Frequent Password Changes No Longer Recommended

Recently, the agency in charge of creating the security standards for the United States Government has made new recommendations. They are basically reversing some of the best practices that have been used for a long time.

Some of the changes they are implementing include an end to changing passwords, Getting rid of rudimentary complexity restrictions on passwords and using stringent new password validation. The goal is to create more security with better passwords, which are harder to guess and harder to hack.

Read the full story here.

Endurance International Group Looking for New CEO

Endurance International Group has made the decision to transition the CEO role of the company from Hari Ravichandran to a new CEO. This came in a recent announcement from both Ravichandran and the company’s Board of Directors.

The company was founded by Ravichadran in 1997. Endurance is looking for a CEO with a large amount of experience with growing complex companies. With massive expansion, the company needs a leader ready to step in and help move it to the next level.

Read the full story here.

Psychz Launches European Data Centers

Psychz, a hosting service provider has launched new data centers across Europe. The company was established in 2001 and specializes in colocation, DDoS mitigation and dedicated servers. They already have data centers in many U.S. locations and have expanded to Europe.

The new locations will be found in London and Amsterdam. This will allow the company to add the same cost-effective services in the European market and expand their customer base.

Read the full story here.

Salesforce Expanding in Australia with AWS Cloud

Recently, Salesforce announced they will now offer the main products they carry to the Australian market on AWS. The announcement came at the Salesforce World Tour in Sydney, Australia on Tuesday, which also highlighted the Einstein Al Service.

The products that will be offered include Sales Cloud, App Cloud, Analytics Cloud, Community Cloud and Service Cloud. They are all a part of the Salesforce Intelligent Customer Success Platform, which is hosted by AWS.

Read the full story here.

Accelize and OVH Form New Partnership

Accelize, FPGA experts and OVH, a European cloud provider recently announced a new partnership. The goal of the partnership is to allow OVH to use FPGA expertise to better enable cloud customers and provide increased capabilities.

OVH has been around since 1999 and is headquartered in Roubaix, France. The company is one of the largest providers of web hosting, dedicated servers and VPS hosting in Europe. They are also a leader in cloud-based solutions. Accelize is a part of the PLDA Group and specializes in Field-programmable Gate Array (FPGA).

Read the full story here.

More than 10,000 Jobs Added to Tech Sector for U.S. in January

The United States IT sector is growing with a net gain of 10,700 jobs in January. This is up 8% from adding 9,900 jobs in December, according to the Economic Situation Report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

It was uneven growth with 12,500 computer system design jobs added and 2,800 computer electronic manufacturing jobs lost. These numbers were both higher from December.

Another 1,200 jobs were added for hosting employment and data processing, while 200 were lost in the technical consulting and management sector.

Read the full story here.

Salesforce Servers Allow you to Plug Directly in at Equinix Data Centers

Colocation customers of Equinix Data Centers now have the ability to buy a direct private network link to Salesforce. This link provides direct public cloud access and will bypass the public internet.

Other cloud giants are already providing this type of link including, AWS, Azure, IBM SoftLayer, Oracle Cloud and Google Cloud. Equinix has been pursuing these same partnerships with enterprise cloud companies and Salesforce is a key addition to the list.

Read the full story here.

New VP of Marketing Named for Media Temple

Recently, Media Temple, a web hosting provider, announced they have named a new vice president of marketing. The position will be taken over by Lou Kikos.

Kikos provides more than two decades of experience to his new position at Media Temple. He has already held other senior leadership positions at companies, such as iRise and CCC. He’s experienced in corporate branding, market segmentation and customer lifecycle management. Kikios was also the co-founder of The Magis Group.

Media Temple is based in Los Angeles and offers shared, VPS and managed AWS hosting services. They also offer WordPress hosting.

Read the full story here.

Amazon Wind Farm Comes Online for Data Centers

Even with Republican legislators trying to halt the project, a renewable energy source from a wind farm in North Caroline is now online. The wind farm will power Amazon data centers in Virginia.

The $400 million wind farm was challenged by ten legislators trying to keep it from going up. They claim it will interfere with a Navy radar found in the area, but Avangrid Renewables and the military actually worked together on the project to keep it from interfering.

Even though the Navy believes the wind farm won’t cause issues, lawmakers still wanted the project halted. They urged the pro-fossil fuel administration to halt the project.

Read the full story here.

600 New Staff Members Will be Hired by Endurance International Group

After announcing the layoffs from Bluehost in Utah, the Endurance International Group has announced they will hire 600 new employees. These employees will be a part of the company’s expansion in Tempe, Arizona. The expansion also includes a new 71,000 square foot space, which was renovated in October.

The hope for the company is that the expansion will help to offset the jobs that will be lost in Orem, Utah. About 440 jobs will be lost from the office in Utah, but the company believes this is the directly they need to go to compete when it comes to customer support.

Read the full story here.

Overcoming the Most Common Web Hosting Challenges

Web Hosting ChallengesHosting comes with challenges, just like anything else. Whether you’re working on your first website or your hundredth, there may be certain challenges you have to deal with. Some of the issues could come from the hosting company you choose, while others may just be part of hosting a website.

Getting stuck with a bad hosting company can tarnish your website’s reputation and cause many other issues. Here are some of the most important web hosting challenges to address before you choose the right hosting company for your needs.

Technical Support

Any web hosting company worth using will have a great reputation for providing technical support when you need it. A common hosting challenge comes in when your service is interrupted or something else goes wrong with your website. You need to be able to reach out and get the issue fixed when it happens.

Good hosting companies offer free support 24/7 and will actually take care of the problem. You should be able to contact them over the phone, through a ticket system and through online chat. The key is, you need to be able to get support when you need it, not when they feel like providing it.

Scalability is a Big Deal

You probably won’t be starting your business website with the thoughts of just leaving it alone. Most likely, you will want to grow your business, which means you need to be able to scale your hosting. Companies not offering the right options will put you back at square one if you need to grow.

