hostway_0Hostway executive Todd Benjamin is a strong believer in more innovative IT departments for the businesses he serves—and he believes a migration to the cloud is one of keys to making that happen.

“The cloud is not replacing IT professionals,” said Benjamin, the company’s vice president of enterprise hosting. “It’s freeing up resources so that IT professionals can concentrate on innovation and automate the more mundane tasks.”

Hostway is a Chicago-based cloud storage and hosting provider, but Benjamin stresses that the outfit is global, with 12 data centers around the world, totaling 400,000 square feet of server space. The company has more than 600,000 customers, ranging from small businesses to large companies like Coca Cola and Infinity Broadcasting.

Hostway’s core product is called FlexCloud, a platform that—as its name suggests—comes in several configurations. At the entry level is the low-cost version that’s targeted for small and mid-sized businesses, which Benjamin said offers smaller companies “the benefits of the cloud without a premium price tag.” 

The company’s mid-range FlexCloud servers are public cloud solutions but with what Hostway describes as the reliability and performance of private enterprise environment. Hostway also offers full-on private cloud configurations for larger businesses that need more control.

Benjamin said security is still a top concern among Hostway’s customers but that IT professionals are getting more accustomed to and putting more trust in cloud-based solutions as they see the capabilities proved out and recognize the resource savings and freed-up physical space that cloud-based hosting and storage can offer. Companies that were essentially built online and have always relied on the Internet for various aspects of their operation tend to be easier to convince to go to the cloud, he said, and certain categories of business are very well-suited to cloud solutions.

 “Cloud applications are attractive to organizations with bursty workloads,” Benjamin said. “For example, one of our customers supplies graphic images. Companies like that need a lot of bandwidth for short periods of time.”