Over the next few weeks our upstream provider will be doing some upgrades, and to avoid the pending issues we have decided to move our servers to another platform, based in Dublin. This has come with some other massive benefits, which we hope you will see on the ground.

We noticed the beginning of the retrofit when the disk speeds all significantly decreased. A normal, local disk on a home PC works at approximately 20-30MB/s. This is a measurement of how much data the computer can transfer from it’s disk to the processors. In our case, this is extremely important as many of our solutions are data-driven. How quickly we can access data makes a significant difference between a fast and slow page load time. At the beginning of the retrofit, we noticed our disk go down to approximately 1MB/s as short intervals, which became hugely problematic. However, after re-negociating our terms with the provider (and using caching proxies to tie over the interim period), we have now moved to a disk array capable of 230MB/s – a huge improvement, dramatically decreasing our load.

Another large improvement is the complete transition to IPv6. IPv6 was created because the internet is running out of unique addresses which computers can be contacted on. While we have been preparing for this on our development network for a while, using an IPv6 tunnel, we have now rolled this out to our production machines. This latest move ensures that we are at the leading edge of technology and can deliver client websites on both an IPv6 and IPv4 network simultaneously. As the internet transitions to this new protocol you can be sure that your website will be able to cope with the new technology.

Positioning is always important when deciding where to base physical infrastructure in IT, and again we have ensured the placement of our servers on a Tier 1 network, connected to the internet as quickly as possible. We measure our internet speed by testing the latency to a reliable Google server, based in Mountain View, California. As you can see, our normal connection time was approximately 11ms. However, with our new cluster, this has now decreased, allowing us to contact Google servers with about 2ms latency, and at a more stable rate overall. This will give a great performance boost to all applications requiring contact to other websites to fulfil operations, such as those relying an API’s such as Facebook and Twitter.

Finally we have implemented a caching server on one of our IP’s allowing us to tailor your website to load even faster. We have already built a plugin for Joomla and WordPress and have been working with our customers to ensure that their websites can take full advantage of this technology. Some clients have seen improvements from 1.2 second page loads, to as little as 430 milliseconds – something our clients have appreciated!

Bluelight Studios has always been a specialist hosting company: we do not offer hosting to everyone. While other larger enterprises will provide you with a “one size fits all” standard hosting service,we realise that this will never allow a bespoke site to work optimally. As such, we build our platform to match our sites, building software patches specifically to match hardware with each individual cloud application. This is, we believe, one of our unique selling points.

Add Comment | Categories: News Blog | Posted: February 9, 2013

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