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.

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.

20 May

Windows VPS vs. Linux VPS: Getting the Most Out of Your Web Hosting Account

When it comes to choosing the best hosting option for your needs, it is important to note the difference between virtual private server interfaces running on popular operating systems. Although launching a virtual private server on Linux and Windows can be somehow similar, there are certainly some differences on either system. Here’s a rundown of some of the top pros and cons that you can face by choosing Linux or a Windows-based server:

Linux VPS

Linux is open source software and you can find this operating system anywhere for free. Linux based servers are known for their amazing ongoing performance and uptime. They’re fairly easy to adapt, but it may require a little more technical knowledge as the OS isn’t quite as intuitive as a Windows-based system.

Some of the top Linux pros:

  • Its free and open source.
  • Works well with PHP and other open-source applications.
  • Lots of OS versions, including Debian, Ubuntu and more.
  • Fantastic integration with cPanel.
  • Less load on the servers with SSH access which grants greater control level.

There’s really only one major con of the Linux system:

  • SSH management for Linux VPS isn’t as easy to work with as the Windows interface.

If you have the tech skills to manage a Linux-based system it can be an affordable VPS hosting option with lots of open source compatibility.

Windows VPS

Windows offers one of the most intuitive systems for reliable VPS hosting meaning that even someone with very little in the way of a tech background can get up and running after paying a licensing fee. Windows database server hosting and large Windows VPS are available in US, Europe, Asia and the rest of the world. It is a great OS as it offers fantastic integration with other Windows-based software and scripts.

Main Windows pros:

  • Easy to manage with low IT skills. Great graphical interface similar to regular Windows XP.
  • Full integration with Scripts from ASP or ASP.net.
  • Ideal for fans of MS SQL databases.
  • Massive amount of support and tutorials from Microsoft with regular security updates.

The main Windows cons include:

  • More expensive to operate and buy licenses.
  • Doesn’t have the same ease of integration with open source applications.
  • Does not support cPanel.

If your business heavily relies on Microsoft-based products, a Windows-based VPS is probably one of the best options for you although it can be more expensive to run.

12 Jan

Linux VPS With SSD Caching Technology – Blistering Speed

Windows hosting company, Softsys Hosting is coming up with Linux VPS hosting service with SSD cached disks. Softsys Hosting have a range of web hosting clients from all around the world. With high reliability, best performance guaranteed with SSD cached disk Linux VPS.

What is SSD caching technology?

(According to Wikipedia.org) In computing, Smart Response Technology (SRT, pre-launch name was SSD Caching) is a proprietary caching mechanism introduced in 2011 by Intel for their Z68 chipset (for the Sandy Bridge–series processors), which allows a SATA solid-state drive (SSD) to function as cache for a (conventional, magnetic) hard disk drive.

Why is caching used?

Caching means that latest read or write requests stored on a fast storage medium temporary for faster data access.

Usage of SSD disks within the servers helps serving users any requests with lightning speed. Keeping frequently accessed data (images or code) in these SSD disks helps user request fulfilled quickly.

What is SSD cached disk?

SSD Caching provides a much needed boost to the speed performance of existing drive volumes and in increase of the random read and write performance utilizing SSDs as a dedicated pool of RAID controller cache.

With time change, technology advances and your speed requirements too. Once while deploying web server with certain amount of HDD, you never know it may limit your server performance. There arises a situation where you get stuck with limited speed and need speedy solid disk drives (SSD). But it will cost you few dollars more and may be not suiting to your small workloads. SSD Caching provided this much need little acceleration with hardware LSI MegaRAID controller. It helps in bringing speed of SSD to your existing HDD for best performance of your server.

Incorporating LSI MegaRAID Controller eliminates the configuration of hybrid arrays in manual way. Managing the hotspot by copying data from the HDD Volumes to best performing layer of SSD cache helps serve the purpose. (Refer figure 1).

lsi_in_ssd_caching_software_540

 

CacheCade – Image (c) Copyright LSI Corporation

Keeping hotspot (‘most accessed data’) in the flash cache prevent time-consuming transactions in HDD. This helps in accelerated read and write speeds, low latency and effective Hard disk operations. User request gets fulfilled from SSD Cached disk if it has already accessed several times.

SSD caching improves system performance for several major transaction intensive applications.

