The Planet Enters Managed Hosting Market Backed by New Proactive Anticipation Advantage Methodology : Introduces Planet Northstar Brand

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The Planet, the global leader in IT hosting, today escalated its hosting leadership role with its entry into the managed hosting arena. Under a new moniker designated exclusively for its managed hosting line of business – Planet Northstar Managed Hosting – the company has developed a rigorous proactive methodology – not just reactive support – that helps customers leverage technology to support and grow their businesses. Small- and medium-sized customers can take advantage of enterprise-class IT managed hosting services – starting with just two servers – backed by a dedicated team of seasoned IT professionals who are personally accountable for their success.

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Here at Atitude, we don't see Planet Northstar as a hosting provider

Most managed hosting companies provide a single choice in service – it's either managed hosting or managed hosting – and nothing beyond. The Planet now provides customers the power to choose precisely the type of hosting they require. Whether it's self-managed dedicated hosting, self-managed with optional services or a fully managed hosted solution, The Planet offers customers the power to choose without being forced to make sub-optimal choices in infrastructure or services. (See separate release issued today: "The Planet Extends Leadership in Dedicated Hosting with New Advanced Services")

In an industry dominated by a reactive support service mentality, Planet Northstar is based on a simple premise: proactive planning, preparation and prevention, which are far more valuable than purely reacting to problems as they occur. Every managed hosting customer is assigned a team of specially selected, highly trained IT professionals with years of experience who are personally accountable for their client's success. Each team is led by a technical account manager and includes a senior database administrator, senior systems engineer and network specialist. In addition, each customer has access to other certified senior engineers for specific functions such as storage, backup, e-mail and security.

"In large organizations, every CIO expects their IT teams to conduct extensive planning sessions, setting up test beds and evaluating results to be certain performance criteria are met," said Steve Kahan, vice president of marketing and product management with The Planet. "By contrast, most managed hosting companies simply don't take the time to conduct the required planning critical to managing IT infrastructures for their customers, which is a grave disservice. In fact, they typically throw a raft of people at the problem when something goes wrong. With the Planet Northstar proactive Anticipation Advantage methodology, planning is extensive, and each plan is different, depending on the customer's business requirements and growth goals. In our view, an hour of preparation is worth far more than 10 hours of frantic support."

"Enterprise customers select managed hosting solutions almost entirely on two issues: price and support," said Tier1 Vice President and Research Director Dan Golding. "Methodologies and planning mechanisms that encourage proactive support will boost enterprise customer satisfaction and help increase the share of corporate IT spend flowing into the managed hosting sector."

"Here at Atitude, we don't see Planet Northstar as a hosting provider," said Helder Conde, Chief Technology Officer with Atitude Digital Media based in Sao Paolo, Brazil ( "We see them as a real strategic partner that will actually help us deliver the best service to our clients so we remain at the forefront of this business. As a customer for more than three years, we know the quality and reliability The Planet provides, and the new managed services offering is exactly what we needed. They listened and delivered, just as they promised."

"As a small but growing company, we know that our business requires more than just a reliable infrastructure. We are with The Planet because we need a partner who not only delivers high quality service, but also understands our business and our customers," said NutshellMail Co-Founder Mark Schmulen ( "The Planet has worked with us every step of the way to design and implement an IT infrastructure that can grow and scale as our business expands. I would recommend Planet Northstar to anyone looking for managed hosting services."

About Planet Northstar: The Anticipation Advantage Methodology

Planet Northstar is backed by The Planet's core infrastructure, including six SAS 70 Type II world-class data centers, enterprise-class network, data center operations, customer provisioning systems, physical and environmental security, and problem management and resolution through its customer portal. Coupled with its powerful and industry-leading Service Level Agreement, Planet Northstar guarantees 100 percent power and network uptime, along with one-hour hardware placement and 15-minute response times. Using its Anticipation Advantage methodology, Planet Northstar utilizes a four-step proactive process for every client engagement:

Assess: For every customer, the Planet Northstar team begins with in-depth business and technology planning to gain a thorough understanding of business and technology goals. Together they examine current and future expectations, and how each will impact the customer's technology requirements. The result is a recommended IT implementation plan that delivers on business requirements, along with alternate configurations should the environment or goals change.

Design: Based on the customer's business and technology goals, the team designs and develops a comprehensive, customized systems architecture plan from the ground up to satisfy specific needs now and into the future. It provides scalability foresight – not just insight – so customers are prepared for each business cycle. The plan also defines how the Planet Northstar team will work as an extension of the customer's team.

Maintain: The dedicated team of certified and seasoned IT experts applies years of experience to proactively manage and maintain each customer's IT performance. For example, protection of IT assets is secured by design. Customized change-control procedures ensure high-availability and security for customers, which are built into planning, enabling the Planet Northstar team to anticipate and mitigate risks and prevent breaches, outages or compliance violations.

Measure: Metrics are a key component of Planet Northstar Managed Hosting. By integrating metrics and reporting best practices, the dedicated account team establishes benchmarks to report the status of IT systems, as well as identifying critical trends. Quarterly interactive meetings are held to review systems health, and discover new ways to improve operating procedures and technology performance.

Planet Northstar – available exclusively on Microsoft platforms – plans to expand to provide Linux platforms. To learn more about Planet Northstar, visit the Web site at New white papers are available for download that provide additional details including The Anticipation Advantage of Proactive Managed Hosting; and Leveraging Capex-Free Managed Hosting by the Yankee Group, an industry-leading research company.

About The Planet

The Planet is the leading provider of On Demand IT Infrastructure solutions, hosting more than 22,000 small- and medium-size businesses and 6.7 million Web sites worldwide. The Planet Alpha division provides the widest array of self-managed dedicated servers and advanced services backed by 24x7x365 support. The Planet Northstar Managed Hosting division combines a proactive methodology and seasoned IT experts to deliver a fully managed hosting solution. With the best choice of servers, software tools and world-class support, backed by state-of-the-art facilities and an enterprise-class network, The Planet turns IT into a powerful competitive advantage that enables customers to grow their businesses. For additional information, visit

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Yvonne Donaldson
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