Years ago, Gary Brooks was making a living building people's "Internet homes" using Joomla. He saw that the Joomla open source project's demo site was not very stable. He decided he could do better. He went to Open Source Matters, the organization behind Joomla and asked if he could host the demo site. After an open RFP process, Open Source Matters selected Gary and his Cloudaccess.net as the official host of the Joomla demo sites. The rest as they say is history.
You can listen to how Gary did it and how CloudAccess.net has grown in my chat with him below.
CloudAccess.net will host up to twenty thousand new demo sites a month. They are free to live there for 30 days after which users can either switch to a paid hosting plan, take down the site or move it to another host, among the thousands that host Joomla based web sites. Of course if you want to host a Joomla based site (and about 3% of all content managed sites are Joomla based), you would be hard pressed to find a host that has more Joomla expertise in house than CloudAccess.net.
Gary calls what CloudAccess.net does Platform-as-a-Service Cloud hosting. Joomla is more than just blog software and is actually a platform that has literally thousands of applications that can run on it. As such CloudAccess is at the forefront of many of the cutting edge technologies that we see in the cloud today. Things like Big Data, virtualization and elastic storage are all aspects of what CloudAccess is offering. The core though remains Joomla. They have dedicated Joomla hosting, virtual Joomla hosting and Joomla training
On top of this they have added additional features like Google Apps integration, Managed DNS, Managed SSL and Compliant Cloud Backup powered by Idera's R1Soft Continuous Data Protection.
As someone who has a long history in the web hosting industry, I look at CloudAccess.net as the poster child of the next generation of hosting, as they transition to cloud hosts. More importantly perhaps, CloudAccess.net is the poster child for how to build a successful business around an open source project. Kudos to Gary and his whole team for cracking that formula. Another thing that I liked in speaking with Gary is that he is very sensitive to, apprecitive of and involved in the Joomla community. He realizes that the community is the key to CloudAccess.net's success. He is very active on the community boards and on twitter @garyjaybrooks.
The Web Content Management space is a very competitive market. It is also one where there are more than several great open source solutions. WordPress, Joomla and Drupal are probably the three biggest, but DotNetNuke is another big one and there are more. Building a hosting and service business around them would seem to be a solid plan.
So have a listen to my conversation with Gary Brooks of CloudAccess.net and enjoy!