Ajenti

Developed specifically for Linux environments and coded with Python, Ajenti is a great way to quickly and easily launch and configure your sites. It gets out of the way thanks to an interface that is really user friendly. You can do all the typical server management tasks with it including managing DNS and routing plus the ability to manage your databases and any app server you might have.

However your application is configured you can set it up using the Ajenti control panel which covers everything from PHP in the shape of FHM, the Unicorn edition of Ruby as well as Python – WSGI. You also set up IMAP (Courier) right when you start Ajenti, alongside Exim. It allows you to configure essential features such as SPF, DMARC and DKIM.

All-in-all Ajenti is a solid option if you are looking for a control panel solution that is capable enough to help you manage sites while also being cheap – even if Ajenti is on the entry level side of the equation.

Backup

A backup is a copy of the data vital for comprehensive recovery in case of software or hardware failures. There are different backup types including normal, copy, incremental and differential as well as various strategies suitable for certain scenarios.  In case of hosting industry routine approach is about full automation of backup processes.

Bandwidth

In computer networking circles, bandwidth means how much data a channel can carry, so the more the merrier. It’s usually measured in a multiple of bits per second (bps)—Kbps, Mbps, Gbps, and so on.

With fiber-optic cabling bandwidth is usually expressed in terms of MHz-km. So, a cable rated at 400 MHz-km could carry 400 Mbps of data a distance of 1 kilometer, 200 Mbps of data a distance of 2 kilometers, 100 Mbps of data a distance of 4 kilometers, etc.

Bare Metal Server

A bare metal server is what all servers used to be at one time—a single physical box that played host to one user. Now that virtual and cloud servers are so commonplace, the term is used to indicate that the unit is stand-alone and not part of any cloud set up

CDN

CDN stands for “Content Delivery Network“, which is a group of servers spread throughout the country or around the world. They replicate the data for a website in one country in another country. So you could call up a webpage from an Indian website but the server that delivers it to you would be located in your country, so it has less far to travel and loads faster.  The CDN intelligently delivers the same content to people from the server that is closest to them.

This approach is great for large businesses because it allows them to avoid the kind of bottlenecks that would happen if they served data from just one location. A CDN also makes DDoS / DoS  attacks less effective, because it naturally provides multiple targets. Downtime from things like technical problems can be virtually eliminated because the CDN can route traffic to working servers when something breaks. All

Cloud services and media distribution networks like YouTube or Netflix will often use CDNs to keep things running smoothly. Every user is connected to the best server for them, eliminating the need to choose the best location manually, which is what you need to do with some FTP services.

Note that although CDNs usually use standard URLs, you may see a tell-tale “cdn” in their web address.

Cloud Hosting

The simple answer is that cloud hosting puts your website on a group of connected servers at the same time. So, all the data is stored in different places at once, giving your site greater security and reliability than if it was just sitting on one server. In a cloud setting, if one server breaks then the others pick up the slack, so your site visitors don’t notice any loss in continuity. And if you suddenly pick up an extra million visitors then your website can be duplicated on as many more servers as is required. So, cloud hosting gives you almost perfect uptime and great flexibility.

Easy to Use, User-Friendly

Any device with an Internet connection can access the cloud. It’s a comparatively new technology that has shown phenomenal growth, and it’s not hard to see why. Cloud hosting accounts are simple to manage, with GUIs that let you control your resources and can automate many management processes. It makes your files accessible from anywhere in the world, which means that not only can you get at them from anywhere, but you don’t have to keep them all in one place, like on your home computer where you risk losing them. If a drive fails at home you could lose everything, but with the cloud there are always multiple copies of your data.

Cloud Hosting Is Everywhere

Cloud computing has actually been around for a long time. Every time you’ve used a search engine you’ve been accessing the provider’s cloud infrastructure. It works fast because companies like Google put data centers all over the world, so your query will always be routed to the one closest to you.

Amazon has its own cloud arm, and companies like Facebook, Flickr, Netflix and many more are totally reliant on the cloud. Cloud hosting is easily more cost-effective than dedicated hosting solutions, so if your website outgrows its current hosting arrangement, the cloud is probably the way to go.

Flexibility and Efficiency

If you have a large site with highly variable traffic, then cloud hosting was almost made to fit your situation. The cloud gives your website the resources that it needs when it needs them, so when there’s a surge in traffic, it uses more server boxes to accommodate, and it dials it back when the need is less. Multiple servers give your website incredible stability and make it easy to scale up or down as needed.

