Hepsia vs the mainstream client-centric cloud hosting platforms
Over the years, the web hosting industry has learnt to cater to the sensitivity of website owners. Servers have become much more stable and faster than they were а few years ago, security has turned into a top priority for the majority of hosts, whereas high-end commercial solutions like CloudLinux – the most popular OS for shared hosting companies, have set a new standard for reliability.
In this post you will learn how our custom-built cloud web hosting platform (to which members have free access) fares against the paid mainstream solutions available on the market.
Stability is one of the key characteristics of the new hosting OS technologies. Thanks to virtualized systems like CloudLinux’s CageFS, which offers per-user encapsulation, clients are isolated from each other in order to prevent the ‘bad neighbor effect’, i.e. a server being compromised due to a single resource-exceeding activity.
On our custom-built hosting platform, neutralizing server-compromising activities has been a standard for years, so users with bad behaviour have never been able to impact other users’ processes. We continue improving our practices in this direction to keep the server balance intact all the time.
Additionally, our custom-built cloud platform allows for the distribution of mail, web and database server load across clusters of servers instead of just one single machine, which helps keep the stability of our services during peak hours:
Multilevel security is the other super-important priority of popular OS platforms such as CloudLinux. By using kernel-level technologies like SecureLinks, which prevents all known symbolic link attacks, they take server security to a new level.
Again, thanks to CageFS, users are prevented from seeing the configuration files and the private information of the other users on the server. Additionally, CageFS blocks most privilege-escalation and information-disclosure attacks.
Server security on our hosting platform has been finetuned to the latest industry requirements as well.
We have custom, in-house built kernel modules that keep track of and restrain excessive resource usage in order to ensure stability, security and isolation for clients’ applications.
Through the ModSecurity Apache module installed on all servers, our system is able to withstand most URL forgery/brute-force attacks and forum spamming attempts targeted at your customers’ websites.
Apart from the system-wide security measures, the users on our platform are also able to finetune the security climate to their own needs. Through the web-based firewall, they can restrict the outgoing traffic from their sites and thus prevent their sensitive data from leaking off to an external host.
With the help of the IP Blocking tool, they can prevent a malicious user or script from attacking their sites by blocking the IP address they are coming from.
Also, thanks to the unique Jail Host functionality, users will be able to insulate their own hosts from each other and thus prevent a problem with one of the hosts from spilling over to the rest of them.
Database security measures
Special emphasis is given to database security as well. Most platforms rely on MySQL Governor to monitor database usage, including CPU and I/O usage, in real time. This helps administrators to instantly detect and throttle abusers.
On our platform, we have implemented a unique software layer that sits between the MySQL server and the end users to prevent MySQL abusers from destabilizing our system and to ensure smooth operation for all clients. We use it to detect users with a large amount of queries and to slow down their activity to prevent server disturbances, as well as to differentiate a regular user with an unexpected peak in activity (after running an ad campaign, for instance) from abusers:
Along with CloudLinux, most hosting providers today use the EXT4 file system. While it offers a great file storage scalability, it lacks an important capability – checksum implementation, which means that it may mistake healthy files for being corrupted and thus compromise the data on the healthy disk as well.
Our platform relies on the ZFS file system because of its ability to ensure end-to-end data integrity protection (including protection against silent data corruption). If data gets corrupted on one of the disks in the RAID array, the system will recognize the corrupted files and will recover the data from the unaffected disk. This way, the chances of data corruption are brought to an absolute minimum.
Increased user density
The new-generation hosting OSs are also aimed at optimizing the way servers are being used and at increasing the density of hosted users. They give hosts control over the usage of vital resources, including CPU, I/O and memory resources, and empower them to safely add more customers and to manage all of them under the umbrella of one server.
In contrast to most providers, we are not striving to optimize server usage in order to increase the number of users per machine. Instead of filling a server to its full capacity, we leave buffer resources for usage spikes.
This way, users with occasional traffic peaks or users with growing demands will be able to make the most of the server’s resources without putting the server’s balance at risk. Yet, we also have resource limits in place to ensure that a ‘runaway’ process will not affect other system users.
We still put effort into rationalizing server usage so as to keep the physical machine in good balance and to cut down maintenance costs.
Also, while the commercial platforms out there require your full-time attention in terms of server monitoring and usage control, here, on our platform, our administrators will be doing this on your behalf all the time.
Enhanced Server Control
With the CageFS tool, popular among the mainstream hosts, each customer can select a PHP version, as well as the PHP modules they want to use.
With us, users have always been able to select their preferred PHP version from the PHP settings section of the Hepsia Control Panel. They can do that with a click from their site management environment, without needing to log into a third-party tool:
We include all current stable PHP versions, as well as any release that comes in beta. Also, on our platform users are able to set a different PHP version per host and even per directory (through the use of an .htaccess file).
We make regular updates of all supported versions to reflect the latest security patches.
A Better Support Service
The improved server reliability brought about by popular web hosting OS solutions like CloudLinux translates into fewer support calls and lower hosting environment-sustaining costs.
Thanks to the advanced monitoring system implemented on our servers, we’ve been able to optimize server performance and to increase the quality of our admin services. This, in turn, has brought down maintenance costs and has reduced the need for manned support on our platform. As a result, server-related issues associated with clients’ websites have been brought down to a minimum.
The CloudLinux platform is compatible with various kinds of server setups and hardware/software configurations. While the team behind the platform has done a great job in terms of driver support and software optimization, there are still cross-platform performance hiccups.
Our Linux-based cloud hosting platform relies on an in-house configured hardware architecture and on our very own custom-built Hepsia Control Panel, which eliminates any eventual incompatibility issues and effectively reduces potential performance glitches that could affect customers’ sites.
Recently, the web hosting industry has made a big step towards creating a robust foundation on which websites to grow. Тhe rise of mainstream solutions focused on stability, security and reliability attests to the industry’s user-centric approach.
Thanks to our custom-built hosting platform, which puts users’ needs in the spotlight, you can now take an active role in this positive trend by offering a top-class solution comparable to those offered by the biggest players on the hosting market.