Category Archives: Inside Jag’s head
Before we begin, this has taken a long time to plan and I’m excited to share this story, provide all the tech specs and details we geeks love, and blast out pictures and video.
Why the new cage?
Thanks to all our clients over the 15yrs we have continued to grow and demand more space and particularly more power from our data centers. In Atlanta, we had two older cages from yesteryear that began on 110v power and reached their capacity in power long before space. In addition servers have changed alot since those cages were first setup, when we started with towers then but today and for many years every new server has been a new lower power consumption (though much more powerful) rackmount server.
The big objective was to get all our clients updated to our latest colo build, 208v, and specific pdu’s and switches that our staff and systems love and have grown accustom to but also require more capacity. So we found ourselves in the process over years of trying to get rid of old machines, towers, older cpu’s in exchange for the newer ones.
We use two data centers currently in Atlanta, AtlantaNap where we first opened our Atlanta presence and also ColoAT. We found ourselves in a unique situation with AtlantaNap the newest half of the facility received massive injections of upgrades and updates to become a premier health care facility. If you know anything about health care, you know they require all the perks for data. Our data center also needed space in the older area to improve upon its lacking power infrastructure.
So we gave up our older cages in exchange for new ones in the new space and took this chance to get all clients over to the 208v pdu, HP/Cisco routing/switching, and that promised backend we began but has taken a while to build out at all our locations for all clients. This is our project: setup a new cage with all new gear, fix any existing patchwork along the way, physically move all rackmount systems from our older cages to this newer one and to move all clients on a tower based system to a newer rackmount one in the new cage.
What kind of preparation goes into this?
An insane amount of planning has taken place for this from June 2012 up to and including last minute changes in Jan 2013. We have to coordinate with all our vendors to have the cage setup on time, power provided on time, distributed as we want, all our equipment and servers arrive ready to be racked on time, and get into a smooth “grind” of how to move nearly a thousand servers at this one location, from spot A to spot B.
First, what are we moving? We audit all our servers to prepare an accurate accounting of what was where, and where is it now, so throughout the process techs, clients, and NOCC admins can all find what they need. So we build a master list and begin to sort it via VLAN, comparing power draw @110v in the old cage to power @208v in the new cage, which actually runs from private pdu’s @ 3phase 480v. Anyway that’s nerd talk for lots of power. Multiple 100kva pdu’s are needed to fill this cage.
Ok, so when we know how many we are moving, we determine where and what power that will draw. Then we build our power plan on how to reach peek deficiency. This includes a mix of what type of server are we moving, is a small 1 drive 1u, or a mid 8xdrive 2u, or one of these 16 disk systems. Load each cabinet up heaviest and most power hungry at the bottom thinning to the top until we get our peak server per cabinet & power per cabinet usage. The two are designed to be one and the same. i.e. if you fill our cabinets copying the way each looks from purely aesthetics 2u’s, 1u’s you’ll find you can fill the cabinet fully and reach our ideal range of power consumption.
Well we better get rid of some of these really old things in the process, they will likely be the ones to give us problems anyhow. So we tally up how many potential problems we might have on our hands and order our servers, switches, pdu’s, cabinets, colo & power. The project’s tentative start date is set a few months out. This plan will be revised and scrutinized many times over before the start date.
We’re going to have to safe and cleanly power down each system one at a time, take it out of the rack, cart it over to the new cage, re-rack and re-wire it there. First, we plan to come in and start prewiring everything the first week.We know some systems won’t come back up on boot, they just won’t. Some systems haven’t had a reboot in 500,800,1100 days, we don’t know what will happen for sure with that. We also know through the years of upgrading systems for clients, ourselves, repairing bad hardware, that we may find other anomalies.
Ok, so we’re in Atlanta, we have only just arrived and we are informed we will be behind already. They aren’t done preparing the cage which was due to be handed over Jan 1st. We had just a physical cage.
Day – Zero
They have completed the power runs, cabling trays, most essentials minus the network. We begin to bring in our Dell cabinets, Cisco routers, HP switches, and get to cabling. After a good few days your cage is almost ready, almost.
What other ways does this help the clients?
This expanded power, expanded networking and expanded backend brings more network capacity. We can and did complete the phase to migrate failover systems to the Cloud as a result of this, and semi-dedicateds are being moved now, which will be done in a few weeks. We have managed to get many of our oldest clients on over to all new gear and this new setup without downtime.
And, this takes us to the last phase of a network project aimed at increasing capacity and reducing risk/downtime, adding more diverse carriers. As part of this there is increased backend capacity for offloading all backup processes, combined with the completion of Iderav5 recently, has provided remarkably improved backups.
