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Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

tatiana-shaidorova-ispsystemI have made myself known with ISPsystem during the HostingCon 2009 conference in Washington DC where the company was among the Silver Sponsors. The first thing I that made a difference was their logo. I like it and It made me to pay some attention of this software producers. When I went to their website I’ve found that they have complete web hosting automation software line. Then I got in touch with the company asked Tatiana Shaidorova to present ISPsystem.

Hi Tatiana, good to meet you. Your company produces web hosting control panel, VPS management software, dedicated hosting system, DNS manager, IP manager and even a billing solution for web hosts. This is quite impressive, but shall ask you isn’t it too risky for any software developer to compete on any of these niches in the hosting industry? Why didn’t you focus on any of the above mentioned markets?

Our mission is to provide and design the web hosting automation software complex. The core of the company is a dedicated team of highly skilled programmers who work hard at fulfilling this mission. It is our advantage over competitors. Our products are integrated with each other. So it is very convenient for clients to use web hosting automation software line of one developer.

Which us your best selling software product?

ISPmanager is the best selling product. It is obvious. The hosting control panel is the most useful software for hosting automation.

I have found that one of the reputable UK hosting providers UK2group already offers “ISPmanager PRO”. So is ISPmanager the most popular one? How many customers do you have on the UK and European market?

As I mentioned before ISPmanager is the most popular one among our web hosting automation software line. We are novices on UK and European markets. But I am proud to say that we already have a lot of customers on this market. Our products are the most popular on the Eastern European market (Russia, CIS countries). We have been on this market for 5 years. ISPsystem software has been pushed on international markets only for a year. It is not a long period. But we have obtained the results. Our client base increases every day. ISPsystem software is gradually becoming worldwide products in hosting industry.

There some differences between web hosting markets in Europe and North America. In U.S. Shared Hosts sell unlimited, the Americans prefer to use more cPanel then Parallels Plesk panel. However Parallels are stronger in Europe. What are your advantages and how do you compete each of these software producers? If I was prospective client what would you tell me to make me to sign with you?

ISPmanager is easy to use and fully featured control panel with the user friendly interface.  It has a set of advantages. One of the greatest advantages is high efficiency with low system resources consumption. ISPmanager is easily installed without changing operating system configuration. Also the control panel can satisfy the requirements of both novice users and advanced server administrators. It provides multi-level access to administrative features for increased management flexibility. ISPmanager is updated regularly. We have a reasonable price policy with progressive discount system. I think these are our main advantages.

Let me now ask you about another product of yours – the Reseller level of ISPmanager. How important is this software application for you. Does it allow you to get more web hosts as clients?

Our Partner Program is very attractive for our clients. Partner Program includes low prices and flexible progressive discount system. Surely, it allows us to get more web hosts as clients.

You have said that your company has already debuted a Windows version of ISPmanager. Do you think that it will become more successful that the Linux one?

It is very difficult to predict what will be more successful – ISPmanager for Linux or for Windows. The Windows-based hosting market is currently developing. According to our observations, Microsoft is doing its best to develop the Windows Platform. At present, there are not so many Windows-based products. So, we hope ISPmanager for Windows will be successful on its niche in the hosting industry. We have already launched only test version of the hostign automation software for Windows. Now we are waiting for client reviews and wishes in order to improve ISPmanager for Windows.

I have reviewed your Virtual Private Server manager called “VDSmanager”. Can you please explain how do you integrate this virtualization technology with OpenVZ and Xen?

VDSmanager runs on two different operating systems – FreeBSD and Linux. VDSmanager for Linux is a user friendly web based interface that enables to create and manage different virtual machines based on popular server virtualization technologies like OpenVZ and Xen.  Xen and OpenVZ don’t have GUI. So VDSmanager for Linux is the best solution for VPS management using OpenVZ and Xen. VDSmanager for FreeBSD is available in two versions: VDSmanager and VDSmanager-SMP. VDSmanager is installed on a mono core processor machine. VDSmanager-SMP on multi-core CPUs.

Which software product of yours is most interesting for the web hosting providers?

It depends on kinds of web hosting business that hosting providers are going to render. Solutions for Shared Hosting – BILLmanager, ISPmanager, DNSmanager, IPmanager (optional); Solutions for VPS Hosting- BILLmanager, VDSmanager, ISPmanager, IPmanager (optional); Solutions for Dedicated Server Hosting – BILLmanager, DSmanager, ISPmanager, IPmanager (optional).

