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The ServInt Source

What to Watch When Watching Your Server

computer repairEditor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from a recent white paper about server scaling published by ServInt titled, “How do You Know When it’s Time to Scale?” You can download the full white paper here.

The only criterion that matters when when it is time to scale is how fast your sites’ pages load and applications execute. There is no standard for this. Site visitors to a forum with millions of threads and very important content will probably put up with slightly longer load times than someone visiting a landing page for a site they’ve never seen before. Only you can determine how fast is fast enough.

But remember, we’re not talking about simply running a program on your server and waiting until it finishes. We’re talking about things like the number of MySQL queries per second your server can handle, or the number of Apache web processes. And the hard part is, there’s no way to give a standard number that every server should be able to handle. Queries are not all equal. The number of queries a given server will be able to execute has to do with the complexity of the queries. Planning for server scaling is about watching trends over a single server and determining when your applications are not performing as well as you’d like. Read more

The Great Migration: VPS host migration versus server migration within a host

Just about every hosting customer with a virtualized product, whether they know it or not, has been migrated from one server to another at some point. Some of these migrations — hardware migrations within a web host’s own infrastructure — are so simple and commonplace, that most customers don’t know when or if they’ve ever been migrated. Others — migrations between hosts — are more complex and can necessitate considerable forethought and planning.

Why are these processes so different? Aren’t they — after all — both simply different forms of server migration? Read more

Flex: The Next Generation of Hosting Technology

ServInt has always been about giving its customers flexibility. When we started, we entered a market full of shared servers. We started giving people the power of a full server — and this was back in 1995 before it was even called a dedicated server. We were early to the giving-people-lots-of-power party.

We did the same thing with our VPS platform. We saw a world filled with terrible, low-end dedicated servers that had no redundancy and meager power. We realized we could give customers more power, more scalability and more redundancy using virtualization and were one of the first companies to push the VPS as a “dedicated server replacement” platform.

A couple years back we brought our virtualization layer to our dedicated server line and it became the Solo Series. The goal was to give our dedicated customers the same flexibility that our VPS customers had, so if they needed to quickly move up or down in resources we’d have their backs. Read more

Cloud Hosting, Branding, and Our New Flex Product

“Cloud hosting” used to be what companies called their services when they needed to impress investors. Now, it’s a term they use when what they really mean is “more virtualization.” Okay. I can live with that — there was a point when people finally stopped referring to scuba gear as a “self-contained, underwater breathing apparatus” as well. In a mixed-up world, I’ll always go to the mat for a little common sense in the way we talk to each other. But let’s be clear: in the hosting industry, “cloud” is still a vaguely understood buzz word — not a well-defined thing.

ServInt spent years being very picky about when you could actually call virtualized hosting “cloud.” Each year, some new vendor would roll out a new “cloud hosting” platform, and our engineers would scoff, in Crocodile Dundee fashion, (“Cloud?! That’s not a cloud!”) at the arrogance of it all. To us, cloud hosting meant radical, meaningful, and — most important — useful changes to the way customers operated their online businesses. By that standard, none of the new “cloud hosting” systems impressed us much. Read more

The All-New ServInt Flex Private Server Line

Earlier today ServInt announced its latest line of dedicated server products. Although we upgraded some core components in our Solo Series dedicated servers over the last two years, those changes weren’t profound enough to justify too much fanfare. Instead, we wanted to wait for a major revision to update the server line entirely–and it’s finally here! So, without further ado, I introduce our Flex Private server packages.

Our Flex line of servers represents the next generation of server technology. Our new servers include larger CPUs with more cores, more RAM, and substantially more storage space. (Andrea True would be proud: “More, More, More.”) Even with these advanced hardware options, however, we’ve also been able to reduce the cost to levels that are surprising for the quality of the enterprise-grade hardware we’ll be providing. Read more

Cloud Hosting Series, Part 5: Do You Sell Cloud?

As a hosting company we hear this question all the time, but it usually misses the mark of what hosting consumers are actually asking for. And a misunderstanding about what hosted Cloud services are and do can lead to solutions that might not fit the problems customers are trying to solve. So what do consumers actually mean when they ask, “Do you sell Cloud?”

