Shared Hosting vs VPS vs Dedicated vs Cloud Server Hosting in 60 Seconds

posted on August 15, 2021

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Shared Hosting vs VPS vs Dedicated vs Cloud Hosting – Which should you choose? What is Shared Hosting? Shared hosting is the most basic and cheapest of the hosting tiers. These plans allow you to rent space on a shared hosting server. These servers host many other websites on the same server alongside your website. […]

What is the highest CPU motherboard? Is there an 8 CPU motherboard or 16 CPU motherboard?

posted on May 12, 2021

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Intel Xeon motherboards can have (currently) up to 8 sockets. Just search for “8 socket motherboard” and you will find them.

servers-image

A quick look did not find AMD motherboards that could hold 8 sockets.

I have not heard of any 16-sockets systems.

It is not entirely clear under what conditions you want such a thing. One use case would be applications that need a great number of threads running in a coherent shared memory address space. This sort of thing might be useful, for example, in DNA sequencing with very large RAM, but not too much bandwidth per thread. They might also be useful as in-memory database machines, but that’s not my area.

8-socket systems will cost more per socket than 4 socket systems, which cost more per socket than 2-socket systems, and so forth. The reason for this is that you need rather expensive motherboards to get the intersocket connections routed correctly. If you don’t need a very large shared memory, you can get more computing per dollar with smaller servers and a fast network.

Back at SiCortex our boards had 27 processor sockets, each with 2 DIMM sockets, but that was an unusual system and not x86 compatible :)

Reasons Why Everyone is Moving Their Website to WordPress

posted on May 10, 2021

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WordPress is a popular platform that powers more than one-third of the world’s websites ranging from small blogs to professional sites like Skype and Microsoft. It is among the top three most used site building packages; the other two are Joomla and Drupal. WordPress is available to download for no cost and easy to use. This holds true not only for experts but also for beginners. In recent years, many bloggers/writers have shifted their websites from other platforms to WordPress, as it often leads to a great career path. Let’s read more about their reasoning.

1. It’s Flexible

WordPress hosts professional websites, but at the same time, is also welcoming for the new blogger who may be just starting out. Unlike other top websites with less-user friendly features that make them difficult for newcomers, WordPress caters to people with no prior knowledge of coding or programming. It’s entirely free to install and ready to be used in a few minutes without any heavy technical know-how required.

New users only need a domain name and a web hosting account to start their website. Plus, it’s one of the many excellent skills and fields to learn as a career path.

2. Offers Multiple Theme Options

WordPress extends a broad variety of free website templates and themes, which are great for just about every kind of website, from simple blogs to professional sites. These themes can be easily customized through an options panel that allows the user to change colors or backgrounds, upload logos, along with creating beautiful sliders without using any complicated code. WordPress provides the flexibility to purchase designs made by independent third-party designers from around the world.

3. Safe and Secure

Website safety and security is an area of enormous concern for almost every website owner. WordPress is a safe and secure platform to run your website, as it was created with security as the top priority in mind. Where more than 10,000 websites are blacklisted by Google every day of the week, WordPress is audited frequently by hundreds of developers to assure its protection from any kind of malware. As business websites are at massive risk of scams, WordPress provides them a secure place to function.

4. Freedom to Use Various Media Types

To attract a larger audience towards your content and keep them engaged, you’ll need to do more than just post information. Instead, people tend to read posts that have eye-catching pictures alongside them. WordPress is not only limited to writing text about a particular topic, it also provides you the freedom to upload pictures, audio, and video files. It has a built-in media uploader for this very purpose. What’s more, you can even share media from other websites, like YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram, just by adding the URL in the post editor.

5. SEO Friendly

WordPress is open-source for content management. It allows the user to manage, write and publish websites, even if they aren’t very knowledgeable about HTML and other coding languages. WordPress is a highly SEO-friendly platform. It makes it easy to use SEO, including for beginners, by utilizing SEO plugins to optimize the websites. This brings more traffic to the writer’s blogs and helps the websites get higher Google rankings with ease.

Helpful Tips to Get Started

- Online Classes


When first creating your website and connecting it to WordPress, it’s obviously better to learn and do your homework first. For this reason, beginners are encouraged to take a course or online class before fully diving in. For instance, udemy offers a master WordPress class with educational videos and downloadable resources of information. They also provide a certificate of course completion.

- Domain and Hosting

Get started by selecting a domain name and website according to your chosen theme, then get it registered and download WordPress. Create content, customize it according to the audience’s requirements and start work on your project immediately. Keep updating your website regularly and publish any new work. Don’t forget to use the WordPress support system when necessary.

- The Cost

Luckily, WordPress is free to download and use, so it doesn’t put any financial burden on its users. If you’re looking for a platform to reach your audience, then you’ll need to host your website or blog first, which can be costly. Publishing your website usually comes with a cost that ranges between $6 to $35 a month. That should make the advantage obvious.

Conclusion

WordPress is a well-renowned platform for website owners and hosts around 34% of all websites. Every day, the number of WordPress users grows rapidly because it offers a user-friendly, secure, supportive environment. As an added bonus, WordPress itself is entirely free. If you’re contemplating starting your own blog or website, start today. Take an online class, get your certificate, learn from online tutorials and start working and creating right away.

Azure Virtual Network FAQ

posted on May 9, 2021

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Virtual Networks in Azure enable you to create your own virtual lab in the cloud. You can create a few virtual machines in Azure and then connect these virtual machines using an Azure Virtual Network.

Azure Virtual Networks not only allow you to set up a virtual lab in the cloud but also enable connectivity to on-premises resources using Site-to-Site and Point-To-Site VPN connections.

You can easily extend your data center by connecting your on-premises network to an Azure virtual network. Each Azure Virtual Network also acts as a DHCP server, which allows you to configure a DNS server to be leased out when you spin up a virtual machine in the cloud. The Azure Virtual Network is sometimes referred to as VNet for short.

VNet Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here’s a list of Questions and Answers for Azure Virtual Networks we have compiled for your easy reference:

Can I use VNet for any other services?


You can only use VNet in Microsoft Azure for connecting virtual machines and Cloud Services. At the time of this writing, other Azure components do not benefit from VNet.

How do you create a VNet?

There are multiple ways to create a VNet — the two most common methods are to use the Azure Management Portal or by using a virtual network configuration file, which is an XML file. You can also use PowerShell commands or the Azure Command Line Interface (CLI).

Can I use a Public IP address range in VNet?


Yes. You can define the address range as either public or private. The address range can only be reached from inside the virtual network, interconnected virtual networks, or from any connected on-premises networks. The following address ranges can not be added:

  •     224.0.0.0/4 (Multicast)
  •     255.255.255.255/32 (Broadcast)
  •     127.0.0.0/8 (Loopback)
  •     169.254.0.0/16 (Link-local)
  •     168.63.129.16/32 (Internal DNS, DHCP, and Azure Load Balancer health probe)


How many virtual networks can I create in Azure?

There’s no limitation. You can create as many virtual networks as you need. It is important to remember though that you can create virtual subnets only in the Private IP Address range and they must not overlap.

Can I use all the IP addresses of a virtual subnet?

Azure reserves the first four addresses in each subnet range. For example, you cannot use .1 as the last IP address of a virtual subnet. There are also a few IP addresses that are reserved by the Azure Cloud services. IP addresses in the subnet address range are limited to one resource at a time.

Can I ping the default gateway address of a virtual subnet?

No, you cannot ping the default gateway address of a virtual subnet.

Does VNet support Layer 2?

Virtual Networks in Azure only support Layer 3 overlay networking. So you cannot bring your own Layer 2 VLANs in Azure.

Can I create custom routes?

Yes. It’s possible to create customer, user-defined routes to route traffic between subnets. This can be used to override Azure’s default system routes or to add additional routes.

Can I use multicast or broadcast modes in the virtual network?

Virtual Networks can only work in unicast mode. Multicasting and broadcasting functions are not supported by VNet.

What all protocols are supported by VNet?

Azure virtual networks support TCP/IP, UDP and ICMP protocols.

Can I add additional subnets to a VNet?

You can always configure additional subnets in a virtual network.

Can I change the virtual network or subnet of a virtual machine in Azure?

You cannot do so. You must delete the virtual machine and then assign it to a VNet of your choice.

Can I modify VNet configuration?

You can modify subnet configuration. For example, You can add, remove, expand or shrink a subnet if there are no virtual machines or services deployed within it. You can do this by using PowerShell cmdlets or the NETCFG file. You can also add, remove, expand or shrink any prefixes as long as the subnets that contain the virtual machines or cloud services are not affected by the change.

Can I modify my subnets in Virtual Subnet?

You can modify subnet configuration as long as there aren’t any virtual machines using these subnets. However, you cannot modify a subnet once virtual machines and services are using that subnet.

