electrical short occurred, Aviles said on the show. Aviles and other Bellevue officials did not respond to requests for further comment.
New York University's Langone Medical Center in lower Manhattan also evacuated patients, including newborn babies, on Monday night after its backup generators failed. Con Edison had preemptively shut off power to some parts of the lower island, and the utility also experienced an explosion at one substation in the area, according to reports. Meanwhile, a data center at 75 Broad Street in lower Manhattan operated by Peer1 Hosting also faced a shutdown after diesel pumps in the building's basement failed due to flooding caused by the storm. However, data center customers and others showed up to form a bucket-brigade to get the fuel to the rooftop generator on the 17-story building. The brigade was able to transport enough fuel to the rooftop to keep the data center running. Continuity experts say that diesel pumps should be located high enough to stay operational during floods. "The diesel tank pumps probably should have been higher, but nobody anticipated this much water," said Al Berman, president of DRI International, the oldest disaster recovery education and certification organization with operations in 100 countries. He noted that sealing the pumps, as was done at Bellevue, "never get tested either," "There was no way to anticipate this storm's damage two weeks. [Bellevue] did what they could," Berman said in a telephone interview from Manhattan. He suggested that a test of the sealant around the pumps could have made a difference, perhaps using water from fire hoses poured over them. "Unfortunately, we all test under the best circumstances and we execute under the worst," he said. In lower Manhattan and especially at the two older hospitals, "you're looking at a lot of antiquated infrastructure," which probably contributed to problems there, Berman said. In past years, offices and hospitals on Manhattan would rely on backup generators being turned on by Con Edison to guard against brown-outs and black-outs. Today, many organizations can turn on their own backup generators as needed, Berman said. Cell phone towers have long operated mostly with two-hour backup batteries, though wireless carriers are now realizing the need for portable generators at cell sites, he said. At the height of Hurricane Sandy, about 25% of all cell phone towers in 10 states hit by the storm had lost service, according to the Federal Communications Commission. The lesson from Hurricane Sandy, Berman said, is that hospital accreditation organizations and businesses need to stick to the basics of continuity planning and to revise testing procedures. "Somebody should say, 'What's the backup?.' We should also change the way we do testing and the scenarios for testing," Berman added. "You're seeing in Manhattan that people are living through something they never lived through before, and the learning process is costly," he said. "Fortunately, the hospitals did a great job with the evacuations. We learn a lot of lessons from disasters and some are tougher than others."
Publication: Computer Weekly Date: 02/11/2012
Manual efforts keep Peer 1 datacentre running amid Hurricane Sandy Archana Venkatraman
Four days of non-stop manual efforts by datacentre staff at Peer 1 Hosting to deliver gallons of fuel to 17th floor generators has helped the colocation providerâ€™s Manhattan facility remain operational despite hurricane Sandy. Superstorm Sandy brought a destructive storm surge to New York City on Monday 29 October, flooding many areas in Lower Manhattan and cutting off electricity in many parts of the city.
Peer 1 Hostingâ€™s Manhattan colocation facility was affected by the electricity outage. Power and network connections are two major components required to keep a datacentre functional, said Dominick Monkhouse, EMEA managing director and senior vice-president of customer service at Peer 1. As the network runs on waterproof fibre optic cable, the Peer 1 datacentre did not face network outages. But an electricity outage meant it had to switch on its power generators to light and cool the facility and keep the IT equipment running.
Drawing datacentre power from back-up generators But it was not easy. Normally, during power outages, the facility uses power from generators in the basement, but a two-metre water surge in the building meant the basement generators were flooded (pictured), making them redundant. “This meant we had to use our back-up generators located on the 17th floor," said Monkhouse. The generators burn between 35 and 40 gallons of diesel every hour, so the datacentre managers decided to use the generators to power only the equipment and lighting. “For datacentre infrastructure cooling, we decided to usefree-air cooling and kept the windows open,” he said. But it could not rely on free-air cooling for long, because the hot air outlet of another datacentre from two floors below was just below its window, making the centre warm. The team then decided to run the more critical zone of its datacentre – which serves 30 customers – with the back-up generators. It also decided to keep the temperature of the datacentre slightly higher than usual. “Normally we operate the facility at 23°C, but to conserve fuel in the generators we ran it at a higher temperature of around 26-27°C,” said Monkhouse. But as the fuel ran down, the staff had to top up the diesel to keep the generators powered. As part of its disaster recovery strategy, Peer 1 has an emergency fuel supply contract, so it had fuel pump trucks arrive onsite to power the back-up generators, but the hosepipes were not long enough to reach the 17th floor.
A group of 30 people carried gallons of diesel up 17 floors to power the generators to keep the datacentre online The datacentre staff, local people and two of its customers formed a group of 30 people to carry gallons of diesel up 17 floors to power the generators to keep the datacentre online. Together, the team carried 455 gallons of fuel for the generators between Monday and Thursday. But on Thursday, the company received calls expressing labour union objection, which meant it could no longer use the team of 30 people to add fuel to its generators manually. It also received a warning from the coastguard to evacuate. “We have managed to secure long hosepipes to reach the 17th floor, but we don’t have pumps,” he said. "The truck is stuck in New Jersey and does not have enough fuel to drive down to 75 Broad Street in Manhattan. PEER1hosting@championcomms.com Champion Communications Ltd. 3rd Floor Radiant House, 36-38 Mortimer Street, London, WIW 7RG
“We have fuel to last us for another eight hours,” said Monkhouse on Thursday, "but we are hoping the truck will reach us within eight hours so the efforts of the staff do not go waste."
Providing business continuity in the face of disaster Datacentre managers from Peer 1’s Toronto facility are arriving at the Manhattan location with tools and spare parts to re-provision the datacentre infrastructure, he added. The company has also created an online forum – Peer 1 Forum – to provide customers with live updates. “Currently we are reviewing all options and bringing in resources from out of state to deliver fuel to the generators. We will keep you posted on an hourly basis via email and online forums of the status of generator power and provide you as much lead time as possible if it becomes necessary for you proceed with a graceful shutdown of your servers in order to preserve your data,” the update read. Carl Brooks, analyst, IT infrastructure and cloud at Tier 1 and 451 Research, said: “I'd say well done in the face of unavoidable catastrophe, and the positive that will come out of this is that everyone involved is going feel very fit, and next time around, there may well be a way to cope with this exact dilemma. “There are finite limits on every contingency – these guys (and every other datacentre and carrier hotel in New York and New Jersey, by the way) made plans to enter emergency mode, arranged for special fuel deliveries, guarded their operations as well as they could, and a once-in-a-lifetime event took out a heap of those plans at a swoop.”
http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240169946/Manual-efforts-keep-Peer-1-datacentrerunning-amid-Hurricane-Sandy PEER1hosting@championcomms.com Champion Communications Ltd. 3rd Floor Radiant House, 36-38 Mortimer Street, London, WIW 7RG
Publication: The Hosting News Date: 01/11/12
Verizon, Datagram & Others Work to Recover After Sandy
Source: Verizon press release (The Hosting News) – Sandy, the superstorm that made its way across the eastern U.S. coast earlier this week, caused unprecedented damage in areas not particularly used to hurricane-like weather. Tech services have taken a notable hit with the FCC reporting earlier that 25% of cell towers had been knocked offline. Now companies are moving to restore service with top mobile giant and ISP Verizon reporting on Tuesday that it had begun to once again become operational in the New Jersey area. Despite making much progress, Verizon Consumer and Mass Business Division president Bob Mudge warned it could take quite awhile to get everything fully back up. “Although we will be working with all available resources to restore service for our customers, some pockets of damage are extensive and could take up to a week or more to fully restore,” he stated. “Some restorals will require physical rebuilding of our facilities, and others will require the return of commercial power,” Mudge continued. The superstorm notably flooded a number of tech facilities including hosting and data center operators. Even Verizon showed the extent of the damage at his headquarters in Manhattan, displaying a picture of the flood damage in its press release. On Thursday, a report from Data Center Knowledge highlighted the aftermath data center providers were dealing with. Colocation company Internap was finally ably to resume power via its Broad Street data center while Peer 1 added diesel fuel to help restore its respective services.
Company Datagram had faced some of the most notable damage with high profile websites including Gawker, the Huffington Post and BuzzFeed all previously facing downtime due to the storm’s effect on a New York data center. However, on Thursday, the company had made some progress. “There is only a small amount of water in the basement. Electricians have been testing equipment, there is another company doing damage assessments of the basement as well. There were some plumbing issues that were resolved during the night. We are as eager as everyone else to get some updated information,” Datagram stated via its website. The company did note that infrastructure wasn’t harmed – relatively good news considering the storm’s devastation effect.. Meanwhile, it could take a decent amount of time before all companies resume completely normal operations.
Publication: Computing.co.uk Date: 02/11/12
In the eye of the storm: How PEER1 kept its datacentre running throughout Hurricane Sandy By Danny Palmer
While New York shut down earlier this week as Hurricane Sandy approached, many people were unable to leave the city or abandon their posts: emergency workers, of course, but also many of the staff that keep the city's datacentres running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. "We had a two-metre storm surge through the lobby that's resulted in the basement being flooded," said Robert Miggins, senior vice-president for business development for cloud and hosting provider PEER1. If that wasn't bad enough, the city was then hit by power cuts, leaving PEER1 dependent on its emergency generating capacity. And at one point, the datacentre was just hours away from shutting down completely as the company ran perilously close to running out of fuel for the company's back-up generators. "Obviously, if you get that much water around, the power companies turn off the facility power. So that meant we were running on generators," he said. At one point, fuels stocks dipped to such a low level that PEER1 had to start warning customers that it might have to shut down within just two hours â€“ before staff managed to get hold of some more fuel to keep the datacentre going. The drawback? It needed to be transported, by hand, up 18 flights of stairs. "We managed to get hold of a fuel truck, and it turned up, but we're on the 18th floor," said Miggins. "But they didn't have any hoses to pump the fuel up that far and, in fact, the fuel truck was too big, so they had to go away and come back overnight. Overnight, the team was using jerry cans to manually haul diesel up 18 flights of stairs to top up the tanks."
It might have been a close call, but thanks to this emergency supply very few customers had their services disrupted as a result of the disruption in New York – despite the datacentre being located in the eye of the storm. "We did have some customers we told to power down and they powered down. Then we let them know that we hoped to keep live so they could come back up again. We'd been posting regular information on our forums and we had been in constant telephone communication with customers that were affected," said Miggins. Miggins hypothesised that it would have been entirely reasonable for the company to turn off the servers due to the impact of Hurricane Sandy on the building, but the company decided to keep on going nevertheless. "I suppose at one level you could say it's covered by force majeure, so if I looked at our terms and conditions, it would be entirely reasonable for us to say that we're going to turn you off, and then we could go back to sleep until everything recovers then turn everybody back on," he said. "But I think it's when you have an issue like this our people dig deepest, and their view is if it happened to a company they worked with, they'd want to do everything humanly possible to keep it running. And, if it's humanly possible to carry cans of fuel up the stairs, they're going to do it ‘til they drop," he said. Employees chose to man their posts, he added, they weren't ordered to come to work. So what lessons have been learned from the crisis? To keep datacentres away from parts of buildings at risk of flooding – such as cellars. "In the future as we will build out our datacentres and we'll be looking to build datacentres that aren't in buildings that could be flooded," said Miggins. However, with Hurricane Sandy a once-in-a-generation event, Miggins is no doubt hoping that he won't be called on to carry hundreds of gallons of diesel up 18 flights of stairs again in his lifetime.
http://www.computing.co.uk/ctg/feature/2222040/in-the-eye-of-the-storm-how-peer1-kept-itsdatacentre-running-throughout-hurricane-sandy PEER1hosting@championcomms.com Champion Communications Ltd. 3rd Floor Radiant House, 36-38 Mortimer Street, London, WIW 7RG
Publication: Microscope Date: 05/11/2012
Service Level Agreements blown away in storm Nick Booth
You have to admire the tenacity and human spirit of the Americans when coping with events like Superstorm Sandy. As lower Manhattan was flooded and the local power station was knocked out many of the datacentres in the region were put out.
InterNAP's data centre was evacuated and a customer note sent by Matt Price, the company's director of hosting operations and support, said the site's diesel pumps were out of action. With no fuel available to the generators on higher levels they decided to call it a day. “Life safety is our number one priority,” Price said. “We are making plans to completely exit the facility.” Customers were warned to shut down servers immediately. Which is fair enough. Who can blame them? But another service provider, Peer 1, seemed to be made of sterner stuff. Its staff volunteered to keep the system going at any cost and physically carried buckets up diesel up 17 floors to the feed the generators that were to keep Peer 1's Manhattan datacenter in action. Seventeen floors! That's dedication. The staff in some UK datacentres that I could mention can't even be raised to put labels on all the cables running onto the servers! So while some service providers can 'work on PEER1hosting@championcomms.com Champion Communications Ltd. 3rd Floor Radiant House, 36-38 Mortimer Street, London, WIW 7RG
through the storm', there are others that won't survive an attack by a confused cabling installer. Under circumstances like these the SLAs of the hosting providers come in for some scrutiny, and already there are signs of dissent from end-users. Clients of Internap, such as NuclearFallout Enterprises and chat service Zopim, posted updates on their service outages on Facebook and Twitter. Others took to forums to complain. “It's rather sad that datacentres are promising fail-safes that don't actually work,” complained one, on Webhostingtalk.com. Another poster on the same forum said: “Don't bother mentioning SLAs. Those are the hosting world equivalent to used toilet paper. Totally useless.” “What I find frustrating is all the people who want to defend shoddy planning,” they said. “It's not like they didn't have a week to prepare.” The problem is, you can never really anticipate what is going to happen until it happens. Then you need the right people with the right attitude to adapt. It's only by getting the right staff in place that service providers can guarantee they will keep going at all costs. This is not something that is apparent when a service contract is out to tender, says Peer 1's UK MD Dominic Monkhouse. “Tenders are all about who can do the best speeds and feeds at the right price,” he sayd, “but they don't cover what you need to know.” What you need to know is the attitude of the staff; happy staff will be motivated to keep going, but companies that hire and fire at will are unlikely to work. So maybe, next time you are involved in the tender process for a service contract, it's time to pay attention to staffing details. Is the company in the Top 100 Best Places to Work? How fit are the employees? Maybe you should make them carry a bucket of diesel up 17 flights.
