Monday, August 30, 2010

Hurricane Earl is gaining strength and heading up the east coast

If you are worried about getting hit by the storm, download a free trial for Fast Backup Server and run a local backup job to a USB drive and take it off site. You can send the drive to us to seed at one of the data centers if needed or use it to restore you data. This is a 30 day free trial and should get you through the storm if you get hit.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Only Six Days Left for the $99.99 Terra Byte

Online Server Backup, Remote Secure Off Site Windows, Exchange and Sql Server
You have until next Tuesday to use promo code: digg to get 50% off a Terra byte for the next year. Free trial but you have to order service by Tuesday to get this deal. Limited one per new customer.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Most Visited Web Sites

Most Visited Web Sites
This is the top site data page from Netcraft. It looks different compared to Alexa because they count the page not the just the top level domain name.

Alexa Top 500 Global Sites

Alexa Top 500 Global Sites
This is one of my favorite sites to check out every once in a while. It's a good way to pick up on some of the trends. When I was a kid we looked the Billboard Hot 100. I'm sure today's generation looks at this stuff. There are a few other services that rank web sites, they all have their pros and cons. Alexa ranks the domain overall. Another service that ranks web sites is netcraft and I’ll post about them next.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Beal Ever Deal for Online Server Backup

Use promo code: digg
Get 50% off 1 Terra Byte Online server backup. We can back up most operating systems and have plug ins for exchange and SQL. Exchange is $0.50 per mailbox. This offer will expire August 31st 2010.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Make your web site stand out using Reverse DNS

One thing I like to do and I am not really sure if this helps with SEO is to configure reverse dns on my dedicated web site IP address. By performing a reverse lookup and having it resolve to your web address I feel add a certain amout of credibility. If you are on a shared web hosting plan your site may be with hundred of other web sites on that same IP address.
To perform a reverse dns lookup go to dos or open a command prompt. Type nslookup and the numeric ip you want to check for reverse dns.

Coupons Fast PC Networks Corporation & Promotional Codes

Coupons Fast PC Networks Corporation & Promotional Codes
We have $25 off promo codes floating around the internet. Get a 1 year subscription to Fast Backup PC for only $44.99 with promo code. Pick the data center where you back you data up.

Fast PC Networks Line Quality and Speed Test

Fast PC Networks Line Quality and Speed Test
We are testing the line quality test from Ookla and we love what we are seeing so far. We have it set up at Internap Houston in 1301 Fannin. The test checks speed, ping, packet loss, jitter, and firewall. I hope to have the test deployed at the other three data centers by tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Some screen shots of our online backup software for PC's

Here are some screen shot of the GUI for our online backup software. As you can see it is very simple and easy to understand.

The backup source tab makes it very easy to select you most common files. The advance tab lets you specify folders to be backed up that are in non standard locations.

Give me a little more credit

I love these fun little scripts. This one looks at the keywords you rank for and does calculations based on keyword value.

dollar image

My website is worth


How much is yours worth?

Online Remote Backup Service for Desktops and Laptops Unlimited Storage

Online Remote Backup Service for Desktops and Laptops Unlimited Storage
Use Promo code: backtoschool
$25 off a 1 year subscription to Fast Back PC with unlimited storage.
Pick the data center where you back you data up to. Pick from New York City, Oakland, Houston or Columbus Ohio.
Our online backup service give you unlimited storage for your backups. Our software includes continuous data protection to back you up as you work.
Get one year of service for only $44.99 with promo code!

When buying switches for your cloud go dense and stackable

With more services being run on a server that is virtualized you will need a lot of switch ports. Our servers have ten one Gig ports plus 10 one Gig ports for the SAN. If you run firewalls and physical appliances you will need switch ports for these devises. If you are running virtual host servers you will want redundancy so you will need two switches. If the switches are not stackable you will need to trunk them and this will burn up four port per switch.
When we open up a city and deploy a cluster we use 44 ports right away. 30 for servers, 10 for the Storage Area Network, 2 for our remote PDU's and 2 data center cross connects. If the data center facility is doing maintenance to their infrastructure you will not go down. That is 22 ports per switch which leave us 26 ports per switch for expansion. This will leave room for about four or five more servers to add to the cluster. Buy 48 port switch if your budget allows, your cost per port will be lower. When you order your switches don't forget to order a stacking cables if not already included.