Can I deploy a Web Server in a VM and have it accessed over the Internet?


Yes. All services deployed within a VNet can connect to the internet. Every cloud service deployed in Azure has a public IP Address assigned to it. You will need to configure the necessary endpoints to enable these services to accept connections from the internet.

Can I use IPv6 in Azure Virtual Network?

Yes. VNet can host applications with IPv6 and IPv4 connectivity. Most networks for mobility and Internet of Things (IoT) are built or transformed on IPv6.

Can a virtual network span regions?

No. Virtual Machine networks are created in a single region. You are only allowed to select a single region when creating a virtual network. However, Global VNet peering allows you to peer VNets in other regions.

Do virtual networks talk to each other?

VNets do not talk to each other by default, but if you need to allow communication between different VNets in Azure, you can use REST API or Powershell commands to do so. There are a few things you need to take into consideration before connecting two virtual networks in Azure, though. For example, you must not use the same IP Address range or virtual subnet in both virtual networks.

How many DNS Servers can I configure in a VNet?

You configure a DNS server name in a VNet so when a virtual machine initializes it configures the DNS server in the TCP/IP property. You can configure a maximum of 12 DNS servers in a virtual network.

I changed my DNS server on the virtual network. Will the virtual machine receive the new DNS server configuration automatically?

You must restart the virtual machines if you need them to receive the new DNS server address. Please also note that virtual machines must be restarted in order to receive the new DNS server address and the Ipconfig /renew command does not work.

Are VNets Secure in Azure?

VNets are isolated from one another in Azure cloud and have their own set of properties. Network Security Groups (NSGs) can be used to restrict inbound or outbound traffic flow. You can also deploy a virtual firewall from multiple vendors through the Azure Marketplace.

What is Azure Monitor?

Azure Monitor is a cloud monitoring solution for monitoring Azure and on-premises resources and applications. It monitors availability, performance and application usage.

Which is the Best Web Hosting for Online Courses?

posted on May 5, 2021

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Not too long ago, the idea of selling courses online was very intimidating. You would have had to license a Learning Management System, master authoring tools, find eCommerce solutions, figure out end user support, and also find a great web hosting provider. Thankfully, times have changed. There are many user friendly platforms in which you can offer your online courses with ease. Once you have your online courses and platform and you’re all set up and ready to go, you will need to choose a web host to host your website with. There are various types of web hosting, such as:

Shared hosting

The most affordable and simple way to start a website.

VPS hosting

For more advanced websites. VPS hosting also offers better performance for more demanding sites and better security, especially if you have a large number of visitors on your site.

Dedicated hosting

The recommended route for websites with lots of visitors or custom requirements not available in a shared hosting.

You want to ensure that the visitors to your website have no trouble using your courses and getting around your website. A good host should mean little to no downtime for your website.

There are many things to consider when you are comparing web hosting companies to choose a web host. When you are offering online courses, the web host is very important for your business and the visitors to your site. Below are some of the top tips to help you narrow down your web host choices and find the right company for you and your site's needs.

1. Site Speed And Reliability

Like stated earlier, you will want to ensure that the visitors to your website have no problem accessing your site and online courses. A good web host should provide you with fast speeds and have guaranteed uptime. When searching for a web host, find a provider that can guarantee a minimum uptime of at least 99%. This is the lower side of the spectrum. If your host fails to meet this uptime, they should offer you some sort of credit or refund. Having this guarantee will ensure that the host works hard to keep their servers running constantly with little or no downtime for their customers.

2. Data Transfer

Data transfer is the amount of bytes that are transferred from your site to the visitors while they are browsing. This is sometimes also referred to as the site's traffic or bandwidth speeds. Never believe a web host that says they offer unlimited bandwidth. The host is who pays for the bandwidth and if you use too much on your website they will make you pay the difference. When looking at web host packages, be sure to look at how much data transfer they actually will allow before having to pay extra. While many sites that offer online courses will need a good amount of bandwidth to use, be wary of hosts that promise huge amounts of data transfer in their packages. While you may not hit the limit of data transfer, you could end up hitting other limits such as resource limits.

3. Disk Space

Just like with bandwidth, you should also not be swayed by web hosts that offer unlimited disk space. Many new sites that don't host lots of videos or music will not need more than 20 MB of space. However, if your online courses do involve music or videos, you will need to make sure that your web host package offers enough disk space for them. This will be a top priority when comparing different web hosting companies.

4. Technical Support

Since your website will be up and running day and night, you should want a web host that will be able to answer your calls and give you technical support when you need it. Things can go wrong on your website at any given time. You will want to be able to get timely help in order to get your problems fixed. If you want to be sure that they have technical support as stated before you sign up, give them a test. Try emailing or calling them on the weekend or late at night and see if you get a response. This is the best way to check out how well their technical support team is. Aside from the speed of their responses, make sure that the support team is competent in their support as well. You would not want to sign up with a web host that is run by salespeople instead of people who know how to fix your problems.

5. Email And Extras

If you have your own website, you are going to want to have email addresses associated with it that include your own domain. When comparing web hosts, check to see if they have the option to have your email forwarded to your current email address or if it is placed online in the web host account only. This can be a big time saver and much more convenient. Depending on your site, you may also need a host that offers extras such as the use of autoresponders, POP3, and mail forwarding.

6. Control Panel

Different hosts may refer to the control panel by other names. However, it is basically how they allow you to manage the different aspects of your web account on your own. For most hosts, the amount of things you are able to manage on your own is minimal. This may include things like adding, deleting, and managing your emails and changing passwords. If you find that a host needs you to email them each time you need to do something as simple as change a password, you may want to look elsewhere. These simple tasks are things that webmasters will need to perform on a regular basis and you will want it to be quick and hassle-free to accomplish.

7. Cost

While this is always an important factor to consider when trying to choose a web host for your online courses, it should not always be a top priority. In most cases, you get what you pay for in terms of cost. However, just because you sign up for an expensive host does not mean that you will get the best hosting for your site. The first step is to figure out exactly what your site needs in order to run smoothly. Next, you can find a hosting provider and hosting package accordingly, regardless of cost.

What is the Difference Between Colocation Center and the Cloud?

posted on May 5, 2021

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You can have both colocation and the cloud but having one doesn’t automatically mean that you have the capability to consume the other. For example, your colocation provider may not offer cloud, managed services or migration services.

You can also use the cloud without being in a colocation facility. You may need both cloud and colocation if you have traditional applications or specific security requirements but still need newer, faster and business-aligned technical strategies.

Many people think that colocation is just a data center where you get floor space, electrical power and an Internet connection. However, colocation is about more than just data center facilities.

Some of today’s colocation data centers offer a host of services from managed IT to the hybrid cloud. They can also provide you with greater power density, which is key to quickly scaling and supporting new technologies.

Some data center colocation providers even offer a direct connection to the top public cloud providers such as Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.

The term cloud means different things to different people. For some people, cloud means virtualization or a public cloud. For others, it means containers or a private cloud. To some, it means a hybrid cloud of both public and private.

For many, the cloud means risks to the business. With so many definitions, it’s vital to define cloud within your company, get everyone on the same page and understand the business outcomes at stake.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) defines the cloud as, a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.

Where Can I Buy Cheap Self-managed Servers for Hosting Big Websites?

posted on May 5, 2021

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Best Value Dedicated King Server

Right off the bat, we should explain the difference between cheap and value hosting. Although we’ll occasionally cover free hosting services, we usually encourage looking past the price tag and examining the bang for your buck. In most cases, spending a few extra dollars unlocks a ton of useful features that will streamline your hosting experience and make a big difference in site performance and visitor experience.

Our top-notch host might not be the cheapest, but Liquid Web excels by offering the utmost functionality, flexibility, and customer support for a price that we’re not sure why it isn’t higher. Whether you’re looking for Windows or Linux servers, four CPU cores or 24, Liquid Web technicians are on standby with always-there Heroic Support and a 100% network uptime guarantee. The premier host even includes perks such as built-in backups, enhanced security, DDoS protection, SSD RAID 1 storage, and the CloudFlare CDN.

Cheap Managed Dedicated Server

You’re going for premium hardware, why not go with premium support? Managed hosting goes beyond 24/7 technical support by configuring software, installing patches and updates, and maintaining all aspects of the environment. Managed hosts take care of all things infrastructure so you only have to focus on your business, website, or application.

Liquid Web offers three tiers of managed services, ranging from self-managed to fully managed, where technicians manage a customer’s hardware and web server and supply best-effort support for third-party software. Core-managed dedicated server plans cover server infrastructure, hardware, and core elements of the LAMP stack, while self-managed plans only cover the hardware and infrastructure.

