For much of the Internet’s history, online multiplayer gaming has been a cherished pastime for many. The first multiplayer game is believed to have been played as early as 1978 – less than a decade after the birth of ARPANET. Technology has come a long way since then, but suffering from lag and latency has remained a constant struggle for gamers everywhere. While modern networks are far more efficient than our dialup modems of decades past, games have evolved as well, requiring vastly larger amounts of data to be transmitted between participants. Continue reading…
Did you know that GigeNET has the highest customer retention rates in the industry? So it comes as no surprise that many of our customers have been with us since day one. One such customer is Royal Wholesale, an online wholesale distributor of high-quality bulk candy, wholesale chocolate, confectionery products, and snacks. Royal is going into their 30th year of business and has known from the very beginning the importance of choosing a reputable hosting company to meet their needs.
With over 4,000 products on their eCommerce website, it’s crucial that Royal has a dedicated hosting company that can keep their website running smoothly and efficiently. With a dedicated server from GigeNET, Royal’s website is hosted on a server that is entirely dedicated to their business on the fastest-route optimized network.
To avoid downtime and lost revenue, Royal has chosen remote backups from GigeNET as a means of providing data security and to help maintain stable operations. With thousands of products and customers, having a strong backup strategy in place is paramount to ensure data retention and restoration.
Royal has also secured the connection between their website and its visitors by encrypting the traffic with an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate. They value their customer’s personal information and wanted to do everything they can to ensure that it remains private. Adding an SSL certificate to your website like Royal has, will give your customers peace of mind that they’re visiting a safe and secure website run by a brand they can trust.
Although Royal Wholesale the most technologically advanced wholesale distributor in the confectionery industry, they need to focus on running their business, not their dedicated servers. For this reason, Royal chose to take advantage of GigeNET’s fully managed dedicated server hosting. With this level of hosting, Royal receives IT infrastructure support from GigeNET’s engineering team, world-class data centers, an industry-leading network, hardware, infrastructure, and support Service Level Agreements. If you’re interested in learning more about how GigeNET’s products and services can help your business like we’ve helped Royal Wholesale, contact us today.
Your website is the beating heart of your business. Whether or not your enterprise operates partly or exclusively through facilitating eCommerce transactions, in the digital age your website’s health and wellbeing are inextricably tied to the fate of your business. For many new prospects, your website is their first taste of your business and brand and it’s vital that you make the perfect first impression. But before you start thinking of web design, development, copy, UI, and UX, you must consider the foundation for your website — the control panel.
Here we’ll look at the most commonly used hosting control panel, cPanel, to understand how it provides a solid foundation for your website. We will explore cPanel’s symbiotic relationship with Web Host Manager (WHM) and learn the differences between the two, as well as how they work together. The better you understand this relationship, the easier you’ll find it to manage your website and ensure robust performance…
What is cPanel?
Think of cPanel as the control panel for your website. It enables you to manage all of your website’s major functions while also managing different accounts sharing one dedicated server.
- Upload and manage files for your website
- Edit individual files and webpages
- Setup and manage email accounts for your domain
- Manage email settings and security features (e.g SPAM protection)
- Setup and manage databases
- Install your choice of Content Management System using an installer like Softaculous.
- Add and remove addon domains or subdomains
- Edit DNS records for your domains
- Check website statistics and gather analytics data
- Manage your backups.
As you can see cPanel gives you access to all the basic features you need to build and manage your website effectively.
What is WHM?
Web Host Manager is the backend control panel for managing a server and one or more websites managed by cPanel. WHM provides an interface for basic system administration needs of a server, access to various metrics and logs, control over various functions and services needed to host websites, and most notably, it compartmentalizes each website controlled by a cPanel account into its own environment. This allows WHM to be used as a reseller control panel allowing for the isolation and management any resold accounts (albeit with somewhat restricted rights compared to dedicated servers or a VPS).
WHM allows you to:
- Create and manage individual cPanel accounts
- Create custom hosting packages built around the user’s needs
- Manage features of the hosting packages
- Manage which versions of PHP, Apache, and other vital services are available to each cPanel account
- Set up private nameservers and modify DNS zone records for domains and subdomain
- Perform maintenance on basic systems and control panels
- Set resource limits to protect cPanel accounts from each other
- Access resold accounts at will without the need to enter login details
So… What’s the difference? – A comparison
As you can see, cPanel and WHM are two sides of the same coin. Both are integral to effective website management. Think of cPanel as managing the front end and WHM as managing the back end — you cannot have one without the other.
