28 Jan

Shared Hosting, VPS Hosting, and Dedicated Hosting – Why so much hosting?! – By: Justin Clutter

With all the different types of hosting available, it can be confusing when you try to make the right decision. Do you choose shared, VPS, or dedicated hosting? In this article we will cover the basics of the different types of hosting plans, so you can find which type fits your needs.

Hosting Platforms – What makes them different?

Shared Hosting

Shared Hosting is very similar to living in an Apartment Complex. All residents are in the same location and must share the available resources with everyone. These may include such things as the pool, parking lot, and play ground. In shared hosting, all accounts must share the available resources with all the other accounts on the server. These include CPU time, memory, and disk space.

VPS Hosting

VPS (Virtual Private Server) Hosting is similar to owning a Condo. While you still share things on the property, you are ultimately responsible for maintaining your own property and repairs inside the condo. There are also significantly less residents per building and assigned parking. On a VPS, you are allotted resources that are not shared by everyone. The overall CPU time and memory are shared across all accounts on the machine, but at the same time, portions of those resources are always dedicated to each account. This allows for more power and flexibility than being on a shared account.

Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated Hosting can be compared to owning a house. You are allowed and have access to all resources available on the machine. No one else’s account resides on the machine and would not be capable of tapping into your resources.

Server Resources

(When is it time to move up?)

Regardless of which type of hosting you choose, your website will reside on a server. When someone visits your page, the server’s CPU and Memory will work together to send that visitor the page they requested. There are cases in which your website may use too much CPU or Memory to serve those pages, and that is when you will need to upgrade your account.

Apartment living to Condo living – Upgrading from Shared to VPS

Shared accounts are great for most users. You can host all sorts of applications (such as WordPress or Joomla), and there are plenty of email accounts to go around. If you compare Shared to VPS Hosting, here are some good reasons to upgrade:

A Growing family: If your family grows more than what your apartment can handle, then it may be time to move up. If your website becomes popular, you may need to upgrade to VPS Hosting for more CPU and Memory for your account. This will allow you to handle all the new traffic coming to your site.

Customizations: If you require software that is not available in Shared Hosting, Upgrading to VPS hosting will allow you to install any software that you would like!

Condo Living to Single Family Home Living – Upgrading from VPS to Dedicated Hosting

Keeping with the same analogy, with a VPS, you have a lot of control, but you don’t have complete control. VPS Servers are great for mid-sized businesses. You have a virtualized private server in which you can setup and tweak exactly the way you need. You can host an unlimited number of websites, and there are really no restrictions, other than usage of your server’s CPU time and memory. A VPS Server is not a Dedicated Server, so you are still on a server with other users. As you’re sharing a server, your actions can still affect other users. If you have a very busy website, dominating the server’s CPU time and memory could cause performance issues with other users on the same server. This can cause possible downtime or severe lag for other users on the same server. At this point, it is time to move into your own home (dedicated server). This allows you all the freedom of home ownership with no sharing of any kind. You control how your lawn looks, the color it is painted etc. With a dedicated server, you control all the resources, updates, security and responsibility that comes along with owning your very own home…errrr…server!

I hope this better helps you understand the differences between the types of hosting available to you on the internet! If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at sales@opus-3.com! We look forward to helping you!


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13 Jan

Start Up – A Delicate Balance

Start Up – A Delicate Balance

By – Gary Byers

The term “Startup” or “Start-up” has a couple of connotations. It can be used as a noun such as the act of starting something up or setting something in motion. It can also be used as an adjective when relating to the beginning of a new project or venture. Opus-3 or 03Cloud was, and to some degree still is, both of those. It started with an idea to provide a better data center for everyone.  Not just the Mega-customer with 30 cabinets and 10Gbps of bandwidth but also for the little-guy with a single 1U server and 3Mbps of bandwidth. It all started in a building that had previously been a boon in the Data Center industry for a large Tier 1 Internet Provider. Even though the makings of a success story were all in place, there were large hurdles to overcome before the first customer would be able to install a single server. Point to remember here is that we started this process in June of 2011, one of the hottest summers on record since the summer of 1980.

One of the first hurdles to overcome was HVAC or the lack thereof. See how that “Hottest summer on record since 1980” comes into play? During the year  that the building sat vacant, it became a target of the notorious “Copper bandits”. That’s right, those degenerate individuals that have determined that since no one is in the building, no one will miss it. They generally work in packs and will put a couple of people up on the roof of a building (working all night if needed), to strip every piece of copper out of condensing units and anything else they can pry open.  It took our team 45 days from start to finish to get all of the condensing units installed and the copper re-installed. We decided that since the HVAC company was having to re-run and install all of the copper, we would reroute them through the building to gain some efficiency over running them across the roof.

Once we started getting cool air inside the building (we are now into July of 2011 and hotter still), we could focus all our efforts on the Critical Power Systems. This is made up of the Uninterruptable Power Systems (UPS), Automatic Transfer Switch’s (ATS), Power Distribution Units (PDU), and the Generators. The Critical Power System is what supports you and your customers in the event of a power failure by the utility company. Data center customers don’t realize there is a power outage if your critical systems work properly. We had already run tested the generators and had been concentrating on getting the UPS’ re-configured with new batteries and capacitors. Now it was time to load test and commission the UPS’. The ironic thing about this part of a Data Center startup is that it is a brutal test of a delicate system. You are plugging in a series of “load banks” that are built specifically for testing UPS’. They pull a lot of amperage or load and they put off an extreme amount of heat in the process. It really systematically tests your UPS and HVAC at the same time because while you are load-testing your UPS, the HVAC’s are trying to keep up with the heat coming off of these load banks. Then you inflict the ultimate insult to your systems. You go in and just turn off the main utility feed to see if everything remains online. This process has been known to make grown men cry, because every once in a while, a weakness shows itself. One of the backup systems doesn’t like how you are playing and decides to quit in the middle of the test. If you are a startup and this is the initial commissioning test, no harm, no foul, but if you are operational and have customers installed, it’s ulcer time. Believe me, you want to find this out during initial commissioning rather than when you have customers depending on the backup system. So you dig in, start troubleshooting and find the problem, fix it, then start the test all over again. All the while you are sweet-talking your Critical Power Systems and promising that you won’t EVER do this to them again if you can just get through this one test.  At least until next year when you are required to do it again.

We started our “Re-purposing and Re-commissioning” in June of 2011 and went live with the first customer in late September 2011. Because the two of us had done these tasks so many times before, we were accustomed to working without supervision and could break the tasks out and work independently managing the contractors and got everything accomplished in a short amount of time. We turned a totally dark data center that hadn’t seen a server in 2 years into a functioning, running, bad-to-the-bone, data center with its first customer in just over 90 days. Our open house was a huge success and we haven’t looked back. We have gone from an Operation running with two guys doing everything from Sales to Operations to an Operations Department complete with Linux specialists and Cisco Certified Professionals. Being in Deep Ellum is invigorating because we love the neighborhood and its people. We find ourselves working 60 – 70 hour weeks so that we can meet the demands of other young start-up companies that have found Deep Ellum a desirable place to begin. They are looking for server storage, colocation, data backup, virtual/cloud environments and craving bandwidth and an alternative to the same old DSL or cable modem. We are able to supply all of these needs and more. With the build-out of our new fiber network, Ellum.Net, we look to be supplying “Bodacious Bandwidth” to our neighbors and friends in Deep Ellum for as long as the need is there.

If you are looking for a data backup company, want to take your server needs to the cloud, or are needing colocation space stop by or give us a call. We look forward to serving you.

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