In March 2017, we launched a new line-up of fast VPS with SSD. After the launch, we took a look at other our offers and decided to make them better. And thus, the idea of the new hosting was born.
Reason to act
Although our servers’ hardware was still competitive, the software was growing old. Our hosting did not support HTTP/2, NGNIX settings manager was inconvenient to use and our caching system did not support new techniques. All this negatively affected the performance, and we decided that we were going to make it better. We just had to figure out how.
We had a meeting, where we decided to stop being «just a hosting» and try to offer something unique. Yet to do this, we needed to upgrade the structure.
Making a new hosting structure
When we only started looking for new servers, we wanted to go SSD. SSD are slowly becoming a new industry standard, pushing HDD and hybrid systems out of the market.
But a couple of weeks before our launch, planned on September, 4, we managed to find NVMe drivers at a reasonable price. Thus, the idea making the first NVMe-based hosting was born.
At the same time, our admins rebuilt and optimized the software side of the hosting, while integrating new functionality.
What we’ve ended up with
The new hosting is 100% NVMe. For those, who are not familiar with the technology — NVMe is a fair bit faster than SSD and much faster than hybrid HDD\SDD system that used to power our old hosting. Some examples:
- Server response time. Old hosting — 6.54 s. New hosting— 1,18 s.
- Full WordPress Main Page load (fresh install). Old hosting— 6 seconds. New hosting — 1,2 s.
- Full backup of a test WordPress website. Old hosting — 5 minutes. New hosting — 20 seconds.
Along with the hardware update, we brought in the new software.
- cPanel was updated (to 66.0.17) as well as other components.
- CloudFlare connect got simplified;
- NGNIX and cache settings now can be edited directly from the cPanel;
- HTTP/2 support now available;
- All cached websites are now boosted using the Google PageSpeed Insights.
We also changed the support methods. Now small tasks can be resolved directly in chat, without tickets. For example:
- Install CMS on the hosting.
- Connect and setup the caching system.
- Change the PHP version, turn the modules on and off.
Creating new plans
New NVMes are not as spacious as the old hybrid system, which means we can no longer offer you unlimited storage. Therefore, we had to declare strict limits on the storage used. But even on the cheapest plan ($2/mo) you still get 3GB storage for files and databases.
One month before the transfer we sent letters with warnings. Then sent a couple more, this time with reminders.
We also had 23 accounts that could not be transferred due to the storage limitations. Our tech support contacted them personally to solve the problem.
On September, 4 we launched the new hosting and transferred all accounts without any issues.
The new hosting structure has been successfully launched, and we are proud that Unihost is the first NVMe hosting in the West. Websites are loading faster, thanks to hardware and software optimizations, customers are happy. And the first order of a new hosting took place three minutes after the launch of the structure.
The new support system is also bearing fruit — the number of tickets has decreased and now our specialists spend less time on solving simple tasks.
As you can see, we have achieved the set tasks. But there are still many other interesting changes ahead of us, so we signed up for a blog and social networking accounts!
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