If you have VPS Hosting or a Dedicated server through GigeNET or another hosting provider, you can add cPanel with WHM access to your service package. If the level of management involved with WHM is of a concern, we offer a variety of management plans to assist you and our support staff are all certified for cPanel and WHM management.
One of the big decisions to make when looking at either a hosted virtual or dedicated server for your business needs is whether to get a management plan or not. Many businesses begin hosting their websites on shared services, so the issue of management seldom comes up. However, making the jump from shared hosting to either a dedicated server or virtualization in the cloud brings with it the need to make a decision on whether or not to invest in a management plan.
While the price difference between managed and unmanaged servers can be considerable, it is important to also consider other factors when making your decision. Going with the wrong decision on a management plan can lead to a lot of unexpected expenses in the future. The information here will help you make an informed decision that best fits your needs.
Is a Server Management Package Right for me?
Managed server packages offer support for the typical tasks and problems you might encounter when using a server to host various services. Naturally, there will be limits to the scope of this support, but the elements your services need to function are generally covered. For example, the general control panel and operating system are all managed and supported, but help with proprietary website content is not usually covered. In addition, many management plans are bundled with automated backups and monitoring packages.
Management is ideal for someone who doesn’t have the time or expertise in-house to manage their own server. This approach takes many of the big headaches associated with operating a server off of your plate, often at far less cost than hiring your own dedicated support personnel. It also comes with peace of mind — when something goes wrong, you can simply call your hosting provider and get it all fixed.
Is an Unmanaged Server Package Right for me?
Unmanaged server packages – this option is cheaper because there are no management options or routine support. Failed hardware will still be replaced and carried out in order to keep your server running, but they won’t install anything for you other than the base operating system. You are in charge of controlling and maintaining everything. From security updates to error messages, you need to decipher what needs to be done. There will be an hourly charge for basic help if you are ever unsure, but be warned that this can become quite expensive in a very short time.
With this option, you have sole control and access to your server, like it is your very own computer. This comes with sole responsibility for the non-physical stability and security of it, too. This route can significantly cheaper, so if you are comfortable with the administration of a server it may be quite an easy decision to make.
Making Your Decision
Everyone has completely different needs and abilities, so you will need to make your own personal decision when it comes to choosing between a managed or unmanaged server. Consider whether you can cope with troubleshooting a problem, or whether you can confidently apply security patches yourself. Similarly, will the price difference be a huge deciding factor?
Whether it is important for you to have lower costs or fewer maintenance headaches, this will be your decision to make. Only take on an unmanaged server if you are completely comfortable with managing the day to day operation of a server yourself. Otherwise, the inevitable downtime and security compromises will cost you a lot more in the long run. Keeping your workload running on your own can be a lot of work, so consider a managed server if you are in any doubt.
Businesses of all sizes are being faced with many options when it comes to hosting their website, application, and mail servers. Shared hosting is by far the most common, where a single server’s resources are shared by a number of different users. However, if you are a company looking for more control and stability, it might make more sense to opt for dedicated hosting. Dedicated hosting involves leasing an entire server from a provider, giving you full access to all of that server’s resources rather than to just a fraction. The hosting provider owns the hardware, keeping your up-front costs significantly lower than buying and operating a server yourself. There are many advantages to choosing dedicated hosting so take a look at the reasons here.
Servers Aren’t Shared
That fact that you are not sharing a server with any other users is the primary feature that sets dedicated hosting apart from shared hosting. This core aspect is what drives many of the benefits derived from this type of hosting. Dedicated hosting gives you full control over the environment, reputation, stability, and security of your server because you are not sharing it with any other clients of your hosting company.
If you are looking to maintain maximum uptime for your server and services, then a dedicated server can assist with this. Shared hosting can work for websites that have low traffic, but if you are expecting a lot of traffic this will be the better choice for you. This is because it is much more stable and reliable than shared hosting. Your services will have access to the full resources of the server, without having to worry about losing resources to another user during their peak times or when they run a bad script.
