Industry Analyst & Strategist

Hosting Hosting Everywhere

For many years I’ve been giving a talk called Invisible CMS (probably my first version) – this isn’t an actual piece of code or open source project or SaaS. It’s a business presentation about separating technology from services. Why? Most customers don’t care about the technology, they are looking for the value proposition. Don’t worry, we’ll get to the hosting part after a few brief clarifications.

BigScoots: Personal. Expert. Always There. That’s Real Managed Hosting.

Value Propositions

This was presented at WordPress and Joomla conferences but at the end of the day, the points are CMS agnostics:

  1. WordPress is the dominant CMS platform
  2. Everyone says they “do WordPress”
  3. What makes you so special?

Then a deep dive into how you find your niche:

  1. What’s done well
  2. What’s done poorly
  3. Vertical segmentation
  4. Horizontal segmentation

The point of the Invisible CMS exercise is to learn that technology is in the background, people will pay more for value which solves their problems with the least amount of risk. Heck, risk is likely a problem they already have, so value is in knowing regulations, proven workflows and track records, as well as cost/benefit. It’s fun but what does this have to do with hosting?

Infinite and Ubiquitous Hosting

I had the pleasure of being on the The Future of Hosting and Cloud panel at Acronis #CyberFit Summit 2022 with moderator, Jeff Hardy, and panelists from critical infrastructure and hosting organizations:

  • Mark Hogan – IONOS
  • Patrick Dolan – Virtuozzo
  • Emily Sampson – Acronis

This was an engaging and packed session and went from the near to far future of hosting. I opined that the future of hosting needs to become infinite (in supporting performance), and ubiquitous (always on and everywhere, like electricity). I used the following metaphor of automobiles:

  1. Hosting was initially a single gear, you put up a server in your bedroom closet, and what ever that box had regarding outbound connection and hardware was it. Scaling and uptime were limited.
  2. The single gear wasn’t going to last long, manual hosting transmission became possible at datacenters around the world. You could start at one gear and shift to another by having sys admins migrate to a new selection of hardware.
  3. Automatic transmission has multiple variations, everything from the cloud to managed applications (SaaS) like managed WordPress. The issues of shifting gears are much simpler but not perfect.
  4. Infinite torque, like what one has with an electric motor, is the holy grail of hosting.

The value of infinite torque for hosting is immense. To mix metaphors, I want to be able host blindly, I want to be able to plug my application in and it works, I want to pull it from one socket and move it to another. I want a blind trust and easy billing. That’s what infinite hosting is. No vendor lock-in is key. In a perfect world there would be a protocol between hosting companies that supports this ideal. I could start with a local host and automagically scale to the globe.

That’s my future of hosting plan.

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