Saturday, October 30th 2010 marked our 10 year anniversary online and as a web hosting company. Nexcess.net started in October of 2000 in the back room of my house in Southfield, MI with two web-servers, two DNS servers and some off-the-shelf UPS systems. Our connectivity consisted of a DSL line from Speakeasy and a T1 from Verio.
It was a slow start. The first year provided ample time to wonder what I’d gotten myself into. With the high overhead of a commercial grade T1 line, which in 2000 ran about $1200 / month, it was easy to find reasons to just close up shop when the T1 contract was up. As it turned out I got lucky with some referrals from friends and we snagged our first few solid clients. This isn’t to say the venture was profitable but it at least lost less on a monthly basis.
About the time of our first anniversary we had our first major move from the back room to the garage. With my brother’s help we fashioned a heated (and cooled) space that would serve as both office and “data center” for the handful of servers we now had. We also added a second T1 line after hitting the 1.5Mbps limit of our existing T1.
At roughly the 1 year mark we also hired our 1st employee. My good friend Paul Oehler who has been a huge asset of the last decade. He got paid in promises for two recent college grads it worked out. We were used to lots of work with little pay.
In 2002 we moved from the garage to actual “real” Data Centers. The model of T1 lines in your garage at home just wasn’t scalable ; ). Although we were growing we continued to have ample free time to fill. Given our free time surplus Paul and I often filled this time developing software to automate Nexcess.net operations. Around the 2002 mark Paul and I converted some of our in-house software into what would become the InterWorx Control Panel and the NOCWorx Data Center Management Suite.
We continued to service our clients and develop software. We had hired a few folks between 2001 and 2004 who eventually moved on to greener pastures when we found Greg Swaney in August of 2004. Greg changed the face of our support almost overnight and helped us build a reputation for putting client satisfaction above all else – which he helps us do to this day.
From 2004 to 2006 we saw the full release of InterWorx to the masses and the creation of InterWorx LLC to foster its development. We also saw good growth on the Nexcess.net end as well. Our product lines diversified from simply shared and reseller hosting to dedicated and managed servers. We also expanded to using four Data Centers from the original one we began in.
In 2006 we decided to consolidate all of our co-located servers into our newly completed Dearborn, MI Data Center. The transition was…painful. Having to move servers cross-country without disrupting clients was quite a feat. We had a team of folks doing website moves 12+ hours per day for almost 2 months to get everyone moved over and it went largely without a hitch.
Since then we’ve been able to grow at a good pace and have tried our best to keep up the same level of support our client’s have come to expect and deserve. This year we acquired the building that will be our newest Michigan Data Center in Southfield (a suburb of Detroit) which we’re excited about.
It’s been a long, fun ride and it couldn’t have happened without our highly committed staff and our very gracious clients.
Here’s to another decade!Posted in: Nexcess