Helter-Skelter ✔. Golf Course ✔. Cinema Room ✔. BBQ Deck ✔. Suspended Swings ✔. Yoga area ✔. Tree house ✔.
No, not a description of an amusement park, but PEER 1 hosting’s new eco-friendly EMEA headquarters in Southampton unveiled a month back as a part of it’s regeneration project across its European offices in the UK and France. Brought to life by revamp of an old bar, which saw a mammoth investment of 400,000 pounds, the new corporate office isn’t just about glitz, as Mr. Dominic Monkhouse, SVP Customer Experience and MD, EMEA, PEER 1, tells us in this Q & A. It provides company’s employees with a fun-filled, relaxed and inspiring work environment and gives them the tools and flexibility to perform at their very best.
Positioning itself as the most ‘human company on the internet’, PEER 1 also launched its Map of the Internet app, a 3D visualization of the world’s networks and how they are connected a while back.
Over to Mr. Dominic as he speaks about the recent interesting developments, PEER 1’s services,work and culture, and of-course, the future plans. But before that, here are some of the glimpses of the much talked about new office:
The key thing for people to understand about PEER 1 Hosting is simply that we aim to attract, retain, and then develop the best people. So whether that’s allowing for flexible working or the option to move across different departments in the company to broaden their skill-set we work around our employees to ensure that they are at their happiest and most productive.
– Mr. Dominic Monkhouse, SVP Customer Experience and MD, EMEA, PEER 1.
Q : To kick things off, what is your name and role with PEER 1? How long have you been in this role?
A : I’m Dominic Monkhouse, SVP Customer Experience and MD EMEA, and I have been in this role since January 2009.
Q : For those who don’t know about PEER 1 , can you please throw some light on what it is and the range of services it provides?
A: PEER 1 Hosting provides a range of services all the way from managed and cloud hosting through to colocation. Specializing in providing services for ecommerce, digital agencies, gaming and rich media, PEER 1 Hosting has been providing an alternative to the frustration of under-performing technology and poor service, delivering the power of the internet to any organisation that needs it.
Q: Now it’s not very often that one comes across a corporate office with a golf course, amphitheatre, cinema room, helter-skelter’ slide, yoga area etc. So how did this whole idea of converting a 17,000 sq. ft. bar into the new PEER1 Hosting Southampton HQ come into being?
A: Firstly we asked our team for suggestions with regards to what would make their ideal office. The response we received was a ‘helter-skelter’ slide, a cinema room, yoga area and BBQ deck. After giving it some thought as to how we all would benefit from an exciting and inspiring office, we decided to bring these suggestions to life.
Q: 400,000 pounds is a very heavy investment to make in revamping an office. Apart from the glitz and coolness factor that it brings in , what additional value do you expect to derive from this project in long-term?
A: I wanted to create the best possible environment for our staff to succeed. We strongly believe in investing in our staff, as a happy and dedicated team will achieve the best results for the business. In long term, I hope that this project will inspire our staff and improve the business as a whole.
Q: Since you’re on a recruitment drive right now, is there anything else potential future employees out there need to know about the work and culture at PEER 1?
A: The key thing for people to understand about PEER 1 Hosting is simply that we aim to attract, retain, and then develop the best people. So whether that’s allowing for flexible working or the option to move across different departments in the company to broaden their skill-set we work around our employees to ensure that they are at their happiest and most productive.
Q: Moving on, as a veteran cloud service provider, what do you have to say to people and organizations who are skeptical in adopting the cloud? They have issues with costs of moving to the cloud, data security, flexibility etc. Is PEER’s Mission Critical Cloud an answer to some of these issues?
A: Cloud is certainly not for everyone and so therefore it is not for me to give a generic answer for those who might be skeptical – what I can say is that it can provide many benefits, and we provide a wide range of solutions to suit all manner of businesses. An example of such is our Mission Critical Cloud, which not only provides best-in class security, but also built-in disaster recovery and flexibility through cloud management functions that automate day-to-day IT activities – just one solution that we offer here at PEER 1 Hosting.
Q: How does PEER1 help novice organizations with the whole cloud migration process?
A: To smoothly manage a transition to the cloud, organisations should settle upon a service level agreement (SLA) that addresses each of their potential concerns in advance, something we agree upon before any migration. We guarantee a level of up-time and recovery targets for servers and applications in advance, and agree on data location, support levels, and payment models so that our customers have a degree of transparency during the migration process.
Q: What value do RapidEdge CDN and AnyCast DNS add to your services?
A: Anycast DNS is a way to shortcut all the name servers and get your website up on user’s monitors faster and more reliably. Through Anycast DNS, DNS traffic is balanced across multiple PEER 1 Hosting name servers located in each of our geographically distributed datacentres throughout North America and Europe. With our proprietary RapidEdge technology platform and IP Anycast Routing, Anycast DNS automatically routes users to the closest name server to resolve DNS requests. By doing so, Anycast DNS dramatically decreases latency, and increases website performance and uptime. The result is a far better user experience.
Our RapidEdge CDN caches copies of files on multiple servers dispersed across our datacentres so that the servers nearest to the site visitor respond to their requests. Website’s or application’s performance is therefore boosted because the files don’t have to travel unnecessarily long distances.
Q : This one is regarding PEER1’s FastFiber Network. How does it set you apart from other hosting providers who buy bandwidth from other networks?
A: Not a single inch of the 25,000 miles of fiber that links together our datacentres in Europe and North America is shared. It’s strictly for the use of our hosting customers. This means that our NOC can anticipate and mitigate potential issues that could affect your data transfers, because at any given moment it knows what our other clients’ data needs are.
Q : PEER 1’s Map of the Internet App is kind of revolutionary in the way it shows how Internet physically looks like. Can you tell our readers about its modus-operandi, features etc. in detail? Also, do we get to see any further developments on your efforts to visualize the Internet?
A: A continuation of the Map of the Internet infographic poster created in 2011, the interactive app brings to life what the Internet physically looks like using the network addresses of ISPs, Internet exchange points, universities and other organisations that route traffic online. The app is part of PEER 1 Hosting’s mission to be the most human company on the web, further demonstrating our passion, expertise and thought leadership around networking and the Internet.
The app serves as an educational tool for the hosting industry, academia and everyone interested in networking and the physical infrastructure of the Internet. Based on Internet topology from the Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA), the app showcases the Internet’s evolution from its beginning to the present day, depicting 22,961 autonomous system nodes joined by 50,519 connections.
At the moment there are no further developments in terms of visualizing the internet.
Q: To wrap-up, what’s in the bag for Q3 and Q4 of 2013?
A: Q3/Q4 will see us launch new automation delivering instant provision of dedicated servers, which is a combined platform offering true hybrid hosting on one platform. Watch this space.