A Good Relationship With Your Web Hosting Service Is Gold

We've been partners with ipHouse, our web hosting service provider for twelve years; that's quite a marriage! When you know how to find a good web host, you can do amazing things together.
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Andrew Will-Holmberg

Former Director of Operations, ipHouse

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What is ipHouse?

Why TEN7 selected ipHouse as a web hosting service?

Is there an advantage to having a local hosting partner?

What makes this relationship work?


JONATHAN FREED: Hello. You’re listening to a TEN7 Audiocast. We’re here today to discuss website hosting.
I’m Jonathan Freed and I’m here with Ivan Stegic, founder and president of TEN7.

And joining us today from ipHouse in Minneapolis is our special guest, Andrew Will-Holmberg, Director of Operations at ipHouse, a web-hosting firm. Good afternoon, gentlemen.


IVAN STEGIC: Good afternoon.

JONATHAN: Andrew, let’s get started. Please tell us a little bit about ipHouse.

ANDREW: Okay, well we’ve gone through some changes over the years. We started in 2004 as a internet service provider, web-hosting company, and data center provider. We were pretty early adopters of the VMware, and we became a VMware hosting company. AWS really changed things with cloud architecture and so this point we really kind of talk about ourselves as an ops company, where we do the ops side of the dev-ops equation working with a lot of development companies doing cloud architecture, deployments, migration. We still do a lot of hosting.

JONATHAN: Ivan, can you tell us about your process in selecting ipHouse as a hosting partner for TEN7?

IVAN: Andrew and I go back to, I think, 2005, when the previous company I was at was actually in the same building as ipHouse. And they provided us the internet bandwidth the company needed and I worked with them to hook up the office for various different services. When we were looking for a new hosting partner, one that was local, Andrew and his team immediately sprang to mind. It was really a no-brainer in my mind to have someone who is experienced in data center operations, someone who's local that can work with us to architect the best possible solution for our clients. And really, that's how I approached Bill at ipHouse and we ended up with ipHouse as a hosting partner for TEN7.

JONATHAN: Is there an advantage to having your hosting partner in the same city?

IVAN: I used to think there was an advantage to that because we were so focused on being in the same place, in the same office as an organization ourselves, but now that we're distributed, we can really accomplish anything no matter where we are in the world. I think the important part of the relationship with ipHouse is the fact that we are two sets of humans who have a common goal and we're not hindered by the technology and by just using e-mail, we have the ability to use in-person meetings, but we also have the ability to use video and audio. And having that relationship, I think, is the important part. It's not physically necessary to be in the same location anymore, but being local certainly is a nice benefit.

ANDREW: Yeah, I would say in our day-to-day, week-to-week working relationship with TEN7, we don't really get together in meetspace, most of it Slack, then some e-mails, sometimes video conference so it's not really a huge benefit. It's hard, you know, day-in and day-out working to be in the same space in town, I mean, there are conferences where we will see each other.

JONATHAN: Why does the relationship work?

ANDREW: I think that a lot of mutual respect with both teams for what the other parties do. You know, our lead admin here, Nick, loves working with you guys, and he's like, "Yeah, they have a lot of really smart cats.", and I feel like that's reciprocity in that. TEN7 likes to collaborate, and we like to collaborate, and so when you get two groups together that like to do that, magic can happen. I think it works because we like working with teams.

IVAN: I'd agree. So it's not just about mutual respect and collaborating, but there's a presence in both teams where we know what our own limitations are. If the TEN7 team doesn't know how to deploy something quickly or how to architect a particular solution, we're going to say that to ipHouse, and ipHouse is gonna help us architect it.

ANDREW: And it goes both ways. You guys have come up with some really cool things over the years. Yeah, it's definitely a two-way street.

JONATHAN: What does the future hold for ipHouse and TEN7?

ANDREW: Nick just mentioned to me that there is a request for trying out something new with you guys with the docker deployment for some of your sites.

IVAN: We would like to engage with ipHouse at more of a strategic level and see how the ops part of the company can help us implement what we're looking to do in the future which might be to utilize other cloud vendors as a potential development because we're not a hosting or an ops company.

JONATHAN: That brings us to the end of this audiocast and I would like to thank Andrew and Ivan for sharing their insights on web hosting. Please visit us at TEN7.com and keep an eye out on the TEN7 blog for future audiocasts. This is Jonathan Freed and thank you for listening.

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