Catching Up with OnApp CEO Ditlev Bredahl at HostingCon Global
OnApp CEO Ditlev Bredahl (Source: OnApp Facebook Page)

Catching Up with OnApp CEO Ditlev Bredahl at HostingCon Global

If Ditlev Bredahl was to start a hosting company today, he would not want to own his infrastructure


This article originally appeared at The WHIR

If OnApp CEO Ditlev Bredahl was to start a hosting company today, he would not want to own his infrastructure. Instead, he would use a marketplace like the OnAppFederation, which came out of beta last week.

“If I could redo UK2Group today, I would have my entire infrastructure with the marketplace,” he said in an interview with the WHIR at HostingCon Global 2015.

Launching in beta several years ago, OnApp Federation added 49 new cloud providers this week that contribute more than 50 compute locations in 30 countries, extending its coverage in European locations, including London, Cologne and Oslo, in the US and Canada, South America, Asia-Pacific and EMEA. The federation brings together cloud providers that can buy and sell cloud infrastructure through a wholesale marketplace.

Of course Bredahl launched OnApp in 2010, and should certainly stand behind the federated model, but he said that the message is catching on in the broader industry as web hosts need something in order to give customers scale and geographic reach possible with AWS.

“This is my sixth startup and this is the first time I really feel like I’m changing something,” Bredahl said, describing OnApp’s federation as the Uber or AirBnb of infrastructure.

Taking on AWS’ Amazonian Scale

With nine data centers around the world and aggressive growth plans, Amazon is entering new markets faster than any other cloud provider, and its earnings for its cloud division are certainly impressive if not a little unsettling for other cloud service providers.

“Amazon has a better feature set now, but more than that they’ve got amazing access to capital and scale,” Bredahl said. “[As a host] you really can’t afford to have the same scale or level of geographic reach.”

It seems that bigger companies may understand the buy vs. build proposition better than smaller companies, as Bredahl said OnApp has fewer clients this year but more revenue.

“I think the industry is consolidating but I also think it’s pluralizing. I think you will end up in a situation where you’re selling infrastructure or you’re building infrastructure,” he said. “If you’re building infrastructure you might not be very good at selling it, but if you’re selling infrasturcture you might not be very good at building it.”

OnApp Acceleration Makes CDN Configuration Easier

Of the announcements OnApp made this week at HostingCon, Bredahl is most excited about its OnApp Accelerator, a CDN that can be deployed in one-click.

“I really feel that the Internet is broken,” Bredahl said. “If the founders of the Internet back in the day looked at how the Internet is used today, it wouldn’t have been designed the way it was. If you think about it, it’s the people that distribute content that decide how it should be consumed. It should be the consumer that decides where the content is being served because they are the one that is actually buying it.”

By making deploying a CDN easier, Bredahl hopes that more websites will actually use one; “Only six percent of all sites are sitting on a CDN. I think that seems really low,” he said.

“I think the problem with CDN is people don’t quite understand what it actually does and a content delivery network is not really common knowledge for people running small businesses,” he said.

By using the word accelerate rather than CDN, Bredahl hopes less technical people will understand the benefit a CDN can bring to their websites.

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