I’m interested to learn more about DSmanager. You promote it as “absolutely unique solution”. I didn’t see many similar software solutions. Can you please tell me more about DSmanager?

Yes, DSmanager is the absolutely unique solution. There are no many similar software solutions. DSmanager is a Dedicated Server management system. It provides centralized management of dedicated servers, allows minimizing connectivity, hardware and operating system installation, support, maintenance expenses, and maximizing the uptime of the network. DSmanager makes the process just a few clicks away.

DSmanager advantages:
• All dedicated servers are stored in a single base. The search for servers can be performed by their type, operating system and location.
• Users can install operating systems, reboot the servers, connect and disconnect to the network via single control panel.
• DSmanager supports power and network switches, enabling to use them with dedicated servers, once they are registered in the system.
• The panel can be used to automatically assign IP addresses from a pool of available IP addresses, simplifying their operation.
• Multilevel permission system: Admin, Reseller, Dedicated Server Owner.
• Open Application Programming Interface (API) enabling to use all features of the control panel, to integrate with various billing systems, etc.

If you are focused on Dedicated Servers lease and Server Collocation, DSmanager can help you to automatize business processes and provide new services to your customers.

Some software producers sell support, others include a basic level of support in their service plans. Please tell me how do you provide support. It says 24/7 on your website, but do your customers shall pay additional fees to receive technical support?

Our support is 24/7. In all cases when a license is ordered by the User directly from ISPsystem without participation of the Partner, technical support of the Software Product is rendered in full scope free of charge (additional works and services are paid for separately).  In other words, in most cases support is free.

Your pricing is in Euro. Do you sell in euros on the U.S. market and how do you deal with the weak dollar if you need to sell the software licenses at the same price in USD?

Minor changes in the dollar exchange rate are not so important for us.

Do you have any plans to enter in the Cloud computing market and if “yes” what kind of Cloud software would you have?

We are planning to go forward in this direction. But now I can’t say anything about it.

Jay Kramer of Colostore: Web Hosting Is A Traditional Business

Posted by hosttycoon On October - 30 - 2009

jay-kramer-colostore“Statistically 2/3’s of all businesses fail, and I am one that has started over 12 businesses can say this statistic is true”, says in his interview with B10WH Jay Kramer who has run a few quite successful web hosting enterprises in his career. He is web hosting business since 1996, at the time when we used to use dial-up Internet access. Jay who now serves as a CEO of the wholesale data center service provider Colostore said something quite interesting about the popular web hosting automation provider cPanel.

“cPanel was not really a software package that was developed for the web hosting industry it was a software package that was written within the hosting business and was developed by people who did hosting tech support and had good reason to solve hosting issues”, explained Mr. Kramer. Read the whole interview below.

Hi Jay, I know you for almost 6 year, from the time I was CEO of Host Color. I found your company when I needed to find a data center solution. Now I’m please to do this interview with you for B10WH.com. Tell me how do you get into web hosting business?

We got into doing web hosting mainly from our client that came to us for Internet access which was back in 1996, since we were the only people in the Internet business in the local area we were naturally the choice to ask about hosting, and we originally offered it as a added benefit to out customers. Later we did get into it more heavily when the dial-up business began to get displaced by DSL and cable modems.

You said “we”. Who are the others?

The others are partners we had in the business originally it was family members, then when we got into web hosting only it included some friends. The first company was called “Simply Internet” then we sold it and bought a web hosting company called “Powersurge” which started “Fastservers” and then eventually got bought out by Layeredtech.

You keep using “we” form. I thought it was you and another one… or you were a team of professionals? I’m asking this because it is interesting how different people get into business – alone or with a number of business partners?

Yes, I suppose it is interesting to look at the evolution of how people flow in and out of business, let me see if I can clarify. The first business Simply Internet was Myself and 3 other family members, when we went to Powersurge / Fastservers we added in two partners and then we sold Powersurge/Fastservers and started Colostore with the original family group.

You have been in this business for almost 15 years. Since then the things changed a lot from a technical perspective. Tell me about web hosting in 1998, what did web hosting customers need to use at that time? There were no advanced hosting automation systems 11 years ago…?

