25 Oct

The Best Dedicated Hosting Options Under $100/Month

A dedicated server, the topmost hosting tier, is typically reserved for enterprises having large demands for computing power, bandwidth, and storage. As its name implies, entire resources are dedicated to propelling hosted site/application with the maximum performance.

Going for a dedicated environment is indeed a big investment, but it can pay you dividends when you find the host that brings the most value to your purchase.

The phrase, “best dedicated server within the budget of $100/ month” may sound a bit contradictory. But at Softsys Hosting, we always excel to offer “bang for the buck deals” to customers. At this post, we’ll go through configuring a dedicated server and check some preconfigured dedicated server options under $100/month.

Configuring a Dedicated Server

Operating System Choice

Windows operating system is particularly used to host Windows or Microsoft based technologies like ASP.NET, MS SQL, IIS, MS Access, and Visual Basic. Windows servers are shipped with the GUI, so operating system could chew through a lot of computing resources. On the other hand, Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, CentOS, Fedora come with both GUI and core. But ideal server environment should be installed with core OS rather than GUI.

Control Panel

After choosing server hardware, your next big decision would be how you’d like to manage your server. Either you can manage the server through SSH/RDP or you can install control panel. Hosting control panel provides you with the web-based GUI to perform complex tasks within few mouse clicks and to automate processes.

cPanel for Linux machines and Plesk for Windows systems are the best choices. Plesk and cPanel both are very easy to operate. Plesk is cheaper than cPanel and is compatible with multiple OS but mostly paired with Windows systems.

Storage Type

While configuring the server, you can choose between solid state drives (SSD) or a traditional option of hard disk drives (HDD). HDDs feature a spinning platter and a read/write arm that uses magnetism to store the data. SSDs don’t have moving parts and keep information in flash microchips. Because of this characteristics, SSDs are much faster and more expensive.

Support

When you’re going to buy premium hardware, 24/7 technical support is also essential. With the price tag under $100, less likely you’ll get a managed server but you can certainly get a basic managed server.

Note that unmanaged dedicated servers only cover hardware and infrastructure, whereas managed dedicated servers cover server infrastructure, hardware, backup and core elements of the stack.

You can also consider the managed hosting which includes around-the-clock managed support, software configuration, patch installation, update installation and maintaining all aspects of the environment.

Softsys Hosting offers 2 tiers of managed services, unmanaged and fully managed services whereby our experienced technicians manage customer’s server and supply best-effort support for third-party software.

Addons

Along with the hardware/software configurations, you can also choose amongst various addons as per the requirement, like additional IP address, bandwidth, RAM, DDoS protection, daily backups, DDoS protection, RAID, etc.

Softsys Hosting Dedicated Servers

Softsys Hosting offers a basic dedicated setup at $59/month which includes an IP address, Intel Xeon E3-1230 Quad Core, 8GB RAM, DDoS protection, SSD/HDD storage and 1 Gbps connectivity without any setup fees.

You can also have your choice of OS, RAID level, location and control panel makes Softsys Hosting an easy pick for affordable dedicated server configurations. Here are some pre-configured dedicated servers available under $100.

Windows-Based Servers

Configuration #1

» Intel Xeon E3-1230v1/v2/v3 Quad Core w/ HT (8 vCores)

» Location: Chicago, IL – USA/Denver, CO – USA

» RAM: 8GB DDR3 ECC

» HDD 1: 500GB SATA II HDD OR 120GB SSD

» Operating System: Windows Server 2016/2012 R2/ 2008 R2 Std Edition

» MS SQL Server 2016 Express

» Control Panel: MSPControl

» Network Port Speed: 1Gbps Dedicated $0.00 USD

» Bandwidth: 10TB per mon

» IPv4 Addresses: 1

» Service Level: Basic Managed

» DDoS Protection: Automatic Detection / Null Routing

Monthly: $84.00 USD


Configuration #2

»  Intel Xeon E3-1230v1/v2/v3 Quad Core w/ HT (8 vCores)

