Carbon60: How the Company Leverages 20 Years of Experience to Provide an End-to-End Approach to Managed Cloud Hosting

Carbon60: How the Company Leverages 20 Years of Experience to Provide an End-to-End Approach to Managed Cloud Hosting

TL; DR: Carbon60, a Canadian host founded in 1999, provides the reliability, performance, and security that public and private organizations need. Backed by an industry-leading SLA, the company offers enterprise-grade hosting packages optimized for WordPress, Drupal, and SharePoint, plus hands-on managed support. With a focus on protecting online assets through risk mitigation while remaining flexible, Carbon60 aims to ensure an exceptional customer experience.

The Buckminsterfullerene molecule, named after architect Buckminster Fuller’s Geodesic Dome, is a hollow molecular structure composed of 60 carbon atoms in a spherical formation. Since its 1985 discovery, the nanoparticle — casually known as the Buckyball — has displayed otherworldly characteristics. It’s one of the most indestructible and stable molecules known to man, yet it bounces, spins at dizzying speeds, and morphs back into its original form after being compressed.

It was from this curious little molecule that Carbon60, a Canadian enterprise-level hosting company known for its stability, flexibility, and efficiency, derived its name.

“The Buckyball’s key characteristics are its stability and ability to adapt — and those are characteristics we adhere to within Carbon60,” said Bik Dutta, VP Marketing & Alliances at Carbon60. “With managed hosting, especially enterprise-grade, there’s always a level of customization that’s required: No two customer journeys are the same.”

Carbon60 strives to provide an ultra-reliable service that offers the flexibility businesses need to grow and prosper in today’s competitive environment. “You have to be able to adjust your model to deliver a positive experience for the customer,” he said. “It’s about having the mindset to think outside of the box when necessary.”

Carbon60 logo

Carbon60, named after the flexible Buckyball molecule, prides itself on its agility.

Founded in 1999, Carbon60 has remained successful in the face of several industry changes — including the great migration to the cloud. Bik, who has been with Carbon60 for approximately three years, is blown away by the company’s agile nature.

“It’s remarkable and refreshing to see DevOps get involved in making adjustments to solve customer problems when necessary, rather than just focusing on what their guidebook says,” he said. “We are determined to maintain that characteristic as we continue to grow.”

In that time, Carbon60 will continue to focus on providing reliable, secure, high-performance hosting solutions to businesses throughout Canada. The company currently offers enterprise-grade infrastructure hosting for customer applications on its own hosting platform in Canada and managed solutions on third-party clouds, including AWS and Azure. Carbon60 also provides WordPress and Drupal-as-a-Service hosting. All services are all backed by an industry-leading SLA and, more importantly, a white-glove service approach. With a mission to protect online assets while maintaining Buckyball-like flexibility, the company aims to offer the ideal customer experience.

Reliability, Performance, and Security Backed by a Robust SLA

Carbon60 was born out of Founder Peter Kelly’s desire to transition from a security, performance, and infrastructure consultant to a provider of fully managed hosting solutions.

“Early in Carbon60’s existence, we were doing a lot of different projects for companies across a range of verticals, including the public and private sectors in Toronto,” Bik said. “Basically, clients said, “You do all the consulting, design, and in some cases, the build work, so can’t you just run my datacenter for me?’ Fast forward a few years later, and Peter built a managed hosting company.”

The company evolved over time, starting as a small business and developing into a full-fledged outsourcing company for businesses that lack the time, people, or desire to take on hosting infrastructure themselves. Today, Carbon60’s end-to-end approach embraces all layers of the hosting stack and is backed by an ironclad service level agreement.

Secure and compliant by design

The Carbon60 platform is built to meet customer needs, whether they’re compliance audits or security requirements.

“When you’re working with midmarket enterprise clients, you have to have a certain level of resilience and security built in,” Bik said. “The hardware, the architecture, the infrastructure — that’s table stakes.”

