Data backup and disaster Recovery

A good rule with web hosting is to always have a back-up and disaster recovery plan in place for a worst case scenario, if your data disappears. Many hosts will offer a backup service, and there are a number of options available for increased protection. One good method is to setup a RAID array for your server.  There are several different ways you can configure RAID, essentially it gives protection by spreading or copying your data over two or more redundant hard drives. Many people choose to augment this with an additional hard drive outside of the RAID array, and also do backups there. For yet another level of redundancy you could also do backups to a remote workstation. Many larger and more popular websites also choose to setup a failover to another server in a different network operations center. This can be a bit tricky for complex websites, or if there are databases involved, the team at PingPipe has over a decade of experience assisting clients with all levels of data backup and disaster recovery, and would be pleased to help you set-up the most cost-effective solution that meets your needs. For additional information on data backup and disaster recovery please contact the PingPipe sales team today. PingPipe is maximum dedicated to your business' online success.

Transfer Files Remotely to a Dedicated Server with Radmin

After signing up for a new Windows dedicated server you may be wondering what is the easiest way to transfer files to it. You may also need a way to administer your new server when you do not have access to remote desktop. Radmin is a great solution that addresses both these needs, and best of all you can try it before you buy it. Radmin is a remote administration software, you can download a demo version at anytime, or ask your PingPipe sales representative and we will include a demo version on your new dedicated server at no additional cost. Radmin itself is made up of two parts: a module that you install onto your dedicated server, and a viewer that you install on your computer. Once you have installed the server-side module it is easy to setup access accounts and passwords for it, allowing you remote access to your server from any computer that has the viewer portion available. When you connect to your dedicated server using Radmin you will be able to remotely and control your server's mouse and keyboard. Transferring files to your server is as easy as dragging and dropping. Another way some people use Radmin is to allow several people to view a server's desktop. PingPipe has partnered with the manufacturer of Radmin and is now offering full licensed versions  to all new and existing clients. at great pricing. If you would like to purchase a copy for your dedicated server or have any questions about Radmin features and benifits contact the PingPipe sales team today.  

Marketing Email Marketing

Everyone sees the value of email, and it is a fact that effective marketing can increase sales and help make any business successful. Email marketing can be an effective business tool, but somehow the balance seems to have tipped: it has become less about marketing and more about email. Ask the sales team at PingPipe or any other web host provider to tell you the last time that an Email Marketer has admitted to sending spam email; the fact is that when faced with a spam complaint most companies will not admit wrongdoing, and will say that they are legitimate Email Marketers that does not send spam email. Something has to be causing the increase in spam complaints though, All of that annoying spam email has to be coming from somewhere.  I think that we all can agree that receiving spam email  is an annoying waste of time. There has to be a point where a commercial email stops being email marketing and starts being email spam. That point in time is blatantly obvious to those of us who receive unsolicited email and oblivious to the people sending those messages. Before you begin using email marketing, there are a few useful things to remember: 1)  Commercial email should never be sent to people that do not ask to receive it. 2) Keep a record of the requests to be added to your marketing list (complete with IP addresses the requests were sent from. 3) Follow up requests to be added to your mailing list, and ask people to confirm that they indeed want to be added. (this is called a double opt-in) 4) If someone asks to be removed from your mailing list take them off it right away. 5) Quickly respond to any spam complaints. As long as you keep the above points in mind, you will find that Email marketing is a great tool to increase sales, keep in touch with your client base, and inform them about your products and services.

Even air isn’t free

There are many shared hosts that offer free hosting, and dedicated servers are often advertised at surprisingly low monthly costs. One thing remains constant with all web hosting companies: you get what you pay for, and offers that seem to good to be true usually are. Web hosting costs have come down a lot in recent years, but usually lower cost means lower value. In a network operations center, even air isn't free. Dedicated server power supplies get hot and need to be cooled.  Air conditioning is a major expense for data centers, and that expense should be part of what makes up your monthly web hosting cost. Don't limit your search when searching for a host. Cheap hosting companies are cheap for a reason, and usually that means cheap service. In most cases it is better to pay a bit more for value, and choose a web host that has a 100% network uptime guarantee, premium bandwidth,  and always available support services that respond to your questions in a timely manner. 

Locked out. What is KVM?

When you lock yourself out of your car or house it is easy enough to call a locksmith;  locking yourself out of your dedicated server is a whole different level of frustration. It is easier than you think.  All it takes is one mistake when configuring a software-based firewall, and then you are no longer able to log into your server as root Administrator. The easiest way to address this is with KVM access to your server.  KVM is short for Keyboard Video Mouse, it gives you a separate IP to access your server and launches a Java-based screen that is like you are virtually standing in front of a video console plugged into your server.  KVM also gives you the ability to remotely power cycle your server at anytime, via the same separate IP address. Many of the dedicated server solutions available at PingPipe include KVM and remote reboot f0r free. On the internet, having redundancy  is very important. Let me repeat that: on the internet, having redundancy is very important. Suppport services are always available to physically reboot your dedicated server at the network level, the free KVM that is included on PingPipe dedicated server specials is a great value-added bonus of also always having an alternate way to reach the login prompt of your dedicated server. Visit pingpipe.com to check out all of the current dedicated server specials that include your own KVM with remote reboot and free setup !

