TL; DR: HostMDS took on new life when it was acquired by Canadian hosting giant Cirrus Tech in 2016. Today, the company powers web apps from enterprise-class datacenters strategically located in downtown Toronto and Vaughan to serve the bustling regional market and ensure compliance with stringent Canadian privacy regulations. Over the past decade, HostMDS has transformed its line of shared, virtual, and dedicated server plans and colocation solutions to deliver infrastructure optimized for performance and security. As a result, the host is able to keep pace with the likes of Azure, Google, and Amazon in the competitive mass-market hosting space while serving up the hands-on approach and personal feel of a smaller provider.
“The goal was to lower the price of hosting for personal users,” said Mehdi Salek, citing the 2016 acquisition of HostMDS by Cirrus Tech as a move that reinvigorated the Canadian mass-market hosting space.
As director of sales for both organizations, Mehdi told us how one side of Cirrus Tech remains focused on mid- and enterprise-level organizations, while HostMDS zeroes in on hosting for individuals and small businesses.
“The idea was to draw a distinction between two brands and at the same time offer quality solutions catered to different audiences,” Mehdi said.
And, for HostMDS customers, the metamorphosis proved particularly beneficial.
“Having that setup enables us to lower the price because the burden of the cost falls on the enterprise infrastructure,” Mehdi said.
Cirrus Tech and HostMDS share the same goal — to provide “secure, reliable solutions with a high level of service,” Mehdi said. And the relationship between the two brands delivers an ideal balance between pricing and infrastructure expectations to both sets of customers.
Now, HostMDS has unveiled its latest line of shared, virtual, and dedicated server plans and colocation solutions — all run from a high-speed, Toronto-based network boasting 99.99% uptime rates. The new offerings are a reflection of the company’s dedication to helping customers build an affordable online presence through powerful and secure hosting solutions backed by a team of IT experts.
Toronto-Based Datacenters Delivered by a Compliance-Minded Company
HostMDS’s datacenters are strategically located in downtown Toronto and nearby Vaughan. As one of the fastest growing IT markets in North America, this area serves as the main east coast business hub. It’s also the home of Canada’s largest internet exchange point — the Toronto Internet Exchange (TorIX).
For customers local to the area, close geographical location equates to improved performance of their web applications. HostMDS datacenters are also monitored around the clock and feature raised floors, climate and fire control, and uninterrupted power.
But these aren’t the only draws. Mehdi said the location of the company’s datacenters also ensures adherence to local privacy regulations, such as Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), which protects proprietary data.
Site owners worldwide have been watching the evolution of US surveillance laws, which are creating growing concerns about privacy. As a result, many individuals and businesses are looking to host web properties elsewhere, making Canada’s privacy regulations increasingly attractive.
Canadian laws also specify where federal government institutions may host their data.
“For instance, the hospitals and some of the universities are required by law for the data to stay in Canada,” Mehdi said.
As a provider delivering web services to such institutions — and anyone looking to host a site within Canada’s borders — HostMDS is in compliance with these privacy regulations. The company takes data protection seriously and even goes beyond what the regulations require to stay ahead of industry security best practices.
Build an Online Presence With Affordable, Unlimited Web Hosting
HostMDS’s latest line of unlimited web hosting plans are WordPress-ready, equipped with cPanel, a free domain, and unlimited disk space and bandwidth, Mehdi said. The unlimited plans provide customers a risk-free way to expand online presence without the fear of incurring unexpected charges.
“We looked to the market to see how we could keep that competitive edge but, at the same time, address client needs and requirements,” Mehdi said, adding that the plans were based fundamentally on customer feedback. “We talked to different users and web designers, and we attended different seminars and meetups to identify what our clients were looking for.”
Identifying security as a major concern, HostMDS partnered with SpamExperts® to keep inboxes free of unsolicited emails.
“Using their tools and solutions, we managed to reduce the spam clients were getting by 95%,” Mehdi said.
The company also partnered with Let’s Encrypt to offer SSL encryption — which Mehdi described as critical to protect sensitive customer data.
For customers new to the web, getting up and running is simple and cost-efficient with one-click activation, zero setup fees, and the peace of mind provided by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
“The most important thing for us is customer experience and ease of use,” Mehdi said. “We take feedback about user experience and changes they would like to see seriously.”
Powerful VPS and Dedicated Server Plans on a High-Speed Network
HostMDS has also revamped its fully managed VPS, dedicated server, and colocation plans. Customers seeking additional control and capability over web hosting will benefit from the company’s virtual private servers.
The VPS solutions offer scalable infrastructure that can be customized to whatever specifications necessary. Both cost-effective and powerful, these enterprise-class servers boast reliable bandwidth with prices starting at just a few dollars per month.
HostMDS has also introduced four flexible dedicated server packages with customizable CPU, RAM, and disk space options. The plans, which can be managed or unmanaged, offer high stability backed by 24/7 monitoring, anti-DDoS solutions, and quick provisioning.
To round out its robust catalog of services, HostMDS’s three colocation plans offer clients secured facility access, 24/7 monitoring, and on-site NOC. And this includes all of the benefits inherent in its strategically located Toronto datacenters. While colocation can be pricey, HostMDS offers the service at competitive rates accessible to SMBs.
Balancing Performance & Security While Maintaining a Competitive Edge
HostMDS’s newest offerings are a reflection of the company’s drive to confront whatever trials come its way. The host is pulling out all the stops to deliver the best possible performance and security to customers while competing with major players such as Azure, Google, and Amazon.
“Bigger companies are stepping up the game, and now the entire market expects better quality,” Mehdi said. “We have to accept the challenge.”
For example, Mehdi told us he recently spoke to a client who expressed an interest in managing his entire hosting solution from his mobile phone — and he said the company finds proposals like this invigorating.
“These are the challenges we are facing now,” he said. “What excites me most is basically the introduction of different technologies and trying to evolve with the market.”
And, unlike the industry giants mentioned above, HostMDS is able to nurture a connection with the local community. Under the umbrella of Cirrus Tech, now one of Canada’s largest web hosting companies, HostMDS also differentiates itself through a focus on public engagement.
“We try to engage with educational institutions and universities to encourage students to explore different solutions,” Mehdi said.
On the business side, the company is devoted to helping local SMBs grow and prosper.
“There are communities here helping small businesses, so we engage with them, provide our services, and, in some cases, offer free hosting solutions for startup companies,” Mehdi said.
For a Canadian-based company looking to give back to the community where it had its start, that approach is hard to beat.