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Multi-Cloud: Arguments on Each Side & Successful Adoption

  • Cloud

Multi-Cloud

Many businesses are now deploying multi-cloud environments. Let’s look at what this approach is, pros and cons, and basic rules for adoption.

  • What is Multi-Cloud?
  • Popularity of this Approach
  • Arguments for Multi-Cloud
  • The Downsides
  • Management of Multi-Cloud
  • On the Horizon & Standards

What is Multi-Cloud?

Multi-cloud is a term that has been used for years in discussion of cloud services, but – much like the cloud itself – the concept has been a little vague. How does the notion of multiple clouds work within the context of public, private, and hybrid cloud categories, for instance?

According to most experts, multi-cloud involves blending together numerous cloud-based systems from various vendors to diversify a company’s infrastructure or services. The idea is to reduce the threat of proprietary lock-in and allow the business greater agility, while taking advantage of the benefits and physical locations offered by different providers.

Specifically, a “multi-cloud strategy is the concomitant use of two or more cloud services to minimize the risk of widespread data loss or downtime due to a localized component failure in a cloud computing environment,” according to TechTarget.

Popularity of this Approach

A November 2014 poll of nearly 700 IT executives, conducted by Dimensional Research, revealed that three-quarters of companies (77%) were in the planning stages of a multi-cloud strategy. That statistic is a little shocking since cloud itself didn’t become a common business approach until the last few years. It also suggests that multi-cloud is a tactic that is accepted across a broad spectrum of verticals.

There are actually advantages and disadvantages to this approach.

Arguments for Multi-Cloud

People who adopt multi-cloud do so for the following reasons:

  • Bolster their geo-presence and disaster recovery position
  • Enable them access to specific features of various vendors as desired
  • Give them the public cloud advantages of affordability and incredible scalability
  • Provide the option of private cloud for systems that have especially sensitive data, compliance concerns, or are built more traditionally.

Basically, the notion of diversification to mitigate risk, as seen with the common stock-market strategy, is used in cloud with multi-cloud. Using various different infrastructures, this argument goes, makes you generally more reliable, and you are able to get the budgetary benefits of cloud while not suffering from lock-in with a specific cloud solution provider (CSP).

Multi-cloud disaster recovery is an effort to optimize resilience. If one cloud goes down, the other remains up, and business continuity is maintained. Multi-cloud additionally gives companies access to data centers in different locations around the country and worldwide. Sending traffic to data centers based on their proximity to clients is helpful so that you can keep latency low.

The Downsides

One obvious issue when you go with a number of different providers rather than just one is that isn’t as easy to manage, explains Tony Connor in Cloud Tech. “[While] this is not necessarily an immediate problem, if not monitored and controlled properly, operational issues start stacking up at a rapid speed,” he says, “leading to difficulty maintaining access control, bug patches and security updates.”

Plus, the lack of standardization from one cloud to another can make it challenging to figure out how costs compare from one company’s plan to another’s.

Related: Another basic problem with multi-cloud is that you are trying to improve your reliability; but you want to make sure that any cloud you use meets strict requirements in the way that it’s engineered. At Superb Internet, for instance, our cloud features distributed rather than centralized storage so that even multiple node failures don’t impact performance, and InfiniBand rather than 10 Gigabit Ethernet for always-zero packet loss and practically no jitter. See our plans.

Management of Multi-Cloud

It can be tricky to manage multi-cloud without a strong internal IT staff. It can also take the focus of your IT personnel away from working on new features and providing tech support.

For these reasons, some companies partner with third-parties that help with management of multi-cloud. Using these services allows them to make sure everything is running smoothly in one central location.

Multi-cloud environments can be managed by hosting companies, for instance, which means that there is 24/7 support in case any issues arise.

On the Horizon & Standards

Despite the importance of carefully vetting all the clouds you use to make sure you aren’t wasting your money with some, the fact is that this approach is increasingly popular. Remember the above mention that 77% of IT decision-markers said in 2014 that they planned to set up multi-cloud at their business. In 2015, another poll by the IT market analysis firm IDC revealed that 86% of enterprises were headed toward implementing it by 2017.

The desire for diversity is understandable. However, properly integrating various cloud services can be challenging. Furthermore, you don’t want the quality of your solutions to suffer in the effort to have numerous systems in play. Make sure that whatever clouds you choose adhere to strong standards, such as SSAE 16 SOC-1 Type II, ISO 9001:2008, and ISO 27001:2013.

Marketing 101 – The ABCs of a Homepage

  • General

What is a Homepage?

Before we dive into the marketing strategies involved with creating an effective homepage, it’s crucial that everyone understands what a homepage is. In essence, a homepage is the introductory, or default page, of a website that typically highlights the site’s table of contents.

Sleek chrome & blue number website buttons.

There’s a good reason for why it’s called a homepage – it closely resembles that of a physical house and the only real difference is that it’s online. Think of it like this. Your website’s homepage is where people come to visit you. It’s the family room of your website where everyone meets to hang out, get comfortable, before they actually move further inside to see the remaining parts of the website.

Why is a Homepage Important?

