Archive for the ‘Company’ Category

What is a Dedicated Server?

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

What is a dedicated server? That’s a relatively easy question to answer but a short answer will only scratch the surface. A dedicated server is a physical server that is installed in a data center, connected to an IP network and used to host applications that are accessed via the web or to process database requests, email, DNS or any other number of tasks.

The thing that differentiates a dedicated server is typically that the full resources of the server are only used by one client, hence the word “dedicated”. This is also referred to as dedicated hosting. An example of how this would not apply would be for shared hosting because while you can have literally hundreds of shared hosting clients on a single dedicated server, those resources are not dedicated to any one particular client and are spread among many clients. The example of running hundreds of shared hosting websites on a single dedicated server goes back to the earlier comment about the short answer only scratching the surface.

Good examples of clients who would require dedicated servers would be clients whose websites have outgrown their shared hosting environment. That is typically a function of CPU and RAM requirements. If you are trying to run large database application on a shared hosting server while 200 other websites are competing for processing power, you will probably see a substantial degradation of service. It will likely still function, but it will also more than likely be very slow and at times even unresponsive. Not to mention that your provider will encourage you to migrate to a dedicated server or to managed hosting if you lack the technical expertise to manage the dedicated server.

What is a dedicated server vs. what is not. Dedicated servers typically imply that you have the technical expertise on staff to manage all of the technical aspects of that server, including security, routine maintenance, updates and many other things. If you do lack those resources, managed hosting would likely be a far better choice for you. While the cost for managed hosting is always more than dedicated, the peace of mind you will receive by knowing that your server is managed by a team of experts is always well worth the additional cost.

So there you have it. The next time someone asks you “What is a Dedicated Server?”, you can now give an answer that makes sense.

SociBook del.icio.us Digg Facebook Google Yahoo Buzz StumbleUpon

Migrating to Cloud Computing

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Imagine that you could click a few buttons and migrate your environment from a dedicated server to a cloud computing platform. You won’t have to imagine for very long because that’s something that we’re working on right now.

It seems that one of the biggest obstacles for entry into cloud computing is the migration from your old server. We are working hard to find the best way to migrate dedicated servers or managed servers with very little input (or risk) from the end user. That would include migration of your operating system, all installed applications and of course, your precious data.

Testing has gone very well and we are confident we can roll this out in the very near future. At a minimum this provides a mechanism to get you quickly and easily into cloud computing and enjoying all of the benefits while sidestepping the hassles of a typical server migration.

Another area that is of great interest for us is helping clients migrate from server co-location to cloud computing. It’s essentially the same thing as migrating a dedicated server but the benefits and cost savings would be off the charts. We are still in the testing phase but making excellent progress and we expect to push something out to the public very soon. We have already successfully migrated from various platforms and the response from our techs is always the same, jaw-dropping ease and mind numbing efficiency.

Stand by for more news on this exciting development as we continue working hard to bring you the best cloud computing platform available.

SociBook del.icio.us Digg Facebook Google Yahoo Buzz StumbleUpon

Data Center Experiences

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

I’ve been in this industry for quite a while and have used many network providers, colocation providers, and hosting companies. We at 1-800-HOSTING even maintain presences at other providers for monitoring, custom projects, remote backups, etc… and sometimes the service at times has been less than stellar. Here are a few of the experiences I’ve had throughout the years and how we use this as motivation to make sure our customers don’t experience the pitfalls I’ve suffered through.

 

  • Answer the support telephone: When offering phone support it is important to make sure that someone is available to answer it. Nothing can be more frustrating than not being able to get someone on the phone quickly during an emergency.
  • Respond to emails promptly, even if it’s just a “Hey we’re looking into this and we’ll get back with you soon.” This lets me know that someone has looked at the issue and is aware. Setting a time of when I should expect a response is even better so I can plan out my already busy day.
  • Send maintenance notifications out with as much notice as possible. If it’s an emergency even an hour’s notice is much better than none at all.
  • When an outage occurs give as much information possible as to what caused it and what is being done to correct the issue. When I get brief and non-technical responses at times it makes me feel unsure if you know exactly what is happening.
  • If an outage is due to a human error just say so! I’d much rather hear that someone has made a mistake (it happens to everyone) than get a vague response about what caused the issue.

 

 

SociBook del.icio.us Digg Facebook Google Yahoo Buzz StumbleUpon

My 1-800-HOSTING Account Portal

Friday, June 24th, 2011

A “My 1-800-Hosting” button is at the top-right corner of every page on this website where customers can easily administer basic tasks related to their account. 

And while these are safe & secure, we’d also love to hear from you, so here are all our phone numbers to call.

SociBook del.icio.us Digg Facebook Google Yahoo Buzz StumbleUpon

Properly Disposing of Obsolete Web Servers

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Compliance and common sense both dictate that tossing old servers in the dumpster is definitely not a good idea. We recently disposed of hundreds of old and obsolete servers and while it’s not the first time we’ve gone through this drill, we still have to take great care to ensure that it’s done the right way.

The proper procedure and process for destroying obsolete servers really centers around (3) things.

1. Total and utter destruction of the hard drives
There are lots of ways that you can destroy hard drives but there is only one way to ensure that no data will ever be recovered from a drive. There are lots of choices such as using a giant magnet to wipe them. You can also connect them to a professional eraser which will completely wipe all the data off the drive and make it available for use elsewhere. Our choice is to have the drives put into a machine specifically designed to grind and into tiny little pieces. Magnets are great but they are not fool proof, neither is the machine that erases the data. However when you hand someone a hard drive and they hand you back a cup full of the metal shavings that used to be that hard drive, you can rest assured no one will be accessing any of that data that may have previously been stored on that hard drive.

2. Ensuring that environmentally unsafe metals & chemicals are dealt with responsibly and ethically
Again, you must pick the right company but if you do, you will be assured in writing and via certifications that any dangerous materials will be disposed of according to EPA regulations and will not wind up floating down some river in China. There are lots of companies who will be more than happy to haul your equipment off to the black market were nobody knows what happens with it, but your best bet is to avoid those companies at all cost.

3. All salvageable materials are recycled in a safe and responsible manner
If you work with a professional and licensed company, they will always responsibly disassemble the servers and make sure that any recyclable materials are separated into the appropriate groups (metals, plastics, etc), Those materials can then be sold by weight back to companies that reintroduce those recycled materials into newly manufactured products which helps the environment. That’s a win-win for everyone and it’s incredibly easy to.

So there you have it. When the time comes to destroy old or obsolete Web servers or network gear, be sure and choose the right company and make sure you get certifications of destruction. The company we work with scans every single hard drive before they grid them and they send us back a list of cross referenced service tags along with a certificate of destruction for each drive. That’s the only way to really be sure that you are protecting the privacy of your clients and being both environmentally and professionally responsible.

Almost forgot.. don’t expect to get any money for that old gear. The compensation you receive is having the equipment removed from your facility without cost. Likewise you should never have to pay for this service because the compensation they receive is the ability to recycle the materials they have obtained from you.

SociBook del.icio.us Digg Facebook Google Yahoo Buzz StumbleUpon