Which takes us full circle the last bit of projects which include removing the tower systems from our inventory which has been ongoing for some time and will be ongoing for months to come.
Hello to all of our Current and Future JaguarPC Clients,
It is going to be another busy season here at JaguarPC. I spent a good part of the winter down in Atlanta planting more than a few new seeds for the company. The expansion at our data centers in Atlanta let us move into an entirely new cage area where my team and I installed new servers and cabinets which vastly expanded and improved our capabilities to better serve you. The benefits of the expansion should be apparent to everyone by now. Many accounts are now migrated off of older servers and they are now operating on the new ones we set up throughout January and into February. I also made the decision to add an enormous amount of NAS (Network Attached Storage) which allowed JaguarPC to enable the newest version of our backup software across most of our fleet of servers.
While I was delighted to get the new servers installed and everyone moved onto the new systems, the new backup software has me just about as excited, if not more so. The new backup software version will vastly improve our restore methods and times while continuing to bring all of you restore times and services that are beyond the scope of anything that has ever been offered before now. Our customers can take advantage of a new range of restoration services and plans for you own data protection and backups. Make sure you look into the purchase of one of these plans. Although full datalockbox services are not available on all types of servers at this time, backup services for PC’s are now supported. I am already looking forward to the next version of the software being able to support all types of servers.
In addition to a data center expansion and new backup services be sure you look into your cPanel setting if you are on a shared or reseller server. CloudFlare is now enabled on these servers and the setup is free and it takes only a few clicks to get it setup through your cPanel. I strongly encourage you take advantage of this service which allows you to improve your site’s performance and security. VPS and dedicated users can contact CloudFlare for installation instructions and our technical support team is here to assist you if you have any trouble enabling it yourself. Everyone can enjoy the benefits of this addition to our servers.
All of these changes will allow JaguarPC to continue to bring you the best that hosting has to offer as we enter into a new season where these seeds of change will blossom into a vigorous and revitalized time for all of our customers. The expansion projects at the data centers have been a huge success and I’m pleased with the progress our staff has been able to implement throughout the last few months. Please, take some time to explore the topics of this newsletter to see how JaguarPC is offering to make this one of the best and brightest seasons that we have seen yet.
Greg Landis CEO
Enable CloudFlare for Improved Security and Site Performance
JaguarPC has partnered with CloudFlare to help you utilize new technologies to improve your website performance and security. Shared and Reseller plans can easily take advantage of the CloudFlare option through your cPanel interface. VPS and Dedicated users need to only sign up on the CloudFlare site to get more detailed installation instructions. It is free and easy and a new advantage that JaguarPC is bringing to you.
New DataLockBox Services and Backup Plans
Free daily backups are one of the many services that JaguarPC provides to you. But, we still encourage you to keep copies of your own data. Server failures can cause corrupt data and we may not always be able to retrieve your latest updates. Our new backup datalockbox services could be the solution for you. Our newest version for backup solutions is being implemented across our fleet of servers. The new version allows JaguarPC to offer you new backup features.
Let our Dedicated Managed Server Plans Free You of Tedious Tasks
You don’t have to be intimidated by the more complex details that many may think are involved when using a dedicated server. Our managed services can keep your server secure and updated which gives you more time to manage your business and/or the website assoicated with your dedicated server account. You can enjoy the benefits of a dedicated server when you use our managed services which give you two hours of administration time each month. Look into our bargin bin for dedicated server deals. It may be the perfect time for you to make the move to a dedicated server plan.
Our New Version of Backup Software Vastly Improves Restore Times
One area in particular that JaguarPC has been working hard to improve is our overall restoration times when servers fail. We have now enabled the newest version of backup software for hosting providers across most of our server fleet. We have also put together a dedicated backup team and added an industry backup expert to our team. This new solution will eliminate high restore times and provide better and more streamlined services to get your servers back online without hiccups and extended delays.
Did You Know?
Every year over 100 million hard drives fail. While JaguarPC takes every precaution to ensure that your data is safe we still strongly encourage you to keep an offsite backup copy. You can easily obtain backup protection services from JaguarPC. Our backup services won’t let you down when tragic events destroy your data. Your data can be your income or the sum total of years of efforts. The prompt recovery of your information can be priceless. Let us help you find a method that will preserve your efforts and hard work. Contact our sales team today to learn more about what options are available to you.
Need Extra Cash? Would you like to enjoy some of the biggest affiliate payouts in the industry? Simply join our affiliate program and refer your clients, friends, family and business associates to start earning handsome rewards. Learn more about our affiliate program.
