Looking back at 20 years of LeaseWeb

As LeaseWeb approaches its 20th anniversary, I’ve recently had a quote from Chuck Yeager stuck in mind, “If you want to grow old as a pilot, you’ve got to know when to push it, and when to back off.” As a pilot myself, and someone who spent his early life working as one professionally, this line resonates. When you are flying, there is little room for error. Expertise, teamwork, and precision, mean the difference between a safe and enjoyable flight and one that could place people in real danger.

While the risks in the field of cloud hosting may not be as dramatic as those in aviation, they are no less real. Much like in aviation, deep knowledge of the field and the right team are important. But, expertise and teamwork are not enough in themselves. They need to be brought together in the right way to provide a framework for success.

When we started LeaseWeb in 1997, I could have never imagined what the company would become. The field of technology was quite different. The internet as we understand it today had barely emerged, dial up modems were the only way to get online, and no one had even imagined the possibility of the smart phone. Access to the internet was limited and at times hard to come by. I remember being in Nairobi after a flight with our 747 and trying to find a way to get online. There were actually no local connections, so I ended up paying nearly € 800 in calling charges to South Africa just to get access to the internet.

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How to Ensure Business Continuity in the Cloud

Business ContinuityBusiness continuity, like its little sibling backups, is too often overlooked until it’s too late. But with the cloud on their side, IT and business leaders have a new chance  to rethink the breadth and effectiveness of their business continuity capabilities to help avert the next outage.

The ‘build it and they will come’ days of business continuity

If you look at how business continuity was traditionally performed in medium to large organizations it usually involved a lot of talk about the “second site”. Core systems, applications, and data are literally duplicated (sometimes with watered-down capabilities) at an off-site data center or server room.

In the event of a business disruption, such as a fire alarm, the production systems would be switched over to the DR system and, at least in theory, the business would continue as usual.

One of the major challenges with using this architecture is the cost and resources required to do it properly. While some core business applications might require hardware duplication, the vast majority of applications can be run on standards-based hybrid cloud infrastructure.

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Finding My Way to the Land of Windmills

NetherlandsI recently moved from South Africa to join LeaseWeb as a Scrum Master. As expected, this was a big step filled with many challenges and sometimes overwhelming uncertainty.

My journey started with the interview process. After two online interviews, I was invited for a face to face interview at the LeaseWeb head office in the Netherlands. I experienced the company as honest and open. I immediately felt at home even though I hadn’t even received an offer.

When starting a new job in a new country, acceptance and belonging are important and this is the very much the experience I had with LeaseWeb from the get go. As soon as the contract was signed, I was welcomed and taken care of every step of the way.

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5 Things You Should Do When Migrating to the Cloud

Migrating to the cloudFrom both a business and an IT perspective, migrating to the cloud can be a good option for many businesses. But, it’s not something that can be done without the right research and preparation. If you want to be successful when migrating to the cloud, you need open communication with both your own team and hosting provider, as well as a clearly defined cloud migration strategy that is connected to your business needs. What follow are 5 tips to help you get started.

  1. Share your roadmap

Setting goals is everything. Your goals for migrating to the cloud should be closely connected to your business goals. How fast do you want to grow (i.e. how scalable does your technology need to be)? Who in your organization needs what functionality in order to reach which goal?

Select a cloud partner who is open to discussion about your roadmap and its implementation. Together you can create a technology roadmap that best supports your ambitions. Ideally, your cloud partner is a trusted advisor who shares his expertise with you. Keeping in close contact with your partner and sharing the load will also enable you to divide tasks between you: while your cloud provider focuses on hosting a cloud platform and making sure your servers are up-and-running, you will be able to concentrate on creating more value for your customers.

The value of leveraging a third party can only be achieved when both sides understand their responsibilities and expectations. This means communication between you and your partner should be one of your top priorities.

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Hybrid Cloud Success: Getting Workloads and Stakeholders Right

Hybrid CloudBack in the early days of hosting it was quite common to see organizations struggle with trying to use a one-size-fits all computing or storage service for a range of applications. We’ve definitely come a long way since then, but I’m still surprised how often this generalist approach is repeated today.

IT and business units have access to a broad range of hosting technology – including on-premises equipment, public cloud VPSs, private clouds and “bare metal” or dedicated servers – however, not enough thought is given to the fit between the application and the platform.

A “cloud-first” policy seems to be resonating well among many IT and business leaders, who initially take this approach because it is viewed as best practice within a modern IT architecture. However this can quickly result in cost overruns and poorly performing applications. In fact, many companies leaning towards cloud-first can actually benefit more from a hybrid cloud strategy.

The beauty of a hybrid cloud strategy and architecture is that it forces you to think about how to optimize your applications on different infrastructure options. Hybrid also provides the opportunity to take advantage of other cloud services like content delivery networks (CDN) and managed security services.

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From Colocation to Cloud: What You Need to Know

Colocation to cloudOver the course of the past few years I have had an increasing number of discussions with customers and prospects, who already have hosting infrastructure but are considering moving to a real IaaS solution based on a monthly subscription fee. In most cases these customers, who are often in the SaaS industry or offer professional IT services, are interested in moving from on premise or colocation to cloud (virtualized cloud solutions), usually a private cloud due to legal, security, or performance restrictions. The intention of this change is to reduce costs and free up time to focus on their core business.