In 1998 most of the website needs were mainly static sites with some CGI’s inserted here and there, an admin could easily pile on a server 300 to 400 sites and keep it running well, assuming mail was on another server. Hosting automation was really in its infancy at that time, although cPanel was around and we used it back when cPanel was based out of Burst.net (although not a part of).

We did have to create our own scripting and control panels to help with automating tech support, we did have scripts on the windows side to create websites and manage accounts. We also have created special control panels to manage email, mysql and mssql databases, backups and server monitoring.

I think cPanel was the first that we found the brought all the hosting automation together under one package. Although I believe Ensim was around at the time promising a winows solution, and we were one of the first companies to try out ensim as a control panel.

Why did cPanel become the most popular web hosting automation software in the industry?

I think mainly it was because of the response to the issues that kept coming up, I can remember seeing security issues popup with a Linux application and Nick would have a fix within several hours, for us it was really about that close relationship with the developers, cPanel was not really a software package that was developed for the web hosting industry it was a software package that was written within the hosting business and was developed by people who did hosting tech support and had good reason to solve hosting issues.

Hmm, this is quite interesting. Now tell me about your web hosting enterprises. Which one is the most successful one?

The second business was probably the most successful, when we took over Powersurge we were able to double the size in a year and had over 100K domains hosted, it was really quite a business to run, however hosting alone was not what we really wanted to do indefinitely, in my personal opinion Colostore although not as many accounts as the previous businesses is by far more successful. Measuring success is a interesting topic, when I was younger success was measured how many dollars you brought in, when I got older success is now measured in the amount of free time I can give to my family and business stability (important in this economy).

If you are about to provide consulting services to someone who wants to create a web hosting business what would you tell them if they ask you how to position the new company? Is it more profitable to target a individuals and/or small businesses, or it is much better to deal with those who need Dedicated / Managed Hosting or any customization on an enterprise level?

I think if someone is new to the business and wants to get into a web hosting type of business, definitely start with reselling, statistically 2/3’s of all businesses fail, and I am one that has started over 12 businesses can say this statistic is true. When you start a business make sure you develope relationships with paying customers first and dont dig financial holes right away. Once you get your paying ralationships stable and steady you can then think about integrating up the food chain by buying into servers and infrastructure. But, always look at getting cash in the door first and build a pay as you go model, pricing in the hosting business has always been a moving target.

On the question of if its more profitable to target individuals or small businesses I would lean more toward small businesses, usually businesses are budgeted and do not seem to have as many cash flow issues as individuals do, also they tend to be more the 9 to 5’ers, so tech support does not get to crazy in the off hours.

Would advice anyone to start Reselling a hosting services provided from a Cloud computing class infrastructure or you’d tell them to start with good old rack-mountable servers?

Thats a difficult question because the definition of Cloud Hosting changes like the weather from person to person, my definition of Cloud Computing is simply a site or service that has a simple front-end point of access, and on the back-end has redundant geographic diverse servers. The minimum to implement this would be to get a few servers, put them in different datacenters and do some dynamic DNS with failover.

I think if your starting out wanting to do some cloud computing, you are at the choice of building your own flavor of clouc computing, or waiting to see which solution starts to become viable. Right now cold computing is a huge buzzword without any concrete definition.

Yes, it is true. But there are still a huge different between Cloud based infrastructure and traditional computing… as far as there is such thing like “traditional computing”…?

Well I think the jury is still out on the Cloud computing definition, however traditional web hosting from my perspective has changed quite a bit over the years, I think traditional hosting/computing would be defined as a provider hosting DNS/Email/Web on the same server, there are quite a number or variations on this, but when you really look at the packages that people offer on the web, mostly the $4.95 unlimited everything plans, it ends up being just another account on a cPanel box somewhere.

Do you accept the concept as selling “unlimited” to people who don’t now much of how does the Internet, websites and web hosting in particular work?

This has always been a thorn of arguement across the hosting industry and people seem to always have their opinion about it, from what I have seen and done early on, is that the term unlimited is simply a marketing term that hides limitation on a site, if someone signs up for a unlimited account and they use too many resources they will simply find their accounts dropped. To me it really is just a way to bring in lots of clients and sort out the ones you want to keep.

