When using virtualization products like VMWare vSphere (ES) or Microsoft Hyper-V you can always run into issues – be it from a management/administration perspective or from a performance perspective. It can help a lot to put certain procedures and best practices into place early on to assure that your environment is stable and runs at the highest performance level possible. [Read more…] about Virtualization – Some Best Practices
Archives for 2010
Ever wanted to start your own Web Hosting Business, but did not have all the information you need? The Web Hosting Resource Kit now offers a unique web hosting business startup training program. As far as I know, this is the one and only training program where you can learn how to become a web host starting a web hosting business from the ground up. This training program offers exclusive content not found anywhere else. [Read more…] about Web Hosting Business Training
I just received notice from The Planet and from Softlayer that they are wrapping up the work on merging the 2 companies. On November 16th the merger will be completed and all products and services will be branded under the Softlayer brand name. This is an interesting development. Here is some information that I received from Softlayer/The Planet. [Read more…] about The Planet and Softlayer Merger is completing
This is an actual Host Gator customer who decided to review his web hosting provider in public. He did so on one of the well known web hosting forums on the Internet. If you are interested in web hosting with Hostgator this is definitely worth checking out. And if you do not know Host Gator webhosting, Hostgator is one of the largest web hosts currently around. The company grew from a college dorm room into a company with own data centers in different locations and hundreds of employees.
Here is a summary of the web hosting review (and of course a link to the source): [Read more…] about Host Gator Customer Review And What Else
The answer for this question is easy: The answer is: “Yes” and “No”. Now that you are confused, let me explain this in a little more detail.
IX Hosting claims that with their offer of “FREE” unlimited domains this actually means the ability for you to host unlimited domains without any extra charges or fees on your IX Web Hosting account. This offer does not include the actual domain registration fee which is around $10 depending on where you register it these. Many people seem to get confused when they hear about unlimited domain web hosting and I agree – the verbage is often misleading. [Read more…] about Does IX Web Hosting Really Offer “FREE” Unlimited Domains?
With the growing popularity of streaming media (video, podcasts, etc.) on the Internet, there are many good reasons reasons why you to pick a web hosting provider that supports these new types of content. Visits to sites like Youtube and other streaming media sites has exploded over the years and Internet users are hungry for new content all the time. Some web hosts have not caught on to these trends and their web hosting packages and services are outdated. Therefore, if you are currently incorporating these rich media files into your web site, you may be limited by what your web host has to offer.
Your task: Find a web host that supports streaming media technology with its services
Although, some traditional web hosting services do support audio and video files via “progressive download” technology, this technology has a number of limitations. The biggest issue is that large file sizes for audio and video files translate into extremely long download times for the visitor. And as you know, Internet users will leave a website fast if the website or files load really slow. So, it is important that your web host supports streaming media. With streaming media applications, your audio and video files will start playing right away. There is no need to wait for a download to finish first.
Over the last 2 years some web hosts have paid attention to user needs and are offering unlimited web hosting. While “unlimited” is a little bit misleading, the main idea is that a moderate user will not have to worry about his website being limited by resources like disk or bandwidth. This is ideal if you want to host podcasts and videos on your website and stream them out to website visitors.
I can recommend the following 3 web hosts as they are a good choice for web hosting needs described above. They offer cheap web hosting, almost unlimited resource (keep in mind what I said earlier about “unlimited”), and these web hosts are reliable and well established. The list is in no particular order – no matter which cheap web host you pick, you should be just fine.
I recently had to P2V (or better V2V) a VMWare VM. The Virtual Machine was sitting on an ESXi host and I wanted to pull it over into a production ESX cluster. At the same time I wanted to shrink the hard drives of the VM – especially the D drive. When the machine was built it had gotten a 200 GB hard drive, but in the end they only used 5 GB (if at all). The solution is often the VMWare converter application as it allows to shrink the drives during the process.
I fired up the converter, but within 1 minute after kicking off the P2V process the converter died giving me this error message:
FAILED: Unable to create a VSS snapshot of the source volume(s). Error code:
I did a Google search for it and found several people with the same problem. Some found a fix by modifying the registry, but that did not match my situation. Found a few other things, but again with no luck. Then I tried the cold clone converter version from VMWare. However, the cold clone converter failed to recognize the NIC inside the VM. [Read more…] about VMWare Converter Problems and how I solved them
Blogging is fun, but once your output reaches a certain level those free blog web hosting services are just too limited. Maybe you even consider making money from your blog further down the road. You would not be the first one who quit the day job and worked from home for himself/herself afterwards with great success. As a blogger you eventually already know that WordPress is one of the best blogging platforms for you. And fortunately WordPress comes as an add-on script with many web hosting packages these days. You click a few buttons, provide some basic information and then WordPress gets installed without you needing to do anything. After that you upload a template and customize the layout and off you go ready write more postings.
