Archive for November, 2009
This week at AGL Host, two of our members of staff have been busy building a computer network for another company on our business park.
After hosting this companies website and supplying/maintaining their email system for several months we were approached and asked if we would be interested in supplying a new IT system - we were more than happy to provide this service.
The task involves building 4 computers and one file server, networking and installing them. To help ensure a good level of quality, we decided to build all the computers from scratch. The client also requested that the new windows 7 operating system was installed.
Over the last 2 weeks our office has been filling up with computer parts arriving from all over the country, at one point we could hardly get in the door of our office with new computer parts in the way!
This week two of our members of staff, Jamie & Chris have been busy building these computers. They have all been built and are ready to install early next week.
Here is an attached photo of some of the computers in our office after the build:
All computers are Intel dual core with 2GB of ram, running windows 7. Perfect for office use, offering good performance with high quality branded components – go grey lumps of OEM!
The new windows operating system windows 7 at first look is quite impressive. It looks really nice, it boots much faster than vista and is a nice update from XP.
However in a business environment, its not all that good!
Many businesses will run a file server for their staff. One of the most popular server platforms by far is Linux. Many from the Linux camp will argue that the server war is over, Linux offers a far better solution.
The normal way of creating a Linux file server is to use a program call Samba on your server. If you run Samba under Ubuntu it is a simple, you will be up and running within a few mintues. After installing Samba, our Mac and XP machines were using our Unbuntu file server right away with no problems. How about windows 7?
Well it seems the greedy people at Microsoft dont like you using other server platforms apart from windows server, (which buying a copy of windows server will break the bank) so they have decided to do the upmost to prevent Samba working with the new operating system. Thank You Microsoft.
How about using a mac file server? well that is the same as Linux, windows 7 refused to pickup our mac file server also. It seems microsoft’s view is that they will force competitors out of the marketplace by restricting access to their products.
However there may be a light on the horizon, the new version of samba (3.4.3) is supposed to fix microsft’s attempt at forcing businesses to use their operating system. However sadly, on our ubuntu setup the latest samba would not install.
From a consumer point of view, this really puts you off buying microsft products, especially when they are hugely overpriced compared to their Apple and Linux based competitors.
All websites that moved over to the new web server (marvin) went live wednesday. As previously described the new server will offer increase performance accorss our network by helping to balance the load.
We have a few reports from clients moved over to marvin that they are missing a few emails from the start of the week until wednesday. We have been working had to resolve this issue and help ensure that no client has experienced any data loss.
If you have been moved over to our new web server and feel you may be missing some emails, please contact support. We will be able to issue you with temporary access to your previous web server where your missing emails slipped into.
We announced last week that we will be introducing a new web server to the AGL-Host network. Today we are very pleased to announce that the new server is now live. To help spread the load, we have moved several clients over to the new web server. – we have also moved our main site agl-host.co.uk over to the new server!
When a new server comes online it is always traditional to give the server a name, this is used to help identify the server on our network. The new web server we have decided to name Marvin. The name Marvin is taken from the manic depressant computer from the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy series.
For those of you with geeky tendencies, here is some of the techy info of the new server and its connection.
As with our other web servers, marvin runs on a linux distribution with cPanel installed. The server is a Dell PowerEdge box with dual Nehalem CPUs (16 Hypertheaded cores). The server features a RAID-10 disk array which enables fault tolerance. The latest DDR3 ram sticks are also installed.
The connection speed ..
As with our other web servers, marvin runs on a Gigabit uplink with a guaranteed 20mbit connection.
So far so good ..
Marvin seems at home with at AGL Host, the server load at the moment is nice and low, not having gone above 1.0. Over the coming weeks we are expecting all web hosting orders will be installed on marvin.
We have very pleased to announce that we have a new additional web server just come online.
For anyone who is a fan of the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy we decided to call the new web server Marvin. Marvin played a powerful yet manic depressant computer in the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy series.
In order to help spread the load, we will be moving several clients over to marvin. This move will take place over the next three days.
During the move, we are expecting there to be little to no down time to your web hosting services. No action is required on your part, all your files and data will be safely moved over.
We have emailed all clients who will be moved over to the new server. If you received an email and manage your own domain name, please ensure that the name servers of your domain name are set to:
Marvin will offer improved performance and will continue our aim to provide a fast reliable hosting service for all our customers.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this, please do not hesitate to contact us
Blogging seems to be getting more and more popular, anyone and everyone seems to own a blog these days. Setting up a blog could seem a bit of a daunting task, there are several options – free hosted blogs, paid blogs or even creating your own script.
