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Cloud Computing in 2017

Posted by The Daw On December - 20 - 2016

This happens each and every year. Various experts, media and corporations feed publishers and crete buzz about each and everything that is about to come next year. This article is focused on Cloud Computing and what to expect from major clouds in 2017. Don’t take it very seriously, it is a suggestion only. However, we will be happy if you bookmark this article and come back next year to find out how good was B10WH’s projection.

Your Cloud Computing Bill Would Increase

Well, corporations love to take more of your money on monthly basis. Most companies who use Cloud computing are under contracts. Upon expiration, Cloud users would expect 3% – 5% increase of their monthly costs. The annual “price hikes” are put into contract and many companies (Equinix in the U.S. for example) would increase your monthly bill in January with few percent. The service will not get better, that’s for sure (I do not mean Equinix, they are good enough).

You Will Be Chased By Reckless Sales Agents

If you are really lucky, you’d might find a way to stop Sales guys and don’t allow them to make you believe that you “need” any Cloud computing service or product you haven’t had an idea about 5 minutes ago. In fact, it is very much about our judgement and the salesman on the line. We must admit that not all sales person are irresponsible and careless, at least not all the time. However, it is a very good idea not to trust them in December (or probably in any 4th quarter) when they are focused solely on the commission and bounced they’d earn. If you need to buy anything at the end of the year or if you just allowed yourself to get caught by one, it is probably the time to get a very, very good deal for yourself. So, just imagine you are a Donald Trump kind of a guy and try to be a tough negotiator. This might get you a very good deal or might ruin your chances to sign one. If you actually don’t need anything a failed deal would be a good deal, it will save you money.

More Public, Private & Hybrid Clouds in 20017

The terms “Public Cloud” and “Private Cloud” sound a bit foolish, especially when you are told that “Private Cloud” mean that the installation, applications and services that run on the virtualized computing instance are created for internal use, while “Public Cloud” is a computing instance build to be accessible for anyone. Whoever, came up with the terms doesn’t have a really bright idea. However, it was a successful one, as the industry adopted those terms.

According to research firm Gartner Inc., the public cloud services market is projected is growing by 17.2% in 2016 to total $208.6 billion ($178 billion in 2015). The projection was released in September 2016. In 2017 more businesses will move their in-house computer tasks and installations into data centers, something which is called “Cloud”.  It makes sense, as any well-secured “Private Cloud” would save financial resources and would add make any business more flexible. It probably means longer work day, which is not that bad in those companies that pay overtime. It also means that many of us would spend less time commuting and more time home with the families.

Providers are pushing for Hybrid Cloud (a Cloud computing instance that works for public use and for internal use), which makes sense for them is it saves them money on Cloud infrastructure and optimizes their production costs. However, in many scenarios a Hybrid Cloud might work great for small businesses and would help pa company to digitalize its business and optimize operations at reasonably low cost.

One thing, which is important is to look forward and negotiate lowest possible pricing on Cloud expansion and resource increase.

Anyone’s ability to negotiate the best Cloud technology service at a reasonably low price is crucial for the internal innovation level for any business. Why?

Cost Savings, Technology Innovation & Agility

High prices and the technology aspect of Cloud computing adoption are the main concerns for most small business owners. People are used to traditional computing and perpetual software license. They are easy to understand and their costs are not hard to project and control.

However, the new computing technologies create innovations. The number of software producers who offer their applications on the software-as-aservice-model, rather than selling perpetual licenses is increasing. many industries are getting to a point where the best business automation tools are available only as hosted subscription services. If our competitors can afford to use the best software products hosted on the Cloud, while we are struggling to find a decent self-hosted alternative, it is very likely that we’d find our business less productive and loose market share.

Look at the price of any Cloud service in comparative way. If it is a bit more expensive that we are willing to pay, we should think about what value it brings for you business.

