The Numbers Don’t Lie: Recapping WHD 2015

Posted by Ben M. Thomas on Apr 1, 2015 12:20:00 PM


It’s fitting that my inaugural blog post is coming off the high of a week-long dive into the hosting industry. With an estimated 6,000+ attendees, World Hosting Days 2015 in Rust, Germany is purportedly the greatest hosting industry conference in existence.

Looking around at all the event attendees with wide eyes, the elaborate booths, creative marketing placements, and the constant hum of excited conversations, both near and far, it’s easy to get lost in the moment and lose sight of the bigger picture.

For those that don’t know me, I’ve been around this business for a little more than a decade now, and I’ve witnessed a lot of changes in that short time. I have seen shows like WHD grow from hundreds of attendees to thousands. I've also witnessed huge shifts, not only the companies represented at these events, but also the demographics of the attendees.

The industry has come a long way the last 10 years, and not surprisingly there’s still a long road ahead of us filled with exciting technologies, synergies of business, and ever-changing customer demands.

This year's event got me a little excited and anxious for the future. As with any event this large, there are a few main points that leave a lasting impression and come home with you. A few days out from WHD 2015, a few of my own personal takeaways were:

OnApp Maturing

I love seeing where OnApp is going as their platform continues to mature and evolve. One dedicated interface for cloud and dedicated servers, supported by the OnApp CDN and storage, not to mention a global federated marketplace makes their platform a very compelling offering. R1Soft has been in their template library for years, and we're looking forward to working with their team to update our template and improve integration.

The Parallels Transformation

Parallels really put on a good show with their magical transformation into Odin, and the name change and increased focus on service providers bodes well for their organization. I had the opportunity to peak into the Odin road map for Virtuozzo and Plesk and discuss the R1Soft road map and mutual plans for working together to improve compatibility with their products.

Docker Reaches the Port

Docker seems to be catching fire, and I couldn’t be more welcoming. The hosting industry is built on top of open source software, and an open platform for distributed applications opens the door to a whole new world of hosting opportunities. As Igor Seletskiy of CloudLinux put it, “we shouldn’t be selling VPS servers, we should be selling application hosting.” And Seletskiy isn't all talk, he’s backing his opinion with KuberDock.

Overall, the hosting industry is becoming even more professional. And by “professional,” I mean in the good way. It’s adopted better operational models, benefited from economies of scale, and is beginning to value customer experiences over technology. I am happy to be part of this experience and looking forward to what the coming days will bring.

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