In the server management industry, some firms stand apart from their competition and we’re fortunate to have with us John Meacham of Server Surgeon, from one of those firms. He’s graciously granted us an interview to expound on server management and on what separates them from the rest of the industry.
Server Surgeon has been in the industry over ten years, providing a myriad of management services for dedicated and collocated servers, including monitoring, backups and hardening.
Us – Share with us who Surgeon Surgeons is, what you do and how all this came about.
John – Server Surgeon started over 10 years ago with the goal of providing true 24/7 support to web hosting companies and others running virtual, dedicated (and soon) cloud servers. I have served 20 years in the IT industry and 80% of that was in the area of web hosting, first for very large companies then with Server Surgeon which targets smaller companies that cannot or do not wish to provide their own 24/7 support.
Us – What sets you apart from your competition?
John – Hands down it is our employees. We have been fortunate to have very hired good systems administrators with web hosting experience and who have proved loyal to the company. Many who started eight or ten years ago are still here today. They are all very attentive to customer needs and quick to resolve issues. Each one of them loves their line of work.
Us – What kinds of issues have you faced growing your brand?
John – When we started, there were not many issues because there were very few companies offering the type of support we do. That changed as the years went on but we retained name recognition and continue to get referrals from existing customers and data centers, many of which have been with us since our first year in business.
Us – What’s the need for your type of services in the web hosting industry today?
John – The most common issue faced by our customers is security. This includes both proactive security where we harden or secure customer’s servers to prevent the most common types of attacks, as well as reactive security to assist in cleaning up and further securing after a successful attack. Beyond security, almost all our customers benefit from our ongoing patches and updates as well as 24/7 support and full server monitoring. Companies in the hosting industry need 24/7 eyes on their servers as many things can go wrong at any time.
Us – How would you describe your partnership with ProlimeHost?
John – It’s been a joy to work with Rounak and the entire staff at ProlimeHost. Prolime is very security conscious with all servers put on their network.
Us – Tell us something about your typical customer base and what types of issues they face
John – About eighty percent of our customers provide web hosting services to their customers. Security and 24/7 monitoring continue to be the primary uses for our services. Our customers face a wide variety of issues, including hacked or defaced websites, inbound and outbound spam issues, disaster recovery (after a failed hard drive for instance), website migrations, major server updates to a newer OS, troubleshooting common hosting issues, PHP/Apache/MySQL customization and optimization, etc. The list goes on and on.
Us – Any special plans on the horizon for Server Surgeons?
John – We try to limit our focus to managing Linux dedicated, virtual and cloud servers which is our core competency. It’s worked for 11 years and as long as the market is there, our focus will continue be there.
Us – How do you get the word out about your service?
John – Initially we helped those who posted about hosting issues on WebHostingTalk and other forum sites, and our signature line on those posts served as advertising. Later we used Google AdWords and still do to some extent. But most of our present business comes from customer referrals and data centers who refer us to their own customers.
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