It would appear that the Canadian government is now funding business web hosting through a program that aims to improve Canada’s competitive position in the technology sector... by providing taxpayer subsidized cloud web hosting.
The Digital Accelerator for Innovation and Research (DAIR) program is offered by CANARIE, operator of Canada’s Advanced Research and Innovation Network, in partnership with two other leading technology organizations, Compute Canada, and Cybera.
Jim Roche, President and CEO of CANARIE states in a media release:
Building or even paying for computing infrastructure can be a huge cost and time impediment for high-tech innovators. The DAIR program effectively removes that hurdle. All Canadian entrepreneurs should think about how this rapid access to low-cost cloud computing can help them improve their businesses.
The program is designed to help entrepreneurs develop and test new products without prohibitive product development costs, so that Canadian companies can get a competitive foothold in emerging technology markets.
Some coerced web hosting reviews perhaps
Dr. Shahzad Khan, President of Gnowit Inc:
“A startup like ours is very sensitive to incurring costs, especially in high-risk R&D activities like moving to the cloud infrastructure. DAIR enabled us to experiment with the cloud infrastructure for a fraction of the cost (and at a much lower risk-profile) than if we had used one of the commercial offerings -- indeed, we may never have had the incentive to consider this without the DAIR program -- which would have limited our growth significantly.”
Dr. David Poellhuber, COO of ZEROSPAM Security Inc., points out that it’s vitally important for tech entrepreneurs to keep pace with emerging technologies.
“There is an important shift in our market to cloud-based solution as organizations realize the hidden costs of software and appliance-based solutions. I wish I had known this program existed before.”
Also included on the list of users who started on the pilot and continue to use and benefit from DAIR was ProjectWhitecard.com.
Count me in.. Not so fast
Companies need to apply to the program through an online form, outlining the purpose and scope of the product they are developing, as well as the scale of resources being requested, such as data requirements and number of virtual machines.
The use of the DAIR program is limited to one year. Users may request up to four “cores” at no cost for that year. A core is an independent central processing unit (aka CPU) that can read and execute program instructions. Additional cores are available at $100 each for the year.
CANARIE, along with Cybera and Compute Canada in the past have focused their energies strengthening the digital infrastructure of Canada’s research and education communities. Canarie majority of funding is provided by the Government of Canada.
So the low down..
Canarie.ca resides on a dedicated server in Ottawa Canada. The GTmetrixs performance report for its very simple canarie.ca landing page (link will open in new window. Report shows less than 25 requests), found a very slow page load speed of over a second and half. Tests of the French, and English versions of the canarie.ca homepage returned similar results with even more painfully slow page load speeds. Three of the five ‘F’ shown in the report stemmed from server related issues.
The Cybera.ca domain is hosted on a dedicated server in Alberta Canada
Computecanada.ca, hosted on a dedicated server in Quebec, churned out an error when tested using GTmetrix.
We detected an issue when verifying this site's certificate.
Oh great. moving on.
Gnowit.com is on a dedicated server with iWeb in Montreal. While its website did return a rather mediocre performance report, of the seven fails, only one was related to the server.
It may be ironic that Canada has been trying unsuccessfully to pass anti-spam legislation for years. ZEROSPAM.ca .. the screenshot says it all.
Project Whitecard is listed as an advocate of DAIR discount web hosting but it website reside on A2 Hosting nameservers in Ann Arbor Michigan. Although projectwhitecard.com isn't breaking any records for speed, its shortcoming are not server related issues.
The Digital Accelerator for Innovation and Research program goal is to support hundreds of projects across Canada over the next three years. The moral of the story.. saving a few bucks on web hosting will cost you in the end, and certainly will not give your project a competitive edge in the technology sector!