"The Optus facility is a lot better," said Anoosh Manzoori, SmartyHost's managing director. "The Sunshine data centre we use is more of an exchange than just a plain data centre. It is more geared to large enterprises than Primus' facilities."
Manzoori said the move to Optus is motivated by a desire to improve quality of service ahead of new product launches aimed at corporate customers.
"Corporates have consistently asked us for dedicated hosting," Manzoori said. "So we will soon launch a product called SmartyCorp for this market".
Manzoori declined to outline the details of this product, but said it will see his company branch out from hosting on Red Hat Enterprise to for the first time offer Windows-based hosting products as well.
"We want to become a full service hosting firm," he said, "We have plans to introduce ASP models and other products".
All of these new services will be offered from the Optus data centre, where the company has installed 20 new "high-end" Dell servers at a cost of AU$500,000 and a AU$150,000 EMC Clariion storage area network. "One of the benefits of our new solution is that for the first time we will not store any data on our servers," Manzoori said. "We currently have two terabytes of data and that will all go to the SAN. The new servers will just be there to power the CPU," a configuration Manzoori expects will result in more responsive systems for customers.
Manzoori denied, however, that the move is motivated in part by system failures at the company's current facility.
"We have had no major outages," he said in response to support e-mails read by ZDNet Australia that reported "...issue[s] with regards to network congestion ..." that have caused some SmartyHost customers to experience intermittent dropouts of Web and mail services.
Another support e-mail stated "We have been experiencing a large amount of e-mail through the server which we believe someone on the server is spamming and we are currently monitoring that and hope to find the culprit and fix up this problem".
Manzoori said he is unaware of these problems but expects service to improve once all customers have been migrated to Optus' data centre, a process already under way and expected to require several weeks to complete.
Once the process is over, Manzoori then expects to mount a concerted assault on the number two hosting company position. "We have 25,000 customers already and are adding them at the rate of one every five minutes," he told ZDNet Australia. "We expect that by the middle of next year we will have 50,000 customers.
"If you look at Destra's financials, they claim to be adding 320 customers a month. We are growing much faster than that and believe we are already the second largest hosting company in Australia".
Primus had not returned ZDNet Australia's calls on the issue by late this afternoon.