Why to Use Cloud Hosting Services?

posted on May 3, 2021

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Lets's have a look at the advantages of Cloud Hosting so that you can understand it better.

cloud hosting

What is Cloud Hosting?


Simply stated, Cloud hosting is a server and network infrastructure that uses software to divide a single physical server into multiple virtual servers. Often, these devices are referred to as virtual machines or VMs.

Cloud hosting makes applications and websites accessible using cloud resources. Unlike traditional hosting, solutions are not deployed on a single server. Instead, a network of connected virtual and physical cloud servers hosts the application or website, ensuring greater flexibility and scalability.

Key features:

  • Applications and solutions are deployed on a cloud network rather than an on-premises, single server.
  • Resources scale to user needs.
  • Organizations only pay for the resources they use.
  • Cloud hosting can support SQL (including MySQL) or NoSQL databases.
  • Solutions are automated and controlled using APIs, web portals, and mobile apps.

1. Security

Storing a company’s data in the cloud can protect it against accidental loss and malicious activity as well as from events such as fire, floods, and earthquakes. Cloud storage, especially dedicated server hosting, also allows users the protection of a cloud provider’s own systems for preventing cybercrime and other security threats. Although users still need to implement their own protections, such as managing passwords and permissions, migrating data to the cloud protects sensitive information from physical damage, human error, and cyberthreats with resources that are beyond the scope of measures that can be taken on local networks.

Additionally, when using a cloud hosting provider, overall data protection is handled by experienced engineers. They install interconnected security tools, can scale resources as needed, and may offer additional layers of security at login, such as 2-factor authentication. Additionally, the cloud server hardware is typically physically held in ultra-secure off-premise data centers.

2. Scalability and Flexibility

Cloud service options range from basic public cloud packages to fully managed custom cloud solutions designed to meet specific needs, and these can be scaled to meet a company’s changing priorities and ongoing growth.

Options include the public cloud, a low-cost solution that allows many users to share the same servers provided by the remote host; private clouds dedicated to just one user; and hybrid- or multi-cloud options that can be a combination of cloud and local computing, or a group of cloud services dedicated to supporting different functions.

As a business grows, users can scale their cloud service plans to include more storage, more applications, and more services provided by the host. That might include opting for a private- or multi-cloud solution to meet evolving needs.

Most cloud services offer a menu of “pay as you go” services so that users can change plans or add new functions as needed, without the commitment and expense of buying these services outright. And since plans can be upgraded or downgraded as needed, users pay only for the services they need at any particular time.

3. Data Backups

When you store your Sage or QuickBooks data in the cloud, you can rest assured knowing backups are ready and waiting in the event of an emergency! Data backups are automated and usually take place daily. So, it won’t be the end of the if you forget to create a copy of your data at the end of a long working day.

4. Savings

Consider your current IT costs. Those local storage machines and hardware don’t maintain themselves, do they? If you’re looking to grow your business, you’ll have to expand your data storage and hardware as well, especially if you’re using a more advanced version of Sage. With this expansion comes the responsibility of your IT team to maintain and update your local machines. And with that responsibility comes money.

Managing a heavy network of storage/service hardware and other IT infrastructure can become expensive and taxing on smaller IT departments. Offloading the storage and performance capabilities of your business applications will not only reduce the amount of investment you make in IT hardware but will also greatly reduce the burden on your internal IT employees.

Depending on the cloud hosting provider, they’ll handle the backups, maintenance, and updating of all your company’s storage needs, on top of the risk aversion. So, it’s a matter of keeping your data safe, your software updated and your costs down, versus potentially at risk, out-of-date, and expensive.

5. Convenience and Collaboration

When data and applications are confined to local systems, access is typically limited to clearly defined times and circumstances. But the cloud erases time and location constraints, so that data and services are available at all times, from anywhere in the world.

Any user with permissions and a connected device can access company data stored in the cloud, making it possible to collaborate across time zones and borders, provide round the clock customer service and respond quickly to any situation. With uninterrupted hours of operation and constant access to relevant data/software, documents can be shared and edited in real-time, and projects can be completed from remote locations all over the world. With the cloud, your QuickBooks or Sage data can be in the palm of your hand or on your computer at a moment’s notice, no matter where you are.

Cloud hosting services are popular because they can reduce the cost and complexity of owning and operating computers and networks.

Cloud hosting is widely seen as a better option than shared hosting because of its ability to handle large amounts of traffic, its improved security protection, and its reliability.

5 Powerful WordPress Plugins for Improving Your Sharing

posted on April 27, 2021

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Is your business keeping up with the ever evolving blogging industry? And most importantly, are you taking any steps to make it dead easy for your readers to share your articles?

All recent research I found points towards the fact that blogging is gaining importance month over month. In 2011 alone, 14 million new blogs were added to the blogosphere.

A lot of emphasis is placed on producing the best content for your blog to drive leads to your site. And rightly so. Yet, with this post I want to go into detail about how a few great new WordPress plugins can give you a huge boost of exposure for your articles.

1. Digg Digg – More Powerful Sharing Buttons

Digg Digg is a sharing plugin, that has gotten a big overhaul recently. It offers you a slick sharebar on the left-hand side of your articles that floats down as you read.

Of course you can also decide to put buttons at the top or bottom of your articles if you prefer not to show the sliding bar. What is also worth mentioning is that the plugin features a vast amount of services, including Social Media newcomers Pinterest and Buffer as buttons.

How does it increase sharing of your posts?

There was recently some stunning research put out by BrightEdge. The company examined how the better placing of sharing buttons on your blog can drive more Social Media traffic.

A growing number of consumers trust blogs are as likely to have the same amount of sharing as traditional online news articles. This makes sharing buttons even more crucial. And the results are quite stunning:

The research found that better placing of sharing buttons can increase sharing of articles by up to 7 times, compared to those blogs who neglect it.

2. Simple Reach – The New York Times Slider Plugin For Any Business

Have you ever read an article on the New York Times? Half-way through reading a post there is a little box slides in, suggesting you to read another article from the site. And that is exactly what The Slide does from analytics company SimpleReach.

It is a simple WordPress plugin, that will present your readers with other very valuable articles from your site, as they read through your posts. It is a fantastic add-on to keep visitors longer on your site and allow them to share your articles more easily. Here is why.

How does it increase sharing of your posts?

Now the plugin doesn’t just present you with any article that slides in. It is a highly developed algorithm from social analytics company Simple Reach, that finds the most related content based on the article you are reading.

3. W3 Total Cache – 10 Times Faster Performance Of Your Blog

Another great plugin I want to introduce to you is called W3 Total Cache. It is a performance plugin. Tests from the plugin have shown to speed up the loading time of your blog by up to 10 times (according to their company website).

By having W3 Total Cache installed, every aspect of your site will be cached. This means there is less downloading time for your visitors and everything will be snappy as it should be. And here is why this is so important:

How does it increase sharing of your posts?

A while back we looked at how an increase in page loading time affects visitor abandonment. In an easy to understand infographic, they evaluated how faster sites can increase time spent on site and probability of sharing.

Here are a few examples of what massive difference a faster site can make:

So to get interaction and sharing of your articles up, simply making your site fast, might just give you an immense boost.

4. Facebook Commenting Plugin – Truly Social Interaction For Your Blog

With over 400,000 blogs that have already installed the Facebook commenting plugin, the positive aspects of the platform can’t be denied. Existing commenting systems such as Disqus and Lifefyre definitely have a strong competitor here.

The Facebook commenting plugin is super easy to setup. You put the customized code snippet in the comments section of your theme and you are done.

How does it increase sharing of your posts?

The biggest advantage I believe that the Facebook commenting system brings is the option to post to your Facebook wall at the same time of commenting. Using this on my own blog for the past few months, this has brought a large spike in Facebook shares for my site.

At the same time, you are able to give users a much easier way to interact with your content. There is no need to sign-in and users can just write away, as soon as they have something to say.

5. Social Metrics – Track Your Social Shares More Efficiently

The last plugin I want to mention here is one called Social Metrics. It is a fantastic solution that helps you track the number of shares of all your articles across any social network.

What I like best is that you can filter by date or category, to make it easier to understand how well your posts are doing. The compact format is definitely a great improvement to get an overview of the sharing activity of your posts.

How does it increase sharing of your posts?

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve.” Goes one of the most important sayings in business. And this is particularly true for tracking of your social mentions I found.

What is Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)?

posted on April 26, 2021

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SSL is a security protocol that assures users that the connection between their computer and the site they are visiting is secure. During a connection, lots of information passes between two computers, including what may be highly confidential data such as credit card numbers, user identification numbers or even passwords.

Under normal circumstances, this data is sent in plain text, which means that if the connection were to be intercepted by a third party, that data could be stolen. SSL prevents this by mandating an encryption algorithm to be used during the connection on both ends.

