What We Can Learn from the Hostgator, BlueHost Downtime

Data-Center-DowntimeWhen Hostgator and BlueHost along with a myriad of other hosting companies owned by Endurance International Group went down Twitter was abuzz with mad clients complaining. Many of which had no local copies of their site(s). Nor did they have a backup plan for them or if applied, their clients. It is understandable that web designers wanna save on their overhead and host their clients site as cheaply as possible. But in this and many other cases you get what you pay for. I have worked for over 15 years creating fully redundant datacenter and cloud infrastructure for numerous companies. In my vocabulary “downtime” is a four letter word.

With todays cloud environments you can have full redundancy and minimize the impact of an outage be it localized or geographic. There is always the possibility of having the dreaded downtime but it can be minimized inexpensively for mission critical things.

Small businesses can’t be hosted by the all-inclusive shared server account model that many of the largest (and cheapest) hosting companies provide. This is a remnant of circa 1995 business model for hosting. Where a shared account is used to host website, email, FTP, DNS, and the kitchen sink. It’s understandable that something like a website being down might not be the end of the world for some SMBs but having email down along with every other service they need can be detrimental. We all know putting all your eggs in one basket is never an optimal idea.

Let alone the security issues that come with shared hosting. If one site is compromised due to a simple cross site scripting¬†or other issue¬†the whole server will be taken over. Leaving your site and data as collateral damage to someone else’s mistakes.

There is a need for a revised method of providing SMBs and independent web designers to get cheap but reliable (including well architected) hosting.

It is not 1995 anymore…