Web Hosting Interviews

Web Host Interview with VP of SMB Hosting at Sumeet Sabharwal

Web Host Interview with VP of SMB Hosting at Sumeet Sabharwal
June 05
15:37 2009 interviews Sumeet Sabharwal, Senior Vice President of SMB Hosting at specializes in high end Linux and Windows Dedicated Server Hosting and we take a look at how its all put together to benefit the SMB in today’s market.

Please tell us the year established and brief history of NaviSite?
NaviSite was founded in 1997 and has grown to over 15 data centers, 650 employees and over $150M in revenue. Over the years NaviSite has grown both organically and through acquisitions, and has products and services that meet the needs of both enterprises and SMBs. NaviSite was already a fast growing provider of hosting services and through a 2001 merger acquired several data centers.

In 2002 NaviSite acquired Interliant, the award winning enterprise class Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes hosting provider. The 2004 acquisition of Surebridge, a top Microsoft Business Solutions provider, solidified NaviSite’s presence in the managed applications industry.

By 2007, NaviSite was a leading enterprise class host and was leveraging that experience to expand into the small and medium sized business space with the acquisition of SMB service providers like Alabanza and Jupiter Hosting. Today, NaviSite serves customers of all sizes and brings a world-class approach with the best in reliability, performance, security and service.

What do you offer your customers that are unique to your company?
NaviSite’s managed dedicated servers come with a level of services that are significantly more robust than those offered by competing providers in the SMB space. We pride ourselves in offering an enterprise class experience, not a product or a service. This comes with a multi-facted approach that includes dedicated account managers for single point of escalation, and a solution that is architected with enterprise class reliability and uptime and delivered from a SAS 70 Type II data center. Included with every Dedicated Server and Virtual Dedicated Server plan are essential features that provide enterprise class reliability, performance and access. As an example, every NaviSite Dedicated Server comes with two hard drives and RAID, not a unique concept but one that is essential to provide high reliability. NaviSite’s Virtual Server offerings offer unparalled flexilibty and on-demand computing capability and come bundled with all the core reliability features one can expect to run product applications including

VMware based infrastructure, HP BladeSystem, and SAN storage. We only use best in class name brand products and technology with full service contracts, and we don’t assemble our own servers. Our servers go through extensive compatibility and reliability testing which our competition just cannot do on their own. Reliable spam-free enterprise class business email and collaboration is a core demand within the SMB audience. Our Hosted Exchange and SharePoint solution has been designed from a ground up for the SMB customer. With a generous amount of storage, the best-in-class SPAM protection from Postini, and an unparalleled automation and self service provided by an industry leading control panel, our Hosted Exchange platform provides hassle free email and mobility for SMBs. Through our extensive experience in servicing enterprise customers, we know that simply having the best servers, networks and upgrades does not insure a successful outsourcing experie

What is the most challenging aspect to offering Dedicated Servers?
The most challenging aspect we find are the high expectations many of our customers bring, often because of bad experiences elsewhere, and also sometimes stemming from the realization and frustration that they are no longer able to manage their own IT internally. SMB’s deserve but rarely receive a class of service that enterprises enjoy, and are surprised when they experience the higher-level of service that NaviSite provides. It is not unusual for our dedicated account managers to receive unsolicited feedback from our customers within the first 30 days of their signing up about the dramatic upgrade in the experience and the reliability.

What is it that makes NaviSite a competitive company in the Dedicated Hosting market?
NaviSite’s long history of providing enterprise managed hosting and application solutions provide a foundation of service, experience and controls which are unparalleled in the small and medium sized hosting marketplace. We focus on providing an experience, not a service. This includes world class support, dedicated account managers, and hosting packages that are designed with SMBs in mind. When prospects compare our servers and options against the competition, it’s our leadership on price and value that prove to be the most viable solution.

Where do you see NaviSite and the web hosting industry in three years?
Both the industry and NaviSite will evolve. The cloud platform offers a new paradigm to deliver and charge for services, with an increased degree of flexibility for the customer. We will see an acceleration of Software as a Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). SMBs and enterprises will continue to move their IT infrastructure to hosted infrastructure providers, enabling them to cut costs and get more performance and reliability out of their infrastructure budgets. Specific trends which will grow significantly include data storage and management, virtualization and hosted applications, whether they are standardized packages like NaviSite’s Hosted Exchange and Mobility, or custom developed SaaS and HaaS applications

How many customers do you currently have?
NaviSite has over 1,500 customers and manages over 9,000 servers across 15 data centers which host thousands of applications.

Who are some of your famous clients?
NaviSite has dozens of world famous clients including HBO, BP, GM, and JP Morgan, as well as thousands of nationally and locally famous small business clients who rely on our hosted infrastructure services.

Do you own your own datacenter?
NaviSite currently owns 15 state-of-the-art data centers supported by more than 650 professionals.

Where are they located?
Our data centers are located worldwide and include:
• Andover, MA
• Syracuse, NY
• New York City
• Vienna, VA
• Oak Brook, IL
• Chicago, IL
• Houston, TX
• Las Vegas, NV
• Dallas, TX
• San Jose, CA
• San Francisco, CA
• London, UK
• Minneapolis, MN
• Woking, UK
• Santa Clara, CA

What kind of back up power do you have?
NaviSite’s data centers are fed power through highly redundant and efficient power systems and are backed up by generators that can keep the site running at full load for 24 hours with hot refuel capability, without requiring power from any direct electric grid. The parallel UPS systems with battery backup are redundantly supplied by diversely distributed utility. The diverse power routes and redundant switching infrastructure help ensure your connections are optimized, both in speed and performance. For example, our Andover MA data center has four generators with 2 Megawatts each and 5 UPS strings and 5 battery strings.

What connections do you have?
NaviSite’s network is well supported with a direct-leased line Internet connection to High Speed OC3 – Internet Connection Services – ensuring fast network connectivity regardless of volume peaks, 100% uptime, and instant response for hosted business applications and servers. Our Andover MA data center is powered by Cisco 6509 switches and our dedicated hosting customers have bandwidth provided in a BGP4, fastest path configuration from 5 providers including Level 3 and, Sprint and Global Crossing.

Do you offer 24/7 support?
Yes, all NaviSite customers can reach our live customer support personnel 24/7/365. Our Always There team of professionals has extensive training and certifications, allowing them to service customers accurately and quickly.

Do you have technicians present 24/7 or 9-5 M-F?
NaviSite has technicians’ onsite 24/7/365. Our dedicated hosting customers can rely on our Always There support team to assist them, and they have access to onsite engineers to replace malfunctioning hardware or perform other tasks at anytime of the day or night.

What is your average turn-around time on a support ticket?
NaviSite Always There support team averages less than thirty minutes to resolve a support ticket and strives to achieve a high-quality customer survey score and to resolve customer issues with minimal back and forth.

Do you charge your clients for support? If so, please explain.
All managed dedicated servers, virtual dedicated servers and hosted application plans include customer support from NaviSite’s Always There support team. Our support scope is extensive and covers all NaviSite owned, operated and managed equipment. This includes support for all the configurations and software that we provide to customers at implementation. We advise customers on additional customer specific software and configurations, and offer support services outside our scope for a reasonable fee.

Do you offer a money back guarantee?
Our SLAs are industry leading with 100% Network Uptime, 100% Infrastructure uptime and a 100% Hardware Replacement guarantee. NaviSite’s products, services, infrastructure, processes and procedures are all engineered to deliver a reliable, high performance hosted infrastructure environment to our customers.

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