Openminds is a Belgian hosting, colocation services and software solutions provider. Its services are marketed to all sizes of businesses although the vast majority of its existing clients are in the small to medium sized business sector. These include a variety of web agencies, digital marketing companies and software developers.

Openminds specialises in providing scalable cloud hosting, dedicated servers and shared hosting for common platforms such as PHP and Magento. Its key market is B2B ecommerce, but it provides hosting services to a wide range of businesses outside of that specialism.

Openminds also provides colocation services alongside its own servers in rented data centre space. The space is completely closed off to the public or other data centre users and customers can choose the amount of space they require, from part racks to entire private spaces. Clients using colocation services can take advantage of connections to Openmind’s private 10GE network, use their own dark fibre connections or even connect through other carriers. A fast fibre network connection between the two data centres ensures offsite backup in the event of disaster or failure.

In addition to its services, Openminds offers unlimited support, access to technical experts, backups, updates and monitoring, 24/7 availability and New Relic standard monitoring to all full managed services clients.

Location

Openminds is registered in Gent, Belgium, where it operates out of one main office. It does not own data centres but does rent space in two Belgium-based data centres. Those centres are LDL Brussels in Diegem and DCGent, located near to Openminds head office.

DCGent opened in 2013 and Openminds moved straight in. It is a sustainably-designed data centre with a Power Usage Effectiveness of 1.15. It incorporates a range of energy efficient technologies into its design, including indirect free air cooling and multi-tier services, from tier I to tier III. It offers rack powers from 1 – 20kw and a full security offering, including biometric access to racks and cages.

LDL Brussels is a carrier neutral, fully redundant data centre at the heart of Belgium’s business and network centre. It benefits from a good range of security measures and its location means that it benefits from excellent air, rail and road transport links.

Energy

Openminds takes an environmentally conscious approach. In the server room, Openminds has chosen data centre services that offer 100% renewable energy options when it comes to power and cooling, while hardware is chosen for its durability, performance and power efficiency.

Outside of the server room, marketing materials and documents are printed on recycled paper where necessary. Where possible, Openminds keeps everything electronic, from ordering and invoicing to communicating through email.

Even Openmind’s own head office has benefited from an ecological make-over, with a Sedum green roof and design elements built with minimal environmental impact.

Funding/business model

Established in 2001 by current CEO Frank Louwers, Openminds is a privately owned, self-funded limited company. It has no subsidiaries or public external funding arrangements.

Customers and partners

As a hosting company, Openminds provides hosting services to thousands of businesses and organisations. Managed service clients are mainly based in the IT sector and include web shop developer and consultancy Baldwin and IT offshoring specialists Zeropoint.IT.

Other customers include eventplanner, Stad Sint-Niklaas, Culture Club and Newance.

Amongst Openminds’ IT partners is spam and email security specialist SpamExperts. The partnership is the result of a drive by Openminds to reduce the time spent by the technical team on dealing with email security. SpamExperts are optimised to carry out the same function faster, cheaper and more effectively.

Reseller colocation space in good locations

Openminds offer hosting and managed services and they do it well. They also offer colocation services as an ‘add-on’ service which, whilst as good as the mainstream colocation services out there in terms of facilities and security, is perhaps not the best option for companies looking for mission critical colocation services or data centre expertise.

For small organisations that would otherwise find it cost-prohibitive to get data centre space in the centre of Brussels, Openminds could offer an attractive option. It is also ideally placed for clients of Openminds who wish to expand services further. For most companies, however, this is data centre reseller space and potential clients need to work out whether this represents good value to them for the locations on offer.

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