Publication: Cloud Pro Date: 13/11/12
Cloud hosting: Five questions you should ask your provider Nick Booth,
When it comes to questioning potential cloud hosting providers, you should leave no stone unturned The tendering process for any IT business is one of the least accurate gauges of competence know to man, according to experts. Questioning a potential host is even trickier. The most common mistake, when choosing a host for your cloud computing service, is to be impressed by stats on speed and feeds and then to choose on price. But what other criteria can you measure your hosting supplier against? How do you know what questions to ask when you don't always know what the potential underlying problems are in the first place? Often your questions are like dropping depth charges without any idea where the threat is. You dump them into the inky depths, desperately hoping that if they don't hit anything that means there are no hidden dangers. Sadly, the lack of any flotsam and jetsam floating to the surface doesn't mean there are no death traps lurking below the surface. To help better navigate your way around such dangers, we've asked a series of industry veterans - who've been around the cloud world a few times - to arm you with questions to ask. Here are five incendiary questions that will have any U (for useless) Boat commander rapidly coming up to the surface and waving their hands in surrender. 1. Are you anal about cable? When visiting the datacentre interested in hosting your services, pick a random cable and ask them to identify when it was installed, who installed it and whether it was tested. Ask to see their maintenance records. Some hosting companies market themselves on the strength of the governance they offer. It probably shouldn't come as shock to you that these same companies are often fantastic at winning clients and
brilliant at showing them around their premises. But they're often hopeless at doing the day-to-day admin. It's not unusual for datacentres hosting your services to be a mass of uncharted equipment that nobody will touch as they aren't sure what or who it belongs to. Ask if you can make a random inspection. If you check one cable in a rack the hosting company should be able to answer all the questions posed above. If they can't, they don't fully check the box for asset management. When choosing a manager of your assets, look for someone who is anal, advises Dominic Monkhouse, UK MD of hosting company Peer 1. You don't have to check whether they tuck their shirt into their underpants, but, he says, there is a simple test. “If every cable is labelled neatly, at the front and back of a server chassis, that's a good sign,” he says. The cables have to be bound by velcro (which shows they are frequently checked) rather than a cable tie and they must be straight. “If someone has the labels straight, the chances are they will have the insides of the machine well ordered too,” says Monkhouse. This means, he believes, they are likely to be on top of all the memory and other component upgrades. When he ran Pipex, Monkhouse gave a barracking to an IT manager over the state of his cabling. He believes it’s incredibly important, as it tells you if someone runs a good datacentre. Tangled cables, needless to say, are a window into a troubled soul, according to Monkhouse. 2. Are you state of the ARK? There are companies, believe it or not, who skimp on investing in equipment until they have won new clients. They typically boast about this shrewdness with the words that they operate a 'just in time' model. This might be music to the ears of shareholders and board members, but it's a potential nightmare for a service provider. One Tier 3 hosting company that operated on such a model didn't actually have a back-up generator when it won its clients and, through a combination of laxity and good fortune, didn't bother to invest in one for months. Luckily, with the British weather being less extreme than in the US, the service provider got away with having no cover for months. They were lucky (as indeed were their clients) but such firms won't always be so fortunate. Hosting providers should have a State of the Ark datacentre, according to Jim Darragh of Abiquo. “They should have two of everything. Power supplies, back-up generators, cooling systems,” he says. “When your generator fails it always fails at the worst possible time. So be prepared for the worst.”
3. Do you have three customers beginning with the letter R? Any company can and should provide three good references. If you were running a start-up hosting company from your garage, it's likely that you could provide plausible sounding references from your old employer, a friend and a relative, without actually lying. Don't take your service providers at their own word. Be awkward and difficult if needs be. Ask for three reference sites all with the same initial. Or in the same district.
Better still, ask how many customers they actually have, advises Monkhouse. “If they've got a growth rate of 100 percent year-on-year, they must be doing something right as they'll have to be well organised to manage that expansion successfully,” he says. “It means they will have the right systems in place.” Not everyone agrees with this. We’ve heard tell of one company that kept winning business because it had a great reputation for designing and building datacentres, but that the actual running of the datacentres was a nightmare as this was not their core competence. “You're better off asking to see their testing schedules, or their certificates,” says Monkhouse. SAS70 or SSAE16 or ISO 20001 are all a good indicator of quality processes, he suggests. Better still, ask to see the auditors’ annual report. 4. Can I see your personnel records? If a company’s best assets are its people, then it's odd that so little is done to evaluate the culture within a company. The tendering process is completely skewed, according to Monkhouse, because it tends to be all about speeds and feeds and who can provide the cheapest service. But, surely, the most important quality of a service provider is whether they can come through a severely testing set of circumstances, like adverse weather or a terror attack? 5. Can I see how you fit in? The relationships between all your suppliers can get really complicated. The datacentre might be run by one company, the managed service run by another, the maintenance of the supporting infrastructure (like the heating, cooling, back-up generators and power supplies) coming from somewhere else. “It can get really complicated working out who does what and who takes responsibility,” says Darragh. Everything upstream can go to hell in a handcart, he adds. “The problem is, you only find out if the disaster recovery plan isn't practical when you've had the disaster and you find that you can't recover. By then it's too late.” The penalty clause that allows you not to pay your IaaS provider won't be much compensation when your business has been wiped out by downtime. Before you get involved with them, ask you service provider where they fit in with the network of suppliers. Just as you'd ask what happens if Cable A is pulled or Comms Channel b goes down, you need to know how each company in the supply chain affects the others. And, ultimately, how you’ll recover if they go down.
Publication: The Datachain Date: 14/11/12
PEER 1 Hosting Expands Strategic Alliance Programme PEER 1 Hosting, a global web hosting provider, has announced the launch of a programme to increase its portfolio of strategic alliance partners. Partnerships will be developed with platform and solution providers whose technology will benefit from the optimised environment PEER 1 Hosting delivers. The initiative follows PEER 1 Hosting being named by Magento, the eCommerce software platform, as a Platinum Partner. PEER 1 Hosting’s recent alliance with Tier 3, the enterprise cloud platform, is a further example of the type of relationship it is seeking to develop. Mike Mayer, Global Channel Director for PEER 1 Hosting, who will be leading this initiative, said: “The relationships PEER 1 Hosting has formed with partners such as Tier 3 and Magento are delivering significant competitive advantage to end users. Leading edge platforms deserve and demand optimised hosting environments. End users have the peace of mind of knowing that with our Strategic Alliance Partners, the technology and service we provide is perfectly compatible to deliver the best performance.” In addition to offering 19 data centres and 21 Points of Presence across North America and EMEA, PEER 1 Hosting has its own high performance 10Gbps FastFiber Network™, which spans 25k miles and connects its data centres, enabling it to offer a 99.999% uptime guarantee. PEER 1 Hosting is fully PCI-DSS 2.0 compliant, meaning that Strategic Alliance Partners for whom data security and compliance is critical because their applications involve processing credit card details, can offer a holistic solution to end users. Baruch Toledano, Director of Product Management for Magento said: “PEER 1 Hosting is a Magento Platinum Partner that spans both the US and EMEA. We continuously collaborate with them to create a platform that has our end user’s needs at its heart, and in turn deliver benefits for our entire ecosystem.” Jared Wray, founder and CEO at Tier 3, said: “The partnership between Tier 3 and PEER 1 Hosting puts the customer front and centre. Tier 3 is expanding its global reach while PEER 1 Hosting customers realise the benefits of the industry's leading virtual private cloud solution. By coming together we are enabling customers to take advantage of our joint innovation via a high performance cloud service that allows companies to focus on their growing business."
http://www.thedatachain.com/news/2012/11/peer_1_hosting_expands_strategic_alliance_progra mme PEER1hosting@championcomms.com Champion Communications Ltd. 3rd Floor Radiant House, 36-38 Mortimer Street, London, WIW 7RG
Publication: Cloud computing 365 Date: 15/11/12
PEER 1 Hosting expands Strategic Alliance Programme PEER 1 Hosting has announced the launch of a programme to increase its portfolio of strategic alliance partners. Partnerships will be developed with platform and solution providers whose technology will benefit from the optimised environment PEER 1 Hosting delivers. The initiative follows PEER 1 Hosting being named by Magento, the eCommerce software platform, as a Platinum Partner. PEER 1 Hosting’s recent alliance with Tier 3, the enterprise cloud platform, is a further example of the type of relationship it is seeking to develop. Mike Mayer, Global Channel Director for PEER 1 Hosting, who will be leading this initiative, said: “The relationships PEER 1 Hosting has formed with partners such as Tier 3 and Magento are delivering significant competitive advantage to end users. Leading edge platforms deserve and demand optimised hosting environments. End users have the peace of mind of knowing that with our Strategic Alliance Partners, the technology and service we provide is perfectly compatible to deliver the best performance.” In addition to offering 19 data centres and 21 Points of Presence across North America and EMEA, PEER 1 Hosting has its own high performance 10Gbps FastFiber Network™, which spans 25k miles and connects its data centres, enabling it to offer a 99.999% uptime guarantee. PEER 1 Hosting is fully PCI-DSS 2.0 compliant, meaning that Strategic Alliance Partners for whom data security and compliance is critical because their applications involve processing credit card details, can offer a holistic solution to end users. Baruch Toledano, Director of Product Management for Magento said: “PEER 1 Hosting is a Magento Platinum Partner that spans both the US and EMEA. We continuously collaborate with them to create a platform that has our end user’s needs at its heart, and in turn deliver benefits for our entire ecosystem.” Jared Wray, founder and CEO at Tier 3, said: “The partnership between Tier 3 and PEER 1 Hosting puts the customer front and centre. Tier 3 is expanding its global reach while PEER 1 Hosting customers realise the benefits of the industry's leading virtual private cloud solution. By coming together we are enabling customers to take advantage of our joint innovation via a high performance cloud service that allows companies to focus on their growing business"
Publication: Internet Retailing Date: 16/11/12
GUEST COMMENT Five web hosting tips to maximise ecommerce profits this Christmas Submitted by chloe
by Mike Bainbridge Overcrowded shops with terrible music on repeat and the inevitable cold weather, or staying at home and having gifts delivered to your door? It’s no wonder ecommerce sales at Christmas are growing by around 20% a year. Unfortunately, online retailers still aren’t always ready for the spikes in traffic the Christmas season brings. If your ecommerce storefront crashes, the resulting loss of orders can have a significant impact on festive season profits. Knowing where and how your website is hosted is critical to ensuring perfect site performance. Get prepared with our top tips for better ecommerce hosting. Optimise your site’s speed Consumers are increasingly impatient – a slow or crashing website will affect conversion rates. One in five shopping carts is abandoned because of slow page loading or crashes. That’s more than $3 billiona year in lost sales. Web hosting optimised for online storefronts decreases page loading times by at least 40 times. Running an ecommerce website on a basic hosting setup risks performance issues that translate into slow loading pages, abandoned shopping carts and ultimately lost revenue. This can be improved by using optimised hardware and software configurations for faster page loading times. When partnering with a hosting provider that offers a solution optimised for ecommerce, it adds a layer to the hardware setup, known as the ‘caching mechanism’. This layer stores the data for pages so it can load them more quickly, taking stress off the main server. Depending on which caching mechanism is used, the performance increase could be either faster page loading times or an increase in the amount of traffic that can be handled simultaneously. It is up to your hosting provider to determine the most suitable configuration for your online storefront. Also bear in mind that Google’s search results are gradually changing so that a website’s speed has more influence on its search ranking. Retailers with slow sites will be charged more for their paid search adverts. PEER1hosting@championcomms.com Champion Communications Ltd. 3rd Floor Radiant House, 36-38 Mortimer Street, London, WIW 7RG
Keep your site online You need to be able to keep meeting customer demand online. This means being able to scale out the number of servers your site is using. Guaranteed uptime despite power cuts or server failures can be achieved with the right hardware setup. The most common bottleneck causing downtime is a server being pushed beyond its processing capabilities. Deploying more servers dedicated to handling specific tasks is the solution, as this allows more orders to be processed. Some hosting providers promise up to 99.999% uptime in their service level agreements. ECommerce-optimised hosting increases the amount of manageable simultaneous traffic by up to five times anddoubles the number of manageable simultaneous orders. Protect your customer’s payment details Speed and reliability are important in closing a sale, but you need to make sure your customer’s payment details are properly protected. You can cover yourself on the stringent industry standards for credit card payments by partnering with a hosting provider that has pre-approved compliance. This is the sure-fire way to ensure your ecommerce site is processing payments securely. Be ready for the rise of m-commerce The amount of smartphones sold since the birth of the iPhone 3G was revealed recently to be a staggering one billion, with the majority supporting ecommerce applications you can use to make orders directly from your phone. Mobile orders have grown to 1.4% of all sales and this is growing quickly. Gartner predicts that by 2015 50% of all web sales will be mobile. The message is clear; customers are moving to mcommerce in their droves, so you’ll need to be sure your site can cope. Some hosting providers can enable seamless multichannel functionality across desktop, tablet and mobile. Having a solid multichannel presence is essential, so partnering with a hosting provider that can support this is a must. Get closer to your customers Using a hosting provider that has a presence close to your entire target market ensures your website is fast and reliable internationally. Your hosting solution needs to support you in all the countries you want to trade in or website performance will be affected in locations that don’t have a nearby data centre, or ‘point of presence’. Some providers offer a ‘content delivery network’ service that links their data centres around the world so the user’s nearest point of presence is never too far away. Mike Bainbridge is solutions architect for PEER 1 Hosting.
