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Michael Smith: I am speaking with Lou Honick, one of the founders of CFUN sponsor HostMySite. Could you please tell us a little about the history of HostMySite.com as a company and where you are headed?
Lou Honick: HostMySite started as a remedy for frustration. In 1997, my partner Neil Heuer and I were hosting various sites and had a real problem getting quality service. Everywhere we went it was the same story -- no phone numbers to call, inexperienced staff and excruciating hold times. It was terrible. We started HostMySite because we believed that it was possible to provide excellent service at affordable prices. The future of HostMySite holds much of the same. Although we will continuously add additional services and continue to grow, the core focus will still be to provide the best possible service and support in the hosting industry.
MS: What version or versions of ColdFusion do you currently support?
LH: HostMySite is always one of the frontrunners in supporting the latest versions of ColdFusion. We are currently deploying CFMX 6.1 by default. For users who have special needs we are also supporting CF 5.0 by request.
MS: What sort of administrative tools do you have to make a ColdFusion developer's job easier? Does HostMySite have a control panel for handling common tasks?
LH: Our in-house development staff put tremendous amount of effort into making our customer control panel absolutely first rate. As a HostMySite customer you can perform almost any administrative task you can imagine without having to contact support. You can administer contact and billing information, permissions, domain settings, DSN's, default docs, and much more. It would be difficult to find more control anywhere short of having your own server. And as flexible as our control panel is, we still always have a live person available to help 24 by 7 by 365.
MS: Many of the people reading this interview are developers for mission critical applications that require high availability hosting solutions. Can you tell us how you ensure maximum uptime and how things are handled in the event that there is downtime?
LH: A large percentage of our client base is mission critical hosting. We meet the demands for these customers in a number of different ways, all of which are mutually reinforcing. First, our entire network architecture is centered on redundancy. Not only do we have redundant core routers, 4 connectivity providers, and the best in failsafe server hardware, but we also have 2 physically separate datacenters. Next, we look to monitoring for protection from downtime. Every major component and service is periodically monitored by automated software and problems are handled by our emergency response team. Finally we emphasize training and scripted escalation procedures. We immediately escalate issues to the most qualified individuals to handle them. By doing this we are able to offer an aggressive service level agreement and guaranteed uptime for our customers.
MS: What features do you offer CF users that you feel make you desirable as a ColdFusion hosting provider?
LH: Our customers can trust that we understand their needs as ColdFusion developers. We offer either ColdFusion 5 or CFMX 6.1 and we have excellent supporting features. We support Microsoft SQL Server 2000, Microsoft Access, and MySQL. We also give you the flexibility to use your own custom tags, and we will support many commercially available CFX tags. We try to provide the most flexible ColdFusion hosting environment possible.
MS: Outside of what's supported with your hosting packages, what sort of resources do you make available to ColdFusion developers that will make their jobs easier?
LH: At HostMySite, we understand ColdFusion because we are avid ColdFusion users. Our entire billing, ticketing, and provisioning systems are written in ColdFusion with a Microsoft SQL Server 2000 back-end. ColdFusion developers enjoy access to people who truly understand how the language works. We have also opened HostMySite developer forums for customers who need coding support or want to become involved in the ColdFusion community.
MS: Your company is often seen advertising itself in leading ColdFusion resources, such as the HostIndex.com, ColdFusion Developer's Journal, and the MX Developer's Journal. Is this market an important service area for HostMySite.com and what are your plans to service this market in the future?
LH: ColdFusion has been, and always will be a central part of our business model. We are truly committed to ColdFusion for our customers and for our company. With so many of our current customers using the platform and our own systems written in ColdFusion, we are proud to support and expand the ColdFusion user community.
MS: Lastly, the majority of this audience is web design specialists/developers who have a client portfolio for which they coordinate hosting. Could you detail the specifics of how the HostMySite.com Reseller Program helps these individuals and how they can profit by choosing your company as a web host?
LH: Resellers are an important part of our business here at HostMySite.com. We have a very competitive program available with great discounts and very light requirements. Our goal is to help our resellers establish successful hosting businesses without having to worry about owning the infrastructure. Many of our reseller partners are successful web design firms and technology companies that want to offer hosting services as a compliment to their core businesses