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June 11, 2010

The Planet: The Largest Web Hosting Provider in the World

Editor's Note: This article refers to a video interview shot at Interop (News - Alert) 2010. To view TMCnet's entire library of videos from Interop and other industry shows, demonstrations and interviews in our in-house studio, visit our Video News home page.
Interop 2010 presented an exciting opportunity to bring together multiple players in the technology and telecommunications space together in one location to provide informative presentation on new offerings, next-generation technologies and opportunities for the coming year.
TMCnet took advantage of this innovative event to speak with a number of key industry players at Interop this year. Doug Erwin Chairman & CEO of The Planet (News - Alert) visited the TMCnet media booth for an interview captured in this video.
To provide a little background on this company, The Planet is the result of a merger that occurred four years ago. Company investors at the time saw a tremendous opportunity in the hosting business as this was considered to be an industry on the verge of a come-back.
These investors wanted to acquire two of the largest web hosting companies and put them together. Today, The Planet is the single largest web hosting company in the world. 2.5 to 3 percent of all Internet traffic goes through their data center.
Despite the economy, Erwin noted that The Planet grew last year. The company grew in the top line and the bottom line, even if it wasn't double digit growth as they were used to in the past.
When asked what was driving this growth, Erwin noted that when they put the two companies together, the rallying cry was all about automation. As a result, The Planet is no longer just a hosting provider, but now a total experience provider, adding managed services to the list.

In the past year, the company has grown well over 60 percent by focusing on automation as they don't have to keep adding people to support this growth.
Does the cloud play into their strategy? "We could play Jay Leno here and stop 10 people walking by and ask them to define the cloud and every one of them would probably have a different answer and two of them would probably point to the sky," said Erwin. "The cloud really is a new method in trying to get more out of hardware.

"We are announcing our new product at the end of this quarter and will have 1,500 people working on it to really test it. The cloud is really about the end user as they get better service. At the same time, the provider can deliver bigger and better without more cost," Erwin added.
As for energy efficiency, it is a huge factor for The Planet. In his top 5 expense lines, Erwin highlighted that number 3 is utilities. By adding a "chimney" type device to the data center, they saved 9 percent in energy expenses.

To learn more about this concept and The Planet, access this video in full.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for To read more of Susan's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Juliana Kenny

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