Everyone who owns an ecommerce business understands that their website’s homepage is inevitably the most important page of the entire site.

Like they say, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Therefore, you want to ensure that your homepage is clean, tidy, and clutter-free so that visitors can easily navigate to see what your website is all about – similar to how you want to keep your house clean when having visitors.

The main goal of any ecommerce homepage is to make a great first impression. Reason being is that you want to turn your visitors into leads, and your leads into customers by driving them down your sales funnel.

Always Remember the ABCs of a Homepage

Since your website’s homepage receives most of your site’s traffic, it’s vital that your homepage is optimized to “Always Be Converting (ABC)” visitors into customers. If you’re failing to convert visitors into clients, it probably means that your homepage is missing some critical elements.

abc-blocks-1424477-639x564

To help you achieve this never-ending feat, here are five helpful tips to elevate your homepage to the next level for maximum conversions:

  1. Headline:
  • Within 3-5 seconds, visitors should know exactly what your site is about, what it has to offer, and how you can help customers. Leave out the fluff and do your best to keep things clear and simple.
  1. Subheadline:
  • This section should state a brief summary of what you can offer and your competitive advantages. Don’t brag about yourself, avoid jargon by speaking the language of your target audience, and do your best to zero in on the problems of your customers and how you can help to alleviate their pain points.
  1. Call-to-Action (CTA):
  • Every homepage should have call-to-actions (CTAs) since the goal is to always turn your leads into customers by not only having them stay on your website longer but also to move them through your sales funnel. We recommend having a minimum of 3 CTAs above the fold to direct visitors to the different stages of the buying cycle.
  1. Eye Candy:
  • Make sure that you use images / videos to support your main points. Since most people are visual by nature, it helps to draw out their emotions so that they can connect with you better. Remember, the visual images must support what you have to offer, along with highlighting how you can help your visitors resolve their concerns.
  1. Copy / Content:
  • Ensure that the copy and content on your homepage highlights the benefits and competitive advantages of your business. Describe what you do, what you offer, how you can help, and make sure that your copy is lightweight, simple, and avoid jargon by speaking the language of your customers.

By following the guidelines listed above, ecommerce sites can improve their odds of converting visitors into customers. And since every business is dynamic, you must continually optimize your homepage as your business needs change.

Only then will you have a successfully dynamic homepage that truly engages your target audience to not only show them what your business is about, along with your competitive advantages but also how you’re able to help them troubleshoot their problems and improve their lives.

Birthday Cake

For those unaware, our 20th birthday is tomorrow and we’re pulling out all the stops by giving away all of our BEST promotions for this rare one day event on Saturday (July 23, 2016). Choose one, or take advantage of all our birthday specials and see for yourself why we’re the host with the most. Switch from the rest to the best today!!!

 

 

Keeping Your Website Safe, Secured, and Compliant – SSL Certificates

  • Secured Sockets Layer (SSL)
  • Security

What are SSL Certificates?

SSL stands for “Secure Sockets Layer” and an SSL certificate is a critical component to keeping your website safe, secured, and compliant.

How SSL Certificates Work?

Any ecommerce website must have an SSL certificate to ensure the safe handling of sensitive information, such as a customer’s personal and credit card information. By adding an SSL certificate, you not only protect your business but also increase customer confidence by safely encrypting your customers’ most sensitive data.

For online transactions, an SSL certificate turns sensitive data into encrypted secure code. The web browser then checks the SSL certificate to make sure that the website is legitimate. Once verified, the web browser and server processes the encoded information.

This helps to ensure that the sensitive data delivered between the web browser and server is handled safely, securely, and that the website is PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant.

SSL Certificate Management

Having an SSL certificate is an integral part in protecting sensitive data in transit. And while SSL certificates provide additional layers of security, it can still be vulnerable and susceptible to attacks. This is where SSL certificate management comes in.

Proper SSL certificate management requires knowing the status of each certificate across sites, browsers, and networks. Through careful monitoring of these certificates, website owners can prevent major incidents from occurring, such as phishing and data breaches, which can not only be expensive to resolve but also cause long-term damage to your reputation with customers.

Let Us Protect Your Website

Thinking about getting an SSL certificate for your ecommerce website? Let us help keep your website safe, secured, and compliant. With our easy-to-follow SSL comparison table, you can effortlessly find the right SSL certificate that’s perfect for your website.

Whether you’re thinking about getting an SSL certificate to encrypt sensitive information, authentication, PCI compliance, to gain your customers trust, or to prevent phishing and data breaches, we have a wide-array of trusted brands to choose from.

How do I Install an SSL Certificate for my Website(s)?

Here are the steps to follow when installing an SSL certificate for your website(s) with us:

1. From the “myCP” homepage, click on “Account Options” and select “Order Upgrades / Add-Ons.”

myCP

2. Scroll down to the SSL certificate section and choose the SSL certificate you want, including the quantity and timeframe. Click “Next” once you’ve finalized on your SSL certificate.

