Frequently Asked Questions

 

Infrastructure


 

Where are uHost Data Centers and how are they set up?

uHost data centers are world-class facilites situated in the Saint Louis region's premier carrier hotel, The Bandwidth Exchange Building on Walnut. Our state-of-the-art data center encompasses three separate floors of the carrier building. This building was chosen as it is the only building within the area that is situated on a dual utility power grid and houses POPs for all of the major carriers operating in the region including: Verizon , Level(3), XO Communications, Sprint, AT&T, WilTel, Qwest, Broadwing, and McLeodUSA.

 


 

Is there redundancy for power and internet connectivity?

Yes. uHost's data centers are powered by 2 different power grids configured with automatic failover. If both power grids were to experience a failure, the data centers are backed up by 2 large UPS systems and multiple diesel generators. Internet connectivity for each data center is provided by multiple OC-48 backbones from different providers. BGP4 routing helps guarantee that your server is always accessible. Quality network equipment from Cisco and Foundry Networks tie the infrastructure together.

 


 

What operating systems are supported?

uHost's core expertise is in Linux and Mac OS X for managed hosting. In order to deliver the best service available, we specialize in these operating systems. However, uHost realizes that the modern data center and enterprise are heterogeneous. Therefore, uHost has selectively partnered with another top company to deliver Windows expertise with the same core beliefs and mission statement.

 


 

What are the security features in place in uHost Data Centers?

uHost knows security is a top priority, and has therefore instituted strict security policies across all data center resources - not just a handful of privileged customers like other hosting providers. Our state-of-the-art data center is housed in a secure facility tracked with closed circuit digital cameras, biometric hand scans, keycards, coded badges, controlled access after hours, security system monitoring, restricted access beyond the lobby, and security guards during regular business hours. Additionally, internal processes rate to a Type II SAS70 certification and meet tough regulatory standards such as Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA and and Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GBLA). uHost firewalls and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are enhanced to ensure both centralized and flexible protection. For more information download the uHost Security Whitepaper

 


 

What kind of network do uHost Data Centers have?

uHost's network is comprised of top brand networking equipment from Juniper, Cisco and Foundry. This hardware lies in a fully meshed configuration. The core of our network is fully redundant, with every switch or router having at least one redundant hot spare.

 


 

What is the capacity level of uHost Data Centers?

The uHost network is connected to multiple Tier 1 network providers (currently Verizon, Level(3), Sprint, XO, and WilTel) to minimize the network distance to the end user and to build network redundancy. uHost always ensures its network is below 50% total utilization. This allows peak network performance during normal traffic spikes.

 


 

What happens in the case of a hardware failure?

Although rare - hardware failures can happen. When it does, uHost keeps spare parts available and can replace most broken parts within an hour. From there, uHost's disaster recovery and backup services can get the box back to its previous state. Additional charges may apply for these services.

 

Support


 

What is uHost's Service Level Agreement and uptime?

uHost's complete SLA can be found here.

 


 

What is uHost's Acceptable Use Policy?

uHost's Acceptable Use Policy can be found here.

 

Managed Hosting


 

What does uHost's Managed Hosting include?

uHost's Managed Hosting is suited for clients that are looking to leverage the skills of our professional engineers to administer their server. Our management and administration includes the hardware, operating system, applications, software, and infrastructure, including the network and data center operations. Our engineers are responsible for installing, managing, updating and monitoring security patches, as well as service pack testing and installation. We also proactively monitor all of our managed servers so we can make corrections, modifications and changes as necessary.

 


 

What hardware is used for dedicated hosting? Why is this important?

uHost only uses hardware from top tier vendors, specifically Dell, IBM, and Apple for dedicated hosting. We do not use "white boxes" or servers built from spare components. Every uHost server is acquired from one of those vendors and comes with a factory warranty.

 


 

Can dedicated hardware be upgraded?

For most circumstances, dedicated hardware can be upgraded. Additional costs do apply.

 


 

What level of service is provided with uHost's Managed Hosting solution?

Every server comes with 24x7 support built-in and a pro-active approach to monitoring and maintenance. We monitor resource levels on every managed server to detect problems before they occur. Security patches are tested and installed upon customer approval. Secondary DNS is provided upon request. Additional services, such as monthly disaster recovery and automated backup, are also offered.

 


 

What if I need additional IP addresses?

Additional IP addresses are provided for a one-time minimal fee. uHost can allocate you as many IP's as you need (ARIN regulations apply).

 


 

What happens when there is an issue with my server?

When a problem or emergency occurs, uHost support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in order to help you identify and resolve the issues. Oftentimes, our support department resolves the issue before the customer is aware there is one. We keep you in the loop during problems with prompt communication of any challenges and time frames to solve them.

 

Managed Applications


 

Do I need a license from the vendor to use uHost Managed Applications?

Not necessarily. If you already have one, we can transfer that license to our deployment. However, for all our partners we are licensed resellers of their software and will provide you with the necessary licenses. Standard vendor licensing fees apply.

 


 

What applications does uHost have expertise in managing?

uHost's engineers have expertise managing applications such as JBoss, Oracle, JIRA, Confluence, PostgreSQL, MySQL, and many more.

 


 

What level of support is available for my Managed Applications with uHost?

uHost provides a completely managed environment and support to make things run smoothly. We take care of everything needed to get started - the server, the operating system, bandwidth on our intelligently routed, 100% guaranteed uptime network, and the software licenses (where applicable).