» Location: Chicago, IL – USA/Denver, CO – USA

» RAM: 16GB DDR3 ECC

» HDD 1: 500GB SATA II HDD OR 120GB SSD

» Operating System: Windows Server 2016/2012 R2/ 2008 R2 Std Edition

» MS SQL Server 2016 Express

» Control Panel: MSPControl

» Network Port Speed: 1Gbps Dedicated $0.00 USD

» Bandwidth: 10TB per mon

» IPv4 Addresses: 1

» Service Level: Basic Managed

» DDoS Protection: Automatic Detection / Null Routing

Monthly: $93.00 USD

 

Linux-Based Servers

Configuration #1

» Intel Xeon E3-1230v1/v2/v3 Quad Core w/ HT (8 vCores)

» Location: Chicago, IL – USA/Denver, CO – USA

» RAM: 8GB DDR3 ECC

» Operating System: CentOS 7.x x64

» Network Port Speed: 1Gbps Dedicated

» Bandwidth: 10TB per mon

» IPv4 Addresses: 1 (Included)

» Service Level: Basic Managed

» DDoS Protection: Automatic Detection / Null Routing

Monthly: $59.00 USD

Configuration #2

» Intel Xeon E3-1230v1/v2/v3 Quad Core w/ HT (8 vCores)

» Location: Chicago, IL – USA/Denver, CO – USA

» RAM: 8GB DDR3 ECC

» HDD 1: 500GB SATA II HDD OR 120GB SSD

» Operating System: CentOS 7.x x64

» Control Panel: cPanel / WHM

» Network Port Speed: 1Gbps Dedicated

» Bandwidth: 10TB per mon

» IPv4 Addresses: 1 (Included)

» Service Level: Basic Managed

» DDoS Protection: Automatic Detection / Null Routing

Monthly: $94.00 USD

 

If you don’t find your choice of configuration, you can contact our sales team to discuss your custom setup. Our solutions architect will work with you to design a tailored environment in accordance with all your needs.

18 Oct

What Control Panel To Choose For Your Dedicated Server?

It’s a great news as your business has grown to the point that you require a dedicated server to host your website. But this will also add additional responsibilities of managing and maintaining your dedicated hosting environment.

Managing a dedicated server without a control panel is difficult. Even to perform the smallest task, you might have to go through a list of steps or a series of shell commands. That’s where control panels come into play to simplify the process of handling servers. Additionally, managing these hosting control panels does not require expert knowledge of server administration.

There are many paid and open source hosting control panels available and you can choose your best as per your need and budget.

Available Control Panels For A Dedicated Server

If you are new to the dedicated server environment then you want a control panel that is user-friendly and intuitive at the same time. With so many control panel options available, choosing one for your dedicated server is little tricky. The best way to make this determination is to know what you are looking to achieve and what a particular control panel has to offer.

In general, control panels are designed for the specific operating systems, which usually distinguished to Windows and Linux.  Some of the most popular options include cPanel, Plesk, and MSControl, all of which are very reliable.

cPanel

Being one of the most feature-rich, powerful and widely used control panels, cPanel/WHM has become the industry standard amongst users and web hosting providers. It comes with both user-interface (cPanel) and admin-interface (WHM), offering intuitive hosting and site management tools to end-users, resellers and dedicated server administrators. A cPanel server includes the WHM login and the cPanel client login for management purposes.

Single cPanel license allows you to host an unlimited number of domains, websites, databases, etc.  which is a quite valuable feature especially if you intend to offer reseller hosting. It has a wide range of plugins to further expand its functionality and it can be integrated with your existing billing software like WHMCS.

Thanks to AutoSSL feature, free SSL certificates are automatically installed and renewed for every domain hosted on the cPanel server. These SSL certificates are absolutely free, provided by Comodo and Let’s Encrypt, and they will be kept renewed as long as you have an active account with your web host. Its EasyApache 4 feature makes managing packages and dependencies simple and super speedy.

cPanel is available as a demo, so you can familiarize yourself with cPanel and WHM before purchasing the license.

