Hawk Host Report: November 2010

October is already behind us which I just cannot believe.  The time just flies by for us it seems like I’m saying to myself wow it’s a new month and then the next thing I know the month is over.  There isn’t a day when we’re not busy helping out our customers and making sure our servers continue to run great.  That doesn’t mean we don’t have time to add new features and make improvements though. We’ve managed to make improvements and changes throughout October, just like any other month.

MySQL Performance Improvements

MySQL performance has been and always will be a major headache for us.  We have no control over the MySQL queries users execute on our servers.  We tweak settings and change various configuration options and they are great to a degree.  With the varied work load of MySQL a lot of the things you’d use on your own dedicated server just are not as effective.  Or it’s a case where to make the tweaks truly effective we’d be gobbling up excessive amounts of memory and causing performance decreases elsewhere instead.  We did, however, implement a great way to improve performance for various types of queries in every single case.  This has led to lots of the slow performing queries we deal with executing much more quickly.  Even if they are still slow, they are putting less strain on our servers hard drives which is great.  You can read more about it on our blog post MySQL Performance Improvements

PHP 5.3

It’s official: we now support PHP 5.3 alongside PHP 5.2.  It took us a while but we finally got around to having it fully supported.  Unlike our implementation of PHP4 + PHP 5 many years ago, both versions run the same way internally and there is no performance benefit as far as serving from one another on the web server side.  This however does not mean PHP 5.3 isn’t faster than 5.2 which according to the changelogs it is suppose to be.  What this means is the way Litespeed serves 5.3 is the same as 5.2 using LSAPI and pools of PHP processes for users and executing as that user.

This PHP 5.3 support also paves the way for us to support many PHP versions in the future.  If PHP 5.4 comes out next week within a months time we could probably have it tested and available on our servers in the same month.  That is of course assuming there are no major problems with the newer version.

You can find more information such as how to use PHP 5.3 in our announcement: PHP5.3 Support

We’re on Facebook

We now have a facebook page which everyone should join.  We’ll post updates on it, special offers things of that nature.  You can find the original announcement here: Join us on Facebook!

New Staff

You may have noticed some new people replying to your tickets from time to time.  There has been a slight staff expansion which will help us keep support responses quick, even when our workloads are high.  It also helps our existing staff take some sick days or time off.  So if you’ve been receiving responses from people you have not dealt with before do not be alarmed.

CloudLinux

It looks as though we will  not have it on our entire fleet of servers until 2011.  There were initial issues when we started our deployment of it.  Even with our testing and it being used at Frog Host it just did not work right on Hawk Host servers.  We’re hoping once their next release comes out they can get to the bottom of why it blows up on our Litespeed servers.  CloudLinux has shown great promise on our Frog Host servers and on the limited set of Hawk Host servers, so we’re really anxious to get it deployed to all servers in the fleet.

New VPS Panel

I said we’d have ours out before the new year and it’s going to be cutting it close but we’ll see.  The majority of functionality is done except for the API portions necessary to link it up with our billing system as well as bring neat new functionality to users.  The other big portion is a finalized design which is where we imagine delays are going to happen unfortunately.

Frog Host

Frog Host is continuing to grow at a steady pace.  We added a new server which is already getting some good use in.  It also had the luxury of being our first server in the new Dallas 05 datacenter at Softlayer.  It does not mean a whole lot to the end users but we think it’s cool having servers in two Dallas data centers.

Misc

We’ve been seeing an increase in traffic to our blog thanks to two wonderful blog posts by Cody:

If you have any interest in that kind of thing you definitely should check out those posts.  They’ve been mentioned quite a bit on Twitter and various web sites.

We’re all looking forward to another strong month in November, and if trends continue we’ll have another blog post in early December letting everyone know what’s changed over the last 30 days. Stay tuned!

http://forums.hawkhost.com/topic/1088-php53-support/
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