Learn more about JaguarPC hosting, call 1-888-338-5261 or visit jaguarpc.com today.
JaguarPC needs your help. Chase and Living Social have teamed up to offer twelve $250,000 grants to help small businesses just like ours. Our business needs at least 250 votes by the end of the day on June 30th, 2012 for us to be considered for a $250,000 grant.
What will we do with this $250,000 grant if selected?
People are the most important part of our business. Our technical support representatives, customer service representatives and our system administrators are all working together to bring you the best experience possible. We would invest the grant into these departments so that they could bring even better experiences and service to our clients. A grant will allow us to bring you a higher quality of customer care.
What do we need you to do?
We need you to support us by voting. In order for our grant application to be considered we need 250 votes by the end of the day on June 30, 2012.
How do you vote?
1. Visit www.missionsmallbusiness.com
2. Click Log In & Support (Bottom Right Corner)
3. Search JaguarPC in Business name
4. Please Vote and share your pledge with your friends.
Thank you for taking the time to vote for us and helping us reinvest in jobs.
On February 5th, 2010 Facebook announced a new site design. Since then the feedback has been overwhelmingly negative. The biggest complaint is the loss of the ability to filter updates and posts from your favorite Facebook applications.
We’re making it easier for you to find and interact with applications and discover new ones, with the new Applications and Games dashboards, accessible via the “Applications” and “Games” links on the home page. The dashboards will surface the applications you’ve interacted with most recently as well as your most recent application activity and your friends’ activity.
Then later in the post they clarify:
We’re also working on a more granular set of controls for specific applications, so that you can turn off activity for certain applications while leaving it on for others. We’ll have more information to share on this soon.
It’s not clear if the latter means they are working on more controls for filtering or for privacy.
I, for one, used the application filters daily and missed them as soon as they were gone. However, I did find a work around. It’s not the best solution but it works for now.
UPDATE: As of March 20th, the instructions below DO still work but you have to scroll down past several new posts in your feed before your filter starts displaying your application posts correctly.
If you obtain the application ID for the application you want to set a filter for (actually it will be a bookmark in your browser) you can still see posts only related to the application you’re interested in.
For example, to view only FarmVille posts, you can do so by clicking on this link: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?filter=app_102452128776
You can then bookmark this in your browser.
The format for the bookmark is: “http://www.facebook.com/home.php?filter=app_APPICATION-ID-NUMBER”
To obtain the application ID number, I found it by searching for the application in Facebook. Once it appears in the search results, click on the application and it should have a long URL containing the application ID in the address bar of your browser.
For FarmVille the URL was: http://www.facebook.com/search/?q=farmville&init=quick#!/apps/application.php?id=102452128776&ref=search&sid=572162762.2672672765..1 and the application ID is listed after “application.php?id=” and before the “&”. So the ID is: 102452128776
Hopefully Facebook comes up with a fix for this soon, but for now, enjoy this work around. You’re also welcome to visit us on Facebook!
You’ve probably heard quite a bit about “social networking” lately. But what is it? Through sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, you can network with others who are in your field, as well as business contacts, customers, and potential customers.
When the Internet became popular, people checked to see if a business had a website. If they didn’t, that customer may very well have gone to a competitor who did have a website. These days, customers—current and potential—are looking to see if a business has a Facebook page, or a Twitter page (we do!). It’s free and easy to set up an account with these sites, and once you do, you’ll have the ability to connect with people in a whole new way.
Through Twitter, you can easily give quick updates about company news, sales, and promotions. You can even give a link to a new blog post, or promotion, which in turn could mean increased sales. With Facebook, you can draw in customers and potential clients in a non-invasive, laid-back environment. Sure, you have a product to sell, but through Facebook and Twitter accounts, you can give that extra level of service without the “in your face” tactics that many businesses use.
The opportunities are endless with Twitter and Facebook. You can keep your customers up-to-date through Twitter (or Facebook, for that matter), which will increase customer confidence, as they will be able to see that you’re quickly resolving the problem, and that you care enough about your customers to provide updates.
While it’s understandable that some may be hesitant to embrace social networking, it’s clearly taking the Internet by storm, and those businesses who don’t embrace it may find themselves left in the dust, as customers flock to customers who keep up with the times.
Don’t let your business be left in the dust. Let your business flourish, and gain even more customers by not only creating accounts with social networking sites, but actually taking full advantage of it by interacting with customers, and constantly keeping your content fresh and updated. Update your Twitter page daily, even if it’s only just once. Respond quickly to direct messages, and comments. Respond quickly, too, on Facebook, MySpace, and any other social networking sites you may join. By doing this, you’ll impress your customers, and enjoy one added bonus: word of mouth, which is part of the wonders of networking.
