October 3, 2013, 11:54 AM

Peer 1 Hosting offers new site performance features for smaller retailers

The vendor adds four U.S. data centers and aids for Magento e-retail clients.

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Vancouver, Canada-based web hosting provider Peer 1 Hosting has opened four new data centers in the United States, aiming to serve more small businesses with its Mission Critical Cloud, it recently announced. By hosting web sites and applications in the Mission Critical Cloud, retailers can dynamically adjust how much server space they are using depending on their web site traffic and computational needs, paying for more space only when they need it, Peer 1 says.

The new data centers are in New York City, Seattle, Chicago and Salt Lake City. Peer 1 also operates data centers in Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany.

The Mission Critical cloud is a public cloud—that is, multiple businesses share computing space and time on the data center’s servers. With the expansion, Peer 1 has added features that allow retailers to automate how they adjust their server usage. It also improved their ability to process credit cards by enhancing security features and simplifying the billing process, it says.

Making the cloud more functional, secure and easy to use will help public cloud hosting to become more mainstream, says Agatha Poon, research manager for global cloud computing at business I.T. firm 451 Research. “While concerns over security and reliability have prevented enterprises from moving production workloads to the cloud, the growing availability of technologies in areas of security, quality of service, and manageability has helped cloud providers build trust in the public cloud environment,” she says.

Indeed, Peer 1 says it opened the new data centers because of more interest in its service. “The majority of Mission Critical Cloud users are new to Peer 1 Hosting,” says Robert Miggins, senior vice president of business development at Peer 1. “By bringing Mission Critical Cloud to four additional data center locations, we hope to further the promise of choice for our customers, which in the end means a better result for them.”

Additionally, Peer 1, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cogeco Cable Inc., has launched a set of “blueprints” optimized for retailers that build their e-commerce sites on software from Magento, a unit of eBay Inc.. The blueprints allow retailers to save server settings, such as which operating system, applications and custom code to run, so that they can deploy additional servers in the Mission Critical Cloud quickly, in as little as an hour, Peer 1 says.

With blueprints, retailers can automate their set ups in the public cloud the same way that Peer 1 would set up their servers if it were managing a private cloud for them, Peer 1 says. That will help small businesses to save time and money getting started with or scaling up their cloud hosting, the vendor says. It also offers more general blueprints that a retailer using other e-commerce platforms can use as a starting point for cloud deployments.

Five retailers in the 2013 Top 500 Guide and seven in the 2013 Second 500 report Peer 1 is their web hosting provider. 

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