UK2 Group

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UK2 Group
Type Limited
Industry Internet
Founded 1998
Headquarters Canary Wharf, London
Services Web hosting
Parent Lloyds Development Capital
Website www.uk2group.com

UK2 Group is a British-based web hosting service company. Some of the many brands managed by UK2 Group include UK2.Net, midPhase, 100TB, ANHosting, Comcure, Dotable, Resell.biz, WestHost, VPNHQ, VPS.NET, and Virtual Internet. UK2 Group has offices in London, with operations in the USA and other countries.

History[edit]

Based in the United Kingdom (UK), Bo Bendtsen started UK2 Group's first brand, UK2.Net, in October 1998.[1] UK2.Net was an Internet service provider that started out by selling domain names in the UK, acquiring a reputation for low cost without much service.[2] Initially, the names were resold through the Nominet UK organization as its domain name registry.[3] Although headquartered in London, domain registration is through its Cloud Group Limited subsidiary based in Gibraltar.[4] An estimated 435,000 users in 2000 made it the largest web hosting company in the UK.[5] Many years later in 2012 it was still advertising .co.uk domain names for £1 a year.[6] Ditlev Bredahl served as chief executive from 2006 through 2011. Bendtsen and Bredahl both came from Denmark.[7]

Acquisitions[edit]

Starting in 2007, UK2 acquired various smaller companies, including several outside the UK. They expanded to offer Web hosting, dedicated servers, reseller hosting, ecommerce packages and Microsoft Exchange email hosting.[8] In October 2007, it acquired the domains of Stargate Holdings Corporation, which included US2.Net and Resell.biz[9] Stargate first became accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers as a domain name registrar in September 1999.[10] This allowed UK2 to assign domain names directly.[11]

In December 2007, UK2 acquired US Web hosting provider midPhase Services.[12] Founded in 2003, midPhase had offices in Providence, Utah.[13] In July 2008, Chicago-based ServerCentral sold the WingSix brand to the UK2 Group.[14] In October 2008, UK2 acquired Dotable.com which was based in Australia.[15]

In November 2008, UK2 acquired WestHost, which was based in Utah, with offices in Logan and data center in Salt Lake City.[16] It had been founded also in 1998, and listed as one of the 100 fastest growing companies in Utah in 2004.[17] WestHost uses a data center that has SAS 70 Type II certification. On 20 February 2010, a fire suppression system accidentally released Inergen into the WestHost data center during a yearly test. The blast damaged some server compnents as well as some backups, resulting in service outages of up to six days.[18] UK2 staff admitted editing the Wikipedia article on Inergen to say it could cause such damage.[19] By March 2010, Jeff Hunsaker (by that time head of UK2 operations), announced that K2 Group would be moving to use C7 Data Centers in Lindon, Utah as its colocation provider.[20]

In January 2009, UK2 acquired Virtual Internet (VI), also based in the UK.[21] Virtual Internet was founded in 1996 by Jason Drummond. In a 1998 transaction, Charriol plc, listed on the London Alternative Investment Market, acquired VI and changed its name to VirtualInternet.net plc, effectively making it a public company.[22] Its estimated capitalisation when the new name was first traded on 9 January 1999 was over £20 million.[23] On 18 April 2000, the company was transferred to the Official List of the London Stock Exchange, raising more cash and making Drummond one of the wealthiest entrepreneurs in Britain.[24][25] During the dot-com bubble, the share price soared to almost £10, but shrank to 15.5p by 2001. In 2002, VI was purchased by Register.com for about £12 million.[26] In May 2003, VI was acquired by Norwegian hosting provider Active ISP Group,[27] and then reorganized as a private company in a management buyout in 2006.[21]

Coping with recession[edit]

UK2 company had grown from about 30 employees to 200 in three years. In February 2009 UK2.Net were named by Netcraft as the second most reliable hosting company in the world, and the most reliable in the UK.[28] After the Great Recession cut into business, the company reduced staff in May 2009, as it closed support centers in India and Ukraine.[29] In September 2010 UK2 announced virtual private server (VPS) hosting using the VPS.Net domain name.[30]

In April, 2011, a majority stake in the UK2 Group was acquired by Lloyds Development Capital (LDC), a subsidiary of Lloyds Banking Group for £47 million (about US$77 million).[31][32][33] At that time, Phil Male became chief executive of the group and Bredahl became chief executive of OnApp.[31] LDC was the financial backer of OnApp, to which it added about $20 million in January 2013, and UK2 was one of its hosting providers.[34]

In August 2011, a content delivery network service was announced with the 100TB brand.[35] The 100TB brand (which replaced the previous 10TB brand from 2008), refers to 100 Terabytes of data traffic per month. In March 2010 the 100TB service was announced as a partnership with SoftLayer.[36][37] A website at ServerForU.com also advertised the 100TB service starting before mid-2013.[38]

