Web-hosting specialist WebCentral has launched a scheme to encourage Web-hosting resellers to lease dedicated servers for additional services and security.
WebCentral runs more than 600 servers in the Asia-Pacific region, most of which are split between various customers for running Web sites. About 18 months ago, it began offering dedicated servers alongside this shared environment.
The uptake on these servers began slowly, but has picked up pace in recent months as the business community has placed more emphasis on security and scalability when mirroring their business on the Internet. Now over a third of WebCentral's business comes from the wholesale hosting of dedicated servers.
"People are starting to do more with their Web sites," said Lloyd Ernst, CEO of WebCentral. "They are moving out of brochureware and into databases and transactions.
"We started moving toward a dedicated model just over a year ago, but it is only in the last six months that it has taken off. In January we only sold a couple, now we are selling one every two days."
Dedicated or shared?
According to Ernst, there are a number of reasons for choosing dedicated server hosting over a shared environment.
As well as being more functional and scalable, the customer has the piece of mind to know that only their data is stored in that box, and that their overall security is enhanced.
"Dedicated servers have the element of security," said Ernst. "In a shared environment, if one site suffers from a denial-of-service attack for example, it may affect the other sites located there," said Ernst.
The scheme frees WebCentral's clients from the management of hardware and applications, and comes with 24-hour support and access to three 100Mb FDDI connections to UUNET and Telstra Internet.
For these reasons, Ernst believes that the dedicated server model is very suitable for resellers who want to offer their customers additional services on top of basic Web hosting.
"There is a whole range of resellers who have carved themselves a niche in the market, such as reselling our space for travel Web sites," he said. "They like the fact that they can now add extra services when having their own dedicated server, and they can offer these services in their own brand name."
Advantages aside, leasing a dedicated server comes at a price. While a standard business site on a shared server may cost a customer somewhere in the order of $300 per month, a dedicated server is more likely to cost $1300 per month. To encourage clients to trial its dedicated server scheme, WebCentral are offering an introductory price of $750 per month for the first three months, around 40 per cent less than standard prices.