Hosting Demystified

Even experienced developers can find themselves baffled by some of the intricacies of web hosting. At Applied Innovations, we make it our business to take care of all the little details so you can focus on what you do best. But we also believe that knowledge is power.  And the more we can empower you, our customer, with an understanding of the factors and considerations that are part of your hosting infrastructure, the better you can make informed decisions about how to fully leverage the services we offer.  So here we will try and take the mystery out of hosting with a few key definitions.

CDP – Continuous Data Protection is a recent innovation in backup technology that automatically saves a copy of every change made to data, essentially permitting restoration of data to any point of time. Appliedi offers R1Soft’s CDP 3.0 Enterprise Edition to all Shared, VPS and Dedicated Windows web hosting customers, either as an included service or a premium add-on service.

Centralized Architecture – This means that Appliedi’s hosting infrastructure at each data center is all in one centralized location. This allows for better management of services and quicker response to requests or problems.

The Cloud – Simply put, the Cloud is all technology that is remotely located but accessible to users over the Internet. Cloud computing is commonly inclusive of technologies offering extensive capabilities but requiring little or no end-user knowledge of the location or configuration of the remote systems. More specifically, “Cloud” service offerings may indicate a higher level of user control over the configuration of this remote technology.

DDoS Attack – Short for Distributed Denial-of-Service attack, this is an attempt by a third party to “hack” into a server and render it unavailable to either its users or owners. A DDoS attack may be any effort by an individual or group to prevent a website from functioning in part or in whole. The most common method of attack involves overloading the target website with external requests so that it cannot respond to legitimate traffic.

Distributed Hosting Infrastructure – The Applied Innovations hosting infrastructure is a first-class distributed system. Unlike discount hosts where your DNS, Email, Web, Database, Statistics and Control Panel are all hosted on a single server, Applied Innovations hosts every service on a separate purpose-built server. By distributing our hosting infrastructure in this fashion, we guarantee 100% Uptime, better overall performance and none of the resource contention issues that other hosts experience.

DNS – The Domain Name System is the hierarchical naming system used by the Internet and private networks that essentially translates human-recognizable names into numerical identifiers recognized by machines. Think of it like a telephone book, each person has a number where you can reach them and you can look up that number by their name. When you type in a URL, DNS looks that up and finds the IP address that site resides upon.

Domain Alias – Domain Aliases provide the ability to point a secondary domain, such as Mary.org or Mary.info, to your primary domain Mary.com. Domain Aliasing is included with all plans (excluding ValuePlus) and can be configured within your Control Panel. Aliases are a really great tool for directing people to your site who may have had a typo. Test it out by going to www.appliedeye.net in your browser and you’ll get sent to www.appliedi.net.

Domain Name Registry – A domain name registry is a database of all domain names registered in a given top-level domain, such as “.com” or “.org.” Each registry is kept by a registry operator – or network information center (NIC), and represents part of the Domain Name System (DNS) of the Internet. Each NIC is an independent organization responsible for converting domain names to IP addresses.

Email Aliases – Email Aliasing allows you to configure an unlimited number of email addresses to forward messages to any other account. So if Mary Cho is no longer with your organization, all of her email can be forwarded to Bill Jones.

High Availability – High Availability is a feature of Applied Innovations’ Hyper-V VPS solutions.  By setting up clusters of servers to provide redundancy, we are able to provide automatic failover, which virtually eliminates downtime.

High Speed Gigabit Network – Applied Innovations’ internal network is certified Category 5 and 5e – that’s as good as it gets. We utilize the latest in cabling, switching and routing equipment from such vendors as Cisco, Compaq, F5 Networks, Netscreen and 3Com.

Integrated Management – Integrated Management is included at no extra charge with all of Applied Innovations’ VPS packages. Other hosting providers consider these “add-on” features and charge more for them. But at AppliedI, we see these as fundamental to providing a solid hosting foundation, which means you get greater functionality at the best price.  So you can focus more on your business and less on server administration and monitoring

IPS – An Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) is a key security component on Appliedi’s network. The IPS is designed to filter out negative traffic, such as DDoS attacks, to prevent downtime.

Knowledgebase – Applied Innovations maintains a comprehensive FAQ and KnowledgeBase system that allows clients to track down answers to the most frequently experienced support issues.