In November 2011, UK2 announced HostPuru a hosting brand specifically targeting Latino Spanish speaking communities.[39] By 2011, the group was listed as number 45 on the list of 100 fastest-growing private technology companies in Britain,[40] and in 2012, number 53.[41]

In January 2012, the VPNHQ service was announced for virtual private networks, mentioning a study showing most users of public Wi-Fi do not check to see if their service is encrypted.[42][43][44] UK2 sponsored the Marussia F1 racing team in 2012.[45] In February 2012, Virtual Internet announced it was approved as a supplier to the UK Government G-Cloud.[46] It was later reported that major vendors Amazon Web Services and Google were excluded by the UK government.[47] In May 2012, a website backup service called Comcure was announced for beta test.[48]

Midphase were named by Netcraft in April 2013 as the fifth most reliable hosting company, and UK2 was rated 18th.[49]

Incidents[edit]

The large number of domains served by UK2 attracted cyber attacks and other conflicts. In January 2002, UK2 complained of cybersquatting when Host Europe plc had acquired the name UK2.me.uk within minutes of it being made available.[50] In July 2002, one of the sites it hosted was blacklisted for email spam, causing some of its customers to lose email service.[51]

In June 2005, the US press reported on an Iraq insurgency fundraising site established by an Italian group, Campo Antiimperialista.[52] The story generated condemnation of the site, along with a flood of complaints to WestHost, the site’s hosting provider since 2000.[53] Members of the US Congress sent an open letter to the Italian ambassador.[54] Unknown to the public and media, WestHost had operated for over a year under a secret court order to provide all antiimperialista.org logs and files to the US Department of Homeland Security, along with an active tracking system that reported a site visitor’s Internet protocol address. DHS finally allowed WestHost to shut down the site since it foreign authorities did not cooperate to further the investigation. Nevertheless, Italian police later raided the home of a Campo Antiimperialista member and seized a computer and files used to create and maintain the site.[55]