The padlock, or green padlock icon has become an assurance indicator to users that the website they are visiting takes their security seriously.

Types of SSL Certificates

Although all SSL certificates are designed for the same purpose, not all are equal. Think of it like buying a phone. All phones are basically designed to do the same thing, but there are different companies that manufacture them and produce many different models at varying price points.

To simplify the matters, we break down the SSL Certificate types by level of trust.

1. Domain Validated (DV) Certificate


Among SSL Certificates, the Domain Validated Certificate is the most basic and simply assures users that the site is safe. There is not much detail except for that simple fact and many security organizations do not recommend using Domain Validated Certificates for websites that deal in commercial transactions. The Domain Validated Certificate is the budget smartphone of the SSL world.

2. Organization Validated (OV) Certificate

Organizational Certificates holders are more stringently vetted are by CAs than Domain Validated Certificate holders. In fact, the owners of these certificates are authenticated by dedicated staff who validate them against government-run business registries. OV Certificates contain information about the business holding them and are often used on commercial websites and represent the midrange smartphones of the SSL world.

3. Extended Validation (EV) Certificate

Representing the highest level of trust in SSL rankings, EV Certificates are opted for by the best of the best and extremely stringently vetted. By opting to use EV Certificates, these websites are buying deeply into consumer trust. These are the iPhoneX of the SSL world.

The fact that SSL Certification has become so highly recommended today, many fraud websites have also taken to using SSL. After all, there is little difference to the websites, except for the green certification padlock. This is the key reason more reputable organizations are going for SSL Certification that are more highly vetted.

Where to Get SSL Certificates?

To get a SSL certificate, you need to go to a Certificate Authorities (CA).

Certificate Authorities (CA) are like private security companies. They are the ones who issue digital certificates that facilitate the SSL establishment process. They also belong to a limited list of businesses that meet detailed criteria to maintain their place on that list. CAs who maintain their place on that list can issue SSL Certificates –  so the list is exclusive.

The process is not quite as simple as it sounds, since before a certificate can be issued, the CA must check the identity of the website applying for it. The level of detail in those checks depend on what type of SSL is being applied for.
What makes a Certificate Authority (CA) great?

The best CA is one who has been in the business for some time and follows best practices in business, not only for itself but also for any partners associated with the business. Ideally, they should also be able to demonstrate proven expertise in the field.

Look for a CA that stays up to current standards, are actively involved in the security industry and has as many resources as possible that support their customers. The hosting service provider should be able to assist you.

A good CA would also:

  •     Have reasonably short validation times
  •     Be easily accessible to its customers
  •     Have great support
How to Install a SSL Certificate?

SSL Installation for cPanel
  • Under ‘Security’ options, click on ‘SSL/TLS Manager’
  • Under ‘Install and Manage SSL’, select ‘Manage SSL Sites’
  • Copy your certificate code including —–BEGIN CERTIFICATE—– and —–END CERTIFICATE—– and paste it into the “Certificate: (CRT)” field.
  • Click ‘Autofill by Certificate’
  • Copy and paste the chain of intermediate certificates (CA Bundle) into the box under Certificate Authority Bundle (CABUNDLE)
  • Click ‘Install Certificate’

SSL Installation for Plesk
  • Go to the Websites & Domains tab and choose which domain you’d like to install the certificate for.
  • Click ‘Secure Your Sites’
  • Under the ‘Upload Certificate Files’ segment, click ‘Browse’ and choose the certificate and the CA bundle files necessary.
  • Click ‘Send Files’
  • Go back to ‘Websites & Domains’ then click on ‘Hosting settings’ for the domain you’re installing the certificate on.
  • Under ‘Security’, there should be a drop-down menu for you to select the certificate.
  • Ensure the ‘SSL Support’ box is checked.
  • Make sure you click ‘OK’ to save changes

To validate if your installation was successful, you can use this free SSL validation tool.

Adaptive Cloud Security

posted on April 25, 2021

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Today’s enterprise networks are increasingly distributed with more unique operational and compliance requirements than ever before. This creates many challenges in applying consistent policy enforcement, cross platform visibility, and unified prevention, detection and response. Organizations of all sizes are seeing the rapid introduction of new network edges as they implement remote working, hybrid cloud solutions, edge computing and a host of other digital transformation initiatives. As a result of highly distributed networks, a growing and very real issue is gaps in visibility of these network edges and increased management complexity. To prevent these issues, cloud security solutions must be able to readily adapt to address the changing business requirements and the growing demand for greater agility, innovation and user experience.

Top Consideration for Achieving End-to-End Cloud Security  

Networks and security have always followed the compute which was previously centered on mainframes and then servers in enterprise data centers. Today, the compute is highly distributed across hybrid networks, spanning private and shared infrastructures from homes, branch offices, and enterprise data centers to multiple service provider clouds. Organizations need to ensure their network is application aware and highly adaptive – allowing users to access cloud resources without having to be routed back to central data centers.  SD-WAN adoption is driven by the growth of hybrid cloud solutions and the new reality of highly distributed networks and remote working.  Likewise, security needs to shift to securing all network edges – at speed and scale, on demand.

Going forward, cloud security solutions need to support Zero Trust principles and operate as integrated solutions with flexible form factors and consumption models. Security needs to be end-to-end, following data and applications wherever they may be located rather than tied to a traditional perimeter that defines trust based on whether something is “inside” or “outside” of a network perimeter.

Edge computing is driving enterprises and service providers to deploy more distributed and more localized, regional clouds close to where the end-user or device leveraging the applications and data reside.  Locating the processing and storage close to where the data is being used delivers a number of benefits, including better network performance and lower cost as less traffic has to be routed to core clouds. However, this can introduce complexities that negatively affect operations and security. To prevent this from occurring, enterprises need solutions that can provide security for these new edges and facilitate seamless network performance, which means integrated Secure SD-WAN and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE).

Additionally, cloud security systems must also include artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions that can gather and analyze large amounts of data to identify threats before or the moment they occur. Solutions must also be automated to make processes faster and more accurate, ensuring the maximum level of response by all relevant resources.

Securing All Network Edges with Integrated Security

Delivering better outcomes and experiences require integrated security on all network edges – including the LAN, WAN and cloud edges. It requires the network, security and compute function to work as an integrated solution rather than traditionally siloed operations. Driving outcomes and experiences requires the application awareness of Secure SD-WAN to ensure optimized WAN access to cloud resources along with a best-in-class next generation firewall security stack.  In addition, this must be natively integrated with cloud platforms to ensure a secure, seamless interaction.  Single transactions can span many systems and applications, involving possibly multiple network edges, which all need to be protected. Security needs to be consistently applied on all network edges and it needs to be done in an automated, adaptive manner that meets changing requirements across networking, security and compute.  

Cloud security also needs to be capable of adapting to changing customer needs and digital innovation strategies as they evolve their security networks. Organizations are increasingly replacing traditional router-based, hub and spoke networks that back-haul traffic back to the data center with application aware Secure SD-WAN solutions to optimize network performance, lower costs and drive better end user experiences while implementing integrated security.  Secure SD-WAN consolidates technologies and reduces complexity, while ensuring edge-to-edge security visibility and control.

In addition to issues of compatibility, a comprehensive and integrated security strategy also has challenges in terms of speed and scale. The volume, velocity and variety of new data generated will be greater than ever before – especially as edge compute ramps up using 5G networks generating more data than central clouds and stretching the limits of traditional security solutions. Cloud security solutions will need to support new, high-speed connections and hyper-scale operations. 5G, with its ultra-high speeds and highly reliable connections, is rolling out globally, and most network security solutions, especially cloud-based ones, will struggle to keep pace. Security solutions not designed for highly encrypted, high-speed networks will create serious roadblocks for organizations.

The Need for Adaptive Cloud Security

An adaptive cloud security strategy enables security that follows application and data, as well as can be adapted to any cloud, deployment, and consumption model. As organizations increase their cloud maturity and expand their networks, there’s a need for solutions that can grow and adapt with changing technologies and business requirements. Organizations are realizing the importance of converging security, network, and computing, breaking down disparate operational siloes to truly reap the benefits of the cloud without compromising security and user experience.

Cloud Hosting Versus Web Hosting

posted on April 25, 2021

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The primary distinction between cloud hosting and web hosting is that a cloud hosting company provides website hosting services using various virtual servers. In most cases, one physical server is used for web hosting. In other words, while websites hosted by a web host service all run on the same server and share the same resources (such as space, storage, and bandwidth), websites hosted by a cloud hosting server share resources across multiple servers to ensure the best possible quality and speed.