Shared hosting is where many start and it’s really not scalable. However, if the hosting company you choose offers VPS hosting, you’ll be able to upgrade and scale from there. VPS hosting provides multiple levels and allows you to boost your resources as needed. It’s best if the company also offers dedicated server solutions in case you outgrow their largest VPS package.


SecurityThe majority of hosting challenges come in the area of security. About 80% of websites found to be malicious are actually legitimate sites with security issues. The right web hosting company will ensure you don’t have to worry about security issues.

When you choose a hosting company, you need to make sure the data center they use is well secured with the right technologies. They should have traffic and threat monitoring, along with DDoS mitigation. Updates and security patches should happen very fast and SLAs should be in place.

An SSL certificate with HTTPS is ideal, along with a daily look at backups. You should certainly make sure they have a disaster recovery plan and backup in place. Check out the full suite of security services offered if you want to avoid any issues with your website.

Uptime and Downtime

DowntimeYou need to make sure your website will be available 99.99% of the time, if not more. Hosting companies with large amounts of downtime don’t last very long because they end up costing you money. This can be a hosting challenge you don’t easily recover from.

The best website hosting companies will provide at least 99.95% uptime, while some are capable of providing 99.99% uptime. It’s not really possible to provide 100% uptime, but there is a huge difference between 99.9% and 99.99%.

IF you choose a host that suffers from frequent downtime issues, even if they are short, it can hurt your business reputation. It’s best to choose a hosting company offering at least 99.95% uptime in a guarantee and backed by a strong SLA.

Full Backup Facility

With the ability for hackers to do serious damage to a hosting company or to your business, it’s important to ensure you have a full backup with your hosting company. This should be a part of their disaster recovery plan and should be very easy to implement. Backups should be performed in regular intervals to ensure you’re protected from harm.

There are several things to consider when choosing a hosting company. It’s not just about the price or the resources they promise. There are several hosting challenges you may encounter with your website and you need a good hosting company to help you navigate these challenges. Use the key factors above to choose the right hosting company for you and you’ll avoid most challenges with hosting.

Lease or Build a Data Center?

Build Data CenterAs your business grows, you may be faced with many decisions. One of those decisions may be to either build a data center or lease one. This usually comes up as you start to realize you don’t have enough capacity, power or HVAC ability to grow any further than you already have with your in-house data center.

When this happens, it’s important to look at the advantages of both leasing and building a data center. It’s a very big decision, which you need to take seriously. Here are some of the advantages of both.

Building Your Own Data Center

When you build a data center it comes with some pretty obvious benefits, such as you own it and you have full control. However, there are many other advantages. With complete control, you will be able to set up the power, operating environment, humidity, temperature and security to fit your needs and what you want.

Along with the control, you will have the ability to maximize the space as you see fit. You can share it with another company or you can use it all for yourself. There’s also no risk of losing your lease because you own the data center.

Leasing a Data Center

Lease Data CenterOf course, leasing a data center also has advantages. You will have more predictable expenses and the flexibility to add capacity as needed. Some prefer the advantage of being able to scale up and down, as needed.

With a leased data center, you also have the ability to gain more space without the same capital expense. Most providers will also give you access to certified professionals when you need help.

Factors to Consider With this Decision

There are several factors to consider outside of your budget when it comes to leasing or building a data center. First, you want to consider your data growth. Will you be growing fast and furious or will it be steady and over time?

Data already doubles about every two years in the digital world, so you may want to consider how quickly your data needs will be on the rise. It’s predicted that the digital world will use about 44 trillion gigabytes of data by 2020. What will your company’s use be by then?

Second, you want to consider virtualization. Virtualization is growing fast and will continue to grow very fast. With the ability to reduce power consumption and cost needed to run data centers, visualization should be a factor in your decision for sure.

Finally, consolidation is another thing to consider. This is a strategy used by many companies to reduce IT assets and make technology more efficient. It may also be called data center consociation.

Sometimes, it only makes sense to build a data center, while other times it makes sense to lease. Some companies actually leverage both. It’s important to look at the benefits, costs, risks and how you will use the data center before making your final decision.

Data CenterThe cost, alone, may be a deciding factor. Building a data center will take a large capital expenditure up front with about 25% of the construction costs usually needed just to get things started. You will also need to pay for security setups, building permits, fire suppression, HVAC units, UPS equipment, data center staffing and so much more.

With leasing or colocation, you won’t need to spend nearly as much. Some upfront costs may be necessary for setup and moving, but the initial expenses will be much lower compared to building a data center. You will also only need to pay for the metered or flat rate for power, along with cross connection fees and some staffing fees. Usually, you’ll have a set price for your needs, which makes it easy to predict.

Make sure you consider all of the factors before choosing to lease or build a data center. It’s a big decision and will either help or hurt your business in the future.

Which Hosting is the Best Value for You?

With all the options in the hosting world, it may be difficult to understand which hosting will provide you with the best value. Part of the issue is the way we define value. In many ways, value is known as cheap or inexpensive when this isn’t the truth.

What is Value in the Hosting World?

In the hosting world, value needs to be redefined as the type of hosting providing you the most benefit for each dollar you spend. It shouldn’t be looked at as just the cheapest hosting you can find for your business. If you look at every dollar you spend and the benefit you’re getting from those dollars, you’ll have a better measure of the true value.

Main Types of Hosting

When you start to look for the hosting offering the best value for your business, you will probably be focused on three main types of hosting: Shared, VPS and Dedicated. All three of these types of hosting are a bit different and provide different values for specific situations and businesses. Here’s a look at how all three types of hosting work with businesses as they evolve and grow.

Start-ups, Small Businesses and Sole Proprietorships

Shared HostingWhen you’re just starting out or your business is very small, you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars a month on hosting, in most circumstances. Most small businesses and sole proprietorships will only need a good shared hosting account for $5-$10 per month. While you may need to pay for this type of hosting on an annual contract to get the best deal, it shouldn’t be very expensive.

Shared hosting will put you on the same server as many other accounts. You will share the resources and it doesn’t offer the best privacy or security. However, when you first get started, it’s the best value for your dollars.