Plesk Panel

Plesk is yet another powerful control panel, having 75 to 80 percent share in the European market. Plesk supports various Linux Distributions (CentOS, Ubuntu, CloudLinux, etc)  and Windows OS as well, which is a strong pull factor differentiating Plesk from cPanel. Also, Plesk comes in several editions, each tailored for specific hosting use cases.

It also comes with both user interface and admin features. Like cPanel, Plesk also has a clean and user-friendly interface. Plesk is also used by some of the big hosting companies.

Unlike other control panels, Plesk offers support for Git through its Gitman extension, so you can track changes and site updates. Plesk’s Docker Integration feature allows you to launch Docker images straight from Plesk without touching the command line.

SSL certificate installation has always been a pain to set up and renew. Plesk is integrated with the Let’s Encrypt certificate authority, which allows you to install the SSL certificates on your site within a single click. Plesk is available for both Windows and Linux dedicated servers, so make sure you get the appropriate version for your server.

MSPControl

MSPControl is a hosting control panel for Windows systems to automate the provisioning of a full suite of hosted services on Windows servers. MSPControl gives users simple multi-tenant point-and-click control over Windows Server applications including Microsoft IIS, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Sharepoint, Microsoft RemoteApp, Skype for Business, Microsoft Online Services and Hyper-V R2 Deployments.

MSPControl comes with 3 licensing schemes, Free, Basic and Standard license. A free license is sufficient for all kind of non-production environments like a demo, lab, test etc. The basic license is good enough to run small web hosting company. Standard license suits mid-sized hosting and managed hosting providers.

Conclusion

When you host your site on a dedicated server, you should be prepared for the different level of complexity because you are only responsible to ensure that your site stays online. The control panel will enable you to create the best site possible by putting the administrative power and flexibility in your hands. Programs such as cPanel and Plesk are very popular and extremely easy to use for Linux systems. While MSPControl is a viable option for Windows systems.

20 Sep

Some Software Choices You Inevitably Need To Be Installed On Your Dedicated Server

Most web hosting providers deliver a dedicated server with just OS installed and a few bare minimum components. Right after receiving server logins, you’d need some important software on your server to make it more secure and easy to manage. In this post, we have compiled a list of software that will help you with easy server management and better security.

Software For Windows Dedicated Server

The software choice for Windows systems mainly depends on the fact how you are going to utilize your server. Let’s say, you are going to use it as an ASP.NET development machine, you’ll need the complete Visual Studio suite installed then.

Similarly, to host a Radio server or Forex trading platform, you are required to install respective software on the server. In such a way, we’ll discuss some generic software every Windows server must be installed with.

Web Control Panel

Unless you hold the years of experience with Windows systems, it’s a bit difficult to manage Windows servers through remote desktop connection. That’s where control panel comes into play.

A hosting control panel gives you web-based GUI which helps you manage all web services under single login very efficiently and quickly. It also allows you to manage websites, domains, SQL databases, DNS records, email accounts, FTP accounts, file functions, disk space availability, bandwidth usage, and lot more.

WebsitePanel, SolidCP, and MSPControl are the most popular free control panels. If you’d like to have some paid alternative, you can go with the Plesk panel.

Microsoft Web Platform Installer

Unlike Linux systems, Windows server requires a lots of individual components to build a functional web server. Having said that, you are required to go to individual websites, find the compatible dedicated server software version and install it manually. This sounds a little bit tedious and takes hours to complete. To get rid of this, you should install Microsoft Web Platform Installer (Web PI) even before you run Windows updates.

It’s a tiny tool that fetches the latest components of the Microsoft Web Platform, including Internet Information Services (IIS), SQL Server Express, .NET Framework, PHP, MySQL Server and lot more. It can also install the most popular free scripts for blogging, and content management system (CMS) within a few clicks.

Software Firewall

To ensure your dedicated server is protected against online threats and malicious traffic, a solid firewall is a must have thing. As we know that Windows systems also come with an effective built-in firewall that adds a layer of protection to your server. This default firewall is powerful enough and works quite well for most of the servers.

In case you’d like to make your server more secure than you can consider personal software firewall. ZoneAlarm Free Firewall and Comodo Free Firewall are both excellent free alternatives you can think of.

