When you think of your website, it’s easy to believe it exists only in some electronic ether, a location in cyberspace that even Google Earth can’t locate on its maps.
In fact, your website is hosted at a very real brick and mortar location on Earth — the real Earth. All of our sites are hosted on our servers located physically in Lansing, MI, at a major hosting provider. What follows is a glossary of terms connected with website hosting that often refer to physical actions and equipment.
Bandwidth – Provided by such providers as Cogent, Level3, Global Crossing, Savvis and Comcast with over 85,000+ networks just a single network away from the uplinks. This means fewer hops for your visitors and fewer hops for you so network latency should not be an issue.
Security – Data center access is limited to the providers’ technical staff with security systems in place, such as motion detecting cameras, card key access.
Power – The server location has a dedicated onsite transformer, automatic transfer switch, multiple uninterruptable power supplies (UPS) with redundant battery cabinets.
Cooling – Environment controls include Liebert Precision 22-ton up-air flow units to keep the temperature and humidity precisely regulated to ensure optimal year round equipment reliability.
Antivirus – All email accounts and web roots are scanned on the server for viruses. We do our best to maintain a safe environment for all. This is NOT a replacement, however, for your own antivirus protection.
Backup – Sites and databases (db) are backed up daily, with a rotation available to provide information up to 90 days of age.
DNS – We provide DNS hosting as well as site hosting, so if you don’t know what DNS is or want someone who knows how to take care of it, we are happy to manage it for you.
Email – We provide email and forwarders for the domains that we host. The number of accounts depends on the contract. But the baseline is 10-25 accounts, if you need additional email accounts, please let us know and we can add them, no problem. Typical email storage limit is 100mb but depending on the number of accounts in use and any additional storage modifications we can accommodate your reasonable needs.
Monitoring – We have monitoring of the services on the servers with our tech support receiving Short Messaging System (SMS – or text messaging, if you prefer) notification 24/7 of any issues. Additionally, we also monitor each site externally from the server farm. This has helped us become aware of issues with DNS resolution. A few months ago, Network Solutions had their DNS servers hacked. We knew about it and where able to allay our customers fears. The same has happened for customers who choose to host their DNS with GoDaddy. Our site monitoring has also helped us become aware of customers domain names expiring and help prevent the loss of control of at least 10 domains.
Spam Filtering – We do employ a server wide spam filtering policy as well as use a few of the more dependable Realtime Blackhole Lists (RBL) with updates happening either every 4 hours or once a day, depending on the list. For individual accounts we can help you tweak in your own rule-set for Spam Assassin, or if you want to try your own hand you can take care of that through your webmail logon.
Storage Space – All sites start with a base storage of 1 GB. The administrators will increase this based on the number of email accounts, the amount of mail being left on the server, or the storage needs of your website. We use the storage quota not so much to limit you but to keep us abreast of how we are doing for the potential storage use on the server.