When you have a dedicated server you can also have confidence that you aren’t sharing any space with virus-ridden websites or spammers. Your environment won’t be vulnerable to the lax security practices of other users. Dedicated hosting will give you much better security which is especially important if your business handles a lot of sensitive data.
Your IP Address is Unique
Every server will have a unique IP address, but with shared hosting, you often have to share it with many other websites. You risk your rank being pushed down if one of the other websites is sending spam or contains explicit content. When you choose dedicated hosting, you have access to your own server with a unique IP address and far better control over that IP’s reputation, which is important for everyone, but vital for eCommerce sites.
When you choose a dedicated server, you will have greater flexibility when it comes to server customization. You will be able to choose the platform and software that best fits your business needs. In addition, any software updates or hardware changes happen on your schedule without having to coordinate with other users of the server — because there are no other users.
Lower Up-Front Cost
With dedicated hosting, you can get your services up and running at a fraction of the cost it would take to purchase and host a physical server yourself. In addition to the full cost of the server itself, you gain all the benefits of being in a world-class data center without the price tag of building out your own facility. Redundant power systems with UPS, Powerful HVAC, humidity control and high-bandwidth, low-latency internet connections are some of the expensive benefits you get by hosting with a dedicated hosting provider.
No Need to Maintain Equipment
When you choose a dedicated server, you eliminate the headache of maintaining the equipment yourself. As owners of the server, the hosting provider is responsible for all hardware maintenance and for keeping an inventory of spare parts. In addition, should downtime be necessary for any replacements or upgrades, there are no other users of the server with whom to coordinate.
It is clear that dedicated hosting exists in the sweet spot between shared hosting and hosting a server yourself. While shared hosting can be less expensive, dedicating hosting removes the stress of sharing a server and all the pitfalls that come with shared hosting, but with a much smaller price tag and fewer headaches than doing it yourself. Whether you are on a tight budget or looking to invest in better resources and more stability and security, you will need to base your decision on your business needs. Most businesses find that a dedicated hosting provider is by far the best option.
If you do some research online for figures regarding OS usage, you will see that the stats differ and estimates vary. However, one thing that most surveys and studies agree on is that Linux has an overwhelming share of the OS market, especially when compared to Windows, which is widely viewed as the main competitor. Did you know that Google uses over 15,000 Linux servers in order to dish up its content? With that being said, in this article, we are going to take a look at the different reasons why a Linux server is such a popular web hosting option, as well as drawing some comparisons to Windows so that you can understand why that solution often comes up short.
Industry preference and performance
Industry standards naturally develop as the hosting industry matures. Robust maintenance and management tools have been created for use with Linux servers, and this makes the administration process a lot easier. Certification systems have also been set up, as technicians need to know their way around Linux if they want any hope of working in the hosting industry. All of this has built Linux up to the level whereby it has become the industry standard OS. Typically, when something is an industry standard, it is easier to convince people to get on board.
Linux is held in such high esteem because it excels in the following areas:
- Total Cost of Ownership and Maintenance
- Hardware support
- Stability and reliability
One of the main reasons why so many servers are run on a Linux OS is because it tends to be much more affordable. Linux is an open source operating system, which means you can essentially install a Linux server for any purpose free of charge. The same is true for the three fundamental pieces of software that are required to serve a website:
- PHP, which is the most popular scripting language
- MySQL, which is the most prominent database management system
- Apache, which is Linux’s leading web server application
As there are no licensing costs to cover, you can benefit from lower expenses all across the board. The only thing that you would need to pay for, if you choose to do so, is the optional control panel tool and the optional support that your host provides. You can also apply this cost angle to the hardware of Linux too. When it comes to slower machines, Linux is arguably the best operating system. This means that you are able to get more use out of aging equipment if you go down this route.
Although you may salivate at the thought of a fine-dining experience and indulging in a perfectly seared, dry-aged steak, chances are you’re not about to purchase a tract of land and some cattle.
The same can be said for dedicated servers — even though your business requires high-end hosting, you might not want to take on the expenses and headaches of maintaining your own architecture.
That’s where managed services (and five-star restaurants) come in: marrying tantalizing, decadent ingredients with the careful touch of experts well-versed in delivering superb experiences to patrons. When catered by top-notch hosting experts, fully managed dedicated servers present top-notch computing power, performance, and server administration backed by the industry’s best practices.
