Hot of the Press: Latest from CEO and President Emil Sayegh on The “One Million By One Million” BLOG

Published in Silicon Valley Sramana Mitra’s tech industry BLOG, Codero CEO and President, Emil Sayegh talks trends in cloud hosting.

Have a read to learn some more about the cloud industry’s history and some of the trends he has been tracking.

Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: Codero CEO, Emil Sayegh (Part 1)

Posted on Friday, Apr 18th 2014

Cloud hosting, as companies scale, is moving from public cloud to hybrid cloud. More in this discussion.

Sramana Mitra: Emil, tell us about Codero and yourself so that our audience can get to know you a bit.

Emil Sayegh: I’m Emil Sayegh. I’m the CEO and President of Codero. By way of a quick introduction, Codero has been around, as a company, since 1992 in various names. It started as a small corner computer reselling shop in San Diego. Quickly, the Internet came about. They got into shared hosting, domain name registration, and web design. The company grew and evolved into dedicated hosting and managed hosting, and later cloud. In 2006, Catalyst Investors out of New York came and purchased them. They divested from the commodity aspects of the company – shared hosting and domain name registration – and sold it to a company called Hostopia. They kept the crown jewels of the company, which is dedicated, managed, and cloud hosting. They renamed the company to Codero in 2009.

I have taken over as CEO of Codero in January of 2012. I have been in the industry for a long time. I was the Vice President of products at Rackspace. Later, I became the General Manager of the cloud business at Rackspace and helped Rackspace enter the public cloud market. From there, I was recruited by HP to build the HP public cloud business. I was there as the Vice President of Cloud Services. From there, I came to Codero.

Sramana Mitra: Sounds like the best place to have this discussion focused on is in the area of cloud hosting. Of course, that has been one of the first major adoptions of cloud – the cloud architecture and technology. Tell us more about the trends you are seeing at this point.

Emil Sayegh: I’d like to just give a quick history of the industry and tell you about the trends and shifts that are happening. What we saw about 10 years ago is the trend to outsource a lot of IT to other providers. Things that normally internal IT would be doing, like running your own servers, are being outsourced to “hosting providers.” Companies like Rackspace prospered during that era. Customers, from small to large companies, saw the advantage of outsourcing to someone that could do it better, cheaper, and faster.

Then, the phenomena called Amazon Web Services (AWS) came about in 2007.  Frankly, there was also a tremendous progress in technology which allowed companies to offer private servers in a virtual fashion – not necessarily based on physical gear. AWS leveraged that technology trend and started what is later called the cloud. You had basically an industry that was based on traditional dedicated hosting and then you had AWS disrupting that market. Both groups of players had their own place in serving search and workloads. AWS did great with startups, those front-end web applications, and those customers that needed variant workloads that varied tremendously between times in a day. Traditional hosting companies continue to run more traditional workloads that require higher performance and databases.

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Heartbleed Bug- Are You Vulnerable?

Heartbleed2

As a follow up to our recent and immediate action to address the vulnerabilities related to the Heartbleed bug, we wanted to offer our customers and friends an update.

As you aware direct contact with us, our blog posts and media outlets, an exploit in OpenSSL known as “ The Heartbleed Bug” has come to appeared prompting the need to update exploitable software. We here at Codero have already taken proactive steps and sent notifications to our client base that might have been effected by Heartbleed bug. We are glad to say that we have seen a minimal impact with any of our clients services and have assisted clients with patching their servers when the vulnerability was discovered.

Earlier this week, Cloudflare (a DDoS protection service and hosting vendor) was able to prove though community sourced investigation, that private keys can be stolen through this exploit. CloudFlare has recommended that if a server was vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug and has been patched, there is a need to have any SSL certificates reissued and current certs revoked. Taking this action is the best way to prevent any possible security breaches related to the Heartbleed exploit. Our recommendations at Codero align with those from Cloudflare.

