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Linode Invests $45 Million to Retool its Infrastructure

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Cloud computing specialist Linode is investing $45 million in its infrastructure and undertaking a major corporate relaunch. This is the largest capital investment in the company’s history, and comes with an overhaul designed to position it to better compete with market leader Amazon Web Services (AWS) in the cloud hosting space.

“The cloud hosting industry is changing and Linode is changing with it,” said Christopher Aker, founder and CEO of Linode.  “Developers are constantly seeking simpler, high value alternatives to AWS, and we are uniquely positioned to serve that demand. With faster SSDs, more flexible payment options, and unprecedented customer support, we are not only setting a higher standard of service but are also proud to still be the only cloud hosting company built and owned 100 percent by developers.”

Linode has invested in server hardware and networking equipment, including a shift to native solid state drives (SSD) that will improve customer performance over the previously standard hard disk drives (HDDs). The amount of RAM received across all plans has doubled, and network throughput to each host server has increased from 2Gbps to 40Gbps.

In short, Linode is going for a rebirthre, from Linux Virtual Private Server hoster to full on Infrastructure as a Service player.

In addition to improvements to its infrastructure architecture, it’s also going targeting enterprise customers with larger plans built specifically to their needs. Linode has a history of being strong with the self-serve DIY crowd. It has a significant gaming hosting operation, and is home to many development projects and startups. However, its base has broadened over the years, with the company landing some Fortune 50 companies and enterprises.

It’s been adding several features to appeal to the business world. In recent months the company has also released several new product such as NodeBalancer SSL, a cloud-based load balancing service. It expanded into managed services with Linode Managed, the company’s round-the-clock incident response service, and it added Longview, a server statistics and graphing service.

The new positioning and cash will help it grow a burgeoning business that goes beyond the techie and into new territories. It’s a straight competitor with AWS, Rackspace, and IBM.

Free hardware and service upgrades include:

  • SSDs: All new Linodes are available on SSD-powered host servers; eliminating spinning disks and boosting provisioning time to well under a minute while also improving application response time.
  • RAM: All Linodes now have double the amount of memory.
  • CPU: All Linode host servers come with the latest Intel® Xeon® E5 2680v2 Ivy Bridge processors; a full-powered CPU offering higher core counts and better performance than any other cloud hosting provider.
  • NET: Each Linode host server now has 40Gbits of network connectivity. Inbound throughput to each Linode is 40Gbit and outbound can reach up to 10Gbit per second.
  • Hourly Billing: Linode now bundles compute, persistent storage, and network transfer into a simple hourly rate, enabling customers to pay for only what is used with the predictability of a monthly cap that does not exceed current monthly rates.

Linode made a significant investment last spring to bolster network speed. It implemented Cisco Nexus 7000 and 5000 series switches and Nexus 2000 series Fabric Extenders designed to improve redundancy and load balancing to each node.

The company has six geographically diverse data centers. This is the largest overhaul of Linode’s infrastructure since its founding in 2003. Since then, the company has launched over 5,000,000 virtual machines and has more than 250,000 customers worldwide.

About the Author

Jason Verge is an Editor/Industry Analyst on the Data Center Knowledge team with a strong background in the data center and Web hosting industries. In the past he’s covered all things Internet Infrastructure, including cloud (IaaS, PaaS and SaaS), mass market hosting, managed hosting, enterprise IT spending trends and M&A. He writes about a range of topics at DCK, with an emphasis on cloud hosting.

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