21st Century Gatekeepers

How Edge is rising above thousands in the hyper-competitive world of cloud computing

“We calculated that we touch almost the entire population of the U.S. approximately every 20 days.” —Vlad Friedman

A Google search for the term “Webhosting Providers” yields 1.3 million results. In this highly saturated market, organizations have tens of thousands of alternatives to choose from. Most hosting providers focus on inexpensive infrastructure with limited support. As CEO of Edgewebhosting Inc., Vlad Friedman has found a better recipe for success: building a company focused on helping others succeed by allowing them to leverage his people and their experiences to deliver secure, highly reliable hosting solutions.

Routing decisions are made millions of times a second every time a user browses a website. It is how websites like Facebook, Google, and Edge customers are able to service so many people at once so quickly.
To avoid hiccups, Edge offers 2N, or mission-critical cluster hosting. In cluster hosting there is more than one of every element and component that keep a website going, with each often kept in several geographies.

How is your company different from others out there? 

Vlad Friedman: Many companies sell web hosting for small websites on a server with 1000 other companies, making a traffic jam likely, or a cloud computing infrastructure that you manage on your own. But when your website is really important to your business and needs to stay online and secure 24-7, it takes a unique blend of people, experience, and technology to design, implement, monitor, secure, backup, patch, and operate. That’s what Edge does. We’re here to help you “stay up and sleep more.”

How does your philosophy change what you do? 

Friedman: Our principles of service clearly define the why, how, and what we do. Clear expectations, no-surprises pricing, and extraordinary customer service are the norm, not the exception. Every minute of downtime represents millions of dollars lost, and we deliver on our 100-percent-uptime promise by focusing the right things.

What’s most important in doing that well?

Friedman: Everyone’s heard the old saying “Wisdom comes from experience; experience comes from learning from your mistakes.” Our principles of service and configurations are built on 15 years of real-world experience in the trenches. Solutions aren’t about what’s cool, they’re about what works.

You have potential clients request a quote. Why? 

Friedman: A gigabyte of ram or storage on a server are all the same no matter where you buy them. I believe there is nothing more important than taking the time to listen to each customer, helping them clarify and prioritize what is important, and delivering a solution that balances needs, risk mitigation, and budget. Without that, we’d be selling a commodity just like everyone else.

What do you consider your biggest accomplishment?

Friedman: Impacting the world around us. From health-insurance to blood-donation systems; nonprofits to financial aid; political parties to education to retail; and hospitality to the small mom-and-pop shop around the block selling their goods online. Chances are we’ve touched your life in several ways today. We had fun in a management meeting one day when we calculated that we touch almost the entire population of the US approximately every 20 days. How many people can say that about their job?

What are some of Edge’s latest developments?

Friedman: We’ve launched a revolutionary cloud-hosting platform and removed the barriers between the physical and virtual worlds. We’re stopping 15 million hacker attacks daily against our customers. And we are continuing to create new jobs and expand our infrastructure to keep up with demand—all while maintaining a Net Promoter score of 70 (on par with Apple) and extraordinary growth rates.

What’s next? What are some goals for the next 12 months? 

Friedman: We’re opening our third major data center, expanding our staff by 35 percent, and are on track to continue our strategic growth plan to double the size of the company every three years.

What have you found most surprising about working in this field?

Friedman: The smallness of it. While there are over 10,000 hosting companies, only a handful of companies have been able to conquer the challenges of people, scale, and process around managed hosting.