Cloud Is Regionalizing

it is not a good idea to jump on Amazon, Microsoft, HP, IBM or any other of the “major Clouds”. They are expensive and the value rate, compared to the cost is much lower than their alternatives – smaller, regional Clouds. Unless you represent a big corporation which needs to have specific clauses in the contract and is ready to pay premium for them, going with any major clouds just does not make sense.

It is very likely that we’d discover we’ve signed a bad deal wit any of the large cloud provider when we need support. Being transferred between departments , you ticket being “escalated” a number of time before anyone would bring resolution would kill small or medium size business. So, we’d better find any local, small or middle-sized Cloud infrastructure provider, discuss our project with them and ask for a short monthly or quarterly contract to start with. Contractual flexibility is very important and it prevents any possible disputes or financial losses.

Vendor Lock-in Cloud Platforms & Services

In the pre-Cloud era, companies used to buy equipment and to colocate it in data centers. Most of them still do that. However, within the last few years various experts argue that the total cost of ownership is relatively low for leased computing capacity. This is true in a short-term contracts and project with a time frame of up to 2 years.

Before the introduction of the Cloud computing concept in the IT hosting industry there was a clear division between Infrastructure Hosting providers, Software producers and Managed Service providers. These days there are a growing number of software producers, who offer their apps as hosted Sofware-as-a Service solutions. This means that they build their own IT service ecosystem and control the whole lifecycle: Product installation and configuration, Technical support and troubleshooting of their own application; Infrastructure Hosting  service and Management service (System administration).

Once client moves to any proprietary software platform, it is virtually impossible or at least time consuming and very costly to migrate or change the provider. So it is very important that:

Businesses avoid vendor lock-in Cloud Apps and services or work out a technical scenario on how to migrate their services, operations and whole data to any other platform or provider.

The best section on the Cloud would be to avoid proprietary vendor lock-in services. What dos this mean? In Infrastructure Hosting this means that the company is safe to use VMware, Xen or any other Cloud platform, as long as it is clear that the computing infrastructure could be migrated without hassle and the company would switch to another provider.

Software Defined Infrastructure Services

it sounds a bit confusing to mix software with the infrastructure services, but this is very much what certain part of virtualized environments and Cloud computing is about. We’d expect to use IT services delivered from a software-defined, virtual environments that comprise of integrated compute resources, data storage and networking. It is very likely that in 2017 or in a couple of years a small, but powerful server box would replace all the appliances – servers, switches, routers, firewalls – in the corporate branches and all services they produce would be delivered from software applications that run in one appliance.

There is a term for this “Hyperconvergence”, it is quite perplexing t say something like “We can expect more hyperconvergence in 2017, but complete solutions are still some distance away”, isn’t it?

That’s it. There are many other things to be said about the development of Cloud computing technologies and services in 2017, but this has never been planned to be very detailed. I hope that 2017 would bring you success with or without Cloud computing.

What People Think About Google Pagerank?

Posted by The Daw On December - 23 - 2009

a-question-about-pagerankThose of you who read regularly my Daw Web Hosting Blog, know that when I have time I like reading WebHostingTalk forums. Why? Because you can find a lot of valuable information about web hosting industry there. What WHT members talk about is important to anyone who want to understand and analyze the processes in web hosting industry and the consumer behavior in general. Today i have found an interesting thread. It is titled “Does PageRank Matter Any More?”. Let look over it.

“I’ve read some people say that page rank still matters and matters a lot, and other people say it doesn’t matter at all. Personally I think it is simply one of many factors, and there are other factors that are much more important”, wrote a newbie WHT member nicknamed “ItzGoTyme”. The user also said that some of those factors “include how competitive the keywords you are targeting are”, how well you have chosen them, what your title is, the quality and anchors on your links, and how long your site has been around”.