The high-touch service may seem overly indulgent, but investing in fully managed dedicated servers can greatly streamline your company’s operations and reduce operating expenses. As hosting becomes more complex — and pivotal to an organization’s success — managed services empower companies to focus on mission-critical objectives without spending financial or human resources on tedious daily tasks.
1. Enjoy More Predictable, Lower Costs
The benefits to managed services loosely resemble all the perks and add-ons that new website owners encounter when signing up for a shared hosting plan: standard system management and updates, security protection, 24/7 support, and guaranteed uptime rates. The differences between shared and dedicated servers are certainly numerous, but the inexpensive hosting tier introduces a lot of the same concepts found with managed servers — including a standard monthly rate.
Sure, there may be a little sticker shock when comparing fully managed dedicated server packages, but be sure to take a holistic view of what you’re getting: modern hardware tailored to your specific needs, datacenter space, a professionally built and maintained network, and a team of experts invested in your company’s security and success. In most cases, you can customize your managed services plan to cover the aspects and systems that will have the greatest impact on your bottom line, while staying within your budget. Even if unforeseen issues arise, you’re locked in to a standard monthly payment your company can build around.
2. Maximize Employee Productivity
Because your company will no longer have to spend time and money replacing outdated equipment, purchasing software licenses, hiring consultants, or cross-training employees, the business will also shed several expenses by moving to a fully managed infrastructure. Recruiting, hiring, training, and retaining top-level systems administrators can be expensive; However, with the right service provider managing your dedicated server, you can rely on its support and engineering teams, datacenters, network, and infrastructure instead.
Interestingly, increased productivity typically represents the most significant financial benefit of managed server hosting. According to an IBM white paper, surveyed companies optimized their IT staff resources by 42% when using managed services for mundane day-to-day infrastructure maintenance tasks. Freeing up developers, engineers, and IT administrators from tedious chores enables them to concentrate on projects and objectives that drive business forward.
More importantly, the improved employee output extends beyond the server room and IT offices. Upgraded infrastructure and maintenance will typically speed up various business processes and reduce unplanned downtime or outages — boosting momentum in all corners of the office.
3. Rely on Modern Expertise and Hardware
Budgetary constraints often lead to companies operating with legacy systems and old hardware that’s more likely to fail. Switching to fully managed dedicated servers hosted in a service provider’s datacenter reduces the amount of infrastructure your business needs in-house, as well as the energy consumption and office space required to operate the machines.
Instead of spending staff time and resources researching and procuring high-performance hardware, you can consult with hosting infrastructure experts as part of your onboarding process with managed hosting. The account managers and technicians will help you determine exactly what customizations and configurations will optimize your company’s specific hosting needs, then build and deploy the infrastructure in their datacenter.
Because managed service providers are responsible for powering the online success of several businesses, their employees are always plugged in to industry best practices, new technologies, and the day-to-day operations of maintaining healthy hardware. They know how to best design dedicated servers for the host’s special blend of proprietary solutions and network optimizations built for maximizing speed, security, and scalability.
4. Protect Your Data With Cutting-Edge Security
It may be comforting to be able to walk directly up to the server housing your data and applications and know the exact people responsible for keeping things running smoothly — but wouldn’t you rather know your server is one of hundreds being maintained in a state-of-the-art facility run by specialists who have seen it all? On-prem servers are typically more prone to outages, inefficient operations, and security risks; trusting a managed hosting expert with your dedicated server ensures the equipment is located in a leading datacenter that frequently includes redundant power and cooling systems, along with 24/7 security personnel and multi-factor authentication for server access.
Beyond physical security measures, managed hosting providers are responsible for monitoring server health and performance, running frequent backups, implementing disaster recovery and business continuity solutions, and shielding your infrastructure from attacks. Additionally, GigeNET includes a one-of-a-kind automated system for DDoS protection with most managed server plans.
5. Rest Easy With Around-the-Clock, Customized Support
Upgrading to managed hosting means you’re no longer just an account number — you have entire teams of people who care about your business and its online success. On-site support teams are on standby 24/7 to respond to any alerts or issues that arise with your infrastructure. In addition to handling your equipment and backend systems, managed service providers help oversee your company’s capacity for growth and enable you to focus on your business passions instead of daily chores.