Web hosting has long been the preferred and most common form of hosting service, and it remains so due to its lower average costs. Web hosting services, in general, are either on a smaller scale, offering service for a single web page or a free web domain with limited features or on a larger scale, providing hosting services that must be paid for and support a large number of websites.

On the other hand, Cloud hosting servers are rapidly ascending the internet rankings, as they provide a range of useful, often superior benefits that result in increased website performance. The following are some of these characteristics:

  • High uptimes;
  • Improved support;
  • More reliability;
  • Increased bandwidth;
  • Enhanced resources.

A faulty or otherwise problematic server can be quarantined, and the website switched to a more reliable server in seconds because cloud server hosting is a real-time affair. The aggregate distribution of website resources also ensures that a single server does not become overburdened due to the number of websites hosted on it. For example, if one website on a shared server experiences an increase in traffic, the productivity of all other websites on that server is likely to suffer. This is not a problem for cloud hosting companies since they use many servers.

Embedded Web Servers vs. Application Servers

posted on April 25, 2021

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Summary

Web servers and application servers both offer a way to provide an embedded system with an Internet presence. The difference lies in the amount of programming required to adapt the server to the system. Classic web servers simply process HTTP requests and responses; anything else must be developed from scratch. Much of that work amounts to spending time and money "reinventing the wheel" for common functions and infrastructure that aren't supported by a web server.

By contrast, application servers include frameworks that dramatically shorten the development cycle. Choosing an application server means that you don't have to write commonly-used communication and user interface functions or their underlying infrastructure for each system. Programming resources can instead be focused on functionality that is specific to the system.
Using C/C++ for web development or a high level scripting language?

Since HTML is text based, a lot of work is required for: managing data, parsing requests, and assembling responses. All of this needs string manipulation. String manipulation in C isn’t rocket science, but it’s tedious and extremely easy to get wrong. Everything must be strictly typed, and memory must be explicitly reserved and released as needed, requiring scrupulous attention to every detail and making maintenance difficult.

On the other hand, with Web scripting environments such as Lua, much of this work has already been done. The application server abstracts the web server details, giving access to request and response objects and their associated APIs. This means that the application specific code has to deal only with high-level behavior and data.

A single line of script can implement the entire string concatenation. The lower-level machinations are automatically handled. Scripts also access and manipulate data without the need to worry about data organization or type definition.

Another important distinction is that scripting languages use just-in-time compilation while the system is operating. Whenever the user navigates or refreshes the browser, the virtual machine compiles any changed script before it sends the requested page to the browser, thereby automating the host of compilation, linking, and other developer overheads associated with an equivalent C-based application.

Detail explanation

Web Servers


A typical web server has one role: to implement the HTTP protocol. This protocol activates a browser to issue a request that a server can respond to. Today’s web is highly sophisticated, featuring elaborate graphics and streaming media, yet surprisingly, the HTTP is a very simple protocol. All it does is transport requests and responses.

Because HTTP is a stateless protocol, there is no intelligence in the operation: no decision-making, no context, no scripts, and no code to execute. There is also no dynamic page creation to make user interfaces slick and easy to use. If a page needs to be dynamic, some other program has to do that work and put the result where the web server expects it to be.

POST is used to submit data from the web browser back to the server. This is the request that is generated when someone hits the "Submit" button on a filled-out form. A basic web server cannot process a POST request, since it will have no idea what to do with the data in the request. It must rely on some other program or utility to process the data.

On older standard websites, that utility might be a Common Gateway Interface (CGI) plug-in: the web server would simply hand any POST requests over to be handled by CGI. While CGI isn't appropriate for most embedded applications due to its size, performance, and inability to exist in a monolithic architecture, the fact remains that the web server needs something else to handle data returned by a web browser.

Most web-based applications need much more than this. In particular, embedded web applications generally must be able to let the web functionality affect the device operation - the remote browser has to be able to "talk" to the system. A web server has no such capability, so everything beyond the simple processing of HTTP must be written as a part of system development.

The low-level code that will interact directly with the system hardware will likely be written in C, and, because these routines are so system-specific, they will need to be written during development no matter how the web connectivity is implemented. The challenge is that a web server has no way of accessing those routines, meaning that some way of connecting the two must be built.

The two high-level elements that must be created are:

  •     A way for the web browser to invoke some other program;
  •     A program that can take an HTTP request and, from the request contents, invoke the appropriate C code.

These two functions sound deceptively simple. Conceptually, they are simple, but the details of what effectively amounts to a translation from a web conversation into device action are tedious and error-prone. Developers frequently underestimate the amount of time required to produce this code by a wide margin. For this reason, using only a basic web server will result in months of additional coding. You end up spending many weeks of time working on nitty-gritty details, things that an application server framework has already put in place.

Application servers provide that missing link, delivering configurable functionality that makes the connection between the simple HTTP operations and the complex matters the application needs to deal with. This low-level generic work is already done, and coding can focus on adapting the requests and responses to your specific technology.

Application Servers

Application servers build onto web servers a much broader range of configurable functionality. At the very least, they provide a way for the web server to hand off tasks to any of a variety of plug-ins that can handle requests for things other than simple resources. This means that an application server will allow real-time decision making and business logic, invoking other scripts or programs and, if appropriate, dynamically creating response pages in real time.

Most importantly for developers, however, is the fact that application servers tend to come with complete frameworks for use in developing code for the system. For example, if only a web server is used, then one must write custom code for recognizing and parsing requests and generating responses for functions being handled outside the web server. By contrast, the framework accompanying an application server will typically have a library that includes request and response objects. The low-level generic work is already done, and your coding can focus on adapting the requests and responses to your specific technology.

Each application server may provide a different set of resources targeted for its targeted programming environments and languages. While C is familiar to many systems engineers, and is generally better for low-level code, there are higher-level languages that simplify the programming and eliminate the need to handle numerous low-level details.

Real Time Logic's Barracuda Application Server is a good example of an application server designed specifically for use on deeply embedded systems. It supports the Lua scripting language and its associated Lua Server Pages, providing a dramatic speed-up in code development. You can learn more about Lua in the Lua Whitepaper.

It's Not Black and White

The differences outlined here between a web server and an application server apply in most cases, although, over time, the boundaries between the two have begun to blur. Typical basic web servers are more likely to focus on HTTP, while others may add a few features that were once associated only with application servers.

As an example, if all you need is a way to connect a web server to C/C++ functionality, the Barracuda Web Server provides web server capability and a C/C++ application framework for invoking C and C++ programs. While C programs (server business logic) take longer to develop and require that the server be taken down and restarted for updates (as opposed to Lua-based application server programs that are compiled on the fly), they do remain an option for embedded systems having limited web connectivity requirements.

What is a Web Server?

posted on April 25, 2021

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The term web server can refer to hardware or software, or both of them working together.

On the hardware side, a web server is a computer that stores web server software and a website's component files. (for example, HTML documents, images, CSS stylesheets, and JavaScript files) A web server connects to the Internet and supports physical data interchange with other devices connected to the web.
On the software side, a web server includes several parts that control how web users access hosted files. At a minimum, this is an HTTP server. An HTTP server is software that understands URLs (web addresses) and HTTP (the protocol your browser uses to view webpages). An HTTP server can be accessed through the domain names of the websites it stores, and it delivers the content of these hosted websites to the end user's device.

At the most basic level, whenever a browser needs a file that is hosted on a web server, the browser requests the file via HTTP. When the request reaches the correct (hardware) web server, the (software) HTTP server accepts the request, finds the requested document, and sends it back to the browser, also through HTTP. (If the server doesn't find the requested document, it returns a 404 response instead.)

Basic representation of a client/server connection through HTTP

To publish a website, you need either a static or a dynamic web server.

A static web server, or stack, consists of a computer (hardware) with an HTTP server (software). We call it "static" because the server sends its hosted files as-is to your browser.

A dynamic web server consists of a static web server plus extra software, most commonly an application server and a database. We call it "dynamic" because the application server updates the hosted files before sending content to your browser via the HTTP server.

For example, to produce the final webpages you see in the browser, the application server might fill an HTML template with content from a database. Sites like MDN or Wikipedia have thousands of webpages. Typically, these kinds of sites are composed of only a few HTML templates and a giant database, rather than thousands of static HTML documents. This setup makes it easier to maintain and deliver the content.

To review: to fetch a webpage, your browser sends a request to the web server, which searches for the requested file in its own storage space. Upon finding the file, the server reads it, processes it as-needed, and sends it to the browser. Let's look at those steps in more detail.

Hosting files


First, a web server has to store the website's files, namely all HTML documents and their related assets, including images, CSS stylesheets, JavaScript files, fonts, and video.

