I cannot believe it but it’s 2010 already and I figured it was a good time to update our blog. The updates have been pretty scarce during the holiday season for obvious reasons. So I hope all our customers had a great holiday season like we did!
We accomplished a lot in 2009 it’s tough to pick out just one thing that we did so here’s just a quick refresher. We’ve seen expontential growth in 2009 as more and more customers recommend us. As a result of this we added quite a few new servers in 2009. It probably would have been even more servers but we also upgraded every single cPanel server to 12GB of ram. All machines also now run 10K RPM drives at a minimum with most of our machines running 15K RPM SAS drives. With the growth we also beefed up our backup server switching it from a tiny 4 drive system to a 12 drive system. It helped us deal with the growing space demands as well as improve performance of our CDP server with backing up servers as well as restoring files. Probably the most important thing during the year was our growth in the number of employees. We went from a tiny 3 person team up to 7 people due to the amount of growth we’ve had. Our support has not slowed down during our growth which is something a lot of providers struggle with. We saw it coming and were working towards a solution before things got to a point where it would be very difficult to fix it. I think that covers a lot of the key points during 2009 but if you look back at the blog posts in 2009 I’m sure you’ll find things I missed.
Now that 2009 is out of the day I can finally address what is happening in 2010. It’s looking to be a big year for Hawk Host Inc. based on our current road map of things.
By the end of this month hopefully we will be launching our 2nd hosting brand. The second brand is Frog Host which naturally continues with our animal name theme we have going. Frog Host is a mass market hosting which has a much more expensive entry in comparison to Hawk Host. It’s an unlimited hosting brand but do not worry if you’re a Hawk Host customer or a prospective one nothing is going to change on the Hawk Host side. Frog Host will be using it’s own servers for web, dns and such. About the only thing in terms of infrastructure it will share is our backup infrastructure which is not a bad thing. We can add more CDP servers as necessary so it’s not going to affect anything on the backup front. The reason we’re doing Frog Host is because we understand we’re losing out on a big market. We constantly lose customers to unlimited brands as well as lose potential customers as well. We were not losing these people due to our level of service it was all because of the lack of care free unlimited offering. Frog Host will be using features developed by us to hopefully help deal with some complaints of unlimited offerings. We will be giving users access to CPU usage of their account (PHP and MySQL) as well as things like inodes and possibly even other things as we expand on it.
So as I said nothing to worry about on the Hawk Host end nothing is going to change for the worse or anything of that nature. We’re still going to continue to offer what we do and still have the same quality service we always have had. If we had not talked about Frog Host at all then no one would even know because nothing is going to change as I said. This second brand might even make the experience even better with our increased buying power as well as possible features from Frog Host coming over to Hawk Host at some point (I’m thinking the CPU stats).
Web Site Migration
We are in the process of migrating our site as well as our support area, billing, blog and forums. to a new web server. The reason for this is we wish to have our site not being affected by any other type of outages our other servers have. Now we cannot guarantee every outage but now the only thing that should make our site be down as well as a large number of our servers is if there is a complete outage in Dallas. We are no longer on the same network switches or routers of any of our other servers. If you’re wondering why not just go completely offsite? The reason is customers gage our speeds and uptime based off of our site so it being somewhere else could be costly. Along with the web site being migrated we’ve updated our CMS code for our site to make updates in the future easier.
We’ve been hard at work at revising our internal system. It should be ready to go before the Frog Host launch which means more information readily available to technicians. It’ll be much easier for us to keep track of things like IP addresses for example of users. It will also allow technicians to quickly see stats from our servers, as well as pending issues and things of that nature. It’s just a start though eventually it’ll be a very comprehensive system but right now it’s just a matter of having the infrastructure in place to do it. Then once that’s done switch over tools that are specific to a server and have them be in our centralized system.
We have various miscellaneous projects as well going on right now as well as some that have been completed. For example we’re now using puppet to handle manging our servers opposed to cfengine. Does not mean a whole lot to our users but it’ll make it much easier for us to manage our servers. We’ve also been working on evaluating our security policies to see if they still are up to par with today’s security standards. Finally we’re looking at various pieces of software for improvements to our services. For example an alternative to Fantastico is going to be coming for sure. Other software though might show up as well that’s a really up in the air thing.
It’s great that Hawk Host is expanding. But why create a subsidiary for unlimited hosting? It does appear to be quite common for hosting companies to have a separate entity that handles purely unlimited hosting. Never understood why, though. Care to enlighten us?
We’re creating a subsidiary because we cannot switch our plans to reflect this. We also have a lot of customers signing up specifically for the current priced plans. Fact is it’s very difficult to change the types of plans you offer. Especially in our case since it’s not like we’d be switching all the current plans we’d basically be removing them entirely. This strategy of another subsidiary also allows us to continue to have Hawk Host do what it does best and continue to grow and have our unlimited subsidiary walk on it’s own in terms of how it gets it’s customers.