SSL certificate section

3. Fill in all the required information on the SSL certificate order form:

  • Contact First Name
  • Contact Last Name
  • SSL Domain Name

            * Note: Enter the domain name using the SSL certificate (usually www.yourdomain.com).

  • Company Name
  • Company Address
  • Company City
  • Company State or Province
  • Company Phone Number
  • Company Postal / Zip Code
  • Contact Email
  • Country

SSL Order Form

4. Please create a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) if you are a dedicated server customer. Follow the link for additional details from SSL vendor for generating a CSR.

CSR Generation

CSR Generation Part II

5. Before submitting the order, please ensure that the email “admin@example.com” exists on your server where “example.com” is the site that you’re ordering the SSL certificate for.

SSL email example

6. Copy and paste the CSR into the designated area on the order form and click “Complete Order.”

CSR Code Paste section

 

 

Start now and easily compare SSL certificates from major brands like GeoTrust, Symantec, Comodo, and Rapid. See our SSL comparison table for additional details.

 

Where is your website hosted?

  • Security

It’s important you know where your business is hosted. Very important.

Why?

A few years ago, I toured two data centers. One was owned by a major player in web hosting for more than a decade. The second data center was owned by a smaller web host I had not heard much about.

Both of these data centers were located in the same city just a few miles apart.

The first data center showed promise, it was inside of an old bank building. The tour was met by security at the entrance. We then proceeded to the data center area.

Once in the data center, it was clear this was setup by amateurs.

Cables were everywhere. It looked terrible and worse you had to dodge cables as you worked your way through the facility.

At the back of the DC was an employee with the back door wide open smoking a cigarette.

Anyone could have walked through the back door and had immediate access to the DC. After walking around the building itself, it was clear there was not a backup generator available.

Just a few weeks later, we heard news that this data center was robbed. Someone broke in the back door and removed servers and other equipment. So much for security.

The second data center we toured was located in a bad part of town. This DC was next to a bar and a motorcycle shop.

Nothing special here, just a stand alone office building. The building was divided and on one side of the building was the DC and the other an insurance agency.

During the second tour, we were met by the owner and taken to a back room inside his share of the office building. The DC was nothing more than a back room. The DC had carpet flooring. There was no backup generator. No security to speak of.

The cooling unit? An A/C window unit.

Security? The owner told us the biker shop guard dog would bark (he said this jokingly).

Unfortunately for his customers, this was not a joke.

Worse, the owner didn’t host his own website in this ‘data center’. He hosted it at a competitor.

Why is this important to you? Because, it is VERY IMPORTANT you know exactly where your business is hosted.

If you do not host currently with Superb Internet, you need to start thinking about switching over immediately. If you already host with Superb Internet, I’ll show you shortly why you have made a very wise decision.

First of all, location is everything.

Location, location, location. You hear this saying all the time for brick and mortar businesses. The same is true for where your business website and applications are hosted.

  • Located in a safe section of the city where the DC is located.
  • Located in a DC close to backbone connections and peering points.
  • Let’s not forget about technicians located onsite and ready to help should you need support.
  • Further, security located onsite 24/7 and  guarding access to the data center.

So let’s take a look at what it takes to deliver a first-class Data Center as I give you a brief tour of our SEA2 DC located in Seattle, Washington.

Every picture below are real photographs of the Superb Internet SEA2 Data Center and NOT stock images.

Seattle is one of the best connected high-tech cities in the entire United States. Our SSAE 16 Audited data center, known as SEA2, has multiple diverse-path fiber transport circuits with stable carriers. Security is always a top priority, with leading-edge biometric access control and continuous live video surveillance. In addition, the SEA2 Network Operations Center (NOC) is staffed around the clock with highly experienced Systems and Network Administrators.

Network

Superb Internet’s core network and backbone connectivity consists of 11 core network sites, located in five different states, with three SSAE 16 Audited data centers from coast to coast.

We are ISO 9001:2008 certified, registered and have a ITIL certified staff.

With direct connectivity to all major global Tier 1 backbones and major networks & ISPs, our network has no single point of failure, and offers extremely low latency and no packet loss—resulting in the best efficiency and performance available anywhere.

Our network is fully redundant at every level and entirely fault tolerant, able to withstand major disasters.

superb-network

Like all our other data centers, the SEA2 network is fully fault-tolerant, with redundant carrier-grade Cisco 12008 & 12012 GSR core routers, Catalyst 6500 MSFC distribution B switches, and Catalyst 4912G distribution ‘A’ switches. Separate, redundant power circuits provide both DC and AC power.

Cooling

Keeping the server your business is hosted on is very important. For this reason, the SEA2 DC has a secure outside enclosure, where you can see over 600 tons’ worth of dry coolers for the data center’s air conditioning units. Proper cooling allows processors to perform better and increases longevity of the hardware.

superb-cooling

Onsite Security & Support

Closed-circuit, live video surveillance is monitored 24-x7x365 by experienced, vetted personnel only.

superb-security1

Access to servers is controlled using advanced biometric security systems.

superb-security2

Further, SEA2 is staffed 24x7x365 by senior system & network engineers.

Power

Reliable power ensures maximum uptime. Power is one of the highest expenditures for a Data Center, and this is one area Superb Internet will not take lightly.

