[London, ENGLAND] Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen has
taken “intelligent hosting” across the Atlantic with the
Wednesday launch of his Loudcloud venture in Europe.
Formed by Andreessen with a group of former Netscape/AOL
executives in September last year, Loudcloud offers a
fully managed IT infrastructure service to support
Fortune 2000 companies, application service providers
and e-commerce ventures.
Chief Executive Ben Horowitz outlined to journalists
what he considered to be the advantages of Loudcloud’s
so-called Smart Cloud services.
“Our services are designed to help companies get to
market faster than they would otherwise be able to
do,” said Horowitz.
Using its proprietary Opsware automation technology,
Loudcloud believes it can provide the kind of high-quality,
scalable Internet operations that businesses require,
while removing the need for in-house expertise and
all the expense incurred acquiring it.
However, Andreessen and his colleagues may well find
that the market in Europe has advanced a long way since
the early days of the Internet when Netscape was king.
Europe abounds in infrastructure services, with city
rings, hosting centers and outsourced, fully managed
solutions frequently being launched in the U.K.,
Germany, and France.
For example, Demon Internet founder Cliff Stanford —
one of the pioneers of the Internet in the U.K. — has
backed such ventures as Redbus Interhouse Ltd., which
offers managed hosting facilities in London and Paris.
Andreessen, Horowitz, and their colleague Tim Howes and
In Sik Rhee believe they are taking the idea of outsourced
hosting one stage further, introducing more automation,
and offering dynamic scaling, full redundancy and disaster
The Loudcloud Operational Environment is backed by a 100
percent scheduled uptime guarantee — a factor that may
well be seen as important by European e-commerce companies.
On Tuesday night, even Amazon was hit with a short period
of downtime on its European sites in the U.K., France and
Germany, causing inconvenience to customers in what is
intended to be a very customer-oriented business.