TL; DR: Webair, founded in 1998, is a time-tested provider of hosting, colocation, and managed IT solutions. The company’s technological ecosystem, supported by an international network of data centers, features everything from cloud services and dedicated servers to disaster recovery and off-site backups. Through this suite of managed solutions, Webair aims to serve as a true partner to its diverse client base of enterprises, SMBs, healthcare organizations, financial, and government agencies.
In his 2001 essay, “The Law of Accelerating Returns,” American author and inventor Ray Kurzweil argued that technological progress occurs at exponential, rather than linear, rates. After citing several historical examples of such paradigm shifts, he goes on to predict that technological change will continue to advance in rapid and profound ways.
But most of us don’t need to read up on Kurzweil’s theories to understand this phenomenon. We’ve seen it play out before our own eyes as smartphones and IoT devices transform our lives in ways we couldn’t have imagined a decade ago.
The downside of seemingly back-to-back technological revolutions is that hardware quickly becomes obsolete. From a business perspective, it doesn’t make sense to purchase costly infrastructure as a capital expense (CapEx) if it will need to be replaced a short time later. After all, CapEx investments are supposed to create benefits in the future, not leave companies with outdated legacy hardware.
Instead, many companies are shifting to managed, cloud-based services under an operating expense (OpEx) model that supports day-to-day business functions. Rather than buying IT infrastructure, these companies choose to rent it through monthly or quarterly providers that continually invest in the latest technology.
Webair, a managed cloud and IT solutions expert, is one such provider.
“Mid-market and enterprise clients continue to face challenges with CapEx, having to spend millions of dollars on equipment, ensuring they have the right employees to implement and manage it, and then doing it all again three years later,” said Michael Ohayon, President of Webair. “With our consumption-based models, we’re the ones procuring all the equipment, software, and other various components that come with it. Plus, you get the scalability, security, and reliability benefit of consuming everything with a simple monthly payment.”
An Evolution from Hosting to Fully Managed Cloud Services
Webair was launched in 1998 when Founder and former CEO Michael Orza needed an affordable hosting solution to support his website design business.
“Web hosting wasn’t cheap at the time,” Michael Ohayon told us. “The internet was just starting, and when you would tell the owner of a small business that you would design a website for several thousands of dollars and that it would cost a significant monthly fee to host it, they looked at you like you were crazy. So, the former CEO decided, ‘I’m going to set up a server in my apartment,’ and he did just that.”
In 2010, Webair set up NY1, its flagship data center, at 501 Franklin Avenue on Long Island. The building, constructed in 1910 to resemble England’s Hampton Court, was originally owned by American publishing firm Doubleday.
Today, it is used as a Tier-III data center, providing direct connectivity to eight major carriers, prominent local PoPs, Manhattan bypass fiber, third-party clouds and peering exchanges, and transatlantic subsea cable systems. More than 40% of NY1’s facility power comes from Niagara Falls and other renewable energy sources based in New York.
Over the years, Webair expanded in terms of both data center locations and offerings. The company now offers businesses the opportunity to host mission-critical digital assets across the globe via data centers in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Montréal, London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Singapore.
“Webair has been in business for over two decades now, and like many other well-established businesses, there have been multiple pivots over the years,” Michael told us. “At some point in the early 2000s, we started selling bare metal servers. Then we began to offer our own public cloud before it was even an industry-standard term.”
Transforming into a Turnkey Provider of Managed Cloud and IT Services
Fast forward to today, Webair is a global leader in the managed cloud space, providing fully managed cloud hosting, backup, and disaster recovery services for the mid-market enterprise.
“We take full accountability — all you have to deal with is one invoice for everything,” Michael said. “We provide real-time replication, we ensure your backups complete, we monitor, patch, and remediate issues related to your cloud environment, we take care of software licensing, and we relieve the stress of managing critical infrastructure components.”
In addition to Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) and Backups-as-a-Service (BaaS) offerings, Webair also provides Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) via the company’s VMware-based Virtual Private Cloud (VPC).
The private cloud platform empowers businesses to develop, deploy, and manage solutions without purchasing and managing hardware (as is the case with the previously-mentioned CapEx model). Webair takes responsibility for infrastructure, security, backups, and disaster recovery, plus management of server operating systems and application stacks.
Webair acts as an extension of the IT department for the mid-market enterprises the company serves. The goal is to take over as little or as much of the complexity inherent in managing infrastructure but still give clients the flexibility to access and adjust systems as needed.
“We take a lot of stress off IT teams so they can be hyper-focused on more important business challenges,” Michael said.
Cloud and IT Solutions Designed to Grow with Your Business
Michael told us that Webair’s wide range of managed cloud services, virtual desktops, disaster recovery storage solutions, among others, come together to form an ecosystem of sorts.
“Once we connect to your infrastructure through a secure connection, we can get you access to a plethora of our services,” he said. “If you need a Storage Area Network (SAN), a Network File System (NFS), block storage, object storage, cloud storage, a small VM for a couple of weeks — you name it, we have it. We can bolt on disaster recovery, backups, plus handle compliance and data sovereignty concerns with all of our data center locations.”
Solving all of these challenges with one provider saves users time and money for IT and accounting teams.
“You don’t need to worry about paying providers in 10 different locations,” Michael said. “We listen to our customers, we identify their challenges, and that’s where we strategically decide where to offer our products and solutions.”
To that end, Webair recently introduced a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solution that provides users with access to their desktops from any computer, tablet, or smartphone. Michael told us the new product offering came as a direct result of feedback from customers looking to manage desktops remotely during pandemic-related lockdowns. The company will continue developing future products based on the evolving needs of its customers.
“Retaining customers is essential,” he said. “My goal is to keep our customers forever, and the only way to do that is to provide best in breed products and services and continue to complement our offerings with services our clients need. We want to be a household name, the first provider that comes to mind when you think of managed cloud services.”