Welcome!

You will be redirected in 30 seconds or close now.

ColdFusion Authors: Yakov Fain, Jeremy Geelan, Maureen O'Gara, Nancy Y. Nee, Tad Anderson

Related Topics: ColdFusion

ColdFusion: Article

How to Find the Right Hosting Service

How to Find the Right Hosting Service

ColdFusion developers are faced with lots of choices when trying to find a ColdFusion hosting service that meets their needs. It can be tough locating a host that offers the right combination of features, service, and support at a price that's right for a variety of developers. In the March 2003 issue (CFDJ, Vol. 5, issue 3), we conducted our first interview with a ColdFusion hosting provider. This month, we interview Edgewebhosting.net CEO Vlad A. Friedman for the skinny on his company's ColdFusion hosting services.

CFDJ: Tell us a little bit about your company. How did you get started in the hosting business?
Friedman: Edgewebhosting.net was started almost 5 years ago as a division of ACS&S, Inc., a 12-year-old systems integration and consulting firm. As our consulting arm grew into development of Web technologies, we started utilizing the services of several hosting companies for our clients. After a relatively short time, we realized there was a great divide in the marketplace between the service providers and ColdFusion developers (their customers).

Few if any of these companies offered what we would have considered quality hosting and support services, and most treated their customers quite poorly. At that point we began to offer hosting services with service-level agreements and a quality of service and support that we felt customers deserved. ACS&S was retitled and Edgewebhosting.net was born. Our growth was paced and managed effectively to completely remove any dependencies on outside funding. This has allowed us to maintain high quality of service even through tumultuous financial markets, as most of our competitors continue to lose staff and resources. After 5 years, we have grown and built a state-of-the-art data center facility that hosts tens of thousands of Web sites, and allows us to effectively handle our exceptional growth rate, which has exceeded 80% per year.

CFDJ: Why ColdFusion hosting?
Friedman: We chose ColdFusion for several reasons. First, we already had a staff of developers that were familiar with the product. Second, ASP was not yet a mature development environment. Last, we felt that we could provide better service than any other provider in the marketplace since we already had the in-house talent to provide support services. Originally, our goal was to bring in more consulting business via the relationships we built with the clients. Over time we learned that our original premise was flawed. There were so many developers upset with the service they received from their hosting providers that they swarmed into our data center. Now, hosting has become the primary service that we offer, accounting for over 85% of the company's revenue. Developers now encompass over 90% of our clientele, and consulting has become just a convenience service that we offer to a few select long-term clients.

CFDJ: What version(s) of ColdFusion do you support?
Friedman: We offer ColdFusion 5, ColdFusion MX, as well as ASP and .NET hosting. We are also investigating additional opportunities to potentially begin offering BlueDragon hosting.

CFDJ: What do you feel separates you from other companies that offer ColdFusion hosting?
Friedman: I would say it's our focus and tools specifically designed for developers and resellers. Our primary goal as part of our mission statement is to provide our customers with the best service experience they have ever received from any IT company, no exceptions. This is the primary goal of every engineer on our support team. Every call into our support center is answered by either a Level 3 CF developer or NOC (Network Operations Center) engineer. There are never any confusing phone trees or trainees answering calls in our facility.

Although none of us is perfect, our Real-Time Error Notification service allows our developer customers to appear that way. Our servers deliver real-time information to developers on all errors that occur on their customers' Web sites, including the page, refer, error, all CGI variables, browser, and several other useful tidbits of information necessary to debug coding errors. That way, problems can be corrected before the customer even knows about them.

We've developed a unique technology called The ColdFusion Self-Healer, which runs on every server in our facility. It monitors for a number of different ColdFusion and IIS problems, and automatically resolves 90% of them with no human interaction in 60 seconds or less. In these scenarios, most problems are resolved before a user even has the opportunity to pick up the phone and call to report a problem.

Our support system has been developed from the ground up with developers in mind. It allows for multiple technicians/developers/site owners to manage all of their sites, configuration, and support tickets from one console. One central administrator can monitor all of their sites, as well as tickets for all of the developers with access to each of the sites.