Do you have many friends who know that you do something related with computers and always ask you to “how to fix” something questions?

Lol, yes, yes and yes, the tech support curse has followed be around for years, however I am about to pull off the holy-grail of tech support technicians, I have almost got my family and friends to call up our tech support guys instead of calling me.

Tell me now have you ever thought of leaving this industry and to get down to any other business that does now require 12 hours to stay connected with your clients?

I think every day, although I would be happy just to be attached to the business for 12 hours, for me it is truely 24 hours, I dream of the day of turning my cell phone into a skipping stone. Although I don’t know what other business I would go into, the hosting business has been very good to me and I actually do enjoy it quite a bit.

Now last question. It is always about to make hard choices. You should either grow and grow and grow further or to sell and get down to something else. Has the web hosting become a traditional business, something that would become a family business for a few generations, the way hotel business is?

The interesting problem with growing is that usually companies always grow to levels of incompetantcies, meaning they always grow to the point that can be managed by the current management. In this case if someone has a hosting business that is growing and growing, you are given a choice to usually either sell out or get some professional management.

I cant really say web hosting is a traditional business, I do have quite a bit of experience in selling hosting businesses and evaluations usually seem to be based on revenue multiples and account values, unlike traditional businesses where the evaluation may be done on a discounted cash flow basis.

John Raul: A Smart Young Filipino Who Has A Future

Posted by hosttycoon On October - 27 - 2009

john-raul-jovenYou can see some of the finest web hosting professionals interviewed in B10wH.com. Most of them are executives, founders of successful businesses, In this interview you will see bright young professional who’s still have the best days of his professional career a way ahead. His name is John Raul Joven II and he lives in the outskirts of Davao City in Philippines and he has a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Information Technology.

Hi John, Tell me how did you started with computers?

My motivation with computers started when I was exposed to video games way back when I was 4 years old (specifically, Super Mario Bros. game). Until high school, I was always thinking of creating/programming my own game. It was during my high school that I got my first hands-on with a computer, and in our school, we were taught how to program in QBasic and FoxPlus languages. These instances introduced me to the world of programming and computers. I only had computer access in school.

So you have always been more a tech guy?

Yes, influenced by my wonders about computers, I was almost certain that I would take a computer-related course when I’ll reach college and I did despite the heavy constraints of financial and technical resources to pursue it. I didn’t let obstacles stop me from reaching my passion in the IT world. I became a working student to avail college and took Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. There, I got involved into more programming and got acquainted with more computer languages and technologies.

What kind of programming languages do you use?

In college, I learned how to program using these languages in a chronological order: C and C++ using Borland IDE; Visual Basic, Visual FoxPro, and a glimpse of Visual C++ of Visual Studio 6; and Java. In parallel with these major languages, I also learned how to construct HTML web pages, integrating JavaScript and VBScript codes to add interaction to web pages, some ActionScripting in older Flash versions and PHP. I’ve used MS Access and MySQL as my back-end database engines for select applications that I’ve developed.

My IT course culminated with a thesis called “Student Advising System” powered by VB6, MySQL and implemented through a Local Area Network.

Tell me about the new trends you see in web development. Do you see any changes the way people develop webs applications and websites? Do you know what site owners want?

Yes, compared to what it has been in the past, web applications these days are not only dynamic but they emphasize more on social interactivity and media. The web industry has matured to recognize that they build applications to present simplified solutions in a way that can be taken advantage by ordinary people and build social relationships therein.

Emerging web technology standards also have allowed people, as users, to produce their own content, establish connections, retain ownership, and in some cases, make a living by doing so.

OK. But this is a little bit complicated for anyone who is not familiar with web technologies. Let’s put things this way. I’m a someone who wants to create e-commerce website and to sell something… anything. What kind of technology, framework and CMS would you choose for me?

An ordinary user without advanced technical knowledge who wants to sell something online can take advantage of open-source CMS applications that are free to use. They can use Joomla, osCommerce, and even WordPress installs, taking advantage of e-commerce plugins and extensions to sell their goods or do business online.

That’s it? Anything else?

Of course, before anyone can start doing business online, they need to access services from a reliable hosting company who can back their business objectives. It’s a necessity.

Tell me about Philippines? The college education is obviously a quality one, on high level… is that true?