Antivirus & Anti-Malware Software

Malware is no imaginary problem, especially for the Windows servers. Hundreds of new virus definitions are spread daily across Internet and antivirus labs have to detect them and find solutions.

Having RDP access for the dedicated server, if you or one of your colleagues visit a phishing website or download uncertain files by mistake, your dedicated hosting platform may infected by dangerous malware.

Even some viruses are distributed through emails, freeware tools, and pop-up messages. As such malicious software can completely damage your dedicated server functionality, compromise security or erase sensitive data.

So, it is essential to have a good antivirus software to detect & remove viruses before they harm your system. Antivirus software detects suspicious websites and files that contain malicious programs before they enter your server and blocks malicious scripts from being downloaded.

ClamWin is an excellent free antivirus program supporting most of the Windows desktop and server OS. There are also plenty of paid alternatives available on the market so you can choose according to your requirements and budget.

Remote Desktop Guard

RDP (Remote Desktop) allows users to connect to a remote server from anywhere. Indeed RDP is a very useful feature however, it also has several security issues. When a malicious user launches the network/port scanners or RDP brute-force attacks on Windows servers, thousands of failed login attempts are generated and pages of events are being logged. Such attacks abuse your dedicated server resources (CPU, RAM, Disk Space and Network Bandwidth) and degrade the overall functionality of the server.

To prevent them, host-based intrusion prevention system (HIPS) like RdpGuard is implemented.  This protects servers from brute-force attacks on various protocols and services (RDP, FTP, SMTP, MySQL, MS-SQL, IIS Web Login, etc). It monitors the audit logs and detects failed login attempts. If the number of failed login attempts from a single IP address exceeds the normal limit, the IP address will be blocked immediately.

Conclusion

Above listed dedicated hosting programs are currently configured on our own servers and so far so good for the production usage as well. Of course, you may also need some other specific tools based your requirements, so you may subscribe to our managed dedicated server plans directly for guaranteed security and support.

25 Aug

A Few Signs That It’s High Time Moving To Dedicated Servers

Dedicated Server Hosting Softsys

Shared hosting is the most common web hosting type. It’s super easy to setup and costs much less compared to VPS or dedicated hosting. No wonder, site owners choose shared hosting as their first web hosting option and eventually switch to bigger options.

When your website gains the popularity and starts receiving a significant amount of traffic, your hosting plan should also grow with it to accommodate growing needs of your site. At this stage, it’s vital to track the increasing traffic inflow, evaluate the current resource, and be prepared to take them to the next level.

Sometimes it is difficult to know when it is time to make the move from hosting type to another, but there are several indications that point when this switch becomes inevitable. In this post, we will discuss several signs that it might be time for you to move to a dedicated hosting server.

Frequent Downtime

With the shared hosting plan, you share server resources (disk space, bandwidth, CPU time, memory) with several hundreds or probably thousands of other websites.

In case one of those sites start acquiring excessive resources, then all of other websites hosted on the same server will start to run slower or might even crash due to the overload on the server.

If you face frequent downtime with your existing hosting, you should consider moving to a more stable hosting solution like a dedicated server.

Huge Traffic

If your traffic is increasing every month, and you can anticipate a time when your site will become too huge to get handled by a shared hosting, immediately move to a dedicated hosting environment.

Poor Load Times

Heavy websites process a number of PHP requests with multiple complex SQL queries running in the background. Such websites demand dedicated resources to run optimally, and when allocated resources are inadequate its loading time increases. If your site’s loading time is high, you should switch to VPS or dedicated hosting where you don’t share, but maintain your own server environment.

You Need Complete Control Over Your Hosting

Some custom applications require higher privileges compared to that typical shared hosting can offer you. Sometimes, you want complete control over your hosting account to perform more advanced actions, such as installing desired software, or setting elevated permissions whenever you want to.

In such cases, you need to switch to a dedicated server as you’ll get administrative access to your hosting account which isn’t possible with shared server hosting.