Publication: The WHIR Date: 20/11/12
Excool Data Center Cooling System Helps PEER 1 Reduce Energy Usage by 85 Percent
Using the data center cooling system from Excool, PEER 1 Hosting has been able to reduce its energy consumption by 85 percent
A year after opening the doors to its Portsmouth, UK data center, PEER 1 Hosting has reduced its energy consumption by 85 percent through an experimental data center cooling technology. Opened in November 2011, PEER 1 Hosting invested $70 million in its green data center to reduce the carbon footprint for its customers. One of the key green data center investments was the Excooldata center cooling system.
According to an announcement on Tuesday, the investment in the system paid off for PEER 1 Hosting. PEER 1 credits the reduced data center energy usage to the Excool data center cooling
system, which uses a combination of natural cooling from water and air, a heat -exchange system, low-energy fans and water atomisers. Using the Excool system, PEER 1 Hosting has recorded energy consumption of 15 percent per server of the typical amount used by conventional data centers. PEER 1 Hosting says the Excool data center cooling system is also helping it achieve its PUE goal of 1.035. Excool says its system can achieve overall annual energy savings up to 95 percent of comparable old technology systems, allowing overall PUE’s below 1.1. “We’re delighted to see the promise of Excool become a reality for our green data center. When we opened a year ago, Excool was untested in a European data center, so we installed secondary cooling in case it wasn’t able to perform at the level we needed, but we haven’t even switched it on and have now removed the chillers altogether,” Dominic Monkhouse, EMEA managing director at PEER 1 Hosting said in a statement. The cooling system uses waste heat reclaimed from the 4,844 square foot pod currently in operation, eliminating the need for energy to heat the data center, according to PEER 1. Data center cooling technologies are expensive, so case studies that provide some insight into how the technology works in a web hosts’ facility, and whether it lives up to its promise, are good starting resource for data center operators looking to implement new technologies into their facilities. As data centers struggle with implementing cost-effective green technologies, initiatives like Facebook’s Open Compute Project look to use standard hardware in new ways to optimize data center efficiency. Recently, Facebook launched a challenge for students in Purdue’s College of Technology new entrepreneurship program to create a biodegradable server chassis. “We were always confident that our technology would easily outperform mechanical cooling on power consumption and CO2 emissions and this first year in use with PEER 1 has really proven that to be the case, and we expect further efficiency gains as the data center reaches capacity with four pods,” Mark Collins, sales director at Excool said in a statement. “It’s great to see our technology delivering the best possible energy efficiency to data center customers and we believe this can have a significant impact on reducing corporate carbon footprint in line with legislation.”
Publication: The Daily Echo Date: 20/11/12
Award-winner will join top speakers at Daily Echo business exhibition
Award-winner will join top speakers at Daily Echo business exhibition
THE final guest speaker at the Daily Echoâ€™s South Coast BusinessWorks exhibition has been announced. Rich Watts, 26, pictured, an account director at communications agency LeePeckGroup, will join the speaker roster at the prestigiousbusiness-to-business event after recently picking up a UK Business Speaker of the Year award. He beat stiff competition from 24 other speakers in the final of the PEER 1 Hosting awards with his presentation entitled The Morale Margin. Other speakers at Business Works will include record-breaking disabled yachtsman Geoff Holt, the first quadriplegic yachtsman to sail solo around Great Britain; Trethowans managing partner Simon Rhodes, who will present a session to help business owners and managers focus on getting the very best out of their staff; and Claire Mattinson, a project manager at NHS Southampton City who will talk about the cost of workplace sickness. The free-to-attend Business Works, sponsored by Trethowans solicitors, returns to the De Vere Grand Harbour Hotel in Southampton on February 5 when exhibitors and delegates will share knowledge and forge new business relationships.
Publication: Data centre solutions Date: 21/11/12
Year one energy consumption slashed by 85% in PEER 1 Hosting green data centre Experimental cooling from Excool delivers dramatic green performance.
PEER 1 Hosting has revealed industry leading energy efficiency at its flagship data centre in Portsmouth. The data centre opened in November 2011 and in its first year of operations it has recorded energy consumption of just 15% per server of the typical amount used by conventional data centres. Over the last year PEER 1 has completed its first data centre Pod with over 5,000 servers now live for managed hosting and cloud services. Over 8,000 hours of ‘free cooling’ have been achieved through the Excool system which uses an innovative system of natural cooling effects from water and air, combined with a super-efficient heat exchange system, low-energy fans and water atomisers. The Excool system is already pushing PEER 1 towards its cooling only PUE goal of 1.035, the lowest in Europe. Carbon footprint too has significantly improved for PEER 1’s DC customers. Electrical consumption from the national grid has created 1619 tonnes of CO2 over the last year based on current instantaneous power draw of 350 kW. Mechanical refrigeration of the same DC capacity would have created an estimated 3.2 million tonnes of waste by comparison. For the 450 sqm Pod currently in operation, conventional cooling at current load would require 0.2 kW/sqm of energy. This has been significantly reduced through the Excool system to just 0.03 kW/sqm saving 0.17 kW/sqm, or 85% of the equivalent power consumption with mechanical cooling. Another contributing factor to this low power consumption is delivered by eliminating the need for energy to heat the data centre, instead relying on waste heat reclaimed from the Pod. Dominic Monkhouse, EMEA Managing Director at PEER 1 Hosting comments: “We’re delighted to see the promise of Excool become a reality for our green data centre. When we opened a year ago, Excool was untested in a European data centre, so we installed secondary cooling in case it wasn’t able to perform at the level we needed, but we haven’t even switched it on and have now removed the chillers altogether. “We know that our customers want great hosting and great service, and we took a calculated risk that we could also deliver fantastic green benefits by investing in innovative technology on behalf of our customers. It’s very satisfying to see that this has paid off in spades, reducing energy consumption and delivering tangible green benefits to our customers.” Mark Collins, Sales Director at Excool adds: “We were always confident that our technology would easily outperform mechanical cooling on power consumption and CO2 emissions and this first year in use with PEER 1 has really proven that to be the case, and we expect further efficiency gains as the data centre reaches capacity with four pods. It’s great to see our technology delivering the best possible energy efficiency to data centre customers and we believe this can have a significant impact on reducing corporate carbon footprint in line with legislation.” The Portsmouth data centre is one of a network of 19 data centres and 21 POPs worldwide connected to PEER 1’s 24,000 miles of 10Gbps FastFibre™ backbone. It offers managed hosting, dedicated hosting, cloud hosting and co-location to enterprise and small business customers, backed up by PEER 1’s 24/7 FirstCall Support guarantee. http://www.dcsuk.info/news_full.php?id=25098&title=Year-one-energy-consumption-slashed-by-85%25-inPEER-1-Hosting-green-data-centre
Publication: Datacentres.com Date: 21/11/12
Excool data centre cooling system helps PEER 1 reduce energy usage by 85%
A year after opening the doors to its Portsmouth, UK data centre, PEER 1 Hosting has reduced its energy consumption by 85% through an experimental data centre cooling technology. Opened in November 2011, PEER 1 Hosting invested US$70 million in its green data centre to reduce the carbon footprint for its customers. One of the key green data centre investments was the Excool data centre cooling system. The investment in the system paid off for PEER 1 Hosting. PEER 1 credits the reduced data centre energy usage to the Excool data centre cooling system, which uses a combination of natural cooling from water and air, a heat -exchange system, low-energy fans and water atomisers. Using the Excool system, PEER 1 Hosting has recorded energy consumption of 15% per server of the typical amount used by conventional data centres. PEER 1 Hosting says the Excool data centre cooling system is also helping it achieve its PUE goal of 1.035.
Publication: CDN Advisor Date: 21/11/12
PEER 1â€˛s Portsmouth Data Center Knocks off 85% Energy Utilization
This Wednesday, PEER 1 Hosting, one of the leading providers of cloud and managed hosting services, announced that owing to its green practices and energy conservation processes for its new Portsmouth Data Center, the facility only uses 15% energy as compared other traditional data centers. Among the various features that reduce this usage include the deployment of its Excool system, which results in almost 8000 hours of free-cooling with an innovative system of natural cooling effects from air and water, coupled with low-energy fans and water atomizers along with an efficient heat-system. Apart from this, PEER 1 also brought down the carbon-footprint of its DC customers by reducing the estimated waste from a staggering 3.2 million tons of waste to just 1619 tons of waste. At its end, PEER 1 mentioned that it was extremely happy with how well its Excool feature had fared and stated that it wasnâ€™t sure if Excool would work fine in its European Data Center. However, Excool had done very well in Portsmouth and PEER 1 did not even need to switch on its additional cooling facilities.
Publication: LondonLovesBusiness Date: 22/11/2012
How to build the perfect team | By Charles Orton-Jones
Every manager wants to put together a world-beating corporate team. You can learn from the best to achieve this goal If you wanted to name the most impressive entrepreneur in the world under 40 you’d struggle to beat Tony Hsieh. Probably only Mark Zuckerberg would shade him for the #1 spot. At 24 he sold his online advertising network Link Exchange to Microsoft for $265m. Then he founded an online shoe business, Zappos, and sold it to Amazon in a deal valued at $1.2billion. He’s now 38 and is hailed in the US as one of the most original thinkers in business. Like Branson, he hates conformity. His passion is creating, and keeping, an off-beat culture. In fact, he sold Link Exchange because he started to hate the atmosphere. “I wanted to make sure the same mistake didn’t happen at Zappos,” he says. “Our belief is that if we get the culture right, most of the other stuff, like delivering great customer service or building a longterm enduring brand, will happen naturally on its own.” So how did he get it right at Zappos? The answer is pretty incredible. Five years after founding Zappos Hsieh realised he needed to define the company’s culture. So he emailed all the employees and asked for their input. He came up with a list of 10 core values: 1.
Deliver WOW Through Service
Embrace and Drive Change
Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
Pursue Growth and Learning
Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication
Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
Do More With Less
Be Passionate and Determined
10. Be Humble To retain these values he redrew his recruitment policy. Everything would be focused on getting the right people culturally – even if it meant rejecting some serious talent. “Our recruiting team over time has gotten actually pretty good at figuring out whether somebody is going to be a culture fit or not. And we actually have interview questions for each and every one of the core values. And it’s not necessarily what they say, but how they say it a lot of the time. And, over time, our recruiting team has really developed their gut in terms of whether what the right call is for a candidate. “We actually last year had over 25,000 people apply to work at Zappos and we only hired 250 of them, so about 1%. I think I heard the stat that it’s actually harder to get into Zappos than into Harvard.” To some ears, this might sound eccentric. Indulgent. Absurd even. Yet you’ll find similar policies at many high-performing businesses. Richard Robinson, director of Google UK, told me part of his hiring process was meeting other employees, to see how “Googley” he was. He passed the test. All Soul’s College, Oxford, the university’s most prestigious college which accepts only the most outstanding graduates, has a notoriously brutal entrance exam. Famously it used to consist of only one word, such as “Memory” or “Innocence” or “Water”. Time allotted: three hours. The other vital component is the dinner. Four to six finalists are invited to dine with the fellows. After all, All Souls needs to foster the right culture. Barcelona Football Club was described by the Dutch legend Frank de Boer as more like a cult than a club. If you don’t fit in with the ethos, you won’t last – no matter how good you are. Zlatan Ibrahimovic found that out. He was a big hit. Barca won the league with him as striker. They dumped him anyway. Eton College and St Paul’s School have a recruitment policy which other schools would find crazy. “When it comes to hiring teachers, there is no house style,” Eton’s headmaster Tony Little has said. “We want people to be individuals, and we don’t look for prescribed teaching methods or people who conform to a set formula.” At St Paul’s the high master said: “We take massive risks with our teachers. Most of our science teachers are post-doctoral research people who have no teaching experience whatsoever.” But it works for these institutions. So how can you create a buzzing company culture?
