TL; DR: SolaDrive started as a VPS and dedicated server provider in 2009, and has expanded from helping SMBs to building a global presence. The company’s growth has tracked with cloud hosting, as it has become the dominant force in the industry. And SolaDrive leaders are looking to the future with plans to grow the company’s proactive monitoring software and provide clients with more end-to-end solutions.
Subpar hosting services often cause frustration for individuals, developers, and businesses that rely on the web to create content or drive revenue. Those experiences may lead them to switch providers, but there’s no guarantee of an improved situation with so many similar services on the market.
The founders of SolaDrive had firsthand experience with low-quality hosting, both as customers and from working in the industry. Instead of endlessly switching providers and looking for reliable, supportive service, they decided to build SolaDrive to provide a high-quality solution for businesses.
The company started in 2009 in Buffalo, New York, and has grown into a global managed solutions provider with more than 5,200 clients in 65 countries.
John B, SolaDrive President of Operations, said the company entered the market focused on shared and reseller hosting and helping small companies host and create simple websites.
“If you had asked me then where we would be in five or 10 years, I would have said we would grow heavily with our services and maintain our fundamental principles,” John said.
According to John, half of that statement would have been correct. SolaDrive maintains its principles, but it moved on from shared and reseller hosting as it looked for more ways to help its customers grow their businesses.
Today, the company focuses on VPS, dedicated servers, cloud clusters, and backup services.
“Finding our niche market is what helped us grow over the past decade and not burn out as we see all too often with other providers,” John said.
And one of his favorite aspects of SolaDrive is that it still has many of the same customers and even staff from its early years in business.
“That is a positive testament to the service we provide,” John said.
Providing Managed VPS and Dedicated Servers
Today, SolaDrive’s most popular offerings are its virtual private servers and dedicated servers. And the company stays updated on tech industry trends and the shifting needs of its customers.
“Over the years, things change, including products and technology, so we find ourselves constantly adapting,” John said. “One of the biggest changes we have seen from 2009 to today is fewer physical boxes and more cloud hosting. We have seen consumer websites gravitate toward cloud VPS and cloud dedicated servers more than just standalone bare metal servers.”
A report from Market Business News puts that shift in perspective. It showed that the VPS market is expected to grow at more than 15% per year and reach $8.8 billion by 2027.
“While there is still a market for dedicated servers, we have found more people want virtualized servers in the cloud,” John said. “One way we have adapted to this new demand is by offering our cloud VPS service and dedicated public and private cloud clusters.”
But keeping up with the latest software and hosting trends can be tricky, as it could involve infrastructure investments. SolaDrive is careful to strike a balance between adapting to trends and providing value.
“An example would be implementing a cloud hosting cluster to offer high availability virtualization,” John said. “Another example we saw these past two years is a huge shift away from cPanel due to price hikes. We had to adapt to that and focus our services more around DirectAdmin as a primary control panel.”
Following the Cloud Revolution to Help Customers
SolaDrive’s managed VPS products include versions for Linux, Windows, and Odoo. It also offers managed WordPress and Magento hosting.
“We provide this range of services, and it allows our customers to grow and adapt with us. And they can upgrade their services as they see fit,” John said. “We don’t want to lose customers because their business reaches a point where they need to grow, and they have to look elsewhere because we don’t offer it.”
SolaDrive also doesn’t want to stretch itself too thin by offering too many services and add-ons. The company plans to stick to a few key service categories and provide excellent service. Focusing on that customer service aspect seems to have paid off for SolaDrive. It has distinguished itself from competitors and is delighting customers.
“In the short period I have been with SolaDrive, I have experienced nothing less than excellent customer service, both from John, and all the technical staff I have interacted with,” reads one customer testimonial on the SolaDrive website. “John has been tremendously courteous and generous — when I signed up, I chose the basic 120GB SSD primary drive, and a secondary 500GB SATA3 drive. John informed me that they did not have any 120GB SSDs in stock, so instead he kindly upgraded the SSD to 250GB for no charge — to me, this was a very big deal, and was a contrast to my previous experiences.”
Proactive Monitoring Software Gives Clients More Control
SolaDrive provides businesses with the latest digital tools and hosting options they need to grow online. But its overall service value is what sets the company apart.
“We provide a cost-effective service that comes with a lot of stuff other providers charge extra for. We go out of our way to help our customers to ensure they get what they need, and I think if you asked our customers, they would agree,” John said.
SolaDrive offers a list of the 10 reasons customers typically choose its services. Those reasons include experience, 24/7 U.S.-based support, Raid-10 NVMe VPS, 100% uptime, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
SolaDrive isn’t content to rest on its laurels. John said the company has growth plans to help customers access more of the tools they need to grow their business.
“One of the things we have in the works is an improved proactive monitoring software that clients can view and manage from their client panel with us,” John said. “They can add sites and servers to monitor. And if there is ever an issue, it will open a ticket on their behalf. Our team will immediately start investigating the issue since all of our servers come fully managed.”
John said SolaDrive plans to eventually apply security patches, monitor security alerts, and monitor server resources, among other services.
“That will offer a competitive service to customers looking for a top-tier managed server,” he said.