Your Site Needs More Security

Although shared servers are equipped with firewalls and decent security software, but still your project is at risk as your neighbor website may leave some security holes open and yours might get hacked too.

With a dedicated server, you get isolated and secure hosting environment along with your own set of resources preventing you from data hacks or getting blacklisted on RBLs.

That being said, if you are processing any sort of sensitive information like credit cards you may not want to share a server with anyone.

Custom Resource Requirement Of A Website

If your website is serving large videos or audio files, or you are running an application with heavy CPU and RAM intensive activities, you should seriously consider a dedicated hosting option.

Conclusion

Certainly, shared web hosting offers some great features, but it has some limitations which are specific to its business model. We hope that this post will allow you take necessary steps and choose an ideal moment when moving your hosting account to the next level of performance.

20 Jul

What To Consider When Choosing A Dedicated Server Location

 

Best Server Location

A lot of things have changed in the hosting market, which means that you will need to choose your dedicated server location very carefully. When thinking over a dedicated server location, there are many things to consider including latency and access speed. We will outline major factors that will help you pick up the right dedicated server hosting solution.

Low dormancy and quick access

The first thing you need to consider when choosing a dedicated server location is low dormancy and quick access. It’s desirable to choose a dedicated server that is located in the same country or continent as your target audience. This will ensure that your web pages or applications are delivered quickly because of low dormancy. It generally takes more time for a packet of data to travel from one country to another than when sending the same packet within a single country. And, a quick website or application loading time will engage your end users more effectively and their overall experience will be much more satisfying. Moreover, website loading time affects SEO as well.

Connected location

Secondly, when choosing a dedicated server location you need to make sure that it is located close to the best transit providers. This helps to ensure improved routes for global network traffic. When a server is located in a connected location the time taken will be a few milliseconds less than when the server is located far from a connected location.

Legal requirements

Another factor that you need to take into consideration when choosing a dedicated server location is that there may be some legal requirements for data to reside in particular countries. This means that you need to choose a location that complies with legal terms and conditions.

Disaster prone locations

Yet another factor that you need to take into account when choosing dedicated server locations is that you should not choose a location that is prone to natural calamities like flooding and snowstorms or cyclones, and the like. A natural calamity can make the data center inoperable and this may cause many undesirable cases. Therefore, it makes sense to choose a dedicated server location that is safe and resistant to natural calamities.

Close to your audience

If your dedicated server location is the same as your target audience then this has many interesting benefits like improved local ranking with the major search engines. When a server is located in the same country or continent as your target audience it means that the websites will load faster compared to the competition and this will improve overall user experience. In the case of Forex trading, for example. or other Internet-based financial or share trading even a millisecond difference may result in hundreds or thousands of dollars earned or lost – depending on whether the connection was fast or slow.

The bottomline is that when opting for a dedicated server you need to choose a location that is in the same country or continent as your target audience. If the server is located close to you then the benefits are immense. Choosing a location like Denver, Chicago, London or Singapore can prove to be very beneficial if you are living in the US, UK or South East Asia respectively. With dedicated server hosting there are many benefits to be enjoyed like greater reliability as well as flexibility. More importantly, it ensures greater security as well as higher website performance.

21 Mar

Why DDoS Protection for Servers Is So Important?

Why DDoS Protection for Servers Is So Important?

DDoS Protected Hosting

DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) is an increasingly common attack which is initiated by having huge number of servers/computers requesting for the same resource. Considering that you may have a 1Gbps uplink from your hosting provider (which is fairly common these days) – if someone, with intention to DDoS your servers, will use 4Gbps, 10Gbps, or an overwhelming amount of traffic to keep your connection fully saturated, all legitimate traffic cannot fit through the connection and thus your online service will eventually become offline for anyone (and so will be your business!).

From internal technical standpoint, DDoS may also involve abusing the underlying communication protocol (TCP SYN_ACK/UDP broadcast/etc.) which would not require lot of traffic, but the idea is similar – to saturate your system / router / bandwidth pipe, so that you cannot keep up with the increasing amount of  requests, and ultimately no one else will be able to connect.

