|By Rob Brooks-Bilson||
|September 11, 2003 12:00 AM EDT||
ColdFusion developers are faced with lots of choices when trying to find a ColdFusion hosting service that meets their needs. It can be tough locating a host that offers the right combination of features, service, and support at a price that's right for a variety of developers. In the March 2003 issue (CFDJ, Vol. 5, issue 3), we conducted our first interview with a ColdFusion hosting provider. This month, we interview Edgewebhosting.net CEO Vlad A. Friedman for the skinny on his company's ColdFusion hosting services.
CFDJ: Tell us a little bit about your company. How did you get
started in the hosting business?
Friedman: Edgewebhosting.net was started almost 5 years ago as a division of ACS&S, Inc., a 12-year-old systems integration and consulting firm. As our consulting arm grew into development of Web technologies, we started utilizing the services of several hosting companies for our clients. After a relatively short time, we realized there was a great divide in the marketplace between the service providers and ColdFusion developers (their customers).
Few if any of these companies offered what we would have considered quality hosting and support services, and most treated their customers quite poorly. At that point we began to offer hosting services with service-level agreements and a quality of service and support that we felt customers deserved. ACS&S was retitled and Edgewebhosting.net was born. Our growth was paced and managed effectively to completely remove any dependencies on outside funding. This has allowed us to maintain high quality of service even through tumultuous financial markets, as most of our competitors continue to lose staff and resources. After 5 years, we have grown and built a state-of-the-art data center facility that hosts tens of thousands of Web sites, and allows us to effectively handle our exceptional growth rate, which has exceeded 80% per year.
CFDJ: Why ColdFusion hosting?
Friedman: We chose ColdFusion for several reasons. First, we already had a staff of developers that were familiar with the product. Second, ASP was not yet a mature development environment. Last, we felt that we could provide better service than any other provider in the marketplace since we already had the in-house talent to provide support services. Originally, our goal was to bring in more consulting business via the relationships we built with the clients. Over time we learned that our original premise was flawed. There were so many developers upset with the service they received from their hosting providers that they swarmed into our data center. Now, hosting has become the primary service that we offer, accounting for over 85% of the company's revenue. Developers now encompass over 90% of our clientele, and consulting has become just a convenience service that we offer to a few select long-term clients.
CFDJ: What version(s) of ColdFusion do you support?
Friedman: We offer ColdFusion 5, ColdFusion MX, as well as ASP and .NET hosting. We are also investigating additional opportunities to potentially begin offering BlueDragon hosting.
CFDJ: What do you feel separates you from other companies that offer
Friedman: I would say it's our focus and tools specifically designed for developers and resellers. Our primary goal as part of our mission statement is to provide our customers with the best service experience they have ever received from any IT company, no exceptions. This is the primary goal of every engineer on our support team. Every call into our support center is answered by either a Level 3 CF developer or NOC (Network Operations Center) engineer. There are never any confusing phone trees or trainees answering calls in our facility.
Although none of us is perfect, our Real-Time Error Notification service allows our developer customers to appear that way. Our servers deliver real-time information to developers on all errors that occur on their customers' Web sites, including the page, refer, error, all CGI variables, browser, and several other useful tidbits of information necessary to debug coding errors. That way, problems can be corrected before the customer even knows about them.
We've developed a unique technology called The ColdFusion Self-Healer, which runs on every server in our facility. It monitors for a number of different ColdFusion and IIS problems, and automatically resolves 90% of them with no human interaction in 60 seconds or less. In these scenarios, most problems are resolved before a user even has the opportunity to pick up the phone and call to report a problem.
Our support system has been developed from the ground up with developers in mind. It allows for multiple technicians/developers/site owners to manage all of their sites, configuration, and support tickets from one console. One central administrator can monitor all of their sites, as well as tickets for all of the developers with access to each of the sites.
Our reseller plans allow developers to start receiving up to 50% discounts off our retail prices almost immediately, as compared to the 10-20 required accounts with some of our competitors. This compensates developers for the time they already spend with their clients handling Level 1 support tasks.
We have always believed that resellers and developers are our most important customers, and they have been the essential key to our growth. One of the keys in providing reliable service in a shared environment is not overutilizing your servers or infrastructure. Even on our entry-level CF accounts, we place no more than 65 Web sites per server. This ensures that the appropriate server resources are always available to our customers when they need them.
Many of our clients utilize our managed CF dedicated servers. This allows them to operate on a dedicated high-end platform without the knowledge and experience necessary to operate their own server. All backups, DNS, statistics, security patches, security management, e-mail, along with a number of other tasks, are handled by our NOC engineers, freeing our customers to focus on their greatest strengths: acquiring new clients and coding CF applications.
Our robust facility, powered by Cisco with N+1 redundancy built in, serves as a stable base of operations that achieves 99.998% network uptime for our clients. With advanced GlobalRoute technology, we can even automatically reroute traffic around most Internet brownouts, providing unsurpassed traffic delivery.
CFDJ: In terms of hosting ColdFusion sites, what aspect do you find
Friedman: The most challenging yet fun aspect of hosting is diving into our customers' code (at their request) to troubleshoot an issue. We are often asked to determine the cause of performance-related issues caused by coding or design problems. It's quite stimulating to get a grasp on a customer's application architecture (that they may have spent years developing), in a relatively short time frame, and offer design and implementation suggestions that can often double or even triple performance.
CFDJ: Can you give our readers an overview of the types of hosting
plans you offer, as well as the costs?
Friedman: Our entry-level shared ColdFusion account, Expert CFM plan starts at $49.95 retail ($24.95 for resellers/developers) per month. It includes CF 5 or MX, 75Mb of disk space, real-time Web statistics, and e-mail with POP3, IMAP, SMTP, and Webmail, as well as a wealth of additional features. As requirements grow, our Master CFM account at $99.95 ($49.95 for resellers/developers) per month includes 200Mb Web and 200Mb SQL Server 2000 space, SSL, and additional e-mail accounts. At our highest shared level, Semi-Private Service at $249.95 ($124.95 for resellers/developers) per month, we place only six Web sites per machine, allowing for the greatest reliability and flexibility for high-traffic sites.
CFDJ: If you could ask Macromedia for one enhancement to ColdFusion
that would make your life as a hosting provider easier, what would it
Friedman: Instead of requesting a technical enhancement, I would ask Macromedia to spend its resources to provide better support and help the CF community grow. We believe strongly in ColdFusion as a platform and in Macromedia as a leader in Web technology, but for CF to grow and succeed there needs to be a large base of developers who understand both the benefits and the implementation of CF technology. This is the reason we provide free hosting to so many CFUGs and CF community Web sites. The larger and more educated the developer base, the larger the opportunities in the marketplace. Remember, most often, the technologists, not management, drive architecture decisions.
CFDJ: Who can readers contact for more information, or to open an account?
Friedman: Readers can contact our sales department at 888-428-2752, e-mail [email protected], or just go to our Web site at http://edgewebhosting.net to read more about what types of services we offer. Our engineers are always ready and able to answer your questions.
While many app developers are comfortable building apps for the smartphone, there is a whole new world out there. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Narayan Sainaney, Co-founder and CTO of Mojio, will discuss how the business case for connected car apps is growing and, with open platform companies having already done the heavy lifting, there really is no barrier to entry.
Aug. 30, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 126
As more intelligent IoT applications shift into gear, they’re merging into the ever-increasing traffic flow of the Internet. It won’t be long before we experience bottlenecks, as IoT traffic peaks during rush hours. Organizations that are unprepared will find themselves by the side of the road unable to cross back into the fast lane. As billions of new devices begin to communicate and exchange data – will your infrastructure be scalable enough to handle this new interconnected world?
Aug. 30, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 147
SYS-CON Events announced today that Micron Technology, Inc., a global leader in advanced semiconductor systems, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Micron’s broad portfolio of high-performance memory technologies – including DRAM, NAND and NOR Flash – is the basis for solid state drives, modules, multichip packages and other system solutions. Backed by more than 35 years of technology leadership, Micron's memory solutions enable the world's most innovative computing, consumer,...
