GoDaddy Updates Hosting Platform as Cloud Alternative

The cloud is not the panacea for all hosting and application delivery needs. GoDaddy is going another route.

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GoDaddy hosting services

In recent years, there has been a lot of hype and discussion about moving all forms of IT to a cloud model. GoDaddy, which is a leading domain registrar and hosting provider has an alternative viewpoint on the cloud and doesn't see it as the right solution for all forms of application hosting.

This week, GoDaddy expanded its hosting offerings to include a new Pro level service tier that provides managed services.

Go Daddy now has created two new product families for server hosting, Jeff King, senior vice president and general manager of Web hosting, explained to eWEEK. The new products are being branded as GoDaddy Pro and include Virtual Private Servers (VPS) and Dedicated Server offerings.

At the entry-level, GoDaddy has shared hosting services that provide access to shared resources and operating system on a host. The GoDaddy Pro services go beyond shared services.

"If you outgrow shared hosting, either because your traffic explodes or you want to do something that you can't do in a shared hosting environment like a custom plugin or operating system, you need a server that is essentially yours," King said.

The new GoDaddy Pro services are a refreshed and improved version of VPS services that GoDaddy has previously offered. There are now managed VPS and Dedicated server services where GoDaddy manages the underlying operating system and application stack for customers.

"We're going to patch the system and make sure it's up to date; we'll do security scans and monitor the server to make sure it's up," King said.

GoDaddy Pro services also provide customers with a simple control panel to easily enable basic server administration, he said, adding that many customers don't want to have to go to the command line of the server to patch for issues. At the opposite end of the spectrum, GoDaddy is now also offering self-managed VPS, which is targeted at users who want to manage everything on the server on their own.

From an infrastructure point of view, GoDaddy VPS is leveraging virtualization container technology from Parallels. Additionally, GoDaddy is also leveraging the open-source OpenStack cloud platform for some of its new development efforts.

The market for hosting services has become increasingly competitive in recent years as low-cost offerings and cloud platforms all try to gain market share. One popular platform that has gained traction is DigitalOcean, which provides virtual computing capabilities at a starting price of only $5 a month.

GoDaddy does consider DigitalOcean a competitor for its self-managed offering, though King emphasized that GoDaddy is aiming to differentiate itself with its customer support options.

Compared With the Cloud

In contrast, with a cloud service like Amazon, GoDaddy's VPS is not a metered offering with by-the-hour pricing. A lot of organizations don't want to deal with the risks of metered pricing and unknown final costs at the end of the month, King said.

The VPS approach offers the promise of a flat monthly rate and includes compute, bandwidth and storage components.

"From what you can get at GoDaddy for $20 to $30 a month, you're essentially getting all you can eat in your VPS container," King said. "To do something equivalent on a cloud service provider, many organizations have no clue how much it will cost them, and in many cases it will be more expensive."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.