Managed Hosting – Managed Hosting is an enhanced service offering where the customer transfers a variety of day-to-day IT management responsibilities to their hosting provider.  This relationship offers significant cost benefits and operational efficiencies to the customer. It means the hosting provider is responsible for deploying, maintaining and monitoring the data center and servers. Additionally, the provider may offer a menu of support services, ranging from advanced monitoring, backup, data storage, load balancing and managed security. Managed Hosting is a fundamental form of IT outsourcing. Applied Innovations provides considerable management as part of our VPS packages – we call this Integrated Management.  But additionally, we offer a premium management service called Server Concierge Management that delivers a turnkey solution to businesses needing more comprehensive support.

Microsoft Gold Certified Hosting Partner – Gold Certified Partners have a close working relationship with Microsoft as a result of extensive training and a proven track record of delivering Microsoft solutions. As a Microsoft Gold Certified Hosting Partner, Applied Innovations is among an elite group of the highest level of Microsoft Solutions Partners.

One Click Application Installer – One Click Application Installers are integrated into the intuitive Appliedi.net Control Panel to support a variety of popular applications, including popular apps like DNN, Joomla, Kentico, NOPCommerce and WordPress.

Remote Delegation – The remote delegation service in Microsoft Server IIS7 is a new and powerful feature that allows you to connect securely to Appliedi’s remote IIS7 servers using an SSL connection.

Request Filtering – URLScan, a security tool, was provided as an add-on to earlier versions of IIS so administrators could enforce tighter security policies on their web servers. Within IIS 7.0, all the core features of URLScan have been incorporated into a module called Request Filtering, in addition to a new feature called Hidden Segments.

Scalability – This is an inherent feature of Applied Innovations’ VPS plans. Scalability means you can easily and inexpensively increase or decrease hosting resources to correspond with your changing business needs. So memory, CPU and even additional virtual machines can be added or removed from your plan quickly and painlessly. You can scale up or down seasonally, or in response to the growth of your business.  And your site can easily be transferred from a virtual to a physical machine without moving all your data. So you can just go about your business, and you don’t have to sign a long-term contract or invest in all kinds of expensive hardware.

Server Concierge Management – Server Concierge is a premium service customers can add to any VPS or dedicated plan. It’s a hassle-free turnkey solution designed to allow you to focus 100% on your own business instead of worrying about hosting infrastructure and server administration/troubleshooting. You get all the benefits of standard Integrated Management PLUS an array of premium services that will completely change the way you look at web hosting. Think of it as hiring a full-service, highly-skilled IT Team for less than $5 per day.

Services & Application Monitoring – A feature of Appliedi’s Server Concierge Management, we monitor the hard disk, RAM, web services, mail services and databases every 5 minutes to ensure your site will never experience more than a few seconds of downtime.

Shared SSL – Instead of incurring the cost of your own private SSL certificate, a shared SSL gives you the ability to have a secure portion of your site for safe data transfer. A private SSL certificate site would be designated by the URL https://www.yourdomain.com/ while the URL for a shared SSL with Applied Innovations would be https://securesite.appliedi.net/yourdomain.com/.

SLA – Short for Service Level Agreement, ours is one of the best in the business. Applied Innovations a 100% uptime guarantee. With Applied Innovations you can be completely confident that your website will be online all the time.

SSL Support – SSL (Secure Socket Layer) has become a widely used measure of security on the Internet. Our servers are certified for use with secured access for data transfer involving payment methods and sensitive information. You can use this service with or without your own secure certificate.

Sub Domain – An example of a sub domain is “support.yourdomain.com”. You might use a sub domain for a micro-site or staging area that you want to keep separate from your primary domain.

Unlimited Autoresponders – With an email autoresponder, every email that hits a specific account triggers an automatic response message of your choice. This message is usually in the format of “Thank you for your inquiry.” or “I will be on vacation 1/1/11 and will not have access to email, but will respond on 1/2/11.”

URL Rewrite Module – This allows rules to be created that tell the site to redirect certain pages to different URLs under certain circumstances. Applied Innovations utilizes an application called ISAPI Rewrite 3, which is installed on all Shared servers.

Web Scheduler – Appliedi’s Web Scheduler offers the ability to create a task telling the server to serve up a certain page at a certain time of the day.  This can be especially useful when running short term promotions or in cases where different information needs to be published at specific times.

Web-Based Server Management – The Applied Innovations Control Panel is web based, so you don’t have to load anything on the Client side.  As long as you have Internet access, you can get onto your Control Panel to manage your hosting account.

Did you find this useful?  If so, we’d love to hear from you.  We also welcome comments or suggestions about topics.

Email us at info@appliedi.net.

About the Author

Pluff

Windows Hosting for Advanced applications like DNN, SiteCore and Kentico CMS platforms.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *