In case you weren’t already aware, this week has been big for GoDaddy, the rapidly expanding web-hosting company. On Monday, Founder Bob Parsons resigned from his role as Executive Chairman, “to devote more time to his [other] ventures”, according to the company’s press release. Also this week, GoDaddy filed its Initial Public Offering with a $100 million placeholder, but no indication of share quantity or price range. However, thanks to the information from S-1 report for potential investors, we do have an indication of what the data center footprint of GoDaddy looks like.
In 2013, GoDaddy dealt with an average of more than 11 billion domain name system (DNS) queries per day and hosted approximately 8.5 million websites. To handle these requirements, GoDaddy has made significant investments in infrastructure and technology.
These investments, roughly 18 percent of GoDaddy’s total revenue of $1.13 billion in 2013 and nearly $62 million so far this year, reflect the company’s commitment to not only staying current, but striving to move ahead of the curve, as far as infrastructure is concerned. GoDaddy spent $42 million on property and equipment last year. Many companies like GoDaddy are trying to emulate infrastructure-spending juggernauts like Microsoft and Google, if at much more modest levels, because they understand the importance of laying the infrastructure in place to pave the way for future success.
According to Google’s own VP and CFO Patrick Pichette, “If you think of the CapEx categories…data centers (come) first and data center construction, then production equipment, then all other facilities”. According to Pichette, having extra capacity on standby to accommodate growth and provide space for experimentation is critical. These benefits and avoiding the perils of being stranded with insufficient capacity to allow for growth far outweigh the comparatively low cost of having the infrastructure in place. Pichette credits Google’s assertive infrastructure investment for pushing the company ahead of the curve thus far, and based on the recent business dealings of GoDaddy based on its recent IPO, it would seem executives there agree.
So, as it turns out, investing in the future actually requires, well, an investment. It’s one that has already been made by the likes of Google and Microsoft. Many others, like GoDaddy (which is ramping up with the aim of growing from a customer base of around 12 million users to somewhere in the hundreds of millions) are determined not to get left behind.
Mike Salvador is a 28-year industry veteran, living the challenge of operating efficient data centers, optimizing the performance of network devices and delivering highly available, highly agile, low-risk data centers. Mike served as Belden’s technical solutions manager from 2012 to 2015.