Technically, you could host all those files on your own computer, but it's far more convenient to store files all on a dedicated web server because:

  • A dedicated web server is typically more available. (up and running)
  • Excusing downtime and systems troubles, a dedicated web server is always connected to the Internet.
  • A dedicated web server can have the same IP address all the time. This is known as a dedicated IP address. (not all ISPs provide a fixed IP address for home lines)
  •  A dedicated web server is typically maintained by a third-party.

For all these reasons, finding a good hosting provider is a key part of building your website. Examine the various services companies offer. Choose one that fits your needs and budget. (Services range from free to thousands of dollars per month.) You can find more details in this article.

Once you have web hosting service, you must upload your files to your web server.
Communicating through HTTP

Second, a web server provides support for HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol). As its name implies, HTTP specifies how to transfer hypertext (linked web documents) between two computers.

A Protocol is a set of rules for communication between two computers. HTTP is a textual, stateless protocol.

Textual

  • All commands are plain-text and human-readable.
  • Stateless
  •  Neither the server nor the client remember previous communications. For example, relying on HTTP alone, a server can't remember a password you typed or remember your progress on an incomplete transaction. You need an application server for tasks like that. (We'll cover that sort of technology in other articles.)

HTTP provides clear rules for how a client and server communicate. We'll cover HTTP itself in a technical article later. For now, just be aware of these things:

  • Only clients can make HTTP requests, and then only to servers. Servers can only respond to a client's HTTP request.
  • When requesting a file via HTTP, clients must provide the file's URL.
  • The web server must answer every HTTP request, at least with an error message.

The MDN 404 page as an example of such error pageOn a web server, the HTTP server is responsible for processing and answering incoming requests.

  • Upon receiving a request, an HTTP server first checks if the requested URL matches an existing file.
  • If so, the web server sends the file content back to the browser. If not, an application server builds the necessary file.
  • If neither process is possible, the web server returns an error message to the browser, most commonly 404 Not Found. (The 404 error is so common that some web designers devote considerable time and effort to designing 404 error pages.4
  • Static vs. dynamic content

Roughly speaking, a server can serve either static or dynamic content. Remember that the term static means "served as-is". Static websites are the easiest to set up, so we suggest you make your first site a static site.

The term dynamic means that the server processes the content or even generates it on the fly from a database. This approach provides more flexibility, but the technical stack is more complex, making it dramatically more challenging to build a website.

There are so many application server technologies that it's difficult to suggest a particular one. Some application servers cater to specific website categories like blogs, wikis, or eCommerce; others are more generic. If you're building a dynamic website, take the time to choose technology that fits your needs. Unless you want to learn web server programming (which is an exciting area in itself!), you don't need to create your own application server.

Top 5 Managed Web Hosting Service Trends in 2021

posted on April 25, 2021

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Since the advent of internet technology, enterprises are continually dealing with increasing workloads. Managing workloads include the proper alignment of company data, resources and targeting them towards desired business outcomes.

For any organization, managing IT infrastructure can be difficult sometimes, especially when it lacks the required IT skillset. Hiring or training the existing IT teams can be both time-consuming and expensive.

Moreover, with the IT industry facing issues with digital transformation like transitioning from hardware or software solutions to as-a-service cloud solutions, they need help in selecting the right technology stack, its implementation, and support to ease their transition. Here, the role of a Managed Services Provider comes in.

Before we jump on to understanding the role of managed services providers and the latest managed services trends, it is imperative to know what are managed services.
What are managed services?

Under Managed Services, the users make use of applications or resources that are completely managed by a third party i.e. a managed service provider. The MSPs allow users to outsource their various network and application needs with complete support. The applications are hosted and managed by the managed service provider only.

Gartner explains a managed service provider (MSP) as A managed service provider (MSP) delivers network, application, system, and e-management services across a network to multiple enterprises, using a “pay as you go” pricing model.

Role of Managed Hosting Services Providers

Managed hosting service providers play an active role when it comes to helping enterprises evaluate the right digital transformation strategies, migrate workloads, manage networks and infrastructure, and secure data and applications.

There are a vast set of opportunities for managed service providers with increasing application and infrastructure migration from on-premises to the cloud.

The cloud managed services market size is projected to grow from USD 27.15 Billion in 2017 to USD 53.78 Billion by 2022, at an expected CAGR of 14.6%. – marketsandmarkets.com.

But, it’s important to know where and how opportunities are appearing and what will be the benefit to the early adopters.

Latest trends in the managed web hosting industry

Following are the managed services trends and web hosting industry trends that will provide a guide to market opportunities for providers of these services:

1. Increasing adoption of managed web hosting services

The enterprises will continue their shift towards managed hosting and Cloud Services. As per Statista, there has been a continuous increase in the size of managed web hosting services’ market.

SaaS and application hosting are other major areas where people spend, followed by infrastructure services.

2. Infrastructure monitoring and alerting is the most used managed service

Many reports suggest that the infrastructure/application monitoring and alerting services will be the most used managed service. It will be followed by other managed services like Backup and Recovery and Disaster Recovery.

This can be due to the increasing concerns for data security. Organizations look for reliable services that provide complete security to their valuable business data. Managed service providers by offering DR and Backup services ensure that the organization’s data is protected against any sudden disaster and is recoverable in case of any loss.

3. Growth in channel partner MSPs and M&As

MSPs will see a rise in the number of customers who look for complete technical support and migration apart from the basic implementation services.

Some may even start running partner programs for their resellers to help them manage the end customers. This will help MSPs reach the market faster.

SMB customers prefer a unified provider of hosting services, hence managed hosting services’ industry is witnessing an increasing number of M&As (Mergers and Acquisitions).

For this, the service providers need to re-align every business process and evaluate resources, lines of business, system integrations, brand value proposition etc. Both organizations need to ensure their sound financial health and capacity before getting into any M&A activity.

4. Bundled IT solutions’ trend

The rise of new, innovative services in the managed cloud and hosting will be a normal affair. To accommodate all these services in a unified offering, MSPs have started offering bundled solutions.

“The markets for unmanaged IaaS and SaaS are dominated by large, hyper-scale vendors. However, this spending trend indicates there is an appetite for the type of bundled services a broader market of managed service providers is well-positioned to deliver. A strong opportunity exists for service providers offering a diversified set of hosting and cloud services that include infrastructure and application hosting, as well as managed services and security services delivered around them.” -Liam Eagle, Research Manager at 451 Research.

In the coming years, too, bundled solutions will be a good way to upsell and cross-sell services. This is because they stand as enterprise-wide solutions, fulfilling all requirements in one place – a win-win solution for the end customer and the seller.

5. Shifting focus on hybrid and multi-cloud management services


Earlier, enterprises went either to a privately hosted solution or a public cloud, but now they want to make use of mixed benefits of both, through hybrid cloud.

As per Gartner, “by 2021, over 75% of midsize and large organizations will have adopted a multicloud and/or hybrid IT strategy.”

The rise in hybrid cloud adoption is making MSPs shift their focus towards the flexibility and versatility of hybrid cloud solutions.

“As the demand for agility and flexibility grows, organizations will shift toward more industrialized, less-tailored options. Organizations that adopt hybrid infrastructure will optimize costs and increase efficiency. However, it increases the complexity of selecting the right toolset to deliver end-to-end services in a multi-sourced environment.” – DD Mishra, research director at Gartner.

Hybrid cloud can meet the needs of the cloud customers for a wholesome solution while providing MSPs with various opportunities to provide the needed services, manage and support the multi-sourced hybrid environment.

Conclusion:

These are the latest managed web hosting industry trends. These trends are the results of emerging technologies and customer demand changes in the market.

To succeed and thrive in this era of cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), AI, cybersecurity, and always-on access to apps and data, MSPs need to identify trends faster and grab the opportunity before their competitors do.

How To Download File Using ASP.NET

posted on April 22, 2021

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Here we discuss how to write code in ASP.NET by executing which we can download any specified file. Many developers require such type of code in their application of ASP.NET but they do not know how to write such a code in ASP.NET, which provides such type of functionality of downloading of file from any specified location using ASP.NET.

In this article you are going to learn some basics on this matter. Downloading file by executing one file is so easy but such type of code we is difficult to find when we are trying to find it out in search engines like Google, AltaVista and many more so as a part of solution I have provided one code example which is used to download any specified file from any specified location which is coded in ASP.NET. You just go through this example to clearly understand all the programmatic aspects.

Now here you have to keep in mind that there is no special classes are available to do such type of functionality of downloading file but by indirect way we have to complete the task of downloading file from any specified location. In your development stage, you might have performed many operations using file handling like creating new file, copying file from one location to other location, deleting file and opening file, etc. If you are aware of file handling operation then you may know that before opening file we have to specify whether we want to write in file or we want to read from file. As per your choice you can perform operation. Now suppose you want to open one file which is already created at that time you are writing code for that and if you have clearly observed the code then you might have came to know that before opening file it will ask you whether you want to open file directly or you want to save file in your computer and then you want to open it. So now, you might have got a slight idea that I have provided you solution how to write code for download file from specified location. Now let me end the suspense and let me provide you the code for downloading file using ASP.NET.

