Hey folks,

We’re hard at work building the next generation hosting platform to migrate all clients (including those on Apollo) within the next few months. I want to let you know what features everyone will have access to, what is changing, and what is improving.

First, our platform will be built using filesystem layering introduced in the Apollo platform. This has exceeded our expectations to provide clients with easy access to system updates to make sure your accounts are secure. Best of all, we have yet to encounter performance limitations – in fact, performance is 4x better than our older server fleet introduced in 2007. Performance will improve even more in the coming months with Helios.

Helios is built around Redhat Enterprise Linux 6.2, stuffed with some of the most recent software, including: Linux kernel 3.2, bash 4, MySQL 5.5, and Apache 2.4. We have selected this software to provide clients with the most efficient shared hosting environment achievable. Your sites will continue to work the same, but be faster. Our storage platform will also make use of a 6x 15k SAS array in a RAID 1+0 configuration. IO throughput is approximately 2.8x faster than before. Learning from past mistakes, the OS will finally be 64-bit. This decision comes after experimentation on Apollo, specifically mapping high memory segments into low memory, which is slow and quite limited as we continue to make generous use of RAM to improve cache responsiveness of HTTP and MySQL.

Our patches that unify every service, like e-mail and FTP, into our account lookups are being rewritten to make use of the latest software too. Software like Dovecot 2.1, victim of a major API overhaul since 1.3, require more cautious planning to ensure our new patches work identical to our present setup. These patches take some time to write and adequately test.

Helios should be ready in time for this Summer. Let me know if you have any feature requests or questions pertaining software changes on Helios. Until then, look forward to more postings as we draw closer to finalizing the next big leap in hosting.

` Matt

Building Your Next Hosting Platform