Eathlink Inc.

EarthLink is changing the way business owners of mid-size companies handle their technology by offering the latest package in cloud computing and information technology (IT) services. Business owners benefit by switching to cloud computing or hosted infrastructure because EarthLink can minimize their risk, manage change and reduce the overall cost of ownership of IT infrastructure, data networks and voice communications for the company.

Founded in 1994, EarthLink was one of the first Internet service providers that offered dial-up and email accounts, Senior Vice President of IT Services Tom Hobika says. “While we are not done evolving from a transformation point of view, EarthLink is a leading data and IT services provider with a broad selection of products and services,” he adds.

Since 2006, EarthLink has been acquiring infrastructure and talent in preparation for its future. In 2010, the company acquired additional businesses, which helped steer its vision for the path ahead as it began focusing on IT services, hosted infrastructure and cloud computing.

Today, EarthLink is a leading IT services and communications provider to more than 150,000 businesses and 1 million consumers across the country.

Business Made Easy

EarthLink offers IT security, application hosting, location protection and IT support services to business owners. “For EarthLink, providing IT services brings significant opportunities for companies and their associated customer relationships,” Hobika says. “It can provide businesses with an experience often only found in the Fortune 100.” Capabilities include availability, architecture and distribution of workloads.

Cloud computing, or the cloud, gives EarthLink the capability to run companies’ voice, data, mobile and equipment services from a central server. The company’s infrastructure offers an alternative to purchasing and maintaining equipment and servers for business owners.

“Advantages for business owners are the ability to leverage elastic resources for purposes of scaling up or down quickly to meet demands, as well as, the ability to dynamically and flexibly pay for consumption,” Hobika says.

Cloud computing is not a new service. What is new is the work around virtualization of physical services into logical services, as well as, the need for massive data storage and mining opportunities, Hobika says. “There are some industry reports that suggest we will go from 1.8 zettabytes of raw data storage before 2013 to seven zettabytes by the end of 2013,” he shares. “90 percent is coming from data, storage and virtualization in data centers like EarthLink.

EarthLink stays ahead of the latest technology and trends by hiring knowledgeable professionals and because of its strong connection with vendors. “We constantly evaluate long-range technical and market trends as well as work closely with our customers to define, understand and develop services to meet their needs,” Hobika explains.

Safety Net

Between October 2010 and August 2011, EarthLink acquired ITC Deltacom and One Communication to expand its nationwide network. “The significant acquisitions reshaped us into a business-focused company,” Hobika says. “In fact, business revenue was more than $1 billion in 2012. That’s three-fourths of our revenue contribution.”

Because of those acquisitions, EarthLink’s extensive network spans 29,421 route fiber miles with 90 metro fiber rings and eight secure data coverage centers. This gives it nationwide data and voice IP service coverage across more than 90 percent of the country.

The company added four new data centers this year in Chicago; San Jose, Calif.; Dallas, and Miami. “Dependent upon the type of application, proximity to customer usage for latency reasons, disaster recovery, business continuity planning and often security reasons drive the geographic separation and service provisions for our customers,” Hobika explains.

With data centers nationwide, EarthLink offers its subscribers data protection through its disaster recovery program. The program is designed to store company data in more than one location around the country to prevent loss.

Ciao Bella, a popular gelato, sorbet and frozen yogurt maker in New Jersey, was able to stay in business after Hurricane Sandy hit because of EarthLink’s support. “If we didn’t move to the cloud services, we would have been out of business during the hurricane,” Controller Bob Serchuk said in a company case study. ­­­