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Major Improvements Announced!

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Without Further delay:

 

January 8, 2007

 

NEW BACKUP POLICY:

 

As our client base has grown over the years we have struggled with the ever growing task of keeping archival backups of our clients' data. Whilst our Terms of Service clearly states that data preservation is the ultimate responsibility of the client, we knew it was time to take this one step further.

 

Most of you still know that TCH is a family owned business. We are still a small business run by a close knit family of truly dedicated professionals. Whilst providing budget hosting services since 1999 we have learned that the hosting client has started to demand more and more from their hosting provider. While TCH may be a small family owned company, we are not sitting back on our laurels.

 

In the past we have maintained our backups on a weekly interval (as a balance between load on the server, and providing regular backups). This meant that our local backups would run once per week, normally on a Saturday or Sunday. This could mean days of loss of data during a catastrophic disk failure. This policy was put into place mainly to control our server loads during the disk intensive cPanel backups. This limitation presented itself to us merely based on the fact that we were using the standard cPanel backup software provided to us by cPanel.

 

Several months ago we ran into a issue with when our level 3 staff upgraded the driver software on several of of RAID servers. This led to corrupt RAID array drivers on several servers and meant a complete restore on these servers at short notice. In some cases we were forced to use backups that were 6 or 7 days old. Many clients were understandably upset over the loss and of data and voiced their concerns through live chat, the help desk and personal phone calls to myself about the data loss. I knew something had to be done at that point. I also knew that any step forward in this area would mean a very large dollar investment into new hardware and software, but it was something I felt had to be done. I also knew that I wanted to do something that no other large budget hosting provider was doing.

 

We started investigating several newer technologies. After reviewing several products we finally signed a deal with a major backup software company and have been progressing with implementing our new backup standards.

 

TCH has been a strong advocate of colocating servers in our private cages in several data centers around the USA. This is a fantastic plan, unique to TotalChoice Hosting and has been the backbone of our success. Not having all our eggs in one basket so to speak. However, this advance in hosting theory has resulted in a small delay in implementing our new backup plan, as we are forced to build up several backup servers, one or two for each colo cage.

 

We have completed the buildup and implementation of our first of five internal remote based backup servers. For you geeks out there here are the specs on our first backup server:

 

Supermicro Hot Swap 4U Chassis

SC836TQ-R800V

Supermicro Motherboard X7DVL-E

X7DVL-E

2X Intel Woodcrest Xeon's

6GBRAM

16X 500GB Hard Drives for a total of 6.5TB of Raid Storage.

Areca Raid Controller Card

ARC-1160

 

Our new backup's feature the following:

 

 

1. Sector based backup NOT file based backup.

Sector based backups create 150% less I/O loads and complete 2000% faster.

 

2. High Performance

Sector based backups increase throughput and reduce overhead. Servers can be fully operational with minimal performance impact during backups. Backups can usually be performed at any time, even on busy servers.

 

3. Small Backup Windows

Only changed disk sectors are copied between backups. Incremental backups can now be completed in minutes.

 

4. Open File Backups

A total solution including built-in support for backing up open files. NO 3rd party software is required.

 

5. Snapshots

Technology that provides consistent point-in-time system-wide backup images.

 

6. Nearly Continuous Data Protection

During normal host operation, the Backup Agent keeps a journal of disk changes. Incremental backups know what sectors on the disk have changed before the backup operation even starts. This eliminates the need for file-by-file or block-by-block comparisons every backup.

 

7. End-to-end strong encryption

Data is continuously encrypted while in storage and during network transmission using RSA keys. Decryption during a restore is only possible when the encryption key holder enters their pass phrase.

 

8. Data Integrity

During backup and restore data is verified using MD5 checksums.

 

I am so very proud to announce the following service enhancement. I have put my heart and soul into this project and TCH has invested many dollars into this project.