Example:

‘first of all open file using FileStream Class

Dim fst As New FileStream(Server.MapPath("abc.txt"), FileMode.Open)

‘create string variable to store filename

 Dim fl As String

‘store the file name to string variable

 fl = "abc.txt"

‘store the total number of byte to read

 Dim bytBytes(fst.Length) As Byte

‘read file byte by byte

 fst.Read(bytBytes, 0, fst.Length)

 

‘close the file after reading it

 fst.Close()

‘add the header to the file which is file name

 Response.AddHeader("Content-disposition", "attachment; filename=" & fl)

‘specify the content type

 Response.ContentType = "application/octet-stream"

‘write all the byte to newly created file

 Response.BinaryWrite(bytBytes)

Business Hosting

posted on April 18, 2021

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Questions and uncertainties are always looming when owning and running an online business. Minimizing as much concern and turning them into a static reliability would be a top priority for anyone in this line of work. For starters, good web hosting ensures a strong foundation for your business to operate. Additionally, a fast loading website from efficient web hosting can mean that your business has a better chance at ranking higher on a search engine. Next is support, because even the most efficient and steadfast of websites can fall victim to crashes and related issues - a good support staff is vital.

There are a lot of cheap web hosting companies out there that may hinder and lag from high volumes of traffic. In cases like these, it is normally apparent that the quality and speed of your site is proportional to what type of hosting service you decide on. On the contrary, when your websites are loading faster from a high quality hosting service, capacity to handle traffic is far greater, thus making way for an increased chance for a better search engine ranking.

Hosting servers can promise and deliver on being 100% up due to better hosting methods like cloud. But having great support in addition to simply hosting your site means that issues can be addressed immediately when something goes wrong. Finding a hosting company that will fully back their services with a support staff should be anyone’s top criteria when selecting one.

Starting a business is always a big risk. The success or failure of one should not rest or even be factored into on account of poor and cheap host servers that are not reliable. Think about the last time you’ve visited a favorite website only to have it loading slow or just plain crashed due to a high volume of users flooding in. Take that up a notch and if you’re making a purchase from a site that’s sluggish, that’s a very unsettling experience. Finding a good hosting company should not be bargain hunting process; selecting a company with a proven past performance in their repertoire is a good place to start. In addition, visiting their hosted sites is another good way to gauge performance.

What to Have in Mind When Hosting Your Own VPS?

posted on April 18, 2021

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Virtual Private Servers have become an increasingly popular form of web hosting due to their attractive hybrid-like attributes. Boasting the benefits of a dedicated server without the burden of a large price, VPS has provided a way for consumers to have their cake and eat it too.

The comparison of a cake actually provides quite a simple way of explaining how a VPS works. Similar to dividing a cake into slices to cater for a number of people, a VPS is segmented into partitions so that a number of users can have a personal server despite essentially sharing with others.

Through this segmentation, consumers virtually get their own private server, as the name states. However, due to still ultimately utilizing a shared server, they are not subjected to paying the price of the whole server, the same as purchasing a slice instead of a whole cake.

Provided you haven’t darted off to the kitchen due to the mouthwatering analogy, this article is a guide for those looking to host a VPS, and the considerations you need to contemplate when offering it to customers.

While you'll be keen to offer as much as possible to as many consumers as you can in order to maximum profit from the server, you may encounter a number of problems without deliberating over factors such as performance, power and security.

The latter of these is obvious necessity for your VPS, as the server will be being utilized by a number of users who won't want others having access to their sensitive information. Because of this, you should ensure that every private server operates individually and there is no way of them getting out of their virtual machine, or anyone getting in for that matter.

Distribution of CPU power and RAM is also a consideration in order to fully run each private server without draining the entire system. Keep in mind that each of these will be running its own operating system.

You should also discover what resources will and won't be used on each VPS. This way you can disable unnecessary services and free more RAM. While also investigating their resources, find out what type of sites each user will be running on their personal server in order to delegate more or less resources. Depending on the size of the website you may also need to recommend them to opt for a dedicated server if the VPS won't support their site.

Finally, heading back to the cake theme, remember that too many cooks can spoil the broth, meaning you shouldn't include too many users on one server. This will reduce resources available to your existing users and, by avoiding this, also give you some leeway if one user is consuming more than another.

VPS is a fantastic offering to your customers as it provides them a middle ground between a shared server and a dedicated server. Once the decision has been made to use this form of web hosting though, you'll need to keep these considerations in mind in order to offer an efficient and desirable service to your customers.

Top 7 web hosting trends in 2021

posted on April 17, 2021

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As of January 2021, there were 4.66 billion active internet users around the world – 59.5 per cent of the global population. This means, more than half of the world’s population is online.

From buying products and services online to enrolling in online education courses, the internet has become an indispensable part of our lives. It is a boon for eCommerce sellers and other businesses who can contact their customers easily anytime and promote their products seamlessly by creating an online presence. One of the many reasons why there are over 1.5 billion websites on the world wide web today.

The growing importance of online presence drives the demand for web hosting services. This is a golden opportunity for web hosting providers. But to make full use of this opportunity, it is important to stay on top of web hosting trends.

Save up to 80% on Domain & Shared Hosting

To help you with that, we came up with the top 7 web hosting trends in 2021 that you must bookmark now.

1. The future is multi-cloud


To build a business that is resilient and agile – you need to rely on technologies that evolve with you. Many organizations learnt this the hard way when the COVID19 pandemic hit.

Cloud computing is one of the most popular digital technologies in the market right now. And why not, it offers everything that a modern business requires to stay on the top of its game. From low-upfront investment and instant scalability to premium data security and flexibility of resources, cloud hosting has been a technological breakthrough of this decade. This is the reason why the demand for cloud hosting does not seem to decline anytime soon. A multi-cloud architecture defines a computing model that utilizes two or more different types of public, private, or hybrid clouds. With distributed cloud solutions of multiple providers, businesses can achieve greater efficiencies and economies of scale.

More than half (55%) of organizations currently use multiple public clouds, with 21% saying they use three or more.(3)

It also helps them in picking the best-of-breed services of different cloud providers. For example, they can pick a cloud provider based on their premium security offering, while another provider can guarantee high upload speed for their customer-facing application.

Though setting up a multi-cloud arrangement is not easy, with the right expertise, businesses can achieve complete agility and workload mobility. As a hosting provider, you must keep this trend in mind while preparing your service offering.

2. Green hosting is gradually becoming a necessity

Green hosting defines web hosting that either uses renewable energy resources or offsets the energy consumed by servers using green initiatives.

Now, you might think, how buying hosting can affect the environment?

Let’s dig deeper. When a customer buys any hosting – they are securing a spot in the world of the internet where their data (website) will reside. This data is stored in servers. These servers run non-stop round the year and need to be kept in cooled environments – leading to the generation of a significant amount of carbon footprint. This makes them harmful to the environment.

The effect can be understood more deeply when you realize that there are billions of websites and data centers in the world right now.
Green Data Center Market Trends

Green web-hosting providers actively try to use eco-friendly initiatives – like using renewable energy to run data centers. These companies are REC (Renewable Energy Certificates) or VERs (Carbon Offset Certificate) certified.

In the coming years, with more talks on protecting the environment and reducing carbon footprint, green hosting can become the first choice of customers.

3. Security will take center stage

Internet security will take the center stage in the web hosting services industry this year and for the years to come. The reason being the pandemic complicating the security landscape – introducing new threats and vulnerabilities. COVID-19 related scams are posing serious threats to personal as well as commercial data. Thus, there are rising concerns over data security and growing cyberattacks.

In a report, Gartner predicted the worldwide spending on cybersecurity to reach $133.7 billion in 2022.

As people become more aware of cybersecurity and its importance, web hosting providers will need to make security an inherent part of their service offerings.

Not only this, but you will also need to follow the best security protocols within your organization. Even a petty cyber-security incident can ruin your reputation. Some best cybersecurity practices can include embracing two-factor authentication, SSL certification, unified protection, and compliance checks for CMS (Content Management System).

Many websites hosting providers are also offering domain privacy services. A domain privacy service ensures that the customer’s domain info on WHOIS (a public domain directory) is kept anonymous and private.

Another important security offering is HTTPS. Today, offering HTTPS more than a nice-have feature has become a must-have. HTTPS can not only improve any website’s security profile but also help it rank higher on search engines like Google.

4. Decrease in traditional data centers

In one of its blog posts, Gartner predicted that by 2025, 80% of enterprises will shut down their traditional data centers.