For our customers who want to check your server yourself and are comfortable in doing so, you can check your server for vulnerability at the link below:

http://filippo.io/Heartbleed

If you think you may be affected by this vulnerability and have not been contacted by Codero already, please reach out to our support staff.  We are more than happy to assist you in testing and patching of this vulnerability.

Our Support Administrators are available 24/7 @ http://www.codero.com/support/

You can read more about Heartbleed  by clicking on the links below

http://heartbleed.com

http://blog.cloudflare.com/answering-the-critical-question-can-you-get-private-ssl-keys-using-heartbleed

Please feel free to contact your account executive or support tech if you require additional information, they are humbly at your service.

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Operational Excellence, and the Automation Advantage

 

Why we do it at Codero!

Companies compete on various axes. Some compete on Customer Intimacy and Emotion (such as Lexus, or The Four Seasons Hotels), other companies compete on Product Design (such as Apple and Samsung), and still other companies compete on Operational Efficiency (such as Southwest Airlines and Chevron)

Automation in Hosting Process

Automation is the cornerstone of Operational Excellence and Exceeding Customer Expectations:

As COO, I am in charge of operational excellence and automation efforts at Codero Hosting. I am consistently striving to create a balance between expanding our process efficiency, controlling our costs and keeping our customer intimacy at the forefront of our service offerings.  We’ve built an operational structure here at Codero Hosting based on automation that delivers on its promise like nothing else in the industry and it is key part of our value proposition. We automate everything that can possibly be automated. The reasons are simple; non-value added activities do not translate into revenue generation or customer satisfaction. To deliver on our customers expectations, we use automation to deliver cutting edge products that are easy to use, easy to support and allow us to give our customers the best price possible.

That’s the formula.

Automation means we don’t have superfluous resources or activities that negatively impact the bottom line. We take pride that only the most skilled, most talented employees wear the Codero Hosting badge. Each of them come here to volunteer their best, and want to do high value add tasks. Automation reduces the friction in our cross-functional processes and makes us easy to do business with. Our customers and employees appreciate that our focus and dedication. stretches through our development and support activities, to our network engineers, and all the way across the board to ensure that we are delivering results that our customers appreciate. With this focus, we can continuously help our teams learn new skills, and perform at a higher level.

Total Cost of Productions – How Codero Hosting is Improving the Bottom Line:

A natural bi-product of our automation implementation is that we can drive non-value activities out of our processes in order to increase our efficiencies company- wide. This translates directly into cost savings that we can monitor and adjust over time. By considering everything on the table for automation, our processes become part of a repeatable system. From the moment a customer orders a cloud instance or a server, to the moment they use it, and scale it, there are many areas where process breakdowns can occur. At any of these points of failure, customer expectations can be missed if automation is not in place. With automation, the cost advantages are tremendous to Codero; savings which are then passed onto our customers. This level of automated service also lets us help us to innovate, bring new products to the market faster and deliver support that is more tailored to each of our customers’ needs. This leads to the conclusion that Codero is easy to do business with. This translates into a positive, holistic customer experience that is leading the industry…and our customers are thanking us for it.

Automation/On Demand – The Future of the Hosting Industry:

We consistently ask our customer who join Codero from other hosting providers, “why are you leaving them?” In many of those customer conversations, we have found that other hosting companies actually fail because they don’t focus on automation. Increased costs have to be passed on to the customer. We have found that the average hosting company needs two to three weeks lead time to turn over a dedicated server to a customer and that  a hybrid environment at could take as many as 5 engineers to set up, along with that time and effort comes massive set up fees, costly proprietary “bridge” boxes, and a ton of wasted effort.  Customers shouldn’t have to wait that long for deployment, they shouldn’t have to shoulder the costs of engineering each and every project like it was a new one, and they shouldn’t have to deal with any more layers than they have to when it comes to support. Tapping our automation discipline, Codero can reduce overhead costs, save time to deployment, lower the time customers wait for support and that automation “attitude” to provide a win-win situation for our customers and Codero.

