Although I won’t be covering everything from the past year, I am writing a quick blog post to update you on a few recent items. You may also wish to check out our 2009 blog archives.

KSplice Uptrack
As those of you who follow us on Twitter (@rochenhost) may already be aware we signed an agreement with Ksplice Inc. in October to deploy their Uptrack technology across all of our servers. Uptrack allows for seamless Linux Kernel updates without the need to reboot our servers, resulting in improved service and uptime for our customers. This is especially beneficial for customers using our Managed Virtual Server (MVS) service where Kernel reboots could take some time to complete. We are offering this service at no extra charge.

I am pleased to report that Uptrack is now successfully deployed and operational across the vast majority of our servers and we will have rollouts to all servers fully completed by the end of December. You can read more about Uptrack and how it will benefit our customers in the official press release here:

Joomla Day in Viet Nam and Joomla Developer Conference in New York City
Brad Baker from Rochen’s team, who is also a volunteer member of the Joomla team, attended Joomla Day Viet Nam in Ho Chi Minh City on 1st November. Brad delivered a keynote address to the gathered community members on Joomla hosting and security. Brad reported back to me that the enthusiasm about Rochen and our services was strong, so we look forward to continuing to grow our customer base in Viet Nam through 2010. As one of the fastest growing centers for technology in the world, we believe Viet Nam is going to emerge as a market of growing importance for us.

Brad Baker prepares (center seated) prepares to deliver keynote.
Brad Baker (center seated) during Q&A session in Ho Chi Minh City.

Martin Rouf from our team and I both had the pleasure of attending the first Joomla Developer Conference this past weekend, held at Columbia University in New York City. On the first day of the conference Rochen made an announcement along with one of our customers, PICnet Inc, that we would be jointly contributing $10,000 USD towards the new Joomla Sponsorship Program.

Rochen believes contributing to Joomla in this way is the right thing to do for our customers as many of them use Joomla within their businesses, especially our reseller hosting clients. We also believe this announcement will benefit the wider Joomla community, even those who are not customers of Rochen. You can read more about this announcement and the sponsorship program in the official press release here:

Chris Adams (right) prepares to speak at Joomla Developer Conference.
Chris Adams (right) prepares to speak at the Joomla Developer Conference in New York City.

Rochen was the lead sponsor of both events in Ho Chi Minh City and New York City.

UK Hosting
It has now been almost 6 months since we launched our UK hosting services, giving customers the choice to host on either a US or UK server with Rochen and pay in either US Dollars or British Pounds. Whether a customer chooses our US or UK location they will benefit from the same great customer support backed by enterprise services like Rochen Vault Managed Backups, in the knowledge that the entire service, including the physical servers and switches, are owned and managed by Rochen’s experienced engineers.

Based on the research we did before we launched the UK service we knew it was going to be successful, but it has outperformed all of our expectations. We were going after two key groups with the new UK service. Those targeting their website towards a UK or European audience and needed solid rankings in Google UK, Google Spain and other such indexes; and European businesses storing data that can’t be located outside of the EU due to data protection laws.

When we launched our UK hosting operation we did so completely out of existing cash reserves, so did not take on any debt. Today the operation is now cash flow positive and turning a nice profit. It is in fact the fastest growing area of our business ahead of our US hosting offerings, so we are extremely pleased with the outcome so far. Rochen is fully committed to both the US and UK / European sides of our business going into 2010 and beyond. It is important not only to look at the technical side of things when considering a web host, but the financial too. Rochen believes in steady and controlled growth that doesn’t result in a compromise of our high service standards.

VAT Rate Change
Starting in December 2008 the UK Government lowered the rate of Value Added Tax (VAT) from 17.5% to 15% to help with the economic situation. Some businesses did not pass this rate cut along to their customers and simply pocketed the extra 2.5% themselves as additional profit. Here at Rochen we passed along this rate saving from day one to our customers. As previously announced by the UK Government the rate will return to the 17.5% level on 1st January 2010 and as such the rate Rochen charges our customers will return to this level as well. Rochen only charges VAT to customers located within the European Union (EU), with a few exceptions.

Discount Promo Code
If you are not already a customer and are looking for some rock solid hosting this holiday season you can signup using the promotional code: XMAS and this will offer you 15% off your first invoice with Rochen. This code is valid through until 31st December 2009 and can provide even greater savings when paying annually with applicable plans. This beats any other public promotion we are currently running.

Finally, thank you to all of our customers’ through this year. I truly appreciate your loyalty more than you know. We have a lot of exciting developments in the pipeline for 2010. Everyone at Rochen wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Very Prosperous New Year.

– Chris

Chris Adams is the Founder and CEO of Rochen Ltd.