Most of our clients know that here at SiteGround we tend to upgrade our hardware quite often. We aim to ensure that all our clients’ sites run on the latest and fastest hardware on the market and when we spot a valuable new piece of hardware, we immediately start testing. This year again, we are getting ready to migrate all of our shared hosting servers to new supercharged monster servers. Unlike other times though, this time we’ll not only upgrade the hardware, but also the whole infrastructure of our shared hosting platform.
The New Platform Uses Linux Containers
We will start using the hottest new virtualization method called “Linux containers” (LXC) for our shared hosting platform. The traditional shared hosting infrastructure is built on separate dedicated servers, split among multiple accounts and every account is limited to use certain resources (CPU, RAM, Disk I/O, etc.). Thanks to the Linux Containers technology, we will be able to create a pool of separate dedicated servers and achieve better distribution and efficiency of their shared resources. The immediate benefits for our clients are:
Significant Performance Gains
Thanks to the Linux containers, we will provide at your disposal a bigger pool of burstable resources, which you can exploit upon demand and sudden traffic spikes. You will have:
2 times more CPU power
2 times more Memory resources
More than 4 x IOPS increase
More than 2 times read speed increase
More than 1.5 times write speed increase
Vertical Scalability Without Reboot
The management of the platform will be easier for us and will result in less downtime due to basic maintenance procedures. For example, we will be able to add more RAM, CPU or storage to the platform if needed without restarting the servers.
Much Faster Provisioning of Spare Servers
Currently, when a traditionally configured shared hosting server fails, we have to plug in a spare server and restore all data of the old machine on the new one. This is an extremely time-consuming process. Thanks to the new technology, provisioning a new server or “container” where to replicate the old data is much shorter than before.
All Drives are SSDs
Until now, we were using SSD only for some of the most resource intensive operations like the MySQL. Now, all our drives will be SSDs. The new servers have the following specs:
2xE5-2690v3 CPUs (24 cores)
12x960GB SSDs in RAID10
New Storage Solution for Faster Data Backup and Recovery
Until now, we have always considered storage to be a major bottleneck due to its slowness, especially in critical situations when you actually need to take advantage of that storage and recover some data. So, we were working on building our own backup solution, which is now ready and already live for some of our servers.
In-house Developed Backup System
So far we were using R1Soft backups, which basically makes snapshot of storage and then you have no flexibility how to manage the pieces of that backup as it stays one whole piece of information. Our solution makes a copy of the file system and gives us the flexibility to distribute parts of these files or that data across multiple servers. It also gives us the opportunity to restore the data from multiple machines simultaneously, thus drastically decreasing the restore time.
The fastest Infiniband Networking
To that storage system, we added the fastest possible networking solution – InfiniBand, which significantly speeds up all operations of backing up and recovering data.
All in all, the new storage solution turns out to be 100 times faster than the current one!
We dedicated a lot of time to benchmark the new platform and the results are stunning. We tested the new processors and the new storage that will be used. The following graphs show the differences in terms of performance:
Storage Read/write IOPS Comparison
Storage Sequential Read Speed Comparison
Storage Sequential Write Speed Comparison
All Shared Hosting Clients Will be Switched to the New Platform
We will be upgrading the infrastructure of all our shared hosting clients (on StartUp, GrowBig and GoGeek plans) entirely for free over the next 3 to 4 months, starting next week. We will be sending emails a few days before the migration is scheduled so you can be prepared.
The migration itself is entirely seamless – no IP or DNS changes are involved and you are not expected to do anything except avoid uploading new content on your account during the migration in order to prevent any data loss. The actual downtime expected is only a few minutes and will happen in the least busy hours of the server we are migrating.
Stay tuned for the migration email and for much better performance of your websites!