Spending on traditional data centers is slowly declining due to the increased dependence on cloud-based servers and collocated data centers.

Today, not every organization is building their own data centers. Rather, they pick data center services from large providers to save infrastructure set-up cost. While ‘cost’ may seem to be the primary reason why people are shifting to collocated data center space, but network performance is an equally or even more pertinent reason. By moving to the cloud and colo, enterprises can:

    Improve application and infrastructure scalability
    Improve data center security & resiliency
    Reduce capital expenditure

As traditional data center demand decline, hybrid and multi-cloud architecture will become more significant.

5. Value addition is key to differentiation

When it comes to the service industry, extra is always desirable. This holds for the web hosting providers as well. It is not what you offer that differentiates you, it is what you offer in extra that attracts the customers the most.

This is more relevant in today’s age where the customer is looking for value. Gone are the days when hosting was just about the server space and file storage. Today, tons of different offerings can make you stand out from the competition. These include offerings like SSL, web design, e-mail marketing, automation tool, control panel, website optimization, SEO and more.

Giving your customers value-added extras establishes you as the one-stop destination or the first port of call whenever the customer requires a new service or product.

6. Growth of managed web hosting

Managed web hosting is one of the most interesting web hosting trends to watch out for this year.

Managed hosting is one where the service provider manages the necessary website operations like backups, system updates, help desk support at their own end. This means that the customer who is buying the service does not need to worry about the management and administration.

Unmanaged hosting services come with a lot of hidden costs – like the cost of hiring system admins, database admins, security teams, etc.

A managed hosting can cover these additional costs for you and your customers. Plus, you and your customers can focus on core business goals and competencies.

Managed hosting providers can also take care of the website security through advanced server monitoring, proactive detection of vulnerabilities and other irregularities.

7. Rise in DIY website builders

Do-it-yourself (DIY) website builders are the biggest competition for web hosting providers.

These DIY website builders offer a simple and intuitive drag-and-drop feature to customers, allowing them to build a website from scratch. This largely attracts the customers who like to have control over their website – in terms of how it looks but does not necessarily have the technical knowledge to do so.

Website builder tools allow them to build beautiful websites without requiring any coding or designing experience. The global website builder software market was valued at USD 6,525 million in 2018 and is expected to generate around USD 13,605 million by the end of 2027.

The growing demand for website builder software is an alarming trend for web hosting providers. Many web hosting providers have started offering DIY page and website builder as add-ons. Nevertheless, true web hosting benefits go beyond a simple website and design. Speed, security, functionality, and scalability are some other factors that web hosting providers can offer.

What’s the Buzz in Web Hosting?

posted on April 17, 2021

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What’s the buzz in web hosting? While a lot of the industry’s focus is on tried and tested web hosting staples, equally as much is directed on the new technologies that promise more than ever before, and seem to be the solution to everyone’s problems – whatever it might be. Without any further ado, below is the current list of ‘hot’ items in the world of web hosting, alongside why they are causing so much buzz.

1. The Cloud

What is it?

The cloud (or cloud computing) is defined as computer hardware and software resources delivered to users as a service over the Internet. Basically, in cloud computing, users and individuals no longer need to manage their own IT requirements as applications, platform and storage are offered by third parties. For the individual, this might mean rather than having your own email server account and an email client installed on your computer, you simply open a Gmail, Hotmail/Outlook, or Yahoo! Mail account (these are the leading Cloud email providers at the moment – in fact the list goes on ad infinitum) and everything you need to send email is provided for you. For a business, it might, for example, mean ditching your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software (and the IT guy who maintained it) in favor of something like a Salesforce.com account, where again, everything you need for successful CRM is available when you need it, and where you need to use it from. In fact, the cloud has developed to such an extent that a company’s entire IT capability can be farmed out to third-party operators, as can all of its communication and collaboration needs.

Why the buzz?

The cloud is on everyone’s lips, probably because the term has crossed over to mainstream usage. What’s key to the buzz is that if they aren’t offered free of charge, cloud services are generally provided (or perceived to be provided) on a pay-per-use basis – that meaning you only pay for what you use. That’s the kind of language CEOs, CFOs and accountants understand, so there is a strong perception that the cloud is a solution businesses must engage as quickly as possible to save costs and develop efficiencies.

2. Green Hosting / Green IT

What is it?

Possibly the most self-explanatory of the current buzzwords used in web hosting. Green hosting, or Green IT, is essentially web hosting which is powered by ‘Green’ electricity – electricity generated by alternative energy sources. These include windmills, solar energy, tidal energy, wave power, hydroelectricity, and geothermal energy, amongst others. Often web hosts simply buy carbon offsetting which means they buy certificates from companies that invest in alternative energy sources and ways of reducing carbon footprints. The amount of carbon a web host produces is calculated and that is offset by, for example, buy purchasing power saving light bulbs for use in third world countries – the amount of carbon saved by the power saving light bulbs offsets that which the web host produces. However, some hosts take extreme measures. The Deltalis RadixCloud data center is located deep within the Swiss Alps in a space formally used by the Swiss Air Force’s High Command. They actually use the cold water from melting glaciers to cool their premises.

Why the buzz?

Global warming is breathing down everybody’s neck and in the past hosting was one industry that people pointed fingers at – energy hungry, often inefficient, and often leaving a huge carbon footprint, web hosts had to change their ways rapidly, and be seen to change their ways. If the quality of a hosting service is the same at two companies, who wouldn’t use the provider that has ‘green’ credentials?

3. Reseller Hosting

What is it?

With a Reseller Hosting account you can use the server space and bandwidth your account has been allocated by a web host to host third-party websites. This can be done for a number of reasons – programmers might need the hosting space to manage the applications they are developing, while website design companies might offer full commercial packages that include ‘website design plus hosting’ options. A number of Internet-related businesses can use this type of hosting.

Why the buzz?

Reseller Hosting is a quick and easy way for a number of Internet companies to make passive income – they sell hosting along with whatever their products are and charge for it on a monthly/annual basis. Beyond that, reselling is an easy way for entrepreneurial types to get into the web hosting business. Web hosts generally offer lots of support to resellers, provide tools that allow them to build a white label business of their own using their resources and often utilizing their business know how. A reseller has his/her own company name, telephone number, premises, and to the end user can appear wholly independent of the web host providing the services. A number of top web hosts started life as resellers.

4. Dedicated Hosting

What is it?

Most websites are built on shared web hosting accounts. That means that hundreds (possibly thousands) of websites sit on a server and compete for the server’s resources (bandwidth, etc.). Websites on shared accounts can sometimes respond very slowly, and in rare cases, not be available to end users because there is too much activity on the server. Dedicated servers are different. They are not shared by lots of people or companies, and the resources (CPU, RAM, etc.) offered by a particular server are ‘dedicated’ to the renter’s needs. That might mean a dedicated server runs a single website with all server resources dedicated to its operation. Alternatively, the renter might have hundreds of websites, but he/she alone is in charge of allocating resources for each website.

Why the buzz?

Dedicated Servers often provide a better user experience for people visiting websites and also offer a genuine guaranteed uptime. With a dedicated server, you know what you are getting and you can scale your hardware as your website or websites grow. You can add very specific configurations to a dedicated server, and with Root Access you can install any software you wish. Dedicated Hosting offers peace of mind, flexibility and reliability – and that’s always hot.

5. Open Source Application Hosting

What is it?

Open Source software is produced by volunteers and available free of charge to end users. There are hundreds of examples of such software available which often enable people to create sophisticated websites at a fraction of the cost of developing them from the ground up. Possibly the best known of this type of software is WordPress, which started life as a free blog software, but has now morphed into a very sophisticated Content Management System (or CMS) with which to develop websites. Other examples include Joomla, Drupal, and PHP-Nuke, but there are a host of others. Open Source software also includes software for specific purposes – for example, ATutor and Moodle are specifically designed for people who want online classrooms.

To compliment the software the Internet is awash with websites that offer ‘themes’ that can be downloaded free of charge to give a website specific functionalities, and a specific look and feel. Often these are free; some cost a nominal fee, and for a little more you can have your template customized so it meets your exact requirements. Recognizing the popularity of Open Source software, many web hosts now offer web hosting specifically designed for Open Source applications. Such web hosting accounts allow you to install the software you need using a control panel and immediately start working on your website – no fuss, no code, no technical knowhow required.

Why the buzz?

Although the Internet was once seen as being something of an egalitarian platform, the costs involved in developing an attractive website with all the bells and whistles are prohibitive. Open Source software is the software for the rest of us – software for the people. It gives people a chance to be the next big thing on the Internet without having to break the bank to do it. Open Source Application Hosting simplifies things even further by making Open Source software immediately accessible and usable.