College education in the Philippines, like anywhere else, is expensive. The quality of education is good but it depends on what school you are enrolled and the quality of instructors they employ. We generally follow the American standards and schools use English as our main medium of instruction inside a classroom, though it’s not our spoken language informally.

That being said, I want to stress that the knowledge gained and skills developed are highly individually dependent though — since I truly can’t assume that everyone who was able to graduate from college or university is good or “enterprise-ready.”

How do you see your carrier in web business? Do you see yourself working in any other industry?

At the moment my mind and heart tells me I’ll be forever attached with the web. Well, since two years, I dealt with Web, worked with the Web, and lived with the Web.

I think I’ll be more involved with web business. I’ve always wanted to work somewhere and pull my feet off these islands, that’s why I’m trying to exhibit whatever I know or can do online through my own web ventures. I want to pursue my involvement with web businesses that centers on technology, relationships, and infomation expression.

To put your feet off Philippines? You mean to move permanently or just to spend some time working in different parts of the world?

My mind tells me that [Philippines] is not a suitable place for me to advance my skills or build the future that I want. And my heart tells me I’m meant to live and work somewhere, while supporting my family back home.

I’ve always wanted to see new places, meet new people, working, learning, and doing business with them, and sum everything in a book when I get older. And I’m hopeful that my hard work and affinity towards the Web and computer technologies would take me there.

That’s good. Tell me about the Techconclave blog. I was impressed of the quality of the videos and episodes. How much time did it take for you to learn how to make those videos?

I’ve learned how to create videos and how to animate when I was in college, to make my IT life more interesting since computer programing and networking can be very boring at times. My close friends decided to learn how to create videos and we tried joining some citywide inter-school graphics competition. I love videos a lot. For me, it is a perfect way to express my passion to information and to express my mind.

When I got exposed with video podcasting, I realized I could use my video editing skills to start my own show that can highlight what I can do (therefore, underlining my long-term goals). I like journalism and technology, so I decided to create a show that mixes both.

How did you came up with this idea to make this kind of web tech review. What actually is Techconclave?

There are already people, major geeks, who are doing similar thing

on the Internet. However, after observing their shows, I thought I could come up with something unique and interesting. I wanted to create a tech news video show that is powered by people who share similar passion and interests from around the world. That show, I thought, would let me meet new friends, establish new connections, learn new things and culture, and it did.

You talk to many bloggers around the world. How do you find them?

Tech Conclave is a combination of “technology” and “conclave.” The latter means some sort of “secret gathering”, “assembly” or “conference.” I think the nature of the show coincides successfully with its name since we are a “conclave of geeks” :).

Initially I had few online friends that I met online just randomly. As soon as I started Tech Conclave and these few people learned about what I can do or the show’s objectives, they told their friends and they introduced them to me so they can participate in the show. It’s getting “viral” with each new episode that I release. Their friends tell their friends about the show and it goes on and on.

Do you plan to change the concept and to focus on any specific industry?

At the moment, I think it’s more advantageous for the show to pursue technology news in general because the audience market is broad and the show is still on its early stages. Once the number of audience is large enough and we gain better understanding with their specific interests, maybe we can start some spinoff shows that focuses on a specific market and ultimately delivering what their specific needs.

That’s it John. It was nice talking to you. At the end of the interview I want to ask you about the chickens and the foot massage scenes you featured in the funny video you made for the HP contest. Did you grow up in a poor neighborhood and what give you strengths to move forward?

Both my parents are from poor families and I remember living in slum-like place.

When I was a younger, I’ve only always wanted to play video games in my neighbor’s “pay-for-play” video game machine, but couldn’t do so because I lacked money while seeing other more fortunate kids playing happily. Because I always wanted to get my hands on a game controller, I’ve looked for ways on how to earn money: I climbed trees, hand picked fruits, and sold them to my neighbors and even in school. This was the first instance of finding myself an experience with business as I have to understand what people likes and how I could entice them to buy my fruits.

Some of them asked me to massaged their feet and they will buy what I was selling. So I did to complete a deal.