 

Effective 12/28/2006 TCH has started to roll out a new data backup system to our server farm. The following servers are now being fully backed up every 12 hours! We are keeping 7 days worth of incremental rotations for each server. This means that you will have 14 backup archives (2 backups per day) or seven days of your data at your disposal. Each new backup beyond the 14 rotations will mean the oldest rotation in that backup set is deleted.

 

The following servers are now included in the new backup system.

 

db

server1

server117

server118

server119

server120

server121

server122

server123

Server3124

server125

server126

server127

server128

server320

server329

server345

server366

server369

server384

server386

server387

server364

server365

server374

server379

server381

server390

server301

server302

bala

server335

 

As we roll more servers into this new backup system we will update the thread located here:

 

http://www.totalchoicehosting.com/forums/i...mp;#entry198230

 

Server Monitoring Upgrades

 

Effective 1/8/2006 we have started to implement our latest enhancement to our server monitoring system. This new monitoring server is in house however we are going to allow client access to this monitoring page as we always have in the past.

 

The monitoring software is in production and you can view the server monitoring pages by navigating to our status site located at http://www.tchstatus.com

 

We are very pleased to announce that there will be a new page that will assist customers in determining the server their hosting account is located on. This page is located here:

http://www.tchstatus.com/whatsmyserver.php

 

Server Uptime Numbers

 

Everyone has asked for this and finally after many delays I am very proud to announce that we have made available to all our clients the uptime statistics. New features will include.

 

1. Individual server uptime stats

2. Total Accumulative uptime stats for TCH Server farm.

3. Uptime by month

4. Uptime by year

 

You can review all our servers’ uptime, including your very own server at the following location.

 

http://www.tchstatus.com/uptime.html

 

Site Builder

 

Everyone has asked for it, so TCH steps up to the plate and hits a home run.

 

Effective 1st March 2007 all hosting accounts new and existing will include a online html site builder. We have narrowed the field down to two programs and have been testing both for the past weeks. I am sure you will be pleased when we roll this new addition to our service offerings.

 

 

 

TotalChoice IRC

 

We wanted to expand on our forums, I mean afterall the TCH family forums are just the greatest place. As you know we spend hours at the PC and on VOIP providing live support and help desk support to thousands of clients. We wanted to further this and allow clients, newbies and such commingle with each other.

 

So we have created our own IRC service.

 

irc.totalchoicehosting.com

 

Please use port 6667 and join the channel #totalchoice

 

Out techs, managers, vendors and heck even the owner of TCH, will be hanging out in IRC chatting away.

 

What is IRC? It stands for Internet Relay Chat. Here is a good howto : http://www.mirc.com/irc.html

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These are all awesome, awesome, awesome (except for the last one).

I give TCH 3 thumbs up. :) :D <_<

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Sector based backups create 150% less I/O loads and complete 2000% faster.

 

So effectively, sector based backups create no load on the server? :D

 

All said and done, this is a great move by TCH yet again. :) Keep up the good work.

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Here are some photos of the first backup server we put into production.

 

IMG_3267.JPG

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So effectively, sector based backups create no load on the server? :D

 

All said and done, this is a great move by TCH yet again. :) Keep up the good work.

 

Yes, thats correct. These backups create virtually no load on the servers.

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wow thats a lot, my server isn't "on the list" for backups yet, but when they roll in that will be superb :)

as for the rest of the list, this just makes tch more open and compatible and makes it silly to go anywhere else!

 

good luck to the team in implementing all the changes

and well done to Bill and the team for what looks like a huge task they have/are working through

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Very good news indeed! Thank you Bill and TCH staff. I have a challenging enough time maintaining my own little PC; I can't imagine having the huge responsibility of maintaining hundreds (thousands?) of clients' web servers. Good luck with this newest transition...and Happy New Year to all.

 

peace,

Stefan

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WOW, Bill ... that was "large" -- I really appreciate the efforts of TCH. Your ongoing efforts to be the best and better continues to result in my personal loyality as a reseller account holder as well as recommending TCH to all of my friends and competitors!

