2day.com builds boutique colo

Customer demands for more management drive a change in web-hoster's business

Offering simple web, DNS and mail hosting is no longer enough, says 2Day.com head Peter Mott. Instead, the Takapuna-based company is looking to provide more managed hosting for its customers, with many functions such as regular backups being done handled at the new 2Day.com datacentre.

In fact, Mott says the new business is a boutique co-location facility where customers can select the level of management they wish to have when they sign up for hosting at 2day.com.

Mott says there are a number of reasons customers want more management from their hosting service provider. A lack of in-house skills is one, he says. IT staff with the requisite knowledge are thin on the ground in New Zealand and cost a great deal to hire. Not only that, Mott says, but the new four-week annual holiday legislation means it is even harder for companies to keep their vital IT departments fully staffed.

On top of staffing woes, Mott says customers cite the capital expenditure for purchasing hardware and software licences as prohibitive. He says that at the 2day.com data centre customers can lease or purchase the required equipment and software for as short periods as a month.

However, moving to increasingly managed hosting meant Mott's firm had to spend over $250,000 on building its new datacentre in Takapuna, to ensure that it could offer customers the required services.

That money went into mainly ensuring data security and integrity for customers. The datacentre has several levels of redundancy for the device rack electricity feed for instance, including a 65kVA uninterruptible power supply with a 135kVA generator being installed in the basement presently.

For its connectivity, 2day.com operates two independent 100Mbit/s fibre links to TelstraClear and ICONZ and peers at the Auckland Peering Exchange (APE) locally over a 34Mbit/s microwave link to the Sky Tower.

To back up customer data, 2day.com installed a server with eight 300GB UltraSCSI II disks, for a total of 1.6TB storage. A tape drive with onsite/offsite storage, accessible with an hour, complements the disk-based storage which in turn is capable of simultaneous restoring and backing up, Mott says. He adds that the backup facility which carries a nominal $50 fee per use has turned out to be very popular with customers thanks to its ability to get them back into business quickly in case something goes wrong.

Qualified onsite engineers are available 24/7 for customers that need assistance as part of managed hosting, Mott says.

Current 2day.com customers include credit card processor Direct Payment Solutions and interactive design company Terabyte. Mott's company also hosts DNS for online auction house TradeMe and insurer Tower Limited.

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