Another instance is when I tried to help my grandmother to have some food on their table. I sold cooked bananas throughout the village and some junked foods under the heat of the sun while seeing more fortunate people along the way. It made me acquainted with the reality of the world and that I needed to accept them in order to find a way out and not to let these circumstances prevent me from reach or getting what I want or who I want to become in life.

peter-langenkampLet me first tell B10WH.com readers that I met Peter Langenkamp at HostingCon 2009 where he were attending as exhibitor with his domain registrar company called Realtime Register. I liked the design of their booth. The dutch guys are good in design, I can tell you that. There were another company from Netherlands on the show and their boot was also on of the best in the exhibitors’ hall. The conference finished. I went back home and signed up on of my clients to Realtime Register and they told me they liked the way the company does business. So I decided to ask Peter, the CEO of the company to give me an interview. So here he is.

It was nice meeting you as well! Will we meet again next year in Austin Texas at HostingCon 2010?

Yes, sure. It was good to meet you at HostingCon. However, let me start  with the questions. I’m interested how did you decide to create a domain registrar? This is ugly business and there is huge competition. Why didn’t you create a web host or any other kind of website service provider that would give you a higher profit margins?

Actually we have a hosting company in The Netherlands. We started YourHosting.nl back in 2000. In 2003, we had sold over 30 thousands domains and bought them at different resellers. It was a full time job for two people managing those domains and we were still growing. We decided we needed a different solution. One channel to buy domains from, offering all TLD’s, at competitive prices, with a reliable interface and with API integration options. At the time, we couldn’t find any, so we decided to do it ourselves. That was when the idea for Realtime Register was born. We only buy at registries and sell to resellers. We have automated the whole process, so we can be competitive.

Realtime Register offers excellent prices on COM, NET and ORG domain names. They are €5.03/year for COM and ORG and only €4.03 for .NET. for those resellers who deposit €4,000 on account. The dollars is still poor compared to euro and this means that the best price of COM registration with you is lees than $7.50…? Are sure you aren’t killing yourself with this prices…?

We sell domains in the currency we buy them from at the registry. Our .com domains have a dollar price of $7.19. If you want to pay us in euro’s, we exchange it at the daily exchange rate. Our margins are very low, especially at the most popular TLD’s. It’s the numbers that count for us eventually. Because of our discount system, the best price can be reached only with the larger deposits. That way our resellers can decide their own discounts from day one they start with using our system. Eventually, when the reseller sells more domains, he automatically will need to deposit more and will therefore get a larger discount.

Let me ask you who do you compare to other domain registrars in Netherlands? Who are the main competitors of Realtime Register?

In The Netherlands we don’t have much direct competition. There are mainly hosting companies working with end users, but we consider those our potential customers. We focus on the world. We do have a lot of Dutch resellers of course.

I’ve seen a company called Hostnet.nl to offer a .NL domain registration at promotional price of €2.50/year. Is it usual in the Dutch web market web hosting providers to get accredited as ICANN and SIDN registrars and to underbid the domain market by offering free or very cheap domain names?

The competition in The Netherlands is very tense. Our own hosting company offers .NL domains for just €1.00/year as a promotional price at the moment. The margins are made with the hosting packages sold along with the domains, over the next 2 to 3 years. Dutch hosting companies have not yet taken the step to become ICANN accredited. They are better of buying .com at $7.19 using Realtime Register, it saves them a lot of work, time and money and they can still decide to sell domains under the market prices.

Who can own a .NL domain? Are the individual registrants required to be either a Dutch citizens or permanent residents?

Everybody can own a .NL domain nowadays. SIDN used to require a domicile address in The Netherlands, but they have now changed that.

What about the companies. Should they be a business entities incorporated or certified to do business in Netherlands to register and use .NL web address?

No, there are no requirements like that. Dot-NL has become one of the largest ccTLD’s, because it does not have a lot of requirements anymore.

Let me now ask you what happens when a registrant misses the deadline to renew their domain name prior to its expiration date? Do you impose redemption fee and if yes how much is it?

NL domains have something comparable to a Redemption period, called the quarantine period. It is expensive to get your domain back, the fee for taking a domain out of quarantine is EUR 56.

If any domain is in a redemption how many days has anyone to regain their expired  domain names?

The quarantine period takes 40 days, starting directly after a delete or expiration.

Another question about expired domains. When any web address expires  and the registrant didn’t renew it, what happens to the name. Are you keeping it for another year and trying to send it on aftermarket or just releases it. Most registrars keep it for an year and try resell it. What’s your policy?

We don’t do that at the moment.

