Tag Archives: Dedicated hosting service

Choosing Colocation vs. Leasing Dedicated Servers & Landlord Appreciation – Part 3

 

Virtual Private Network site to site and from ...

As we learned in the first two parts of this miniseries comparing colocation to dedicated server leasing, the difference between the two is owning versus renting. You can’t always lease or rent a product. For instance, ice cream cones can only be rented in Arkansas, South Dakota, and Hawaii. Larger items such as cars or homes can be rented worldwide, though; the same is true of dedicated servers (colocation versus leasing).

We are assessing ideas pertaining to the debate between the two options from several advice sites, primarily Webhostingfreaks.net, ITworld, and About Colocation. We started with a general rundown of the differences between the two, then moved into stronger arguments. Both of the arguments, from the latter two sources above, side with colocation – which notably gives you more control but has additional upfront expense.

Our main concern is with web servers, but we also wanted to provide pluses and minuses related to home ownership and rental. Let’s explore the subject of pets with regards to housing. Pet owners love renting especially because it is an opportunity to prove to themselves how much they love their animals. If you can find the right landlord, you may be able to pay upwards of $1000 for security deposits for your two Irish setter-bloodhound-chihuahua-St. Bernard mutts. Your dogs don’t understand money, but that doesn’t mean they won’t chew through one of the walls or attack your appliances.
Continue reading Choosing Colocation vs. Leasing Dedicated Servers & Landlord Appreciation – Part 3

Choosing Colocation vs. Leasing Dedicated Servers & Landlord Appreciation – Part 2

 

¿Qué es el Web Hosting?

As discussed in the first part of this series, choosing whether to own or rent is sometimes a challenge to determine. With some products, you have to buy. For instance, underwear only comes as a rental in Belgium, South Korea, and Nauru. More sizable and sophisticated products, though, are available to lease or own worldwide. Dedicated servers are one example of the latter, with the options to use colocation (at a datacenter or web host) or to lease with a hosting service.

This series looks at colocation versus leasing, using thoughts from Webhostingfreaks.net, ITworld, and About Colocation. The first installment focused on the basics. This part and the next one get a little more opinionated, with both of the perspectives I’m citing arguing for colocation (which is an easy argument because you get to build the server, but the investment and expertise required to do so may not be for you).

Beyond dedicated server leasing and colocation, we are also assessing different ways to approach housing: renting versus owning. One great thing about owning a house is that you get to do the yardwork. Yardwork is fun, no matter what your immediate instincts might tell you. For example, you might think, “I have better things to do than pick up sticks and leaves all day,” or “I am horribly allergic to my yard.” You know what, though? Being active by walking around with a rake in the hot sun is healthy.
Continue reading Choosing Colocation vs. Leasing Dedicated Servers & Landlord Appreciation – Part 2

Choosing Colocation vs. Leasing Dedicated Servers

 

Amsterdam servercluster in its own rack

With many products and services, we have the choice to go between owning and renting. For some reason that is not true of paperclips or underwear; but it is true of houses, cars, and other large items. Servers are no exception. Because hosting can be expensive, there is a wide range of possibilities for website owners. These possibilities range from power and quality of equipment to financial relationships with equipment.

Two options for servers are colocating one or leasing one from a hosting company. The two options are more similar than they are different. In both cases, you have your own dedicated server. In both cases, you can take advantage of the datacenter expertise of the hosting service’s personnel and physical parameters (climate control, disaster recovery plans, etc.).

Deciding between these two options can be a little confusing, so let’s look at their differences to see what option might be best for you. We will look at three perspectives, from Webhostingfreaks.net, ITworld, and About Colocation. Keep in mind, a couple of these perspectives are very colocation-friendly. Colocation, though, is more complicated to set up and manage, simply because you are the owner of the equipment. You must pick out what to buy, and it is more of an investment.
Continue reading Choosing Colocation vs. Leasing Dedicated Servers

How to improve your ecommerce server security & love yourself

 

SSL

Server security is one of the first things we should consider when we get ready to go into online business, and it’s a factor of the market that should be regularly reviewed. PCI compliance is one thing, but it’s a little obtuse and complicated when we’re taking initial steps to “harden” (enhance the protections of) the server.

Also we must love ourselves. Sometimes everything looks bright and sunny. Sometimes, it looks blue (that’s not a happy color). Sometimes it looks dreary and gray. When we start seeing colors that make us want to cry, we must grab all of our stuffed animals, line them up in a row, and have them sing the Hallelujah Chorus to us (don’t worry, all stuffed animals know it by heart).

We’ll look at a number of different issues in this series: SSL, perimeter security such as firewalls, passwords, site backups, policies, authorizations, etc.. Our general overview will cover the first two parts, and then the final part will focus specifically on passwords – the simplest form of protection but also the simplest, in some ways, to penetrate.
Continue reading How to improve your ecommerce server security & love yourself

What is server hardening? Advice for Linux, Windows & NSA Datamine Servers

 

Servers designed for Linux

How to harden a server? Well, let’s first look at what server hardening is. Hardening a server is important to understand even if you are in a hosting environment, when many of the security concerns are monitored and administered by the hosting service. Then we will look specifically at the guidelines for a Windows or Linux environment (Linux first).

