We thought we would keep everyone posted on the events that have happened at Digital Pacific over the past 12 months and give you a sneak peak of what is planned for the next 12 months.
Data Centre Relocation
Around June 2010 we started to plan the move of our infrastructure to a brand new Data Centre. We felt that we needed to make this move as we were growing at a rapid rate and we needed make sure that we could sustain our growth well in to the future. The move itself was successful and whilst it took over a year to plan, the actual move took 5 weeks which was done in stages to minimise downtime. We reserved a fair amount of space at this facility that should see us through the next few years.
New Network Build
When we were planning the DC relocation we thought it would be an excellent time to build a new redundant network from the ground up, so we invested a large sums of money in Cisco and Juniper gear to make this a reality. The switches we used are Juniper EX4200’s and are capable of supporting our new cloud platform and IPV6 deployment which will be happening over the next few months.
When we started Digital Pacific over 10 years ago we used a control panel called Ensim which was an excellent product back then, however over the years that product was acquired by another company and support and updates came to a halt, so we made the decision to move to cPanel which is the worlds most popular control panel for web hosts. At the end of November this year we completed our Ensim cPanel migrations after almost 2 years of planning. We worked closley with cPanel to develop migration scripts and tools to make the migration as smooth as it could be. There were a few sites that required attention after the migration however overall this was a massive success. cPanel is the control panel of choice for millions worldwide and Digital Pacific is now proud to now offer cPanel hosting. We have also fine tuned our cPanel servers with Cloud Linux and other software that gives a lot more stability than the previos Ensim servers.
New Backup System. We take them seriously!
We have taken backups fairly serious for the past 11 years, no one can run a hosting company with confidence and not have backups, it surprises me the number of hosting companies out there that either don’t backup or just backup to the same machine. People who run backups in that manner should never be in charge of any critical infrastructure. I would like to give you a bit of a background on the Digital Pacific Backup and restore process. We have partnered with a company called R1 Soft who are based in the US, their software is the only true Enterprise grade backup system available to the hosting market at the moment. Backups on all servers initiate on the R1Soft master server and “pull’ data from which ever server is being backed up, all backup traffic makes it way via high speed multiple 10GB links that go straight in to our offsite Disaster Recovery DC backup facility in to the latest Dell SAN’s with storage of well over 200tb’s making backups very quick and highly secure placing very little load on the server being backed up. We perform 4 backups in snapshots per day per server and more regular intervals for VPS servers, We will soon be implementing a web based system that will allow customers to have complete control over their backups, allowing you to restore all of your files or just a single file or table at any point in time from the past month, restores should take about 5 minutes for an average size site. We will then archive previous months to another secret location. Thats not all, We also use a completely separate and redundant backup network ports that does not affect your public traffic leaving that for your website visitors. We also have a state of the art DR plan but we cant let that one out of the bag. Then our competitors would be on to us. Rest assured, we have it covered. We have never lost a single customers file in 11 years due to no backups, and those files are in the many millions.
Over the past 6 months we have been building and testing our new DNS management software, which will allow you to manage your own DNS records via our control panel. We have also migrated our DNS to new servers based here in Sydney, our secondary DNS server is based in QLD. Over the next 6 months we will be deploying more servers around the world for global redundancy and will be giving DNS Hosting to all customers that purchase a domain name with us.
What are we working on over the next 6 months?
Over the next 6 months we will continue to work on projects that will keep us at the cutting edge of technology. Below are just a few things that we have in the pipeline. We cant let you know them all just yet.
We are currently working on providing utility cloud services on demand, we are currently in talks with various hardware and software vendors for this project, we are looking to have this launched around May 2012. We are excited about this project and can’t say too much about it yet. Stay tuned.
At the moment we have various systems that our customers log in to to manage their accounts with us. These systems are for billing and invoicing, cPanel and a range of others that are used to manage various aspects of services that are provided by Digital Pacific. We are currently working on systems that will allow our customers to manage everything from one control panel which we have dubbed “1Panel”. This product will automate a lot of the tasks our customers require on a daily basis. This will include a new management interface for dedicated servers which will include the ability to reboot, re-image and view bandwidth graphs as well as a lot more. We have been working hard behind the scenes for the past 12 months on this and are hoping to have it launched in the first quarter of 2012.
Over the past 6 months you may have noticed that your emails are being answered all hours of the day, this is because we have secretly been trailing 24/7 support but have not yet announced it as official. We plan on announcing this around the middle of next year once we have all of the kinks ironed out.
There are a few more things that we still have under wraps, we can’t let it all out in one go. So stay tuned and thanks for all of your support in 2011.