Hosting.com has partnered with LinkTiger to provide customers the value added service of link validation. LinkTiger is a simple Software-as-a-Service (SaaS ) solution that manages the validity of links on a customer’s website to prevent broken links and lost revenue.
Broken links are a well-known problem on the web – leading to lost traffic, customer dissatisfaction, negative corporate image and negative Search Engine performance.
LinkTiger Features and Benefits
Does not require you to download or install software or manage hardware.
Website scans are done automatically on a schedule; results are displayed in an easy-to-use web-based portal.
LinkTiger provides marketing managers, web masters, bloggers or anyone who owns or manages web sites with a powerful tool to find broken links so that the links can be fixed before being noticed by their customers. Most of our customers rely on their websites for critical business applications and sales, and having broken links will lead to devastating results. Everyone has encountered broken links on the internet and everyone knows the frustration they can cause. For our customers, broken links can lead to lost sales, frustrated end users and a decrease in productivity.
There are a lot of obvious reasons why companies need disaster recovery plans. Shareholders and other stakeholders want to ensure their assets are protected while employees want to do everything possible to ensure continued employment. These are very clear ramifications that are easy to understand. What is often less well understood is how clinical disasters manifest themselves over time.
Companies on the forefront of Disaster Recovery are focusing on addressing the disaster before it happens. Whether the disaster is Catastrophic or Clinical in nature, there are a variety of steps a company can take to reduce their risks. The key step to this new approach is to focus on the architectural availability during the application development and deployment phases.
The survivability of an application is MUCH easier to address during its development; API and Web Service layers can be written to tolerate latency and interruption and data replication techniques can be built into the application itself. Even simple recovery techniques such as the automated removal of corrupt data can have a big impact on the availability of a company’s critical applications
I have found it helpful to provide a framework for people to use when considering architectural availability. This framework is comprised of 4 key considerations.
Transactional Data. The ability for an application to duplicate transaction data to a second/remote site without the use of 3rd party tools or costly professional services is a key item to consider when architecting a bet-the-business application. A rule of thumb to consider is to always replicated data as close to the native transaction as possible. Examples include tools like Oracle’s DataGuard and Microsoft log shipping functionality.
Reference Data. Reference data is all the non-transactional data that is part of an application’s data set. Common examples are images or documents. Since they are not contained in the database but may have a direct correlation between specific transactions it is critical that they be “in sync” with the database records that point to them. The vast majority of these data types are contained in standard file systems and as such can be protected with any file system aware replication technology.
System State. Think of System State as all the meta data that defines how a server and its applications are configured. System State is often overlooked by application architects and as such can introduce significant delays in any disaster recovery exercise. Just imagine the effort required to rebuild a group of servers from bare metal using only documentation and you can quickly appreciate the importance of being able to reconstitute the way an application infrastructure is deployed.
Accessibility. In its most basic form can an application’s intended user reach the application without interruption that exceeds the particular application’s RTO. Specific issues that need to be considered here include; directory extensibility, DNS change propagation and private network connectivity.
By focusing on architectural availability and utilizing Hosting.com’s Critical Availability Service, a company can achieve a higher level of availability while optimizing their disaster recovery budget.
Hosting.com’s Customer Portal is a single location where our customers go to view, interact, control, and expand their environment. We want our customers to feel comfortable using their portal, and really be able to experience the value that it brings. This video explains how to navigate the portal, highlights a few features, and gives a general overview of what we have to offer. From partners that develop modules for our portal to customer features presented by Hosting.com’s own teams the value found at https://customer.hosting.com is a unique asset in the market.
Keep a look out for new custom portal demo videos at https://www.hosting.com/portaldemos.
This week Hosting.com launches our first managed IP transport product – Intersite Cross Connect (ICC). ICC allows customers with installations at multiple Hosting.com IDCs to build private connectivity with guaranteed bandwidth between those installations over Hosting.com’s MPLS backbone.
The impetus for this product was twofold:
To support customers with high-volume or time-sensitive replication requirements
To support customers with latency or jitter sensitive applications
The ICC product is based on a feature called MPLS Circuit Cross Connect that is supported on the Juniper EX series switches. In essence, the Circuit Cross Connect emulates a traditional leased line service like a T1 or DS3 with a fraction of the provisioning time, and far more flexible capacity. Whereas traditional telco services can take 30-45 days for provisioning, Hosting.com can provision new ICC services and adjust capacity on existing ICC installations in as little as 48 hours.
ICC services are terminated on Juniper EX series switches. Hosting.com has been using EX series switches in access and customer aggregation roles since Juniper introduced them in 2008. Presently ICC services are available to customers in Hosting.com’s Newark, Denver, and Louisville facilities with plans to expand the service to San Francisco and Irvine in 2011.
In a previous posting, we mentioned that we would continue to provide new demos of our Customer Portal as we release new features as well as circle back on previous releases. Below are two of our newest Customer Portal demos. Please visit our portal demo page to view all of our demos currently available.
Setting Build Contacts
At Hosting.com we give you the opportunity to set build contacts each time you have a new solution provisioned. Two types of contacts are currently available, the Administrative Contact, and the Technical Contact. The same person who can provide technical clarification on a virtual or dedicated machine builds is not always the same person that can make purchasing and upgrade decisions. This feature in the customer portal will ensure any questions or clarifications go to the right person.
