We’ve been in the hosting business a long time now (just over 8 years). In that time we’ve grown by offering features our competitors don’t, support few can match, and prices well below industry standard. Part of staying ahead of that curve is constantly innovating and releasing new products. We’ve developed our own software, customized our environments almost to the point of tedium, and have launched new products consistent with market trends. Our next move is perhaps our most exciting yet, and it comes in the way of semi-dedicated hosting plans.
What is Semi-Dedicated hosting?
Before we get ahead of ourselves I figure we should introduce what exactly this semi-dedicated thing is. A simple way to put it would be shared hosting on steroids (no offense to MLB players everywhere). The plans will include more CPU, more MySQL connections, more frequent backup intervals, higher mail quotas, more disk space, and more bandwidth. So, lots and lots of ‘more’.
These plans are the perfect in-between of a VPS and shared hosting. Before semi-dedicated users had no ‘simple’ upgrade path from a shared account to a VPS, and people became hesitant to jump into managing their own server. That’s entirely understandable as that is no easy task, especially coming from a shared hosting solution where everything on the system is managed for you. With semi-dedicated plans you get the ease of management from a shared plan with the relative performance of a VPS. The best of both worlds, if you will.
What else sets these plans apart?
New SSD disks, for one. We’re installing an enterprise grade 64GB SSD drive on every machine running our semi-dedicated plans. Why? Flashcache. For those of you not familiar with this technology, it was developed by Facebook as a means to significantly improve their MySQL operations. Rumor has it those engineers know what they’re doing, and boy are we glad they made this public for others to use. While I won’t get too deep into the technology behind Flashcache, a basic explanation is that reads/writes to MySQL will improve in speed exponentially. The direct result for you, as an end user, is faster MySQL queries and improved load times on your database driven sites.
So how much ‘more’ do we actually get?
There will be 4 tiers of plans, just like all of our other services. Full details can be found on our Semi Dedicated page but as a quick breakdown:
- Twice the CPU – Currently shared plans are limited to 1 CPU using CloudLinux, but all semi-dedicated plans will include 2 CPUs.
- Twice the MySQL connections – Shared plans allow 25 concurrent MySQL connections, but these plans will allow for 50 concurrent connections.
- Backup intervals – Right now all shared plans are backed up once per day, these plans will be backed up once every 12 hours.
- Outbound email limits – We’re raising the outbound email limit from 1,000 per hour to 2,000.
- Mailing from your own IP – If your site is able to provide justification (SSL certificate), we can also configure your email to be sent from that IP.
- Less populated servers – We’ll be limiting the number of users we put on each semi-dedicated machine and system resources will be monitored more closely, guaranteeing higher performance and better reliability.
If you sign up for our highest tier plan, you’ll also receive an AlphaSSL certificate, dedicated IP, and free domain name. While the other plans support SSL and dedicated IPs they won’t be included in the cost. Looking for more detail? Check out http://www.hawkhost.com/semi-dedicated/advantages for a rundown on what you get 🙂
This sounds awesome! How do I upgrade?
Anyone currently on our shared hosting plans can upgrade by submitting a ticket with our sales team at https://support.hawkhost.com. All you need to do is let us know what plan you’d like to move to and we’ll invoice you for the difference between plans. New orders can be placed directly through the site on the Semi-Dedicated page. Semi-dedicated plans are available on a month to month basis with costs starting at $19.95. Currently semi-dedicated is only available in our Dallas, TX location but we’ll be looking to expand that soon to other locations.
We’re pretty excited about these new plans and really hope you are too. If you’ve got any feedback, feature requests, or really anything else to say leave a comment here or on Facebook and we’d be happy to discuss. Don’t be shy, we usually don’t bite 😉