Tell me about your API. Is there anything specific your partner should know when they need to implement an synchronize it with their own websites and CRM’s?

No, we offer an XML API which can be integrated on any platform. We have some php example scripts using that as well. We also have modules for 3rd party software like WHMCS, HostingController and ClientExec.

I’ve seen during the HostingCon on your booth and on your marketing materials that you have associated any of the domain names you offer with a specific building. Liked very much the idea. How did you came up with this one?

That was an idea of one of our design/marketing staff. We were looking for a way to visualize all the different TLD’s, the famous buildings in every country perfectly represent that idea.

I’ve seen in your blog that you sent a pretty big package with the booth elements to HostingCon. Wasn’t it expensive to send this over the Atlantic to New York and then to DC? Why would you do this to yourself. Is there anythings related with the quality of the booth and design materials. You probably should admit you didn’t trust Americans to design and build the booth ;)

Well, that was a bit of a disaster. We were supposed to have a very high-tech booth, with couches, espresso machines, refrigerators and orange carpet. We have used that before and it was always a great success. But unfortunately, our shipment got stuck at the US Customs. They released it on the afternoon of Wednesday August 12, the closing day of HostingCon. The booth you saw was improvised on Monday, we had some spare materials in our luggage. I’m glad you didn’t notice that.

And when we said America I’ll ask you is the U.S. market is priority one for you or you count more on Dutch and European site owners?

We are looking at the whole world. The U.S. market is very interesting and also very competitive. We think we stand out because we have a lot of ccTLD’s at very good pricing, compared to US companies.

That’s it. We finished. The last question about plans for the future is always a silly one, so I’ll not ask anything like this. Of course you still should have some plans how to develop the Realtime Register so, don’t be shy and tell me anything that might be helpful for B10WH.com readers.

Thank you for your interest. About the near future… we are going to integrate more and more ccTLD’s in the upcoming months. We are also partnering with 3rd party software to make sure we are integrated with them. Don’t miss out on our SSL pricing as well! You will see more of Realtime Register, count on that! See you in Austin?

Meet The Cloud Computing Evangelist – Diego Parrilla from Abiquo

Posted by hosttycoon On August - 25 - 2009

diego-parrilla-santamariaI met Diego during the WebHostingDay 2009 in Germany. My first impression was he was very open and friendly person. I asked him what did he do and he explained me that his company was producing a Cloud computing class software. When I went back to the hotel room the same day I began searching for other similar solutions produced by European software companies (this was during an EU based event) and I wasn’t able to find that many. So I’ve decided to ask Diego to give me an interview, to talk about Cloud computing, and of course about  his company. Then I begun preparing for this interview and started browsing the web, to find some information about Diego Parrilla. Information which would help me to find out more about the person I was about to interview. Let’s see whether I made it this time.

Hi Diego, it was good to meet you. And it is good talking to you. So, tell me how do you moved to the clouds? I’ve seen you see yourself as “Cloud computing evangelist”. I’m curious when did you get yourself familiar with Cloud computing?

I was the Professional Services Manager of Amplía Soluciones. We developed a platform for Telcos heavily based in distributed and grid computing. Late in 2006 I discover Amazon EC2 and started to use it as testing platform for Amplía and for my own pet projects. I resigned in Amplía in late 2007 and started to work in ‘stealth mode’ for Abiquo, redesigning their grid computing platform to become a cloud computing. And that’s why I’m here.

Something happened in mid 2008. I get a phone call of somebody from Amazon Web Services, and he asked me what was the status of the Cloud Computing in Spain. I was shocked with the question because obviously they should know more about it than me. Then I realized that Evangelization (Evangelism, of course figuratively) was key in the Hispanic world. The “Cloud Computing Evangelist title”? It’s a SEO strategy a colleague recommend me.

What did you do before getting done to Cloud computing? Have you been involved in development of any enterprise applications and software architectures?

I have been involved for almost 15 years in software and product development. Most of these projects, because of their nature and their complexity needed distributed computing (first) and grid (later) computing (later). Scalability was always an issue, and most of the times we could not use standard technology to solve our problems. In 2004 I became a partner of Amplía Soluciones. We developed a Machine-to-Machine (M2M) platform for Telcos and Big Wireless Carriers. In late 2007 I resigned and joined Abiquo to build what we think a cloud computing has to be.

