How We Do Web Hosting

So yesterday I did an article about how we do website security and figured we probably need one on website hosting. Sure we have other web pages dedicated to this but I figured we should probably get into a little detail…. You know for the CTOs and IT folks out there that want to grill us a little bit.

Servers Are Dedicated To FatLab

All of our servers are 100% dedicated to FatLab. We are not simply reselling cheap space on a server that we have no idea how many other sites are running and what those are. When we launch a server those resources are dedicated to just FatLab and our clients. We can see exactly what is happening on a server and move sites that need more resources or scale servers in minutes.

Our Servers

Current Datacenter Locations

  • Seattle
  • Atlanta
  • New York
  • Dallas
  • Chicago
  • We have the ability to launch servers in over 65 global data centers.

Currently Utilized Server Providers

  • Google Cloud
  • Digital Ocean
  • Vultr

CPUs

  • All servers have 2 to 4 dedicated cores
  • In 2021 we started launching servers with “high-frequency” or “premium” CPU configurations where available (Digital Ocean or Vultr)

RAM

  • All servers run 4-8GB RAM
  • In 2021 we started launching new servers with a minimum of 8GB RAM

Storage

  • All storage is solid state for speed
  • Premium NMVe SSD drives are used where avaialble

Server Environment

  • Minimum PHP 7.3
  • Server launched beyond 2021 utilize PHP 7.4
  • PHP 8 is available
  • PHP FPM
  • MySQL or MariaDB
  • Apache (serves dynamic files)
  • NGINX (serves static files)
  • Varnish
  • Memcache
  • Redis

Server Load

We never allow a server to have an average usage of over 50% of available resources. When this becomes the norm we launch a new server. In fact most our servers utilize only 10% of their CPU capacity and 25% of their RAM capacity on average, ensuring we are ready for sudden changes in traffic.

We also utilize static page caching via plugin and Varnish on all our hosted sites/servers to increase performance and keep resource usage steady.  Additionally all hosted sites utilize a global CDN with a permanent cache on the edge. This means that static files such as images, videos, pdfs, javascript files, etc are only ever requested from the web server once before being stored in separate data centers in Los Angelos and New York where they are then delivered via the global CDN system without hitting our web servers again. Of course this cache gets cleared with updates etc. We boast an average 86.4% cache hit rate* at the CDN level.

* statistic from February 2022

Application Isolation

Each application (website) is isolated from the rest, thus preventing application level issues to compromise the entire server.

Server Based Services

  • Server based firewalls
  • Managed backups
  • Performance Monitoring
  • Managed Security
  • Staging sites deployed quickly
  • Auto renewing SSL Certificates

Client Access

  • SFTP
  • SSH (locked to client’s environment), not activated if not requested
  • MySQL Web GUI
  • Hosting control panel available

Fully Managed Servers

Cloudways Gold Agency Partner We are a Cloudways Gold Agency Partner and therefore do all of our hosting through Cloudways. Cloudways is not actually a hosting company but a managed server company. They offer us the ability to spin up servers with Digital Ocean, Vultr, Amazon AWS, Google and Linode. Typically when you get a server with one of these companies, everything is on you: from installing the correct server-ware, dealing with security, monitoring it, installing websites, setting up firewalls and more. This is great if you you have server engineers on the ready and custom configurations you need to manage. However we just want to host websites.

This is where Cloudways comes in. They have put together best-of-class server environment for hosting WordPress websites and when we order a server through Cloudways, we get that environment. However the service does not end there. Cloudways then monitors that server, responds to any issues, ensures the latest security patches are installed and provides access to knowledgeable engineers when we are working to troubleshoot a specific client issue.

What Our Cloudways Agency Partnership Means

We maintain a direct partnership with with Cloudways and benefit from:

  • Priority support w/ a dedicated partnership manager
  • Software support (not just server support)
  • 24/7 incident response
  • Security services
  • Early access to new features

In other words we are not just one of hundreds of customers reselling cheap space who have to wait in the same support hold queues as everybody else.

Dedicated Servers