An Internet Protocol address attack disrupted service in November 2006,[56] and in July 2007 email was disabled and its home page defaced.[57] On 31 October 2009, email service was taken down for maintenance. Various problems prevent full service from being restored for over two weeks.[58][59]A distributed denial-of-service attack disrupted domain name system service in April 2012.[60]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "UK2.net is Ten Years Old!". 10 October 2008. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  2. ^ Jason Deign (2003). Making Money from Copywriting: An Insider Guide to Setting Up and Running Your Own Copywriting Business. How To Books Ltd. p. 231. ISBN 9781857038606. 
  3. ^ Jack Schofield and Neil McIntosh (15 September 1999). "What's new: Cheap names". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  4. ^ "Domain Registration Agreement". Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  5. ^ Steve Gold The Guardian (3 August 200). "Watchdogs on the web". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  6. ^ Cliff Boodoosingh (8 November 2012). "UK2 offers .co.uk domain names for just £1 a year". Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  7. ^ "Ditlev Bredahl". Crunch Base Profile. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  8. ^ "UK2.net’s Products and Services". Company web site. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  9. ^ "UK2 Acquires Stargate Domain, Shared Hosting and Reseller Clients". Press release. 10 October 2007. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  10. ^ "ICANN Accredits Twelve New Domain Name Registrars". Press Communiqué (ICANN). 21 September 1999. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  11. ^ "ICANN Registrar «UK2 Group Ltd.»". Dot and Co. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  12. ^ "Web Host UK-2 Acquires midPhase". The Web Host Industry Review. 21 December 2007. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  13. ^ "Midphase Review". Business Web Hosting Review. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  14. ^ "ServerCentral Completes Sale of WingSix Brand to UK-2 Group". Press release. 29 July 2008. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  15. ^ Adam Eisner (7 October 2008). "Q&A: Nick Nelson, UK-2/Dotable". The Web Host Industry Review. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  16. ^ "UK2 Group Acquires Web Host WestHost.com". Press release. 7 November 2008. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  17. ^ "2004 Utah 100". MountainWest Capital Network. Archived from the original on 2 November 2005. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  18. ^ "Fire Suppression Suppresses WestHost for Days". Availability Digest. May 2010. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  19. ^ "Inergen vs. Water in Server Room?". Forum thread. February 2010. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  20. ^ "UK2 Group Chooses C7 Data Centers for Premium Web Hosting". Press release (C7 Data Centers). 31 March 2010. 
  21. ^ a b David Hamilton (8 January 2009). "UK2 Group Acquires Virtual Internet". The Web Host Industry Review. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  22. ^ Tim Richardson (21 December 1998). "Virtual Internet reverses into Charriol: £15 million price tag for Net services company". The Register. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  23. ^ "Market statistics: Admissions". London Stock Exchange. January 1999. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  24. ^ "Market statistics: Cancellation of Admissions". London Stock Exchange. April 2000. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  25. ^ John Cassy (13 March 2000). "Domain protection firm chief wins top slot: Vindication for 'pick and shovel providers at mucky end of the gold rush'". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  26. ^ Richard Wray (1 February 2002). "Virtual founder nets £6m from takeover deal". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  27. ^ "Virtual Internet Joins Forces With Active ISP To Raise Its Stake In The European Web Hosting Market". Press release (Active ISP). June 2, 2003. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  28. ^ "New York Internet was the Most Reliable Hosting Company Site in February 2009". Netcraft. 2 March 2009. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  29. ^ Christopher Williams (29 May 2009). "UK2 brings support back to Blighty, culls execs: Call centres coming home, bosses going home". The Register. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  30. ^ "UK2 Launch VPS Cloud Hosting Platform". UK2.Net blog. 5 August 2010. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  31. ^ a b "LDC acquires UK2 Group". Host U Can. 20 April 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  32. ^ Rip Empson (20 April 2011). "LDC Snatches Up Web Hosting Provider UK2Group For $77 Million Big Ones". Tech Crunch. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  33. ^ Ben Harrington (19 April 2011). "LDC lands web-hosting and gas companies". The Telegraph. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  34. ^ Justin Lee (16 January 2013). "Cloud Hosting Software Firm OnApp Raises More Than $20 Million in Funding". The Web Host Industry Review. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  35. ^ "100TB Cuts Over Low-Cost CDN". Cable 360. 5 August 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  36. ^ "Expanded SoftLayer® Network Powers UK2Group’s 100TB.com". Press release (SoftLayer). 10 May 2010. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  37. ^ "UK2 Group Announces an Industry-Changing 100 Terabytes With Every Dedicated Server". Press release. 17 March 2010. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  38. ^ "100TB Dedicated Server Coupon and Review for 100TB.COM". Web site. Archived from the original on August 14, 2013. 
  39. ^ "Web Host UK2 Group Launches Latino-Specific Hosting Brand". The Web Host Industry Review. 30 November 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  40. ^ "2011 Tech Track 100 league table". Tech Track 100. Sunday Times. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  41. ^ "2012 Tech Track 100 league table". Tech Track 100. Sunday Times. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  42. ^ "56% of public WiFi users do not check if WiFi is encrypted before joining". Mobile Business. 27 January 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  43. ^ "Users not checking the security of public WiFi". Info Security Magazine. 27 January 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  44. ^ Daniel Robinson (27 January 2012). "VPNHQ service offers Android and iOS users secure public Wi-Fi acces". V3.co.uk. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  45. ^ "UK2 Partner with the Marussia F1 Team". Press release. 2 April 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  46. ^ "Dedicated Hosting Virtual Internet Chosen to Deliver Cloud Services to UK Government on G-Cloud". Press release. 24 February 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  47. ^ Tom Brewster (27 November 2012). "Amazon And Google Denied G-Cloud Entry ‘As Clouds Not Government Ready’". Tech Week Europe. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  48. ^ "Web Hosting Vet Nick Nelson Launches Beta of New Website Backup Tool Comcure". The Web Host Industry Review. 18 May 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  49. ^ "Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in April 2013". Netcraft. 30 April 2013. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  50. ^ "Row over domain". The Telegraph. 12 January 2002. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  51. ^ John Leyden (5 July 2002). "Uk2.net blacklists its own customers: Hosting firm shoots users in the foot". The Register. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  52. ^ David E. Kaplan (23 June 2005). "National Security Watch: Eurolefties fund Iraq insurgency". US News. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  53. ^ "Anti-imperialist Camp´s website shut down for "terror support"". Anti-imperialist Camp web site. 13 July 2005. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  54. ^ 44 members of congress (June 28, 2005). "Letter to Sergio Vento, Embassy of Italy". Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  55. ^ David E. Kaplan (27 July 2005). "National Security Watch: Eurolefties fund Iraq insurgency–Part II". US News. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  56. ^ John Oates (30 November 2006). "UK2 victim of IP hijacking: Indonesians blamed". The Register. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  57. ^ John Leyden (12 July 2007). "UK2.net hack cuts off email: Pulling the plug". The Register. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  58. ^ John Oates (6 November 2009). "Web host lunches clients' emails for a week: Hardware blamed for snafu". The Register. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  59. ^ John Oates (17 November 2009). "UK2 email migration still not finished: Seventeen days and counting". The Register. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  60. ^ Brid-Aine Parnell (26 April 2012). "UK2.NET smashed offline by '10-million-strong' botnet: Punters' websites go titsup after DNS servers nobbled". The Register. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 

External links[edit]