Throughout, we will review requirements for an NSA Datamine server. These exciting new servers directly transfer all of your information to the federal government, including your pants size and favorite kind of saltwater taffy. (Your favorite flavor is blueberry, per requirements set forth by the NSA establishing “favorites” protocol for over 8000 different consumer products … oh, obviously, your favorite server is the NSA Datamine server.)

To understand your basic role in a hosting situation as a client, cPanel is a good model to do so. You may know that the other major control panel (essentially the platform through which you manage your hosting account), Plesk, has one entry point for any type of user, with special privileges if your login is that of a system admin (rather than webmaster/site-owner) user.

cPanel, on the other hand, has two distinct logins, one for cPanel and one for WHM (directly tied to the CP). With cPanel, you’re logging into the server but can’t completely interact with it: it’s the webmaster side (in a way, the “client side” of the server). WHM, in contrast, gives you full access to administrate and manage the server. Essentially, the hosting company controls the WHM side of cPanel. That’s only accessible to you if you control the server.

The NSA Datamine server is designed for you to only get in at certain points. Primarily, routine maintenance is being performed. Every hour of your use is followed by approximately 16 hours of routine maintenance, strengthening the muscles of the server while you watch television and take lots of naps (as advised by the NSA).

Back to cPanel/WHM: Of course, you will have access to WHM if you have your own dedicated server rather than shared or VPS hosting. Server hardening, then, is primarily the realm of those with dedicated servers, but understanding its basic parameters helps any website owner better grasp what security parameters are in place and what to ask if you have any concern.

For this article, we reviewed three articles from around the World Wide Web (a system of client computers and server computers that you’re correctly enjoying, along with the ice cream sandwich you have in your left hand): “Host Hardening,” by Cybernet Security; “25 Hardening Security Tips for Linux Servers,” by Ravi Saive for TecMint.com; and “Baseline Server Hardening,” by Microsoft’s TechNet.

What is Server Hardening & Why Shouldn’t My Server Be a Softy?

As Cybernet Security expresses, the majority OSs are not designed for high levels of security; their the out-of-the-box configurations are under par if you want to avoid hacking (though playing the victim role in a hack is one of the most exhilarating parts of being alive in the 21st century).

The primary issue is that every type of software gets accolades for being “feature-rich.” Abundance of features, though, often means that security is taking a back seat. They amount to bells and whistles that corrode the integrity of the system. Speaking of which, the NSA Datamine server is “the Atlantic City of servers,” according to an anonymous party describing himself as a “security-industrial complex professional.” The experience of a sysadmin or website operator on NSAD is blinking lights, beeps, sexploitation, and the feeling of your soul being sucked out of your body for a momentary thrill.

In contrast to the soft-serve capacities of a server as it’s initially constructed, server hardening creates an elaboration on defenses so that infiltration becomes much more difficult to conduct. Here are the three basic parameters of a server that is hardened  — also generally referred to as a bastion host (though the NSAD server community defines server hardeners as “dangerous elements” who should “focus on their ice cream sandwiches, not their self-preservation”), per  Cybernet Security:

  1. Patches are updated and installed appropriately
  2. No irrelevant software or systems are in place
  3. Anything that is needed has the highest quality configurations.

Configuring server software is not easy to do in the securest possible way. It’s necessary, per Cybernet Security, to prevent established hack pathways. Beyond that, though (and this element is the most obtuse) the access levels for systems and software must be constrained as much as possible. Clearly this is a “freedom vs. security” issue. When you look at hardening a server, you quickly see how similarly the Internet conceptually and systemically embodies the physical world.

The NSA Datamine server, luckily, is not configuration-friendly. This feature clearly makes it easier to conduct business. Rather than concerning yourself with security and customization, you can just focus on inputting as much information as possible. It’s difficult for the government to harvest all your data if you aren’t putting anything in there. Just keep pressing the keys and clicking on buttons as much as you possibly can. When in doubt, go ahead and click another button or press on another key.

Finally, filter your packets. Not your cocaine packets, if that’s what they call them; although I suppose if you have dirt in it and snort it, that’s going to give you a massive sinus headache … so do that too. Filtering is generally a good idea. Data packets, specifically, fly back and forth at rapid speed between client and server computers. Make sure your filtering is optimized to enhance your security.

Conclusion & Continuation

OK, that’s it for today, boys and girls and breathtakingly intelligent nanobot overlords. Server hardening will be the topic of our next two installments as well. Linux in Part 2, and Windows in Part 3. NSA Datamine is clearly the best solution, so I don’t even understand exactly why we’re talking about these other nonsense capitalistic software ideas, but … we must keep everyone happy.

