Why choose HA Hosting for your Cloud Servers.
If you want to configure a HA Cloud Server you can here
Monthly or Annual Contracts
Monthly or annual contracts are available. We believe our services is good enough that we don't need to tie customers to long term contracts, however we also realise that some people want the security of a longer contract. For this reason, we do offer an annual contract and a bonus it includes a 5% discount.
What Makes HA Hosting's Cloud Server So Reliable?
With our Cloud Servers, reliability is built in from the ground up. We start with HP Servers configured to our own specification, all hardware is exactly the same across our each server farm, which means we have a very stable foundation to build on.
We then install Microsoft Hyper-V with a standardised driver set which ensures that only known drivers are loaded. Reducing the chance of problems at the Hyper-visor or OS level.
However, even the best setup can occasionally run into problems, this is where HA or High Availability comes in, by clustering and deploying tools that will automatically migrate virtual servers between physical servers.
With HA, server placement is automatically managed on the underlying physical nodes to optimise resources, and in the slim (but not impossible) event of a node failure your server will be restarted automatically on another node. You need not worry about hardware failures ever again!
Obviously, having standby servers "just in case" has a cost, and it used to be an optional extra. However, these days all of our Virtual Servers come with the High Availability at no extra cost.
High Availability Servers: Less risk of downtime
- The HA Hosting Cloud: Our host servers (nodes) are clustered together with hot standby resources, so if a physical server does fail the Cloud Servers will be moved across to another node. Often this is a seamless transition and has zero impact. In certain circumstances a reboot may take place. This process is managed automatically by Microsoft System Center.
High Availability Network
- The HA Hosting Cloud: Each major component within the Cloud has its own dedicated network. Host network traffic, Management network traffic and SAN (Storage Attached Network) traffic are all kept separate for resilience and increased performance.
High Availability Disk Storage
- The HA Hosting Cloud: Our infrastructure connects to a HP 10GBe iSCSI SAN (Storage Attached Network). Each Node Connects directly to the SAN via dedicated Continuously Available SMB vSAN servers. These vSAN servers have dual paths through resilient 10GBe network connections to the SAN itself.
- The SAN has resilient hardware including Controllers (for processing data), Power Supplies, Data Network Cards, Management Network Cards, Raid5 Disk Groups.
- Hot Standby Disks. Hot standby disks are bought into play at the first sign that a disk may fail in the future (SMART technology).
Our Virtual Servers are "Hardware Independent" which means that your services stay online for when you need.
We can offer quick and easy “virtual” hardware upgrades: whether you are adding more CPU, RAM or disk storage, all it requires is a simple reboot.
How to Choose a Cloud Server Provider
Cloud Servers sometimes referred to as Virtual Servers , Virtual Machines or VM’s Virtual Private Server or VPS’s. Any historical distinction between the terms has been lost, however not all Cloud Servers are the same!
A well configured Virtual Server should be indistinguishable from a similar specification physical server.
Often people expect less performance from a Virtual Server so accept less.
What to look for when choosing a Virtual Server.
There are a number of Virtualisation vendors including VMware, Microsoft, Citrix and various Linux incarnations. We have used and have expertise in VMware ESX, and Citrix Xen, and currently we use Microsoft Hyper-V, backed up by System Center.
We made our choice based on extensive commercial experience gained working for big name IT companies. You can be certain that the Microsoft Hyper-V platform is fully supported and continues to be developed giving you a reliable base for your current and future computing needs. We are not generally against open source software, in this instance for use in a business environment we feel it is best to use fully supported software from one of the market leaders.
We are of course biased as we have spent many years gaining experience in the deployment and management of both Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware ESX.
Compare specifications but don’t trust them blindly, get a trial machine and see how it responds.
Make sure you have the resources that you are paying for.
Record benchmarks on your virtual machines so that you can identify if they are no longer performing as you would expect, just like you would on a physical server.
High Availability Hosting are happy to setup a short trial period for legitimate companies to experience that our Virtual Servers are as good as we say they are.
Not just the name of our company. High availability refers to the ability to move between physical nodes automatically if a problem occurs, meaning you server is available when you or your customers need it. All our Virtual Servers come with High Availability features of Microsoft Hyper-V turned on. Not all cloud service providers offer H.A. as standard!
Without moving the disk storage away from any individual server it is impossible to use the High Availability features of virtualisation. For these features a virtual server requires access to a Storage Attached Network (SAN) or Network Attached Storage (NAS).
SAN attached Virtual Machines are less prone to data loss and will usually be more responsive than those attached to NAS or other Disk array. Our Virtual Servers use disks on a HP SAN with high performance SAS disks and 10GBe networks, which means better performance and reliability for your server. Not all cloud service providers have SAN storage, some only offer local SATA storage!
Compared to purchasing a physical server and then paying for colocation, the cost of a good quality Virtual Server can be lower. However do not expect the equivalent of a £5k server for $5 a month, No matter what the website tells you! Part of the cost savings will be made due to the fact that a Virtual server will scale as you need it, there is no point if having a server with 16GB of ram if you are only using 8GB. When you need more RAM order it and schedule the reboot. Use your trial period to test and scale your application. If High Availability is important to you when comparing costs you should base them on at least two physical servers and separate storage so that you are comparing like for like.
UK based Data Centres: Your Data Never Leaves the Country
- The HA Hosting Cloud: Is hosted on Servers in our Sheffield Data Centre, this means you can be sure that your Data only ever falls under UK law.