An Interview with Con Zwinkels, CEO of LeaseWeb


Con Zwinkels,
CEO of LeaseWeb

In an exclusive interview Con Zwinkels, CEO of LeaseWeb, talks about the most exciting things taking place right now in his company. He also shares some insights on hosting, business and technologies, makes predictions, and much more. Enjoy!

HostReview: Would you tell us in a few words about yourself and your professional background? How long have you been involved in the web hosting industry?

Con Zwinkels: I started the company back in 1997 with my business partner Laurens Rosenthal.  We started with just one server and now we have over 30,000 dedicated servers in our network.  We have always provided quality services at a competitive price point which has made us a desirable choice to both resellers and consumers.  This is the ethos we started LeaseWeb with and continue to implement at the centre of the LeaseWeb business today.


HostReview: What are the latest developments at LeaseWeb?

Con Zwinkels:
We’re always developing products and services for our customers.  Our latest development has been the introduction of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and cloud computing.  We also ensure that our clients benefit from 1 Terabit per second of bandwidth, an average uptime of 99.999 percent and plenty of overcapacity.

HostReview: During the last couple of years LeaseWeb has been growing in a very fast pace. What’s the secret of its success?

Con Zwinkels: At LeaseWeb we focus on our clients’ requirements and pride ourselves on meeting customer demand to maintain a satisfied client base.  We give customers peace of mind by providing a reliable and scalable hosting environment allowing them to focus on growing their business.   

We work with a range of customers from enterprise to media companies and content delivery networks (CDN), as well as providing services for resellers, system integrators, web designers and application developers. 

We invest heavily in research and development to ensure we always offer a premium cost effective service to our clients.

HostReview: How do you manage risks of growing too fast?

Con Zwinkels: One of the keys to our rapid growth is maintain stock and spares for extra capacity.  This means we are ready to move to meet any potential customer requirements.  As well as the extra capacity we also ensure we have a highly skilled and talented workforce to react to any needs. 

We have implemented ISO 27001 certification for information security and ISO 9001 for quality management systems.  These standards and procedures, for which LeaseWeb has been officially audited, demonstrates LeaseWeb is prepared for future growth.

HostReview:  LeaseWeb has a network of its own, with quite some bandwidth available now. What security issues does such a large network bring to you?

Con Zwinkels: As one of Europe’s largest content hosters, viruses, malware and illegal content will always be an issue for us and we have to work hard to ensure it does not affect the LeaseWeb business or our customers. We cannot control everything on the network, but we see protecting our customers by deterring spam and cybercrime as part of our responsibility which we take extremely seriously.  Our Community Outreach program, which extends the loan of LeaseWeb servers to non-profit groups which monitor, and publicise malware issues, is only part of a multi-prong effort LeaseWeb pursues to keep the internet safe for customers.

HostReview: How do you address these security issues?

Con Zwinkels: We work closely with the various global authorities to provide any information we can that deters those who use the network illegally.  We have developed our ND5 hashtag which filters for inappropriate images of children and is offered to our customers with sites which have user generated content. 

We have also recently launched our innovative Community Outreach project, which I have discussed previously, that offers free server capacity and bandwidth in support of organisations that monitor, identify and combat the sources of spam and cybercrime.

HostReview: What is the ultimate goal of LeaseWeb, how large do you want to be?

Con Zwinkels:  We’re always looking to expand our portfolio and ensure that we listen to customer demand by building new offerings around requests.  In the near future we expect to see the results of our international acquisition efforts as we continue to expand in the global market.  We are always looking for like minded companies to grow LeaseWeb worldwide.

HostReview: What does cloud computing mean to LeaseWeb?

Con Zwinkels: We first concentrated on the development of virtualisation products based on VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V, Xen and Virtuozzo. Since then numerous LeaseWeb customers have successfully implemented a private cloud solutions within our data centre environments, providing customers with very flexible and scalable hosting options.

HostReview: What cloud proposition and/or plans does LeaseWeb have itself?

Con Zwinkels: We currently have a VMware based cloud solution available. We plan to expand our offerings in the near future. A public cloud offering will shortly be part of our proposition and facilitate our web hosting offerings.

HostReview: LeaseWeb has an R&D team within its organisation. How important is ‘innovation’ to LeaseWeb?

Con Zwinkels: Innovation is key to our proposition.  To deliver first class hosting at very competitive prices, our products and processes really have to be organised in the best possible manner to maintain our superb price/quality ratio for our hosting services.

Considering the size of our server park, the slightest reduction in energy use allows us to obtain significant cost savings for our clients.  As energy costs have become an increasing factor in hosting we place a core focus on energy reduction.  With lots of reseller clients relying on the quality and pricing of our services, R&D and therefore ‘innovation’ is an integral part of our efforts and value proposition in the market.

HostReview: What does LeaseWeb do to solve energy issues within the data centre environment?

Con Zwinkels: We do not own all of the data centre space we have available however we are incredibly conscious about the energy issues within the data centre environment.  We ensure that we use 100% carbon neutral data centres for our needs, and recommend this option to our clients as well. 

HostReview: LeaseWeb is a very multi-cultural organisation. Why is that, and how do you attract these people from all over the world?  

Con Zwinkels: LeaseWeb is a cutting edge and innovative company and we attract like-minded people. We have a large global customer base and a diverse workforce which allows us to serve our customers the best way possible.

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