Florida-based Atlantic.net’s infrastructure is set to expand with another cloud data center in New York, as well as new international locations in Singapore and the U.K.
Atlantic.net began as a dial-up provider, moved into the colo business, and eventually offered a regional Virtual Private Server offering. The VPS business grew, prompting expansion to Toronto, Canada, and Dallas, followed by the company's first West Coast data center location with Telx in San Francisco. CEO Marty Puranik said San Francisco was the fastest-growing region in company history.
The company will soon add a location in New York, followed by the two international locations before July.
With New York, the company wanted a second East Coast location in addition to its cloud data center location in Florida. Florida acts primarily as a gateway to Latin America and as an attractive location for Florida locals.
The data center market in Ashburn, Virginia, is growing at a faster clip than New York, but the company decided New York was a better place to be.
“We found with our customer base, on a pure network basis, Ashburn would have more carrier density,” said Puranik. “However, 60 percent of our customers are international, but they don’t know where Ashburn is. A lot of our customers want to be in and requested New York. They want us in premier cities.”
For international cloud data center expansion, the company's reps flew out to several markets to tour facilities. Puranik said it was important to be where customers are going rather than where they are, and again, city recognition came into play.
In the U.K., Puranik felt that the action was going further inland and chose a location in Slough, a London borough.
“We’re getting a lot of traction in the U.K.,” said Puranik. “Again, if I was going by number of peers or network, I’d probably go Amsterdam. My customers want a U.K. product and they want it basically in London. We’re on a different map than different clouds.”
Other factors that went into the decision included data-sovereignty and accessibility issues.
Singapore continues to be a popular first location in Asia Pacific, as it acts as a gateway to China and other markets in the region. Quality of facilities, accessibility and widespread use of the English language were also important factors in that decision.
Following an extensive tour of facilities in several markets, Puranik noted that he saw a lot of segmentation happening in the industry. Some specialize in high density, while others push the number of carriers. New builds are often focused on high density, while there’s older data centers formerly used for legacy internet-facing properties that are being repurposed. Different data centers are tuned for different customers, and the customers are noticing.
He uses a car analogy: “There’s the Lexus of the market, and the Camry of the market – we go for something in between,” he said. What does Atlantic.net go for? “The high end of the Toyota market.”
The do-it-yourself and developer cloud market is growing. There are newer entrants like DigitalOcean and long-time VPS providers like Linode that have always served this market, and giants like Microsoft Azure are adding developer-friendly services.
“The developer market is a focus for everybody. In terms of who’s buying, nobody looks for box software anymore, so developers are all focused on SaaS. All the development is going into automating everything. In terms of competition, really, it’s a brand new market, so everybody is growing.”
The company has also recently given a face lift to its web page and control panel. The control panel was redesigned to be more intuitive and to form the framework for an upcoming one-click app-deployment feature, which Puranik said was very close to launching.
A new how-to section helps the company catch up with the rest of the developer cloud market as well. How-to sections aren’t new and have long been a staple of the web hosting market. Cloud is enabling a new generation of DYI users. What used to be a niche is now mainstream.