There are a few exceptions to this rule. If you plan to market heavily and drive thousands of visitors to your website daily, shared hosting won’t cut it. This is also true if you need a high level of security. However, if you’re just trying to create a presence online and gain a few leads a day from your website, shared hosting will do the trick.

Small and Medium-sized Businesses

VPS HostingMost small and medium-sized businesses will actually want to use VPS or virtual private server hosting. This type of hosting puts you on the same server as many other accounts, but you get your own set of resources instead of sharing with others. It’s more secure and provides a higher level of privacy compared to shared hosting.

If you run an established small business or a medium-sized business, VPS hosting is probably the right choice. It’s not super expensive, but it’s also far better than shared hosting. Those using SEO as a marketing strategy will want to use VPS hosting over shared hosting.

With VPS hosting, you gain more control and scalability. Most companies offer small, medium and large packages to help you grow your hosting as needed. In many situations, SMBs will find the most value with VPS hosting.

Large Businesses and Corporations

Dedicated HostingLarger businesses and corporations will need dedicated server hosting. This type of hosting gives you all of the resources of the server or servers to yourself. You don’t share anything, so you get the largest set of resources, the best security and the most privacy.

Instead of spending the money to create your own data center, you can use dedicated server hosting from an actual hosting company. You gain all the same benefits without the high cost up-front.

Along with larger businesses, any business expecting a high volume of traffic will need a dedicated server or multiple servers. This is the most expensive type of hosting, but also the fastest and the most secure. If you can afford it, a dedicated server will provide excellent value for each dollar spent.

Choosing the right type of hosting for your specific situation and your business isn’t always easy. You want to get the most for every dollar you spend and not just the cheapest hosting in each category. Make sure you compare the resources provided, the support and the customer service of the company you plan to use before you make your final decision.

Shared or Dedicated Hosting – The Final Answer

Shared vs. Dedicated HostingEntrepreneurs often face the decision between shared and dedicated hosting. Of course, VPS hosting also plays a factor, but that’s for a different post. Both shared and dedicated hosting serve purposes, but which one is right for you?

There are some specific guidelines you should follow when choosing the right type of hosting for your needs. It starts with the nature of your business and goes further into what you expect out of your website. Here are some things to consider before making the decision between shared and dedicated hosting.

Are you an Ecommerce Business?

If you sell online, dedicated hosting is your only real choice. You have an obligation to protect the data of your customers including names, emails, addresses and credit card numbers. With shared hosting, you don’t gain the same security as dedicated hosting.

Along with the security aspect, if you’re an ecommerce business, you probably want to make sure your website performs at its’ best. This is only going to happen with dedicated hosting, especially if you see large amounts of traffic, even if it’s only for part of the year. Shared hosting simply cannot handle the type of traffic dedicated hosting can handle.

Is your Website Just a Company Profile?

If you don’t have plans to sell anything online and your website will just provide a profile for your company, you may be just fine with shared hosting. Since shared hosting is much less expensive and you won’t need to process any payments or create a large number of product pages, it will work very well for a multi-page company website.

However, if your website starts to receive a large influx of traffic, shared hosting won’t do the trick anymore. As long as you see less than 500 visitors per day, you’ll be fine with shared hosting for a company profile website.

Will SEO be one of your Marketing Strategies?

Dedicated HostingSEO or search engine optimization is a great way to drive traffic to your website and business. If this will be one of your marketing strategies, you may need dedicated hosting. One of the major SEO factors is the speed of your website and it will load fastest with dedicated hosting.

Shared hosting will work fine for okay SEO, but if you want to take over the top rankings on Google and you want to really gain traffic, you need dedicated hosting to support it.

Those only focusing on a smaller, local market (population of 200K or less) will probably do just fine with shared hosting. However, if your local market is all of New York City or you focus on a national or global market, dedicated hosting is probably the best choice.

Do you Plan to Add Blog Posts, Videos and Images?

If you plan to blog and your blog posts will include images and/or video, you may need to upgrade to dedicated hosting at some point. Images and video take up a ton of room and even though many shared hosting accounts claim to give you unlimited space; you will slow down the load times of your website and other websites.

Often, when this happens, your hosting company will tell you to upgrade your account to VPS or dedicated hosting, depending on what they offer. If you plan to put up a large number of images or videos, you probably want to start off with dedicated hosting.

Are you Just Getting Started?

Dedicated Web HostingMaybe you just started your business and you really don’t know what to do. If you’ll be managing your hosting and your website on your own, start with shared hosting. Even if you have to upgrade in a few months, using shared hosting will help you get your feet wet.

There are several reasons to use shared hosting and several reasons to use dedicated hosting. They both serve a different market. It’s important to understand which type of hosting works best for you before you just jump in and start spending money.

Essential vs. Wildcard vs. EV SSL Certificates

SSL CertificatesSSL certificates are an important part of online business. They bind small digital files with a cryptographic key to ensure safety during online transactions. After they have been installed on a server, they will activate a padlock, which will show up in the browser. This allows for a secure connection between the browser and the server.

Why Use SSL Certificates

There are two main reasons to use SSL Certificate: Authentication and Security. When using a SSL Certificate you will not only gain encryption, but they also provide authentication. You will be sure the information is sending to the right server and not to a hacker’s server. Since your customers will be sending information throughout several computers, it’s necessary to authenticate your server before the information is delivered.

Security is probably the number one reason to use SSL certificate. The encryption makes it very difficult for hackers to steal credit card information, passwords, email addresses and other bits of information. The SSL Certificate makes the information unreadable to everybody except the server receiving your information.

Types of SSL Certificates

Types of SSL CertificatesAll SSL certificates use the same methods for protection and authentication, for the most part. While this is the case and all certificates must be verified by the Certificate Authority, there are a few different types.

Essential SSL

An Essential SSL certificate will secure just one domain. It will secure the and the versions and the CSR must be generated for both. You will get a green padlock in the address bar of the browser with this type of SSL certificate.

