Interview with Karl Robinson of StratoGen

The terms "Cloud Hosting" and "IaaS" had been creating quite a buzz for the past few years. In case you are considering the technology, StratoGen is a name you should know.

VMware Hosting StratoGen

StratoGen

Based in United Kingdom, StratoGen (http://www.stratogen.net/) is a managed hosting company providing enterprise cloud hosting, managed server hosting, colocation and connectivity products. StratoGen, a Service Provider Partner of VMware, and along with our other partnerships with HP, Dell and Cisco; have built an enterprise class infrastructure that enables companies to go beyond the cloud computing hype to gain real business benefits.

Today, we are honoured to have StartoGen’s Managing Director, Karl Robinson, as our guest to share his experience and vision with us. Karl held senior management roles for the past 9 years and has been involved in IT and Telecoms sales for more than 13 years. He was the Sales Director for Kingston Communications (07-08) and In-Tuition Networks Limited (08-10); and was the founding director of Cloud Data Limited before joining StratoGen.

Without wasting anytime, let’s move on to the interview.

Q & A with Karl Robinson, Managing Director of StratoGen

Hello Karl! First of all, thank you very much for being with us today. For start, let’s talk about yourself and your company StratoGen. How would you describe your role as a leader at StratoGen; and, what can we know more about StratoGen?

As Managing Director of StratoGen I love to get involved with every aspect of the business, from Sales & Marketing, through product development and technical innovation.  I love dealing first hand with customers and choose not to hide behind my team – it’s great to hear how happy our customers are with my own ears.

StratoGen is a managed hosting company providing enterprise VMware hosting, managed server hosting, colocation and connectivity products all backed by a 100% uptime SLA.

We are a Service Provider Partner of VMware, and along with our other partnerships with HP, Dell and Cisco have built an enterprise class infrastructure that enables companies to go beyond the cloud computing hype to gain real business benefits. We help to drive down your costs, react quickly to changing business conditions and provide simplified management of your resources.

Who should consider signing up with StratoGen? Please briefly describe the company’s target audience.

StratoGen’s main route to market is via IT consultants and resellers who are consulting on projects such as website development, application development, server consolidation etc.  End users vary wildly, from a garden centre, to technical companies, charities and even a utility company, but generally they are introduced to us via a consultancy channel.  We also do a lot of hosting with SaaS providers, or ISVs looking to convert their applications from a traditional software model to a SaaS model.

What are the benefits of hosting with VSphere 4.1 (and VMware)?

Hosting with VMware enables our clients to benefit from enterprise grade IT infrastructure for a modest monthly fee.  VMware has many inbuilt features to optimise performance and uptime of IT environments, such as HA (High Availability), which automatically reboots customer Virtual Machines onto another physical host in the event of hardware failure, DRS (distributed resource scheduling) which moves live VMs around the platform to ensure each VM gets the resources it needs, and vMotion enabling zero downtime maintenance windows by migrating live VMs off hardware which requires maintenance.  All of these features give StratoGen the confidence to offer a 100% uptime guarantee, which is not just a money back guarantee; it is underpinned by a solid technical architecture.

The company’s idea of having all skilled engineers in the customer support department is brilliant. Please, enlighten us about StratoGen’s TECHIE Support Program?

At StratoGen we are committed to ensuring that our customers get the best possible technical support.  All of our engineers are highly skilled and have many years’ experience within the industry.  Customers often compliment us on the quality and efficiency of our support – most issues are resolved with a single call and our engineers will often go above and beyond the call of duty to assist customers with issues which are outside the scope of our service offering.

What can we know more about StratoGen’s data centers?

StratoGen have selected the best quality tier 3 UK datacenters in which to host our equipment.  These facilities offer the ultimate in power availability, cooling and network interconnect, ensuring our customers servers are always available and have great quality internet bandwidth available to them.

There are more and more hosting providers leveraging the power of cloud technology – SiteCloud (http://sitecloud.com/) for example leverage Amazon EC2 Elastic Cloud in their hosting offer. Do you think this is a good business idea? How would you advice other smaller players who wish to sign up as StratoGen’s resellers?

All business should focus on what they do best – at StratoGen we excel in the management of Internet infrastructure.   If you are in are currently offering Internet infrastructure as an add on, and do not consider it a core strength, then you should look to outsource it.  If it is not one of your core strengths, chances are there is someone who can do it better, and probably cheaper than you can.  So you should look to partner – this will enable you to focus on your core strengths, while enhancing the infrastructure element of your offering for your clients.  We regularly talk to businesses who are in this situation, and they are relieved to find a partner like StratoGen that can relieve them of their infrastructure burden.

Reading your article VPS or VMware Hosting, I agreed that VPS hosting is incomparable with cloud hosting in term of scalability and reliability. Do you think the cloud technology will replace traditional hosting solutions (eg. shared/VPS/dedicated) completely in near future? Where do you see cloud hosting and StratoGen in 3 to 5 years?

I see IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) as an evolution of traditional hosting so naturally all hosting solutions will evolve in this direction.  There will always be businesses out there that are reluctant to embrace new technology and who will cling on to what they know for as long as possible, but progress is inevitable and the industry is clearly moving quickly in this direction. 

I see StratoGen as a key player in the UK market in the next 3-5 years, continuing to offer innovative, cost effective managed hosting solutions based on the leading technology platforms, enabling our clients to leverage our infrastructure investment to help their businesses consume IT as efficiently as possible.

That will be all for my questions, thanks again for your time!