Hive Node + Mandrill = Perfect Marriage.

Posted by Hive Node in E-mail on February 6, 2014 with Comments Off on Hive Node + Mandrill = Perfect Marriage.

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Don’t know about you but e-mail is VERY important to us. If a customer doesn’t receive an e-mail we could have a problem or lose a deal. Hive Node has integrated our C-panel email system with Mandrill (From the makers of Mail Chimp).

Here’s way we made the switch….We want our clients to be able to send their e-mails without any issues. In the past we have had issues with our IPs getting on blacklisted because either a client was sending spam or their newsletters looked questionable. This caused issues because when we are listed on a spam list our users could have e-mail issues for a few days until they clear up.

Now with Mandrill those issues are now gone. Any time you or your website sends e-mail it is routed through Mandrill system to prevent any spam, blacklist, or delivery issues.

Thank you for being a customer of Hive Node and supporting us as we grow to be the provider everyone talks about!

Cloudflare Railgun

Posted by Blog in DNS on October 18, 2013 with No Comments

CloudFlare Railgun™

As a CloudFlare Optimized Partner, we are thrilled to offer the CloudFlare Railgun™ technology to all our customers for free with any hosting package. Railgun is CloudFlare’s latest performance optimization technology that gives you significant improvements in site load times. To activate Railgun, log into your control panel and select Railgun “On”. Read on for additional details and instructions:

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Railgun ensures that the connection between our network and the CloudFlare network is as fast as possible. Railgun achieves a 99.6% compression ratio for previously uncacheable web objects by using techniques similar to those used in the compression of high-quality video. The average website can expect a 1.43x performance increase.

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When a request is made to a CloudFlare server for a web page that is not in cache CloudFlare makes an HTTP connection to the origin server to request the page. It’s that HTTP connection that Railgun accelerates and secures.

Even highly dynamic websites change slowly

Railgun works by recognizing that uncacheable web pages do not change very rapidly. For example, during an experiment, the CNN.com homepage HTML was captured once, and then again after 5 minutes and then again after one hour. The page sizes were 92,516, five minutes still 92,516 and one hour later 93,727.

CNN sets the caching on this page to 60 seconds. After one minute, it is necessary to download the entire page again. However, looking inside the page, not much has changed. In fact, the change between versions is on the order of 100s of bytes out of almost 100k. Here’s a screenshot of one of the binary differences between the CNN home page at five minute intervals. The yellow bytes have changed, the rest have not.

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Experiments at CloudFlare have revealed similar change values across the web. For example, reddit.com changes by about 2.15% over five minutes and 3.16% over an hour. The New York Times home page changes by about 0.6% over five minutes and 3% over an hour. BBC News changes by about 0.4% over five minutes and 2% over an hour.

Although the dynamic web is not cacheable, it is also not changing quickly. That means that from moment to moment there’s only a small change between versions of a page. CloudFlare Railgun uses this fact to achieve very high rates of compression. This is very similar to how video compression looks for changes from frame to frame; Railgun looks for changes on a page from download to download.

Railgun Technology

Railgun consists of two components: the sender and the listener. The sender is installed at every CloudFlare data center around the world. The listener is a software component that [Name of Hosting Provider] has installed on our network for customers.

The sender and listener establish a permanent TCP connection that’s secured by TLS. This TCP connection is used for the Railgun protocol. It’s an all binary multiplexing protocol that allows multiple HTTP requests to be run simultaneously and asynchronously across the link. Or in other words, a persistent connection is opened between CloudFlare’s network and ours and eliminates the overhead of TCP.

We have made it simple for our customers to get the benefits of Railgun with one click. For additional information and instructions on how to activate, visit [insert link to wiki page or knowledge base page].

Remote Failover Redundancy

Posted by Blog in Downtime on September 10, 2013 with No Comments

While we don’t have a lot of maintenance downtime we have customers who cannot be down at all. While we already have a redundant setup using OnApp at our main data center “How OnApp redudancy works” . We wanted to go an extra step for our customers.

We have setup a failover redundancy at our Chicago data center to backup some of our clients sites (along with our own) every 6 hours in case of downtime at our Texas Data Center for $10 dollars per month.

We’re using DNSMadeEasy to route the DNS for our clients using this service.

While we would love to offers this same setup to our e-commerce customers we’re unable to do so because the databases change on both ends. With a normal website the database change only happens at our main data center and the updates are pushed to our Chicago data center.

We can setup something similar for our e-commerce customers but we’re unable to have it as affordable as this current setup.

Please note this is only for http request. This will not work with e-mail. However, you will not lose any e-mail during down time. How e-mail servers work is they will keep trying to send the e-mail until they have a response from the server. After 12 – 24 hours the e-mail server will stop trying to send the request. Our server’s won’t be down for that long so you have nothing to worry about.

If e-mail is absolutely critical even during maintenance downtime we suggest signing up for a third party provider such as Google Apps, Microsoft Hosted Exchange or another third party provider.

We use Google Apps ourselves because of the amazing features they provide and integration to third party sites.

Why is my WordPress site running slow!

Posted by Blog in Performance on May 21, 2013 with No Comments

snailRecently we had a customer contact us asking why is their site running so slow. We asked them for their login and found out that they had about 25 plugins running (someone just beat the record) 51 plugins running. 😯 Every single plugin you run uses resources and the more you have the longer it takes for the website to load. Plugins may be cool and all but if they’re not optimized or made correctly they can really hurt your site.  There is one plugin that you could use to determine which plugins are using too many resources. The one we use for our own testing is http://wordpress.org/plugins/p3-profiler/ it is free from the WordPress plugin site.

The plugin give you a nice little pie chart and line chart that shows what is using the most resources and how long each one takes. If you find a plugin that is using a lot of resources and with a high load time you should disable it.

Contact us if you have any questions about optimizing your WordPress for SPEED or faster hosting!

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