You could start by working out what your current culture is. Instead of Zappos’ method of emailing all your staff for ideas, you could hire a Management Due Diligence (MDD) firm. When M&A activity is undertaken, MDD is pretty common. Firms such as Diligencia and Highwire Consulting will interview all the senior team and build a psychological and technical profile of the firm. Some private equity houses, such as Palamon Capital Partners, even have their own preferred psychiatrists who refer their analysis to the board. This might be overkill. According to Geoff Fawcett, director at Hays, the leading recruiting expert, a simple four step process will do the job when making new hires. “First, look at the strengths of your current team, and then at their weaknesses. Use career appraisals and the business plan for that team to help you. “Second, work out the job specification. This needs to be included in the job specification. My tip is to make sure you inform applicants how much time they’ll be spending on various tasks. Then they can arrive at the interview knowing what is expected of them.” “Then, during the interview process, get the candidate to meet the team they will be working with. At the Red Arrows they spend half an hour on the assessment, but two weeks with the people. For them this is the right weighting.” His fourth tip is to know what culture you want. Fawcett questions the notion that you will benefit from hiring clones. “Barcelona wouldn’t work with 11 Lionel Messis. You need a mix of skills. My tip is when hiring you should have one candidate in three from a non-conventional background. If you don’t do this, you risk creating static and uninspiring teams.” And he’s got one final mastertip. Onboarding. “Building needs work. A new hire should have someone to guide them during their first 12 weeks. There should be a plan to help them with all aspects, from socialising to training. Firms often do one part of the induction well, but it is rare to see the aspects covered adequately.” Can Indoor Mini-Golf reveal a candidate’s true character? Dominic Monkhouse, EMEA MD at PEER 1 Hosting, has built an indoor golf course in the office to test the skills of would-be staff as an alternative to final round interviews. Candidates are invited to take a putt on the green with a PEER 1 team member who assesses their strengths and weaknesses using a golf-style scorecard to see if they come up to par against key criteria, including: • Have you got balls: do candidates opt for big shots? A hole in one approach or lots of shorter shots? • Multi-tasking: can the candidate think, speak and play at once? • Winning mentality: does the potential recruit compete hard or are they careful to let the interviewer win? • On your game: can candidates sell themselves on the course?
Smooth under pressure? Monkhouse will judge you if you get the yips • Bouncing back: how does the interviewee cope with a miss? What is their response? • Strategy & planning: how effective is the candidate’s game plan and shot play? • Adaptability: how do candidates deal with increasing levels of complexity and difficulty around the course? Monkhouse believes nothing shows a candidate’s true colours better than getting competitive and a can-do personality is the only thing that will ensure his team provides outstanding service to customers. He says: “There’s nothing worse than sitting in a sweaty meeting room trying to get the measure of a potential colleague; fun is part of my DNA and I’d far rather enjoy a pleasant 30 minutes of gentle exercise to find the genuine big shots.” It’s certainly better than the hiring policy of one investment banker who would begin by throwing half the CVs in the bin. His reason? “I don’t want to work with unlucky people.”
Publication: Datacenter Dynamics Date: 26/11/12
Free cooling helps PEER 1 reduce energy use Web hosting provider says it has used free cooling in UK for more than 8,000 hours this year by Penny Jones - DatacenterDynamics
PEER 1's data center in Portsmouth, UK
PEER 1 Hosting in the UK said it has reduced its energy consumption by 85% by using free cooling for more than 8,000 hours in the last year. The Portsmouth data center opened in November last year and its first Pod contains more than 5,000 servers. It has based its assumed energy savings on typical measurements for energy use measured by conventional data centers. PEER 1 is one of the first data centers to deploy the UK-manufactured Excooladiabatic cooling system. It said if it had have used conventional cooling for its 450 sq m Pod, at current load it would require 0.2kW/sq m of energy. “This has been significantly reduced through the Excool system to just 0.03kW/sq m saving 0.17kW/sq m – or 85% of the equivalent power consumption with mechanical cooling,” PEER 1 said. It said reusing waste heat from its Pod has also contributed to reduced need for energy to heat the data center. The Excool system was tested as a secondary cooling unit for the data center before it removed its chillers. Peer 1 said it believes it has emitted 1,619 tonnes of CO2 over the last year based on its instantaneous power draw of 350kW representing a massive reduction from the 3.2m tonnes it estimates it would have otherwise created. Excool was one of the winners from last year’s DatacenterDynamics Industry Leaders Awards. It took out the category for Future Thinking and Design Concepts. Judging is starting on this year’s awards today. You can view the shortlist for each category here. The Gala dinner, where winners will be announced, will be held in London on 13 December. http://www.datacenterdynamics.com/focus/archive/2012/11/free-cooling-helps-peer-1-reduceenergy-use PEER1hosting@championcomms.com Champion Communications Ltd. 3rd Floor Radiant House, 36-38 Mortimer Street, London, WIW 7RG
Publication: Eseller media Date: 30/11/12
PEER 1 Hosting predicts downtime on Cyber Monday By Dan Matthews Leave a Comment
Amazon has decreed it will be 9.20pm on Monday 3rd December. Cyber Monday; the ultimate online shopping peak for Christmas 2012 is approaching and it’s going to be big. By Dominic Monkhouse, managing director EMEA at PEER 1 Hosting Actually it’s going to be huge. Online shopping volume has been growing at around 15% month on month compared to 2011 according to Capgemini’s IMRG Retail Report and Experian is expecting a whopping 115 million visits to UK websites on Cyber Monday, a 36% increase on the busiest Christmas shopping day of last year. The prospect of ‘busier than ever’ is great for business but a real concern for IT and eCommerce managers. So what’s changed in your IT infrastructure in a year? Have you brought on new servers? Have you provisioned bursting into the cloud? If you have, then relax and indulge in a spot of retail therapy yourself, but if Cyber Monday sounds like a disaster waiting to happen, then plan a duvet day and consider spending a few hours updating your CV. By definition, if eCommerce hasn’t reached the expected intensity and scale ever before, how do we know if we can cope? As much as we all love a pretty front end, it’s what’s underneath the bonnet that really counts when it comes down to website performance. Whilst more hardware, bigger pipes and emergency scaling can get websites out of a fix – downtime isn’t the only concern on the horizon. Optimisation of your hosting infrastructure can also have a significant impact on how quickly your eCommerce catalogue pulls images and information from the data base, how quickly your page loads, how much simultaneous traffic you can handle and ultimately how much of all this attention gets through the shopping cart to complete the sale. Cyber Monday will be a true test of scalable hosting. PEER1Hosting.co.uk
http://esellermedia.com/2012/11/30/peer-1-hosting-preidcts-downtime-on-cyber-monday/ PEER1hosting@championcomms.com Champion Communications Ltd. 3rd Floor Radiant House, 36-38 Mortimer Street, London, WIW 7RG
Publication: Retail Week Date: 30/11/12
Sites: Waitrose Vs Sainsbury's Dominic Monkhouse, managing director of PEER 1 Hosting, shares his view of good and bad apps. GOOD SITE: WAITROSE.COM
Online delivery has taken (most of) the pain out of food shopping. Now the big food retailers should be focusing on making their sites as user-friendly as possible. Generally they are still clunky and uninspiring, but Waitrose’s site stands out as being the clearest and quickest. The new site came in for some stick when it launched last year but it looks to have recovered from that and now seems pretty solid. Free delivery for orders over £50 is a bonus. BAD SITE: SAINSBURYS.CO.UK
Compared with the Waitrose website, Sainsburys.co.uk has inconsistent design and lots of small text crammed on to each page. There is so much information being thrown at users that I wonder how many just give up and go somewhere else. Some parts of the site seem to have long page-loading times, another huge turn-off for impatient shoppers. I imagine many shoppers visiting the site will want to buy bananas or eggs, not TVs or furniture, so I’m not sure why those product ranges are so prominently displayed on the home page. I suspect a high bounce rate is the result of this confusion
http://www.retail-week.com/stores/good-shop-/-bad-shop/sites-waitrose-vssainsburys/5043267.article?blocktitle=Food&contentID=5279 PEER1hosting@championcomms.com Champion Communications Ltd. 3rd Floor Radiant House, 36-38 Mortimer Street, London, WIW 7RG
Publication: Techbubbles Date: 04/12/2012
Five web hosting tips to maximise eCommerce profits this Christmas By Mike Bainbridge., Solutions Architect for PEER 1 Hosting Overcrowded shops with terrible music on repeat and the inevitable cold weather, or staying at home and having gifts delivered to your door? It’s no wonder eCommerce sales at Christmas are growing by around 20% a year. Unfortunately, online retailers still aren’t always ready for the spikes in traffic the Christmas season brings. Get prepared with our top tips for better eCommerce hosting: 1. Speed Consumers are increasingly impatient – a slow or crashing website will affect conversion rates. One in five shopping carts is abandoned because of slow page loading or crashes. That’s more than $3 billion a year in lost sales. Web hosting optimised for online storefronts decreases page loading times by at least 40 times. What’s more, Google’s search results are gradually changing so that a website’s speed has more bearing on its search ranking. Retailers with slow sites will be charged more for their paid search adverts. 2. Reliability Guaranteed uptime despite power cuts or server failures can be achieved with the right hardware setup. Some hosting providers promise up to 99.999% uptime in their service level agreements. Ecommerce-optimised hosting increases the amount of manageable simultaneous traffic by up to 5 times and doubles the number of manageable simultaneous orders.
3. Security Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is the industry standard for companies that handle cardholder information, so being ‘PCI compliant’ is the sure-fire way to ensure your ecommerce site is processing payments securely. Fortunately, you can cover yourself on the stringent security standards for credit card payments by partnering with a PCI DSS compliant hosting provider. 4. Multichannel Gartner predicts that by 2015 50% of all web sales will be mobile, so a lack of quality integration across the emerging technological channels is now a major cause for concern. If your mobile website’s performance is not up to scratch, you’re losing sales. Search out a hosting provider that offers seamless multichannel performance across desktop, tabletand mobile. 5. Internationalisation Your hosting solution needs to support you in all the countries you want to trade in or website performance will be affected in locations that don’t have a nearby data centre. Partnering with a hosting provider that has a global infrastructure in place ensures web hosting is fast and reliable internationally.
http://www.techbubbles.co.uk/ PEER1hosting@championcomms.com Champion Communications Ltd. 3rd Floor Radiant House, 36-38 Mortimer Street, London, WIW 7RG
Publication: Ask Grapevine HR Date: 06/12/2012
PEER 1 Hosting offers Christmas gift wrapping service for staff The global web hosting provider is calling in a professional Christmas gift wrapping service to its UK headquarters in Southampton and inviting staff to take advantage free of charge. The initiative, which allows staff to do their Christmas shopping online at work and have presents delivered to the office, is part of PEER 1 Hosting’s plan to take the stress out of Christmas shopping. The gift wrappers anticipate wrapping around 200 presents for 60 of PEER 1 Hosting’s staff. Dominic Monkhouse, EMEA MD and SVP Customer Experience, PEER 1 Hosting, says: “Every boss knows it’s a pain for people to juggle the busy last few weeks at work before the end of the year with the time-consuming job of Christmas shopping. "They also know staff will spend time at work doing their Christmas shopping online and take time off to meet couriers at home, so why ignore it? We want to make things easier so our employees can get back to concentrating on their jobs.”
http://www2.askgrapevine.com/news/hr/article/2012-12-06-peer-1-hosting-offers-christmas-giftwrapping-service-for-staff/ PEER1hosting@championcomms.com Champion Communications Ltd. 3rd Floor Radiant House, 36-38 Mortimer Street, London, WIW 7RG
Publication: Employee Benefits Date: 07/12/2012
Peer 1 staff get gift-wrapping service By Rebecca Patton
Web hosting provider Peer 1 is offering staff a free professional gift-wrapping service at its Southampton headquarters today. The organisation’s 60 employees have been allowed to do their Christmas shopping online at work with presents delivered to the office. The gift-wrapping service, provided by Happy Wrapping Services, will be available free of charge from 10am on 7 December. The company anticipates 200 presents will be wrapped. Dominic Monkhouse, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) managing director and senior vice president of customer experience at Peer 1, said: “Every boss knows it’s a pain for people to juggle the busy last weeks at work before the end of the year with the time-consuming job of Christmas shopping. “They also know staff will spend time at work doing their Christmas shopping online and take time off to meet couriers at home, so why ignore it? “We want to make things easier so our employees can get back to concentrating on their jobs.”
http://www.employeebenefits.co.uk/benefits/staff-motivation/peer-1-staff-get-gift-wrappingservice/100691.article PEER1hosting@championcomms.com Champion Communications Ltd. 3rd Floor Radiant House, 36-38 Mortimer Street, London, WIW 7RG
Publication: The Data Chain Date: 12/12/2012
JustHostMe - Case Study JustHostMe provides web hosting services for consumers, web developers and business owners worldwide. One of PEER 1 Hosting’s most innovative and fastest growing customers within its ServerBeach dedicated hosting service, JustHostMe has six full time staff, plus contractors, but serves thousands of clients across the UK, mainland Europe, the US, China and Australia. The Business Challenge UK hosting services reseller JustHostMe was on a fast growth curve from their inception, but was constrained by their existing hosting provider’s shared hosting solution, which was not a cost-effective answer for going forward and scaling. With new customers coming on board, both at home and abroad in the US and further afield, JustHostMe needed a dedicated hosting service, within an enterprise-grade data centre environment, that would be highly reliable, scalable and available. This infrastructure would need to support the rapid growth of the business, whilst helping to give customers the best possible performance and service for their websites, e-commerce platforms and blogs, wherever they were in the world. Jeffrey Mattingley, Managing Director, JustHostMe, says, “With our previous shared hosting systems provider we were very limited in terms of what we could do, and it would have been much more expensive to scale up if we had stayed with them. We were leasing servers but our solutions provider was managing and configuring them. I knew that to grow, we needed a dedicated, self-managed server infrastructure.” Mattingley is a qualified engineer who has worked as a server technician for IBM xSeries, and has been involved in servers throughout his career. “I knew we had the skills in-house to configure and manage the machines, but what we needed was a global partner with a world-class infrastructure,” he says. Consequently, he was looking for dedicated hosting services that were enterprise-level yet affordable, with servers that could be highly partitioned and managed by his team. In order to keep network latency low for customers, the service provider also needed to have a global network of data centres that would deliver robust network performance and reliability, so clients in all geographical territories would benefit from round-the-clock access to their websites with no time delays. The PEER 1 Hosting Solution JustHostMe was already using services from ServerBeach, PEER 1 Hosting’s dedicated hosting division, which were being resold by their existing shared hosting provider. So they already knew that their network performance was industry leading, says Mattingley. “We liked it because of the speed of the network, and the redundancy and availability of the services we were getting. We were impressed with the service so we investigated the provider, and found out they were PEER 1 Hosting.” When it came to migrating from their original shared hosting partner towards the end of 2007, Mattingley adds that the business had a "broad look at other providers" but knew that ServerBeach, through PEER 1 Hosting, had the network, resources and technical expertise that JustHostMe was looking for as they expanded their business. JustHostMe was looking at immediate and rapid growth, with prospective web hosting clients queuing up to join. Mattingley comments, “Because of my technical knowledge I knew what I needed, so we chatted with one of PEER 1’s engineering experts on their Live Chat, and saw that the ServerBeach offering was the most appropriate for our business. We agreed to start off with servers based in their US data centres. This was before PEER 1 had established their UK data centres. I knew that without PEER 1’s stable and highly-available data centre environment, we were going to lose customers.”
