It was blazing hot in Austin, Texas last week. This wasn’t just because temperature was soaring to 97 degrees Fahrenheit, but also because one of the hottest hosting events was in town! Looking back to this year’s HostingCon, it combined inspiring leaders predicting the hosting future with some good cowboy-style quality time to see customers and partners.
If you couldn’t make it to Austin, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Here’s a collection of things we learned during the various sessions by speaking to analysts such as Phil Shih and Liam Eagle, and by meeting key people who affect our growing industry:
1. Global expansion
While the choice of geographic locations for storing data has become critically important to serve end users across every continent, the topic of emerging markets in Europe and Asia was a popular subject this year with various sessions discussing the need for growth and the best places to go. Amsterdam, home to Leaseweb’s Dutch office, was singled out as the place to be. With close to 30% of European data centers situated in Amsterdam, it has become a major Internet hub.
With the available talent, government support, and one of the most densely cabled networks in the world, it’s no wonder that Amsterdam was voted the best European location to expand to with your data center. On top of that, it offers a good economic environment, and power is reasonably cheap.
Asia is the next most attractive location after Europe with Singapore pointed out as perhaps the hottest Asia-Pacific location for the data center market. It’s home to approximately 50% of South-East Asia’s data center capacity, and is the region’s leading business center.
2. Dare to be different
In an increasingly competitive industry, with companies such as IBM, Verizon, and others crossing borders to new niches – standing out is key. Start by evaluating the market and determining where the open space is, then move there to own it. Various companies are successfully employing this strategy by adjusting their products and services. Some add managed services to support their product service portfolio, while some move into niche hosting by creating product offerings geared towards a specific segment, such as music platforms, or as Ditlev Bredahl pointed out, segments for wine drinkers and pet owners.
3. Communicate your story consistently
Determine the three key messages that allow you to tell stories about your company. Work out who you are and why you care about what you do. Authenticity is the foundation of a strong brand. While creating those key messages can be a challenging task for itself, the most difficult part is actually aligning everyone in your company to support the message and making sure that everything you do consistently tells the story of your brand.
4. Next stop: Hybrid
Not just a buzz word – hybrid solutions are forming the answer to some of the open questions about the advantages and disadvantages of cloud vs. dedicated servers. Yes, cloud adoption is growing at a very fast rate covering approximately 50% of new opportunities in the market. As the technology behind it matures, it is starting to shift to the next gear – moving towards a hybrid solution to offer high performance, while leveraging the customizability of dedicated servers.
5. Join the i2 Coalition
In Austin, we took part in the i2Coalition Member Dinner, meeting with the heads in the industry to celebrate our support of this important initiative, and to celebrate its first year of existence. The i2coalition “seeks to influence decision makers to weigh decisions on whether they are good or bad for the Internet economy and its foundational industries”. In other words, we fight for a free and open internet. One important topic this year was how patent trolls threaten innovation in the internet industry, and what actions should be taken to stop them. Want to know more? Join the i2Coalition.
Of course, due to the fact that the convention took place a few blocks down from Austin’s (in)famous 6th street – AKA The Drag – there were some fantastic networking parties during the evenings with the best live music you can ask for.
Did you go to HostingCon too this year? What did you take away from it? Share what you learned in the comments below!
Oh, and if your picture was drawn by our fantastic on-site artist, and you want to download a digital version of it, you can find them on Digital Caricature’s download page and you can check out our pictures on Flickr.