Some of the power features of SEA2 include:

  • Power feed provided through a dedicated transformer exclusive to the data center
  • Three 500KVA UPS systems
  • 5MW Caterpillar diesel generator

One of the highlights of SEA2 is the 2000 Amp, 480 Volt, 3-phase, reliable utility power feed and the three N+1 redundant 500k VA UPS & maximum capacity battery systems.

superb-power

Servers

You’d be surprised if you saw what some of our competitors use to host their customers. At Superb Internet, we only use industry standard servers and components.

superb-servers

Staffing

We believe that people make all the difference. Our team consists of network engineers who oversee our entire coast-to-coast backbone network, and technical support engineers. SEA2 data center onsite staff are always available to help you, any time of the day or night.

The data center is sized to house well over 5000 servers. From the office, our onsite staff can get a clear view of the data center floor 24x7x365.

superb-staff

As you can see, there is a lot more to consider than price when you are deciding on where to host your business. Of course, these are just a few highlights of the SEA2 Data Center.

If you aren’t currently with Superb Internet and would like to test drive our Data Centers and our Transparent Cloud, here’s how to test us our for only $2…

Test Drive Superb Internet’s Transparent Cloud and Network

Why not perform a NO RISK test of Superb Internet’s Transparent Cloud? You can test drive our cloud platform featuring 2GB RAM, 2 Cores, 20GB SDD for just $2 for 2 MONTHS!

Better yet, every 20th customer will get 20 YEARS HOSTING at NO COST.

Click the link below to lock your cloud server down for just $2 for 2 months :
=> http://www.superb.net/anniversary-cloud

And to be clear, you’ll get 2GB RAM, 20GB SDD, 2 CORES (CS1S-312) for just $2 for 2 MONTHS… that you can use as a:

… backup server
… dev / test server
… replacement for your current server at your existing host
… or upgrade from shared hosting to a FASTER and more reliable platform
… emergency cutover server

Put Superb Internet to the test and I’m sure you’ll be pleased with our network, data centers, and support staff.

How to Protect Your Business from Cloud ‘Overselling’

  • What's New?

Cloud hosting can be hit or miss regarding reliability, speed, and uptime.

In reality, most Cloud Hosting Providers (CHPs) are overselling resources. By overselling, CHPs are compromising the performance of consumer applications. A direct result of overselling is application slowness and even outages.

Many CHPs use the buzzword ‘Cloud Hosting’ to sell the idea of reliability. Most consumers have the opinion that cloud hosting is easily scalable and can handle just about anything. Further, most CHPs are not transparent and hide the underlying architecture and resources available. With that in mind, it is important to note that no cloud environment has unlimited resources. For this reason alone, you must do all that you can to protect your business.

Due to overselling, it is not uncommon to read about outages in the news from major CHPs like Amazon and Microsoft.

The truth is, most clients never use the full capacity of their hosting resources. This allows the CHPs to pack a lot more customers into a cloud environment.

To shed some light on cloud hosting transparency – and why transparency is mission critical for your business – I have asked Superb Internet CEO Haralds Jass to discuss how you can protect your business from overselling.

Interview with CEO of Superb Internet, Haralds Jass

haralds_superb_internet1. What is the single biggest challenge that Cloud Hosting customers face?

HJ: Comparing different providers objectively and finding out what level of performance (processing power, IO speeds, etc.) they will get. The cloud industry is highly obfuscated: no Cloud Hosting Provider discloses the actual processing power – such as, for example, amongst how many customers is a CPU core shared, what % of it, if any, is guaranteed to each customer, based on what CPU it is, what is the actual performance to expect, and so on. Comparing three providers simple headline specs is practically useless, as Provider A may outperform Provider B several folds over in real life, even though “on paper” the Provider A specs appear to be less. Doing actual performance: cost based objective comparisons is impossible due to the massive lack of transparency and information, and even just running some short-term tests on various providers and finding the undisclosed actual performance indicators is of little use, as most CHPs’ actual delivered performance varies many folds – often 10+ fold – over time. That’s right, most CHP’s performance graph looks like a rollercoaster.

The cause of all this? Massive and rampant overselling, which no CHP wants the customers to know about, or even think about. Since not everyone is using all their resources all the time, all CHPs oversell – some to staggering double digits massive degree. So when just one of your many neighbors starts actually using the resources that they are paying for, then you and everyone else assigned the same CPU core(s) and memory suffer and the performance drops, massively. Therefore, there is highly variable (peaks and valleys, rollercoaster-like) performance with most CHPs.

In short, buying cloud hosting service these days is like the purchase of a mystery box of chocolates: you have no idea of what you’re getting.

2. How does Superb Internet go about solving this challenge for customers?

HJ: No overselling and full transparency.

We do not engage in the rampant overselling that practically all other CHPs do. In fact, we do not oversell our cloud service at all. Instead, we provide fully guaranteed, unshared resources, which are secured and dedicated to each customer (for example, one client per core for our dedicated core cloud accounts). As a result, our cloud performance is consistent and predictable – quite unlike the other CHPs.