Save By Only Paying for What You Use

The cloud’s clever use of just the right amount of resources saves energy, but it also saves money because you are only billed for the resources that you actually use. So, it behaves just like any other utility, where you only pay for the gas or electricity that you use.

It’s easy to see why it’s so much better than regular web hosting, where you pay for the whole server, and you may only use all its resources very occasionally. Still, do look carefully at the billing system of the cloud provider that you choose, just to make sure that what they offer is going to be cost-effective for you.

Work and Play in The Cloud

The cloud began as a means of making data storage more accessible, but it’s grown into something bigger. Its growth has fueled the explosion of sharing services like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

When the ability to store content externally came along, it freed users from the need to keep everything locally, and now it’s blossomed into new areas, giving rise to things like cloud gaming, cloud rendering of 3D animations, and cloud audio/video editing. And there’s probably a lot more to come!

Cloud VPS Servers

There are VPS hosting services that use an elastic cloud platform. This lets you upgrade your hosting resources in an instant by giving your site more RAM, CPU power or HDD space when it needs it. So, if your site has outgrown shared hosting, you can now migrate to VPS hosting, where you will get the benefits of dedicated hosting without the extra cost. Those additional cloud resources will always be ready to give your website what it needs at peak times, along with guaranteed stability and security. And your virtual server can easily be moved to another physical machine with no disruption to your website, should the need arise.

Colocation Hosting

A colocation hosting service is very similar to dedicated hosting, in that it offers you lots of ways to upgrade your website and its resources. It’s also more secure and more reliable, but you’ll need some understanding to get the most out of it, because with colocation you don’t use the hosting company’s servers. You buy or rent all your own hardware and software, and you rent the space in the data center they’re sitting in.

Colocation hosting will suit big sites with high traffic, which often means mid-sized or larger web companies. The colocation hosting service is also a favorite with startup hosting companies who don’t yet have the money to build their own data center and fill it with a small army of IT specialists. With colocation hosting you get much more security compared to standard hosting, and complete control and flexibility – because it’s your hardware and you can configure it however you want. You also get the benefits of having your gear in a highly secure environment that is climate controlled and backed up by generators if the power goes down.

Unmanaged Colocation Hosting

Just like with dedicated hosting, managed colocation hosting (covering server administration and tech support) will cost you more.  If you don’t want this then all hardware and software administration falls to you. In which case all you have to pay for is the rental for your space, the power your servers use and for the bandwidth. If you go this route, then it’s better to choose a colocation center which is closer physically to your company’s location.

Managed Colocation Web Hosting

With a fully managed colocation hosting service it doesn’t matter where your company is located, and you won’t need to hire anybody to look after the server. It’s worth looking into whether any colocation hosting providers offer server administration, as this relieves you of that burden.

Colocation Hosting Costs

Colocation hosting costs more than normal hosting, but you could actually save money if your needs run to very high bandwidth and you know that you will make use of a ton of resources. You might sometimes need to pay more for the bandwidth you use, but these charges are usually covered in your hosting service package, and prices range from not much to quite a lot. When you go over your limit you will incur the extra charge, so it’s important to be aware of traffic limits and what you’re likely to use before you sign up with your provider. There are extra fees too for other services like remote technical support and reboots, extra IPs and domains, backups and so on.

Colocation vs Dedicated VPS

Colocation hosting is ideal for large companies with the money to invest in their own servers, and the money to spend on either their own dedicated team of administrators and support staff or managed colocation hosting. If your web business isn’t at that stage yet, then consider dedicated VPS hosting. It offers better performance and security van shared hosting and is considerably cheaper and easier to manage than colocation.

cPanel/WHM

One of the most popular hosting control panels in the United States is cPanel/WHM. We write it as cPanel/WHM because this hosting control panel basically has two parts: an interface used by users called cPanel, and the part that actually manages the server – WHM.

Note that cPanel runs on Linux, not Windows. However, cPanel does support a wide range of Linux distributions including RedHat Enterprise, CloudLinux as well as the popular CentOS. You can manage your hosting environment using both the cPanel GUI as well as command-line, while there’s also the option to use the cPanel API for further automation.

