Applied Innovations Boosts Windows Server 2008 (IIS7) Hosting

Since launching Windows Server 2008 (IIS7) last year, we have worked diligently to continue to provide an up-to-date, feature-rich hosting environment. As discussed in this month’s newsletter, we have introduced a variety of significant improvements to our Windows Server 2008 (IIS7) hosting services.

Scale your site as your needs change

One of the biggest requests we received from Windows Server 2008 (IIS7) customers was for increased flexibility and scalability in our shared hosting plans. To meet this need, we have added two additional shared hosting plans (for a total of three) to enable customers to scale between a variety of hosting plan capacities.

Our hosting platform also enables our customers to easily move beyond shared hosting when their needs grow too large for a shared platform. Within minutes, we can move fully-active web sites from a minimal shared hosting plan to a fully managed dedicated server – with virtually no downtime. Windows Server 2008 (IIS7) has a complete set of features that helps make these rapid server migrations possible.

Integration with our control panel

Windows Server 2008 (IIS7) offers remote administration. This is a powerful new  feature that allows a non system admin to manage IIS features via the IIS Manager in a secure and granular fashion.  Customers can now enable feature delegation directly from their hosting control panel.

We created this short video to demonstrate the process:


New IIS7 modules added and accessible

We have installed and exposed a variety of IIS7 modules. Here are brief descriptions of the newly introduced IIS7 modules along with some links to our knowledge base:

IIS7 Media Pack – The IIS Media Pack 1.0 includes the Bit Rate Throttling and Web Playlists extensions for IIS7, which enable you to:

  • Save bandwidth costs by throttling the speed at which content is downloaded
  • Decrease network traffic by metering your media deliveries
  • Monetize media assets with Web playlists that personalize content and prevent ad skipping
  • Intelligently deliver multiple media formats from a single server, including .wmv, .flv, and .mp4 files

IIS7 URL Rewrite Module – The Microsoft URL Rewrite Module for IIS7 provides flexible rules-based rewrite engine that can be used to perform broad spectrum of URL manipulation tasks, including, but not limited to:

  • Enabling user friendly and search engine friendly URL with dynamic web applications;
  • Rewriting URL’s based on HTTP headers and server variables
  • Web site content handling
  • Controlling access to web site content based on URL segments or request metadata.

Failed Request Tracing – Sometimes called FREB, the request-based tracing provides a good way to figure out what exactly is happening with your requests and why, provided you can reproduce the problem you are experiencing. Problems like poor performance on some requests, or authentication related failures on other requests, or even the server 500 error from ASP or can often be very difficult to troubleshoot–unless you have captured the trace of the problem when it occurs.

PHP Driver for SQL – The SQL Server Driver for PHP is a PHP 5 extension that provides data access to SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2008. The extension provides a procedural interface for accessing data in all versions (including Express) of SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2008. The SQL Server 2005 Driver for PHP API includes support for Windows Authentication, transactions, parameter binding, streaming, metadata access, and error handling

Request Filtering – IIS7 incorporates all the core features of URLScan into a module called Request Filtering and added a feature called Hidden Segments.

Database Manager – IIS Database Manager allows you to easily manage your local and remote databases from within IIS Manager. IIS Database Manager automatically discovers databases based on the Web server or application configuration and also provides the ability to connect to any database on the network.

IIS Reports – This application extends IIS7 Manager by adding a new Reports option that gives you a few reports of the server and site activity.

Reducing costs through flexibility

One of the key features of IIS7 is its ability to leverage both ASP/ASP.NET and PHP applications on the same platform. Our customers can now harness excellent performance from PHP based applications in our Windows Server 2008 (IIS7) environment, and thereby eliminate the need to deploy concurrent platforms. This helps to reduce the total cost of ownership of any Web application, and streamlines server management.

About Charles

Best Managed Hosting Support and Service with emphasis on Windows Azure and Microsoft Technologies.

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