I just returned from HostingCon in DC where I sat in on several great sessions by Superb Internet (big fan), Intermedia, Rackspace and others. The sessions were solid but venue and exhibitors were lacking.
Fpweb.net was not exhibiting; I was only attending to gain insight into industry trends and bounce ideas off other hosters. The bright spot of the show was David Snead, HostMySite’s corporate attorney who also writes many articles covering web hosting law topics. I’m a big fan of David; job well done.
Some conversations with fellow attendees ultimately led to SharePoint hosting (surprise – surprise) and recent changes at Fpweb.net. Since traveling more this year and talking to clients all over the world, I have been able to hear their needs and move Fpweb.net faster than ever with offerings to better serve our clients.
One such need is SharePoint (MOSS) hosting for the Enterprise business. Everyone is doing more with less right now and all teams have been reduced to the bare bone. There is no fluff in America, and I personally think we are better off this way; more efficient, less overhead, sharper, harder working teams.
The Enterprises are starting to unfreeze projects that have been tabled for the past 6 months, however, they are finding they no longer have the staff to implement a SharePoint solution internally. In addition, their budget has been cut. Many are now looking at hosted SharePoint as a necessity to move a SharePoint project forward.
Two initiatives at Fpweb.net have allowed us to cut our high availability Enterprise SharePoint hosting offerings pricing by about 50%, and groups are very interested.
The two initiatives are:
- SharePoint cloud computing
- Singular focus on SharePoint
A Greener Fpweb
We are turning green at Fpweb.net as we build out our SharePoint Cloud Computing network. We virtualize everything here and are using power saving CPUs and other greener components in our servers. We have decreased our power consumption, data center footprint and are operating more efficiently. The best part is we are able to pass on the significant savings to our customers.
Fpweb.net SharePoint customers want two things from us.
- Simplify SharePoint (and thus our lives)
- Just want SharePoint to work
Both are reasonable requests and we have projects in process to make SharePoint work better and easier. Additional parts that will make SharePoint work better include : Exchange, CRM, Project, Web hosting and OCS. Can you imagine a reasonable bundle for all the above services with single-sign on and secure access? We can, and it is coming soon.
Two common uses of Fweb.net hosted MOSS for Enterprises lately are: public facing and DR back to corporate. Public facing MOSS sites are becoming increasingly common because of the ECM functionality of MOSS. Hosting a public facing site at a company’s own data center is both an unnecessary risk and internal drain of resources, while hosting a public facing MOSS site at a hosting provider like Fpweb.net is a no-brainer since it doesn’t need AD integration and is an isolated installation for maximum security.
We are also seeing increasing demand for DR back to the corporate data center. Many companies want to have a live copy of the SharePoint data set or have compliance issues requiring the data to sit on their own network. Either way, the MOSS hosting model is a great fit. Fpweb.net can run the production SharePoint server farm and then replicate data live over a secure link back to Corporate. We also have groups interested in the reverse situation. They host SharePoint production server farms in their data center and replicate to one of the Fpweb.net data centers for DR purposes.
Two big pieces of these solutions are replication and acceleration. We are using Avepoint for SharePoint administration and replication and the new user interface is fantastic. We are sold on F5 for SharePoint accelerator needs. Whether accelerating between locations or out to the Internet as a whole, F5 is the real deal.
So, to all our Enterprise friends, I ask this: Got SharePoint? If you do, we can take care of SharePoint so you can take care of business.