WordPress works great in a shared web hosting environment which means you won’t have to pay more than a couple dollars per month to host WordPress on your domain and your own web hosting account. Often these web hosting accounts allow you to host more than one domain and so you could actually start your own network of websites if you wanted to. Back in 1999 I started with a personal website and then quickly added 2 or 3 domain names (it was expensive back then to do that, but it was worth it) and then it grew to what it is today. It’s amazing to see what opportunities the Internet has to offer. Blogging is often just the beginning.
Did you know that WordPress also works great as a content management system? You pick different templates and even give it a magazine or newspaper layout to look more professional. This very website where you are reading this article right this moment is powered by WordPress and sits on a shared web hosting account. Most people do not know how versatile Word Press can be used and how flexible it really is. By using so-called plugins you can expand the functionality easily. WordPress even turns into an ecommerce tool and again, all this can be done on shared web hosting.
When looking for cheap WordPress hosting, I recommend you look for a web host who offers cpanel hosting. Cpanel is a web hosting control panel that allows you to manage all aspects of your website. Cpanel comes with an add-on called Fantastico which is a collection of automated script installers. WordPress is one of these scripts and you will be up and running in no time. There is no need to manually download WordPress and to manually configure a MySQL database (I mean you, but why would you?). There are ton of web hosting companies out there that offer shared web hosting with Cpanel and Fantastico. I recommend Host Monster and Host Gator as your starting point. Both web hosts offer shared web hosting for low prices and WordPress runs great on their servers.
Cpanel is one of the most commonly used web hosting control panels these days. The company who develops cpanel puts a lot of thought into their product and has an established user base. However, Cpanel is not necessarily for everyone. It has a little bit of a learning curve and of course everyone has a different style of doing things. You can compare it to an automatic transmission and a manual transmission car. Both work and both get you where you need to go. And the same thing applies to cpanel and other web hosting control panels.
But what are alternatives to this web hosting control panel at all? While some people do not need a web hosting control panel at all and rather prefer to work via SSH (Secure Shell) on their web servers, others might not be that experienced in system administration. Commercial options to cpanel are Plesk and DirectAdmin. If you have a dedicated server you can also look at WebMin which is a free alternative that offers a lot of functioniality but is more geared towards system administrators and not webmasters. Some web hosts even have developed their own web hosting control panel to keep 100% control of their environment and to have a better hand at customizing the web hosting platform for their customers. IX Web Hosting is one of those companies that created their own control panel and seem to do a good job by looking at how many customers host domains with them and how long IX is actually around (over 10 years).
You can (and should) compare the different options to see which one you like best. As mentioned, they all do a fairly good job and make web hosting easier. But as mentioned, there is always a cpanel alternative. However, you might have to look around to find those web hosts as cpanel is a clear market leader. Find a web host with a money back guarantee in case Plesk or DirectAdmin are not a cpanel alternative you expected.
These are some of my favorite cpanel hosts if you prefer cpanel after all.
So, what do you think? Is Plesk or DirectAdmin really an alternative to cpanel?
What is Fantastico is a question I hear quite often. Fantastico is a web hosting related automation tool that is designed to make installing popular scripts extremely easy. Fantastico was developed allow non-technical people or folks new to the Internet to install popular blogging software, forum’s software, and many other scripts. Web Hosting support teams all over the place received inquiries repeatedly about helping a customer to install WordPress, phpBB, Joomla, or other scripts. Fantastico addressed these questions and the number of support tickets at many web hosting providers went down dramatically.
Why is Fantastico so successful? Fantastico is extremely easy to use. As example if you are trying to manually install WordPress blogging software you first have to obtain the software from WordPress.org. Then you have to create a MySQL database and a database user with appropriate permissions is needed, too. Then you need unzip the installation files and upload them to your server. You might be surprised how many people still use dial-up or are on the slowest cable Internet package or DSL package with minimal uploading speed. The entire process can take 15-30 minutes depending how savvy a web hosting client is. Fantastico cuts the time needed down to about 1.5 minutes. This is just one example, but you can imagine how this looks like for other scripts.
Now you need a web host who offers Fantastico. Fantastico usually comes in combination with the famous cPanel web control panel which allows a user to easily manage an entire domain and web hosting account. So, you want to be looking for a cpanel web host and Fantastico is usually included. Here is a short list of web hosting providers that offer cpanel Web Hosting where fantastico is included totally free of charge.
Pick any of these web hosts for cpanel hosting and you will be in good hands.