• Another HART-Empire Network Upgrade Is In The Works

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    July 24th, 2007HARTBlogging, Hmmmm Things, Quickies, Statistics

    * This is a looooong post! If you prefer to just read the “Short Version” .. click HERE!

    I used to have two ISP servers. ISP#1 was a super-mega account, downgraded a few notches to just a mega account. ISP#2 was a reseller account that I used to create and build up sites in the HART-Empire Network. I found both accounts at a reasonably managed level to pay and service was spectacular and I never had any downtime, that I can think of .. or any server crashes or problems. Support and service was exceptional.

    But – around the middle of May 2007 .. I found out that I had already exceeded my monthly alotment of bandwidth on the ISP#1 account, and perhaps it was time to upgrade. I decided to slow down on my postings around the network, but by the end of the month I had exceeded my bandwidth limits by over 18 GIG traffic. My ISP#1 wanted me to upgrade to a larger account. However, the bandwidth limits on this larger account would have been that I would have exceeded my bandwidth alotment by 3 GIG if it remained the same. It was obviously not enough.

    Dollar-wise .. combining the two servers .. I was paying about $800+taxes per year to host all of my sites. A few years earlier, it was about $960+taxes per year. In June, I was charged $180 for the excess bandwidth usage and if I were to upgrade to the plan that was suggested to me, the annual cost for my ISP#1 would have been about $2,200+taxes (CDN).. plus, $420 USD for my ISP#2.

    THAT’s What Prompted Me To Move Servers .. Hosting Fees – I admit that

    Overall, if you translate that into a monthly fee, it probably would equate to about $240/month USD equivalent. But, that seemed a lot to me, and in both cases for my ISP#1 and ISP#2 .. the prices were actually discounted, assuming I would pay it in advance in one lump annual sum. That’s a lot to cough up at once – even with planning – and my online revenues were just being eaten (or rather reinvested) back into financing the growth of the HART-Empire Network.

    I ended up with two choices of ISP’s to move to:

    (1) GLOBAT.com – I actually hosted my curling blog on this server, and by far (in my own humble opinion), this is the best server hosting deal and cheapest price with respect to both hard drive space and bandwidth that is out there. But, I don’t think it would be good enough for a multitude of sites, except perhaps a small handful.

    (2) MIDPHASE.com – I personally have never used them, but there are big names out there from my Bloglines and daily reads that I respect and trust their opinions, and in addition to that – all stories, reviews, and research seemed to indicate that this is a reliable company.

    I selected MidPhase as my choice for the new server

    But, you probably know that already – as I documented earlier … I closed both of my ISP’s and transferred everything into a new Virtual Private Server (VPS). If you are unfamiliar with how hosting plans work, I just quadrupled the length of this post and added some extra information about hosting that I pulled from Wikipedia .. BELOW!

    PS: Virtual Private Servers are also shared servers, but in my case and VPS-PRO account that I selected, the bandwidth is unmetered. Unmetered bandwidth appealed to me because it’s unlimited. On my old ISP#2 reseller account, I had to allocate limits for bandwidth on each account. However, if an account got stumbled upon or dugg (which never happened btw – but could have) I could reallocate bandwidth limits among accounts. On this VPS Server, with unmetered traffic, the only limitation is the System resources that it uses. Blogging and accessing MySQL databases access a lot of CPU resources, and my limit of resources available on my VPS is 25% of total available resources.

    PPSS: midPhase.com is where the shared hosting is, and Autica.com is where the VPS and dedicated server hosting is. There are a few other sites that are used by them as well.

    I have a lot of blogs in my network and domains with non-blog sites .. and bottom line is that when I hit or reach the maximum allowed CPU or System Resources, for server starts to kill systems and resources to keep the server active. Unfortunately for me, this happened to me last Monday July 16, 2007. It was unfortunate for me, because I couldn’t figure out how to reboot the system .. and some of the killed systems and resources ceased access to all my online sites, and emails.

    I took only a few screenshots of resources – which, is at a point in time and not a dynamic and changing resource graph. This means that although I might have reached a maximum resource usage, I might refresh 20 seconds later and the usage may be 0%. It’s all relative. Anyway, feel free to click on the thumbnails below, and just hit your BACK key to return to this post.

    VPS Resources – Clean Slate – Before I transferred everything over – June 8, 2007

    vps-midphase-2007-0608-before-trsf.jpg

    VPS Resources – June 26, 2007

    vps-resources-20070626-2302cst.jpg

    VPS Resources – June 29, 2007

    vps-resources-20070629-0516cst.jpg

    VPS Resources – July 23, 2007

    vps-resources-20070723-2245cst.jpg

    SHORT VERSION

    That last screenshot was taken about 2 hours ago .. Today I decided to upgrade from a Virtual Private Server Pro account to a Dedicated Server Pro. The schedule move from the Virtual Private Server to the Dedicated server will take place August 1, 2007 – *knock on wood* – if everything goes according to plan.

    ~~~~~
    HOSTING INFO

    Shared Web Hosting Service

    A shared web hosting service or virtual hosting service is a form of web hosting service where more than one instance of the same web server is hosted on a single physical server. This is generally the most economical option for hosting as many people share the overall cost of server maintenance.Wikipedia

    Reseller Web Hosting Service

    Reseller hosting is a form of web hosting wherein the account owner has the ability to use his/her allotted hard drive space and bandwidth to host websites on behalf of third parties. The typical web hosting reseller might be a web design firm, web developer or systems integrator who offers web hosting as an add-on service. Reseller hosting is also an inexpensive way for web hosting entrepreneurs to start a company. Most reseller hosting plans allow resellers to create their own service plans and choose their own pricing structure. In many cases, resellers are able to establish their own branding via customized control panels and name servers.Wikipedia

    Virtual Private Server

    A virtual private server (also referred to as VPS or virtual server, and abbreviated VPS or VDS) is a method of partitioning a physical server computer into multiple servers that each has the appearance and capabilities of running on its own dedicated machine. Each virtual server can run its own full-fledged operating system, and each server can be independently rebooted.Wikipedia

    Dedicated Server

    A dedicated hosting service, dedicated server, or managed hosting service is a type of Internet hosting where the client leases an entire server not shared with anyone. This is more flexible than shared hosting, as organizations have full control over the server(s), including choice of operating system, hardware, etc. Server administration can usually be provided by the hosting company as an add-on service. In some cases a dedicated server can offer less overhead and a larger return on investment. Dedicated servers are most often housed in data centers, similar to colocation facilities, providing redundant power sources and HVAC systems. In contrast to colocation, the server hardware is owned by the provider and in some cases they will provide support for your operating system or applications.Wikipedia

    Managed Server versus Non-Managed Server

    Dedicated hosting server providers define their level of management based on the services they provide. In comparison, fully managed could equal self managed from provider to provider.

    Administrative maintenance of the operating system, often including upgrades, security patches, and sometimes even daemon updates are included. Differing levels of management may include adding users, domains, daemon configuration, or even custom programming.

    Dedicated server hosting providers may provide the following types of server managed support:

    * Fully Managed – Includes monitoring, software updates, reboots, security patches and operating system upgrades. Customers are completely hands-off.
    * Managed – Includes medium level of management, monitoring, updates, and a limited amount of support. Customers may perform specific tasks.
    * Self Managed – Includes regular monitoring and some maintenance. Customers provide most operations and tasks on dedicated server.
    * Unmanaged – Little to no involvement from service provider. Customers provide all maintenance, upgrades, patches, and security.

    Note: The provider will continue to maintain security on the network regardless of support level.

    Wikipedia

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