Please tell us a little about yourself.
Im 32, a father of 3, and when I’m not shackled to a desk I enjoy spending time with the family, fishing, and playing guitar. Anyone that knows me will tell you I’m very big on core values in every person we hire, and every project we take on. Core values such as honesty, integrity, and respect are often set aside in the modern world and particularly behind the veil of anonymity of the internet. I believe this is precisely the area where people should adhere to those values the most. If you do, a reference is as easy as saying “google me”.
Can you summarize your educational experience for us?
I graduated high school in 94 and joined the Airforce in 95 where I spent 7yrs learning and growing as a person. I took some college while in the USAF but eventually the demand and excitement of JaguarPC led me to exit the USAF and go at hosting full time.
What do you consider as your accomplishments up to this point?
That I’ve managed to keep a healthy marriage, raise 3 kids, and all while running a very demanding business for 10yrs. Hitting milestones such as 100, 500, 1000 servers has been exciting as well.
Any failures you’d like to tell us about?
Nobody grows as a company or person without some failure. More importantly though is the lessons you take away from the experience. One big failing in the past was letting my excitement get the better of us by not planning properly for our growth. There is no growth worth hurting a reputation built up by a decade of hard work. Now we work our hardest on preserving that ideal.
What is your primary occupation?
Whatever my staff, clients, and partners need from me. I wear the CEO title but the truth is that even with 75 people working for me I still enjoy getting involved in the daily activities where it all got started. Our company is all about reflecting that person touch.
How do you manage your time? Will you describe what you do on a daily and/or weekly basis?
Between my wife and my iPhone I’m able to stay on top of things pretty well most of the time. My week involves a lot of email between my staff, management meetings, networking with other professionals, going over reports from the various areas of our companies, and of course some daily interactions with clients on forums, instant messengers, and the phone.
Do you oversell?
We don’t, except for our shared hosting plans. None of our reseller, VPS, or hybrid plans have any features that are oversold. The shared technology we use and our vast experience lets us manage the shared environments so well that we simply never run into the tiny things some watch all the time like disk space. Simply put, we just can’t run out of disk space. Even as we speak all our clients could increase their usage immediately by 500% and it wouldn’t cause alarm. Like cell phone minutes and bandwidth, the prices of storage are so minute these days its hard to justify placing a limit and letting a 2tb system only collect dust while 80% of the space sits wasted. Overselling as a means of marketing actually is the best way we can tell clients “use more, if you don’t nobody will” . And our system is setup so you have to have 80% of an initial quota actually used before you request more, but you can request more as many times as you want and its automatically added.
Tell us about your control panel, is it based on cPanel and what makes it special?
In our shared environment we use cPanel exclusively, but for VPS, hybrid, and dedicated servers we offer and support a wide range of control panels and software. We have developed a proprietary platform that ties into our servers, billing, software, ips, staff, and pretty much our entire operation. I wouldn’t want to imagine running a company this size and complex without it.
As part of your managed services you propose monitoring, does that include proactive responses?
Yes. And we have some really exciting improvements coming to our operation in the next 30days that will improve that response greatly by adding new methods of alerts and new tools for clients and our staff to respond to those alerts.
Wowvps.com was started off for two reasons; we didn’t want to mix our managed Virtuozzo offering in jaguarpc.com with the unmanaged xen VPS offering. And we wanted a fresh place to kickoff our VSControl software that took years to develop and perfect. We will begin offering the software to the public this year. Finally there is a xen based vps hosting control panel that hosts can rely on.
You have offices in multiple cities and you have also remote technicians all over the world, how do you manage them?
With our software, and my great management team. If I had to manage a staff this size on my own it would consume my day. I empower the managers of the various departments to give them a chance to really make a difference in peoples lives and in the companies growth.
Do you own your data centers?
Not yet. We run colo cages, racks, and other specialized agreements with facilities in Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, the UK, and Singapore. We are expanding to other cities as well as currently planning our own facility.
You have a very active community, how did your business benefit from it?
It hasn’t stopped benefiting from it yet . Our clients are equally as awesome as our staff. Often clients are eager to learn things for themselves or just might be curious about something. When they take those issues to our community not only does it reduce our own support load, it builds a sense of community, adds content, and perpetuates itself.
What can we expect from JaguarPC in the future?
We love taking the lead and pushing boundaries of what defines a product. We were right out front pushing vps long before most even knew what it was. In fact I had to request from the owners of WHT to get vps categories and forums added many years ago. We plan to do more of the same and push the envelope of whats possible. This year is no exception, we have some great deals coming very soon made possible by a few unique partnerships we just finalized.