The owner of the Essential SSL Certificate will need to complete the domain control validation through email. This is done with either the domain’s WHOIS Registrant email OR one featuring admin, hostmaster, postmaster or webmaster. Essential SSL also provides quick issuance.

Wildcard SSL

A Wildcard SSL Certificate will secure one domain and all of the subdomains. It will secure the, the and the The CSR will only need to be generated for the

With the Wildcard SSL, you get a green padlock in the address bar of the browser. You will need to complete the domain control validation through email with the WHOIS Registrant’s email or the admin, hostmaster, postmaster or webmaster email options. This SSL Certificate also provides quick issuance.


The EV SSL will only secure one domain in the and form. The CSR must be generated for both. This SSL Certificate will not only provide a green padlock in the address bar of the browsers, but will also provide a green address bar.

The legitimacy of your domain must be verified with additional documents provided to the Comodo. The verification process does require a callback to the actual domain owner. Issuance takes time and can take up to 6 weeks with this SSL Certificate.

EV certificates provide the maximum amount of trust to visitors, but they also require the most effort to verify.

Secured SiteAll three SSL certificate provide different levels of protection. The Essential and Wildcard both provide a $10,000 warranty, while the EV provides a $250,000 warranty. The EV is also the most expensive and the Essential is usually the most affordable. However, the EV takes the longest to verify, as well.

Overall, the three SSL certificates will do about the same thing. However, they are a bit different and you may need one for your subdomains or you may want the highest level of protection. Make sure you weigh the three options and figure out what you really need before you purchase the right SSL certificate for your specific needs.

Is it Time for a Dedicated Server?

Dedicated ServerYou started with a shared hosting account years ago and have since graduated to VPS hosting. Maybe you’ve even gone through a few levels of VPS hosting and you think it’s time for a dedicated server.

Making the jump from shared, cloud or VPS hosting to a dedicated server isn’t always easy. It requires the right budget and the ability to deal with the migration period. Here are a few of the signs you should look for telling you it’s time to upgrade to a dedicated server.

You’ve Seen a Huge Traffic Increase

Maybe the number one reason to upgrade to a dedicated server, when traffic increases, you need better hosting. If you stay on a shared server, you may be forced to upgrade due to crashing the server. In addition, you may slow down every site, including yours, on the server due to the larger amount of traffic.

When traffic increases past about 1,000 visitors per day, shared hosting simply won’t cut it anymore. Sure, you can upgrade to VPS hosting, but if your growth in traffic continues, you’ll be on a dedicated server in no time.

You Know You’re About to Experience a High Volume of Traffic

Using a Dedicated ServerEven if you don’t have a high volume of traffic now, if you know a specific even will cause a huge amount of traffic, you may need a dedicated server. A great example of this has been seen time and time again on the show Shark Tank. Many entrepreneurs go onto the show without the right hosting and watch their website crash within minutes of airing.

Without a dedicated server, or in this case, multiple dedicated servers, those going on Shark Tank may lose their biggest sales day ever. Some have gone in prepared and watched the sales come in, while others have watched their website fall. If you know you will see a huge spike in traffic, a dedicated server is necessary.

Your Site Moves Too Slow

While traffic is one of the major causes of a slow website, if it’s on shared or VPS hosting, it’s not the only cause. If your site loads slowly, you may need to upgrade your hosting. Often, you need better hosting and more resources to fully support your site. Get a dedicated server and the problem will go away.

You Plan to Run Multiple Sites

You can run as many domains as you want on a shared hosting or even a VPS hosting package. However, if you run too many sites with too much traffic, it will cause issues. Having a dedicated server to split between your sites will provide the necessary resources to support each one properly.

There are several reasons to upgrade to a dedicated server. If you know you need one, here are a few of the benefits you can expect.

More Control

Shared and VPS hosting don’t give you full control. In fact, no other type of hosting gives you complete server control like dedicated hosting does. You will be able to do anything you want with your server and you won’t need to worry about other sites hogging resources.

Better Site Speed

The fastest hosting on the planet remains dedicated hosting. You won’t find better hosting if you need better speed. With the world needing things instantly and refusing to wait even a few seconds, you cannot afford to have a website that loads slowly.

Better Security

Upgrade to a Dedicated ServerDo you get better security by living on a large property of your own with a gate surrounding it or by living in a neighborhood with hundreds of neighbors? Shared hosting is like living in an apartment building, while VPS hosting is like living in a subdivision. However, dedicated hosting is like living on your own, large, fully secured property.

With dedicated hosting, you don’t have to worry about any type of neighbors causing you issues. Since you’re the only one on the server, any issues come directly from you and nobody else.

Dedicated hosting is the best choice, in many cases, for businesses that have outgrown shared or VPS hosting. It will provide many benefits and will give you a great foundation for your website.

Virtual vs. Physical Server – Which One is Right for You?

Virtual vs. Physical ServerVirtualization is a very popular way to build your IT structure. Many companies are choosing cloud and virtual servers over a physical server for their business applications. However, this may not be the right choice for your company.

In some cases, the need for a physical server and the benefits it provides completely outweigh the advantages gained from a virtual or cloud server. Some IT directors will only use physical machines because of the reliability and efficiency.

It’s not a one-size-fits-all situation and every business is different. Depending on your specific needs, you may want a physical server or you may want a virtual server. It all depends on your goals. Here are some of the things to consider before making your final decision.


For most businesses, the main deciding factor will be cost. You have a budget you must stick to and you may not have enough cash to support physical servers. Virtualization is often chosen to save you money, but there are exceptions to this rule.

The cost for physical servers depends on how many you need to support the traffic you will receive and your data storage needs. It’s important to look at the actual cost of what you need when it comes to both physical and virtual servers. In some cases, those needing multiple servers to support a high traffic site will actually spend less on physical servers than virtual or cloud servers.

Data space and network costs can be very expensive in the cloud environment. If you have a spike in traffic, it can make the overall cost of your virtual servers very expensive. A spike in traffic, with the right physical server set up, won’t cost you anything extra, in most cases.


Physical ServerAnother huge factor to consider for businesses deciding between virtual and physical servers is performance. If you take two physical servers and you virtualize one of them, the regular server will always out-perform the virtualized one. There’s a performance penalty for virtualizing.

However, when you take them out of the one-on-one comparison, the efficiency of the virtualized server is always going to be better. Dedicated servers only run at about 30% to 50% of their capacity. This leaves a buffer for traffic spikes, while a virtualized server will use close to 100% of the resources.

Your needs may determine the performance necessary for your business. If you run an ecommerce website and one minute of downtime or slow time could cost you hundreds of dollars, your decision is quite different compared to a company not selling products or services directly on their website.


Virtual ServerMaybe you run a company using and collecting sensitive information on a regular basis. Security may be one of your biggest concerns. When looking at the security of a virtual server compared to a physical server, the physical server will always win. You won’t be sharing the resource with anybody else and there are many factors to consider with the security of a virtual server.

There are several important factors to consider when choosing between physical and virtual servers for your business. These three are the main deciding factors for most companies and you must take them into consideration first.

How to Boost Your Server Efficiency

Dedicated ServersEfficient servers keep customers happy. When your servers lack efficiency customers may complain, ask for a refund, bash you on social media and give you bad reviews. All of these negative things may lead to issues landing new customers and keep current customers.

Instead of losing customers, you just need to understand how to make your servers super-efficient. Here are a few ways you can boost efficiency for your servers.

Management Tools

The right tools can make it easy to manage your servers, optimize them and create a better performing server. When you can get more performance per watt and maximize uptime, you’ll be able to keep your customers happier.

A simple management tool for your servers will help to manage power and provide safeguards against a power outage. It can also help to ensure you maximize the resources of your servers. Other tills will also allow you to check the health of your servers and look at each cluster, as necessary.

Management tools go a very long way to ensuring full server efficiency. Make sure you have the right tools in place for monitoring power and the actual servers.


Maybe you don’t have the capital or space for more servers, but you want to get the most out of your servers, you can virtualize. This will allow you to create multiple computers out of one, which allows for more efficiency. It takes sophisticated software to partition the servers, but once it’s done, the efficiency will be much better.

With virtualization, you can use multiple operating systems on the same machine, along with keep the expenses lower. Of course, when you don’t have to buy more servers, it saves you space and cash.

Buy Recent Equipment

Server EfficiencyWhen it’s time to buy new servers, make sure they really are new servers. Buying outdated equipment can cause issues with efficiency. Technology moves so fast that even a server a few years old may be outdated. Using the latest technology is probably the easiest way to increase server efficiency.

Keeping your IT up-to-date is vital to your company, especially if you’re a hosting company. Even if you’re not and you just use your servers for your own business, you need the best possible equipment available. With lesser equipment comes latency and many other issues.

Monitor 24/7

Server issues can happen at any time and they don’t choose when it’s most convenient for you. If you’re not monitoring your servers every single minute of every day, you may not have the most efficient servers possible. What happens if your server goes down and nobody is around to fix the issue?

You can outsource server monitoring to a professional if you don’t have the ability to monitor your servers 24/7. This is probably the most important thing you can do and the best for keeping your servers efficient every single minute of every day.

Server efficiency is vital to your success. Whether you’re a hosting company or you just use the servers for your business, you need the most efficiency possible. Use the tips above to increase server efficiency and keep those machines running well.

Do you Really Need a CDN?

A CDN or Content Delivery Network may be a necessity for your website. However, it’s important to understand whether this is something you need or it’s something you can do without.

The online world has become much more fast-paced and as a website owner, you have to keep up. With bounce rates increasing and those browsing expecting things faster, you need the best possible tools to make your website and blog load fast. A CDN may be one of those tools.

What Exactly is a CDN?

A CDN is a Content Delivery Network, which is basically hosting for static content, such as JavaScript, CSS or images. It helps to take the burden off of serving static content by allowing your website to serve dynamic content faster without being throttled by serving static content.

The interconnected servers making up the CDN will help to take the pressure off of the server you use making your website faster. They are spread across the globe, which also allows users in different areas of the world to access cached copies of your content from a server located much closer to their location.

CDN Benefits

CDNS are known as “low-hanging fruit” compared to other page speed solutions. They are a very easy step to improve the speed of your website and provide plenty of benefits. A faster website leads to lower bounce rates, which has a direct effect on your ranking in the search engines. It also helps to provide a higher quality experience for your visitors.

You will also save bandwidth with a CDN on your host server. This will help to increase your website’s availability and provide a better experience when dealing with excessive traffic.

Often, a CDN will actually result in a cleaner HTML markup giving you even more advantages. The CDN will support the latest HTTP Protocols, as well, which will help to give you even more speed.

Integrating a CDN for your Website

The process of adding a CDN to your website is pretty straightforward, if you use WordPress, Joomla! or Drupal. After choosing a CDN provider and signing up, you will need to identify the portions of your website known as static content. These portions will be mirrored by the CDN.

Those using a popular CMS, such as WordPress or Joomla! will be able to do this with a plugin. It will be rather easy, but you may need to modify your DNS records and name servers for your domain. If you’re using a custom website design, it may be a bit harder. If this is the case, you may want to speak with a developer before choosing your CDN.

Make sure you test your website after making all the necessary modifications. You will want to make sure the content mixes properly and SSL issues are resolved. You may also need to adjust your caching rules.

A CDN can be a very helpful tool for speeding up your website. Not every website will require one, but if you want the best speed possible, using the right CDN will make a difference.

What to Expect with Cloud Hosting for the Rest of 2016

The CloudCloud hosting is in a very exciting place right now. It’s no longer just an up-and-coming technology. Many different surveys have shown that it has become mainstream with about 90% adoption.

With the cloud industry evolving and growing at lightning speed, what can we expect for the rest of 2016? There are many things that could happen. Here are five of our predictions for the cloud industry for the rest of this year.

Multi-Cloud and Hybrid Becoming More Popular

We have already seen the hybrid cloud market start to grow, but it’s set to really take center stage throughout the second half of 2016. Since consumers don’t want a “one size fits all” solution, using hybrid cloud solutions is a much better option for many companies. This will cause both the hybrid option and the multi-cloud option to grow quite a bit throughout the rest of the year.

The hybrid solution will allow companies to use a mixture of private and public cloud options for different areas of their business. This may allow for lower costs and better performance. Companies choosing the multi-cloud option will be able to combine technologies to help prevent vendor lock-in.

Security Must Improve

Cloud SecurityThe one downfall to cloud hosting is the security. It’s one of the largest concerns for businesses using cloud products and even individuals using the cloud. It’s important for security to improve, as business leaders don’t always know where their security really is at. In addition, hackers have been targeting more small and medium businesses, so any possibility of a hacker attack needs to be eliminated.

Security measures may become more granular to help solve the problem. Regardless, security is a huge concern in the cloud industry and it will likely take a few steps forward throughout the rest of 2016.

Huge Overhauls Will Continue

We’ve already seen some companies start moving everything to cloud hosting. This will continue and huge cloud overhauls will happen for many companies. The companies that have already been on a cloud system for a few years will start to deploy new solutions as the technology gets better.

Many businesses have already started to outgrow their systems and will need to rebuild something from the ground up. With new technology available, 2016 is the year where many businesses will invest in new cloud solutions allowing them to rebuild their infrastructure to better fit their needs.

Managed Service Becomes Even More Important

When the cloud first came into existence, businesses were worried more about choosing the best vendor. Now that it has become more mainstream, price wars will heat up and managed services will become far more important.

Since all businesses have access to the same tools and technology, it won’t be about the infrastructure as much as solving the problems some have with the cloud. Managed service providers will become a more viable option for many and far more important throughout the rest of this year. These solutions will provide a competitive advantage for some and a convenience for others.

Containers will Keep Growing

ContainersWith containers, efficiency can be increased and they will keep growing. They take up less space compared to virtual machines and they come with operating systems. Containers also help to keep overhead down. They won’t replace virtual machines, but they will continue to grow throughout the rest of this year.

These are just a few of the predictions for the fast-growing cloud industry. The industry will continue to grow throughout the rest of this year with plenty of new, exciting technologies coming.

Link Building Strategies That Actually Work for 2016

SEOSome may tell you link building is dead, but they are wrong. There are still many very effective ways to build your links and gain higher ranking on Google and other search engines.

While methods from two years ago may not work anymore, there are ways to build links today. You do need to keep some factors in mind, such as a content first strategy is important and you want high quality links from related websites. Here are some of the top strategies to help build links successful for 2016.

Find Broken Links

Websites linking to sources often end up with broken links when a source is no longer available or moves to a new URL. If your site fits with the information, you can ask the owner of the website to redirect the links to a functional page on your website. If you have information that fits with the link, you may even be able to get them to swap your link for the broken links.

Have Images Linked Back to You

By performing a Google images service, you can find images on your website being used on other websites. Then, you can contact the owner of the website and ask them to put your website in as the source for all of the images they are using. This is a great way to build links without much work at all.

Provide Great Content

Link BuildingOne of the best and most organic ways to build links for your website is to provide great content. Simply giving your visitors what they want will get you more visitors. Some of those visitors will be blog and website owners looking to link back to your website in their own content. This can prove to be very powerful and provide plenty of natural links over time.

The Skyscraper Technique

Another content creation strategy that works great for building links is called the Skyscraper Technique. This technique includes finding content that gets a ton of traffic and creating even better content. For example, if you find a list of 10 great ways to build links for SEO, you could create a list of 15 or 20.

Use the Right Tools

SEO Link BuildingLink building tools are not dead and can certainly be used to build great links to your website. However, you do need to be selective in the ones you use. Some of the best include:

  • Buzzstream – Great if you have a team around your website.
  • Quicksprout – A great tool for creating better content than another web page.
  • Kerboo – A data intelligence platform giving you plenty of great data for link building.
  • Offsite Metrics – If you want to monitor the use of your images on other websites, this is the tool for you.

There are a few great tools you can still use to help build backlinks. However, they are no longer directly link building tools. Instead, they are tools that will help make your chosen strategy easier.

If you want to build links to your website and increase your overall ranking, these tips and tools will help you. Be careful and make sure you are only using strategies and tools that won’t cause your site harm.

What are the Major Advantages of Business Colocation?

ColocationAs a business, hosting is a very important thing. It may be what keeps you going and keeps everything running smoothly.

You have many different hosting options all the way from shared hosting to dedicated and even colocation. For many businesses, colocation makes quite a bit of sense, especially if you already own servers.

Colocation will allow you to store the equipment you use (servers) in rack space located within a secure data center. You will be able to use a public IP address, power from the service provider and bandwidth from the service provider.

Advantages of Colocation for Businesses

When it comes to using colocation for your business servers, there are several advantages. Here are just a few of the major advantages you will gain.

Better Network Security

Colocation Data CenterIn most cases, renting data center space will be far more secure than housing your servers at your actual place of business. Most data centers provide top-notch network security with the best firewalls and IDS systems you can find. This will ensure nobody gets in without authorization.

Room for Growth

Maybe your business is growing and you’ve already outgrown the area you house your servers in. With colocation, you have plenty of room to grow and expand, as needed. Data centers are often very large and offer plenty of room for the IT infrastructure of your company to grow. You won’t need to invest as much money into growth, either.

Better Connectivity

With a colocation data center you will gain access to a fully redundant network. This provides better connections for your business applications and keeps everything running without interruption.

Excellent Capabilities

Data centers will give you the ability to use higher levels of bandwidth when you have a huge amount of traffic. Maybe a video went viral or you just see more traffic during the holiday season, with colocation, you won’t have to worry. Data spikes happen in business and a colocation center will be able to help you handle the traffic without issue.

