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The Web Host Industry Week in Review

by Liam Eagle
January 11, 2008 -- (WEB HOST INDUSTRY REVIEW) -- While this week's biggest news came with an outcry, most of the big stories this week had to do with companies starting the new year with acquisitions or data center upgrades. Early in the week, domain industry experts began reporting that Web hosting provider Network Solutions could be participating in the questionable practice of "front-running," wherein a registrar registers a domain name after a customer searches for it, thereby preventing them from registering it with another company, and enabling the registrar to sell it at an inflated price. Network Solutions denied the claims, saying that rather than front-running, it was registering names in an effort to combat external front-running threats. On Thursday it was reported that the company was considering revising the controversial policy. Though nothing stirred up interest quite like the Network Solutions situation, there were several notable acquisitions this week. On Thursday, Indian Web host Real Value Hosting announced that it had acquired Canadian hosting provider Vision Online Network. The company says there will be no interruption to the acquired provider's services, and that its pricing and products will remain unchanged. Real Value Hosting says the deal was part of a growth strategy that will enable the company to have a significant impact on the Indian market. On Friday, hosting provider Fat Jack Hosting announced that it had acquired proxy hosting provider Host My Proxies. Fat Jack says that proxy servers are sometimes frowned upon in the industry because they are used to browse anonymously. But the company says the acquisition will enable it to ensure that proxies are available with the same high level of support and reliability available from more mainstream hosting solutions. In a more explicitly data center-oriented acquisition, Digital Realty Trust announced on Monday that it had acquired Foxboro Business Park, a three-building complex located in suburban London. The building is divided into three units that include 20,000, 31,000 and 96,000 square feet, respectively. The first two facilities are entirely leased out as data center space, and the company says it intends to turn Unit 3 into 58,000 square feet of data center space. While Digital Realty Trust acquired new data center space, several providers announced upgrades to their existing facilities. On Tuesday, SoftLayer announced that it had added 40GB connectivity to each new server rack in its newly launched Seattle, Washington data center. The company says that it initially installed 50 cabinets with 2,000 servers, using 600 10GB Ethernet ports from Cisco. The company says when it is finished installing 150 racks in mid-2008, it will have installed more than 2,000 10GB ports. Also on Tuesday, InteleNet Communications announced that it had begun construction on an expansion of its Irvine, California data center. The expansion will create 12,000 square feet of new space. Recently acquired by Managed Data Holding, InteleNet says it is speeding up the construction of the new space, and expects the building to be complete by March. The company intends to begin pre-selling the space immediately. Unrelated to any construction or recent acquisition, but interesting nonetheless, SWsoft announced Wednesday that it had released the beta version of its Parallels Server virtualization software, designed to run on any x86 or 64-bit server running Windows, Linux or Mac OS X. This week's biggest story is also the most likely to have an ongoing impact, as more details surface about just what Network Solutions intends to do with its revised policies, in light of the widespread accusations of front-running.
Monday, Jan 14th, 2008