What does the future hold for Greg Landis?
Only God knows for certain but I’ll keep doing what I do best. Because its working for me. I do plan to continue pursuing our larger plans, building data centers, and diversifying Landis holdings in many other non-hosting related opportunities as well. So far I’ve been very fortunate and enjoy spreading it around. Ask me again in another 10yrs
One of the biggest gripes I had about my iPhone was that I couldn’t sync my Google Calendar with the calendar function included with my iPhone. I ended up using the Google Calendar on the web, and setting up text message reminders. This only worked when I was setting appointments / important dates when I was near a computer. While on-the-go, I had no easy way to add a new event or appointment. Google created a barely functional iPhone-friendly calendar page you could view via Safari, but it was pretty much a “view only” page. Google claimed you could add dates, but when doing so, I had some interesting results. You could not delete or modify any events.
All that changed yesterday when Google announced Google Sync (beta) for the iPhone and Windows Mobile phones along with a contacts-only version for many other devices. Now you can sync your contacts AND your calendar and it works both ways. I was all over it yesterday and promptly followed the detailed instructions to set this up and I am impressed with the results so far. Since it’s beta, there will be a few glitches such as auto-complete not working quite as well, but so far I’m not seeing any deal-breakers and am quite happy to finally be able to have my calendars synced!
A word of warning: Be SURE to back up your contacts before setting up Google Sync. Google provides this warning as well:
When setting up Google Sync on your iPhone or iPod touch device for Contacts, the iPhone will delete all Contacts. Please safely backup all your iPhone Contacts to Google before setting up Sync.
Backup instructions are located here.
Google has made several changes and/or added new features to their already existing features. For example, you can now Spice up your inbox with colors and themes. This change I embraced as I am always on the lookout for a new, colorful, appealing, and/or easier-to-navigate theme for the products I use.
Then Google changed the Google Reader interface. This change annoyed me quite a bit at first as they actually made some things harder to find, such as how to “show all” or “show updated” items. It took me a week to figure out that I needed to click the tiny little down arrow to the right of “Subscriptions” to get to those menu options. When they announced the change all they said about that particular change was:
- The “Show all – updated” controls are now in the Subscriptions options menu.
I kept looking for the word “Options” and didn’t realize it was a tiny down facing arrow. Once I figured that out and got used to all the changes I like it well enough. But I think the prior interface was actually easier to navigate. Maybe it’s just me?
Yesterday Google announced “A new Google Sitemap Generator for your website“. I haven’t played much with this yet and I liked the old one well enough for my personal web site. Have you had a chance to mess with it and see if the changes are for the better?
Google even changed their favicon. While the new one is more colorful, it’s going to have to grow on me a bit for me to like this change.
Google is changing all over the place. None of them too dramatic in the grand scheme of things, and most are improvements in my opinion. What has been your experience?
Not so much. At least not for this avid iPhone fan.
The Google G1 phone using Android software went on sale in October. The first eye-catcher was the price: ~ $179.00. The second was my favorite feature of the iPhone: the touch screen. There’s also a a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. The way it handles maps is pretty awesome as well.
But where’s the iPod? There’s no program like iTunes to sync your music, photos, or videos to the G1 phone. Adding these items to the Google GI phone is accomplished by dragging them to the phone itself manually after connecting its USB cable to your computer.
I also heard that you can only sync your calendar, contacts, and email with Gmail. Nothing else. That can’t be true?
So far I’m planning to stick with my iPhone.
Do you have one of these new phones? Like it? Hate it? IS it an iPhone killer?
JaguarPC is now using Twitter. You can see JaguarPC on twitter here: http://twitter.com/jaguarpc
If you don’t know what Twitter is, you aren’t using the internet enough. From the Twitter Support page:
What is it?
Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?
How do I use it?
Tell us what you’re doing in 140 characters or less! Send your thoughts, observations, and goings-on in your day. Whether you’re “eating an apple” or “looking forward to the weekend” or “Heading out of town” it’s twitter-worthy.
Do I need anything special to use Twitter?
In order to use Twitter you will need one of these things: an internet connection or a mobile phone.
How can I send updates to Twitter?
Send updates to friends and family about what you’re doing in the way that works best for you. Update in myriad ways:
- from your phone
- from your logged-in home page
- from m.twitter.com.
- from any of the third party applications on Twitter Fan Wiki, made by the talented folks who’ve utilized our API.
There’s more on the support page but you get the idea. I’ve personally been using twitter for several months and it’s quite addicting.
Do you Twitter?