What’s inside a Brownrice SmartVPS?

What goes into the Brownrice SmartVPS?  First off, we use OpenVZ as our virtualization software. OpenVZ container virtualization is by far the best solution for our customers because 1) Its wicked fast and 2) We can configure it so that our custom AutoTune, AutoScale, and Server Management scripts can enter your container seamlessly to monitor and ensure that things are always finely optimized without you having to do anything.

We love all Linux distros but we’ve been running and configuring CentOS since the early 2000’s so we know it really well.  So that’s what we use for our container OS’s. CentOS also has a huge user community and is a rock-solid server distribution.  It just works. Always.

Inside your container we use the Apache web server and MySQL database server.  Both are always monitored and automatically tuned.  Our scripts also custom-compile PHP to whichever version you want – which enables us to provide lots of extra goodies inside of PHP for you.  And we run both memcached and Redis for you so that your applications can connect to either if you want the caching speed boosts that both offer.

From the server management side we back up the entire container OS every night and keep copies in two data centers (ours and another that is 120 miles away) and keep those backups for 3 months.

And of course we automatically install free SSL certificates for every site that you have on a SmartVPS.

There’s about 1,000 other things we do for these SmartVPS’s to ensure that they are super-fast and easy for you and your developer to work with them, but I won’t bore you with those.

Questions?

Thank you!

~ Oban

 

Quad SSD on RAID-10 hosting with free SSL

Quad SSD hosting

Hosting web sites on a 4xSSD Brownrice SmartVPS is so fast it’ll make even the slowest sites rip!

After extensive testing we’ve super-charged our SmartVPS platform so that every new SmartVPS ($7.95 per month, 2GB RAM, 1 CPU core, 10GB 4xSSD disk) comes with the fastest disk IO currently on the hosting market. These SSD’s are powered by LSI RAID cards in a RAID-10 configuration, which means that they are twice as fast as normal SSD disk systems, and four times as reliable.

Keep in mind that our 4xSSD SmartVPSs already come loaded with our revolutionary AutoTune service that constantly monitors 30 performance metrics and fine tunes Apache and MySQL to take advantage of your servers memory, CPU and traffic loads.

And on top of all of this every web site and subdomain that you host with us automatically receives free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates, which goes like this: Make site live, wait 20 minutes, get free SSL certificate.  No clicks, no email verification, no money.

So contact us and we’ll move your site from its current slow-hosting to a Brownrice SmartVPS. We’re migration specialists and do this for free. Then sit back and enjoy your happy customers and watch your Google rankings climb.

 

 

Double RAM again!

We’ve doubled the amount of RAM our SmartVPS customers now receive.  So for just $9.95 you’ll get a managed VPS that can AutoScale, tunes itself, and come with 2GB’s RAM and 40Gb’s of disk space.  You can host a lot of sites or handle a lot of traffic with these bad-boys!Brownrice Internet

Letsencrypt, Free, Automated SSL certificates for life!

Letsencrypt automated SSL

Letsencrypt automated SSL – No click SSL!

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve fully automated our LetsEncrypt SSL installation process for all of our Managed VPS customers.

What does this mean?  This means that every Brownrice Managed VPS customer receives UNLIMITED FREE SSL certificates for every web site on any Managed Brownrice VPS.  Forever!

And the other great thing about this is that our SSL process is 100% seamless and 100% automated.  How seamless and automated you ask?

  1. Sign up for a Brownrice Managed SmartVPS ($9.95 w/ 1GB RAM & 40GB disk)
  2. Login to responsive, fantastic dashboard and set up new web site by clicking a few buttons.
  3. Point DNS to your new web site (i.e. make it live!) by clicking a couple more buttons.
  4. Wait 1 hour.
  5. Done. (SSL certificate issued and site secured without email verification.)

Repeat above steps 2 through 3 for as many sites and subdomains as you like.  Zero additional charges.

No hands SSL!

By the way this SSL certificate will be renewed every three months, automatically, without you touching a thing.

