GreenGeeks now utilizing Container-based technology on all servers

GreenGeeks has been providing web hosting for a very long time and our management have been in the industry even longer. We’ve seen our fair share of outages caused mostly by a few customers bringing the server to a grinding halt due to poorly coded web sites, too much traffic and a slew of other reasons sometimes knowingly and sometimes unknowingly… these users are often dubbed as an “abusive user”.

GreenGeeks has coded several systems to prevent a lot of these “outbreaks” from affecting our service, and for the most part the systems have done a great job, however there are certain elements we weren’t able to catch, which did cause slow downs and even service interruptions due to a system coming to a grinding halt. That was then…

Now… we’re happy to announce that we’re running Container-based technology on all of our servers. This technology allows us to isolate each customer into its own “virtual segment”. What this means is that if there is an “abusive user” exceeding its allotted computing resources, their account will be slowed down to prevent service interruption (slow downs, intermittent service, complete outages) to other customers while those not offending the resources will continue to operate as it should.  All of our customers will be able to track their resource usage by clicking the resource usage icon in their cPanel or by viewing the quick stats on the left hand side.

This might scare a few people, but here is what we see. Over 99% of our customer base never comes close to the resource limits. In fact, we’ve given each customer more than what our terms of service allows for. The idea here is to maintain an environment that will allow you to see those bursts in traffic without affecting everyone else. That’s our goal. For those customers who do get slowed down, it’s an indication that you need to either optimize or upgrade to a plan that will be suitable for your resource usage… in other words, you’ve out grown your existing account.

Bottom line: This technology will greatly increase the performance and reliability of our web hosting services by limiting those who are exceeding their fair share of resources. Allowing over 99% of our customer base to enjoy world-class shared hosting service. This technology also gives us the ability to provide a no-pressure upgrade path for customers. You’re given multiple options such as:

  1. Optimize your site to reduce usage
  2. Accept the slow downs during when your site peaks OR
  3. Upgrade to a suitable plan.

GreenGeeks’ April iPad2 Winner Announced!

In April, our marketing team thought of giving away prizes to customers, so we started our first ever iPad 2 Giveaway. Any new customer to purchase a hosting account within the month of April 2011 would have a chance to win an Apple iPad 2 32GB. Who wouldn’t want one of these cool tablets!

Congratulations to Robert Brenner of BoxerLab Media Group, our April 2011 Winner! Robert was nice enough to send us a picture of his brand new iPad 2!

“I signed up for GreenGeeks reseller hosting with the thought of ‘it’s too good to be true’.   The pricing vs. the services offered was an amazing deal.  I signed up and have been using them for all of my client websites ever since.  To say I’m thrilled with their services is an understatement.   Support has been fantastic and the uptime has been superb.   I recommend Green Geeks as the only hosting company you’ll ever need!” – Robert Brenner

We’re giving away another iPad 2 32 GB in June. Learn more about the giveaway.


Memory upgrade completed across fleet of servers.

Since Winter of 2009, we have been provisioning our new servers with 8GB of RAM, however this didn’t mean that our older servers were up to the newest standard’s here at GreenGeeks. Over the last few weeks, our level 3 administrators, NOC technicians and front-lines have been working hard to schedule and upgrade all the servers in our fleet to our standard 8GB of RAM.

We’re pleased to announce that the upgrades are now complete and service for customers is even better than it was before the upgrades!

Drives Fail & We’re Prepared!

One of the most common type of system failures in web hosting today is a hard drive failure and since we use RAID-10, that results in a degraded RAID-array and that is borderline worst case scenario.seagate-barracuda-7200-11-hard-drive-fail-thumb-200x198

This means that the drive must be replaced or data loss is highly likely. It’s our first line of defense. We also use RAID-10 for performance reasons.

The simple fact is that hard drives fail and is not a matter of if but when! Here is an article by PC World on a study that was done on hard drives by Carnegie Mellon University & Google.

The good news is…

Thanks to the experience of our management team and the excellent team that we have at GreenGeeks, the pooled knowledge has allowed us to combine work experience to ensure that customers data is safe and downtime is reduced to an absolute minimum during a failure. We are all about proper procedures & policy. We have replacement hard drives (including other hardware like RAM, CPU’s, Server Chassis, etc) on standby in the event of a failure, we’re able to quickly replace the affected hardware.

In the event that there is a file system / hard drive failure, there are likely two scenarios that would occur:

  1. Bad Drive (best case scenario) – We simply replace the drive and the hardware RAID card will re-build the new drive with the lost information from the data on the other drives and in a few hours the RAID-array will be repaired all while your sites are still on line, with no data loss. Total downtime may be less than 1 hour.
  2. File System Corruption (worst case scenario) – If a RAID card fails, this can result in a failed a corrupted file system and a full system restore from backups will need to take place. Restoration time can take a few hours, however we have servers standing by and we never use the same hardware components again.

When there is file system corruption, we attempt to fix it within a reasonable restoration time, if this is not met we proceed to restoring the service from backups.

About our backups!

We back up all of our servers, every night and retain the data for 24 hours in the event of a total failure requiring restoration from backups. Our disaster recovery effort! We are also in the process of making our backups redundant as well.

Bottom line is that it’s not a matter of if, but when and being proactive/prepared for the worst is what is going to ensure that data is not lost like it is with other hosting companies (won’t name names!). Rest assured, we take our business very seriously and that’s what we’re all about — quality service and no short cuts.

Karl D.
GreenGeeks / Systems Administrator

24/7/365, every 10 seconds monitoring

Server uptime is something we here at GreenGeeks take very seriously. A little too serious, and its proven to be very good for us and our customers. We guarantee that we’ll be up 99.9% of the time, however we’re always working around the clock to make sure it’s even better then that. A lot of work goes into making sure of that, including unique proprietary tools that puts us further ahead from our competitors.

“The other guys…”

Many web hosting companies check their servers 1, 3, 15 or even as high as 30 minute intervals to ensure their servers are responding. If you stop to think about it, with check intervals as low as a minute, sites could be down and the hosting company would not know for 60 seconds, only then would they be  notified to begin resolving the issue. An entire minute is pretty long these days. I’ve even seen some hosting companies have internal (on-network) monitoring and I don’t have to go into detail why that’s not smart. I’ve seen a lot of questionable methods and that’s why we strongly believe that experience goes a long way.

“10 Second check intervals and not 1 minute.”

At GreenGeeks, we monitor our servers every 10 seconds from multiple locations around the globe to ensure that we’re up and running. We also run health checks, to make sure FTP, HTTPD, MySQL and other critical services are running and functioning properly. If in the event there is a service failure (it does happen), our 24/7/365 NOC is notified and action is taken immediately to isolate and resolve. From what we have seen, in most cases, issues are isolated and resolved within 30-40 seconds, whereas the competition still hasn’t even realized they are having issues.

This is one of the many reasons, why hosting with GreenGeeks is simply a smart choice! It’s also made it very easy on the staff to be able to continue to provide customer support versus having to deal with “downtime complaints”.