Discount Dedicated Servers

When you are ready to sign up for a discount priced dedicated server be sure you know what you are getting before you pay.  It's natural to want to spend as little as possible for your dedicated server, but the lowest cost server may not be the best server for you. In today's marketplace it is not uncommon to see dedicated servers for under $100 per month. PingPipe's is currently offering a Celeron D server starting at just $89. When you see a provider offering a dedicated server for under $75/month you should take a close look at the hardware configuration. Often providers  will re-rent old servers  until they can no longer be repaired, rather than stay current with their hardware. If you are considering renting a dedicated server that costs between $50 to $75/month there's a very good chance that it has been in use for over 4 years,  it might have many components that are "living on borrowed time". It's also going to have a less powerful processor than what is available at a higher price point. Low price does not mean high value. Check the hardware configuration to see that the processor is powerful enough for any applications you will be running. Remember that time is money - spending a bit more to get current hardware can save you money in the long term.  If your site (or your client's site) is not available due to an avoidable hardware failure  the short term savings of a few dollars a month will be poor compensation for your lost traffic and customers.
Posted in Dedicated Server Solutions, Hosting Hints at February 23rd, 2010. No Comments.

Regional domain names

Finding a unique domain name is getting more and more difficult.  When making a choice, often people find that "all the good ones are taken". While this might be the case for the "mainstream" extensions, a great alternative is to check the regional extension for the market you are targeting.  Check your favorite search engine  search engine for a registrar - there's a good chance your domain will be available. Some countries have this requirement that you have to have a presence there (like .dk for Germany, or .ca for Canada), but a lot don't (like .tv - which seems to be getting more popular, and isn't restricted to TV shows as some people think - its the top level domain  for the islands of Tuvalu). Having a domain name with the country-specific extension of the country you are targeting for your business will help with your branding in the local market. If you'd like to register one to use on your dedicated server or shared hosting solution contact the PingPipe sales team for assistance with the registration process.

What is RAID

RAID is a short form for the phrase "redundant array of independent disks". It involves having more than one hard drive and most often installing  controller hardware on your server so that the operating system only "sees" one drive. Having RAID on your dedicated server is a good way to protect your data and can help make accessing any single file quicker than when only a single hard drive is used. There are many different levels of RAID you can choose to implement, among the most popular are the following: RAID 0 - Technically, this level is not true RAID, as there is no redundancy. The disks in a RAID-0 array are partitioned into many sectors, and data is written onto each sector in a striping fashion. There is no redundancy, so if any one hard drive fails the data on it is lost. RAID 1 - This is when your data is mirrored onto multiple hard drives. The information stored on each disk is identical, so this level of RAID can be thought of as a "real-time backup". Data can be read from either hard drive, so it speeds up access times when there are multiple users. If any one disk fails it can be replaced and the array will rebuild itself. RAID 5 - This level of RAID uses three or more hard drives, and provides a higher level of protection and redundancy  for your data if any one disk fails. RAID 10 - This is a combination of RAID-1 and RAID-0. It allows for quicker access times than RAID-1 alone, while protecting your data. Server hard drives are mechanical, and as such they do sometimes fail. If your data is important RAID should be in your hardware budget, perhaps with secure backup space also (as another level of redundancy). RAID can be thought of as a form of insurance for your data: you may never have to take advantage of it, but it only takes one hard drive failure to make you wish you had it. It's best that you order RAID on your new dedicated servers when you place the order. If you wait until after the operating system has been loaded a reformat would be needed in order to have the RAID card recognized by the server. RAID is an available option on most dedicated servers with PingPipe.
Posted in Dedicated Server Options, Hosting Hints at December 22nd, 2009. No Comments.

Moving a Website

With a bit of planning, moving your website to a dependable host is no need for concern.  You can seamlessly complete the migration if you follow a few easy steps: 1) Backup your site content hosted with the "old" provider. Connect to your account there with your ftp client,  download a copy of your website, and save it on your computer. 2) Sign up with your new hosting provider. Choosing webhosting with PingPipe is quick and easy. As soon as your payment is verified setup of your new account will get underway. Once your account is setup you will receive a Welcoming Email with your account details. 3) Visit your domain registrar and add modify the DNS settings of the third and forth nameservers. 4) Upload a copy of the content backup to the new host's  server. When you choose webhosting with PingPipe detailed instructions are included in your welcoming email. 5) Visit your domain registrar and Delete the nameserver (DNS) information of the "old" host. It could take up to three days for the DNS changes to propagate, and during that time visitors will be served your website from either the old host's server or the new server.  It's recommended to not do updates to your website(s) during that time.  After 3 days you should not see the "old" host nameservers when you do a whois search, and it will be ok to cancel your account with the "old" host. That way your site will never go offline during the move.  Webhosting with PingPipe includes access to an extensive knowledge base, and friendly support available 24/7.

tax on PayPal funds

Many people wonder if they should include the income they receive through PayPal on their tax returns.  It is commonly thought that these funds are "hidden" and therefore do not need to be disclosed to the taxman. Unfortunately this is not true. Taxation laws are different throughout the world, but the one thing that is constant is that no matter what country you pay taxes to it is the government that collects them.  You should never underestimate the power of a federal tax collector to uncover financial information. If you are subject to a formal tax audit the person conducting it will need access to all of your records of income and expenses, and will most likely be able to obtain all of your  income information through the courts if necessary. The penalties in most countries for tax evasion are generally far more severe than the amount of tax owing. If you are in doubt about what income to declare or have questions it's wise to check with your accountant or a local tax expert before you submit your tax return. In many cases you will be able to  also declare any expenses you incurred (like transaction fees, eBay charges, etc) to offset your declared income, which will lower the amount of tax you will have to pay. By way of disclaimer, we are not taxation experts and laws do vary in each country. In North America, for instance,  it just is not worth the risk of not declaring income received via PayPal on your income tax return. This is especially true when there is a large amount of money or many transactions involved.
Posted in Ecommerce Solutions, Hosting Hints at December 2nd, 2009. No Comments.