 

Thanx to all....

 

:thumbup1:

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Though slightly saddened by the ROR news, this really is a big announcement. It's amazing that you keep adding to the feature list while maintaining such bargain rates. Thanks!

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That's pretty big news Bill - I'd say that's like crossing the T in TOTAL in Totalchoice! Thanks to you and all the TCH crew for a great hosting service.

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The only other thing I can think that would make me jump even higher for joy would be to reduce the annual SSL fee for resellers below $115 a year, like $50 maybe.

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We cruise along happily, making use of, and money from, the wonderful product and service you provide, secure in the knowledge that our stuff is safe and well cared-for by Bill and the Family. Then one day we find that you've added and upgraded the products and given us things, some of which we didn't even know we needed. All this without charging us more.

 

How do you keep doing it?

 

Thank you! As ever:

 

:thumbup1:

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THANK YOU!!! :thumbup1: You were right....HUGE NEWS!

 

I am amazed at the news! I hoped for more frequent backups but a weeks worth, archiving 2 per day, AWESOME!

One of the accounts I service is one the server list already. :thumbup: And I look forward to the other one having the same backups.

 

Having an online site builder will open new doors for TCH, inviting a whole new set of customers that otherwise would not host here. Congratulations on the future expansion! Will the builder be a standard HTML editor or something like Trellix Online (offered by some ISP's) with WYSIWYG interface?

 

Bill, a personal thank you for such commitment to excellence. We are greatful for your vision. My experience with TCH has been exceptional compared to the other hosts have have dealt with over several years. TCH now offers the full meal, including the dessert, whipped cream and the cherry on top!

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Bill downright awwwwwsome!!!!

 

With all this new stuff I am not sure I can keep up with it all and I still only pay $44 a year.

 

Thanks Very Much

 

Lee

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Good news, TCH! Thanks! Sounds like a home run!! :)

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Bill and family,

Awesome! You have served my needs really well in the last couple of years since I found you. I am now hosting 4 websites with you and will never leave! You are so incredible compared to the other hosts out there that charge so much more. Know that you and your hosting services are greatly appreciated. You let me get on with my business knowing that you're taking care of the back end!!!

Thank you!!!

Lise

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Thanks for continuing to add value! For the site builder, are you considering something simple, or a full-blown CMS? I am a reseller, and one of my clients really needs to move to a CMS, so I need to decide pretty soon whether I can keep their site at TCH or put them on a box with a CMS that meets their needs.

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Hi jesselahey, welcome to the forums :)

 

Since you signed up 2.5 years ago, and this is your first post, I hope it's the start of lots more posts ;)

 

Why not install a suitable CMS on the account for them ? There are plenty of good open source CMS that are easy to install, config and run.

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Welcome to the forum, jesselahey :)

There are 9 CMS scripts in your cpanel > fantastico to try with easy installs.

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Wow, thanks! I didn't have fantastico configured correctly, so I never saw all these CMS options, but the Help Desk just now fixed that for me. This is great - thanks!

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I'm sorry if I don't sound very bright, I'm just trying to understand it...If we don't for some reason, backup our website, and something happens to our server, you will have a backup to restore the website, and it only be a day old, or let's say, I somehow messed up or deleted my forum on my website, you will have a back up, that I can have put back??? :P

 

Lorraine

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It is ultimately your responsibility to backup your data but yes, backups are available to restore. And when the new backup systems are on all the servers your site will be backed up twice a day.

 

Effective 12/28/2006 TCH has started to roll out a new data backup system to our server farm. The following servers are now being fully backed up every 12 hours! We are keeping 7 days worth of incremental rotations for each server. This means that you will have 14 backup archives (2 backups per day) or seven days of your data at your disposal. Each new backup beyond the 14 rotations will mean the oldest rotation in that backup set is deleted.

