One on One with 1&1

Sep 25, 2008

On September 24, 1&1 Internet celebrated the official opening of its US data center with a ribbon cutting ceremony – in Lenexa, Kansas.

Wednesday was a big day for 1&1 Internet Inc. First the company announced its new premium range of dedicated servers. Then the company and the Lenexa Chamber of Commerce celebrated the official opening of the new 1&1 Data Center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Lenexa, Kansas facility.

Thursday the celebration continued – 1&1 announced its new eShop packages and also gave members of the media a grand tour of the Lenexa building.

Germany... and Kansas?

The new 1&1 Data Center, the first outside Germany, is less than 40 miles from the North American offices of Linux New Media and Linux Pro Magazine.

When 1&1 decided to open its first data center outside of Germany, why did it pick Lenexa, Kansas? For one thing, Kansas offers a safe location for a data center and a reliable power supply. Because it's the second largest railroad hub in the US, the Kansas City area is an "apex of data connection", with fiber lines running parallel to the railroads. The company also says that the Kansas location makes it possible to have equal latency for both the East and West Coasts.

Security is tight – all areas have access control, and cameras monitor the building inside and out. Currently, there are five server rooms, each of which feeds from its own electrical room. Two are built out and there's plenty of room to expand. Three mechanical rooms provide air handling, water, fire extinguishing, and air conditioning.

The generators are tested monthly under a live load for 10 minutes. Each one holds 800,000 gallons of fuel on site and can run 6-7 days without refueling – and they are loud. "The neighbors are going to hate us," says Thorsten Ziegler, the Head of Facilities.

In reality, the neighbors should love 1&1. The company uses local technology and staff. Technical staff members work on site in Lenexa, and other US employees, such as marketing personnel, work out of the Pennsylvania office.

1&1's US General Manager, Sebastian Moser, says about half of US customers choose Linux for hosting, compared to about 90 percent in Europe. He says the people in Germany tend to distrust Microsoft, and the government also leans toward Linux. Mosser says that Linux plays a big role at 1&1. The company uses its own Debian-based Linux, which helps them offer lower pricing. Also, Linux just performs better. "You can host more customers on a Linux server," he says.

Going Big with Small

Oliver Mauss, CEO of 1&1 Internet Inc., was on site for the official opening and new Lenexa facility tour. Mauss says the vision for the company is to be the "leading provider of hosted solutions for small business users and ambitious consumers." He says the company is already the world's largest full-service hosting provider, and their ambition is to have the largest international footprint of all web hosts.

According to Mauss, the majority of 1&1's 700,000 US customers are small- and medium-size businesses (SMBs) with fewer than 50 employees. He says that strategic areas for growth in the SMB market includes reaching customers who don't currently have a web presence by offering easy-to-use, simple web products and advertising packages for "Internet beginners." Mauss says 1&1 can reach SMBs with an existing web presence through the company's SaaS (software as a service) solutions, such as the MailXchange collaboration tools, eShops, and business applications. The SaaS market is growing, Mauss says, particularly in the SMB market.

Only two days ago, the ribbon was cut and the US location officially opened, but don't think that 1&1 has any plans to kick back in Kansas and relax at the new facility. The company is moving full steam ahead and has big plans for the immediate future. Perhaps it's fitting that when people think of Kansas, they think of tornadoes – 1&1 is hitting the US web hosting market just as strong.

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  • Noisy Neighbor

    As the unfortunate business in the building behind the Lenexa KS facility, I can tell you we are not happy. First there was construction noise and now the generators.

    I don't know what he means about testing them for 10 minutes every month -- they have been running going on day three now. The noise is similar to working on an airport tarmac or next to a freight train. We hesitate to open our loading dock doors due to the constant noise but we have to in order to run our business. Even on days the generators aren't running, the noise has ruined our otherwise peaceful working environment.

    Thorsten himself said "The neighbors are going to hate us." Yes, you were right. Had 1&1 been there before we moved in, we would never have chosen this location.
  • 1 & 1 Internet

    Based on my experience they're dishonest. About as simple as I need to get. I've got the same billing problems as most people with complaints about them. My issue is over a measly 43 dollars, but that's not the's the principle of the matter. And, that principle that 1 & 1 seems to live by apparently is deceit. I like many others would like to see a class action suit against them. Why the government hasn't taken their asses to court is beyond me. ... for 1 & 1 to contact me to resolve my issue, that is if they have the integrity, which to this point they haven't.
  • Great News, ironic for me

    well this is awesome news, a Kansas based data centre, the equal latency issue proves that Kansas is a great location for a variety of technology companies, central time zone too... I personally am UK based and have used 1&1's home package now for 15 months or so, and I have had no problems, one slight issue is now I would like php/ mysql and they don't appear to offer it as an add-on, only in a much bigger package! I have visited Kansas twice in the last 6 months now and will be going back no doubt before the end of the year, should I eventually move there I shall be asking my old friends 1&1 for a direct line into my server, hahaha, seriously though their service and reliability is really good so I don't understand all the moaning and groaning. Also I thought they had a data centre in Southern England somewhere? I must be mistaken...
  • 1and1 use someone else

    1and1 is the worst hosting service I have used. Look their reviews up on google then find someone else.
    Take 2 aspirin before calling customer service. On a scale of 1 to 10 it doesn't register.
  • 1&1 Internet OR 1and1 Internet simply don't care about customers


    I promise to make this very short. Based on our experience here is the following;

    We have 16 hosting services with 1&1 and this week 2 of our biggest one went flat down.

    After zillion calls to the technical support - located in the Philippines, these guys out there are simply incapable od any help. They're there just to adsorb clients frustration and keep repeating the same crap all the time "we're sorry, we do apologies, your case has been escalated to the admins, we have no time frame for the resolution of your problem, your case is still open, bla bla bla..." And you have to really insist (*yell*) before he or she decides to let you talk to their floor supervisor, which will simply repeat the same thing over and over again! Let me tell you that it really drives you nuts...

    After listening to the nice talk of Oliver Mauss on WHIR TV Interviews, I laughed so much. "Customers centralized orientation"... This guy should be in politics, He is so disconnected from the reality of his own firm...

    Oliver, Hello !! How do you expect serving your customers with intelligent support if the service is thousands miles away from the data center ??

    Our websites are down since 3 days now and I still receive nice letters of apologies from 1&1 and to add to the irony, I also got your invoice for these websites this morning...

    The reality is the following, for having been with 1&1 for the last 4 years and having maintained 16 packages, let me tell you this, prices are good, bandwidth is not bad, features are okay but your customer service and technical support is a complete FAILURE... On top, you have no fail over solution (something like a relay server that take over for continuing to serve customers while the main one is down...) and you have lost the whole content of our web shell including our databases... This is a shame...

    I am glad for having performed our own backup, ladies and gentlemen and I recommend you keep doing the same! Because when 1&1 goes crazy, anything can happen... ANYTHING !

    Yo think I am exaggerating ? WELL GO TRY IT!! But don't cry to me after...
  • 1and1

    Be very careful before you choose a hosting company. I wish to God I had checked out 1and1's reputation before I signed. Rather than bore you with my long fight with them just ask yourself why their phone is answered by a recording that tells you what to do if you have been contacted by NCO, a collection agency. If they are above board why do they have to send so many accounts to a collection agency? Also Investigative journalist, Kelli Jacks, has a suit pending against them. Kelli states: "1and1 should be shut down."

    And finally, the Pennsylvania Better Business Bureau has them listed as "Unsatisfactory" Read comments on the BBB why. Read some customer comments on Red Flag.
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