How Automation Helps Codero Customers:

We believe that our extensive automation efforts help our customers in the most direct way…right in their pocketbook. From day one, our customers notice the unmatched cost savings and tremendous value that they get with Codero’s automated infrastructure. Only a high degree of automation will allow our customers to obtain dedicated servers in 1 hour, custom servers in 4 hours, smart servers in 20 minutes, instant Cloud scalability,…and best of all INSTANT Hybrid connectivity on demand (link).

With 100% uptime and secure, reliable servers, coupled with the level detail we have incorporated into the architecture of our automated platform, our customers  may never need to talk to us at all. However, when they do need a helping hand, our world-class U.S.-based technical support team is available 24/7/365. That is a hosting solution which has you covered on all sides. Try us out for yourself.

 

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Heartbleed Bug Response

To our Valued Codero Clients and Friends

Here at Codero one of our main concerns is the safety and security of our customers.Heartbleed Bug

We understand that there has been a lot of coverage in the media in the past couple days regarding the Heartbleed Bug and would like to address our response. Our Codero team of experts has been carefully tracking this situation and we are working to proactively reduce the exposure to any servers hosted with Codero.

Here is the status:

Managed: We are happy to report that all of Codero’s managed support clients, who have had their OpenSSL upgraded to the most current version by Codero techs, have eliminated the risk of being impacted by this vulnerability.

Self Managed:  For all of our self-managed clients, we have scanned our networks to evaluate the potential risks and have directly notified anyone who may be affected, along with clear instructions on how they may reduce the risk on the Codero servers they are self-managing.

If you are interested in more information on this bug, please see the official site below:

http://heartbleed.com/

Heartbleed Bug

What is it?

The Heartbleed Bug is a serious vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library. This weakness allows stealing the information protected, under normal conditions, by the SSL/TLS encryption used to secure the Internet. SSL/TLS provides communication security and privacy over the Internet for applications such as web, email, instant messaging (IM) and some virtual private networks (VPNs).

How does it work

The Heartbleed bug allows anyone on the Internet to read the memory of the systems protected by the vulnerable versions of the OpenSSL software. This compromises the secret keys used to identify the service providers and to encrypt the traffic, the names and passwords of the users and the actual content. This allows attackers to eavesdrop on communications, steal data directly from the services and users and to impersonate services and users.

What versions of the OpenSSL are affected?

Status of different versions:

  • OpenSSL 1.0.1 through 1.0.1f (inclusive) are vulnerable
  • OpenSSL 1.0.1g is NOT vulnerable
  • OpenSSL 1.0.0 branch is NOT vulnerable
  • OpenSSL 0.9.8 branch is NOT vulnerable

Bug was introduced to OpenSSL in December 2011 and has been out in the wild since OpenSSL release 1.0.1 on 14th of March 2012. OpenSSL 1.0.1g released on 7th of April 2014 fixes the bug.

Which Operating Systems are Impacted?

Some operating system distributions that have shipped with potentially vulnerable OpenSSL version:

  • Debian Wheezy (stable), OpenSSL 1.0.1e-2+deb7u4
  • Ubuntu 12.04.4 LTS, OpenSSL 1.0.1-4ubuntu5.11
  • CentOS 6.5, OpenSSL 1.0.1e-15
  • Fedora 18, OpenSSL 1.0.1e-4
  • OpenBSD 5.3 (OpenSSL 1.0.1c 10 May 2012) and 5.4 (OpenSSL 1.0.1c 10 May 2012)
  • FreeBSD 10.0 – OpenSSL 1.0.1e 11 Feb 2013
  • NetBSD 5.0.2 (OpenSSL 1.0.1e)
  • OpenSUSE 12.2 (OpenSSL 1.0.1c)

Operating system distribution with versions that are not vulnerable:

  • Debian Squeeze (oldstable), OpenSSL 0.9.8o-4squeeze14
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server
  • FreeBSD 8.4 – OpenSSL 0.9.8y 5 Feb 2013
  • FreeBSD 9.2 – OpenSSL 0.9.8y 5 Feb 2013
  • FreeBSD Ports – OpenSSL 1.0.1g (At 7 Apr 21:46:40 2014 UTC)

How can OpenSSL be fixed?

