What Is Shared Web Hosting?
Shared hosting can be compared to having an assigned seat on an airplane. When you purchase a ticket, you are given a certain amount of space within a plane, where you have access to the same amenities as most of the other passengers.
The same goes for a shared hosting account. When our clients pay for hosting fees, they are assigned an account within a server. Their account is able to access the same resources as other accounts within the same server. This is why shared web hosting is referred to a shared server, each account utilizes the same CPU and storage as the other accounts.
Should I Use Shared Hosting?
It is very common for individuals to question if shared hosting is the right option suitable to their needs. When in doubt, the first thing you need to ask yourself is: What type of website/services will you be offering? If your answer includes things like personal website, blog, small eCommerce, or a simple website, then I would suggest a shared hosting plan. However, if your answer includes things like a website for business purposes, large eCommerce website, detailed website or web applications, then you would be looking into hosting your site under a VPS (virtual private server) or a dedicated server.
Where Will My Website Be Stored?
Canadian Web Hosting is a 100% Canadian owned and operated company with data centers in both Vancouver, BC and Toronto, ON. For our local BC and western provinces, your data will be located in our Vancouver data centers. If you or your clients are located in Ontario or the eastern provinces, your data will be stored in one of our Toronto based servers.
Over the past couple of weeks, Canadian Web Hosting went around Downtown Vancouver to get the locals to try on our Google Glass. It was a fun adventure where we filmed Vancouverites reactions to the Glass, everyone we met was very eager to test this new technology.
We asked our interviewee’s to take a picture, record a video and some other fun stuff…
Google Glass is an amazing yet fun technology that is opening many doors within multiple industries. We could be more excited for wearable technology, we can’t wait for when Google Glass is 100% ready for the public market.
Wednesday was an inspiring day for us at Canadian Web Hosting. We had the opportunity to volunteer at Union Gospel Mission, which is located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. UGM is an urban relief organization that has several locations throughout Metro Vancouver. The establishment aims to transform local communities by overcoming poverty, homelessness and addiction. The organization has locations based in Surrey, New Westminster, Mission, and Vancouver.
As volunteers, we had the privilege to tour their brand new facility. UGM offers a full range of services to men, women and children in the form of meals, outreach, emergency shelter, alcohol & drug recovery, employment, education, affordable housing, children & family programs, and more.
Our day at UGM started with a tour at the main facility led by Nicole Robson, who is the Senior Development Officer. Robson described the services that are offered, and how the program has evolved over the last few years to meet the increasing demand of the DTES needs. Having the chance to learn about the reality faced by people living within this environment was an eye opening experience.
Following the tour, we were brought down to the kitchen where we assisted the kitchen staff in the preparation of lunch. We were immediately put to work by the chefs, along with the other volunteers. After preparing the food we helped serve around 200 meals. It was amazing to see how the process of feeding this amount of people flowed so perfectly. Although many of the people we came across are experiencing hardships in their lives, they were all extremely grateful and greeted us with warm smiles for the service we provided.
We at Canadian Web Hosting had an amazing experience volunteering at UGM. We are looking forward to volunteering in the near future, so we may bring along more of our employees to share this experience. If anyone is interested in volunteering in the DTES, we definitely recommend Union Gospel Mission, for they have an extraordinary facility. If you’re interested in volunteering within Vancouver’s community, please email email@example.com for further information.
Customer Support Specialist
Over the past weekend, Canadian Web Hosting had the opportunity to attend a WordPress event held at The Cranium by Ladies Learning Code. This event was an introduction to WordPress, where beginners gained a deeper understanding of WordPress itself and the technology behind it. This workshop was designed for beginners, specifically targeting individuals who know little to nothing about coding, computer programing or WordPress. Whether someone was interested in starting their own blog, or even a company website, this was the event to attend!
Some of us are new to Canadian Web Hosting, so this workshop was a great way to enhance our understanding how WordPress works. The tutorial helped us gain a deeper grasp of how our clients use WordPress as an integrated CMS with our company. We felt this would be a great way to comprehend WordPress from a beginner’s perspective, and familiarize ourselves with obstacles that entry level web developers overcome.
