Over a year ago, we took the decision to move away from using a shared hosting platform, where the performance of our websites was affected by any other client of our hosting provider whose website may have been residing on the same shared platform as ours.
After much research, we had our own cloud/virtual server built, by a company who specialises in supporting our CMS platform of choice, Joomla. Whilst this server is still shared by all of our clients, because we are in full control of all websites, and also of the server itself, performance has been outstanding and up-time has been outstanding. It also allowed us to fix our hosting outgoings to a known amount, whilst having much more flexibility in creating and managing new website plans within our dedicated environment.
We began the lengthy process of migrating almost all of our websites across to our own server, with each client still retaining an entirely separate hosting plan to keep every website secure and separated from all others.
With a built-in hardware firewall, daily full server backups and redundancy through use of a virtual environment (which also load balances), we have been able to make sure website loading times are as fast as possible, with a gigabit link out onto the Internet matched with the performance of dedicated Xeon processor cores, RAM and SAN storage (if anyone is even interested!?).
We knew that our initial server specification was good for at least 12 months, and due to being virtual, any upgrade requirements in the future were going to be easy and quick, with no downtime and no need to do anything with websites already being hosted there.
We monitor the performance and other aspects of the server regularly, and this week took the decision to have our server CPU count, RAM and storage capacity upgraded a little ahead of time, to make sure that we are ready for all of the new websites and clients we're working with now and in the future.
It would have been possible to wait for performance to be affected before upgrading, but that's not how we work - for us it has always been about being ahead of the game, and it was important that this applied to our server as well as the work we do on our client's websites!