Between 2007 and 2012, the business grew from having around a dozen customers to many thousands. This was mainly down to the level of service JustHostMe offered, along with their range of packages and configuration options, and the low cost of their services. ServerBeach’s flexible infrastructure meant the business could massively scale up the number of customers they hosted over the five year period, but not pay more for their server infrastructure than they needed to at any point in time. Another attraction of PEER 1 Hosting’s ServerBeach offering was that they delivered dedicated server leasing at an affordable price, enabling JustHostMe to continue offering their lucrative budget hosting services to the market, by configuring and partitioning servers themselves, as customer demand required. Consequently, JustHostMe pays just £500 a month per server for their server hosting, but can support between 300 and 600 customers on a single server, all of whom are paying a flat monthly fee. “PEER 1’s prices are low and this has allowed us to grow quickly as there are no major overheads. It’s a good deal, and works well for us.” Having the right dedicated hosting partner with data centres across the UK, Canada and the US was an essential part of JustHostMe’s success, says Mattingley, who explains that since August 2007 his firm moved from shared hosting, to dedicated servers in the UK, US and Canada. “Because PEER 1 and ServerBeach have so many data centres we can accommodate our global customers,” says Mattingley. From a technical perspective, JustHostMe benefits from having their own 24x7x365 monitoring and technical support for powerful and secure, dedicated servers, which host their customers’ websites, ecommerce systems and blogs. ServerBeach’s data centers also provide convenient, server management tools and a rock-solid IT infrastructure with a FastFiber Network™ backbone. Mattingley says he is impressed by the technical competency of ServerBeach’s Engineers, and their problem-solving abilities. “I frequently find myself picking the brains of their technical guys, and these guys really know what they’re talking about. Whenever we’ve had a support issue, we raise a support ticket and the response is very good. They are there straight away, because they have their own monitoring system on our servers, and can replace hardware quickly as required.” The Results Since JustHostMe moved from shared hosting to PEER 1 Hosting’s dedicated, self-managed ServerBeach service, they have experienced unparalleled performance, availability and scalability. Furthermore, PEER 1’s global data centre solution has enabled the business to grow rapidly and expand the geographic footprint of their customer base. Last year, JustHostMe experienced a 50% increase in revenues from the previous year, and they expect to grow at 25% in 2012. In addition, by utilising data centres around the world, JustHostMe are able to support their global customers and give them the highest quality service and support. This was evidenced when PEER 1 enhanced their UK presence, opening state-of-the-art data centre facilities in London and Portsmouth, which improved services for their UK customers. “Having servers in the UK ensures that web site response times are much faster for our UK customers, and in terms of SEO, which works on server location, our UK customers’ websites rank higher on global web searches,” says Mattingley. As well as an enterprise-grade hosting solutions provider, JustHostMe also views PEER 1 as a longterm business partner that shares their vision for growth and success. To support their next phase of expansion, JustHostMe plans to move into clustered hosting, and adopt their own private racks at PEER 1 Hosting’s state-of-the-art data centre in Portsmouth. This colocation arrangement will enable JustHostMe’s own dedicated engineers to have direct access to their own servers and devices within that facility, enabling them to enhance their failover protection, and offer customers even higher uptime statistics. “Our ongoing goal is to continually improve our service to customers,” says Mattingley.
http://www.thedatachain.com/articles/2012/12/justhostme_case_study PEER1hosting@championcomms.com Champion Communications Ltd. 3rd Floor Radiant House, 36-38 Mortimer Street, London, WIW 7RG
Publication: CRN Date: 14/12/2012
Resellers must stop mis-selling cloud Dominic Monkhouse wants to warn the channel against inappropriately promoting cloud services to businesses By Dominic Monkhouse
I'd like to send out a warning to the channel. Mis-selling cloud services to businesses they don't suit will come back to haunt you. Just because the cloud is new and sexy doesn't mean it is the answer to any specific customer's issues, and a blend of dedicated and managed servers could still be the best option. You might have read that and assumed I'm just an outdated server-hugger shamelessly selling our own services – but I should point out that selling cloud is also now a big part of what we do. Further reading
Peer 1 hints at Rackspace channel unrest Peer 1 adds bespoke top tier Peer 1 to grow indirect business I'm not blind to the benefits of working within a cloud computingenvironment; cloud hosting in particular can provide all the advantages of a physical setup but without the infrastructureheadaches and internal problems that can go with in-house management. However, it is not the answer to every business's problems, as more opportunistic resellers might have us believe. Each company has its specific needs and existing infrastructure. Meanwhile, what most want from a partner is to be able to trust them. They want partners who can be honest about whether cloud is for them, and how it should be built into the IT network or improve the performance of existing infrastructure. PEER1hosting@championcomms.com Champion Communications Ltd. 3rd Floor Radiant House, 36-38 Mortimer Street, London, WIW 7RG
Alongside, there must be a full understanding of compliance, security and reliability. Sadly, many businesses are missing out on this service as resellers rush to position themselves and the cloud as the answer to their prayers. Some of my customers tell me the real reason that they haven't adopted cloud is that it was difficult to find a partner that offered more than a standard package. IT managers value the relationships they have with their suppliers or partners and the thing that seems to be lacking is a cutting edge and tailor-made customer service experience. They want to work with people who can understand and add value to their business rather than provide them with extra equipment or services they don't need. Large businesses with their own IT departments can make the most of cloud or on-demand IT services and applications, as they will have the technical know-how to manage the technology. However, some smaller businesses have plenty of knowledge and others very little. So cloud could end up being a waste of time and money. For example, the licensing costs of virtualisation might counter the benefits of cloud â€“ to the point where physical infrastructure becomes more cost effective. A lot of customers don't realise until too late that they are going to get an invoice for a new software licence as part of their cloud "solution". One idea business decision makers get in their heads is that cloud will enable them to replace their IT manager, or even the entire IT department, if the business is big enough. But cloud technology will only work alongside skilled IT staff. There are some things the cloud will never be able to automate. Admittedly, it is the IT manager's job to communicate that to his or her boss. Meanwhile, a blended environment may allow burstability while lowering the I/O output on a virtual system. One example from our experience was an online games vendor, which was launching a service that needed 250 physical servers racked, stacked and ready to go in 24 hours. This requirement would be extremely difficult to fulfil for providers too heavily focused on the cloud. Because of all this I am seeing a reverse trend in some quarters. Customers who have been mis-sold cloud-based offerings are moving back to physical systems. Dominic Monkhouse is EMEA managing director and senior vice president of customer experience at Peer 1 Hosting
Publication: The Drum Date: 18/12/2012
It’s not too late! Last minute tips to prepare for the festive e-commerce traffic rush
Last minute tips to prepare for the festive e-commerce traffic rush
Dominic Monkhouse, EMEA managing director and SVP of customer experience at PEER 1 Hosting, provides hints to help boost e-commerce sales over the holiday period. Paid too much attention to kitting out your retail stores with all the bells and whistles for Christmas and New Year but forgotten about your e-commerce website? Chances are you’re not alone. Fortunately it’s not too late to save yourself from faltering or badly designed online storefronts leaking revenue over the next few weeks. If you’re in the ‘worried’ camp, there’s still time to fine-tune design, development and user experience. Customers visiting your website want to find what they are looking for, and fast. Remember, your competitor’s websites are only a click away. Similarly, optimising the performance, availability and scalability of the hosting infrastructure powering your e-commerce site is vital. If your website crashes, so will a customer’s perception of your company. Here are some tips for getting your online store in shape and squeezing every last possible bit of revenue out of it over the festive season. Analyse your site’s history Analysing historic traffic patterns can give you an idea of what to expect. When will you hit your peak traffic load? How many visitors at any given minute? How many simultaneous checkouts? How does your marketing impact your traffic flow?
Last year many of our customers saw peak traffic when the sales started between Christmas and New Year, rather than before Christmas, with many experiencing their busiest day on Boxing Day. If you haven’t historically tracked this type of information, plan to keep track of your website’s history this year. Consider the cloud Talk to your hosting provider about what scenarios you may face over the holiday shopping season to see if a cloud solution can help you out. This could be bursting in to the public cloud to manage massive traffic spikes or utilising a private cloud to increase existing server utilisation. Over-prepare and build in redundancies to protect your revenue stream Determine your tolerance for downtime and then choose the back-up and recovery solution that best suits your needs. Look for a hosting provider with multiple data centres and the ability to back up to other locations. This will help to ensure your website is up and running when you need it to be. Provide shopping guides With a long list of friends and family to buy for and so many products to choose from, holiday shopping can be overwhelming at best. As part of your planning, think about creating shopping and buying guides to make it easy for shoppers visiting your website to make decisions when they’re not purchasing for themselves. This is your opportunity to showcase your products and demonstrate expertise, while giving customers a reason to buy from you instead of the manufacturer or another retailer. Think social If you are not already leveraging social media to help drive traffic to your website now is the time. As you plan for the holidays, spend some time establishing a presence and voice on social media sites such Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. Rather than jumping in to it all at once, choose one site to start with. Find out where your customers are active online and start there. Then, when you feel you’ve mastered one platform, add another. Be sure to have a plan before you start posting – how often will you post? What type of content will you be posting? And, most importantly, what are you trying to achieve by using social media? If you’re already using social media and have developed a solid following on a site such as Facebook or Twitter, consider trying out something new. Have you explored Pinterest? When it comes to e-commerce, every millisecond and every transaction matters to your bottom line. Don’t let poor site performance; unreliable infrastructure or security vulnerabilities derail the best-laid plans for online retail
Publication: Top Hosts Date: 20/12/2012
What’s in store for the Web Hosting Market in 2013? Dominic Monkhouse, EMEA MD and SVP Customer Experience at PEER 1 Hosting, has some big ideas for where web hosting is going in 2013. Let’s look into his crystal ball… · Getting heads out of the clouds and going hybrid Just because the cloud is new and sexy, it is not the answer for everyone, and a blend of dedicated and managed servers could still be the best option. There are cases where businesses are better off avoiding cloud. Relational databases don’t scale in a shared system, for one. Enterprise software runs into problems when moved to the cloud as the architectural and licensing limitations built into older products means they do not scale. Also, enterprise load balancing requirements are better suited to a physical environment rather than in an unnecessarily complex and expensive cloud setup. Because of this I foresee a reverse trend in some quarters – customers will make the move back to physical systems or a hybrid solution combining cloud and physical technologies. · Cloud hosting simplified This is already happening, but in 2013 the focus on grabbing the attention of technically illiterate business decision makers will intensify. Providers will do everything they can to help people understand how cloud works and get them to buy into it. · Getting rid of SLAs Service level agreements are the lowest common denominator – they are contracts that serve simply to allow the provider to be slow and lazy and frustrate the customer. Companies that manage to SLAs are going to be seen in the context of those that don’t and share their performance. Transparency is the key – everyone wants a fair and open deal, so expect to see more companies doing away with SLAs. · GPU cloud servers The increased availability and affordability of previously unimaginable levels of GPU power through the cloud is levelling the playing field across many industries. We’re getting closer and closer to a world where designers will naturally be rendering huge chunks of content at high speeds using their low spec MacBooks linked up to a GPU cloud server. · Web hosting service comes out of its shell If the technology behind web hosting is being simplified, do we still need to hire the patronising techies so prevalent in traditional IT departments? You may notice your web hosting consultant becomes more like-minded, more pleasant and ultimately more ‘human’ in 2013.
Publication: Ping! Zine Magazine Date: 20/12/2012
Web Hosting: What to Expect in 2013 Ping! Zine Editor Dec 20th, 2012 0 Comment
Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – Dominic Monkhouse, EMEA MD and SVP Customer Experience at PEER 1 Hosting, has some big ideas for where web hosting is going in 2013. Let’s look into his crystal ball…
Getting heads out of the clouds and going hybrid
Just because the cloud is new and sexy, it is not the answer for everyone, and a blend of dedicated and managed servers could still be the best option. There are cases where businesses are better off avoiding cloud. Relational databases don’t scale in a shared system, for one. Enterprise software runs into problems when moved to the cloud as the architectural and licensing limitations built into older products means they do not scale. Also, enterprise load balancing requirements are better suited to a physical environment rather than in an unnecessarily complex and expensive cloud setup. Because of this I foresee a reverse trend in some quarters – customers will make the move back to physical systems or a hybrid solution combining cloud and physical technologies.
Cloud hosting simplified
This is already happening, but in 2013 the focus on grabbing the attention of technically illiterate business decision makers will intensify. Providers will do everything they can to help people understand how cloud works and get them to buy into it.
