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The concept behind our custom-built cloud hosting system’s stability and reliability

In the last two years, our developers and administrators have dedicated a great deal of their efforts to creating a well-balanced and load-resistant web hosting platform that is able to provide you and your customers with a truly trouble-free online presence.

The implementation of this system took us more time than scheduled, with interruptions occurring more often than expected. However, it was all worth it!

Now, we are proud to maintain a really well-knit reseller hosting system where every single piece of hardware/software is designed to help keep all your and your customers’ sites in perfect condition.

What is the secret behind our platform’s stability?

It lies within the winning combination between the innovative ZFS file system and our cloud-based hosting servers. Here is what this combination brings to the table and how it helps you offer a really competitive service as compared to the widely spread cPanel hosting packages based on EXT4:

1. Data Reliability – the ZFS storage system does not crash in the event of a sudden power loss or even a server breakdown and hence does not need to run any file system check. cPanel, in the meantime, needs to run a file system check after each system failure or unexpected server shutdown to ensure that the EXT4 file system is not compromised. On big EXT4 partitions, a file system check takes between 30 minutes to several hours, in which time web and email services are not working.

2. Data Integrity – ZFS is protected against silent data corruption due to its inbuilt checksum functionality. This way, when data gets corrupted on one of the disks in the RAID array, the system will be able to recognize the corrupted files and to recover the data from the healthy disk only. Since the EXT4 file system does not have checksums, the system might mistake the healthy files as being corrupted and thus compromise the data on the healthy disk as well.

3. Data Processing Speeds – over 3000 IOPS with our ZFS-based servers vs. 200-600 IOPS with a cPanel server based on the EXT4 file system, i.e. our servers are at least 5 times faster than an HDD-equipped cPanel server.

4. Data Compression – thanks to the ZFS LZ4 compression that we use to store your customers’ content, data reading and writing on our platform is a lot faster, meaning that your customers’ sites will be delivered faster to the public. Also. the compression shrinks down the space that sites take up on the storage server, which allows users to upload more files within their allocation quotas.

5. File Storage Limits – there is actually no file limit with ZFS, because the space-saving technology it uses makes it non-dependent on the number of files stored in the system. On the contrary, with cPanel services using EXT4, the increased number of files slows down the performance in critical times, which forces providers to set file restrictions. So, while the majority of hosting providers offer unlimited data space with explicit file quantity restrictions, you will be able to compete against them by offering unlimited server resources and unlimited file storage quotas.

6. Backup Speeds – thanks to the snapshot-based data backup method that is being used, ZFS backups are incredibly fast and simple. We know from experience that ZFS snapshot backups are more than 10 times faster than rsync based backups on a cPanel server, with practically no impact on system performance.

7. Backups per Day – Thanks to the short backup times, we make at least 4 backups per day, in contrast to cPanel hosting providers who perform backups once every two weeks. That’s at least 14 times more backups for your sites over a two-week period.

8. Email Performance – as we use the same ZFS/SSD caching setup for the mail servers, all the improvements mentioned here apply to their performance as well.

9. Server Hardware – as opposed to a regular cPanel server, ZFS storage-based servers use specially optimized hardware that features large amounts of RAM in order to improve read and write caching. Also, we do not run any other applications (like web and FTP) on our storage servers, which allows us to make full use of the hardware resources and ensure better security for your data.

10. Server Recovery – in event of a total disk failure, we are able to restore the web/mail services from our backup servers, until the disks are replaced and synced with the latest backup data. It is all done within just a few minutes, with minimal impact on services uptime, in contrast with EXT4-based cPanel servers where it may take hours, or even days for the system to be fully restored.

11. Amortization Levels – Due to the caching methods in use and the way data is written, the actual read/write operations on our ZFS-based drives are 3 to 5 times less as compared to cPanel. This leads to much lower amortization levels and a longer lifespan for our servers in comparison with an HDD-equipped cPanel server.

For now, the ZFS storage system is implemented on all the servers hosted in our UK and US data centers. We will soon introduce it to our AU data center as well.

In the next post you will find an infographic that visualizes the highlights mentioned above. It will help you better understand the winning advantages of our platform over the competition and more precisely market your services to your target customers.

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