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Thanks Don and Bruce, yes I still do backups but not as often as I should. :blush:

 

Thank you also Bill, when I started to read the Announcement, I thought good, I hope it doesn't cost too much, and the further I read, I realized it was for free!! :thumbup:

 

Bill, you and the TCH Staff are a peach :dance::group: :P

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Well, it's not free. You pay like $5.95+ a month for it (and the php, and the bandwidth, and the space, and the awesome service...etc).

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Well, it's not free. You pay like $5.95+ a month for it (and the php, and the bandwidth, and the space, and the awesome service...etc).
Well!! that's almost like free :P :thumbup:

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Hi Bill -

 

I just read your announcement and I was VERY impressed. I have not been actively involved with TCH, but you have been handling my company's e-mail and website since 2002. I am sending this to you to express my thanks for your dedication and professionalism - I have not had one single issue with your service since I signed up. Before that time, we had a "computer consultant" administer our e-mail and website - - - it seems that it was down for longer periods that it was up.

 

Anyway, until I read your announcement, I did not realize that your company was such a closely-run endeavor. We are a "small business" architectural firm in Long Beach, California and can appreciate the challenges you face. Rest assured that you have my vote and support.

 

Thanks for everything!

 

 

Michael Holmes, Principal

 

LoringCruz

soon to be

Alchemy Design + Architecture

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When the announcement was made, many servers were listed as already on the new service.

 

Will the other servers be added to the backup system over the next month or two? And should we watch our server threads or this one for the notice they are now included?

 

Two of my accounts is on a server with, another account is on a server without :P So excited to have all of them on the schedule!!!

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HOLY COW! How did I miss that! :P Thank you! :thumbup: :blush:

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Can't say how happy I am about this; the other guys in my team should be pretty psyched.

Edited by Beeronius

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Hi Guys

 

my first post to the forum and its to say thanks for the upgrades and wonderful service you guys do provide.

 

Unlike you wise men, I have all my eggs in one basket! TCH hosts all my sites and those of my clients too - 14 to date - not much but growing. Sure my sites have suffered in the past with downtime but it has been the helpful attitude of your staff more than anything that has kept me loyal. I am sure the upgrades and new DC will furher enhance our experience

 

many thanks

Danny Steyn

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Has the site builder been rolled out yet? I didn't know where to look for it, so I looked in cPanel and in Fastastico. I didn't see anything new in my cPanel or in Fantastico. Am I missing something?

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All servers will be included. It takes time to get it all set up.

 

Are they still including servers? I was just wondering if server 300 had been included yet....just curious.

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Has the site builder been rolled out yet? I didn't know where to look for it, so I looked in cPanel and in Fastastico. I didn't see anything new in my cPanel or in Fantastico. Am I missing something?

No it has not. When there is one it will be announced in the forums.

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Are they still including servers? I was just wondering if server 300 had been included yet....just curious.

Yes, it's included and should be done.

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Yes, it's included and should be done.

I had tried this link (as mentioned in the first post):http://www.totalchoicehosting.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=30888&pid=198230&st=0entry198230

 

But I couldn't seem to connect to it.

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All servers should be done. To be sure open a ticket with the help desk and ask.

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You lost my domain: mythusmageopines.com

Your site is accessible and on the Byss server in the new TCH Data Center

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Site Builder

 

Everyone has asked for it, so TCH steps up to the plate and hits a home run.

 

Effective 1st March 2007 all hosting accounts new and existing will include a online html site builder. We have narrowed the field down to two programs and have been testing both for the past weeks. I am sure you will be pleased when we roll this new addition to our service offerings.

 

I realize there was a delay due to the data center issues but wondered if there was a new "effective date". :huh:

 

Or has it been added and I've missed it? :wallbash:

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Hi, I was wondering if any more has been said for the sitebuilder. It's been a month since the last update, and I figured I would ask.

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Welcome to the forums hycari. :)

 

No, there has been no decision as yet. If you are looking for a WYSIWYG environment have a look at NVU.

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