What is funny is that after the WHT newbie “ItzGoTyme” got to the topic he did something very strange. Read it below:

But actually, you don’t have to answer my question about page rank… in fact I don’t want you to. I have seen many posters here and on other forums that I think are so anxious to spew out a bunch of post replies that they just read the thread title and not the actual post and then reply with a one line sentence. At least, that’s what seemed to happen on a previous question I posted…

So, if you actually read this post, please don’t reply about pagerank. Instead, reply:
My favorite movie is [fill in the blank].
You see, this thread is just a test, and I am curious how many people won’t bother to read my actual post and the thread discussion, and will simply reply with:
yes, page rank is important.
or
no, page rank doesn’t matter.
or something else similar.

So let’s see how this “test” goes…

The next two posts on the thread was exactly in the style the member “ItzGoTyme” provoked. “Page Rank means nothing”, said “Xfactorservers” in their 841 post in WHT, while the next on the line “Geekie246” repeated this and added “It’s a useless metric for websites to chase”.

An interesting (or  useless… I must admit I can not understand) was posted by “Rainchild”. “Who cares? Posting is about signatures and back links. Back links that will make no difference to our PR which still gets tracked precisely because they know it is worthless. What a strange, strange world we live in.”

The next poster named “Vagassi” said that “page rank is not a matter and this is not even known by everyone”. “Hence instead of worrying about the Page Rank concentrating on the bringing the traffic to the site is more important”, said the WHT member and this I find something very important that many site owners do not understand.

“Moxie Maxwell” a WHt user from Pennsylvania added “My favorite movie is Shawshank Redemption” following the directions of “ItzGoTyme”. “I’ve not yet seen that one”, said “Slitheryimp” and added that his/her favorite movie was a Clockwork Orange. Those two were joined by another one who preferred the movie topic.

The next one “Coolvserver” got back into the Page Rank issue and asked a very reasonable question – “If page rank=nothing, what else is important in SEO?”. “Playing by the rules. Reading the script and link buiding of course”, responded “Rainchild”.

“SEO work overall working on a site from thinking to deliver end user”, said a WHT user named “Seomul”. Three silly posts followed and then “Kitt” said that for him, page rank is still important if anyone is competing for top-level keywords. “Rainchild” who have obviously was interested of the topics asked “Kitt” is he saying that it makes sense “investing” in a few high PR links because this will give anyone edge when they get to those single digits. “If not what are you saying?”, added the WHT member.

The next poster “Trevor Johnson” suggested that anyone shall try to get “do follow” links from high quality sites using their keywords as “anchor texts”. “With a solid backlink base, you will keep making money no matter what page rank your site has”, added Trevor.

“Page rank is pretty important, but the number of back links that you have is very important also. The more the backlinks you have, the higher your site will be exposed, and if your site is lets say on the front of google, you’ll definitely have a ton of people looking and clicking on your site. More exposure= more traffic + more sales= more money”, was the opion expressed by WHT user “Canes1717”.

“I think PR is the way Google sees your sites and it is still a nice way in weighting the value of a site”, said the next poster with a funny name “AirJordansHead”.  Another user with a strange nick “This charming manc” said that (it is important to have) “relevant backlinks with good anchor text from pages that rank highly in search engines”. “There is a good connection between these pages and pages that hold reasonable page rank in google, however this connection is not 100% and you can find high pagernak pages that google does rank , and low page rank pages that rank very well”, added “This charming manc”.

“Chauhan” followed him with the comment that PR is “like prestige on internet”. “If you have at least 1 PR means your website has quality content”.

Here came the one who created the opening thread – “ItzGoTyme” – and said “Polar Express, by the way. Because of the time of year and because pagerank seems a bit like Santa. Some people believe and can hear the sleigh bell ring, others don’t believe and can’t. Me… I’m not sure if I hear the pagerank bells or not”.

Being frivolous is provoking. Otherwise a WHt user “Outlaw Web Master” probably wouldn’t say thing like “The only useful thing about pagerank is that it ryhmes with a few words including bank, tank, shank, wank or crank”… and to add “apart from that it’s useless”.

