03 Jan

5 Systems to Outsource and Scale Your Business in 2018

With the flip of the calendar comes a new year of opportunities. A new year of goals, revenue targets, and challenges. A new year of growth for business owners around the world. While goals and projections for 2018 have likely already been established, as people are getting back into their offices after the holidays, the question becomes HOW.

If you’re looking to grow your business in the new year, your approach will make all the difference in whether your growth is temporary or sustainable. For example, growth can come from additional work. Maybe you spent 30 hours per week working on your business in 2017 and plan to grow by dedicating an additional 15 hours in the coming year.

For many entrepreneurs, 30 hours of work pass within the first couple days of the week so working longer hours isn’t an option. In that case, it’s imperative to work smarter. Prioritize. Delegate. Outsource.

 

While outsourcing services and giving up control over certain systems can be intimidating initially, it frees you up to focus on your core business and revenue-generating activities.  

 

Our advice? Start small. Choose one aspect of your business to outsource and continue from there.

 

Here are 5 things we recommend outsourcing to enable you to grow in 2018:

 

IT Services: Unless IT is your core business, it’s time to bring in the experts. Moving your technology to a managed hosting environment will allow you to enhance your business and minimize distractions. IT is also a key component of your growth as it often needs to grow with your company so ensuring that you have the technology and service needed to keep your business running is crucial.

 

Accounting: Not only will this save you time, it may very well save you money. Hiring a professional to take care of your bookkeeping and tax preparation services is an investment that often pays for itself.

 

Payroll Services: This is another area where an outside professional can handle a task more effectively and efficiently than you are able to.

 

Legal Services: If you have growth plans for 2018, you may be looking to acquire a business, start a separate business, or otherwise change the structure of your company. While you likely can file your business paperwork yourself, ask yourself if the benefits and costs savings outweigh the risks. In this field, especially, hire a lawyer to look over your business legal needs and save yourself the potential headache.

 

Assistance: If you’re not ready to hire a full-time office assistant, look into virtual assistance to help with smaller tasks like data entry, research, or cold calling.

 

Not sure where to start? Consider the tasks that require a good bit of your time and are not a core competency of yours or your business’ and start researching outsourcing options.

Outsourcing parts of your business requires an investment of time on the front end, but will enable you to focus your energy on growing your company over the course of the year. Not to mention giving you peace of mind that your trusted partners are handling your business functions while you plan for the future.

27 Dec

Do I Need An SSL Certificate Installed On My Website?

You’ve probably come across that tiny green padlock in your browser’s location bar followed by the website URL. It indicates that the site you are browsing is equipped with the SSL certificate.

Being a website owner, you might also be wondering “Do I need an SSL certificate for my website too?”. But wait, before you get your question answered, let us know first what is an SSL certificate and what it does exactly?

What is an SSL certificate?

Secure Sockets Layer, shortly known as “SSL” creates a secure channel between your browser and the web server so that the information you transmit will be traversed in the encrypted form.

When the website you visit does not equip with the SSL certificate (web address starts with http:// only), all the information that your browser sends to the web server and receives is in clear text that anyone could read. So it’s possible that any malicious user (hacker or intruder) can intercept the web traffic to your website and could possibly retrieve the private user information.

When you set up an SSL certificate, your website URL starts with https:// ( mind the “s” for “secure”), so all the information sent and received is encrypted.  It’s vital when your site collects any sensitive data on your website like credit card information as you don’t want someone sniffing your customer’s private data like credit card numbers or personal information.

Do I really need an SSL certificate?

While not all websites require an SSL certificate, it is essential for certain types of sites. To find out if your site really needs an SSL certificate, go through these questions:

Do you run an ecommerce store?

If you run an ecommerce store, probably you’ll be accepting the payments through credit/debit cards.

In this case, an SSL certificate is indispensable to encrypt the customers’ credit card information.

Your customers submit very important information to your website, if an identity thief gets access to your customer’s credit card information it could be disastrous. So it’s your responsibility to secure the information you collect from your customers. When SSL is installed on your site, no one can intercept and misuse their credit card data.

Do you have login forms on your website?

Not all websites collect money online, some collect information. This information could be anything about related to your customers, like name, address, phone number and email address, etc.

Without an SSL certificate, these login forms can be intercepted easily. If you don’t want that information leaked, securing online forms with an SSL solutions is also a must.

Do you offer memberships on your site?

To become a member, your members are giving you their email addresses, names, and passwords, all of which they likely use on other sites. You should not take the risk of a security breach that could result in your members’ information being spread across the whole internet.

