Linode Suffering In DDoS Aftermath

Linode Suffering In DDoS Aftermath

Confidence: Medium
Impact: Medium
Disposition of finding: Negative

Linode, LLC is a hosting service provider based out of Galloway, New Jersey. It’s focused on cloud computing, and competes with the likes of RackSpace, and Amazon’s EC2. Primarily focused on performance and cost, they attract a certain class of customer who is focused on availability and capital costs associated with infrastructure.

In late 2015, Linode suffered a sustained and long term distributed denial of service attack against their network. These attacks are frequent, but it appears that they were unable to recover in any meaningful amount of time. The infrastructure they have build was unable to keep up with the attack and subsequently, I have seen a decline in just over 21% of their customer base and associated infrastructure since/through the month of January. Customers appear to be leaving due to the sustained attack.

This is to be expected given that the Linode customers often are hyper focused on availability as companies like Google place higher importance on companies that load quickly. This is due to the belief that bounce rate is higher on sites that load slowly. As such, it is unlikely that Linode can go public in the near-term and on top of the damage due to the attack, the company will no doubt need to outlay more capital expenditure as they attempt to mitigate the attack (E.g. buying access to Akamai’s Prolexic, or Arbor, etc.).

Obligatory legal disclaimer.

Sustainable Sources Sees Growth In Greenbuilder Space

Sustainable Sources Sees Growth In Greenbuilder Space

Confidence: High
Impact: High
Disposition of finding: Positive

Sustainable Sources was founded in 1994 by Bill Christensen and is an Austin based company. Hailing from the same place that I call home is just a coincidence, I assure you. I wanted to take a look at one of their properties Greenbuilder to see how they were doing. The eco space is definitely picking up steam, especially now that it is so front and center in the political space.

As you would expect, there has been a nice growth for Greenbuilder over the last year. Since Q2FY2014 I’ve seen a 25% growth in customers. Not bad. It’s not clear how long that is sustainable, but it wouldn’t be surprising if we saw more builders moving into the green space as it could be seen as a competitive advantage, or even a must-have in the future.

Even if you wanted to just focus on additional advertizing space, Sustainable Sources builder registry might be a good place for builders to spend a little time on. That is even more true in left-leaning eco-conscious towns like Austin and elsewhere.

Obligatory legal disclaimer.

Justin.tv to Twitch.tv Migration Goes Well for Amazon

Justin.tv to Switch.tv Migration Goes Well for Amazon

Confidence: Medium
Impact: Medium
Disposition of finding: Positive

Twitch.tv is a live video platform, which was introduced in June 2011 as a spin-off of a sister platform Justin.tv. Justin.tv was re-branded as Twitch Interactive which meant a migration and shut down in August 2014. Bated breath ensued for many, I’m sure, however in September 2014, Twitch was acquired by Amazon.com for a reported $970 million.

Since 2013, there was a steady decline of Justin.tv traffic leading up to the migration in the middle of 2014. Surprisingly, it didn’t just go well, it actually ended up being rather good for them, possibly in combination of the Amazon horsepower behind it. But traffic to twitch.tv has well more than doubled since early 2014.

Twitch represents a growing interest in streaming video online, and it makes sense in concern with Amazon prime and competing with the likes of Hulu, Google’s Youtube and so on. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more growth in this area as live events become an easier way to drive more ad revenue, subscriptions and reduced cost given that Amazon owns it’s own hosting infrastructure. It also puts them in a better position to move against Google’s Youtube, Hulu, Vimeo and other premier video hosting companies.

Obligatory legal disclaimer.

Firehost Seeing A Strange Decline

Firehost Seeing A Strange Decline

Confidence: Medium
Impact: High
Disposition of finding: Negative

Firehost is one of the leading cloud based web application firewall and acceleration services on the market. It’s seen an amazing growth over the years due in large part to it’s ease of configuration and low price point compared to companies like Akamai.

Strangely though, despite it’s reputation for rapid growth Firehost has not had the best year. In fact I’m seeing a shrinkage of close to 40%, since Q2 2014. It’s entirely possible I’m missing quite a bit of their customer base, but even still, I wouldn’t expect to see shrinkage.

This may have something to do with the fact that customers are getting more resilient and no longer require web application firewall protection or no longer see the need for it in lieu of free alternatives, like mod_security. Or it’s possible that Firehost has gotten a hold of a fraud problem and reduced the number of fraudulent websites that it was hosting. Either way, the shrinkage is large enough it’s noteworthy, and at this juncture I’d be wary about taking a company like this public.

Obligatory legal disclaimer.

Salesforce Sees A Nice Growth Trajectory

Salesforce Sees A Nice Growth Trajectory

Confidence: Medium
Impact: High
Disposition of finding: Positive

Salesforce Inc. is a San Francisco, California headquartered business focused on customer relationship management. It was founded before the great .com crash in 1999, and has since expanded dramatically as a de-facto CRM tool for businesses. It is currently publicly traded on NASDAQ under the symbol CRM.

I’ve been seeing a very nice growth of Salesforce over the last year. Although there was a flatline just before the holiday season (in Q3 2014) they have recently grown quite a bit since December 2014. Seasonal variations are easily explained due to requirements on their retail customers who require stability leading up to the busiest shopping season. Since Q1 of 2014 I’ve seen around a 40-50% increase in their total size.

It’s totally possible that some company could come along and displace any individual feature, that Salesforce provides, but it’s really unlikely that they would be able to match the depth of features, customer support and sheer entrenchment of the Goliath CRM company. Things look good at the moment for their prospects.

Obligatory legal disclaimer.