At GigeNET, that includes periodic, casual conversations that help us learn how we can continue to improve our services to you. To learn more about the cost, performance, and security optimizations your company can achieve with fully managed dedicated servers from GigeNET, feel free to chat with our specialists or read more about our managed hosting options.
If you’re running a Linux server and you value uptime and stability, this server maintenance guide will help keep you on track. It’s best to perform maintenance and checks on a regular basis for various reasons. It’s not fun being a sysadmin and finding out that a downtime causing issue could have been easily prevented.
Linux Server Maintenance Guide
- Check Disc Usage: One of the most common things that causes downtime and issues is a filesystem filling up and hitting 100% used. 80% used is generally a warning, and 90% is critical. It is very important that you’ve allocated enough space for your packages, databases, site files, logs, etc.If your filesystem becomes too full, you’ll have to scramble looking for files and logs to delete before it’s too late and services start to hang. To check your filesystem usage you can use the ‘df’ command, for example: df -h will display usage in human-readable format.
- Check RAID Array: Checking the status of your RAID array is important. If a member disk is missing from an array it should be replaced as soon as possible. Depending on your RAID controller there will be separate utilities you can download and use.For example: Adaptec controllers will use arcconf and LSI controllers may require MegaCLI or tw_cli depending on the model. It’s best to refer to the manufacturer’s documentation for guides.
- Check Storage Device Smart Stats: Keeping an eye on the SMART stats of your storage devices can warn you of pre-failure. Reallocated, current pending or uncorrectable sectors are generally cause for concern. The higher the number the sooner you should replace the disk. Power on hours may also something to look for.At GigeNET we replace drives with over 40,000 power on hours. On Linux servers you can use the ‘smartctl’ command to run tests and check the stats. More info on smartctl can be found here.
- Verify Backups are Working: Checking if your backups are running properly is good practice. You should also be testing restores of your backups every so often and verifying that they work as intended in a test environment.
- Ensure Security Patches are Applied: Patching vulnerabilities in the software that runs on your server is top priority. It’s best to subscribe to your distributions security announcements mailing list to be notified of when you need to get patching. You can use your OS package manager such as yum or apt to install and upgrade new packages.
- Check Remote Management: Depending on your server’s manufacturer, remote management tools like IPMI, iLO and iDRAC have proven to be useful. You should have them prepared for when you need to use them. Remote console has saved many when unable to SSH into a server.
- Check for Hardware Issues: Looking over syslog and something like the IPMI event log can let you know when there’s something wrong. Memory errors, overheating and power supply failures are some examples that warrant swift response. Depending on the hardware component that has gone bad the logged entry will vary.
- Check for Software Errors: Software error logs and syslog should be monitored regularly. Software sometimes hits configured limits and OOM killer is activated when you run out of memory. Sometimes this can slip by unnoticed. Depending on the software and configured log file output where you find those logs will vary. Most logs can be found in the /var/log directory however.
- Review Access: Check which users and individuals should have access to the server and modify that access as needed. A good overview of what files you should look in can be found here.
- Use Strong Passwords: Strong passwords whether randomly generated or made using the ‘diceware’ method are a must. Don’t cut your passwords short and use low entropy combinations.
Don’t have the time or resources for server maintenance? Explore our fully managed dedicated servers.
Interested in Deca Core Dedicated Servers? View our inventory.
What is a deca core dedicated server?
Deca Core Dedicated Servers are servers that have a processor with ten cores. By having multiple cores the deca core server can handle ten different processes simultaneously. Deca core processors are typically used in HPC (high-performance computing) where the workloads can take advantage of multiple cores.
In a server deployment, deca core dedicated servers can greatly help with high trafficked websites, database processing, as well as workloads that use a lot of parallel processing like machine learning and AI.
How do deca core dedicated servers work?
Deca-core processors generally have greater performance than less cored systems because they can simple process more instructions in parallel. With the the ten cores running on the same chip, they to share the same data path and memory to the motherboard. This increases efficiency and reduces redundancy.
Many of the deca core processors are well-threaded. which allows server to benefit from an increased number of cores, higher memory capacity, and a larger cache.