We are also fully transparent: we disclose the exact CPU processing power, expressed in objectively measurable and verifiable passmarks, that each core and each cloud account gets – which is always fully guaranteed and dedicated to each client, and we likewise disclose the actual real-world performance of the other components, such as Disk, RAM, and Network. All the CPU power, RAM, and disk that a customer buys are theirs, and theirs alone – guaranteed, unshared, dedicated. In fact, it is theirs two-fold over, given the built-in High Availability.

Therefore, with us, there is no “mystery box of chocolates.” Instead, with us every customer knows exactly what they are getting and exactly the consistent performance that they can expect – and that will be delivered to them – each day in and out, consistently and unvaryingly so. In short, we take the obfuscation out of the cloud and replace it with full disclosure, openness & accountability.

Oh, and did I mention that we also have, by far, the industry’s strongest and most stringent cloud SLA? I am very proud of the fact that no other CHP comes even close to our cloud SLA – which is again not just a guarantee, but what we deliver. Check out the executive summary of our SLA here: http://nsssc.superb.net/information/sla.php

3. How many years has Superb Internet been involved in Cloud Hosting?

HJ: We were the very first web host worldwide to bring the predecessor of cloud, the Virtual Private Server (VPS) service, to the commercial hosting market back in 1999 – back 18 years ago. Even today, what some mistakenly call cloud is just a VPS. (Keep in mind that the main difference between VPS and Cloud is High Availability. VPS is single server based and thus with a single point of failure, while a proper Cloud is running on a distributed architecture with no single point of failure and with multiple layers of high availability built in.)

4. 18 years is a long time for the Internet world. Can you tell me the differences in reliability between 1999 and 2016?

HJ: The differences are massive. I’ll make no ifs or buts about it, back in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 the VPS service was in its infancy. It was a good option for those who couldn’t afford dedicated, but, it was nothing even close to the 100% uptime that our modern fully distributed cloud platform delivers now. Back then VPS was a viable option for SMBs on a tight budget, but not an option for an enterprise. In fact, the less-than-stellar reliability of the early VPS platforms back then leads us to enter the low-cost dedicated server market in 2002, as we felt that our customers would be better served by a low-cost dedicated server vs. a comparable price VPS.

Still, we persevered with continually improving the VPS service, and back in 2007 set out to embark on what ended up being a six-year path of research and development of our Superb Cloud platform. Our goal, as set out in 2007, was that the cloud service has to be better than dedicated in every way. For us, the Superb Cloud had to have fully guaranteed and dedicated resources like dedicated, no noisy neighbor issues of VPS, have no compatibility< OS or software limitations, and, most important of all, have the true 100% uptime and High Availability of the cloud. We were determined never to release or sell anything less than this, which would be just a VPS, misrepresented as a ‘cloud.’ Essentially, our definition of cloud was – and is – that a single cloud server is equivalent to a set of two redundant load balancers and two redundant servers with real-time replication built in, in an equivalent dedicated environment. That is exactly what one gets with every Superb Cloud VM: fully guaranteed resources with guaranteed and consistent, predictable performance, along with High Availability – true 100% uptime, which in a dedicated environment would take at least four physical devices to achieve.

5. Doesn’t Superb Internet have a 100% guarantee for resources? How would a customer check that they are getting 100% of the resources they are allocated?

HJ: We invite all of our customers to run performance tests and see for themselves that their resources are always there and available, dedicated to their sole, exclusive use and that their performance is consistent and non-variable. We also publish a benchmarking report online, where we show our cloud sample VM performance vs. AWS, Microsoft and IBM clouds (http://www.superb.net/cloud-hosting/cloud-benchmarking), from data collected over an extended period, and still continually collected each day.

6. I suppose this Guarantee is part of the ‘Transparent Cloud’?

HJ: Exactly. And it is also a part of our Cloud SLA. So it’s not just a marketing promise, it is an actual legal and binding guarantee. As you can see on http://nsssc.superb.net/information/sla.php, we have, by far, the most comprehensive and complete cloud SLA in the marketplace.

We are calling the Superb Cloud the Transparent Cloud because of our full disclosure of all the performance indicators that a customer will be delivered – and guaranteed.

7. I know there are a lot of mass market offerings, such as those from AWS, Azure, IBM Softlayer, how does Superb Internet compare against those major players?

HJ: Simply put, we outperform them several folds over, as our benchmarking report (http://www.superb.net/cloud-hosting/cloud-benchmarking) clearly illustrates. Not only that, but we also do it for less. That is, we deliver a higher level of consistent performance for a lower price, thus providing the hands down, best value in cloud hosting. We also guarantee practically everything in our SLA, while others’ cloud SLAs are, let’s just say, rather lacking.

Now, we are not perfect, and in the areas where we don’t beat the others, we readily admit to that in our benchmarking report. We are currently working on Generation 2 of our cloud, which we expect to unveil in the coming few months, and you be assured that in the few areas where we currently do not already beat the rest with our Generation 1 cloud, that we will do so with Gen. 2 of the Superb Cloud.

