29 Aug

VPS and Cloud Hosting

VPS (Virtual Private Server) and Cloud hosting are the latest trend in the hosting market and the future of modern hosting. They have the flexibility, simplicity, reliability, and affordability for those looking for the next best thing. They are not reliant on hardware which enables them to cost less than other types of hosting as well as quickly increase or decrease memory or drive space. Industry reports show that IT departments for organizations are switching to these types of hosting by 60 to 80 percent.

As the economy continues to make people and businesses look at their budgets a little closer and determine where they will need to cut costs, using virtual hosting will help do this. Why not pay less for the same functions with more features? Virtual and cloud hosting include such features as a dedicated RAM, CPU, and hard drive, instantaneous recovery, anti-virus and backup capabilities, instant resource allocation, and being environmentally friendly.

VPS  and cloud hosting allow you the ability to control much of its operating system with email, root access, configuration files, IP addresses, memory and libraries. If needed to reboot for any reason, you will not have to wait more than a few seconds whereas physical servers take much longer at around 20 minutes. For cloud hosting there is no need for a technician to come to your location to add memory to your hard drive. Instead cloud hosting can do it instantly by allocating more resources to your server.The reason why these hostings are so reliable is that they are able to detect immediately if one server is down and move onto another that is working properly.

For any business still using web hosting with the old technology, need to reconsider. The old web server may not be able to continue to handle all that you need to use for a small or large business. You may find it crashing more often that it use to and it may not be able to handle an overload of information. With its limitations and few resources, it is time to make that step over to the VPS and Cloud hosting. As more businesses switch over to virtual hosting, they find themselves wondering what to do with their physical servers. There are companies that are willing to purchase the hardware and recycle them.

There are some differences between the VPS and Cloud hosting. VPS has multiple dedicated virtual servers that run from one server while cloud runs on a cluster of servers. VPS also uses local storage while Cloud uses a network storage. They have more similarities than differences and are both reliable, inexpensive, and flexible.

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24 Aug

All about Colocation – Sprocket Networks

Five to ten years ago, most enterprise corporations housed their servers, on-site, in their offices with a team of IT professionals to manage the hardware.  More recently, these enterprise corporations have been utilizing dedicated redundant servers off-site that are managed by Tier 4 providers (2.4 minutes/year of downtime). The majority of small to mid-size companies do not have the infrastructure to maintain servers and hardware on-site, which would take up valuable real estate along with rising power costs. As a result, these smaller businesses have also been turning towards managing their servers off-site, although they are usually not large enough to have their own dedicated server farm.  One of the safer and more reliable options for small to mid-size businesses to overcome this hurdle is colocation.

What is Colocation?
Colocation is a hosting option for small to mid-size businesses in which they share server space, power and bandwidth at an off-site facility.  Colocation facilities are multi-tenant data centers that provide the client with space, power, cooling, and physical security for their server in a shared and flexible environment.  This can be coupled with on-site and virtual redundancies. Through this agreement, clients can also share the high speed T1 or better bandwidth instead of having to pay for it on their own.

How does it work?
A client can store all of its customer facing and internal data onto a dedicated or shared server.  They will either physically take their own server to the colocation facility or they will utilize an already provisioned server.  Once the server is in place, the colocation facility will install the server into their rack and will then provide the client with an IP address, bandwidth, and power to their server. This is commonly referred to as ‘Power and Ping.’

What are the benefits of colocation?
Some of the major advantages of colocation are having the flexibility of expansion, shared power costs in addition to on-site and virtual redundancies. Furthermore, any business that houses and stores sensitive data has concerns regarding security.  By leveraging colocation facilities, business owners can feel comfort that their data is more secure and always backed up in the event of power outages.  In addition, as a business grows, there will be a need for faster connection or more memory. Colocation facilities make it easy for the customer to refresh and expand their server footprint depending on their needs. Companies that use colocation facilities don’t need to allocate their internal resources towards an IT department, so they can focus on their core products or services.