“Pagerank is not important to me anymore. Earning money & supporting my customers comes first. Ok… Its good to have advertising and with PageRank it will be bring however who is ever gonna benefit from it the most. SEO rules change and get updated everyday. Theres no way to have an accurate pagerank”, posted the user signed as “Dom”.

After him came a Malaysian guy nicknamed “Neutron” who judged on the thread “What an absolute waste of everyones time ItzGoTyme, Why not play in your own sandbox?”. Here came “Rainchild” to criticize the “Neutron”. Then “Shaeadams” said “with personalized SERPS now, which are tracked by Google’s history of web browsing cookies and account users with gmail, etc, it may be less and less important”.

“The opening thread was quite provocative and obviously sparked some interest. However i don’t it was a good idea to underestimate the intelligence of the those who participate to the community. You should probably did this in the other forums where members were ignoring”, added a forum member titled HostColor.

“Anyway, now on the topic.  Page rank is obviously important… for Google. A high page rank means that the search engine defines any web page as important. Although I have seen some websites and pages, including some web hosts to achieve high ranking through spamming techniques, I shall say that in general the page rank is an objective tool that works. For example it is hard to get a high PR, more than 7 if you do not maintain a popular website of high quality. Having back-links on other high PR websites might help, but the content and quality of the pages are much more important”, said the user.

Time To Revamp Affiliate Program?

Posted by The Daw On September - 22 - 2009

web-hosting-affiliationI realize that almost everyone who’s maintaining a successful affiliate program would decide that the author of this article has lost his mind or just don’t know what he’s talking about, when they read its main thesis. But I’ll take this risk. In brief, my suggestion to online merchants is to destroy their affiliate programs or to fully revamp them. The main objective of such a destructive activity is to significantly increase the search engine rankings, website PR and visibility. And of course to reach higher conversion rate. Let me explain why do I make such a “crazy suggestion”.

The Search Engines (SE) use different methods to determine if any website page has to be displayed in the search engine results pages (SERP), on particular search term. Most site owners know that the linking method was (and actually still is) one of the main factors for the SE algorithms to categorize any web page as relevant to certain keywords and phrases.

A few years ago, when everyone, from a junior marketer to a representative of an entity that has a large marketing budget, decided that they should be buying ton’s of links in order to spam the SE algorithms, the search machines changed the way they rank websites. Now those who buy links to get ranked high, have a questionable success, and the results they achieve do not afford the money spent on this SEO method.

At the same time, organic inbound links to any website are priceless when they are placed as a part of the content published on a high traffic host website, which is an opinion leader in its niche. Now let’s see how does any average affiliate URL looks like, and to find out why the affiliate URL’s work worst than the organic ones.

Why affiliate URL’s harm any website’s visibility?

Affiliate links are artificial. As we know they are aimed to count the visits any affiliate send to the provider’s web pages. However this commercial relationship between two agents has nothing to do with any third parties. So, the affiliate URLs are important only for the commercial relationship between sellers and their partners. Anyone else, but seller and affiliate does not need to use affiliate URL’s.

Affiliate URL’s are unnatural and because of this they destroy consumer confidence. That’s why the most prestigious forums and social networking sites (including the Web Hosting Talk, the largest community in web hosting industry) prohibit their members using or posting affiliate links in the threads and posts.

There are different types of affiliate URL’s such as “http://www.the-name-of-the-web-media.com/hosting.php?m=HOSTNAME”, “http://www.the-name-of-the-web-media.com/go/to.cgi?l=pa_01_HOSTNAME” or even “http://www.a-combination-of-letters-and numbers.com/click-3264231-10356150”. The last example is typical for the URLs’ that affiliate networks give to their affiliates. As you can see on above examples, none of the URLs is a web address that shows where the users would go if they follow the link.

