Is Your Web Hosting Plan Supported By A Reliable Data Center?08/24/2012
It is a busy Monday morning and you have a batch of new products that need to be added to your website. You are confident in the ability of these products to attract new customers, win business, and increase your revenue – all you need to do is put them where your potential customers can see them. But as you try to login to your control panel, you realize something is wrong. Your web hosting service is down.
There are few things more frustrating than unreliable web hosting services that fail unexpectedly, though unreliable web hosting does not always mean complete failure. Sometimes, an unreliable server results in slow and sluggish performance. You may eventually be able to get those products online, but will your customers wait for your slow server to process their orders?
In this article published exclusively by reliable web hosting provider Certified Hosting, we explain the role of a data center in maintaining the stability of your web hosting plan. By reading the article, you will learn more about the data center features you should be checking for to ensure maximum uptime and continuity of service. Read on to learn why the best web hosting providers invest in top-quality network and data center facilities to keep your website online.
Essential data center features for reliable web hosting services
Before you turn your attention to specific network implementations, hardware server specifications, or the front-end software features of your web hosting plan, it is important to learn as much as you can about the data center in which your service is hosted. Most web hosting companies offer information about their data centers online, but if this information is absent, contact your prospective host in advance.
Putting internal networking aside, data center facilities have specific features that can seriously affect your web hosting performance. Here are three things you should keep in mind when selecting a hosting company for your website:
1. Web hosting services require dependable power and cooling.
In any data center, there are potentially thousands of electronic devices that run simultaneously. All of these devices require electricity to remain functional – if a primary source of power fails, it is the responsibility of your hosting provider to have a backup power source in place.
Backup power could be in the form of a backup battery system. This type of equipment can potentially keep the data center operational for several hours in the event of primary power failure. In addition, diesel generators should be available to automatically run if power is not restored quickly. Through this layered approach to power, a reputable web hosting provider will keep equipment running for long periods of time, even if there is a problem with the primary source.
All of this power creates a need for cooling, which is equally vital for reliable web hosting. Computer equipment and network devices all create heat, but do not perform well when operating in high temperatures. The best data centers offer continuous environment monitoring to analyze the climate, and independent cooling systems to keep overall temperature regulated.
2. Web hosting services require connections.
It should be obvious that a web hosting data center requires top-quality connections to the Internet. It is surprising, then, that some hosting companies do not offer customers the fastest and most stable connections possible.
Ideally, a data center should have direct connections to Tier-1 carriers. Essentially, a Tier-1 carrier can reach every corner of the Internet at the fastest possible speeds, without using connections from other carriers. It is also important to check the speed and quality of these connections – a transfer speed of less than 1,000 Mbps can affect your website’s performance during peak times when other users are also attracting large visitor numbers.
3. Web hosting services require protection against disaster.
On a day-to-day basis, strong connections, solid power, and cooling are sufficient resources to keep your web hosting service online. But what can a hosting provider do to protect your hosting account in the event of an emergency, such as fire or theft?
Reliable data centers monitor to identify the signs of these problems, and they also intervene to stop these problems before they escalate. Check that your hosting provider uses a data center with waterless fire suppression systems to extinguish fire without damaging equipment, and raised flooring to not only aid cooling, but also to protect against water leaks and floods.
Also, find out about the security protocol of your web hosting provider’s data center. Criminals target data centers because they contain expensive equipment. A data center should use keycard access, manned security services, and CCTV monitoring to keep hardware and your data safe.
How intelligent network design leads to high-availability web hosting services
In addition to cooling and security features to maximize reliability and reduce the risk of service interruption, the internal network infrastructure your hosting provider uses will also determine your hosting service’s availability.
Intelligent network design essentially means redundancy. This term describes the integration of redundant hardware devices into the network. Although these servers, switches, and routers will not be used routinely, they exist to keep the network online if primary hardware fails or becomes incorrectly configured.
These devices should all use fiber connections to the backbone and, in turn, to the Internet. Ideally, even the fibers that connect devices should be diversified to add redundancy.
If your web hosting provider has implemented the techniques outlined above, you should be guaranteed a certain level of uptime, described as a percentage. Forming part of a service level agreement, or SLA, this gives you complete peace of mind that your hosting service will always be online, and if it is not, that you will be compensated accordingly.
Rock-solid web hosting plans from Certified Hosting
Certified Hosting understands how important reliable web hosting is and provides a 99.999% uptime guarantee to every single customer. This is made possible by ongoing investment in the Certified Hosting network to guarantee unrivaled uptime and reliability.
Certified Hosting operates two data centers in Atlanta, GA and Phoenix, AZ. Each of these facilities offers routing from six different backbone providers, with 1,000 Mbps or faster connections to each provider, and access to two critical point of presence (PoP) locations in the Eastern United States.
Whether you need an affordable shared hosting plan, virtual private server (VPS) hosting, or a dedicated server solution, you can depend on Certified Hosting to keep your service online at all times.