Contabo GmbH started out as a web hosting provider when it was founded in 2003 but has since evolved to become a major data centre services provider to both national and international customers. It now offers a range of services that are designed to appeal to small and medium sized companies including colocation, dedicated and virtual servers and gaming specific servers.  Despite the expanded services menu, Contabo still considers webhosting to be its core product.

In 2013, the company changed its name from Gigahosting to Contabo. The move was intended as a modernisation of the brand only and all other aspects of the company, from shareholders to products and services, remain as they were in Gigahosting.

Contabo’s goal is to offer premium services at low cost to customers and hopes to achieve this by optimising operational efficiency using similar methods to budget shopping chains.  By replicating those models in its data centres, Contabo believes it can compete on price with the big players without compromising on customer experience or services.

In addition to great customer service, low prices and ease of contact, Contabo also prides itself on its relentless investment in premium hardware, services and ongoing data centre upgrades. The latest upgrade for colocation and dedicated server customers is the satellite feed, with a choice of two satellite feeds in return for a monthly fee.

Colocation customers at Contabo can choose from a range of space options too. Those with smaller requirements can select individually lockable 19” inch racks. Customers with bigger space and power needs can choose from cages or tailored private rooms.

Location

Contabo GmbH is headquartered in its first wholly owned data centre in Munich. The data centre was opened in 2009 (prior to that, Contabo leased data centre space from third party firms) and has enough space to house around 4000 servers over a floor area of just 300 m².

In 2014, Contabo opened a new data centre Nuremberg with space for 10,000 servers over 1,700 m² of computing space. The data centre also offers 700 m² off office and utility space. Both Contabo data centres are manned and open 365 days per year. They are carrier neutral and all servers benefit from a minimum 100 megabit port, with many having 1 gigabit instead.

The two data centres are located 200 km apart and are served by different energy providers, so geographic redundancy is possible for clients that wish to have servers in both buildings.  Chillers, cabinets and UPS are all redundant to N+1, and emergency generators are on site to ensure power supply in an emergency.

Security at Contabo’s data centres is excellent, with full CCTV and web-cam coverage, manned security, ID-card access and an intruder alarm system. Fire and flood detection is similarly comprehensive and includes purpose-made gullies to channel water in the case of a pipe leak.

Energy

Contabo considers both of its data centres to be energy efficient. Air conditioning is regulated via remote control and free air cooling is used when the outside temperature makes it possible.

Funding/business model

Contabo GmbH is a private limited German company which is owner managed by the original two founders. In 2014, Contabo won sixth place in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 award and is growing slowly and organically by evolving services to meet growing demand for data centre services outside of the core web hosting market.

Customers and partners

As a webhosting provider as well as a colocation company, Contabo boasts a relatively high volume of smaller business customers who take just the hosting packages. It also serves a vast array of well-known German and international businesses, including Germany’s largest Whisky appreciation site, Whisky.de, and Brazilian hosting company Home Host. Other clients include the Azerbaijani Eurovision Song Contest website and Check24, a German price comparison website.

Future outlook

Contabo is a friendly and approachable provider that offers plenty of choice when it comes to service specifications and getting in touch. It has won the CHIP hotline test in both 2015 and 2016 for speed and waiting time respectively, which reflects its commitment to superior customer care.

Minimum contract terms are just one month for Contabo’s services which should appeal to smaller businesses and those looking for maximum flexibility. Contabo also regularly publish special offers and upgrades, many of which are available to existing as well as new customers.  When combined with the lower prices offered, the whole package appears to offer outstanding value for online businesses and colocation customers of all sizes who are happy to do away with managed services and maintain full control over their servers and sites.

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