With server replication after you replicated environment has been provisioned you will have full control of failover, replication status, and can even get a health check on your environment. This is an important tool for all businesses to ensure that you are “Always On”. This is all available in one easy to use module in the Hosting.com customer portal.
Hosting.com is happy to announce the availability to upload customer-created virtual machines in the form of OVFs via our customer portal. This approach to virtual machine deployment allows you to configure a server, install software, and adjust your applications locally before deploying it into our cloud. OVF-formatted virtual machines can be exported from a variety of VMware products, including ESX, ESXi, VMware Workstation, and VMware Server. Once these have been exported, they can be deployed into our Cloud Enterprise environment multiple times.
OVF, or Open Virtualization Format, is a standard adopted by most of the virtualization providers on the market, including VMware, Microsoft, and Xen. In addition to providing the disk images for a virtual machine, it also provides an XML-based description for how the virtual machine should be configured. This allows us to review it for possible compatibility issues as well as guide you toward the right resource selections for the server.
OVF Upload in the customer portal broadens the types of virtual machines we can import. VMDK uploads (our alternate method) works great for ESX-to-ESX migrations, but disks from other VMware products need to go through a conversion process before they can be imported. The OVF creation and import process is the same for all supported VMware products, making importing your VMs a very simple process.
How Does It Work?
The OVF process starts with uploading the OVF and related files into our environment with FTP or our FileCatalyst web applet. We then read the OVF to determine the suggested system requirements and present the option to customize your resources further. Once you’ve made your resource selection, we kick off the OVF deployment in the datacenter of your choice. You’ll be notified via email when your cloud enterprise VM has been fully configured and deployed. Take a look at our video demonstration below or visit Hosting.com’s Customer Portal and upload your virtual machine today.
We wanted to take a moment and provide an update on our Customer Portal Demos. The number of Customer Portal Demos has more than doubled this week. We now have 19 videos on features and functionality of http://customer.hosting.com.
The Hosting.com Customer Portal provides an enormous amount of visibility and control to our customers. In the coming weeks and months you will see the portal evolving and shaping itself into the greatest tool that our customers have for interacting with their environment at Hosting.com. From ordering and expanding NAS storage to updating the operating system of your server, and even cloning, parking, and restarting virtual machines you can do it all at in the portal.
As we continue to release new features and functionality to the Customer Portal I would encourage you to visit our Portal Demos to keep up on the latest.
This month Hosting.com proudly introduces a managed Dedicated Load Balancing service enabled by the Coyote Point Equalizer E350 GX platform. It is now easier and more affordable than ever to have reliable, responsive, and efficient load balancing for your web servers.
Dedicated Load Balancing allows you to distribute traffic across two or more servers (physical… virtual… doesn’t matter to us!) to maximize your computing resources, avoid overload, increase response time, improve uptime of your application, and scale to support your growth—all managed and monitored 24×7x365.
Not only is Managed Dedicated Load Balancing from Hosting.com a fraction of the cost of traditional dedicated load balancing hardware such as F5, you can save money with SSL offloading directly on the Equalizer. Doing so saves you money by reducing the quantity of SSL certificates on your servers and processing power on those servers.
Additionally, as your business grows, so do your physical and/or virtual servers…so does Dedicated Load Balancing. Adding additional servers to the routing engine takes minutes and requires no additional capital investment. And, if one of your servers is down for any reason, it will be automatically taken out of routing to make sure your customers can always access your application.
To enhance our customers’ utilization, interaction and comfort with our customer portal we have created a video repository of instructional and informational videos. This repository will continue to grow and offer more and more information for our customers on the features and functionality found at https://customer.hosting.com. We want to equip our customers with the necessary tools needed to get the most out of their experience at hosting.com. Providing the tool (Our Customer Portal) and the instructions (Customer Portal Demos) will result in more satisfied, informed, and self-reliant customers.
We are pleased to announce the official availability of Advanced Backups to our Data Storage and Protection suite of managed services. With the addition of Advanced Backups, we can now offer customers both bare-metal restores (Standard Backup) and off-site backups (Advanced) as a supported product.
This also provides our customers with the ability to utilize our Hosting.com customer portal to perform those restores, which has been a major request over recent months. If you are interested in learning more about our Advanced Backup product, I’d encourage you to visit the landing page for this product that also includes a video demo, which can be found by visiting this page.
Advanced Backup Features
Advanced Backup Benefits
Fast, Deduplicated Data Transfer
Data is deduplicated at the source and securely transmitted to the Avamar grid in Newark DE.
Backup data is deduplicated at the source, reducing backup times by up to 10x and reducing network bandwidth up to 500x.
Centralized Management and Off-Site Backup
Backup and recovery is centrally managed. Clients can backup from any Hosting.com data center to the Avamar grid in Newark, DE.
Backups are immediately and automatically verified
Fast, Single-Step Recovery
Files, directories, email, databases and virtual machines are restored with the click of a mouse on the Hosting.com portal
Strong data encryption both in-flight and at-rest, ensures secure, cost-effective, long-term retention
Accurate and Timely Reporting
Information about the entire backup and recovery process is instantly available via the Hosting.com portal
Data is sent across existing WAN infrastructure to the Avamar grid in Hosting.com’s data center in Newark, DE
Backup of NAS volumes
Backup of NAS volumes is a new capability that is currently unsupported natively by Standard Backup. The ability to backup NAS volumes is an enterprise capability and will help further distinguish Hosting.com as the leader in enterprise hosted solutions.
Access statistics, obtain reports, and initiate restores through the Hosting.com portal.