If you are a coder, creating your own blog from scratch might seem appealing – however you will have a lot to compete with. The latest offering for Word Press features a vast array of features that would take the coder months to design.
Over the last few months we have been playing about with several blogging platforms. It seems that the best options for most bloggers would be WordPress. WordPress is a easy to use free script. It is also widely supported, therefore users will have a vast array of free addons to select from – from twitter integration, to SEO packs.
Blogging For SEO
Having a blog is one thing, but people need to find it. Getting a high ranking in the search engines and getting search engines to regularly index your blog is key. This is again where WordPress excels – the ping feature makes sure when you make a new post your blog automatically tells all the right people. Also the SEO pack for WordPress will make sure all the search engines will fall in love with your blog.
Blogging on the go
You may not always be at home, but still want to blog. If you own a iPhone WordPress is the best option. iPhone users can download a free WordPress Apps which enables you to connect an make posts easily from your phone. We tested this app a few months ago, it works really well and is simple to use – the best thing is this app is free.
WordPress, is there a negative?
WordPress offers a 5 minute install guide. For people who have a geek element wont have any issues installing wordpress. However one person we asked to install the script who is quite computer literate found the wordpress easy install guide quite a challenge.
However there is a positive .. At AGL Host all our web hosting plans feature an automatic installer for wordpress. Simply key in your account info and hit install … then you are done!
As mentioned previously in this blog, backing up your data is crucial. In the modern office, valuable data is often held on computers, no longer on paper sitting in filing cabinets. While this brings many advantages to the office environment, it also creates problem areas.
If the server or PC holding your valuable data has a hardware failure everything is lost. Also, what if your office is broken into? Today we were contacted by one of our clients asking to change their passwords on their email systems after their shop was broken into and all their computers stolen. The client did regularly back up all their data, however only to an external hard drive, which was also kept in the shop. As a result when the shop was broken into, all the computer hardware was stolen, and all data vital to the business was lost.
So backing up may be one thing, but where do you backup to? In our option you should always keep offsite regular backups of all your data for exactly this reason. At AGL Host, we are able securely backup all your valuable data via our FTP service. So if anything ever does happen to your computer or office server, all your data will be kept safe.
If you would like to discuss how we can provide backup solutions for you or your business. Please feel free to contact us.
The Mighty Mouse is no more, we expect many apple fans will be very pleased to hear this news. The Mighty mouse was often slated by users. From personal experience we found the mighty mouse had a poor right click, and a scroll wheel which was always sticking and clogging up – so the replacement could not have come soon enough.
The replacement for the Mighty Mouse is named the Magic Mouse – bit of a odd choice of name?
To show you what the magic mouse is like, please view the youtube video below:
At AGL Host one of our members of staff, chris upgraded to the magic mouse last weekend. Thoughts so far is that is is a great mouse.
The Magic Mouse is very comfortable to use for long periods of time, and have a very accurate sensor. The new ability to use finger gestures makes working even easier. The mouse does not have any buttons or a scroll wheel, instead the whole surface of the mouse acts as the left and right click. Also, you can run your finger up and down the mouse to act as a scroll wheel. As with all apple products, the mouse has a very good quality feel and is pleasing to the eye.
A CNET review of the magic mouse claimed that logitech’s alternative was better, however their offering has a very plastic look and is shaped for use only for right handers - so left handed people cant use the mouse. Whereas with the magic mouse, both left handers and right handers can easily get to grips with this mouse.
Our view on the new Apple Magic Mouse – 10/10.
At AGL Host, we are not just a web hosting company. Our sister company JC Peters (based in northampton) specialises in web design, graphic design.
We have been working with JC peters this week to produce a online youtube video portfolio of featuring an overview of our latest web design work.
Please feel free to check out the youtube video below:
Your feedback on this video is very welcome!
Last month we launched our business hosting plans. Included in these plans is a private IP address.
As previously mentioned, a private IP can help with your search engine ranking. With normal web hosting, you will share the same IP address as other users on your server. For most websites this is not a problem, however if achieving a high search engine ranking plays a key role to your business, a private IP address may be a beneficial option.
Having a private IP address unique to your website helps ensure that your website is seen as independent by the major search engines such as google. Therefore your sites ranking will not be affected by other users on your server.
If you are a current agl host customer and dont want to move to a business plan, but would like a private IP address for your website, we are now able to offer this bolt-on. For £39.99 per year we will be able to install a private IP address to your website.
For more information on setting up a private IP address for your website or to upgrade, please open a support ticket – or give is a call.