Steadfast Blog

Equinix Exchange Peering Live!

Posted in Networking on January 12th, 2009

Today we have gotten our GigE circuit to the Equinix Exchange live and are currently in the process of adding our first peers through that exchange. We are already peered through the Chicago Internet Exchange, but we feel the Equinix Exchange will give us access to a larger number of networks, thus improving our overall network connectivity. Right now, the Equinix Exchange in Chicago has over 100 members and we should be able to establish a relationship quickly with about 1/3 of those networks, while others will take longer term negotiations, etc. Overall, this link will continually improve our network quality as additional members join and establish peering relationships with us.

If you would like to peer with us via the Equinix Exchange in Chicago, please email noc@steadfast.net.

We had noted the demand for more in-depth backup solutions, so we are now providing R1Soft CDP Backups. The CDP (Continuous Data Protection) Backups allow you to run backups much more frequently, as the backups use significantly less system resources than a standard rsync operation.

We have been using this software for the last month on our own shared hosting systems, thus our shared hosting systems are now being backed up hourly instead of daily, and everything has been working beautifully.

Overall, the R1soft software allows you to easily manage your backups through a web based control panel. You can schedule as many backups as you wish, backing up any data at any schedule you wish. This can then be changed at any time directly from the web panel. You can then download this data directly to your home system, restore it back to the server, if the R1soft software is still running on the server, or do a full system restore using PXE boot, through our network.

The cost of this software is $10 a month per server you are backing up and $5 a month per MySQL license. It will work on all Linux and Windows based systems. The R1Soft backup software is also available for no additional charge to all fully managed server customers and can be added to existing backup accounts for just $10 a month, though that would require the old backup account, with all data in it, to be removed.

I just wanted to state that as AlphaRed has now declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy and is ending service tomorrow it is certainly time for any existing AlphaRed clients to get moved out. We again are willing to help, by offering free backup space to any affected users and we do have servers immediately available. Just contact sales@steadfast.net regarding either of those offers.

As for our own status during these hard economic times, business has still been good. We are seeing more cancellations due to the economy, but we are still seeing the same type of growth we had seen previously. The company is in the best financial shape we have ever been in and we are currently only using credit to grow, not for day-to-day operations.

As a note, here is the official notice from AlphaRed regarding their bankruptcy:

This Morning December, 23 2008 at 9:30 AM CST, Alpha Red, Inc. entered Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Doug Brickley of LECG was appointed the Chapter 7 Trustee. The receiver’s duties are to liquidate the assets of Alpha Red and collect past due balances from Alpha Red's current and former clients.

The business will not continue. All services including power, bandwidth, and technical support will be shutdown at 9:00 AM CST on December 24, 2008, tomorrow. We will begin shutting down servers this evening around 8:00 PM CST, December 23, 2008 starting with accounts which have outstanding/past due balances.

If you have paid your bill and are current, you may contact us at support@alphared.com or by phone: (713) 936-2388 to delay your shut-off time until 9:00 AM CST tomorrow morning.

Holiday Special!

Posted in Servers / Server Hardware on December 17th, 2008

For the holidays, we are offering our first wide-spread special offer ever, that I recall. We are offering free double RAM and free double disk space on all standard service offerings and free setup on a majority of our servers. Right now, we are planning to run this special through January 2, or while supplies last. You can see all of our dedicated server offerings from here: http://steadfast.net/services/dedicated.php

Hopefully some of you can take advantage of this offer, and Happy Holidays!

I had been thinking of adding additional bandwidth billing options to our dedicated server offerings, as we always get asked for different amounts, but the list was starting to get too large. To prevent this issue, we have just gone with an overall flexible bandwidth billing structure. You can select the billing method, monthly data transfer (per GB), unmetered (capped), or 95th percentile, as well as the exact amount of bandwidth you want. If you want a 31 Mbit/sec capped line, you can now order that right through our site, and then follow that with a server with 2348 GB of monthly data transfer.

These changes have also been made to prove a point, that we do not oversell bandwidth and that we do not want to over-charge our clients. We allow you to select however much bandwidth you need and at every usage level, you will be guaranteed to be able to use that amount as much as you wish. In addition, we will only bill you for what you actually need. We don't want to stick you with getting a 100 Mbit/sec line when you only need 80 Mbit/sec. If we keep your costs down, we increase your chances of being able to grow your business, and to grow with us, which is what is best for all involved.

You can read about the specifics of the pricing and billing options here: http://steadfast.net/services/flexibandibill.php

Note: Yes, the name of the file, flexibandibill.php, is what we were originally going to call this plan, though it would have been Flexi-Bandi-Bill. The idea was to basically mock all of the horrible trademarked offerings that exist out there, though we figured not enough people would see it as a joke, but would instead think we were just stupid ourselves. Oh well, I guess it can be a fun inside joke between us. ;-)

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