Getting rid of SLAs
Service level agreements are the lowest common denominator – they are contracts that serve simply to allow the provider to be slow and lazy and frustrate the customer. Companies that manage to SLAs are going to be seen in the context of those that don’t and share their performance. Transparency is the key – everyone wants a fair and open deal, so expect to see more companies doing away with SLAs. PEER1hosting@championcomms.com Champion Communications Ltd. 3rd Floor Radiant House, 36-38 Mortimer Street, London, WIW 7RG
GPU cloud servers
The increased availability and affordability of previously unimaginable levels of GPU power through the cloud is levelling the playing field across many industries. We’re getting closer and closer to a world where designers will naturally be rendering huge chunks of content at high speeds using their low spec MacBooks linked up to a GPU cloud server.
Web hosting service comes out of its shell
If the technology behind web hosting is being simplified, do we still need to hire the patronising techies so prevalent in traditional IT departments? You may notice your web hosting consultant becomes more like-minded, more pleasant and ultimately more ‘human’ in 2013.
Publication: MicroScope Date: 21/12/2012
The datacentre combover Nick Booth
You can laugh if you want to but Bobby Charlton's hairstyle exemplifies everything about good cable management. In fact, if a man turns up for an interview in your datacentre with a long hair on one side of his head, which is swept across a bald patch, I suggest you sign him up immediately. He will hold the secrets to lowering your power bills, shrinking your carbon footprint and managing your connections efficiently. Like the ex Man United and England striker, your datacentre will be a powerhouse that never goes down easily.
In datacentres, you can judge how good a company's IT management is by the 'hairstyle' of its kit. I am indebted to Dominic Monkhouse, the MD of Peer 1 hosting, for this insight. The hairstyle of the kit is the pattern of cables coming out the back of the rack. An untidy rack, in which cables tumble out of the sockets willy-nilly, and some are allowed to be far too long, causing them to bunch up and tangle, aren't just an eyesore; they are a sign of a network manager or datacentre boss who is not on top of his game. If you visit a potential hosting partner, and you find what looks like a gonk hiding in a spaghetti tree growing in their hot aisle, this is a sign that the man in charge of your critical missions is a buffoon, according to Monkhouse. Unless the cables are all neatly labelled, and prettily bunched together with colour-coded ties, you're sleep-walking into the abyss. Your IT infrastructure, your company's life and indeed your entire future is in the hands of an incompetent. Monkhouse says he gives a bollocking to any datacentre manager with untidy filaments. He sounds like an old fashioned Sergeant Major: â€œAm I hurting you, son? Well I should be: I'm standing on your hair!â€? That may sound harsh, but it's fair. A messy panel indicates a slapdash management style which could lead to expensive mistakes, such as the wrong plug being pulled and extensive PEER1hosting@championcomms.com Champion Communications Ltd. 3rd Floor Radiant House, 36-38 Mortimer Street, London, WIW 7RG
periods of downtime as the hapless manager takes forever to work out which plug goes into which port. A messy cabling infrastructure raises the heat of a hot aisle too. Air becomes blocked and the lack of ventilation could raise server temperatures to dangerous levels. This means that the cooling system has to work harder to cool the environment down. Mark Hirst, T4 product manager with Cannon Technologies, says Bobby Charlton's influence could help here. By drawing all the cables across the closet, then pulling them down the side of the wiring closet, you not only neaten up the cabling, but you help to remove all obstacles for hot air flow. The heat is drawn out into the hot aisle and sucked up into the ceiling vents. That means the processors in the servers can be cooled more efficiently. The fans don't have to come on so often (and they consume 15% of the server's power) - which makes for good infrastructure management, lowers power bills and cuts the datacentre's carbon footprint. â€œAir control can be one of the first casualties of moves and changes, because a new cable will effectively punch a hole in any carefully created barrier,â€? says Hirst. So, in more ways than one, the Bobby Charlton haircut is synonymous with cool. If only its techniques could be used to protect the Amazon rainforest. Perhaps the Brazilians could deal with deforestation by growing trees really long at the perimeter of the jungle, and combing them across the bald patches in the middle. It might work. Or they could just build a datacentre there. They're all green these days, you know.
http://www.microscope.co.uk/opinion/The-datacentre-combover PEER1hosting@championcomms.com Champion Communications Ltd. 3rd Floor Radiant House, 36-38 Mortimer Street, London, WIW 7RG
Publication: Business Cloud 9 Date: 08/01/12
Welcome to 2013: The year of the Hybrid Cloud
It turned out Amazon couldn't let 2012 go without one more - this time, it was Netflix users that suffered from an outage. On Christmas eve, thousands of movie-fans were let down by the disruption of the moviestreaming service, which is hosted by Amazon Web Services. While Amazon apologised on Monday, it was only the latest in a number of outages the company had experienced throughout 2012. After the latest kerfuffle, Jim Darragh, CEO of Abiquo has said that putting all your Cloud eggs in one basket simply isn't good enough anymore. "Outages have led to a growing trend and discussion around the benefits of a hybrid solution using applications that span multiple clouds," he said. Darragh's comments followed the release of a new report from Gartner explaining that the hybrid Cloud will become an evermore attractive proposition in 2013 thanks in part to the issues that Amazon has had. He noted that existing technology can integrate disparate technologies both in and outside an organisation into a unified platform that allows the management of multiple Clouds - essentially preventing such widespread outages. This hybrid environment would allow administrators to monitor and manage an organisation's Cloud service more effectively.
Darragh also said that 2013 will see the hybrid model also evolve the industry of networks and routing software. Despite it's wobbles, Amazon has still boosted the idea of the hybrid model followed by the announcement of its Storage Gateway earlier this year, he pointed out. "[It] offers businesses the opportunity to cheaply store lots of data in its simple storage service while also keeping some data on premises. "Recently some of the leading companies in SSDs have introduced a new generation of products. When you combine that with Amazon’s storage strategy, businesses are suddenly spoilt for choice and can cost effectively run many tiers of storage. "As more and more businesses catch on to the benefits and cost savings this hybrid storage models can provide we should see a rise in adoption throughout 2013." Dominic Monkhouse, of PEER 1 Hosting also shared a similar view following the release of the report: "Just because the cloud is new and sexy, it is not the answer for everyone, and a blend of dedicated and managed servers could still be the best option," he said. "There are cases where businesses are better off avoiding cloud. Relational databases don’t scale in a shared system, for one. "Because of this I foresee a reverse trend in some quarters – customers will make the move back to physical systems or a hybrid solution combining cloud and physical technologies."
Publication: eseller media Date: 18/01/12
Sustain Christmas sales in January and beyond By Dan Matthews Leave a Comment
Dominic Monkhouse at PEER 1 Hosting
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) says online Christmas sales put in the strongest performance ever in December, rising by 17.8%, the fastest growth since December 2011. By Dominic Monkhouse at PEER 1 Hosting Why? Well, Helen Dickinson, Director General at British Retail Consortium, claims: “Shoppers are increasingly taking advantage of the convenience that online shopping offers at every stage of the customer journey”. Consumers no longer want to trawl the busy high street, fight the Christmas rush or queue for hours to purchase goods. And why would they when they can shop online from the comfort of their own home and have their gifts delivered to their door step? Having made it through the Christmas eCommerce traffic rush, January is the perfect time for online retailers to begin prolonging the success of the festive season and maximising on the online shopping trend. By maintaining the standards of customer service from the Christmas period and providing consumers with New Year promotions and discounts, online retailers can ensure consumers return to their websites and continue to spend throughout January and beyond. What better way is there to pull in buyers than offering fifty per cent off or free delivery? To take advantage of this opportunity, retailers need to ensure their websites are prepared to deliver the ultimate customer experience. Successful eCommerce is dependent on a smooth and enjoyable experience so it’s crucial to have a speedy and reliable site. PEER1hosting@championcomms.com Champion Communications Ltd. 3rd Floor Radiant House, 36-38 Mortimer Street, London, WIW 7RG
As reported by Compuware, 86% of consumers are less likely to return to a company’s website after a poor experience and 54% will abandon a site after one or two bad experiences. With this in mind, online retailers need to invest in the right technology solutions in order to meet the demand of online shoppers and ultimately sustain the success from the Christmas traffic rush. Integral to this is a strong and reliable infrastructure that will meet a retailer’s eCommerce needs and handle spikes in traffic. Knowing where and how a website is hosted is also critical to ensure site performance. So optimising the performance and scalability of the hosting infrastructure powering an eCommerce site is vital. Every transaction matters, as every purchase made equals revenue. It is therefore crucial for a retailer’s website to be secure, reliable and fast – in order for consumers to find what they want, when they want and ultimately purchase goods securely and with ease. With a steady platform and reliable infrastructure, online retailers can sit back and reap the benefits of eCommerce without having to worry about their sites crashing from an unexpected influx in web traffic or users having bad experiences. The key to sustaining eCommerce success is delivering an optimal customer experience. Once you have a sustainable platform in place, retailers can concentrate on creating an outstanding customer experience without worrying about the technology in the background.
Publication: Microscope Date: 23/01/12
Publication: Microscope Date: 29/01/13
Ten people you must talk to at Cloud Expo Nick Booth
You can tell this is a young industry because Dave Wright is considered a veteran and he's only just pushed past 30. It's only a matter of time before he's being described as a legend. The founder of Jungle Disk (and seller to Rackspace) and ground-shaker at the aforementioned hosting giant has started a new company which promises to turbo-boost the cloud computing industry. His new venture, SolidFire, offers an all SSD storage system for cloud providers, which should speed things up a bit. The Colorado based start up has recently signed a partnership deal with UK based Flexiant, and doubtless Wright is open to more UK partnerships.
Work with SolidFire and you will get more granular measures of storage performance and achieve higher levels of capacity, so your deployments will be a lot quicker, the vendor might argue. The hosting of applications and IT for SMEs is one of the biggest growth opportunities in the UK, say analysts at Gartner, Quocirca and Colocation Exchange. But you won't be able to hit your service level agreements (SLAs) unless you can turbo boost your storage. I'm sure there's a green argument for using SSD too. It we all go to SSD it would save us a fortune on electricity. Pulsant, on the other hand, is showcasing the first cloud service in the UK to be built around HPâ€™s latest Gen 8 servers. The Enterprise Cloud offers unlimited capacity and promises 'unrivalled' speed. Pulsant claims its Enterprise Cloud outperforms previous configurations and created a 50% increase in speed and a 20% reduction in power usage in a customer trial.
Abiquo, on stand 1033, will discuss its channel strategy for its cloud management platform which is aimed at UK enterprises. It's for partners who can integrate with additional third party infrastructure based technologies. PEER1 is exhibiting with its cloud partners OnApp and Tier 3, who they believe are the most exciting cloud companies out there at the moment. OnApp has just raised £12.6m in venture funding so CEO and founder Ditlev Bredahl is bound to be in a generous mood. Though OnApp is massive elsewhere (90% of its revenue comes from the US, APAC and Latin American markets) it's based in London. With twelve million quid burning a hole in his pocket, Bedahl is desperate to get some UK partners in on the action. The flagship product OnApp Cloud allows you to build a fully featured cloud hosting service in days. Another product OnApp CDN (Content Delivery Network) optimises website performance, while OnApp Storage aggregates the capacity of commodity physical disks into a virtual SAN. Bredahl says his channel strategy is, “to create four or five major partners and really spoil them.” Proact, Europe’s biggest storage integrators, is another company looking for partners for its Probox (file sharing for enterprise) managed cloud services programme. Meanwhile, Jacco van Achterberg, Nexenta sales Director, will talk his new Cloud Archive Plug-In which provides backup and restore capabilities for NexentaStor volumes to and from the specified cloud storage. Cloud identity management company OneLogin is launching in the UK at the event. It is recruiting partners to sell identity management alongside SaaS applications - traditional identity management solutions don't tend to cover these apps, so there is a market opportunity for resellers that are selling SaaS to their customers. Interoute will is launching its enterprise app store, backed up by its Virtual Data Centre. Get to stand 531 and quiz CTO Matthew Finnie about his reseller plans. Finally, John Considine, the CTO of Verizon Terremark is doing a keynote on the future of the cloud and can talk about Verizon’s cloud expansion plans. Maybe he can fill in the missing details of that mysterious Chinese outsourcing story we reported last week...
Publication: Real Business Date: 04/01/13
PEER 1 Hosting's Dominic Monkhouse on the pain of bad customer service and the importance of keeping a "screw them" fund.
