It's been a while

Posted By: Tony Baird

Last Updated: Thursday June 10, 2010

It has been a while since we’ve had a blog post about anything so I thought it would be a good idea to just talk about what is going on.  Obviously we’ve been very busy keeping up with our growth along with improving our internal tools and other backend systems.

I last talked about our servers at the start of March so I figured I’d update on what has happened.  The first one being we do not use SATA disks for our web or VPS servers anymore as our Marlin server was upgraded some time ago.  We’re 100% 300GB SAS 15K RPM drives which means improved reliability across the board.  We have seen a big drop in the number of drive failures and when a drive does fail we’re no longer see raid array problems which we would see in 25% of cases previously.  We added our first shared web hosting only server in February and since then we’ve added 2 additional servers to that fleet to cover all locations.  We’ve also added our first of hopefully many 5600 series CPU’s to our server fleet.  For web servers though CPU is generally not the issue so we may not use them depending on availability.  We just like having the newest hardware so if it’s there we’re going to use it.  I’d say the best news on the server front is the introduction of an upgraded Bosco server (Our backup server).  This machine is a beast being a Dual Xeon 5520, 12GB ram and 24x1TB drives in a Raid-10 with a Adaptec 52445 raid card.  Raid-10 may seem silly seeing as how we lose half the disks in the process but for us we need high performance writes which raid-5 would not be able to provide for us.  Also even if we had used raid-5 and had more space we’d run out of I/O on the disks before we’d ever come close to filling the disks.  So we have about 11TB of space at our disposal for our backup machine and it should handle 35-40 servers for us hopefully so it’s quite a lot.

So on the internal aspects side of things we’ve been working on fixing bugs in our systems.  For example with the introduction of our Xeon servers with hyper threading we had to adjust our monitoring systems for CPU usage and load due to having twice as many CPU’s showing up on the systems.  Unfortunately a mistake was made resulting in older machines without HT (Xeon 5400 servers) not having the warnings on their systems set properly.  They were set to be as high as servers with twice as many CPU’s which in one instance resulted in higher than acceptable usage on a machine.  We promptly fixed it once we were aware but it’s things like this we’re attempting to fix.  We’re also working on expanding the features available to technicians to quickly find systems and identify issues.  While currently only available to our higher level technicians some of this information is valuable to everyone.  So we’re working to have the systems in place to have it available to all technicians in hopes it’ll result in quicker resolutions and less ticket escalations.

We’ve been silently working on our own VPS panel to replace our current one.  It’s work in progress though and we hope to have something substantial near the end of this month.  It totally depends on how testing goes and if we feel it’s ready for actual user use and not strictly as an internal system of ours.

Finally we’ve ended some major coupons as the reason for those promotions have ended.  While they helped us grow at a great rate at the same time we cannot run a coupon forever or it loses it’s meaning.  Our whts50 coupon which was for our sticky topic on webhostingtalk has ended due to the fact the sticky topic is gone.  Near the end it was posted all over the internet and our most popular coupon which was meant at the time to target a specific user base.  We won’t have another 50% coupon like this most likely until we have another sticky topic like it which means probably not until September as that’s when our next sticky topic will start.  Of course it will be a new coupon to in order to avoid the same coupon being used all over again from everywhere.  Along with the shared coupon being gone our long time reseller coupon has expired which was r25percent.  We’re attempting to control the market a bit on our reseller plans right now so discounts for those just do not make sense.  When we’re ready to start pushing reseller accounts I’m sure a new coupon will show up similar to it.

So that’s about it what’s going on so tons of growth as always and lots of things going in the background to improve our services.  We hope things continue to be that way so we can continue to improve our services as we grow as a company.  Also as we grow maybe we’ll get more blog posts in but we’ll see it’s difficult to come up with topics of interest all the time.  As much as we enjoy writing about nothing it tends to not interest many people.

Ready to get started? Build your site from