8. How can a customer of another host compare their performance against Superb Internet?

HJ: The best way is to buy our popular starter CS1-312 account, where every new customer can get 2 cores @ 312 passmarks, 2GB of RAM, and 20GB of SSD disk space, for only $2 for 2 whole months (http://www.superb.net/anniversary-cloud). There are no tricks, and there is no catch. We make starting in the cloud easy. The only reason we charge the symbolic $2 for 2 months is to ensure the legitimacy of every new order and account.

In fact, the main reason for this offer is to invite all prospective customers to run their own tests and assure themselves of our superior to the competition performance, before they upgrade to a larger cloud account. We believe that the best customer is an informed customer.

9. Lastly, why should someone choose Superb Internet over one of those big guys?

HJ: In my mind, there’re so many reasons…some of the top ones that come to mind are:

* Our company-wide Customers First policy: in every department, in every discipline and every instance, our customers always come first; it’s as simple as that. That has been one of our core guiding principles ever since day 1 back in July of 1996.

* With us, a customer is more than just a number. We see ourselves as a key partner in success to each and every customer. We succeed when our customers’ business grows and succeeds. Each and every customer has a personal account executive, whose job is to know and understand the customer and their needs and to ensure that we do all we can, in all disciplines, to help the customer reach – and exceed – their goals.

* We operate our own data centers, staffed 24x7x365. All support is provided directly out of the data center, and customers can always talk live to a technician at the same data center where their systems are located. We do not outsource any part of our support or operations. Every customer is serviced right out of the data center, not some remote support center.

* Our coast-to-coast IP backbone reaches more than half of the Internet routes directly and completely intermediary transit network free. Our ultra-low latency and a low number of hops most direct routes are unmatched. No wonder that we serve many real-time financial traders, VoIP providers, and game server hosts, where each and every millisecond matters. In addition to the unsurpassed performance, we not only guarantee but deliver true and uncompromised 100% uptime of our network. There hasn’t been a single SLA claim on that since 2002 – that speaks louder than anything else that I could say.

* For the last two decades we have firmly established ourselves as an industry innovator and leader. We have many industry firsts behind our belts and continue to lead the industry in innovation. In other words, we are, and always will continue to be, Ahead of the Rest®.

* Our SLA is one of, if not the, strongest in the industry – not just on the cloud, but on dedicated, colocation, IP transit: on all the services that we offer. All of our data centers, network, platforms and services are built with full redundancy and concurrent maintainability in place, and as such we offer a 100% uptime, compliance and conformance guarantee in our SLA – which is not just a guarantee, but something that we deliver.

* Our Certifications, such as ISO 9001 Quality Management and ISO 27001 Information Security Management, on top of the more common standards such as SSAE-16 SOC-1 Type II audits, PCI-DSS, HIPPA, FISMA, FedRAMP, etc. compliance, are unparalleled in the field. Our facilities, network, and services are built – and multiple third party auditor continuously audited and certified – to the world’s highest standards, as demanded by the world’s largest multinational enterprises, international organizations and the U.S. Federal Government. Our SMB customers benefit from our high level of investment to achieve and maintain these numerous certifications, that no competitor of our has been able to get fully to, and the drastically improved service quality and security as a result. In short, our SMB customers receive an enterprise level of service for a fraction of the coast, benefitting from our massive investment in facilities, network, platform, services, policies, and procedures, to adhere to these demanding global standards for our largest federal and enterprise clients.

* And last but not least, simply because We Care.

How to Test Drive Superb Internet’s Transparent Cloud for Only $2

Why perform a no risk test of the Superb Internet’s Transparent Cloud? You can test drive a cloud server featuring 2GB, 2Core, 20GB HDD Cloud Server for just $2 for 2 MONTHS!

Better yet, every 20th customer will get 20 YEARS HOSTING at NO COST.

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Twenty Years: The Story of One of the Internet’s Longest-Running Hosting Companies

  • Hosting Industry
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Every well-run company keeps itself squarely focused on solutions that alleviate common pain-points. Superb Internet was created in 1996 to treat a problem encountered by its founder when developing a game with a collaborative global team. It’s grown exponentially over the years and is now one of the longest-running web hosting companies in existence – celebrating a full 20 years in operation on July 23, 2016.

  • 1994: Origins in treating pain points
  • 1996: Formation
  • 1999: Industry front-runner
  • 2001: First data center
  • 2002: Expansion
  • 2005: To the West
  • 2009: And then there were four
  • 2011: Security focus
  • 2013: Cloud embrace
  • 2014: Enterprise-grade compliance
  • 2015: First fully government-authorized cloud provider
  • Today: Starting a third decade of hosting service

1994: Origins in treating pain points

As is often the case in business, Superb Internet arose from a pain-point experienced by its founder. Like any online entrepreneur, Haralds Jass wanted to see his project come to fruition without any performance problems. What was a little atypical about Jass’s experience is that he was only fourteen years old!

Superb Entertainment was composed of Jass and a group of talented developers, graphic artists, story-tellers and other creators from all corners of the world. The team set out to create a game that was revolutionary, going far above and beyond the current offerings. Called Woodlands, it was fully immersive, highly realistic, and included an original musical score packaged using newly minted MP3 technology.