DDoS attacks are becoming more common these days than they were ever before. They are not just limited to known websites, but even for start-ups that are apparently targeted by their competitors (bitter truth!). Hence, in today’s age, it is extremely important to have appropriate DDoS protection enabled for your servers to ensure that you tackle the bad guys by scrubbing them off!

There is no specific limit of DDoS protection that will help you tackle the bad guys. You can take a look at how Sony was taken down by Anonymous, or simultaneously someone took down MasterCard, Visa, and PayPal at the same time. If these big corporations (with apparently endless supply of cash) can’t keep their services up against DDoS, there is literally nothing that we can do to keep our services up & running.


How Does DDoS Protection Work?

DDoS protection involves deploying very sophisticated systems in place which can learn by itself to identify the difference between bad or malicious traffic vs. good or legitimate traffic. With this knowledge, it will be scrubbing off (or discarding) bad traffic packets and only allowing good traffic packets to reach your server. Hence, before a packet reaches your server, it is analyzed by DDoS protection systems and allowed to pass through only if it passes all tests of not being a bad packet.

DDoS protection systems also help to keep away bots or small automated DDoS attacks by enforcing blocks or banks on servers or IP’s involved in such attacks. Hence, with DDoS protection in place, you are sure that you will be seeing only legitimate traffic on your server and hence your websites will continue to operate even during an on-going DDoS attack.


DDoS Protected Hosting

When choosing your hosting provider, it is necessary to know and understand if it can provide the protection for your business immediately or in case of emergency whenever you require. This way, you can start with a standard setup and have your provider to enable DDoS protection for your server whenever you are under attack. Alternatively, most businesses are now having their business websites protected from such DDoS attacks on 24/7 basis by having protection permanently enabled. While opting for a DDoS protected hosting service, it is important to understand the protection level that you choose as it varies from the size of attack that is handled along with maximum amount of packets that can be handled. In case any of these limits are reached (a DDoS attack is larger than the limits), you will again see your services going offline. Typically, you can start with some limited protection level and upgrade when you see increase in the size of attacks. This ensures that you are not overpaying.

Apart from saving your services from attacks, it also helps to keep your e-commerce or business website safe and protected from hackers who tend to use brute force attacks, sql injection attacks, etc. to hack into your application or website. Hence, in today’s age, it has become inevitable for every business with online presence to have such protection enabled and ensure business continuity along with keeping clients’ data safe and secure from hackers.

30 Oct

Choosing the Best Dedicated Windows Hosting Services for Business

Dedicated Windows Hosting for Your Business

There are plenty of businesses that rely on Microsoft Windows Servers to host special applications like ASP.NET websites, MS SQL server databases, Exchange email servers, Sharepoint applications, Navison erp system, failover active directory hosting,  etc. However, finding the right web host which can provide you with complete Microsoft Hosting Solutions has always been a challenge for end users. Let us overview some of the most important points to consider when you are shopping for the best dedicated windows hosting for your business:

1. Microsoft SPLA Partner

Microsoft allows using its licenses for production web based hosting servers through authorized SPLA partners only. These are volume licenses which have monthly recurring fee based on the number of physical or virtual processors in your server or number of user licenses. You will have access to full suite of Microsoft licenses through SPLA partner and is the only authentic way of using licenses in production hosting environment. Hence, as a first step, it is important to opt for a provider that will be providing you with authentic & valid licenses as per protocols laid down by Microsoft.

2.  Sales Engineering Team Who Understands Microsoft Windows Licensing

It is important that the sales engineering team of your windows dedicated hosting company is well aware of optimizing your license usage so as to ensure that you are not overpaying for your licenses along with ensuring that you are not missing on important terms of license usage which may pose an issue at a later stage. Microsoft licensing is not the easiest and there are bits & pieces to be taken from various parts of SPUR to come up with complete understanding of its licensing structure.

