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Shared Hosting: An Update

These past few weeks have seen a flurry of activity here at Fresh Roasted Hosting.  From our headquarters in Harrisburg to our datacenters in Dallas & Los Angeles, we’ve had our work cut out for us.  And although things got a little bumpy for a few days, our infrastructure has become a lot more robust and better-performing.  Let me explain:

First off, for a variety of reasons, we’re no longer offering services out of Los Angeles.  All of our shared hosting customers have been moved to our Texas datacenter.  Located in the former federal reserve building in downtown Dallas, this SAS70 Type II certified facility offers true Tier III redundancy.  The 12 redundant power feeds, biometric security control, and 24-hour on-site security and support staff are only just the beginning.  Bandwidth from major providers including Internap, CenturyLink, AboveNet / Zayo, and Cogent flow through a fully redundant all-Cisco network to deliver ample high-speed transit to the entire planet.  Calling our new network “fast” is a serious understatement.

Second, our billing system has been moved to its own server in its own datacenter away from our primary facilities in Dunmore PA and Dallas TX.  This means that in the unlikely event that your server becomes unreachable, our billing system won’t be affected.  We’ve also moved our nameservers out to a distributed cluster with nodes in Dallas TX, Reston VA, Chicago IL, and Montreal QC.  Each node is capable of handling all of the traffic by itself, so if one or more nodes go offline, the remaining nodes will pick up the slack without issue.  And once all the other upgrades we have in store are finished, we’ll be migrating to a better, easier-to-use billing system as well.

Our third big improvement is the hardware behind the scenes.  The equipment we started with in early 2012 was great for a company just starting out, but we’ve grown past that.  Now it’s time to step up to the big leagues!  The new shared hosting hardware is high-performance and enterprise-class from top to bottom.  We start with Xeon E3-1230 v3 CPUs (Haswell class), throw in dedicated SSD drives exclusively for MySQL, and top them off with a RAID array of enterprise-class Western Digital drives and 24 GB ECC DDR3 memory.  This helps keep performance fresh, and braces us for future growth.

Fourth — and possibly most exciting — is our upgrade to CloudLinux.  We’ll post more about this later, but long story short, CloudLinux dramatically improves server security, stability, and performance by isolating each user from the rest of the herd.  If one user’s site gets overloaded, they can’t suck resources away from the other users on the server.  And it can do some other neat tricks, too — like allowing us to offer SSH in the very near future.

But that’s not all!  We’ve got some awesome new upgrades rolling out over the next two weeks.  We’ve got a beautiful new webmail client just around the corner, complete with a fresh modern UI and calendar / contact management.  We’re also in the final stages of testing Varnish + nginx in front of our already-optimized Apache, which will yield a major boost to our already-impressive page load times.  We’re testing out some exciting options for creating your own personal private cloud.  And for developers, designers, and anyone else who wants to become their own web hosting company, we’ve got reseller accounts just around the corner.

It’s been a wild start to the end of our second year.  We’ve taken advantage of the past 30 days to ratchet up our shared infrastructure to the next level, and we’re excited about everything that’s in store for 2014!

UPDATE:  As of 2014, we’ve upgraded all of our shared hosting servers to LiteSpeed instead of Apache / Varnish / nginx.

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