The game attracted the attention of an established publisher who could potentially fund its further development and handle the global distribution.

Almost as quickly as the dream seemed headed toward realization, though, everything began to fizzle. Commercial web hosting was just getting started, and the shared hosting service the developers were using subjected them to crashes, power outages, and frequently slow data transfer. Superb Entertainment tried numerous hosting providers, and there was no respite from these problems. Poor reliability was clearly an industry-wide problem.

Fast Company indicated in 2012 that “customer pain is your most important resource” because it drives you toward meeting genuine user needs. The same is often true with business leaders as they seek to solve their own problems, and in turn, those of others. Jass started looking at the hosting industry closely and determined that a company was needed to provide service that was “more responsive, more reliable, and more customer-centric; a service that customers could always depend and rely upon.”

1996: Formation

During the summer of 1996, Haralds was ready to move forward and solve the problems he’d personally experienced with web hosting by becoming a provider himself. In so doing, he intended to provide what no one else in the market could: reliable, dependable service. Jass studied O’Reilly’s Essential Systems Administration for several weeks, lined up an initial group of customers, and incorporated Superb Internet Corporation (July 23, 1996). Through these initial steps, he had created an Internet Presence Provider – the original term for a web hosting company. To get Superb underway, Jass purchased a Sun SPARCstation 2 dedicated server for $600 per month via a loan from his family dentist; the initial investment was paid back only ten days after launch. To this date, that remains the only loan or financing that Superb has ever had.

By end of the year, Superb Internet was already using seven dedicated SunSPARC servers to host over a thousand websites. The growth was nothing short of phenomenal.

1999: Industry front-runner

By summer 1999, just three years later, Jass had become a college student with a company that owned 400 servers and hosted over 10,000 unique sites. Superb Internet was regularly rated as the best hosting provider by various industry analysts, especially in terms of service quality and reseller programs. Plus, Superb was the first provider to offer name-based virtual hosting (reducing client costs) and customer-controlled virtual hosting with unlimited third level domains. These innovations carved out a solid place for the firm as a hosting industry bellwether.

2000: First data center

By 1999, it was becoming more obvious that the company would greatly benefit from Harald’s full-time management. He left school and took on a huge immediate project: transitioning Superb from colocation to supporting and maintaining its own datacenter. After conducting a thorough search of the United States, Jass decided on a datacenter in the highly networked hub of Washington, DC. DCA1 in Georgetown, Washington, DC, was opened in early 2000.

In 2000, Superb was also the very first provider worldwide to offer commercial VPS (Virtual Private Server) service, the predecessor of today’s cloud; Superb called it the Superb Power Server (SPS). The VPS (SPS) service was designed as a step in-between shared hosting and a full-fledged dedicated server. In this way, it filled a gap in customers’ service demand and made owning a fully customizable operating system and set-up environment more affordable than ever. Superb was, as always, true to its motto of “Ahead of the Rest”® – leading the industry, while others followed years later.

2002: Expansion

The next year, Superb Internet added another data center – DCA2 in McLean, Virginia. Also in 2002, the IP backbone of HopOne Internet Corporation, the datacenter and network operator that Jass founded in 1999, reached the west coast. Since Superb Internet was then its largest customer, HopOne effectively became the first ever web-hosting coast-to-coast IP network. To this day, it remains one of the world’s best connected networks, reaching the majority of Internet routes directly (free of intermediary transit networks). These two changes more than quadruples the company’s server capacity and improved network speed and reliability. Dedicated servers and colocation, for the last several years is an ever-rising part of the business, became the primary business in 2002, further broadening the client base and better positioning the brand as a major player in reseller hosting.

2005: To the West

Wanting to better meet the needs of companies with West Coast demographics, Superb opened a third datacenter in 2005: SEA2, located in Seattle, Washington. This location, which offered multiple diverse-path fiber-transport circuits for premium connectivity, also allowed high-demand customers and those with mission-critical needs to perform geo-load-balancing and replication on both of the coasts.

2009: And then there were four

Just a few years later, a fourth datacenter was added – DCA3. This one was located in Springfield, Virginia, and was upgraded to meet the strict redundancy expectations at Superb. Like the other datacenters, this one was staffed with certified engineers working around the clock to make sure all systems and data were kept uncompromised.

2011: Security focus

Superb Internet became increasingly recognized as one of the most secure web hosting companies globally, winning awards from several respected security and pro-Internet institutions.

2013: Cloud embrace

This year the Superb Cloud platform was introduced, that actually resulted from a full six years of design and development. The Superb Cloud was the culmination of tens of thousands of hours spent researching, testing, and developing; resulting in a next-generation system with 100% high-availability and impeccable performance.