Name: Dominic Monkhouse Role and company: EMEA Managing Director and SVP Customer Experience at PEER 1 Hosting. Our European HQ is in Southampton, which is where I’m based. Essentially my job is to ensure that customers are our number one priority. Company turnover (and most recent ebitda/most relevant profitability metric): £23m annualised EMEA revenues Employee numbers: 105 in the UK Growth forecast for the next three years: We’re looking to double our business over the next two to three years. In under 50 words, what makes your business distinctive in its marketplace: We’re more like a hospitality company than a technology company. Our approach, our people and the service we provide is akin to a top class hotel. What we sell is a commodity but we deliver it in a world-class way. What's the big vision for your business? PEER1hosting@championcomms.com Champion Communications Ltd. 3rd Floor Radiant House, 36-38 Mortimer Street, London, WIW 7RG
We don’t want to be the biggest, we just want to be the best. We want to be compared to the best service companies across all sectors, and be recognised globally as the best hosting company in the world. Current level of international business, and future aspirations: We serve 13,000 customers in 190 countries and our business will continue to expand internationally. Biggest career setback and what you learned from it: Getting fired for the first time was awful. I was fired from a restaurant when I was young and the experience taught me that you should always have enough money in your account so that you go to work as a volunteer, rather than relying on a salary. I call this the "screw them" fund. No one should ever have to put up with being treated badly just for a salary at the end of the month. What makes you mad in business today? Terrible customer service! I must rant at at least one person every day because of the bad service they’ve provided. Either it’s an individual or a business that has a system that clearly hasn’t been built for human beings. People who don’t want to interact with people shouldn’t be in the service game. What will be the biggest change in your market in the next three years? Hosting has only been around for 10 years but I can see it becoming a bit faster, a bit cheaper and more consolidated. Right now there are about 35,000 hosting companies and judging by the way the market is developing, there will definitely be fewer in the future. PEER 1 Hosting is one of the major global players in the industry, despite this consolidation. Can businesses in your sector/industry access the finance they need to grow? If not, what can be done to improve things? Yes, they can. Our industry is awash with more money than it knows what to do with. Venture capitalists are piling into it. How would others describe your leadership style? My staff would say I’m empowering, inspirational, passionate and straight-talking. Your biggest personal extravagance? When I open my wardrobe in the morning I’m always amazed that I own more than three pairs of shoes. I don’t buy much but when I do I try to buy good quality products. From where I’ve come, this still seems like an extravagance to me.
You've got two minutes with the prime minister. Tell him how best to set the UK's independent, entrepreneurial businesses free to prosper: Stop taxing the hell out of small businesses! Let them generate an income and invest in growing their business. Large companies like Google and Starbucks are getting away with murder and small companies are being hit with big taxes – it’s not right. Also, the benefits system should work for people and not against them so that if you want to work, your benefits don’t disappear. For example, Germany’s part time jobs system is thriving because people can work and receive benefits too. If we copied that model it would suddenly open up a large pool of part time workers which small businesses could tap into
http://realbusiness.co.uk/article/16811-dominic-monkhouse PEER1hosting@championcomms.com Champion Communications Ltd. 3rd Floor Radiant House, 36-38 Mortimer Street, London, WIW 7RG
Publication: Employee Benefits Date: February 2013
Peer 1 Hosting offers perks to attract top talent By Rebecca Patton
Web hosting firm ensures its benefits create an attractive workplace A benefits package that attracts and retains the most talented staff while reducing employee costs is at the core of web hosting provider Peer 1 Hosting’s reward strategy. Designed primarily by managing director Dominic Monkhouse, the package has remained the same since the organisation’s UK operations started up in 2009. “I think if you have low staff turnover and recruitment costs are reduced, then the benefits just cost nothing in comparison to what you are gaining,” says Monkhouse. “You just have to take a holistic view.” Kate Little, people partner at Peer 1, says the strategy to retain staff is certainly working, because the first four employees hired in 2009 still work for the firm. Peer 1 Hosting currently has 90 UK staff at offices in London, Portsmouth and Southampton and is looking to recruit 20 more. The organisation’s aim is to expand while retaining a close-knit feel. Monkhouse would prefer each office not to exceed about 120 employees. This helps to ensure the company is hiring the best talent because anyone not doing their job properly cannot hide in a large workforce, he says. “Our aim is not to be the biggest hosting company in the world; we just want to be the best,” he explains. Exit pay To check that new staff are happy, two weeks after they have joined, Monkhouse asks them whether they think they have made the right choice in working for Peer 1 Hosting. The employee is then offered £1,000 to leave there and then if they feel they have made the wrong choice, no questions asked. It is a benefit no one has taken up yet, says Monkhouse. Peer 1 Hosting uses its benefits to impress and help recruit the very best ‘A players’, says Monkhouse. For example, the Southampton workforce is due to move offices on 4 March and the
company has fitted out the new premises with slides, an indoor garden, a treehouse, a woodburning pizza oven and an outside patio area. Monkhouse adds: “We want everyone who walks through the door for an interview to want to work here.” The organisation offers its core benefits to employees after they have completed 90 days’ service. These include matched employer contributions of up to 4% to its contract-based defined contribution (DC) pension scheme; medical, dental and travel insurance; and a flexible benefits scheme through which staff can use a salary sacrifice arrangement to upgrade insurances, buy childcare vouchers or join the bikes-for-work scheme. Peer 1 also covers the cost of an on-site gym at its Portsmouth office and employees at the Southampton office each receive £25 a monthtowards gym membership. Meanwhile, Londonbased staff that joined the organisation under Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (Tupe) regulations after Peer 1’s acquisition of Netbenefit in 2012 receive a slightly more generous gym membership benefit as set out in contracts with their previous employer. After six months with the organisation, employees are also entitled to death-in-service at fourtimes their basic salary and income protection insurance which will pay 65% of their salary for up to five years. Core benefit entitlements Monkhouse says it is important for staff to use their core benefit entitlements when needed, even if it takes some prompting from the organisation to ensure they do. “I have to say there is a bit of nannying involved,” he says. “The core benefits are offered free for staff, but they do have to tick the box to say they want to use them. “We found out last year that four staff members who would have been entitled to private medical cover and needed it during the course of the year had not ticked the box. This year, we made sure of sending a note to all employees reminding them to tick the box.” Even if an employee has forgotten to tick the core benefits box, Peer 1 is likely to try to help them out if it can. Little says: “We had one member of staff who injured her knee in a cycling accident and it was affecting her quality of life massively. Unfortunately, she thought she had ticked the medical cover box but hadn’t, so we looked internally and found the £1,000 budget for her to go and sort out the problem.” Peer 1 Hosting also offers staff a range of smaller, low-cost benefits such as a beer fridge, pool table and putting green, which helps to create a fun atmosphere in the office. It also runs a dressup-smart day each month and if any employee forgets to dress up, they have to make a £10 donation to charity. Monkhouse says: “The putting green mats cost less than carpet tiles to install, but it is something that everyone remembers.” Peer 1 also encourages employees to come up with ideas that will benefit the whole office. As long as the cost is below £100, they can implement the idea and charge it on expenses without needing management approval. “Our head of customer experience bought Nerf guns, which has created a Nerf war in the office,” says Little.
Personal responsibility The company also uses benefits to promote a sense of personal responsibility among staff. When each employee starts work at Peer 1 Hosting, they are given a black book in which they are asked to note any changes they would make at the organisation. In employees’ first six months with Peer 1, Monkhouse has lunch with each of them at least six times to discuss the suggestions they have noted down. He also asks employees to look at any rules the company uses when dealing with customers and point out any that they think do not make sense. Last year, employees were paid £10 for each nonsensical rule they found. When Monkhouse repeated this exercise with the US office, he received 200 responses. “A lot of staff will have been thinking about this for a long time and are really glad to be asked,” says Monkhouse. “We will work through them all and pay out a few thousand dollars, but it will be the best money we have ever spent because the impact on all those people is that they have taken that pebble out of their shoe. “Hopefully, over the next few months when anything else crops up, they will let us know and we can fix it.” Although Monkhouse hopes to keep each of Peer 1’s locations small-scale to ensure everyone feels part of the team, there have been efforts to bring the global business together through its ‘Team Awesome’ scheme. This is a global recognition scheme to reward employees who have upheld the organisation’s values. An employee can nominate another member of staff from any office around the world for an award and if that person wins, they receive gift vouchers. Little says: “At the locations we have, a quick ‘thank you’ is great but Team Awesome can get the impact on the individual. It is about being one company. PEER 1 HOSTING AT A GLANCE
Peer 1 Hosting was established in 1999 in Vancouver, Canada and hosted websites such as blog site Word Press and YouTube before it was bought by Google. It operates 20 offi ces globally, including in the US, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Portsmouth and London. The UK operations were opened in 2009 in Southampton, followed by the opening of a data centre in Portsmouth in 2011. In July 2012, the company acquired another hosting business, Netbenefit, which helped to take its European revenue to £25 million last year, an increase of about 140% on 2011, says managing director Dominic Monkhouse. In December 2012, it was announced that Peer 1 Hosting is to be purchased by Canadian cable provider Cogeco Cable.
Dominic Monkhouse has been managing director since Peer 1 Hosting’s UK operations opened in January 2009. He was the driving force in getting the office initially based in Southampton rather than London. “We are in Southampton because I have run other IT companies in and around London and getting staff turnover under 20% there is really hard, even if you are good at it,” he says. “Staff turnover here in Southampton has been much lower.” Monkhouse also holds the position of senior vice-president of customer service at the organisation Before joining Peer 1 Hosting, Monkhouse was managing director at IT Lab, which he helped to transform from a support agency to an IT service provider. He also served as managing director at web hosting organisation Rackspace. Before his roles in IT, Monkhouse worked in sales for pharmaceutical company Glaxo and in store management at Marks and Spencer.
Kate Little has been people partner at Peer 1 Hosting for six months after falling into HR by accident, she says. She took a position in HR administration with recruitment company aap3 in 2005. She was then promoted to HR adviser before achieving the position of HR business partner in 2010. “I wanted a new challenge and when I came for my interview with Dominic at Peer 1 Hosting, he asked me what my ideal job would be,” says Little. “I said it would be working with good people and facing huge challenges, and that is where I am today. It was a huge opportunity I couldn’t possibly turn down.” Little says her biggest current challenge is finding the time to handle all the organisation’s recruitment needs. “We can’t hire people quickly enough,” she says
CASE STUDY: Donya Fitzsimmons, business development consultant Donya Fitzsimmons, a business development consultant, has been with Peer 1 Hosting for two years. She values the organisation’s bikes-for-work scheme because it provides her with a means of getting to work and allows her to take part in fundraising activities. “I live in Salisbury, which is about 27 miles to and from work, so when the weather is OK I try to cycle to work at least once a week and I also use the bike at weekends,” she says. “We do a lot of charity work at the company, with our second charity bike ride taking place in April this year.” Fitzsimmons says there are other smaller benefits the organisation offers that staff value, such as free food days, which take place on the last day before employees are paid. She adds that one of the biggest benefits of working for Peer 1 Hosting is the people and the culture. THE BENEFITS Employees are entitled to core benefits after 90 days with the organisation. Pension
Defined contribution (DC) scheme. Peer 1 Hosting will match employee contributions up to 4%. Insurances
Private medical insurance. Dental insurance. Death-in-service: four-times basic salary, available after six months’ service. Income protection after six months’ service. Pays 65% of basic salary for up to five years. Individual travel insurance. Flexible benefits
Employees can sacrifice 2% of salary to extend medical and dental insurance to include partners and family and screening services, and upgrade travel insurance to include winter sports coverage. Salary sacrifice arrangements available for childcare vouchers and bikes for work. Other benefits
Gym membership. One-off reimbursement of up to £275 on gym equipment for home. Reimbursement for training courses of up to £3,500 a year. Holiday purchase of up to five extra days a year. Days off for long service. Two volunteering days a year on full pay http://www.employeebenefits.co.uk/benefits/staff-motivation/peer-1-hosting-offers-perks-toattract-top-talent/101151.article
Publication: The WHIR Date: 06/03/13
Interactive Map of the Internet App Shows How Networks Connect in 3D
PEER 1 has launched a fascinating new mobile app that shows a 3D visualization of all the networks worldwide that interconnect to form the Internet. Called The Map of the Internet, the app is really responsive, and allows you to see a network or global view of all the nodes on the Internet. The colored dots represent an Internet exchange point, large or small ISP, university, network information center or an organization network. You can type in a domain, company or ISP to locate it on the map. It is interesting to locate yourself on the map, and then move around from that point to see the networks that are interconnected around you. You can also do a traceroute from your location to any node on the Internet. The app includes a timeline feature that shows historical moments in Internet history. Dragging your finger along the line lets you see just how quickly the Internet has grown. The Map of the Internet is free in the Google Play Store and iTunes, and while Iâ€™ve been using it on my phone, I think it would look better on a tablet. Visualizations of what the Internet looks like are relevant to anyone who uses it, and while the app is clearly a great marketing tool for PEER 1, itâ€™s simply fun to use. Last year, the Internet Map creator Ruslan Enikeev had a hard time paying for his bandwidth after his site got so much traffic.
Talk back: Have you downloaded the Map of the Internet by PEER 1 app yet? Will you? Let us know in a comment.
About Nicole Henderson Nicole Henderson is the Editor in Chief of the Web Host Industry Review where she covers daily news and features online, as well as in print. She has a bachelor of journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto. You can find her on Twitter@NicoleHenderson.
Publication: Creative Bloq Date: 07/03/13
Interactive 3D app charts map of the internet It's alive! Free app 'Map of the Internet' offers a 3D visualisation of the world’s networks and how they are connected... The 'Map of the Internet' app serves as an educational tool for the hosting industry Ever wondered
how the internet works? Chances are, you probably have a rough idea but what if you could trace routes, track down networks and calculate the time it takes for the data to travel between two locations? One of the internet's leading web hosting providers, PEER 1 has decided to provide something a little extra - a brand new app that showcases the world's networks and how they are connected. The free 'Map of the Internet' app for iPad and iPhone serves as an educational tool for the hosting industry, academia and everyone interested in networking and the physical infrastructure of the internet.