3. Microsoft Certified Technical Support

It takes a lot of efforts to understand underlying architecture of Windows server hosting products and it is best done by techs who have obtained Microsoft Certification for its products. You will need to have experts to review your website hosting server, database or hyper-v vps hosting servers on a regular basis to ensure that they are performing at the very best and also that they are completely secure with the latest updates / patches applied. Also, in case of any issues encountered, you will need an expert to fix them professionally to ensure that it is resolved in accurate & timely manner with assurance that the issue will not return again in future. It takes years of experience working with Microsoft hosting servers efficiently and hence you will need to consider reviewing the length of a windows server hosting service provided by your host.

4. Enterprise-Class Server Hardware

Microsoft products perform the best with ample amount of resources like CPU, RAM, SSD storage, etc. You will definitely not like to have various server components going out of service at regular intervals which will affect your business website or application severely. Hence, it is important to ensure that your prospective Microsoft host is using the best server hardware components which are attested to run in 24/7 environment. Enterprise servers from SuperMicro, Dell, etc. are recommended along with using Intel processors for efficient processing. It is also highly important to choose correct storage array for your server – best will be to opt for an enterprise SSD server as solid state drives will provide the best performance for your website & hosting. You will need to ensure that your host uses only enterprise-class components for servers for having a reliable server hosting experience. It is also worth considering that the hardware components used (raid controllers, addon cards, etc.) are compatible with Windows Server Systems so as to avoid any potential issues at a later stage.

We at Softsys Hosting have years of experience delivering the best-in-class Windows-based hosting coming with fully managed and self-managed servers, ultimate capacity and resources.

15 Oct

How to Choose a Hosting Plan for Your Web Store?

If you are hosting a web store (ecommerce website), it is very important to choose a correct hosting plan from your hosting provider as it will directly affect your business. A few important points to consider are outlined below:

1) Hosting Company

You will definitely need to consider a web host which has years of experience hosting ecommerce websites and can help you in getting your store up and running 24/7. It is absolutely necessary to avoid a newbie host (less than 2 years in business) as you may end up with issues that are not sure of resolving quickly. Furthermore, you should also ensure that your prospective host has fully enterprise class server hosting infrastructure / data center to ensure that your website performs at the best of its ability at all times. A fully managed server is highly recommended since it will ensure that you have backups, security, monitoring & 24/7 support taken care of by the experts.

2) Security

Security is the key for all web stores as they are publicly available (including to hackers). You will need to ensure that your customers’ data along with credit card data are securely stored (with encryption & hashing). Also, database should not be publicly accessible with the appropriate firewall solution in place to keep it safe & secure at all times. The operating system & applications should be kept up to date with latest security updates / patches installed regularly. It is also highly recommended that you have DDoS protection included with your hosting plan since it will help to protect your server from widespread online attacks and ensure that your website stays online even in case of ongoing attacks.

3) Hosting Environment / Plan

For an ecommerce website / web store, it is recommended that you host it in a dedicated environment (VPS or Dedicated Hosting) so that your server node or operating system is not shared with other customers. Keeping an isolated environment helps in safeguarding your website against “bad neighbors” which may exist in a shared hosting environment. With VPS hosting or a dedicated server plan, you will be having total control over your server environment to be able to secure & configure it as per your requirements.

4) Scalability

In ecommerce business, you never know when your business will pick up and you may start receiving high amount of traffic which can typically happen during festival season or when you are running an advertising campaign or simply when your web store becomes very popular. During such a period, you might require more server resources to handle the traffic without affecting your website going down or becoming inaccessible for your end users. Scalable cloud, VPS hosting or dedicated servers can be an ideal choice in such case. You will be able to expand your server resources on the fly.

5) 24/7 Server Support & Monitoring

It is highly important that you have access to technical support from your hosting company on 24/7 basis through email / ticket or live chat based system along with emergency phone support. Things can break at times and it is best to notice & fix them ASAP without impacting your business. A robust monitoring solution from your web host should help in detecting faults or issues with your server and fix them proactively. Also, access to efficient team of system administrators will ensure that you have qualified techs who can fix server issues immediately at any time of a day.

Softsys Hosting offers premium class ecommerce hosting with fully managed VPS and dedicated hosting packages that are ideal for web stores of any size and functionality.