Aug. 30, 2015 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 214
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevOps to advance innovation and increase agility. Specializing in designing, imple...
Aug. 30, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 276
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Aug. 30, 2015 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 871
Consumer IoT applications provide data about the user that just doesn’t exist in traditional PC or mobile web applications. This rich data, or “context,” enables the highly personalized consumer experiences that characterize many consumer IoT apps. This same data is also providing brands with unprecedented insight into how their connected products are being used, while, at the same time, powering highly targeted engagement and marketing opportunities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nathan Treloar, President and COO of Bebaio, will explore examples of brands transforming their businesses by t...
Aug. 30, 2015 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 222
Through WebRTC, audio and video communications are being embedded more easily than ever into applications, helping carriers, enterprises and independent software vendors deliver greater functionality to their end users. With today’s business world increasingly focused on outcomes, users’ growing calls for ease of use, and businesses craving smarter, tighter integration, what’s the next step in delivering a richer, more immersive experience? That richer, more fully integrated experience comes about through a Communications Platform as a Service which allows for messaging, screen sharing, video...
Aug. 30, 2015 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 611
With the proliferation of connected devices underpinning new Internet of Things systems, Brandon Schulz, Director of Luxoft IoT – Retail, will be looking at the transformation of the retail customer experience in brick and mortar stores in his session at @ThingsExpo. Questions he will address include: Will beacons drop to the wayside like QR codes, or be a proximity-based profit driver? How will the customer experience change in stores of all types when everything can be instrumented and analyzed? As an area of investment, how might a retail company move towards an innovation methodolo...
Aug. 30, 2015 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 438
The Internet of Things (IoT) is about the digitization of physical assets including sensors, devices, machines, gateways, and the network. It creates possibilities for significant value creation and new revenue generating business models via data democratization and ubiquitous analytics across IoT networks. The explosion of data in all forms in IoT requires a more robust and broader lens in order to enable smarter timely actions and better outcomes. Business operations become the key driver of IoT applications and projects. Business operations, IT, and data scientists need advanced analytics t...
Aug. 30, 2015 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 390
A producer of the first smartphones and tablets, presenter Lee M. Williams will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lee Williams, COO of ETwater, will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater.
Aug. 30, 2015 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 118
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Aug. 30, 2015 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 435
SYS-CON Events announced today that IceWarp will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IceWarp, the leader of cloud and on-premise messaging, delivers secured email, chat, documents, conferencing and collaboration to today's mobile workforce, all in one unified interface
Aug. 30, 2015 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 388
As more and more data is generated from a variety of connected devices, the need to get insights from this data and predict future behavior and trends is increasingly essential for businesses. Real-time stream processing is needed in a variety of different industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Finance, Online Retail, Smart Grids, and Healthcare. Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed distributed stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of streaming data in the cloud with an enterprise grade SLA. It features built-in integration with Azur...
Aug. 28, 2015 07:45 PM EDT Reads: 206
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Aug. 28, 2015 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 334
Akana has announced the availability of the new Akana Healthcare Solution. The API-driven solution helps healthcare organizations accelerate their transition to being secure, digitally interoperable businesses. It leverages the Health Level Seven International Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (HL7 FHIR) standard to enable broader business use of medical data. Akana developed the Healthcare Solution in response to healthcare businesses that want to increase electronic, multi-device access to health records while reducing operating costs and complying with government regulations.
Aug. 26, 2015 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 128
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducted a live demonstration of how quickly application development can happen when the need to comply wit...
Aug. 2, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 552
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
Aug. 1, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 477
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, described how to revolutionize your archit...
Jul. 30, 2015 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,564
MuleSoft has announced the findings of its 2015 Connectivity Benchmark Report on the adoption and business impact of APIs. The findings suggest traditional businesses are quickly evolving into "composable enterprises" built out of hundreds of connected software services, applications and devices. Most are embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) and microservices technologies like Docker. A majority are integrating wearables, like smart watches, and more than half plan to generate revenue with APIs within the next year.
Jul. 30, 2015 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 278
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, d...
Jul. 30, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,226