16th Aniversary of Prometeus :)

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16th Aniversary of Prometeus :)

Postby Admin » Fri May 24, 2013 4:42 pm

Hello !

Next week we are having the 16th birthday ! While only sweet sixteen, this age is mathusalemic in the branch :P
How come that Prometeus survived so long ?
Well, the story (and future plans) below :)

Salvatore was thinking to jump in the hosting industry boat and he did quite early. At that time the prices were decent, the unlimited "feature" didnt kill it off yet.
So he made the company (after having some experience before including software writing and selling since the 80's) and rented an Irix server: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IRIX
Prometheus was meant to be, but a clerical error made it Prometeus, so it was considered a sign, a promising one :P
It was 600 $ a month for the rent and the servers were not what they are today... x86 was still gaining ground in the server market, "serious" servers were sparc with solaris (that was the next one, by the way).
So, in short time had a lot of servers, in US and Europe. Prices for a hosting package, very aggressive at that time, were 120 USD a year and people were happy to send the checks in Italy, but Salvatore was not happy, because the banking fees were huge, so he registered Iperweb LLC in Delaware, US.
There were so many orders that Daniela (his wife and majority stock holder in Prometeus di Daniela Agro) was no longer able to cope with keeping track of them, so Salvatore wrote a lot of automatisation. If could only make it a panel of sorts...
Then his wife got pregnant and could no longer do even with the automatisation help and he started major consultancy for a big italian bank being paid 1000 a day, so the hosting business began to suffer.
In the end he gave it out for free to a reseller partner (majority of it was done through resellers) which took good care of the existing customers.
A hurricane and police raids also helped this decision, therefore Salvatore is now weary of having distant servers where he does not have access directly and fast. He was even going to take the plane to see at the datacenter why everything is down because there was no communication, his liaison there, finally answered the phone and at that time was in a boat trying to enter the facility...
The police was so dumb that confiscated all computers at home in the raid and then, when the sites were still online (of course, they were not hosted at home ! ), they were very surprised... They are still dumb today, but not like that :)
Salvatore was so busy with his bank job that had to turn down a lot of offers to do other things, but one day, the owner of Cdlan, managed to convince him to become his CTO.
Since he was already working for a big datacenter and provider, restarted the hosting business, now with extra power of the multimedia, secured some deals with Italian broadcasters and then more corporations, not only multimedia, but also financial institutions and others.

When the crisis started, there was some free capacity at the datacenter and he choose not to reduce it, but use it to expand his business in other directions, so he started offering VPSes for the masses. At first in the business cluster with VMware and HA, then regular nodes.
This was on the 1st of January last year, so the VPS branch is much newer and was meant to be just a side show and it still is very very little in the total income, while profits, if they exist, are all invested in infrastructure and expansion.

He didnt expect the level of abuse and trouble the low end market brings, he is still very disappointed today, even tho we are doing great compared with others, but choose not to let the bad guys win and sailed through police questioning, court orders, ISP IPs blackholing, DDoSes, you name it, with a grin and didnt give up.
We have now, for this business, one rack out of 5, close to 3000 VPSes, some 50+ nodes (we use high density supermicro blade servers) and quite a few other servers, dedicated and for internal services. We already rent elsewhere for back-up purposes (new ftpnweb plans are stored off-site) because Cdlan's datacenter is full and it will take time till the other one is built.
Romanian expansion is no longer only a joke now, it may happen :)

We are now waiting Proxmox 3.0 final to deploy the HA cluster for the LEC (low end cloud) a first step before cloudstack or even openstack, depending how things will evolve in the area.
The automation will be handled through Hostbill.
I know it is very late compared to our promises, but we didnt stop this project, it is only that OS tools are not at the level of VMWare and rhev6 which are holding the corporate customers (and Salvatore always wants to offer Business quality at Economy prices) and the prices would be much higher if we are paying the licenses there. Developing something in-house is also out of the question due to Salvatore's busy schedule, so, we have to wait for the maturisation of the tools, hopefully, the Proxmox 3.0 will be a good intermediary step.

A few surprises are waiting for the loyal customers which are with us for more than a few months and didnt cause any trouble :)
We are losing money with the bad apples, so we reward now the good apples, it should not be fair to make them pay through higher prices for the bad ones...

With every promotion, half of the new customers are frauds/abusers/doing illegal things, DDoSers, DDoS targets, carders, you name it, but the other half stays and adds to the core of Prometeus family, the happy people that finally found a good host... or at least one that does it's best to keep them happy, doesnt waste money on expensive advertizing but gives promos to the customers instead, not only incentives for the new ones, but also thank you's for the old ones :)

Happy birthday, everyone !

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