High Availability on shared hosting environment? Yes, it's possible on our AHA Cluster. Read on!

At Fluid Hosting we understand how uptime and performance are important for you. In our continuing attempt to improve our services to you, we are proud to introduce our new product "Affordable High Availability (AHA) Hosting" to be made available to all HSphere shared, reseller hosting, private reseller hosting accounts and HSphere managed dedicated servers (available in Linux and Windows platforms only). Over US$160,000 in capital and man-hours has been invested in this project over the last two years and with this email we are ready to bring this product to you NOW.

Tapping into an already well developed virtualization technology our AHA Hosting is based on Citrix's XenServer Essential Platinum and Dell EqualLogic's PS5500E iSCSI storage array. This combination takes advantage of virtualization on both the server and storage layers. Both the server and storage virtualization are built to offer you the following advantages:

  1. Higher Overall Uptime. Failed hardware and the need to constantly upgrade server's components (CPU, disk space, etc) count towards the majority of all downtime. Since the server is virtualized, the server will no longer be tied to any particular physical hardware. Hardware maintenance no longer implies extended server downtime. And server upgrades (memory, CPU, etc) will no longer be a cause of service interruption. Upon detecting a hardware failure or prior to performing hardware upgrades, we can perform a non-service-impacting migration of all VMs from one server node to another.
  2. Dynamic Resource Scaling . Without virtualization, scaling server resources can potentially mean extended downtime. To add memory or CPU resources, for example, one needs to shutdown the server, remove the server from the rack, open the server chassis, add and/or replace the server components, test the components, put the server in the rack again and boot the server. Adding disk capacity can lead to a much more extended downtime. One may need to replace the whole drive sub-system, reinstall the OS on the new drive, create all services, restore all user accounts from backup, and so on. Such is no longer the case. With server and storage virtualization, scaling server resources can be done dynamically, quickly, and easily. All we will need to do is specify how much additional memory, CPU cores, and disk capacity we need and assign it to the VM. After rebooting the VM, the VM will be up and running with the new resource allocation. The ability to add resources quickly also means that we can also address issues more quickly and more efficiently, offering our customers higher overall Quality of Service.
  3. High Availability. All servers will be put together under one resource pool. When the system detects that one of the servers in the pool is down (perhaps due to hardware failure, etc), the system will restart the Virtual Machines on that server on other available servers in the pool. This only involves a short downtime, a significant improvement over the traditional setup where multiple hours of downtime is typical to restore service.
  4. Greener Hosting. Rather than having wasteful and unused resources, on-demand resource allocation and thin storage provisioning allow us to only allocate the resources needed today while still having the ability to add resources for tomorrow's need. This increases resource usage efficiency while reducing the number of physical servers/storage needed and, hence, reducing the overall power consumption and carbon emission. Using our new setup, we can achieve faster and better performance while reducing our power consumption by 65-75%.

To ensure redundancy, our AHA Hosting will be N+1 redundant. We will have at least one physical server acting as a fail-over standby server, redundant network switches, and redundant iSCSI switches. The EqualLogic storage array is fully redundant with N+1 power supplies, dual controllers, 48 drives in RAID and multiple HOT spare drives. Any one of these component (server, network switch, and iSCSI switch, iSCSI storage controller, iSCSI storage power supply, iSCSI storage hard drive) may fail and no service will be impacted. We are so confident with our new setup that we will be increasing our uptime guarantee on our hardware infrastructure from 99.9% to 99.95% effective immediately with a further increase possible in the near future.

AHA Hosting will be readily available to new customers. With the new AHA Hosting, your service level will increase but your hosting fee will not. It is time for you to enjoy our new Affordable High Availability Hosting.

AHA! It is our way to improve our services to you.