Company Background and Mission
Gotomyhost is specializing in personal and small business web hosting. Our mission is to provide fast, stable, reliable, and secure web hosting to our customers at great prices, and to back it up with the service and support that we ourselves would like to receive.
When we designed the Gotomyhost infrastructure, we took a top-down approach to ensuring reliability and redundancy at every level.
It all starts with the data center that houses our servers. Located in Boston, MA the CoreSite data center is a SSAE-16 Type II certified mission-critical data center. Every Gotomyhost server receives redundant power, with each power connection coming from a different set of generators, UPS, and building entry risers.
At the network level we are connected to a Tier IV fault-tolerant network with an availability rating of 99.995% uptime for both power and network connectivity. In fact since 2006 this network has delivered 100% uptime every single year! Multiple Tier I providers are combined using Cisco and Juniper switches and routers to provide a high speed, BGP, redundant routing configuration.
When it comes to connecting our servers to the power and network infrastructure, redundancy is again the key aim. Every server has dual power supplies with automatic failover in case one of them fails, and each power supply is connected to a different power circuit. Therefore in the event of a complete power circuit outage, or total failure of a power supply, the servers continue to operate as usual. Every server also has dual Gigabit network interfaces (NICs) which are configured in failover bonding mode, and each of which is connected to a different switch and router. Any failure at the router, switch, or NIC level results in a seamless data path transition and zero downtime.
Finally every server uses true server grade hardware, not the consumer grade hard drives, RAM, or CPUs that many web hosts use in an effort to cut costs. Hard drives are currently Seagate Enterprise Class SAS drives with 4 drives per server configured in RAID 10 (mirrored striped arrays) and a 5th drive installed as a hot spare. In the event of a hard drive failure, no data is lost and the RAID controller automatically uses the hot spare to silently rebuild the array. Thanks to the use of hot swap drive bays, the failed drive can be replaced without powering the server down and the fresh replacement drive will be configured as the new hot spare. We only use hardware RAID, not the less reliable and far slower software RAID, and the currently specified controllers utilize 1GB of dedicated cache for extra speed along with a battery backup to prevent any data loss in the extremely unlikely event of total power failure.
Every server is backed up every 6 hours (4x daily) with a 7 day retention period for backups. The backup solution that we use enables us to restore anything from a single file all the way up to a point-in-time full Bare Metal Recovery (BMR) restoration of an entire server. End-user access to backups is provided in cPanel and enables easy restoration of files, directories, MySQL databases, and even individual MySQL database tables, from any of the prior 7 days of backups.
For example let’s say you realize on Thursday that you deleted some files from your account on Monday that you really didn’t mean to delete. With our backup solution it’s as simple as clicking the “Backups” icon, selecting the “Restore Files” option, choosing (in this case) Sunday night’s backup, using the folder and file interface to select the files that you need to restore, and clicking the “Restore” button. Hey presto! A few seconds later your files are back where they were.
At the data center level, access is strictly controlled via a combination of proximity cards and biometric scans backed up by armed guards. The network is monitored 24/7 for intrusion attempts, DDoS attacks, and other security problems.
At the server level, security starts with the use of the Cloud Linux operating system. Designed for shared server environments, Cloud Linux segregates every account into a Lightweight Virtualized Environment (LVE) to ensure that no user can access any other user’s files, and to prevent runaway processes (e.g. from bad end-user code) from having any effect on server stability or security. We run an IP blocking SPI firewall on every server, a login failure daemon that communicates with the firewall to block IP addresses attempting brute force password attacks or port scans, Apache’s mod_security with constantly updated rules to block the latest web-based attacks and then communicate the offending IP addresses to the firewall for instant blocking, realtime virus and malware scanners that monitor all files and emails on the fly to prevent security threats from ever entering the servers, and full SPAM scanning with flexible end-user configuration options to keep your inbox clean of unwanted junk.
Content Acceleration and Caching
Our servers use the Apache Worker MPM to enable fully threaded web server operation, and mod_lsapi with per-user XCache opcode caching for fast serving of dynamic PHP content. We also compile Apache with mod_headers and mod_expires so that you can control browser-level caching of your website’s content on the fly with simple .htaccess directives. Rounding out our commitment to local content acceleration and caching is a highly optimized MySQL configuration with plenty of RAM dedicated to providing fast and efficient query caching.
As a CloudFlare Optimized Partner, we have tightly integrated both the CloudFlare CDN and Railgun services into all of our web hosting plans. The CloudFlare CDN caches your static content on their network of over 100 geographically diverse data centers, and serves it to your visitors from the nearest location. Meanwhile Railgun creates a lightning fast connection between the Gotomyhost and CloudFlare networks to dramatically accelerate your dynamic content.
We are fanatical about providing our customers with the level of service and support that we would want to receive ourselves! The best hosting environment in the world is only of limited use if you can’t get hold of someone to answer your questions. We do not outsource our support and we never will. Your support requests will be answered in a timely manner by someone with the ability and authority to resolve your problem for you, not pass you up a seemingly endless chain of “tiers” to someone who might eventually be able to help.
Finally A Word On “Unlimited” Hosting
We don’t offer unlimited disk space and data transfer (bandwidth) because, put quite simply, there is no such thing. If there was, the likes of Google and Amazon would be hosted on a cheap unlimited hosting account rather than in data centers full of dedicated servers. We have checked with our hardware suppliers and have been unable to source hard drives with unlimited storage capacity, nor have our upstream network providers started to provision backbones with unlimited data capacity. Until that time comes, we would prefer to be honest with you about the limits each account has rather than burying CPU usage clauses, file size clauses, file type clauses, and 101 other trip-up clauses, deep in our terms of service.