Distinguishing characteristics of the Superb Cloud included a modern distributed storage system and an underlying 40 Gb/s InfiniBand network. The former offered the absence of any single point of failure, with performance equivalent to local storage. The latter had previously only been used in super-computing applications, this being one of the first commercial hosting implementations of this revolutionary technology. Using InfiniBand in the cloud architecture resulted in real-world performance that was lightning-fast – many times better than even the theoretical maximums of the lower-cost and much more rudimentary 10 Gigabit Ethernet protocol favored by others. Plus, it is completely free of packet loss and jitter and has a completely decentralized high-availability architecture.

Additionally, Superb Internet differentiated itself from the market by guaranteeing and always allocating resources exclusively to each customer. This decision provided for a fully predictive performance, a first in the cloud hosting field.

Through these customer-centric technological approaches, the Superb Cloud delivered on what Superb set out to do back in 2007 when the R&D process started: deliver a cloud that was in every way better than a physical dedicated server. In other words, the Superb Cloud offered the same or greater performance than dedicated systems: comprehensively guaranteed resources; a fully distributed architecture, free of single points of failure; and the predictability, reliability, high availability, and 100% uptime that only the modern cloud allows.

RELATED: So that we can avoid any single point of failure for optimal reliability, Superb Internet’s cloud infrastructure uses distributed rather than centralized storage. Along similar lines, we opted for InfiniBand over 10 Gigabit Ethernet for guaranteed always-zero packet loss. Explore our cloud.

2014: Enterprise-grade compliance

In 2014, Superb announced that it was building on its cloud offerings and centering itself on better meeting the needs of enterprises. The enterprise growth that the company started to experience was in two different areas: infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), i.e. cloud hosting, and core underlying infrastructure, i.e. network/datacenter services. Working closely with companies in the law, finance, and healthcare verticals gave Superb a better sense of the needs and expectations of enterprises with sophisticated compliance expectations.

One thing that Superb Internet knew would attract more of these types of clients was getting certified and audited as meeting various international standards. That way potential clients could know that a third-party organization had assessed and verified the company’s architecture and processes. One major form of compliance adopted in 2014 was SSAE 16 (Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements 16), a set of guidelines developed by the world’s largest accounting professional association. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) developed and continues to amend this standard, entitled “Reporting on Controls at a Service Organization.” Other standards and certifications Superb attained in 2014 include PCI-DSS, ITIL (the Information Technology Infrastructure Library), and two major, world’s toughest international standards: ISO 27001:2013 (Information Security Management) & ISO 9001:2008 (Quality Management) Certification & Registration. It should be noted that practically no other hosting provider has been able to achieve ISO 27001 and ISO 9001 Certification & Registration with the International Standards Organization.

Finally, in November, Superb started a key strategic partnership with OnApp called CloudPOD, making it a lot easier for anyone to be able to design and provision their own custom-build private cloud IaaS architecture. This out-of-the-box, turn-key solution is delivered through collaboration with OnApp and motherboard company Supermicro. It features Superb’s world-exclusive InfiniBand networking technology, put in place to outperform the 10 Gigabit Ethernet protocol used by many providers, and highly efficient distributed storage technology.

2015: First fully government-authorized cloud provider

Last year, Superb continued to pivot toward compliance standards so that it could more clearly indicate its ability to supply secure, mission-critical services to enterprises and government institutions. This shift was essentially a broadening of the firm’s approach since it was still completely dedicated to the huge and loyal SMB base that kept the company in business for 20 years.

The transition toward better meeting strict public-sector requirements was allowed by the company’s attainment of a GSA Information Technology Schedule 70 contract with the US federal government in May. This approval was granted by the US General Services Administration, the federal government’s procurement agency. With this federally approved status, Superb Internet was Ahead of the Rest® again as one of a small number of facilities-based providers of enterprise-equipped web hosting, colocation and cloud to federal, state, and local government institutions. This contract allows Superb to be offered through the federal online shopping portal, GSA Advantage.

In September, Superb Internet again made a name for itself as an industry bellwether with an award from the General Services Administration to sell pre-authorized Cloud Computing Services to government agencies at all levels. This became possible through an invitation for Superb to sell SIN 132-40, the most recent update to GSA IT Schedule 70. With this award, Superb became the very first organization to offer high-demand cloud solutions through the official preapproved federal platform that speeds up the procurement process for government IT buying.

These types of approvals, along with the various compliance mechanisms, have won the company clients such as the United Nations, World Health Organization and various agencies at all levels of government.

Today: Starting a third decade of hosting service

Now, this story has sounded like it was all about us; but keep mind, all of the above steps were taken to provide better service. Since Superb Internet Corporation’s formation in 1996, our company has been built on the satisfaction and loyalty of our customers, as directed by the leadership of Haralds Jass.

When we initially transitioned to our own datacenters and network, we had 400 servers. Today we have more than 10,000. In other words, we have quite literally expanded more than one-hundred-fold just in terms of the number of machines we own. Through our infrastructure, we host hundreds of thousands of websites.

As our upward trajectory continues, it is our commitment to provide the best possible service that keeps Superb Internet Ahead of the Rest®. In fact, “Customers First” is a core operational principle at Superb; as Jass often says internally, “Without our customers, there is no us.” On July 23, we will celebrate twenty years of treating customer pain-points just as we alleviated our own.