Customers looking to make the move to the cloud usually either still have racks in the basement of their office, or infrastructure hosted in a data center where the customer rents one or more colocation racks. In both cases, it is possible to make a solid business case for the shift, even it means that the infrastructure needs to be moved from the office to a data center, or from one data center to another that offers hosted services.

To make a strategic move from colocation to cloud, it’s important to have a solid business case. What always surprises me is that the first version of the business case, often only accounts for the CAPEX of the hardware, the cost for rack space, and the cost for internet traffic. As I have learned from working with hundreds of companies, this isn’t enough. To draw up a fully developed business case you need to consider the following points:

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5 Key Phases of a Successful Cloud Migration

Cloud MigrationNoted cloud analyst David Linthicum recently predicted that 2017 will be the year of the “great migration”. Enterprises will begin to migrate significantly more on-premise workloads than in previous years as they search for the right infrastructure solution to fit their business needs.  We at LeaseWeb and WSM International agree with this prediction, having seen for ourselves a significant increase in inquiries about cloud migration, as well as the accompanying questions which arise when businesses begin to consider what it would actually take to make the switch.

While we recognize that migration can seem daunting, we have developed a comprehensive, and proven, approach to cloud migration based on 5 distinct phases.

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LeaseWeb and Citadel games at GDC 2017

GDCAs LeaseWeb USA is revving up to be part of the great success that is the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco next week (March 1st through March 3rd), understanding why LeaseWeb is a proud exhibitor is something I’d like to dive into.

For starters, we are excited to share details of LeaseWeb’s services and hosting platform at the largest annual conference of professional video game developers. These gatherings are always an opportunity to have deeper conversations that really focus on the best solutions for their true needs.

We are happy to be bringing a game developer and customer, Citadel Studios, along with us. Citadel is relying on LeaseWeb to host its new game and is also part of the LeaseWeb Startups Program, which provides financial and technical support to high-potential startups that allows them to quickly build and scale their new businesses utilizing LeaseWeb’s Global Hybrid Infrastructure.

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From hosting to hosting

When I was younger, I had always envisioned a career in the hospitality industry: luxury hotels, fine dining, and amazing locations where I would be the host to welcome guests. Little did I know 6 years ago that ‘hosting’ could have a completely different meaning.

After high school, I started my education with an MBO+ education in Amsterdam in hospitality management. Afterwards, I followed the ‘Fast Track’ bachelor curriculum at Hotelschool The Hague. And Just last week, I received my Master of Science in Management from the Nyenrode Business University where I was proudly 4th in my class. Over the course of my education I developed an interest in marketing. To me, marketing aim to influence consumer behavior in such a way that win-win situations are created. Ultimately, I see marketing as the department where I can help achieve goals and celebrate successes.

During the final steps of my master’s degree, I came in contact with LeaseWeb through a Facebook post where an internship with the marketing team was advertised. Even though my understanding of ‘hosting’ had been completely different, the position was interesting enough to contact a fellow Nyenrodian currently at the company. In September 2016 I was welcomed to LeaseWeb as an intern and instantly given my own responsibilities.

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Is it Time to Rebalance Your Workloads?

MigrationRebalancing is something that many of us are familiar with in terms of our personal finances. We regularly keep track of our accounts and spend time considering the right investment mix – stocks, bonds, mutual funds –  based on economic conditions, past performance, and current needs. While we rightly attend to rebalancing our finances on a regular basis, it is important to think about it in other areas as well. One of these is Cloud Workloads.

As you gain insight into actual versus planned spending and a better understanding of your upcoming capacity plans and performance needs, it is important to look at your current needs and set about rebalancing your workloads in order to optimize both cost and performance.

While AWS has grown rapidly and occupies a dominant place in the market, many organizations have found that they need to rebalance their workloads to fit their evolving requirements. This rebalancing often means moving workloads from AWS back to either an on-premise computing (hybrid IT) environment or to a new hosting provider. Key reasons this occurs include:

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LeaseWeb on Twitter

April 27th was King's Day in the Netherlands. It was a great opportunity to celebrate together with our customers

test Twitter Media - April 27th was King's Day in the Netherlands. It was a great opportunity to celebrate together with our customers https://t.co/WXZ73zehsB

Linux Engineer? Are you keen to work in a fast-moving environment with like-minded people? Let us know! We're hiring lnkd.in/gZ_7Ezd

test Twitter Media - Linux Engineer? Are you keen to work in a fast-moving environment with like-minded people? Let us know! We're hiring https://t.co/I4EHP3oSc2 https://t.co/pHuv5hxH1c

Read our CEO's reflections on the amazing growth that has made LeaseWeb the company it is today: blog.leaseweb.com/2017/04/26/loo… #LeaseWeb20

test Twitter Media - Read our CEO's reflections on the amazing growth that has made LeaseWeb the company it is today: https://t.co/vg5W5PUjRW #LeaseWeb20 https://t.co/jU0aayoqdk

"Mens sana in corpore sano" - Our team in training for last year's Viking Run #LeaseWeb20 #throwbackthursday

test Twitter Media - "Mens sana in corpore sano" - Our team in training for last year's Viking Run #LeaseWeb20 #throwbackthursday https://t.co/pCNEfXwmAa