People who host websites and third-party software developers can automate many sysadmin processes thanks to cPanel’s flexibility. Further points that make cPanel worth considering include the fact that it generally facilitates high levels of overall system performance.

The command-line utilities for cPanel are a benefit too, while people also like that it support SNI and AutoSSL alongside DNSSEC and Power DNS. Finally, cPanel interfaces to PHP-FPM, EasyApache and CSF/LTD making it a very versatile hosting control panel.

Cron Jobs

Simple, repetitive tasks figure a lot in the day-to-day lives of a web and database server admins. Time and again they are required to make backups or message users with updates.

So, just as a Windows system has its “scheduled tasks”, a Linux box offers an equivalent approach to dealing with these repeating day-to-day jobs, and it calls them cron (as in “chronology” or time) jobs. Since website management is no longer solely the responsibility of experienced admins, cron jobs have also entered the vocabulary of the average user taking care of their own website.

A cron job is a program that lets you schedule when particular tasks will be run. Our web hosting plans feature a Crontab Manager which can do this for whatever action you care to choose.

A cron job is an automatic daemon (which means a process that’s continuously running in the background). It allows for particular commands or collections of commands (scripts) to be run at certain intervals. You can use cron jobs for things like system admin commands, making backups, or actions that need to happen every day, like sending email updates. Another useful word in the vocabulary is ‘crontab’, which is short for ‘cron table’, a table which lists cron jobs.

Cron Job Management without SSH access

Back at the dawn of time (May 1975) when cron jobs were new, you had to use the server’s command line to set them up. There was no other way. As more and more people became involved with managing their sites, they needed to set up cron jobs themselves, but most hosting companies didn’t want to risk giving them SSH access due to security issues. So, it made more sense to add cron management to hosting control panels like Plesk or cPanel. Control panels let you set up cron jobs via an easy-to-use menu-driven interface.

Advanced Cron Jobs

If you are advanced, then you can decide when the cron will run using the “crontab” field. The numbers and the “*” symbol represent the precise time when the cron will be executed.

.—————- minute (0 – 59)
|  .————- hour (0 – 23)
|  |  .———- day of month (1 – 31)
|  |  |  .——- month (1 – 12)
|  |  |  |  .—- day of week (0 – 6) (Sunday=0 or 7)
|  |  |  |  |
*  *  *  *  *

Run once per year 0 0 1 1 *
Run once per month 0 0 1 * *
Run once per week 0 0 * * 0
Run once at midnight, every day 0 0 * * *
Run once per hour 0 * * * *

Data Center

A data center (aka server farm) is like a huge warehouse for hundreds or even thousands of servers. As you might imagine, that much hardware working all the time generates epic amounts of heat, so it features a carefully maintained environment that’s designed to keep the servers cool, as well as secure.

What does it do?

Everything on the web needs a home, a physical location that anyone, anywhere can access at any time. Millions of people and businesses now routinely backup documents, photos, financial records and more besides to the web. And not only that, but many modern services rely on easy access to masses of constantly changing data just to function properly.

Meeting all of these requirements places a huge responsibility on whoever has to look after all that digital ‘stuff’, and that’s exactly what data centers are there to do.

Data Center Equipment

Data centers are stocked with powerful computers called servers, as we have said, and these machines sit in units that almost look like drawers in cabinets. Because there are so many of them packed so tightly together it is critical to remove heat as quickly as it’s produced. The environment is tightly controlled, with temperature and humidity kept within specific parameters.

A data center also has fire systems and earthquake protection systems, which are there to mitigate any potentially catastrophic occurrences that nature may decide to throw at it.

Auxiliary power systems are ready to kick in at a moment’s notice, and redundant data communication connections (fiber optic cables) keep any data stored on the server boxes safe.

Dedicated security systems are there to repel any unwanted intruders like hackers, and the usual array of cameras and burly guards are present on site to discourage unwelcome human visitors.

Data Center Setups

Data centers can be configured to meet any number of different requirements, so resources can be organized according to meet specific needs. These different setups have different classifications, and these are referred to as Tiers.

A Tier 1 is the simplest kind of facility, taking up just a room, and as the numbers rise so does the complexity. Tier 4 is the most complex, containing mission-critical servers in one large and very tightly controlled space.

Servers themselves vary in size, from 1U boxes to big storage silos. The machines sit inside 19-inch rack cabinets, arranged in rows to permit easy access.