A few months ago we launched our updated range of shared hosting plans, with increased storage quotas, unmetered data transfer, and improved data backups. We also added a layer of cloud-based virtualisation, allowing for sophisticated hardware redundancy with automated recovery in the unlikely event of a hardware failure. This redundancy comes at the expense of disk performance, but during testing we found that the system performed well within acceptable limits so we decided that it was worth the performance hit to gain the extra redundancy.
As is often the case, what happens in testing does not always reflect what will happen when the system goes live. Although we managed to resolve our initial teething problems by moving to a different cloud platform, and everything has been operating smoothly since, we still haven’t seen the level of performance that we would like to see from the system; performance has been acceptable, but not excellent.
As a company we’re never happy with simply being “acceptable”, and we’re always looking for areas in which we can improve. We’ve considered various options over the past few weeks, and we’ve come to the conclusion that we can vastly improve performance while still maintaining an improved level of hardware redundancy (as compared to our services before the launch of Shared Cloud) by using a RAID storage system rather than cloud-based storage. As a result, we’ve decided to remove the cloud virtualisation and storage layer and move to a more traditional shared hosting system backed by RAID storage.
We’re renaming the service to reflect this change. As of today, Shared Cloud is now known simply as Valcato Shared Hosting. All customers who sign up from now on will be set up on the new RAID system, and we’ll be moving our existing customers to the new system over time, though let us know if you wish to be moved early.