In terms of security and compliance, Bik said Carbon60 has elevated its security controls over time through adherence to requirements needed to fulfill various customer needs. “We’ve applied that security posture across all of our customers, so they directly benefit from it,” he said. “That’s elevated our game.”

Add to that its SOC2 Type2 certification and general processes and controls, and you’ll see why Carbon60 is known to help customers in key verticals meet their security audit requirements for HIPAA and PCI and custom internal audits. Bik said Carbon60 often receives cold calls from clients based on references they’ve received commending the company’s security posture and ability to pass audits.

Enterprise-Grade Hosting for WordPress and Drupal

Carbon60 also specializes in hosting solutions optimized for popular content management systems like WordPress. Bik told us the company ensures customer sites can handle large spikes in traffic and meet performance demands — all while backed by the support of a DevOps team with WordPress experience and an industry-leading SLA.

The company’s end-to-end WordPress support is built around detailed practices for IT service management as specified by the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). “We have developed a niche in managed, enterprise-grade WordPress,” Bik said. “Historically, we’ve found success in public sector organizations, mostly Federal, that need expertise on how to navigate the challenges that exist with WordPress and hosting infrastructure.”

These organizations trust Carbon60 to meet demanding performance, availability, and security standards. “We have a deep understanding and appreciation for WordPress, which allows us to have a common language with customers, whether we’re talking about the infrastructure or the security element,” Bik said.

WordPress, Drupal, and SharePoint logos

Carbon60 offers hosting solutions optimized for WordPress, Drupal, and SharePoint.

Carbon60 also specializes in delivering managed Drupal hosting to clients, whether that means performance and security testing, assisting with the intricacies of Drupal configuration, or ensuring resiliency. Carbon60 is generally able to support the infrastructure for most open-source content management systems, offering similar benefits, including hands-on deployment support and ongoing maintenance and troubleshooting.

Bik said Carbon60 is placing increased emphases on packages optimized for popular CMS solutions. “We can provide a higher level of service and considerable savings relative to what a customer may get through the usual suspects,” he said.

White-Glove Support Services Create Word-of-Mouth Referrals

Bik said much of Carbon60’s success is a product of word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied customers, many of whom have been with the company for years. “The length of time that customers stick with us, through repeated contract terms, is a true testament to the fact that we go above and beyond to help them through challenges,” he said. “We want our customers to feel like a big fish in a small pond.”

To that end, the company leverages automation to make customers’ lives easier by reducing repetitive tasks and improving deployment speed. To provide a high-touch service, Carbon60 also allocates an implementation project manager for every customer early in the process. “Having that human approach, rather than just referring customers to a knowledge base or chat, helps us ensure a seamless client experience,” Bik said.

Carbon60 is also offering customers more options as it grows in stride with public cloud hyperscalers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Azure, Google, and IBM. “Whereas in the past we focused mostly on dictating where we’d host customers on our platform, now they have a choice,” Bik said. “We can put their assets on our platform across Toronto and British Columbia, depending on what the customer’s looking for and how we assess the opportunity and the workload, or we can put them on top of AWS and Azure.

Carbon60’s recent merger with Gossamer Threads Inc., — overseen by M/C Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm focused on communications and IT services — is also helping to enhance the company’s product set.

Protecting Online Assets Through Security, Threat, and Risk Mitigation

Bik said Carbon60 is looking on the bright side of the well-publicized tech skills storage in Canada. “With that comes the opportunity to assist our customers, helping them accelerate their transformation to a cloud-based infrastructure,” he said.

The company’s future plans include an increased focus on managed hosting on multiple clouds, as the managed third-party cloud market is barely scratching the surface in Canada. “We’re looking to amplify our capabilities and offering supporting customers on their cloud journey using the cloud that’s ideal for them with an eye toward performance, optimization, and security,” Bik said. “We’re security, threat, and risk mitigation aligned with the company’s general approach to managed hosting.”

If Carbon60 is as flexible as its namesake, we have a feeling this endeavor will prove successful.

Christine Preusler

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