Chase iPhone app is great but limits you to $1000 deposit

I really like the new app for the iPhone and that you can make deposit using the camera. But they do put a limit of $1000 per deposit. This is not really a big deal, I can't drive more than 5 minutes in Houston without passing an ATM or branch location.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Houston Colocation Just Got Better

Fast PC Net is rolling out our new Fast Cloud V Colo service. Servers starting at only $69.99 per month hosted at Internap's Houston data center. We offer our new Fast V Colo at our other data centers at Internap New York and Oakland. Plus you have this service optioin at our disaster recovery facility in Columbus, Ohio. We can provision your server and have you up and running in as little as 15 minutes.
Click here to order a Fast Cloud Server

Online Backup for PC, desktop, laptops and workstations $25 off promo code

Follow us on Facebook and get a $25 off a 1 year subscription promo code. Fast PC Networks has data centers in New York, Houston, the Bay Area and Columbus Ohio. We let you pick any of these facilities to back your data up to. Download a free 30 day trial no credit card required. Plus with our software you get continuous data protection.
Click here to download the Windows version
Click Here for Mac

Sunday, August 15, 2010

What can you do with cheap bandwidth?

You can get a very fast connection now at a very low cost. Cable service providers have upped their connection speeds. New high speed broadband services are entering the market. What I like most about this is the upload speeds are increasing. Here at my home office I have the new Comcast Blast service and outside my firewall I'll hit upload speeds close to four megabits. I’ll get 61 megabits download. Comcast offers this as an upgraded service for $57.95 per month. Comcast business class offers this service on their premium package for $99.95 per month. Now they offer an even higher speed Deluxe package for $189.95 per month.
What can you do with these low cost connections? Redundancy, most SOHO firewalls support multiple internet connections. For less than the cost of a T1 you can have cable, dsl and wimax to keep your office online. With low cost high speed connections disaster recovery can become a reality. Replicating data off site and keep it in sync is now possible as the cost of fast upload connections drop. Most small and medium businesses have some backup procedures in place. What they lack is a disaster recovery plan to get them up quickly. Using a tape backup and leaving the tapes sitting next to the server is not good. What if the server is lost to fire, theft or flooding? How long will it take to get a server and have back up and running?
There are new products on the market that can make this process easier. My favorite feature is physical server conversion to a virtual server. An exact duplicate of your server and all its data is replicate to another office or data center. In the event of a disaster or long term outage the server can be turned on and quickly reconfigured to go back into production. With even more advance software this whole process can be automated. The best part is the cost of these products and services has converged to make enterprise quality disaster recovery a reality for businesses of all sizes.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

We Optimised our Houston Data Center Speed Test

Our speed test at the Houston Internap data center has been optimised for higher speed connection and provide more accurate speed test results for both uploads and downloads. We hope to have the speed test up in our other cities soon. We use this test for our cutomers to check their connections to us. The speed test server sits on a 1GB connection and we use Internap bandwidth.

Friday, August 13, 2010

How much data center space do you need?

With the explosion of hypervisor and virtual technology you can consolidate most of your server infrastructure down to a few host servers. Instead of having one physical server running on one server machine with enough resources (CPU, RAM, network and storage) you can run several virtual servers on one physical server machine. Today’s modern servers can hold several CPU’s and hundreds of Gigabytes of ram which allows you to pool and divide resources. It is not uncommon for organizations to consolidate twenty or more physical servers down to 20 virtual servers running on one power full host machine.
You will require less data center space but your host servers running all the virtual serves tend to use more power than servers from just a few years ago. You probably will not be able to fill a full 42U with equipment as the power density will be too high. Data centers have an 80% rule for power. If you order a 20 amp circuit you can only use 16 amps because you will need headroom for the equipment to power on. Modern servers fully loaded with drives CPU’s and RAM can consume 1.5 to 3.5 amps of power. Plus you will have other equipment in the cabinet like switches and firewalls. Some firewalls now will run as a virtual machine and eliminates the need for addition power and space in the cabinet.
Most data centers depending on their infrastructure will allow 40 amps 110 power or 20 amps of 208. With today’s equipment power density you will probably never be able to fill a rack with equipment the heat and power draw will be too much. Most data centers have a one cabinet minimum, a few data centers do offer locking half cabinets but this is not common and you will have to check with the facilities.
If you only need a server or two collocated the best option is to find the best data center facilities in your area or region. Look for computer and consulting companies that operate out of those facilities. A lot of smaller computer and consulting companies will offer shared colocation space. Your server will be in a locking cabinet with other customers. The advantages of doing this are that you only pay for the space you need. This is a great option to start out. The pricing per U will vary from data center to data center. Quality carrier class facilities start at around $80 per U. Modern redundant facilities may be more up to $175 per U. The disadvantages are security and easy access to your server. With so much running on one physical server you want to order your server with dual power supplies. If possible you will want to plug into separate PDU’s (power distribution units). Better PDU’s will let you meter your power and remote reboot the server if needed. This will save you from having to go to the data center or have data center personal walk out to your server and have to manually push the power button.
When you order your server get a remote access card. This allows you console access to your server even if it is hung on a screen. You will be able to see error messages or even do maintenance and installations. This does cost extra but will save you downtime and allow you to come quickly or recover from disaster.
Make sure you pick a data center with multiple carriers or ISP’s. I suggest a minimum of three or more. You will also want to have redundant cross connects to your switch or server. This way you will not be down due to accidents or facility maintenance.
The most important consideration when picking your facilities is how much redundancy they have and how much redundancy you have built into your server.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