Are you serious about search engine optimization of your website?

During the last couple of years Google gives ranking advantages to websites featuring SSL protection. Those projects that don’t use SSL certificates are marked as unsecure in Google Chrome browser as well.

Conclusion

On the Internet, confidence is everything. No one would like to submit their sensitive information in plain text, right? Nowadays, visitors are also well aware of potential online threats and become more security conscious.

Many people would think securing a website with SSL is essential only if they’re selling products or collecting payment information. But they don’t realize that SSL encryption has other very important benefits. Such as your visitors will feel safer on your site when they see the green lock while accessing your website knowing it’s protected by a security certificate.

Also, the latest browser versions have started sending notices when you browse any website without SSL. So, it’s now important to ensure every website has an SSL certificate and is loaded via HTTPS.

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.

05 May

Hyper-v Replica: Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Replication

Hyper-V Replica

Overview:

Microsoft Windows Hyper-V Replica was first introduced in Windows Server 2012 and it does not require the use of the Windows Clustering. This is an extremely helpful component to allow server Administrators achieve business continuity and high availability of enterprise Virtual Machines.

Hyper-V replication synchronises regularly and keeps up-to-date copies of virtual machines on primary and replica sites or HV’s. This allows to failover to the replica site or HV in case primary site or HV goes down for any reason. This can be planned or unplanned event in which minimal or no downtime is required to switch to the replica virtual machine.

You can have the primary site and replica site at geographically different locations as well where the data sync between two sites can happen over public WAN link as outlined below:

 

Virtual machine replication

 

Benefits:

Hyper-V Replica is extremely beneficial in production business environment to serve as a a disaster recovery technology. In addition to not requiring a clustered environment, with Hyper-V Replica Broker, administrators can enable failover for the Primary Server in a Hyper-V Cluster environment – extremely flexible right?

Below is an outline of some key benefits of Hyper-V replication:

 

Clustered vs. Non-Clustered Environment setup:

It can be configured in either clustered or non-clustered environments – there is no fixed requirement for a specific environment to use Hyper-V replication and one can choose to implement it on either of these.

 

Minimum server requirement:

Hyper-V replication requires a minimum of two servers with Windows Server 2012 and above operating systems.

 

Ability to handle complex setup:

Hyper-V replication is extremely robust and it can handle complex setup environment as well without any degradation of performance or involving huge IT costs. Below is a picture of typical enterprise setup that can be handled by Hyper-V replication very easily:

 

Hyper-V Replication

 

Identical Hardware? Not Required!

It is not at all necessary to have identical or same hardware configuration on primary and replica HV’s – this gives extreme flexibility in choosing different configuration for primary and replica hypervisors.

 

Special Roles/Features/Software? Not Required!

There is no requirement of additional software or roles beyond Hyper-V role in Windows Server 2012 (R1/R2) to enable the replication between Primary and Replica Servers. All the necessary components are already built into Hyper-V role – hence, you’re all set to update current server with replication!

 

Minimal Downtime

In case the primary server goes down for any reason (planned or unplanned), the VM on the replica server can be activated in a matter of seconds or minutes. This is extremely useful in business continuity. When the primary server is back, a reverse sync and reverse replica can be triggered to re-sync the changes and establish start replication again.

 

Active Directory Domain Membership? Not Required!

Hyper-V server replication does not require AD setup / membership – this helps in reducing a lot of IT headaches and ensures ease of setup / maintenance (vs. Live & Quick Migration which require Active directory setup).

 

Robust API Availability

With availability of robust Application Programming Interface for Hyper-V Replica, third party management vendors or in-house software developers can develop an enterprise-class disaster recovery solution for their Hyper-V virtual machines.

 

Recovery History

With Hyper-V Replication, you are able to restore the VM to a particular point in time restore point (in case a need arises). It provides an option to configure # of recovery points for the virtual machine at the time of setup / configuration (and can be changed later as well).

 

Hyper-V Replica and Cloud

With Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) availability for hosting providers, they can setup a disaster recovery solution for end users and have an edge above other providers in terms of offerings enhanced business continuity & data replication for their customers.

 

Data Compression

Hyper-V server replication has enhanced data compression incorporated (implemented with Network Module) which helps in moving around changed deltas between primary and replica sites very fast and with reduced traffic.