Redundant Power

Colocation centers also provide you with redundant power, which is another level of security. It will ensure you stay up when the power goes out. Many use diesel power generators, double battery backup systems and other power backups to ensure your servers are always up.

Moving Towards Cloud Migration

Data CenterIf you plan to move to the cloud in the near future, colocation may be the first step. This allows you to move all of your equipment out of your facility and gain increased capacity and performance for your business. As you move to the cloud, this will be a very important part of the process if you want to ensure a smoother transition.

There are several benefits of colocation for businesses. When you want to grow or you simply need space your servers are taking up, colocation may be the answer. It will allow you to run your servers without the need for the larger overhead of a larger space.

Biggest Advantages of a Dedicated Server

Dedicated ServerCompared to any other type of hosting, a dedicated server comes with plenty of advantages. While many are moving to the cloud or trusting their cheap shared hosting, dedicated servers still provide the best hosting option for most companies and websites.

A dedicated server certainly provides more power than shared hosting, VPS hosting or cloud hosting. It gives you more control and plenty of resources to use for your website. Here are a few of the biggest advantages you gain with a dedicated server.


It’s a bit overrated by some, but flexibility is vital to the success of many websites and applications. A dedicated server gives you the ability to fully customize the server however you see fit. You can adjust the CPU, disk space, RAM and software, even if you have managed dedicated hosting.

Shared hosting doesn’t allow much flexibility and you’re often stuck with the software they give you. VPS hosting offers some customization and flexibility, but it simply cannot compare to that of a dedicated server.

With a dedicated server, you can customize the server environment to fit your specific needs. You get to choose the software and platform best for your projects.

All the Resources are Yours

Dedicated HostingDedicated hosting is the only hosting option offering all of the resources of the server to one client and one client only. Shared hosting uses a “free for all” method of sharing, while VPS hosting partitions the resources. In both cases, you have to share the server with other clients and you don’t gain the full power of the server.

If you need all of the CPU and RAM or you just need the security of knowing you are the only client on the server, a dedicated server is the only way to go.

Better Performance

Dedicated servers outperform all other types of hosting when properly utilized. They provide faster website load times, better uptime and better overall performance. You don’t have to worry about anybody else impacting the performance of the server with a traffic spike or a user error.

More Security

If you’re on a shared server, you count on hundreds, maybe thousands of other clients to keep their sites and accounts secure. A mistake made by someone else may cost you.

With a dedicated server, you don’t have this type of security concern. You’re the only one on the server, so if a mistake is made, it was your fault not someone else’s. You also get the ability to customize the server security however you please.

Unique IP Address

Dedicated Server HostingA unique IP address helps with SEO and other parts of any online project. With shared hosting, you share the IP address with a bunch of other websites. If one of those sites becomes a spam site, it may cause you to struggle with your ranking.

Your dedicated server will have a unique IP address only for you. This means, you gain full control of it. If you plan to run an eCommerce site, this is vital for security.

There are many benefits and advantages to a dedicate server. Whether you choose to buy a server and use rack space or you plan to rent a server and let another company manage it, you gain all types of benefits compared to shared, VPS or cloud hosting.

Cloud Computing vs. Dedicated Servers – What You Should Know

Cloud ComputingEverything in the hosting industry seems to be about cloud computing these days. It provides scalability, redundancy and on-demand services, but it is really as good as many advertisers say it is?

While it may not fit with every business or website, it’s important to know the differences between cloud computing and dedicated servers. You want to be sure you get the right hosting and here’s what you should know about both.

What the Heck is the Cloud, Anyway?

Understanding what the cloud is will help in your search for the right hosting. The cloud is often prone to hardware problems and even network issues. It’s not always as good as advertised and can be prone to bottlenecks. The cloud is shared services where the RAM, CPS and network resources are shared with others.

Which is Faster?

There is no doubt that a good dedicated server will outperform most, if not all, cloud services when it comes to speed. Cloud may provide excellent storage, but it’s not going to provide the same speed. Many use cloud computing due to the scalability. However, a dedicated server can easily be scaled and gives you plenty of speed compared to cloud services.

Disk IO Comparison

When a dedicated server is configured correctly, it often provides excellent value for your money, especially with the disk IO. Cloud services, on the other hand, often lead to an unpredictable disk IO. In many cases, if one client on cloud hosting starts to see a ton of traffic, it slows everything down for the rest of those on the cloud computing. In addition, not all cloud computing disk IO issues are easily solvable within the cloud framework.

Redundancy Comparison

Dedicated ServersRedundancy is one of the reasons many choose cloud services. It’s more redundant than a single dedicated server. This is simply the truth and there’s not much you can do. However, the node for cloud services isn’t much more reliable than a single dedicated server. If the node fails, it will be much the same as if the CPU or the RAM failed for a dedicated server.

Complexity Comparison

One of the very mystic things about cloud computing is the complexity. Dedicated is the better choice when complexity is considered. Complexity will add costs and cloud hosting is certainly more complex than dedicated server hosting. If you offer web design services, using WordPress, Drupal or Joomla with cPanel or Plesk isn’t as easy with cloud services as dedicated servers. You will get more value out of a dedicated server, as well.

Price Comparison

Cloud Computing vs. Dedicated ServerWhile cloud services may seem cheaper up front, they can get very expensive very quickly. A well-managed dedicated server or servers can provide excellent performance with plenty of value. When comparing the two, you get more value out of dedicated server than cloud computing, in most cases.

Overall, cloud computing vs. dedicated server hosting will be a debate many will disagree on. For most businesses, a dedicated server will provide more bang for your buck, more speed and a better, hosting choice.

An Introduction to Web Servers: Part 2

A web server will typically run as a daemon (system service) under a single application process. That initial process will then spawn child processes that handle virtual servers, individual websites, or even individual requests. As such, a web server could spawn hundreds or even thousands of processes per day, per hour, or even per minute.

For security, child processes normally run as unprivileged users (i.e. nobody) to prevent hackers from gaining access to the server operating system through a back door in the web server. Dynamic web applications can also serve as an added security risk, so a web server may run scripting modules as separate CGI programs, rather than as part of the web server itself.

