It’s Summer time here at BWF Hosting and time to reflect on what has changed over the past 12 months and what will be changing in the next 2 months. We are excited about what we have managed to achieve over the past year and we thank you our hosting partners for your continued loyalty and custom.
I am sure you will agree we have been busy behind the scenes here at BWF HQ working hard to provide the best and most cost effective hosting experience possible.
All old servers Retired – new servers deployed
Thanks for bearing with us. It is unfortunate that it is always our longer term clients who bear the brunt of server changes and we wanted to let you know we have completed a 12 month program of server changes and we have everything where we want it to be now. If your shared hosting account was moved to a new IP address the past 12 months then please see this as a positive move. The new hardware is the latest hardware with the newest RAID cards and Drives which we do hope will give an overall more reliable hosting experience hardware wise.
Business Hosting Launched
We saw a specific need for our Business Clients who were not quite ready to take the step to a private VPS server but who were outgrowing the constraints of really cheap shared hosting. We launched our Business Hosting plan with high end servers, low load servers, included security certificates, extra backups etc. To date over 200 shared clients have made the switch and we do offer a recurring 25% discount to any shared hosting client who makes that move.
Cloudlinux Installed on all Shared Servers
Cloudlinux brings many benefits to the table and unlike Centos Linux is not a free product but we felt the cost of this product would be worth paying for all clients. We have invested in this software for all our shared servers. It brings tenant isolation to your server meaning it is less likely one user can cause a shared server to crash. It also is much more secure and helps protect against attacks such as WordPress symlink attacks. We truly believe running our shared servers on Cloudlinux is a very positive move for all shared hosting clients.
gigE Switch Ports for All Servers
As your home and business broadband speeds increase it is very important our servers keep up with depends placed on them. All new servers are being installed on gigE ports (1000mbps) and importantly all existing servers in Kent and Orlando are being upgraded this month. Our Maidenhead servers are still on 100mbps ports but BWF Staff are actively in discussions right now with IOMART about upgrades there. We aim to have all servers on gigE ports by August.
Idera R1Soft Enterprise Grade Backups
R1Soft is an enterprise backup solution which is far superior to any backup solution we have deployed and used before. We are pleased to confirm we have just completed some tests of this package (the bare metal restore feature) and this software is very promising in giving our clients added protection in the event of hardware failure causing data loss. Business Servers currently have R1Soft and by August 2013 all shared servers will have this too. You just need to log into your Cpanel account and click the R1Soft link to restore your own backups moving forward (of course we are still here if you prefer us to handle any restores!)
Faster Drives and now SSD Drives
For a number of months now all new servers have been installed with RAID10 arrays and 15k sas drives (much faster than standard SATA drives). There were some doubts in our mind about reliability and stability of SSD drives in RAID arrays but after some testing we believe there will be no issues so moving forward all new VPS Nodes from August 2013 will be deployed on hardware running SSD disks. All new shared servers from August 2013 will also be running SSD drives.
A number of months ago we started true 24/7 monitoring of all our servers. You can read about it here on http://bwf.co/gotyourback – Our 24/7 team monitor all critical services on all servers all the time and react immediately they see any issues. This greatly helps uptime and on many occasions when a client opens a ticket about an issue we are already working on it.
BWF Graphing Portal
Our VPS and Dedicated Server clients wanted access to server performance graphs rather than simply raw data for ease of use. We have implemented Cacti monitoring on request for all VPS and Dedicated Server clients. The graphs can also be used by our staff to track and monitor performance of all our shared servers thus assisting us in providing a more reliable hosting experience.
New Fully Certified Linux L3 Support Team
12 months ago we had one Level 3 Red Hat Certified Linux Technician on our team assisted by a remote shared team from a support company in India. Today we have four fully certified Level 3 Red Hat Linux technicians working for us directly assisted by other Level 2 technicians from a remote shared team. Ticket response times have greatly reduced around the clock and during UK Office Hours we usually have 2-3 staff working for an average response times in minutes.
24/7 Live Chat Facility
We now give you direct access to our Red Hat Certified Support Technicians via live chat on our website. Use chat for simple support issues or to get an update on a ticket you have in our helpdesk. Our techs cannot complete all tasks via chat (eg anything needing a password is not secure on chat) but we will aim to do our best to assist you at all times on chat.
PHP Selector in Cpanel (warning: geek speak!)
We now have the ability to allow our shared hosting clients select what version of php they want to use for their website. You can select your php version and php modules you need enabled. This is very convenient for developers or those with older software (we never recommend using old scripts on a shared server or any server for that matter!). This has been enabled on most shared servers – if you find it is not on your server just pop a ticket in and we can enable it.
DNS Cluster Setup (warning: geek speak!)
We set up a DNS cluster with three servers in three different data centres with three different providers. Clients will know they are using the cluster to handle their DNS is their name servers are ns1, ns2 and ns3.bigwetfish.co.uk. If you add any entries such as MX Records or subdomain A Records in your cpanel account you can be assured these records will be saved to the cluster. Essentially this means if a server crashes your DNS is no longer handled at server level but it is handled at cluster level meaning your remote email would still work if we needed to reboot your hosting server. The cluster is not client facing yet for domain DNS hosting but we can manually add DNS records for clients on request and we have done that as a courtesy to some clients with specific needs.
Remote Server Management
Launched 4 months ago is our new remote server management addon. We have a small but growing band of clients who have rented cheap unmanaged servers from another provider and who contract us to manage these servers. We promise to treat such servers like our own and we will work to our best effort at all times to help you manage it. We also manage backups for these clients as well with a promise to provide technical assistance within 30 minutes of a server failure to work to restore the accounts if the need arises.
Managed WordPress Hosting
We have a lot of experience with WordPress and coming soon is our very own Managed WordPress Service. Details will be coming out in our Summer 2013 Newsletter – we will be providing fully managed wordpress hosting and full details will be available soon.