Hosting has been a big part of WSOL's service offering since our founding over 20 years ago. We started with a few servers in the back of our office (big tower PCs and a T-1 line), and we eventually grew to a co-located cage in a world-class data center with dozens of rack mounted servers and related networking equipment.
Over the last 10 years, our hosting focus has been on CMS-driven sites, specifically Ektron and Episerver. Our expertise in hosting these platforms has been a tremendous supplement to our core design and development business, allowing us to provide true end to end digital solutions and exceptional service to our clients.
As we begin our third decade in business, we have not lost our drive to continually evolve and improve. Our mission is to build amazing online experiences for our clients, and that involves never resting on past successes or sticking with technology and processes that are advancing at an ever increasing rate.
It's no surprise that the biggest game changer in the hosting world has been the emergence of virtualization and The Cloud. Analysts report that more than $1 trillion in IT spending will be directly or indirectly affected by the shift to the cloud during the next five years. In addition, more and more software vendors, like Episerver, have adopted a “cloud first” approach to delivering their product.
As we’ve studied our own business and looked at ways to better serve our clients, we’ve decided to harness the power of the Cloud and transition our hosting environment to Amazon Web Services (AWS) beginning this Fall. Moving to AWS will allow us to provide a much higher level of service for our clients, as well as the best hosting infrastructure available to build a successful digital strategy. Here’s what we’re looking forward to being able to provide for our clients:
With traditional hosting, a server (virtual or dedicated) has a predefined configuration in which the website must run. If demands are high or there are periodic jumps in traffic, performance and accessibility may be negatively impacted if the configuration isn’t robust enough. The solution is to add more servers or move to a more robust hardware configuration, both of which can be time consuming and costly efforts. A cloud hosting environment, on the other hand, can scale up or down with minimal effort or disruption as the needs of the site change. With AWS, a “right fit” hosting solution will always be at hand, ensuring that your website is always accessible and performant.
The availability of server instances in the cloud is virtually limitless. New servers can be spun up in minutes and taken down just as quickly through automated processes and online administration tools. Things like development servers and test servers, essential in working with an enterprise platform like Episerver, are available in much less time and at a lower cost than traditional hosting. Additionally, the entire spectrum of AWS products and services are at our disposal, meaning we can custom architect any hosting configuration that best suits the needs of our clients.
We want to devote our time and energy to our clients, not hardware. By freeing ourselves from the unending responsibilities of server and data center management, we will be better equipped to rapidly deliver winning strategies and solutions. With the redundancy and resilience of the AWS architecture, we can spend our time moving our clients forward instead of worrying about uptime, reboots, and patching.
We are confident that AWS will enhance WSOL as a company and provide the best possible home for our clients’ web properties. Our goal is to begin offering AWS hosting by September 2017, with full adoption by mid-2018. More information will be posted here on the WSOL blog, and we'll maintain ongoing direct communication with each client as we progress in this initiative. Our future looks “Cloudy," and we couldn’t be more excited!