Deepest Sender Firefox Plugin

Wow. I found a great Firefox PlugIn called “Deepest Sender” which can be found at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1811. This plugin allows you to connect and send posts to WordPress from within a FireFox Sidebar. In fact I am sending this post from the Deepest Sender plugin. I love technology. And Firefox. In that order.

13 Disasters for Production Websites and Solutions

Choosing the right hosting provider
Our experience with several bad hosting companies gave us valuable lessons on choosing the right hosting company. We started with very cheap hosting providers and gradually went to one of the most expensive hosting providers in USA – Rackspace. Rackspace is insane when it comes to cost and good service quality. Their technicians are very well trained and their Managed Hosting plan offers onsite Sys Admin and DBA to take care of your servers and database. They can solve SQL Server 2005 issues as well as IIS related problems that we frequently had to solve ourselves. So, when you choose a hosting provider, make sure they have Windows 2003 and IIS 6.0 experts as well as SQL Server 2005 experts. While running production systems, there’s always probability that you will fall into trouble which is beyond your capability. Having onsite skilled technicians is the only way for you to survive such disasters.

I have built a check list for choosing the right hosting provider from my experience:

Test ping time of a server in the same data center where you will get a server. Ping time is less than 40ms within USA and around 250ms average from several other countries including London, Singapore, Brazil, and Germany.
Ensure multiple backbone connectivity and intelligent routing capability that can choose the best hop from different countries. Do tracert from different countries and ensure the server is available within 10 to 14 hops from anywhere in the world. If your hosting provider is in USA, from anywhere in USA the server should be available within 5 to 8 hops.
Ensure there are only 3 hops from the Internet backbone to your server. You can verify this by checking the last 3 entries in tracert. The last entry should be your server IP and two entries back should be the Internet backbone provider. This ensures there’s only one gateway between your server and the Internet backbone. If there’s more hops, that means they have a complex network and you will waste latency within the internal network of your hosting provider.
24×7 Phone support to expert technicians. Call them on a Weekend night and give them a complex technical problem. If the crew says he/she is only filling in for the real experts until they get back to office on Monday, discard them immediately. A good hosting provider will have expert technicians available at 3 AM on Saturday night. You will mostly need technicians on Saturday and Sunday late night in order to do maintenance and upgrade.
Live Chat support. This helps immensely when you are travelling and you cannot make a phone call.
You can customize your dedicated servers as you want. They do not limit you to predefined packages. This will give an indication that they have in-house technicians who can build and customize servers.
They can provide you all kinds of software including SQL Server Enterprise edition, Microsoft Exchange 2007, Windows 2003 R2, Windows Longhorn Server etc. If they can’t, they do not have a good software vendor. Don’t bet your future on them.
They must be able to provide you with 15K RPM SCSI drives and SAN (Storage Area Network). If they can’t, don’t consider them. You won’t be able to grow your business with the provider if they don’t have these capabilities.
Before you setup a whole data center with a hosting provider, make sure you get one server from them. While ordering the server, order something that you will need in 2 years from now on. See how fast and how reliably they can hand over a server like this to you. This will be an expensive experiment to do. But if you ever get into a bad hosting provider without doing this experiment, the time and money you will lose to get out of them is much more than the cost of the experiment.