Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Small Business hosting in NZ

I saw Swizzle via Rod Drury today.

I had wondered with the decrease in cost of servers whether there was an opportunity to get into this - especially with small businesses who don't need all the bells and whistles, just secure and reliable hosting.

The process looks super easy, but to be honest it wasn't that cheap ($1200 per annum for a linux server?) but I may be out of touch with pricing - I hope they do well.

9 comments:

Rob said...

Hmmm, ping times are approximatly 3 times faster than a budget hosting service via the US.

My question is... "How important is ping for generic hosting?"
Before leaping to the keyboard, bear in mind we're talking about SMALL business, and users (in NZ especially) are used to relitively slow webpage loads. Is the cost differential worth the enhanced (local) user experience?

I can appreciate the need for fast ping for application based services - but again, this suits small business to clients within the NZ network - what percentage of internet based/enabled small businesses in NZ soley fish in the NZ network for clients?

blueminiboy said...

I have been considering this as a business opportunity also in NZ. This does appear quite expensive when you can get a full US server for < NZ$100. Ping times are irrelevant for web browsing in the whole scheme of things.

Using VMWare is not the most cost effective model for linux hosting compared to say Virtuozzo, an OS based virtualised model (1 to 100 consolidation).

Hosting is easier. Support is much,much harder.

Gripnostril said...

Knowing some people in this space, servers is the easy bit, performance and perception is the problem...oh, and users....

The simplicity is essential, but then "small business" needs it all to operate anyway...so, they either try to get complex, or ask for it... and struggle for a solution in the long term (eg. customer retention).

It's fault management that's the issue... and coping with it... and as always...setting (re setting) and managing expectations...

Rob said...

@blueminiboy

So for pure webhosting it would appear that US (or anywhere else that's less expensive than NZ) based hosts make more sense than something local, and for application serving the ping (and support) are the determining factors?
My feel would be that support / SLAs would have around 3x the relevance of ping, but - as a small business owner who DOES have IP delivered applications, I also would say that cost is the major determining factor, scoring around 5-6 on the relevance grid. (Recognising that my wife is the accountant and thus financials are scrutinised more closely than I myself would probably choose).

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peter said...

Swizzle offers guaranteed reservation of CPU and memory resources as well as enterprise standard fault tolerance in the server. The network by design is really close to customer premises.

As fibre makes its way into the small business office, it becomes realistic to abandon the server in the broom cupboard and replace it with a shiny new swizzle hosted server that can be upgraded at the flick of a switch.

All of this of course has a price, which when compared to the cost of on site physical servers, and the potential cost of business interruption when it breaks or replacements have to be installed, is really rather modest.

Low cost VPS hosting is widespread in the USA, and is available in NZ. However this is not the market that Swizzle has entered. Having said that, a swizzle server is a Rolls Royce web server for larger sites and those who want to run multiple shared sites.

Miki Szikszai said...

Hi Peter

Thanks for taking the time to clarify the target market that Swizzle is aiming for. Looks like my assessment of small business being the target wasn't on the mark and that its more for people who are looking for high levels of reliability so could scale quite a way up.

Was also wondering what traffic charges are allowed for ?

Best of luck with your new venture!

Miki

peter said...

Your comment suggests that small business doesn't look for high levels of reliability or have a need to scale.

This might be true for the home office selling craft on a low cost web site, but small businesses, particularly those that are successful need the same reliability and scaleability as large organisations.

They just don't need the complexity and prefer not to pay for what they don't use.

peter said...

The traffic charges vary according to use. We are making some changes to the site today that will allow you to see that without logging in.

Thanks for your luck, we will deploy it right away.