We had the opportunity to meet some amazing people and mentors who were kind enough to accommodate us. For anyone who is looking to brush up on their coding skills, we highly recommend WordPress workshops from Ladies Learning Code.
First off, let me just answer the question here - Real 100% uptime? The answer is no. The first question you are probably asking is: why is that? “I see companies like Amazon offering nine 9’s of uptime” or other companies promising me 100% uptime.
Before I answer that question, let’s take a look at a couple of news making events that had a significant impact on the customers that they served.
“Milions of Hotmail users cut off by Microsoft cloud failure, millions of users of Hotmail and other Microsoft services worldwide were unable to access their online accounts this morning after the firms cloud suffered a major technical failover.” Source from Telegraph
“Google on Friday blamed a recent Google Docs outage on a real-time collaboration update that exposed a glitch in its system...Unfortunately this change exposed a memory management bug which was only evident under heavy usage.” Source from PC Mag
Most people consider Microsoft and Google to be the big players in the cloud war, and competition and service levels are fiercely coveted to ensure their uptime is better then the other. But what do these recent outages tell us? No matter how much planning there is, or the amazing skills of the people building these systems, you have to consider that for regular consumers who use services like Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail or other free cloud-based services--it's free. You get what you pay for. However, these services are integral to these companies’ brands and represent products that maintain a high stickiness factor with end-users. As an example, how many times have you looked at your free email account today? My answer is 36 times. If my mail goes down, it is annoying but honestly, it isn’t the end of the world.
But let’s change equation and ask what happens when you are a business that relies on paid products that utilize the cloud? Even further, what happens when you are a billion dollar business running on the cloud? Apple’s recent announcement that iCloud will run on Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services should make everyone excited and nervous at the same time. Because if there is an outage and you lose access to your files, or your music, you at least can feel better knowing that Apple is suffering along with you as this article describes.
Studies continue to show that cloud services routinely offer availability above 99%, which is higher than that usually provided by in-house IT departments, and for companies where a percentage point can make a difference of a million dollars, this is significant. Cloud providers today are continually working to eliminate all single points of failure and prevent outages, but there still needs to be a backup plan. As a hosting company, we are continually looking for redundancy across our entire service offering - redundant switches, redundant power, redundant bandwidth, redundant network cards, redundant servers - you get the idea. We are continually working to minimize single points of failover, particularly for our server and SaaS customers.
So what’s a good SLA (service level agreement)? The obvious answer is a number that matches your business requirements and does not negatively impact your business. There is a reason we offer our web hosting customers different service levels. For some organizations, 99.9% is more then satisfactory. For other clients of ours, they’ve asked for 99.999%+ uptime and know that any type of outages will have negative consequences that surpass the cost of hosting in that type of environment.
It is important to understand that with each nine you add to your service level, you are significantly increasing your costs to minimize outages for your customers and most studies have shown that five nines is the tipping point for increased costs. At that point, you are adding new layers of redundancy to your service offering. As an example, in building our new VMware cloud hosting service, we made the business decision to target five nines as the desired service level for our customers and build our solution with enterprise grade hardware from Dell and the leading virtualization platform from VMware. We built redundant fault tolerant server clusters that gives our customers better availability and failover in the event of an outage, as well as decreased downtime and smaller time to recovery. However, in doing so we had to invest more than 3x’s as much money into the service offering to guarantee that amount of uptime. Consider this, five nines is about five minutes of unscheduled downtime a year.
To give you an idea, there are 525,600 minutes in a year and 4 minutes a year represents .00000076 of that total.
So is the cloud reliable and safe? Yes. Is it more reliable then classic hosting? In a lot of cases, yes. Similar to what we always tell our customers, you do need to be prepared. Having a plan B always makes sense, and no matter how much preparation goes into it you can never cover all of the contingencies.
“Lightning Causes Amazon, Microsoft Cloud Outages....we understand at this point that a lightning strike hit a transform from a utility provider to one of our Availability Zones in Dublin, sparking an explosion and fire. Normally, upon dropping the utility power provides by the transfomer, electrical load would be picked up by backup generators. The transient electric deviation...disabled the backup generator plan.“ Source from CRN News