Interview with Dennis Ng, PacHosting Founder
Dennis Ng founded the popular PacHosting brand which came to him in his teenage years. Today, he's focused on building a brand that serves the needs of all across cloud infrastructures in the Asia-Pacific and European regions, among others. It's been great to sit down and talk to him to see how the brand has evolved since they started out.
Hi Dennis - thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us. Can you tell us about PacHosting? When did you started and how did it happen?
It’s very nice talking to you as well. I am very interested in developing and integrating the technology around me since very young at 16 years old, and I spent few years in telecom company as a system engineer, eventually I found PacHosting in 2002. I started the business to help people with a reliable hosting service, and it’s the greatest satisfaction returns when I see our customers is happy with our service.
Can you give us a brief overview of services provided by PacHosting?
We started from web hosting and dedicated server hosting in the first few years, and later on we have joined the Cloud offering. We have made a few significant milestones since we started working on virtualization. For example, we are one of the first hosting provider offers container technology in Asia Pacific, we developed single and multiple instance public cloud, build network route options to streamline customers with different uplink preference. And, we have just launched Hosted Private Cloud in Q4 2015, this hardware-based environment can be provision automatically, and rich private networking components is another feature of our Hosted Private Cloud.
What are the differences between your public and private cloud services?
In my perspective, we have the “Hosted Private Cloud’, generally speaking private cloud is the on premise version of public cloud, so it should be hosted private cloud when it’s outsourced. It’s also making more sense for hosted private cloud as it’s only cost-efficient when the related hardware and network infrastructure is hosted in our datacenter instead of on premise locations to reduce expenditure on hardware ownership, depreciation, maintenance, while increase the overall cash flow. I believe private cloud offering is just a transition, but it will be around for few more years. The demand on hosted private cloud targets dedicated performance with hardware-based security, and when the virtualization technology develop overtime, the concept of “hybrid” will be more widely adapted. The automation in private networking and routing flexibility will be essential in our development roadmap.
Can you tell us a bit about the private network services you offer (IPsec, SSL tunneling, firewalls, metro Ethernet, and private VLANs)?
Our collection of private network services aims to equip customers with the capacity to construct applications or infrastructure that requires sensitive data exchange between components; components including but not limited to our Public & Private Cloud, Dedicated Server and Co-located devices. And to go one step further, the private network can be extended and integrated into customer's own office or datacenter networks to form a hybrid environment.
Tell us a bit about the backup solutions you offer as well.
Backup is certainly one of the most asked questions from our customers. There are three backup services for Public and Private Cloud for different level of backup requirements. We have a server image backup option available at our customer control panel, customer can backup and restore the entire vm in 1-click. Customers can work with custom backup plan with us on Dedicated Backup Server, we provide free initial setup to take care the backup schedule, versioning, and backup directories and etc. In addition, we have started partner with Acronis to provide a complete offsite backup solution to cover both disk and file level backup in our Singapore or Hong Kong datacenters.
What experiences have you had to be successful at your job? How do you suggest other people learn to be great at administering web hosting?
Having passion is one of the key traits to become successful. Technology is changing and we do not sit with the same technology to be competitive in the market, passion is necessary to keep us working around the clock to think, test and deploy on fresh offerings. Team building is very important in managing an effective and fun work environment, it generates positive energy in our team to head to the same goal together.
Do you have any tips for aspiring executives, and what types of skills they need to possess to be great at what they do?
Determination and trust on potential of oneself and all fellow colleagues. Staff is the most valuable resource we have in the company, and the team spirits we have here at PacHosting brings brilliant ideas together to make a huge difference in the business development.
Can you tell us about the concentration of customers at PacHosting? Are most from Hong Kong? Do you service other areas as well?
The raising of e-commerce and the application development has brought us a significant portion of customers around the globe in recent years. The concentration of overseas customers from Asia Pacific, North America and Europe are continuous growing in our server hosting products, such as public cloud and hosted private cloud. The future infrastructure will be working very closely with applications, the concept of DevOps will be essential to build the infrastructure ecosystem to align with diversified technology requirements.
It looks like you've been doing a lot of enhancements for your email hosting service. Do you find that people are using your service more than free email providers, such as Yahoo and Gmail? If so, why? What are your plans on innovating further in that space?
The technology of Email has been here long ago, and the popularity in apps and text messaging have inspired a great deal of collaboration tools, which I actually foreseeing the raising demand in those instant collaboration tools may replace email communication in the future.
To answer your question, we are in the different market of free email providers. The fundamental difference in our email service and free email providers is that customers can use their own domain name to align with their business identity.
We offers Email Hosting and Dedicated Mail Server for different business requirements and optional add-on service to enhance the usability for individual business requirement. One of our popular add-on for email is Smart EmaiLink, which delivers fast mail transport between mainland China and global market with minimizing mail lose and content lose issue. Email Monitoring service to record all incoming and outgoing email messages is another popular choice. And, we have strong collaboration features available on mail clients, webmail and mobile devices, customers can share their mailbox, calendar, tasks, and appointment and meeting scheduler also available for a better time management. In addition, multi-layer antispam and virus shield are included for every email user. Our engineers are currently developing more value-added features for the compliance area to develop a managed mail service for large enterprise and MNC.
2015 was a big year for you in terms of offering SSD application hosting, Jelastic cloud, upgraded bandwidth, Acronis offsite backup, a reseller cloud program, a virtual datacenter with private IP networking, private VLAN, new dedicated servers, and those email upgrades. What's planned for this year?
Indeed, we have launched many products and new components last year, what we planned for this year is to develop integration on all those products and components, as well as extend the automation implementation on our current service delivery flow and technical operations.
Can you tell us more about the private VLAN offering? Where did the need arise?
As cloud technologies continue to advance, businesses are becoming more confident in utilizing public clouds for both external and internal applications. With increase in cloud adoption for internal services and applications, a dedicated private network for each customer is a natural progression to increase data confidentiality even in transit within our Cloud infrastructure.
Can you tell us a bit about your company culture? How many employees are at the company and how do you foster camaraderie across the board?
Our team is ambitious in growing with the company. We have around 30 staff working with us in an opened and casual environment. Passion, motivation, and team spirit are what we focus the most on in facilitating our team to work beyond expectations. We talk about new ideas and future visions with the team. For example, the demand of web hosting is fading out and gradually to be replaced by CMS, such as WordPress, Magento, etc. And the possibility of application is still evolving in fast pace, I’m excited on integrating new features and solutions for end users. Every one of us in PacHosting loves technology, we stay tuned on new ideas and plan ahead on our infrastructure adaptability.