Industry:Internet Service Provider
hosttech GmbH is a Swiss Internet service provider based in Richterswil, Salzburg, Berlin and Cologne. Founded in 2004, it now offers a wide range of Internet services – from homepage web hosting for private customers to managed server hosting and reseller offerings for medium-sized and large companies. hosttech serves over 60,000 customers and operates two of its own data centers in Wädenswil ( ZH ) and in the converted facility of a former underground military hospital in Nottwil ( LU ). With the gridscale Hybrid Core, hosttech has been offering hosttech.cloud since 2020, a public cloud in its own data center with an intuitive drag-drop-click interface based on the gridscale Easy Panel.
gridscale is ahead of the game for us, both in terms of technology, communication and costs. It’s a big advantage for us that we don’t have to worry about development, maintenance and management of the platform. That’s all up to gridscale. We can fully concentrate on selling hosttech.cloud. The advantages for our customers are the reliability and the simple, intuitive operation. Pay-as-you-go billing is also a good selling point for us.Manual Kälin, CTO of hosttech GmbH
Manuel, you have been successfully active in the Internet and hosting business since 2004. What prompted you to launch your new platform hosttech.cloud together with gridscale?
We wanted to be more responsive to our customers’ needs in the direction of the cloud. We have been offering virtual servers for some time now. However, we have received requests from users who want more options and freedom in server configuration and setup. These customers want to control themselves how much memory, CPU or RAM they use and for how long, or whether they can set up an internal IP network, for example. For such access options, we would have had to invest a lot of time, manpower and engineering to build up the necessary expertise. For this reason, we looked around the market for a suitable technology partner and finally got in touch with gridscale.
So your goal was to offer your customers their own public cloud from hosttech.
Exactly. We already operate cloud clusters. Up to now, our customers have ordered virtual servers of the desired size via our website, which we then set up and launch for them. With the new hosttech.cloud, customers can log in directly – in self-service, so to speak – and define from A to Z how their VM will be provisioned. This is much faster for our user than ordering from us first. In addition, customers can adjust their resources and performance data themselves within minutes, and start up or shut down servers.
How has the new public cloud offering been received by your customers?
After a beta phase in the summer, we made the platform official in November 2020. In a relatively short time, we had even more public cloud users than we expected at such an early stage. It is noticeable that we have a high demand on the market here. We are very pleased with the launch of hosttech.cloud.
How did you ultimately decide to go with hybrid core? What tipped the scales in favor of gridscale?
Of course we looked at competitors and had experience with other products in the past, but gridscale came out on top for us, both in terms of technology, communication and cost. It is a great advantage for us that we do not have to worry about development, maintenance and management of the platform. That’s all up to gridscale. We can fully concentrate on selling hosttech.cloud. The advantages for our customers are the reliability and the simple, intuitive operation. Pay-as-you-go billing is also a good selling point for us.
Your hosttech.cloud customers only pay for what they actually use.
Yes, they don’t have to book fixed packages; they are only charged for the resources that are actually running. For example, if a server is no longer needed, you simply switch it off. Customers have a minute-by-minute overview of the costs for compute, storage and network in their web interface at all times.
You use the Easy Panel as a web interface for your public cloud customers in one of the white label solutions.
The hosttech.cloud is 100 percent a hosttech offering in our CI. Underneath that is gridscale’s technology and functionality. And they are excellent. With more complicated web interfaces that we tried in the past, there were always problems because configurations didn’t run correctly. gridscale, on the other hand, is stable and reliable. The interface is not only intuitive and fast, it also helps you to optimally link resources. Our customers need neither training nor in-depth IT expertise to use it. We receive very positive feedback on the usability of hosttech.cloud.
How was the installation and setup of the Hybrid Core on your systems?
After consulting with gridscale, we prepared the appropriate hardware in our data center for the Hybrid Core. The rest was done by the gridscale experts. The setup of the core and the commissioning of our public cloud went smoothly. Beforehand, we were able to test the system extensively and our employees were introduced to the partner panel, which is also simple and clear. The whole process was delightfully straightforward. The good communication with the people at gridscale is still a decisive argument for us to work with gridscale.
Are you in regular contact with the experts at gridscale?
We can clarify 95 percent of all customer questions ourselves without any problems. But if we get stuck, we always get help quickly and reliably. There are no long lines. But we are also in regular contact with gridscale. We pass on feedback from our customers and discuss together which features might still be in demand. It really is a constructive partnership.
The partner provides the hardware, gridscale takes care of the rest.
The Hybrid Core is a managed on-premises data center for hybrid operation of a public and private cloud. The customer provides the required hardware in their own data center – gridscale takes care of setup and platform management. Using the simple web interfaces or directly via our gridscale APIs, the customer controls the own hardware, runs VMs, manages own customers and can rely on secure operation of their own cloud workloads.
In this way, users of the Hybrid Core offer their customers a reliable and powerful cloud environment from their own data center. In the company’s own design and including intuitive user guidance, developer tools, integrations and marketplace, templates and automation routines.
The maintenance of the operating systems, updates, installations and implementation of new functionalities as well as monitoring remain with gridscale. The Hybrid Core user can fully concentrate on the marketing and success of own business applications.
What are the reasons companies are interested in the gridscale Hybrid Core?
On the one hand, control over their own data. For another, customers want to offer modern IaaS and PaaS in their own data center without having to build up expertise in systems management for a cloud platform. Our hybrid core enables our partners to do this. Thus partners can focus entirely on their core business.
And a partner doesn’t have to worry about anything else?
Partners manage their cloud workloads on their own hardware via the gridscale interface, which they are often already familiar with. For everything below that, we take over the complete operation. We even notify the partner if hardware is faulty somewhere and needs to be replaced.
You say that many customers already know the interface and the gridscale cloud.
Yes, this is a typical customer journey. A company is a white label customer and runs its public cloud in one of our data centers. At some point, customers are so enthusiastic about it that they also want to convert their own data center to this technology.
But support and communication remain the same for them.
Of course. We provide our Hybrid Core partners with best practices and show how to implement desired scenarios and requirements. For us, consulting and regular exchange are part and parcel of this.