 

Softsys Hosting, a pioneer in delivering Hyper-V Windows Virtual Machines, provides Hyper-V replication as an addon with base Windows VPS plans which are powered by enterprise-class pure SSD RAID 10 protected hardware from multiple locations – Denver & Chicago (USA), London (UK) and Singapore (Asia). If you’d like to setup a private Hyper-V replica, we can assist you in that as well.

 

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.

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.

19 Oct

Introduction to Web Server Software

As we all know web server is known to host websites, run enterprise applications, act as a data storage or make it a gaming server. In short, web server are computers that helps with the online content accessibility through web.

Web server can be referred as both hardware and software.

  • Hardware (Computer) –  it is used to host web applications and
  • Software (computer application) – to deliver the requested online content to end user.

Here we will talk about various web servers as far as software part is concern.

Choosing a web server software is not an easy task, considering compatibility factor among software and hardware (physical/virtual server) for best performance and efficiency. As per the budget and need of the application server, buyers faces many problems in selection of suitable web server software to run on their dedicated server.

How you can choose a perfect web server to operate your website? Which factors you should check? Before that, let’s get an introduction of all major web servers:

Apache, Microsoft IIS, NGINX, LiteSpeed and Google Web Server are the major web servers. According to Netcraft, a site that monitors Web server activity worldwide, in October 2014 over 385 million Web servers were running Apache or 37.46% of all Web servers running Apache. IIS ranks second with over 345 million Web sites, or 33.38% of the market (obtained from http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2014/10/10/october-2014-web-server-survey.html).

Open source such as Apache, NGINX, LiteSpeed etc. and for website with ASP.NET code, Microsoft IIS is only option.

 

1) Apache

The #1 HTTP Server on the Internet! It is project of Apache HTTP Server with a goal to provide secure HTTP server for all the modern operating systems. As it is Open Source, it is available free of cost with no licensing fees. Homepage link is http://httpd.apache.org.

  • Advantages:

– Feature-full and stable.

– Fully Customized due to modular structures.

– High security (normally vulnerabilities are attacked on Windows based server)

– Strong Support from User community.

– Operates on Linux, UNIX, Windows MacOS and others.

 

  • Disadvantages:

– Process-based server: Each new connection needs a new thread, incurring enormous overhead.

 

2) Microsoft IIS

Microsoft IIS comes second after Apache in usage of web server application all around the world.  Internet Information Server (IIS) is very advanced web server created by Microsoft to work within Windows Environment. Page: http://www.iis.net

Operating Systems package includes the IIS just like IIS7 with Windows Server 2008, IIS6 with Windows Server 2003. It is bundled free with windows OS.

  • Advantages:

– Created by Microsoft to work within Windows Environment.

– Complete access to .NET framework & various ASPX scripts

– Supports PHP in most recent Windows releases.

– Installation makes easy with GUI interface.

– Compatible with other Microsoft services

– IIS Performance Monitoring tools are good.

– Microsoft IIS Tech Support team is excellent with accurate response capability.

– Includes good crash protection system.

 

  • Disadvantages:

– Not fully customized web server.

– Less Stability than other open source web servers.

– Expensive than other open source web server

– Comparatively less secure.

 

3) NGINX

It is an open-source HTTP Web server including IMAP and POP server. Home Page of NGINX is http://wiki.nginx.org/Main and it is totally free for usage.

  • Advantages:

– High Performance, speed and excellent reverse-proxy server with caching.

– It is an event-based server with minimal memory resource usage.

– Highly recommended for websites running on a VPS.

– Support well on Linux, UNIX, Windows and MacOS and Windows Server 2003

 

4) LiteSpeed

One of the fastest growing web servers in the industry. Home Page of LiteSpeed: http://www.litespeedtech.com/products/litespeed-web-server/overview

  • Advantages:

– Lightweight web server

– Fastest among the other web servers.

– Event Driven Architecture.

– Apache compatibility.

– Built for high traffic websites and servers (ISP and data centres)

– Support well on FreeBSD, Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X.

 

5) Lighttpd

Open Source Lightweight web servers that is distributed with the FreeBSD OS. Homepage is www.lighttpd.net.

  • Advantages:

– Event-driven architecture

– High performance of Ajax Applications.

– Best for Ajax Web application design model supportive websites.

– Minimal resources needed

– Many popular Web 2.0 sites using this web server.

– Support well on Unix, Linux, Microsoft Windows OS

 

Whether you need an advanced and full-featured web hosting with all the latest versions of essential server software installed, consider Softsys Hosting.

With our standard unmanaged windows VPS or more sophisticated and flexible Softsys windows cloud VPS, you’re provided with full root level access and will be able to install any software and applications you may require.