SSL and TLS are standard on all web servers and facilitate the use of secure transactions via the HTTPS protocol.

Web servers use compression to speed up requests and serve web pages and content using less bandwidth. Gzip compression is a standard method of delivering compressed data.

The standard HTTP port for web servers is port 80, and the standard port for HTTPS is 443; however, most web servers can be configured to run on virtually any port.


An Introduction to Web Servers: Part 1

Once you have chosen an operating system, setup some basic security, and decided on a web-based control panel, you will need to decide what software you will run on your server. Some control panels will install your software for you, but it may be worth it to choose one that is right for your needs.

Web server software displays the HTML pages stored on a server. In addition, a web server may also process scripts, run additional processes, and connect to a database server. It is essentially the intermediary between your dedicated server and the Web. Without it, no one will ever see what you have on your server. That makes web servers one of the most crucial components of server, and choosing the right one is critical.

There are a few key factors to consider when selecting a web server:

1. Performance – speed, load averages, and memory consumption

2. Stability and security

3. Scalability

4. Features

Some web servers are fast and lightweight but may not provide as many features. Others may offer a wide range of features but may not scale well. The following are web servers that work well in most situations and have proven to be reliable for small and large websites. They all have the basic features one would expect, like support for virtual servers and SSL (secure socket layer), as well as static and dynamic web pages. Additionally, each has its unique features that make it ideal for specific types of websites.

How to Fix the Bash Shellshock Vulnerability on Linux

In the previous post, we explained how to check your Linux server for the highly publicized Shellshock vulnerability in Bash. Fortunately, most, if not all, major Linux distributions have already uploaded the fix into their package management repositories. All you have to do is install the latest version. Unfortunately, there is some evidence to suggest that those updates are currently incomplete. Nevertheless, keeping it updated will thwart potential attackers. Red Hat and other companies are working at this very moment to roll out full fixes. They may even already be available by the time this article is published.

On Debian or Ubuntu distributions, run the following command to update bash:

$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install –only-upgrade bash

For Red Hat, Fedora, and CentOS, run:

# yum update bash

Once you have ensured that you have the latest version of bash, you should re-run the vulnerability check to see if your server is now safe from it.

You should not need to reboot your server or take any further action once you have completed the update. Nevertheless, over the next few days, more updates might be released as developers and system vendors learn more about the extend of the vulnerability and the types of malware that cyber criminals produce to exploit it.


How to Check Your Server for Bash Shellshock Vulnerability

The hosting world has been hit with yet another highly publicized server vulnerability. This one affects the ubiquitous shell program GNU Bash and is referred to as Shellshock. Most Linux, BSD and Mac OS X operating systems and variants use Bash or derivatives of it. All Bash versions between versions 1.14 and 4.3 are potentially vulnerable. Fortunately, it is easy to check for the vulnerability and easy to fix.

To test your Linux server for the vulnerability, login via SSH and type this command from the bash prompt:

env VAR='() { :;}; echo Bash is vulnerable!’ bash -c “echo Bash Test”

If the vulnerability is present, the output will look like this:

Bash is vulernable!

Bash Test

The “Bash is vulnerable” is the line where an attacker could potentially inject code through any service or program that uses bash scripting. These programs may be more prevalent than you might think. If your Bash installation is not vulnerable, the output will not print the “Bash is vulnerable” line but should still print “Bash Test”.

In the next post, we will cover ways to fix the vulnerability on a number of Linux distributions.


Server Architecture: Past, Present, and Future – Part 3

The Future

One challenge that chip makers have juggled is the power requirements for faster chips and the heat output associated with them. In some cases, cooling fans and heat sinks have become inefficient ways to keep chips cool, leading a few to invest in liquid cooling and other unconventional methods.

As the world becomes more conscious of the need for energy conservation and corporate social responsibility becomes more of a requirement rather than a suggestion, many businesses with servers are looking for ways to reduce energy output and costs. It is, therefore, no surprise that AMD and Intel are introducing chips that are designed to be “green” and reduce energy usage, while still giving applications their necessary power.

Companies like VIA see this as an opportunity to introduce their low-powered embedded chips into the server market. Dell, for example, is using VIA’s nano chips for their mini servers.

Another embedded chip manufacturer, ARM Holdings, plans to introduce server processors based on their Advanced RISC Machine (ARM) chips in the coming years. ARM has become well known for powering mobile phones and other small devices, but the company believes its processors can issue in a new era of low-powered, energy-efficient servers.

Without a doubt, Intel, AMD, and others will have to find ways to compete with this new trend of smaller, more energy-efficient processors. In that regard, the future remains uncertain. What is certain is that server processors will continue to get smaller and faster. There may come a time when a server is kept in the drawer of an office desk, which is a future many business owners and IT professionals will welcome.

Server Architecture: Past, Present, and Future – Part 2

Other companies that produce x86 processors include Cyrix, AMD, and VIA. AMD, in particular, has become Intel’s biggest competitor.

At the turn of the century, Intel introduced their high-powered 64-bit processor line called IA-64 or Itanium. Originally produced at HP, Intel later joined in the development with the intention of making server-class processors to compete with IBM PowerPC and Sun SPARC processors. The Itanium mainly powered servers running the HP-UX operating system (HP’s UNIX-like OS), but Microsoft and others also supported it.

AMD’s release of their 64-bit extension for x86 processors (called x86-64), however, put a serious dent in the Itanium market, one that would eventually lead to its demise. Recently, Microsoft announced that it would stop supporting Itanium processors.

In order to compete with AMD’s server processors, such as their Opteron, Intel decided to join in on AMD’s party and create their own x86-64 processors, based on their previous Xeon server models.

Today, multi-core Xeon and Opteron processors are very popular choices for dedicated servers, particularly those that power web applications. Current clock speeds reach as high as 3.8 GHz. Although PowerPC, SPARC, and other architectures still exist, they have only become prevalent in more specialized markets.