TL; DR: Local market conditions often drive global innovation, and VpsCity offers an excellent case study to exemplify this trend. The New Zealand-based hosting provider delivers a rich set of products and services designed to meet regional needs and enhances them with its vmlogics program. VpsCity is an all-in-one partner that provides shared, dedicated, and virtual servers and even local commercial broadband. The company plans to bring vmlogics out of beta soon so more server administrators can take their virtualization and resource management to a global marketplace.
Seasoned tech executives are often best positioned to adapt to a rapidly shifting industry climate. They’ve seen what works and what doesn’t and may be more perceptive about the strengths and weaknesses of potential market disruptors on the horizon.
For Tarquin Douglass, Founder and CEO of VpsCity, experience in the hosting industry primed him to adapt to its ups and downs. And his company benefits from that foresight.
“We have a bit of an edge above the rest,” he said. “From the outset, we started designing our own stuff, and that set us apart. We were doing per-hour billing or per-second billing while Amazon Web Services was still a small player.”
Tarquin got his start with South Africa Online, which he sold in 2007. In 2010 he moved to New Zealand to launch a holding company that supported several brands — including VpsCity and vmlogics. Today, the company has more than 15,000 hosting customers with affordable domains and cutting-edge virtualization platforms.
“We did virtualization at the time when virtual machines and hosting were taking off,” Tarquin said. “We were one of the easiest and the most technologically advanced in New Zealand, and that’s probably why we became so popular.
Today, VpsCity offers a wide range of products, including hosted servers — dedicated and VPS — and standard shared hosting featuring web and email products. On the voice front, VpsCity supports SIP trunking, cloud PBXs, and VoIP phones.
The company also delivers a mix of migration services and SaaS/IaaS custom solutions. Those sit atop other hosting provider value-adds like domain and SSL registration and content filtering.
VpsCity is also one of the few hosting providers worldwide that deliver broadband services directly to businesses, providing fast connections to a global marketplace.
The New Zealand Market Concentrates Hosting Providers
New Zealand is an advanced and developed nation that is also isolated from main continental hubs. That makes for a unique market environment, especially for networking services — which can be far more expensive than other places. The country only has three major independent providers, and VpsCity is one of them.
“There are only three companies in New Zealand that are real players with their own infrastructure and systems,” Tarquin said. “And we are, by far, the largest independent virtualization company. We span across three datacenters within New Zealand, and we have more than 500 physical servers. And we run virtualization on top of that, so we’ve got a big segment of the market.”
Although the major players, including AWS and Azure, maintain a robust presence in the country, the intricacies of the local market mean that smaller, local hosting providers dominate the scene. For example, in the United States, providers are so common that hosting is seen as a commodity product. Pricing and service levels are roughly equivalent, so companies often compete on customer service or niche offerings.
But in New Zealand, commodification doesn’t drive market dynamics. That frees VpsCity to avoid the rush to be a value provider within the community.
“We’ve been around for quite some time,” Tarquin said. “We’ve got a reputation for reliable people — our staff is qualified and very helpful. So that’s the key to the success we’ve enjoyed so far.”
That success is also driven by the company’s development cycle, which prioritizes customer feedback. VpsCity maintains frequent communication with customers and avoids ticketing systems that never seem to return a positive result.
The company tracks feedback and often incorporates requests into its wide range of product offerings.
Management Simplified through vmlogics
vmlogics, which is currently in beta, is VpsCity’s latest product offering. This tool delivers GUI-based global cloud management with KVM and OpenVZ provisioning and automation. It supports cloud cluster management, time-based billing, and automatic resource distribution.
“We’ve been working in the background on vmlogics for a year now,” Tarquin said. “It’s essentially an entire worldwide virtualization management platform. But it’s designed for smaller hosts — people who have their own infrastructure but need a good virtualization and federation platform at an affordable price.”
For example, a small business with a datacenter or several server racks generally requires a virtualization framework. Most companies use vendors, including VMware, which can be expensive. But businesses can use the vmlogics portal to add their own infrastructure and let the tool do the management work for them — at an affordable price.
Another aspect that distinguishes vmlogics is that all customers are potentially federated, so everyone’s resources can be pooled for use worldwide. A hosting company in the United States, for example, could spin up a server in New Zealand for a New Zealand-based customer and vice versa.
Admins can determine how many resources are shared and set a price for them. Everything is billed by credit card or PayPal, and the vmlogics team handles all billing and accounting. That feature helps hosting providers avoid slack infrastructure that would otherwise not deliver billable hours.
“If you’ve got a cluster of nodes, you can use all those nodes yourself, or you could make resources public,” Tarquin said. “And then you can set prices on those resources. Any of our customers can do the same thing, and so everyone shares resources among each other.”
VpsCity: Advanced Infrastructure That Just Works
New Zealand’s unique geography and demographics place a different set of pressures on its native hosting industry. Three major players dominate the country’s market, competing with a small group of global-scale providers. VpsCity embraces that dynamic to deliver more all-inclusive products and services — including commercial broadband — than those offered by typical providers.
VpsCity also delivers innovation in the form of vmlogics, an all-in-one platform for infrastructure management and server virtualization. The product drives revenue enhancement and operational agility by pooling among clients to produce what amounts to a global public cloud. This framework allows server admins to maximize infrastructure that otherwise may be wasted.
“We are one of the biggest hosting companies in New Zealand, with multiple datacenters on a 100-gigabit backbone with nearly 100% uptime and a proven track record of friendly support,” Tarquin said. “We own our own infrastructure, we have our own fiber all over the place, and we’re connected to everyone. Plus, we run the latest server and storage technology.”
The next major project for VpsCity is to bring the vmlogics program out of beta and into full global deployment, which is slated for early 2022. vmlogics launched in mid-2021 and immediately began accepting signups for the beta program.
Tarquin said he is proud that his company “just works.” He noted that none of his clients has suffered a catastrophic breach because everything is backed up. And the company manages all the infrastructure and its security.
VpsCity presents an attractive portfolio of solutions with a solid return on investment for global companies eager to try a low-cost, full-featured cloud provider.