Due to the server-centric types of products that hosting companies have typically offered, when traditional hosting consumers ask if a hosting provider “sells Cloud,” they are likely asking if that provider offers a Cloud IaaS solution when, in fact, their needs might be better served with a PaaS or even SaaS solution. Confused yet? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Let’s take a minute to look at these terms to try to understand a little better just what Cloud has to offer the hosting consumer. Read more

Cloud Hosting Series Part 2: VPS to Cloud?

I have to admit, I’m a bit baffled by some of the messages I’ve heard coming from our competitors and from customers recently about what Cloud Hosting means to our industry. I often get questions from customers and read advertising from other hosting companies that equate Cloud Hosting to being the obvious replacement for dedicated server or VPS hosting. We hear things like, “upgrade to our Cloud solution” and “host your website in our Cloud,” as if your website wasn’t working on its current platform, or with the advent of Cloud, your website would stop working all of a sudden.

Don’t get me wrong, Cloud Hosting has its place in the market, and it will become increasingly relevant with time. In fact, as a platform, Cloud will become a necessity over the next few years. But, right now – are you ready for it? Read more

ServInt Nominated for an NVTC Green Award

At ServInt, we’ve made no secret of our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint. Whether it’s our regular equipment recycling, the ongoing retrofitting of more efficient and environmentally friendly equipment, 110% carbon offsetting policy, or our corporate patronage of American Forests, you certainly can’t say we’ve been standing idly by.

That’s why we’re honored to have been nominated by the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) for it’s annual Green Award.

With that being said, we obviously don’t do this for the awards. We’ve always tried our best to identify and minimize the damage our industry does to the environment. When we first set out to tackle our ongoing green initiative, we took a long, hard look at our infrastructure, our software, our hosting platform, and our facilities. Putting a dent in our carbon footprint meant more than simply buying more energy-efficient hardware, it also meant reengineering our software to increase the performance of our products without increasing the number of resources they consume.

The result is more — and better — performance for our customers, less cooling and energy costs for us, and a healthier planet for everyone. It truly is a win-win situation.

We’ve been a member of the NVTC for years, and as the Northern Virginia/Washington, DC Metro area has expanded, so have we. We’d like to give a warm thank you to the NVTC for nominating ServInt.

In the meantime, as we continue to grow we’ll keep doing whatever we can to build a greener future for all of us.

Green Retrofitting: Corporate Responsibility That Makes Sense

Challenges Are Catalysts for Innovation

Yesterday, I wrote about a new direction for ServInt’s social media outreach. Basically, I explained that a lot of companies, ServInt included, spend too much time talking about themselves and not enough time talking about their customers. I made a new rule saying that we’d talk more about you .

So, naturally, I’m going to kick that off by talking about us .

Earth Week 2010 is coming to a close and as such I thought it appropriate to reflect on a few of our specific accomplishments in green technology. In our more than 15 year history, we’ve been relatively silent trailblazers. We are pioneers in dedicated and VPS hosting and we were one of the first hosts to actively work on improving inefficient and environmentally troubling urban infrastructure. With that being said, there are some unique challenges that we face precisely because of our status as trailblazers.

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Introducing Our Latest Enterprise Dedicated Server Line, the Solo Series

ServInt's Devon Rutherford

Greetings blog readers!

As head of our Enterprise sales team here at ServInt, I usually spend my days working directly with customers and I’ve never been a contributor on ServInt’s blog before, but today we have an announcement I’m so excited by that I insisted on being the one to share it. Since it is my job to assist customers with finding the package best suited to their needs, I can’t wait to tell everybody about this series of new Enterprise Dedicated Server products we have available as of today.

Our Enterprise sales team helps to outfit customers with demanding, unique, and sometimes esoteric needs. There was a time when these interactions were relatively rare and specialized, but today, even our entry level products see incredibly complex software setups. It’s amazing and exhilarating that today’s internet is far more accessible, far more organic, and far more democratic, than ever before.

One of the true hallmarks I’ve witnessed in my 12 years at ServInt has been our consistent focus on not just providing a single, static family of solutions. Instead, we’ve cultivated an ecosystem where businesses can grow with ServInt. We made sure that when a business moved to dedicated hardware, going “Solo” meant never truly being alone.

More after the jump…

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The ServInt Source | Web Hosting Blog