10 Aug

Major Pros of Hosting Data Backup

Data Backup

How important is it to backup your data regularly?

“How important is your data?” This is the first question I ask customers if they are not sure of whether to invest in having data backup enabled for their particular hosting account. If you cannot afford to lose your data or in case it is highly critical for your business operations, there is no doubt that you should be considering having data backup in place for your account.

There are various automated backup products available on the market that will help you in automating the process along with reporting you about successful / failed backups and appropriate system in place for easy restoration of data in case it is ever required. We use R1Soft backup service for all of our managed servers which takes backup of the entire server in a schedule that is setup by you – this can be as frequent as every few minutes to once a day or week or month. We typically backup every night with the retention period of 6 days (last 6 days of data is retained for restoration).

Data backup comes very handy in various cases:

  • Accidental delete of files / folders. In case you/your developer accidentally delete a file / folder, you can easily jump to your backup console and restore it without the requirement to rebuild it.
  • Compromised files – in case your server is infected by virus / malware which has modified or scrambled your files, you will need to restore these files to the original version in addition to removing virus / malware from your server.
  • Bad OS Update. In case your server is hit by a bad OS update which breaks things, you will need to restore it back to a state where it was running smoothly. Backups turn out to be very handy in this case, so that you can revert to a restore point whereby your system was in the appropriate working state.
  • Hardware issue with server – in case your server hardware or storage devices (HDD, SSD, RAID controller, etc.) fail for some reason, you will be looking at complete data failure with immediate requirement to restore your data to a working state. Appropriate data backups in place help immensely in this scenario, so that you can move your system to a state before hardware crash.

No one can really predict on when will they need data from their backup copy, but it is highly important for above reasons to ensure that you have backups in place which are monitored regularly. You should carefully understand your use case and select backup software which is appropriate for your requirements. R1Soft works fairly well in most of the use cases as it all supports backing up of nearly all operating system servers. Few other products like Veeam, Acronis have also evolved and in use by many enterprises. The key to any backup software is to ensure that you are able to backup and restore your data in a timely manner and data integrity stays intact. Having an efficient backup system in place helps in business continuity to ensure that you do not spend time restoring your important files / folders in case of accidental delete (human or non-human) as you will already having an efficient backup system in place. It has been a myth that having RAID protected storage is a replacement of backups, but this is completely incorrect – there are several cases whereby RAID can fail completely with no ability to regain the data that existed in your storage array. Hence, you should always have an off-server and preferably off-site backups for your infrastructure.

We at Softsys Hosting backup all of our Shared / Reseller servers on a daily basis along with backing up customer virtual machines or dedicated servers with managed services on our network backup servers. We have reporting enabled which will update our 24/7 technical support team in case backup fails for some reason so that we can fix this immediately.

09 Jun

Main Hosting Trends of 2015: Ultimate Speed and Performance

When it comes to hosting for your website or for infrastructure services in your company the latest trend for 2015 resides in ultimate speed and performance. While security and mobile support have been other past focuses for hosting, many are looking towards the future and utilizing cloud as well as dedicated servers to improve access speed around the world.

Studies have shown that as little as a few milliseconds of lag when accessing web format files or a website can be enough to discourage a user from returning back to the website. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) has taken on a whole new focus in this industry and as a result many are opting for Windows-based virtual private servers, dedicated servers, cloud servers and more.

A virtual private server as well as a dedicated server can deliver the ultimate speed for any of your web applications or for a website. This means that you can enjoy an ultimate uptime as well as the quickest possible access to all of your web elements. This will cut milliseconds off of the time it takes for your web page to load which can actually improve search engine results, maximize the amount of return visitors that you might get and minimize any issues that might occur from accessing your web content.

Another big focus to increase performance and speeds is DDoS protection. These types of attacks can quickly shut down a website or any web elements for hours. Recognizing one of these attacks as it occurs and having means to prevent this denial of service attack is absolutely crucial. With the proper protection in place, a website will remain up even if it’s experiencing some type of attack guaranteeing that competitors and hackers cannot affect your hosting. Having this level of protection up and running will secure your online business from costly downtimes.