Interland Inc, one of the US’s largest small business web hosts, this week announced the acquisition of Trellix Corp, which offers web building tools to SMEs. The deal gives Interland some tools to better compete with Yahoo! Inc, which is eyeing the market, and gives it leverage on at least five rivals that are currently partnered with Trellix.
The Atlanta-based host will pay Trellix’s shareholders $4.75m cash and three million shares, a total of $9.75m, plus a five-year option on six million more shares at $5 each. Interland gets Trellix’s team, technology, and a channel of 50 distribution partners including the likes of EarthLink Inc and Terra Lycos SA.
Trellix has the best technology in terms of novice users creating professional quality web sites, Interland VP of strategy Fabrice Klein. The hosted software allows users to build web sites using a web-based interface and templates. Klein added: They have a really strong network of partners and distribution channels.
The market for SME web hosting is expected to blossom, with the majority of the US’s 20 million companies in that category currently without an online presence. There is a lot of room for growth, which is why the likes of Yahoo are boosting their services there in an effort to catch the second wave of adopters.
Buying Trellix allows Interland to become user friendlier for this second wave to help compete with Yahoo’s well-used interface. Klein said Trellix’s systems are used by about five of Interland’s rivals, including Host Europe Plc and Affinity Internet Inc. This could give the company a certain amount of power over the competition.
In a couple of instances there is the potential for competitive conflict, said Interland’s Klein. A couple of [Trellix’s] partners are hosting firms directly in competition with us. We haven’t made a blanket decision on what will happen to those relationships. The deal is a good thing for the majority of Trellix’s partners.
In some instances Trellix hosts the sites created by its partners’ users in its own collocated data center, and in some cases the partner hosts. Interland is expected to migrate Trellix customers to its own data centers and integrate the software into its own blueHALO hosting architecture.
Klein said the company does not expect conflict with the likes of EarthLink, which host web sites but are primarily focused on the consumer market. For a similar reason, Interland is not massively concerned over Yahoo’s claim that its brand will help it seize the market. Yahoo’s brand is more powerful in the consumer space, Klein argued.
Array gets into traffic analysis
Array Networks Inc this week added network traffic analysis to its line of security infrastructure appliances, offering its customers the chance to record and reconstruct data passing through their networks.
The Array SR, for Security Reconnaissance, is available in two models. It sits outside the data stream, sniffing packets and reconstructing them into sessions and complete files, so administrators can check who is sending what data.
The devices support HTTP for web traffic, POP, IMAP, SMTP and the web mail protocols used by Yahoo and Microsoft for email, as well as MIME attachments. AIM, IRC, ICQ and Yahoo chat protocols are supported.
Emails, web pages and images in common formats can be reconstructed. The devices can use user-set parameters to detect keywords in instant messages to alert the administrator when potentially sensitive documents are being sent or downloaded.
However, the SR appliances will not initially support keyword or watermark searches in the documents themselves, nor will it support SSL-encrypted traffic or common Unix or Windows file sharing protocols such as NFS and CIFS, the company said.
Array also announced this week that it has added HTTP compression support to its SP (Secure Proxy) SSL devices, a feature previously added to its TM (Traffic Manager) range of appliances. Compression mitigates some of the fat accumulated during SSL encryption by reducing the size of web traffic by up to 30%.