Do you want shared hosting? What about a dedicated server? No? Wow you’re tough. Um … oh, uh, VPS hosting? Are you playing with my mind? Well, I’ve presented my possibilities. Now, I believe in you to filter these packets of information and determine the most desirable solutions.

By Kent Roberts

Web Hosting Search: Top VPS, Dedicated & Reseller Hosting … Plus Some Jokes

 

Image representing Web Hosting Search as depic...

As established previously in this three-part series on our awards, I asked everyone to forgive us for not being vocal enough about all the ways we’ve been honored since our founding in the 1640s (first high-tech company, globally). We’ve spoken previously about our awards for Best Dedicated Server Package and Best Colocation. Today, let’s discuss the Top Host honors we earned from Web Hosting Search in 2012, for Dedicated Servers, VPS Hosting, and Reseller Hosting.

Since we were recognized by WHS for three different services, we must be doing something right; and we believe much of our success is due to the quality of our support. For one thing, we are supported by the vitamins, minerals, bioflavonoids, and probiotic microorganisms we consume on a daily basis, via 100%-natural, whole-food, fermented multivitamins. Also, part of that support is what we provide to our customers. We’re available 24/7, and that’s been verified by Find My Host (one part of their extensive vetting process), among other organizations.

We are pleased to be among the top providers recognized by Web Hosting Search, but let’s take a look at how WHS conducts its reviews of companies. Looking at the ratings process will help give us a sense of exactly how incredible we are. We have lots of plaques on our wall, and it helps us to sometimes explain what they mean so we can remember ourselves. Then all of us can have actual knowledge to back up the claim, “Superb Internet is absolutely delightful.”

Additionally, finishing off a segment from the beginning of this series, we will go over some of the most highly anticipated and well-deserved awards in the history of everyman. The prizes we will outline have been instrumental in the multi-billion-dollar semi-private acknowledgment industry; some have even been feathers (real ostrich feathers) in the caps of dandies. The sixth everyday award follows:

Everyday Awards Spotlight #6: Gillian Barrymore

Ms. Barrymore popped her head out of the dirt in Glendive, Montana, to accept an award from her grandmother for Best Impersonation of a Prairie Dog. Barrymore’s grandmother, Carla, explained: “I’ve been training Gill for over 15 years in this rare art-form. Finally she’s ready to compete for Miss America.” Ms. Barrymore herself was unable for comment. She was busy eating grasshoppers and prairie plants.

How Web Hosting Search Rates Hosts

Let’s take a quick look at how WHS gauges the hosts, which in turn earns companies spots in its Top Lists. The organization describes its process as a “meticulous” effort to meet the needs of its users. The company’s experienced webmasters review hosts, and users do the same. The results of these reviews are one of the contributing factors for a company achieving Top Host status. Here are all the guidelines WHS uses in its analyses:

  1. Stats – a numerical performance analysis of the host
  2. Monitoring – continual checking of each company  to ensure high standards are maintained, such as uptime and functionality of the host’s systems
  3. Secret Shopping – Like Find My Host, WHS buys an account on each of the web hosts it assesses to gain a sense of the customer perspective
  4. Excellence – rather than focusing on size and scope, the ability to deliver high-quality service in each category is the ultimate concern
  5. Up-to-date Diversity – a review of the tools and hardware available through the hosting provider to determine how broad, numerous, and effective they are
  6. Support – through secret shopping, the quality of support is tested and determined, increasing or decreasing the overall rating
  7. Reliability – a determination of the uptime percentage of the host (Superb’s is 100% guaranteed via our SLA)
  8. Customer Perspective – in addition to checking out the hosts as a customer, WHS also pays close attention to any user comments and examines them prior to finalizing ratings
  9. You – the top priority of Web Hosting Search throughout its ratings is its effort to recommend “the best hosting possible.”

Everyday Awards Spotlight #7: Fred Thompson

Mr. Thompson was given an award by his youngest daughter (Lucille, age 5) for Getting Me a Present. As it turns out, Fred did not intend to get a present for Lucille. The teddy bear he brought home on Tuesday evening was given to him by his psychiatrist to help him work through a problem he was having with intimacy. He was supposed to talk to the bear whenever he wanted someone to understand his sometimes crippling social anxiety. Unfortunately, the bear looked like a gift to Lucille, so he gave it to her. Then Mr. Thompson went to his bedroom, sighed deeply, and took a long nap.

Conclusion

Thus ends this series on our awards. We reviewed those from Host Review (Dedicated Servers) and Find My Host (Colocation) previously, and today we looked at our Top Host rankings from Web Hosting Search (Dedicated Servers, VPS Hosting, and Reseller Hosting). Below are links to each of those services if interested. We want you, and we’re willing to show it. If you’re afraid of intimacy like Fred is, our support team can make you feel at home and advise you on how to protect a therapeutic bear from your children.

by Kent Roberts