Where Google began Users can see where popular companies like Google and Facebook are located on the internet, as well as when such companies first appeared online. In addition to showcasing the internet’s history, the app allows users to see how the internet will evolve between now and 2020. Robert Miggins, senior vice president, business development, PEER 1 Hosting said: “We’re passionate about the internet and continue to look for ways to demonstrate and share that with the world; the Map of the Internet app exemplifies those efforts.” You can download the Map of the Internet via the iTunes app store. http://www.creativebloq.com/app/interative-internet-app-3d-delight-3132096
Publication: Computer Business Review Date: 08/03/13
UK's PEER 1 data centre boosts performance with Juniper technology CBR Staff Writer Published 08 March 2013 Web hosting provider PEER 1 has selected Juniper networks' integrated routing, switching and security technology in its UK data The centre aims to offer its customers carrier-grade performance. Juniper's technology claims to help PEER 1 reduce the downtime in its green data centre located in Portsmouth by about 33% when compared to previous systems. The new network decreases energy consumption, enhances processing power and lower data centre rack space usage while boosting internet services performance and security, the company said. Juniper networks senior vice president for strategy and marketing, Mike Marcellin, said that the PEER 1's new network will help the company expand its footprint in the UK and Europe to satisfy customer demands for high-quality service. "The implementation of the Junos operating system across its Juniper infrastructure will deliver operational simplicity and offer ease of management across PEER 1's 18 facilities by reducing the time and effort required to plan, deploy and operate a network and security infrastructure," Marcellin said.
Publication: Datacentre Dynamics Date: 07/03/13
PEER 1 DEPLOYS JUNIPER GEAR AT UK DATA CENTER Announcement: Switches, routers, security installed at Portsmouth facility 7 March 2013 by DatacenterDynamics FOCUS
Juniper CEO Kevin Johnson
Peer 1 has deployed switches, routers and security technology by Juniper at its UK data center, the network vendor announced Thursday. The data center services provider deployed the above as an integrated solution at the facility located in Portsmouth. All solutions run Juniper's Junos operating system, which, the vendor says, makes the technology simpler to operate. Dominic Monkhouse, managing director, EMEA, at Peer 1, said the company deployed the solutions to support its rapid growth. “ Juniper's innovation has enabled us to provide the highest level of secure user services at very low levels of energy consumption,” he said. The networking gear includes EX-series Ethernet switches with Virtual Chassis technology as distribution devices beneath the core level handling most of its routing changes. The Virtual Chassis technology enables multiple interconnected switches to operate as a single logical device. Juniper's MX-series 3D universal edge routers interconnect to Peer 1's FastFiber Network and to the London Internet Exchange (LINX) for high-speed Internet access. The routers have been used at Peer 1's edge and core levels terminating transport links and learning global routing tables. On the security side, Peer 1 deployed Juniper's SRX-series services gateways, which consolidate multiple security services on a single platform, according to Juniper.
Juniper adds mobile operators into SDN approach Brocade board appoints ex-Juniper COO to replace Klayko Juniper security turnaround on track, says CEO http://www.datacenterdynamics.com/focus/archive/2013/03/peer-1-deploys-juniper-gear-uk-data-center
Publication: Channel EYE Date: 12/03/13
PEER 1 Hosting makes King a
Channel chieftain Moving People, News | tags: appointments, EMEA Channel Executive, Mark King, PEER 1 Hosting March 12, 2013 by Andrea Petrou.
PEER 1 Hosting has appointed Mark King its EMEA Channel Executive. The global IT hosting provider has said that Mark will lead the EMEA channel programme, with his efforts focused on nurturing PEER 1 Hosting’s existing partnerships as well as bringing on board new partners who can join in building on its rapid growth. Mark worked with companies like Avnet in the IBM Business Unit. He says he is now keen to “drive dialogue between PEER 1 Hosting partners to ignite collaboration and enable them to develop intrinsic skills to advise, build, sell and integrate solutions together”, The appointment follows a recent announcement by PEER1 Hosting, which has expanded its strategic alliance programme. It claims that its partners who consult, build and deliver business critical services to medium and large organisations are vital to PEER 1 Hosting. http://channeleye.co.uk/peer-1-hosting-makes-king-a-channel-chieftain/
Publication: Channel Pro Date: 12/03/13
PEER 1 announces channel chief People Mar 12, 2013 Share on printShare on emailShare on stumbleuponShare on twitter
Avnet Mark King joins PEER 1 from Avnet
IT hosting provider PEER 1 Hosting has appointed former IBM specialist at Avnet, Mark King, as its new EMEA channel executive, responsible for leading the firm’s channel programme. King (pictured) says his aims are “to make PEER 1 as simple to work with as possible and understand what the cloud really means to our partners. PEER 1 can help our partners build the right solutions and take the right messages to market.” Having recently expanded its strategic alliance programme, PEER 1 Hosting says it is finding particular growth in verticals such as eCommerce, digital agencies, gaming and rich media and web/mobile application providers. Mike Mayer, global channel director, PEER 1 Hosting says King was the clear choice to lead our channel team in EMEA: “He has a clear understanding of the industry, our partners, and the elements that will lead us to success in EMEA. Our growth in EMEA is tremendous and we needed a channel leader who could embrace our fast pace environment while delivering an exceptional partner experience. Mark King is delivering just that.” In addition to its 19 datacentres and 21 points of presence across North America and EMEA, PEER 1 Hosting has formed relationships with partners such as Magento and Tier 3; companies that specialise in delivering ecommerce and cloud solutions to businesses. http://www.channelpro.co.uk/people/7633/peer-1-announces-channel-chief
Publication: CRN Date: March 2013
Publication: Datacentre Solutions Date: March
Publication: IT Europa Date: 12/03/13
12 Mar 13
Peer-1 pulls in Avnet's King PEER 1 Hosting has named ex-Avnet's Mark King as its new EMEA Channel Executive. He will lead the EMEA channel programme, with his efforts focused on nurturing PEER 1 Hosting’s existing partnerships as well as bringing on board new partners who can join in building on its rapid growth. Having formerly worked at Avnet in the IBM Business Unit, he is keen to drive dialogue between PEER 1 Hosting partners to ignite collaboration and enable them to develop intrinsic skills to advise, build, sell and integrate solutions together. Having recently announced it has expanded its strategic alliance programme, PEER 1 Hosting’s channel partnerships are growing from strength to strength, with particular expertise in verticals such as eCommerce, digital agencies, gaming and rich media and web/mobile application providers. In an industry where partners are often treated as revenue streams and not true business partners, PEER 1 Hosting prides itself on being different, it says. Partners who consult, build and deliver business critical solutions to medium and large organisations are vital to PEER 1 Hosting. These are the partners that share the core beliefs of adding value via solutions and service support to the customer. In addition to offering 19 data centres and 21 points of presence across North America and EMEA, through its partnerships PEER 1 Hosting says it can design, build and manage optimised platforms. PEER 1 Hosting has formed relationships with partners such as Magento and Tier 3; companies that specialise in delivering ecommerce and cloud solutions to businesses. Mike Mayer, Global Channel Director, PEER 1 Hosting says, “Our growth in EMEA is tremendous and we needed a channel leader who could embrace our fast pace environment while delivering an exceptional partner experience.” Mark King, says, “PEER 1 understands the challenges its partners face and focuses on adding value to their business. My aims are to make PEER 1 as simple to work with as possible and understand what the cloud really means to our partners. PEER 1 can help our partners build the right solutions and take the right messages to market
http://www.iteuropa.com/News/2013/March/Peer-1-pulls-in-Avnet-s-King.aspx PEER1hosting@championcomms.com Champion Communications Ltd. 3rd Floor Radiant House, 36-38 Mortimer Street, London, WIW 7RG
Publication: Microscope Date: 15/03/13 NEWS
PEER1 Hosting seeks Olympian talent Alex ScroxtonPublished: 15 Mar 2013
It may seem like a bit of a leap from the roar of an Olympic crowd to the placid hum of a datacentre, but Dominic Monkhouse, EMEA managing director of hosting and cloud services provider PEER1 Hosting reckons that former athletes are well-suited to a career in the channel. Citing BBC Sport research suggesting that nearly a fifth of the 553 athletes who represented Team GB in London last summer are either job-hunting having quit their sports for a variety of reasons, PEER1 said that it sees an opportunity to take advantage of their skills and determination. “To hear about so many athletes struggling to find employment seems totally ridiculous and a complete waste of talent,” explained Monkhouse. “These are people who push themselves to the limit in order to achieve one of the highest sporting accolades – and attributes such as determination and a drive to succeed make them exactly the kind of people I want,” he added. The firm has in fact already hired one former athlete - although she did not take to the stage at London 2012. PEER1 business development consultant Donya Fitzsimmons has, however, competed as a gymnast for Great Britain in the World Championships. "Now thriving in the business development team here in Southampton, she demonstrates why ex-athletes have the exact qualities we look for in our company," said Monkhouse “I have always had a very competitive nature,” Fitzsimmons said. “This has helped me fit in to the team well…. I would recommend any athletes out there to get in touch – it’s such a waste of talent otherwise.”
http://www.microscope.co.uk/news/2240179641/PEER1-Hosting-seeksOlympian-talent PEER1hosting@championcomms.com Champion Communications Ltd. 3rd Floor Radiant House, 36-38 Mortimer Street, London, WIW 7RG
Publication: Microscope Date: March 2013
Five Minute Interview: Mike Mayer, PEER 1 Tell us what you do for a living. I am the global director for PEER 1 Hosting’s worldwide channel organisation Why are you the right person for this job? I think it is less about me and more about the leadership team at PEER 1 Hosting as a whole. The development of a strong channel depends on the keen understanding of how the ecosystem works and how to make it work. The datacentre continues to evolve and we see more customers moving from on premise/in house datacentres to cloud and on-demand resources. This evolution requires expert consultation and a strong alliance among partners to deliver the right solution the first time around. There is a lot of trust required to making these alliances successful from all parties involved. We are a very ‘human’ company; we believe in our people and customer’s experience always comes first. I believe partners that value customer experience above all else will continue to be drawn to us and we strive to deliver nothing but exceptional results.
What gets you up in the morning? Well, my children usually! Aside from that, I am fortunate in that everything I set out to do each day is toward a greater good. I have a great job and I bring people (customers and partners) together to improve their business and better serve their customers. It’s hard not to get excited about that each day. The demand on PEER 1 Hosting from our partners is great these days. It seems like every day we are celebrating another big partnership or win. That is a fantastic place to be in. Who helped you get to where you are today? Oh, there are too many people to thank. I have been fortunate to have some great mentors and inspiring leaders over my life and my career but I would have to say it’s my children who teach me the most. Running the channel is sometimes a lot like keeping the peace in my PEER1hosting@championcomms.com Champion Communications Ltd. 3rd Floor Radiant House, 36-38 Mortimer Street, London, WIW 7RG
home: Listen to everyone, make everyone feel special, don’t hurt anyone, but above all else look for ways to have fun together. If you enjoy what you do the money follows and success is certainly contagious. Partners want to be part of a winning team just like people do; you just need to have the right environment to encourage this culture. I think PEER 1 Hosting does a pretty good job at this. What is the best or worst business advice you have received, and from whom? The best advice was from my father. He used to ask me “What did you do well today, Michael?” Sometimes we can get wrapped up in the downtrodden and forget about the good things we do. Learning from your mistakes is an important lesson but remembering the good allows you to take risks and not fear failure. It also allows you to see the good in other people and situations. The worst advice I received was to be the manager I was asked to be versus the manager I wanted to be. You cannot change who you are. While there are certainly areas for improvement in my career I would rather fail being the leader that I thought was best for the company and people than succeed being someone I was not. What advice would you give to someone starting out in IT? Be a constant learner. Don’t be satisfied with what you know. Look for new ways of doing things and trust your instinct on industry trends. There will always be a need for balance. One size certainly does not fit all when it comes to the channel
What does the next five years hold for the channel? The channel has evolved but in many ways it remains the same. It is a partner ecosystem which finds ways to service the customer. Some partners will try to service everything and others will team up where it makes sense. I think there will always be a need for balance. One size certainly does not fit all when it comes to the channel. I expect PEER 1 Hosting’s channel to grow significantly over the next five years but I intend to stay true to our core values. Tell us something most people do not know about you I used to write poetry and have been published several times. I was first published at the age of 13. What goal do you have to achieve before you die, and why? I want to see my children achieve their goals. To me, that is the mark of whether I succeeded in this life. What is the best book you have ever read? The First 90 Days by Michael Watkins - a great reminder for new leaders. PEER1hosting@championcomms.com Champion Communications Ltd. 3rd Floor Radiant House, 36-38 Mortimer Street, London, WIW 7RG
And the worst film you have ever seen? The Tuxedo What would be your desert island MP3s? I like variety in my music, from reggae, to classical, to alternative. Variety is the spice of life. Today I have been enjoying Phoenix, Snow Patrol and Jack Johnson. What temptation can you not resist? A cake ball. Though I am not a regular eater of sweets there is something about them that I cannot turn down. What was your first car and how does it compare with what you drive now? The Buick Century, a simple car with 120,000 miles on the clock. I still drive a sedan today (itâ€™s a Mercedes). Safety is a little more important to me these days.
If you could be any animal for a day, what would you be and why? I am a fan of the dolphin. They always look happy to me and they get to do cool tricks under and above the water. If you could take part in one event in the Olympics, which would you choose and why? Well I am not sure I would be a good representative but the luge would be exciting for me. The thrill and excitement of traveling at that speed would be exhilarating. And finally, a grizzly bear and a silverback gorilla are getting ready for a no-holds-barred rumble. Who is your money on and why? I give the grizzly the edge. He gets more sleep.
http://www.microscope.co.uk/feature/Five-Minute-Interview-Mike-Mayer-PEER-1 PEER1hosting@championcomms.com Champion Communications Ltd. 3rd Floor Radiant House, 36-38 Mortimer Street, London, WIW 7RG