Even though the actual code fix may appear trivial, OpenSSL team is the expert in fixing it properly so latest fixed version 1.0.1g or newer should be used. If this is not possible software developers can recompile OpenSSL with the handshake removed from the code by compile time option -DOPENSSL_NO_HEARTBEATS.

At Codero, the focus is to maintain the best reliability, performance and value for our customers.

As always, thank you for being a customer.

We value your business and we are available to help you 24 x 7 x 365.

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AWS, Google, and Microsoft killing each other in another Cloud War

Get Some Popcorn and watch the war of the giants.  We are betting on AWS and I’ll tell you why…

cloud-fight-3

Cloud Price Cut Madness!

It’s official; a cloud price war has broken out! In a move to match pricing on Amazon Web Services, resulting from Google’s price cuts a day earlier, Microsoft has also slashed prices on several of its cloud computing services. This is all in line with price cuts happening right now across the entire industry, so expect more to come.

The Race to the Bottom-Why is this happening?

Let’s look at some of the facts here and what is really happening. Google, Microsoft, and others are cutting prices because they can’t get traction in the Cloud market except in particular niches. This battle for market share is shaping up to be a race to be the low-cost cloud leader which, as it turns out, is going to be a race to the bottom. They all have AWS envy and what all the competitors are missing is that they are not different enough from AWS to win. We wish them luck, but our bet is on AWS on that race. We’re happy getting some popcorn, a good seat and watching these guys kill each other’s margins. Have at it!

As for Amazon Web Services, they are the “big daddy” in the business and have proven to be quite a beast. They are incredibly huge, and so are their profits. For proof, just look at how their 40 percent overall price cut shows, how fat that hog has been for them all this time. Now that this price war has begun, expect more cuts and that margin will erode. This is what we have been saying all along, customers have been overpaying for AWS services that may not be the best for them in the first place. What our friends at Google, Microsoft, and Cisco are missing is that AWS’s margins has stayed near intact in all the products that are unique to AWS only: RDS, Dynamo DB, ElastiCache, Elastic MapReduce, etc. See, because EC2 is not robust enough to run real data bases, AWS forces you to use their other ancillary services, and that is where they make their profit. Unfortunately, Google, Microsoft, Cisco, since they are myopically competing on compute instances only, AWS will win the race to the bottom.

Winning means being different

What these big companies need to learn, is that to win you have to be DIFFERENT.  Business 101, right?  Google, MSFT, and now Cisco have no differentiation whatsoever from AWS in their quest to unseat AWS.  They are late to the game, and “me too” with that!  At this point, they neither have the breadth of offerings, nor the scale to match AWS across the board.  We’re looking at a pack of also-rans that have done nothing to stand out, it’s turning into the dollar store of generic cloud compute instances!

Why Codero is different:

hybrid-logoIn our case at Codero, we choose to be different by creating a substantially different approach than any of these “pure” cloud players, newcomers, no matter how big they are.  We understand that all workloads are not suited for the cloud, so we created a Cloud-like environment that allows users to spin up a real and scalable Cloud, as well as ‘bare metal servers’ in what we call On Demand Hybrid ™, which is our patented and differentiated approach.  Also, we have created a support organization and culture, that is geared to truly help customers and not a support organization that is rewarded on “service avoidance” as it is so called in these big companies.   Try finding their 800 number, or chat, or email.   Whereas, we display ours in every interaction.  You can even ask for my personal phone number, and I’ll give it to you!

This is how you compete with AWS!  Otherwise, imitation is the best form of flattery to your AWS competitor.  Have fun at that.

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