 


 

Are my applications secure?

Yes. The physical servers powering your applications reside in a state-of-the-art, secure data center, complete with closed circuit digital cameras, biometric hand scans, keycards, coded badges, controlled access after hours, security system monitoring, restricted access beyond the lobby, and security guards during regular business hours. Additionally, each deployment is secured behind a uHost firewall to ensure data connections are secure, and uses virtual private networks enhanced with IPSec technology to manage permissions of data being sent through the firewall.

 

Cloud Computing


 

What is the difference between a public and private cloud?

A private cloud is a custom, dedicated infrastructure that relies on VMware ESX to provide templated server instances. It can include a mixture of non-virtualized and virtualized resources, and is built to a custom scale and complexity to match your elastic computing needs. A private cloud opens the management of the host server and custom configurations or optimizations to the VMware ESX server to your operations staff. Private cloud affords users as many guest instances as the capacity of the dedicated infrastructure allows. Cost for private cloud is based on the number of dedicated servers managed. Public cloud standardizes the instantiation of guest virtual machines on host infrastructure that is entirely managed by uHost. You have unlimited access to the number of virtual machines you can create. Public cloud costs are consumption based, where you are only charged for the machine hours for virtual instances and the network throughput. Both can be used in combination with on-premise resources, or other resources under uHost management, including colocated resources. Both are offered with the optional service to include management by uHost.

 


 

How does uHost's cloud solutions differ from other cloud services?

uHost cloud solutions are built to suit the needs of the enterprise - including security, portability, standardization and management services. All cloud services provided by uHost are hosted in our state-of-the-art, secure data center facilities. Additionally, all internal processes and controls are rated to a Type II SAS70 certification and meet tough regulatory standards such as Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA and and Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GBLA). Unlike other cloud services, uHost Cloud is powered by the enterprise-grade VMware ESX, affording our customers the ability to template resources for better portability between on-premise resources and uHost Cloud resources. uHost Cloud users can take advantage of VMware appliances as well as standard templates provided by uHost directly. This standardization of technologies that data centers around the world are already familiar with provides an increased level of portability for resources, and better support and a minimal learning curve for enterprises considering cloud computing. Finally, uHost is the first cloud service provider to deliver full-service managed hosting for the cloud. uHost support engineers will be available to start and stop instances, monitor application behavior and availability, install and configure standard applications, as well as a variety of other standard system administration tasks.

 


 

What level of support is offered with uHost's Cloud Computing solutions?

All uHost Hosting solutions come with the three P's of hosting: Power, Pipe and Ping. uHost guarantees 100% uptime for power as well as network and monitors individual instances for general availability. Managed Hosting is available as an additional service which includes around-the-clock system administration services including starting and stopping instances, monitoring of application behavior and availability, troubleshooting, install and configure standard applications, network and security management, backups and infrastructure planning.

 


 

What types of applications can run in the cloud?

While any application that can run on a server can run in the cloud, cloud computing is not suited for all types of resources. A rule of thumb is anything that is easily added to a load balancer to distribute requests including web servers, SMTP servers, DNS servers, and some application servers is an excellent candidate for the cloud. These resources tend to be identical and horizontally scalable, which means the virtualization software that powers the cloud can easily incorporate additional services or move them and continue to maintain services levels. Servers running I/O intensive applications, like some databases, can be poor choices for the cloud due to the overhead of increasing the path from memory to real disk and back again. For write-intensive database usage, this can degrade performance. In some cases this can be minimized through proper configuration of the hypervisor, however it is always good to review the system requirements for your target resources to determine if they are eligible for virtualization into the cloud. Some applications that have specific hardware or driver requirements, such as custom video drivers that support hardware-based 3D acceleration, are not supported by VMware. Always check the hardware requirements and product support before attempting to virtualize your infrastructure.

 

Colocation and Managed Colocation


 

Who actually supplies the server?

In the industry, colocation infers that the server belongs to you, while the hosting provider supplies power, network, and security. Normally, uHost customers supply the hardware fully configured and ready to simply plug in and run.

 


 

What is uHost's Uptime Guarantee?

uHost provides our clients with a written 100% uptime guarantee for your network and power supply.

 


 

What uHost Colocation plan is right for me?

Depending on the level of management you require and the amount of space you need, uHost offers flexible Colocation solutions. Depending on your size or privacy concerns we have plans that range from shared cabinets, private locked cabinets or private suites to store your servers and equipment. Additionally we offer optional management and administration which includes the hardware, operating system, applications, software, and infrastructure, including the network and data center operations. Our engineers are responsible for installing, managing, and updating security patches. We also proactively monitor all of our managed servers so we can make corrections or enhancements as necessary. Check out our section on colocation for more information.

 


 

What level of support is offered with uHost's Colocation services?

All uHost Colocation solutions offer the three P's: Power, Pipe and Ping. uHost guarantees 100% uptime for your power supply and network, as well as around the clock monitoring that your servers are available. 24x7 support for configuration, application performance monitoring and management is available for uHost's Managed Colocation customers.

 


Phenomenal Support

  • <5 Minute Support Response
  • 100% Uptime Guarantee
  • Level 3 Engineers with Answers and Advice
  • 24x7 Live Technical Support
  • On-Site Technicians
  • 30 Minute Hardware Replacement for Managed Customers