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Limelight Online Hosting - What you do and don't see

28 Oct 2015
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When discussing an online solution with clients, one of the points that inevitably comes up in discussion (and not by coincidence) is that of the hosting solution that we provide. 

Like all Limelight Online services, we operate a premium service. Oftentimes we hear comments like ‘Hosting is just hosting isn’t it? Or ‘Oh, my current provider charges much less than that’. We thought it fitting to provide a breakdown of what a premium hosting service actually looks like.

The quality of our hosting environment is paramount and we go beyond the server to actively monitor website services 24/7. You can rest assured that your website will be in very safe hands and your hosting plan will be tailored to the requirements of your website. We have many years of experience and are experts in hosting and diagnostics.

Our actively managed hosting service includes the following:

  • A guaranteed good neighbourhood. Only Limelight Online clients are hosted on our servers, so you don’t have to worry about system security issues associated with shared hosting environments.
  • Day-to-day support provided by our 0800 Support number during business hours and after hours emergency support via Text Message to our on-call technician.
  • Fast 24/7 resolution of time-critical faults. Server level faults are managed by our onsite datacenter (Hosting Direct) team with text message alert to Limelight’s on-call technician. All websites are checked hourly through a third party uptime monitoring service.
  • Hardware and software infrastructure is kept up-to-date with a minimum of downtime (99.997% uptime). We upgrade our server hardware on a three year rotation. OS Software updates are rolled out to our servers only after they are fully tested in our staging environment. Updates are completed weekly.
  • A documented and periodically tested Disaster Recovery plan. Our Disaster Recovery precautions are already established and documented and cover backup frequency, backup retention, independent backup location (including server replication if required) and regular testing of backup restore in a staging environment.
  • A comprehensive security policy and a security audit framework. Like our backup policy, we have a documented and tested security framework for all clients which considers amongst other things User Access Control policy, Secure Sockets Layer transfer of confidential information (SSL), Data encryption of confidential information, hiding of confidential information from search engines and roll back functionality for accidental changes. We also run Intrusion Protection (IPS) as standard on our servers to monitor for Brute Force Hacking, prevention of upload of Executable files and we automatically block the IP of any visitors found to be attempting to hack our servers.

Other security precautions include disguising of common ports, disabling Common User Names (Server and CMS), password policies and auditing, blocking of traffic on all ports except HTTP and HTTPs, Error Log auditing, and Server Uptime monitoring via third party providers and text alerts.

Along with details of the services and benefits listed above, the following graphic provides a snapshot of some of the features of the premium hosting service offered by Limelight Online.

 

 

How is this different to our competitors?
You’ll notice above that I’ve bolded some key words and phrases – these are the things that really differentiate our hosting solution from that of our competitors.

Many web companies do not actively manage their hosting environments. They look for cheap hosting services that allow them to clip the ticket and many have next to zero knowledge of how hosting environments actually operate leaving that to third party providers.

Most offer shared hosting environments that increase security risks for your website. No vetting is done on the types of sites that share this environment and more often than not these shared environments do not have adequate security in place to prevent malicious attacks.

Many companies offer business hours support but don’t offer after hours emergency support or monitoring. And many have no idea when a site goes down due to an issue with the host. More often than not they don’t find out until their clients do and they don’t have logs to determine how long a site might have been down which doesn’t allow them to determine the potential impact this has had on the business. Faults when found can take an age to rectify. It isn’t hard to imagine how frustrating and serious that can be for any business owner.

Because many web companies don’t look after the hosting environment themselves, opting to leave that to 3rd party providers, they have no knowledge of how up-to-date the software and hardware and don’t concern themselves with the potential risks in not having up-to-date infrastructure in place.

Disaster recovery and security audit framework policies wouldn’t even be on the radar of many web companies – that’s fine until disaster strikes and no back-ups or roll-back functionality is available and websites are lost forever.

You’ll see how we work hard to alleviate the unnecessary risk, worry and potential threat to your livelihood with robust hosting solutions. Remember you get what you pay for, so make sure that it’s not the service that many of our clients receive before they’ve come to the experts. Quality hosting can be likened to insurance – the value is sometimes only evident when you need to rely on it.

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