Peer 1 brings ServerBeach to Toronto

The managed hosting market shows no signs of slowing down as Vancouver’s Peer 1 Network Enterprises Inc. brings its SMB-focused ServerBeach service to Toronto.


The announcement, which the company made Wednesday, means ServerBeach’s dedicated hosting service will take advantage of Peer 1’s newly opened $40-million hosting facility in Toronto. ServerBeach’s Toronto hosting offering makes it the fifth city for the service, which is also hosted in Los Angeles, London, San Antonio, and Herndon, Va.


ServerBeach, Peer 1’s hosting brand, is geared toward tech-savvy SMBs and startups that are comfortable acting as the primary systems administrator for their servers.


“The goal has always been ‘give me a great server on a fantastic network, let me have root access, and then leave me alone,’” said Robert Miggins, senior vice-president of business development at ServerBeach.


Of course, if customers need help, the company is always ready to lend a hand, he added.


Typical ServerBeach customers include Web-centric SMBs, systems integration companies, Web development shops and game development firms, said Miggins.


If there was any doubt that demand for hosting services was increasing, last month’s $121-million acquisition of Toronto-based managed services and collocation firm Fusepoint Inc. by U.S.-based Savvis Inc. put an end to it.


“The main initiative was for geographical expansion into Canada,” said Jim Ousley, chairman and CEO at Savvis. “Our largest customers have asked us to expand into Canada and Fusepoint allows us to do that.”


Shortly after the acquisition, Ousley told ComputerWorld Canada that Savvis is committed to servicing Toronto, which he called “the financial capital of Canada.” That commitment, he said, includes “proximity hosting” offerings that bring data centres as close to the customers as possible.


“So we need to be closer to the financial exchanges … and we’ll be exploring that,” Ousley said. “We probably need to expand a little closer to downtown Toronto.”


Savvis’ Canadian competition has also been active in expanding and building out storage facilities.


Peer 1, which has built close to 20 data centres globally in the last decade, has its new 41,000 square-foot data centre in Toronto, in addition to plans to built another facility somewhere in the west of the country.


With the move to Toronto, Miggins said, ServerBeach’s service looks to appeal to a ripe market, with interest from both SMBs and larger enterprises. “We’re very bullish on Toronto,” Miggins said, pointing out that Peer 1 “was Canadian before Canadian was cool.”


Another major player, Toronto-based Q9 Networks Inc., has recently kicked off a $125-million hosting facility project scheduled for the Greater Toronto Area. The 240,000-square-foot data centre, which will be the company’s sixth facility in the area, will offer customers outside air cooling capability, biometric security systems, a variety of connections to the Internet, redundant power, fire suppression systems and 24/7 security and support teams.

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