Several Benefits of SSD Caching

  • Performance speeds up with little investment.
  • Reduced I/O delay time.
  • Work best with transaction-intensive applications
  • Comes with more space and power
  • Cost effective
  • Cached write data protected by non-volatile RAID 10
  • RAID data redundancy Protection


Major difference between SSD and SSD-Cached

Our ultra-fast SSD VPS servers come up with RAID10 arrays of pure SSD storage and operate on Microsoft Hyper-V. Softsys Hosting introduces SSD-Cached VPS with Linux OS for the best web hosting experience. Although, they are not as fast as SSD Storage but with more storage capacity, it helps in speedy response to users’ web page requests. The formation of SSD Cached disk is in a RAID10 array of SSDs.

cPanel control panel is optionally available at $15 per month with Linux VPS packages.

About Softsys Hosting         

Softsys Hosting delivers affordable Windows and Linux hosting to all the website owners in the world. Our tech-support team is available 24/7 to help you with your queries and issues. Our Data Center Facilities are located in Denver and Chicago (USA), London (UK).

25 Nov

Control Panel for Linux Servers – cPanel / WHM

Control Panel is one of the various important aspect that need strict attention when choosing your web hosting. Control Panel is a wonderful tool to manage both your website and virtual environment. There are wide range of control panels available in web hosting market that can somehow complicate your choice. Website owners considers cPanel control panel for effective and convenient management of VPS Server.

What is cPanel Control Panel?

As per the Wikipedia.org, the definition of cPanel is:

“cPanel is a Linux based web hosting control panel that provides a graphical interface and automation tools designed to simplify the process of hosting a web site.”

cPanel is a simple web-based control panel to manage and access Linux Servers. It comes with useful graphical interface and automated tools to make operation of your hosting account easy and simple. It is available everywhere at very cheap rates. Moreover, cPanel gives web hosting user’s access to their website accounts. Since 1990, cPanel is a basic standard to manage any Linux based shared hosting or cloud server or VPS or Dedicated server.

cPanel is the industry standard allowing to access any necessary features fast and with ease. cPanel helps fast installation of any software / application or any kind of custom databases handling. cPanel’s intuitive, user-friendly interface can manage your virtual server with utmost ease. Website owners allow to handle any server related tasks with root level access and advanced control options. You will find a complete new level of web hosting experience with Linux VPS plus cPanel hosting.

What is cPanel / WHM?

cPanel / WHM, a unique combination of cPanel and WebHost Manager (WHM) is a full featured web hosting control panel system. Both customer and web hosting company can manage any domains and server related needs.

Why cPanel is preferable control panels for Linux Servers?

cPanel is a full featured web hosting control panel system. Speed, security, agility, flexibility, ease-of-use, support etc. are few among them.

Operating System Choices
· CentOS 5/6, Debian 6/7, Ubuntu 11
· Fedora 15.x, OpenSuse 12.x, ClearOS 5.x

Is cPanel License worth buying?

cPanel license is optional with VPS hosting accounts and it is available as an addon to host unlimited domains. If you are moving hosts, this should again make things more easy as it has account to account migration feature available which will migrate all of your web files / databases / etc from existing account to new one without manual intervention.

Working with Linux Servers needs some expertise of Linux Commands. cPanel makes your life easy and standardised if you are not familiar with such technical terms. There are many tutorials blog and videos available to teach you how to operate cPanel. Once you are comfortable with cPanel, you can easily work with any administrating task of Linux server.

Website Owners uses cPanel for the following tasks:

• Management of Webpages and backups
• Creating and managing email accounts, Auto-Responders.
• Installation of various web-based applications and Add-ons.
• Handling multiple websites, domains (also sub-domains, parked domains and add-on domains), Redirects
• Protecting of Website Content and bandwidth due to abuse
• View Visitors Statistics
• Error Logs for any issues in website

Server administrators performs following tasks through WebHost Manager (WHM):

• Create and managing customer accounts
• Alerts Management for Server down
• Installation of various applications and scripting modules
• Setup new web hosting plans
• Spam Blockage
• Staying updated with latest technologies

We offer a few cPanel-ready VPS server plans coming with all essential resources. You can also choose from unmanaged Linux VPS solutions with the optional cPanel / WHM control panels. Whatever package you select, rest assured to get first-class quality services that will not cost you a fortune at the same time.