Is Colocation right for you?
If your infrastructure is unable to handle your business needs, your applications could perform better or your website traffic is approaching peak levels of your server infrastructure, then colocation is a viable option for you.  Colocation is a fast, efficient and risk adverse option for your business that lets you focus on your core business needs and get out of the IT business.

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15 Aug

Preview your web-site before DNS propagation – Sprocket Networks

Sometimes, you want to setup a new web-site and test it before you point your DNS server to it.  With cPanel, you can preview the new site before you push your domain to it.

“Before propagation” as it is defined below is the point between when you sign up for your account and when the changes to your name servers take effect (usually about 24 hours after you change your name servers).

  • “After propagation” is once your site is up and running normally.
  • During propagation you should use the “Before propagation” format.
Place: Before Propagation: After Propagation:
cPanel http://server .u .are .hosted.on/cpanel http://yourdomain.com/cpanel
Webmail http://server .u .are .hosted.on/webmail http://yourdomain.com/webmail
Web Site http://server .u .are .hosted.on/~username/ http://yourdomain.com

Be sure to replace the information with the information from your welcome email

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08 Aug

Business Continuity – Sprocket Networks

Business continuity is the lifeblood of all businesses that rely upon computer(s) – even if it only involves one lonesome desktop. A disruption of computing services – whether due to ‘force majeure’ (events beyond anyone’s control) or human error, it can cripple an organization. Examples of the former include natural disasters such as fires, floods, or extreme weather conditions. The latter may range from an unintentional use of a computer that results in a crash to opening a file that contains a virus. The upshot is the same:
1)  Data Loss – when was the last time you backed up your transactions and/or documentation? If it’s at the close of business – you’ve already lost an entire day’s worth of data. Furthermore, are your backups stored in a physically separate location?

2)  Loss of communications with customers, vendors, or other stakeholders. Interruption of services essentially denies them access to your organization.

3)  Lost opportunities – how many potential customers simply abandoned any effort to reach your business (not to mention the unprofessional image you might project)?

4)  Sharp decline in productivity – while your employees are frantically working to solve your computing problems – they are unavailable to add value to your bottom line.

The assurance of business continuity is more than just a disaster recovery plan – it’s a philosophy that entails daily tasks as part of a broader, holistic strategy that addresses service and consistency, as well. One of the most elegant and cost effective solutions is cloud computing – a configuration that stores your data on a secure internet platform – allowing for real-time access and storage.

We’re experts in cloud computing at Sprocket Networks – please contact us to learn more about the variety of solutions we offer to insure your business continuity.

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01 Aug

How good is your backup solution? – Sprocket Networks

You can’t have a disaster recovery plan until you first have a good backup solution. Is your backup solution good—or just good enough?

The traditional backup process is done to tape – which has a number of limitations including high cost (particularly as capacity increases), difficult upgrades, degradation over time, and slow backup and restoration.
Over the past three to five years, there has been a transition to hard-disk-based backup solutions that generally offer the ability to easily increase capacity as well as backup and restore much faster.

Whichever solution you use, there are many risks to your data.

Traditional backup processes capture only one snapshot of your information per day. So if your backup is scheduled to take place at 12 a.m., you risk losing the entire following day’s work in the case of a disaster.

The backup process traditionally involves significant manual labor. Someone has to ensure that the correct media is in the drive. Someone has to look at the results of the backup to ensure that it is complete (and ideally perform periodic data restorations). Then, when the backup is complete, someone has to take it offsite for safekeeping.

While some businesses have the capabilities to perform all of these backup-related tasks, many others don’t—and therefore have no idea if their backups will be there when needed.

How can you make your backup system better?

  • First, you should be absolutely sure that every bit of your data is backed up multiple times per day.
  • Second, the human element should be completely eliminated from the equation.
  • Third, restoration should be quick and flexible, so you can bring back any part of your data or all of it, depending on your needs.
  • Finally, the impact on your business should be minimal. In fact, you should be unaware that a backup is even in progress.

Provided by Sprocket Networks

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