In many cases most internet users who click on a banner or a text link know where they would go because most sellers display their brand on the ad creatives. But when any website uses affiliate URLs, those who click on them never go to the original, organic web page address. The users are always redirected to the original web address through a URL which is created to track the visit.

Work For The “Productive Visitors”!

The average percentage of “Productive Visitors” of any website (those who buy services or products) is approximately from 1.5% to 2% higher for the group of visitors that come directly to the website, compared to the other, it’s members come from an affiliate URL’s. This data can be seen in the reports of the website visitors behavior. It comes from a DoubleClick survey conducted in 2007.

Let’s imagine that 75% to 85% of the traffic that any website receives comes from such URLs. In such scenario a large amount of website visitors come from non-existing web addresses, ones that do not represent any information and content. These visitors might purchase or not services and products on the host pages. But they don’t work in favor of the website’s Search engine ranking and its overall visibility on the web, the same way the organic URL’s do.

It Is All About Trust!

I would suggest any web hosting company (and any dot-com seller) to create an intelligent web statistics and analytic module, and to integrate it in its affiliate program. This will allow the company to kill the traditional affiliate URLs. It is much better to give your affiliates the original web addresses of the pages where you want to welcome your website visitors. Of course any dot-com business needs to have a credibility, so it would be able to persuade its website users that the Affiliate program it runs works. This also means that while revamping your Affiliate Program, to create a communication strategy which will demonstrate to your partners that it the program counts correctly each unique visitor they send to you.

It is not that hard to create an intelligent statistical module and to add it to your Affiliate program. If you make it, you will increase its relevance and will attract more customers.

A Proof Of A Success Story

Posted by The Daw On February - 28 - 2009

value-of-web-hosting-companiesThis is my first article for B10WH after the website has been completely redesigned. I feel a little bit sentimental when it comes to this website because I’ve created under name Best 10 Web Hosting in 2003. But this was only an introduction. My first post here is about a success story I’ve recently wrote in my Daw Web Hosting Blog. the Daw’s publication is titled “Unlimited” Mistakes In Web Hosting“. It is about 1&1, a web hosting company, which originally comes from Germany, that launched its U.S. operations in 2003.

In the beginning of February Cheval Capital, a small investment bank that specializes in mergers and acquisitions in web hosting industry published its valuation of of Public Hosting Companies. Take a look at Cheval Capital’s estimate of the relative valuations of some of the major hosting companies as of February 1, 2009.

Ranked number one per Revenue ($ millions)   and Value/Revenue* is United Internet with $2,081 billion and 1.3 x value/revs, followed by Savvis with $873 million and 1.1 x value/revs.

Rackspace is third with $553 million, and 1.3 x value/revs. Dada is fourth  with $229 million and 0.8 x value/revs.

Navisite ($159 million and 0.9 x value/revs), Web.Com ($122 million and 0.6 x value/revs), Peer 1 ($94 million and 1.2 x value/revs), (Group iWeb ($15 million and 2.0 x value/revs) are ranked between 5th and 8th place.

How Te Calculation Were Made?

Cheval Capital typically look at two enterprise value formulas for calculating the Enterprise Value and make adjustments from there if necessary.

Enterprise Value = (Fully Diluted Shares * Current Stock Price) plus Debt (long and short term, including capital leases) less any option exercise proceeds for unexercised, in-the-money, options included in Fully Diluted Shares.

Enterprise Value = (Fully Diluted Shares * Current Stock Price) less Current Assets plus Total Liabilities less any option exercise proceeds for unexercised, in-the-money, options included in Fully Diluted Shares.

The investment bankers say that the reason why they look at two formulas is because some companies have unusual balance sheet items (e.g. large cash balances, that can distort valuation etc.).

Cheval Capital Inc, uses a multiple of revenue to compare web hosting companies because they have very different capital and operating structures and compete in different niches of the web hosting industry. The investment bank takes all data from public financial statements for the quarter ended September 30, 2008.