Our reseller plans allow developers to start receiving up to 50% discounts off our retail prices almost immediately, as compared to the 10-20 required accounts with some of our competitors. This compensates developers for the time they already spend with their clients handling Level 1 support tasks.

We have always believed that resellers and developers are our most important customers, and they have been the essential key to our growth. One of the keys in providing reliable service in a shared environment is not overutilizing your servers or infrastructure. Even on our entry-level CF accounts, we place no more than 65 Web sites per server. This ensures that the appropriate server resources are always available to our customers when they need them.

Many of our clients utilize our managed CF dedicated servers. This allows them to operate on a dedicated high-end platform without the knowledge and experience necessary to operate their own server. All backups, DNS, statistics, security patches, security management, e-mail, along with a number of other tasks, are handled by our NOC engineers, freeing our customers to focus on their greatest strengths: acquiring new clients and coding CF applications.

Our robust facility, powered by Cisco with N+1 redundancy built in, serves as a stable base of operations that achieves 99.998% network uptime for our clients. With advanced GlobalRoute technology, we can even automatically reroute traffic around most Internet brownouts, providing unsurpassed traffic delivery.

CFDJ: In terms of hosting ColdFusion sites, what aspect do you find most challenging?
Friedman: The most challenging yet fun aspect of hosting is diving into our customers' code (at their request) to troubleshoot an issue. We are often asked to determine the cause of performance-related issues caused by coding or design problems. It's quite stimulating to get a grasp on a customer's application architecture (that they may have spent years developing), in a relatively short time frame, and offer design and implementation suggestions that can often double or even triple performance.

CFDJ: Can you give our readers an overview of the types of hosting plans you offer, as well as the costs?
Friedman: Our entry-level shared ColdFusion account, Expert CFM plan starts at $49.95 retail ($24.95 for resellers/developers) per month. It includes CF 5 or MX, 75Mb of disk space, real-time Web statistics, and e-mail with POP3, IMAP, SMTP, and Webmail, as well as a wealth of additional features. As requirements grow, our Master CFM account at $99.95 ($49.95 for resellers/developers) per month includes 200Mb Web and 200Mb SQL Server 2000 space, SSL, and additional e-mail accounts. At our highest shared level, Semi-Private Service at $249.95 ($124.95 for resellers/developers) per month, we place only six Web sites per machine, allowing for the greatest reliability and flexibility for high-traffic sites.

CFDJ: If you could ask Macromedia for one enhancement to ColdFusion that would make your life as a hosting provider easier, what would it be?
Friedman: Instead of requesting a technical enhancement, I would ask Macromedia to spend its resources to provide better support and help the CF community grow. We believe strongly in ColdFusion as a platform and in Macromedia as a leader in Web technology, but for CF to grow and succeed there needs to be a large base of developers who understand both the benefits and the implementation of CF technology. This is the reason we provide free hosting to so many CFUGs and CF community Web sites. The larger and more educated the developer base, the larger the opportunities in the marketplace. Remember, most often, the technologists, not management, drive architecture decisions.

CFDJ: Who can readers contact for more information, or to open an account?
Friedman: Readers can contact our sales department at 888-428-2752, e-mail [email protected], or just go to our Web site at http://edgewebhosting.net to read more about what types of services we offer. Our engineers are always ready and able to answer your questions.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Connected devices and the industrial internet are growing exponentially every year with Cisco expecting 50 billion devices to be in operation by 2020. In this period of growth, location-based insights are becoming invaluable to many businesses as they adopt new connected technologies. Knowing when and where these devices connect from is critical for a number of scenarios in supply chain management, disaster management, emergency response, M2M, location marketing and more. In his session at @Th...
"Dice has been around for the last 20 years. We have been helping tech professionals find new jobs and career opportunities," explained Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
The WebRTC Summit New York, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 20th International Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo. WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web ...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, will share examples from a wide range of industries – includin...
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
"We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, director/senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effici...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
"IoT is going to be a huge industry with a lot of value for end users, for industries, for consumers, for manufacturers. How can we use cloud to effectively manage IoT applications," stated Ian Khan, Innovation & Marketing Manager at Solgeniakhela, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, provided an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data professionals...
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Onalytica. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.