It should be noted that old legacy applications and programs may not see a performance hike. Applications and programs written before multi-core servers were not programmed to utilize the parallel instruction efficiencies of the system. Yet another reason for companies who still used legacy programs to invest on upgrading internal systems. The change in speed alone often justifies the development costs.
Another note is based on performance. Though a deca core has ten times the cores of a single core processor, it does not necessarily have ten times the processing speed.
What are the advantages of a deca core server processor?
- Improved performance
- Reduced latency
- Lessens heat generation
- Maximizes bandwidth and main memory
- Better suited to modern system architecture
- Helps decreases power consumption
Due to their nature, deca core systems are extremely important in high-performance private cloud and cluster arrangements. Their ability to process instructions in parallel make them the perfect foundation for creating virtual machines.
GigeNET uses the Intel Xeon E5-2630 v4 processor, which is a dual deca (two 10 core processors on one board) core processor system. These servers were built for enhanced virtualization and cloud deployments, while supporting more traditional applications. Learn more about them here.
Do you need your own dedicated server, or can you trust a cloud service for hosting?
Before you make a decision, it’s crucial to understand the differences between dedicated server hosting & cloud hosting—which are rapidly emerging as the dominant modes for organizational hosting.
There are real budgeting and operational implications to consider before settling on either solution.
Cloud servers: scalable flexibility—at a premium
With rapid deployment and a virtualized nature, cloud hosting models allow your organization to circumvent a direct investment in hardware. This benefits businesses that require a high degree of operational flexibility, want to experiment in the short-term or have highly seasonal demands.
The click of a button can deploy a new virtual server, allowing you to rapidly scale up your operations during times of high load, product releases, seasonal rushes and other demanding applications that require instantly available bursts of computing power. This can typically be accomplished from anywhere with an internet connection and a web browser—meaning that cloud hosting is a truly portable solution.
Since the cloud is virtualized, your organization isn’t tethered to the strength of a single server or limited in its computing power—you can scale up, on demand. Load balancing allows for rapid distribution during demanding workloads, tapping into the power of multiple servers instead of relying on one powerful server.
Cloud hosting is also exceptionally resilient. By introducing numerous instances, cloud hosting behaves redundantly. Coupled with a secure backup strategy, the cloud provides a degree of restorability and operational stability that other solutions struggle to match—with the caveat that it’s highly dependant on the hosting company’s decisions about which servers host its cloud.
This degree of flexibility and decreased initial investment comes at a price: cloud services are billed like a utility—so you pay for what you use. This means that the cloud, while a genuinely powerful and useful option for many organizations—can rapidly deteriorate into a wildly expensive, budget-busting affair without proper planning and skillful management.
Dedicated servers: reliability & performance—with the right planning
Deploying a dedicated server is a more complicated task than deploying a cloud server. It requires procuring, installing and configuring a physical server in a data center—while this process usually takes only a few days, it is less than ideal when an organization needs instantly available computing capacity because of a rush.
For organizations with consistent demands or operational IT requirements that don’t change rapidly over time, dedicated servers represent an opportunity to introduce high-performing capabilities and an exceptional degree of business continuity.
Since the server is controlled solely by your organization, you don’t risk bad neighbors or unscrupulous actors introducing instability—the server is yours to do with as you please, and not shared with others who may mismanage their resources or interrupt your services.
That isn’t to say that dedicated servers can’t be designed to meet the needs of growing businesses—a skilled systems architect will build a strategy that meets your needs today and your needs in the coming years as well.
Managing a dedicated server requires a competent IT team that is capable of overseeing server maintenance and creating a strategy for keeping software and security updates under control. For organizations that need the benefits of a dedicated server but don’t have an IT team, there’s managed services that allow leveraging of our veteran support team.
However, there is one clear operational benefit to a dedicated server: consistent, stable and predictable billing based off a contract, rather than usage-based pricing structures that can confound budgets.
Deciding between the cloud and dedicated servers
Choosing your hosting solution requires taking stock of your organization: what are its goals? Where do you see your internet presence in 1, 3 and 5 years? What sort of IT requirements do you really have?
We have experienced system architects that will work with you develop an affordable and reasonable strategy for a scalable and flexible cloud hosting—or a reliable and consistent dedicated server.
If you’re looking to resolve the challenge of finding the right hosting strategy for your organization, receive a free consultation.