FastPCNet now offers trading VPS machines in Manhattan New York

Fast PC Networks has partnered with to offer trading virtual private servers at our New York City data center in Manhattan. We are less than two blocks from the stock exchange on Wall Street and ping times are less than 3ms to all markets in the city. The facility in Manhattan offers a robust infrastructure with redundant power, several internet carriers and multiple layers of physical and digital security.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Another storm is firing up in the Gulf of Mexico, Is your DR plan ready and tested?

We are coming up to the peak part of the hurricane season. If predictions are right we could have a rough next few weeks. When we were hit with IKE in 2008 here in Houston, a lot of business's were intact with no physical, but they went up to four weeks without power.
There are many different levels of disaster recovery. The first and most import is to backup you critical servers and PCs. The next part that needs to be taken under consideration is work-site recovery. If power is down can the infrastructure be moved physically or virtually and be put back into production? When Ike hit we ran out of space at the data center space within hours. We were about to get some client back into production converting their physical machines into virtual machines. This is a process that can now be easily automated. As cost of hardware and software continues to fall, advanced disaster recovery solutions are now realistic for small and medium size companies.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A SAN makes it easy to achieve maximum uptime

Does downtime cost you money and lost production? Do you cluster your most critical applications? Do you run a SAN?
With the falling cost of storage a SAN for your servers is now a reality. SAN's with full redundancy have come down in price to the $10,000-$20,000 range. While this is still expensive it does allow for more small and medium size companies to run their applications in high availability mode. You can use Windows built in clustering or virtualization technology like VMware. Even if you are not using HA with VMware you can lock the virtual machine into a spare hosts inventory and still be up and running in minutes, because the storage is on the network.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Another one of our happy cutomers

I want to thank you for the great service you are providing. I am a new customer and have had some rare issues. I already feel at home, and that someone is taking care of me!
"I am serious, you guys are great"

Yohay Azulay
OMC Computers and Communications LTD

vps in China

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Backup to our Houston Data Center we then Replicate your Data to Ohio

One of our best features is that we can keep a second copy online for you. Here in Houston where we are vulnerable to hurricanes and flooding this can give you extra assurance that even if our highly redundant facilities were to go offline in downtown Houston you will be able to restore your data from our Columbus, Ohio data center. In Columbus we offer cloud servers that can be use to restore your data to. This service is available in our Houston, New York and Oakland data centers. We can also replicate all your servers realtime physical to virtual and virtual to virtual. We can even automate the process with site recovery manager.

Using a Chat script to monitor and Chat with your web site visitors

One of my favorite programs is Livezilla. It lets us monitor and watch visitors surf real time on our web site. It also allows us to force a pop up to engage our web site visitors in a chat sesesion. This has helped us to increase sales by answering questions about our product fast. Some users are not comfortable on the phone and are more willing to chat over the web. The best part is that it leads to instant sales.
Livezilla tells your where the visitors are coming from whether it be a google or yahoo search. The program will also tell you the searchstring they used to find you. Livezilla can tell you the city and region the visitor is from. You can even co-browse with the user. Even if you are not selling products and services it is fun to see where they go on your site and how they found your site. The program is shareware and is fairly easy to install.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Stupid Smartpnones

Even with the updates from Apple I'm not having much luck holding a call. I can see that the signal where I live is a bit weak and this is why I'm dropping calls especially indoors. If you are a 3G user beware 4.01 makes the phone useless once you start to install apps. The battery just runs down and won't hold a charge. If you leave it basis with no apps the battery works fine. Even Verizon has a weaker signal and the Motorola Droid bought in January was acting up and had to be erased and setup again to return to normal function. The phones are starting to remind me of PC's in that you need to wipe and reload every few months to keep them speedy.