TL; DR: Aruba.it is a leading Italian web host that began as an internet service provider in the early days of the web. The company maintains its commitment to providing basic web hosting and email services, and has built an infrastructure that helps its customers grow. Aruba.it continues its journey toward becoming a hyperscale host in the region and strives to meet the cloud solutions needs of even the most prominent global organizations. And the host plans to expand its footprint even further with a massive datacenter in Rome set to open soon.
Back before many people in Italy knew what an internet service provider (ISP) was, Aruba.it began connecting the country’s people to the world wide web in 1994. And the company’s 25-year history reflects just how much digital requirements of organizations and individuals have evolved as we prepare to enter the 2020s.
Over the years, Aruba.it’s focus has shifted to datacenter and cloud solutions, web hosting and domains, email, trust, and compliance services. In fact, the company has evolved to offer just about anything its 5 million customers may need to thrive online.
Today, datacenter expertise is at the foundation of Aruba.it’s technological value proposition. In addition to its facilities in Italy, the Czech Republic, and, soon, Rome, it has partner facilities in France, Germany, Poland, and the U.K. Those datacenters provide Aruba.it with a large European hosting footprint.
According to Gabriele Sposato, CMO at Aruba.it, the company’s mission is to help Italian companies compete in global markets.
“We could see, in 1994, that the internet was going to have a profound and globalizing effect on commerce, and we wanted to provide companies with essential tools — including website hosting and domain name registration,” said Gabriele.
And after 25 years as the leading Italian company for datacenters, web hosting, and email services, Aruba.it is still trying to help its customers stay competitive.
“Only now, our customers are around the world,” said Gabriele.
Despite building state-of-the-art datacenter locations, Aruba.it has also continued to cultivate its roots. The company still offers basic domain registration services and hosts some 1.4 million active websites. And it provides email account provisions (8.6 million to date) and manages 6.1 million PEC – Posta Elettronica Certificata or certified – email accounts.
Its Global Cloud Data Center (IT3) near Milan is the largest data center campus in Italy, and one of the largest in Europe. Aruba.it’s datacenters in Tuscany, Arezzo (datacenter IT1 and datacenter IT2) offer high levels of redundancy due to their proximity and direct reciprocal interconnection. Today, it manages up to 130,000 servers — both physical and virtual.
When it opens, the new Hyper Cloud Data Center (IT4) in Rome will provide the company enough IT muscle to compete with hyperscalers for the world’s largest and most demanding multinational customers.
Market durability is another differentiating trait for Aruba.it. Over parts of three decades, the service provider has consolidated its customer base and market position while legions of opportunistic would-be rivals have come and gone without a trace.
According to Gabriele, that durability can be attributed to the lessons Aruba.it has learned over the years. Some of those lessons include: never underrate basic user experiences; learn from your own customer’s competitive tactics; never cease looking for ways to improve — from infrastructure build quality to customer support.
Aruba.it’s early experience with ecommerce continues to inform its principles regarding customer service provision benchmarks, Gabriele said. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the company began to address the challenges that beset online retailers.
“An important trend for us as hosting providers is the issue of latency. Speed and low latency have always been important to us,” Gabriele said.
Aruba.it understood that website response times were a critical factor as internet connection speeds ramped-up.
“Customers will not stay on a website that does not load fast or respond to clicks instantaneously. So, that issue is absolutely critical to our customers,” Gabriele said.
That’s why Aruba.it invests a sizeable amount of its research and development budget in its IT infrastructure, which is “the fastest on the market,” according to Gabriele.
Uptime assurance is another critical performance indicator at Aruba.it. The impact an inactive ecommerce site or unavailable application has on an organization’s bottom line has escalated quickly as many companies have undergone digital transformation.
Even brief periods of downtime can damage business operations. Gartner estimated that network downtime costs typical organizations an average of $5,600 per minute.
“We state 99.9% for our customers… but in reality, it is better than that,” said Gabriele. “With today’s technology, we believe we can aspire to 100% uptime with confidence.”
To that end, Aruba.it regularly records and analyzes performance data as part of its internal maintenance processes, and Gabriele thinks that 100% uptime is feasible.
“The deployment of high-quality components enables us to do that,” he added.
Another tenet of Aruba.it’s customer service commitment relates to scalability.
“With the cloud, scalability is a great challenge, and it’s more of a challenge than is generally recognized,” Gabriele said. “Scalability was one of the key factors that informed the development of Aruba.it’s cloud solutions portfolio.”
The company offers three basic cloud packages – Cloud VPS, Cloud Pro, and Private Cloud. Aruba also launched its Jelastic Cloud, a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that aims to maximize the scalability of virtualized resources. And Aruba.it believes that PaaS is a hot opportunity. Gartner forecasted the global PaaS market to have the second-highest growth rate, at a rate of 21.8%, in the cloud services industry in 2019.
“When Aruba.it launched cloud computing solutions, we made full scalability an important market differentiator,” said Gabriele. “We knew that it was important for customers to also seamlessly scale down if their requirements changed.”
But the vast majority of Aruba.it customers are scaling up, not down, as its Global Cloud Data Center’s nearly 200,000-square-meter building suggests. Aruba.it believes that the facility will attract companies that, post-Brexit, must relocate their data from the U.K. to a country within the European Union — especially those that want to stay in compliance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
“GDPR is very important for us in Europe, of course,” said Gabriele. “All of our web hosting services are GDPR-ready and have features that enable our customers to achieve GDPR compliance.”
Aruba.it’s sizeable European datacenter footprint, extensive services portfolio, and established market presence have earned it the trust of European businesses. But the company is certainly not resting on its laurels.
“With our datacenter based in Milan, we are in the position to meet global enterprise requirements. From basic web hosting to hyperscale cloud provisioning, we offer a wide range of products and services,” Gabriele said. “We can cover most any need in this space. We can compete with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, but we can also partner with them, which puts us in a good position.”
The company’s close relationships with its customers also contribute to its continued resilience. By understanding the needs of its business customers, Aruba.it maintains a sense of the competition they face.
“We are committed to helping our existing and potential customers by improving our support, offering new services, and improving our user experience,” Gabriele said.
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About the Author
Sean Garrity is a Managing Editor at HostingAdvice with more than 10 years of experience researching, writing, and editing for numerous industry-specific trade publications. At HostingAdvice, Sean is charged with orchestrating the site’s content production, overseeing a team of writers, and ensuring the quality of feature and how-to articles. His goal is to keep organizations and entrepreneurs informed on the latest trends and technologies that can help them streamline operations and thrive online. When he isn’t wrapped up in discussions with experts, you can find Sean in front of his monitor, looking for what’s coming next in the fast-changing tech landscape.