My experience with software technologies? A lot of Java, C++, middlewares all around, and lot of open source of course. I have also trained people in the execution of Agile Projects with Scrum and Lean.

Now tell me more about Abiquo. Is it a company created to produce Cloud computing generation technologies?

Abiquo is a spin off a Grid Computing research department of the Politechnic University of Catalonia. We started in 2006 developing a Grid Computing framework called AbiNtense. But we soon realized that Grid Computing frameworks (and probably development frameworks in general) is a extremely hard market. So we move our focus towards Cloud Computing technologies.

Our vision is to let the users to choose. Choose the technology, the vendor, the timings… We develop a Cloud Computing Platform -AbiCloud- that give the power to the users.

I’ve see that you offer AbiCloud. Tell me more about this type of Cloud and its architecture. It is Linux one, isn’t it?

Well, not necessarily. Abicloud is composed of two main components: The Abicloud Server is the core management software running in centralized servers: it’s the command control. This software has been developed in Java and has been succesfully deployed in Windows, Linux and Solaris.

The other component, the Abicloud Node, is an agent installed on each ‘Cloud Node’. With this agent, an hypervisor must be installed. We support VirtualBox, XEN and KVM. This Cloud Node software is linux dependant (well, we are doing some experiments with VirtualBox and OpenSolaris). We also support VMware ESXi, but in this case the hypervisor is an embedded Linux OS.

Abicloud integrates with third party storage Software like Sun OpenStorage, NexentaStor. It can work with even simpler configurations like ZFS on Solaris/OpenSolaris or LVM+iSCSI targets in Linux. Abicloud is like a big ‘enabler’.

What kind of communication link do you use to connect load-balancer, web servers and database servers? Do you use Fibre Channel, iSCSI or InfiniBand?

We are using iSCSI as our main communication channel. With the new 10 GBit ethernet communications, we think that most of the traffic will pass through these new Fabrics. Some customers has requested FC as an option in the platform. We hope that it will be an option very soon.

Has a stable, commercial version of AbiCloud already been released or it is still in development. Please also tell me what kind of equipment does anyone need to deploy AbiCloud?

Abicloud 1.0 will be released in October 2009. It will include three different versions:

  • Community: This is the version already available to download in our site. It’s a complete platform, and it’s the perfect tool to enter and understand what is the private cloud concept.
  • Enterprise: This version will be focused on the needs of enterprises with the Private Cloud in their goals.
  • xSP: This version complemets the Enterprise version with some key features that Service Providers need to deploy a Public Cloud.

Abicloud can run on any commoditized x86 hardware. If you just want to test drive our platform, you can do it with really modest hardware specs. If you want to deploy a private or public cloud, then you need to take it seriously. We can help with the deployment of this cloud, of course.

I’ve seen that you are connected in on or other way to Nubeblog.com. Is this blog yours and what do you write about?

Yes it’s my blog. It’s the most popular Cloud Computing blog in Spanish. It is one of the activities I perform to evangelize in the Hispanic world.

How do you plan to position AbiCloud on the market. As a IaaS solution or as a platform? Do you plan to offer services on top of AbiCloud as a SaaS provider, or you will stay as cloud software producer?

Abiquo is a software producer. Abicloud is a software product. It’s a software product that helps your to abstract your existing hardware and become a IaaS provider (no matter if external or internal).

How does the Spanish market adopt the idea of Cloud computing. Are Spanish It companies looking to deploy and use cloud architectures?

Spain is a difficult market. It’s hard to find early adopters because cultural reasons. But we have seen a lot of interest in Cloud Computing (not only in our platform), and there are a lot of initiatives around it. Some big Spanish companies are launching Private Cloud Computing initiatives, and I hope this market will ramp up in the near future.

OK. Final question. Would you reveal more about AbiCloud’s pricing? How do you price your solution and how much will cost to be deployed?

The price range will start at 0€ (community versions) and we will try to keep it on average €12 per month. There will be several options available. In october we will launch our commercial offering. Regarding the cost of deployment of the solution, it depends on a lot of factors, but it will be similar to the cost of virtualization and/or hardware consolitation of a data center.

Thank you for your time Diego. It was good to talk to you. Once Abicloud is already released we would present it here in B10WH.com.