Want to start?  Sign up here and we’ll have your VPS up and running in minutes!

(More questions?  See our SSL FAQ.)

 

 

Announcing VPS Auto-Tune!

Brownrice Internet

Brownrice Internet VPSs

After a full year in development and testing Brownrice Internet has just released our revolutionary VPS Auto-Tune Service.

What is VPS Auto-Tune and why do you need it?

One of the secrets of hosting companies and systems administrators world-wide is that web and database servers that are left in their default configurations run horribly slow.

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Shared Hosting Vs VPS Hosting?

While Shared hosting ($8.95 per month) can be great, affordable solution for starting web site or blog, a VPS (Virtual Private Server: $19.95 per month) offers significant advantages for web site owners who place a premium on speed, security and scalability.

A few advantages of VPS’s over Shared Hosting account:

  • Guaranteed Speeds.  A Shared Hosting account must share the CPU’s and Memory (RAM) of its server with up to 150 other web sites (other hosting companies will pack up to 300 sites on a shared server.)   This is not the case with a VPS.  A VPS receives guaranteed CPU and RAM so other web sites will not slow it down.
  • Enhanced Security.  On a shared server we have to loosen our security measures since we are protecting up to 150 other web sites. With a VPS we are able to tighten security measures because we are only protecting one web site.  Its the difference between protecting one person verse protecting a group of people.  Its a whole lot harder to protect the group.
  • Instant Scalability.  With a VPS we can immediately increase the amount of visitors that it can handle to accommodate a sudden an increase in traffic.  For example, when your site is linked from a popular site like CNN.com.   Instant scalability is not possible with Shared Hosting as the site would actually taken offline in the event of a large spike in traffic so that it doesn’t slow down the other 150 sites on the same server.
  • Unlimited site hosting.  With a Shared Hosting account you can host one web site.  With a VPS account you can host as many as you like without increasing your monthly cost.
  • More tools for your developer.  Since a VPS is your own server your developer has access to everything on the server, which makes them happier and more productive.  On Shared Hosting, since its a shared server, this is not possible.

 

Hope this helps!

~ Oban

Target Hack Phishing email scores a 9.00!

I’m super impressed with this Phishing email.  Its the best I’ve seen and if it weren’t for just a couple of easy-to-fix mistakes it would have scored a perfect 10.00!

Here’s the back story:  Target was hacked early last month.  That was big news that most people are aware of.  My wife and I were even sent new credit cards as a result.  But what you might not have heard of was the impressive level of phishing emails that are being sent out now targeting (heh, get it?) these customers.  So read along and I’ll dissect this particularly good one using our Olympic, Sochi-style scoring.  First, a screen shot of the original email:

 

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This blog has seven days to get hacked

I’m speaking at Wordcamp Albuquerque 2013 a week from today.  My session is called Hacked!  How they hack it and how you clean it where I’ll dissect a real-life WordPress hack and show everyone how I suavely and bravely root out the hacker, sleuthily determine how he got into the site, and then kick him out and slam the door behind him.

However, there’s a problem.  I figured there would certainly be a WordPress hack on one of our hosted customer sites between when I signed up for the talk a few months ago and now.  I’ve waited and waited, and shockingly, all of our customers have listened to us and have been keeping up with their WordPress updates.   So we haven’t had a single WordPress hack to clean up.

So I need this blog to get hacked.  The sooner the better.

Oh, and to speed this thing along and I’ve reverted this blog’s WordPress code back to WordPress 3.0.  This blog currently has more vulnerabilities than a president asking congress to approve a bombing on a mideast country.

I’ll update this blog and our twitter account with daily updates on my situation.  Stay tuned.   This could get interesting.  Or embarrassing.

How many visits can a virtual server handle?

 

There are a lot of variables that go into how many hits and visits a virtual server can handle; from how efficient the site’s code is, to how beefy the host server is, to how over-sold the host server is (among other things.)   Regardless, I still thought you might be interested in seeing some real numbers from a popular web site that we host on a virtual server:

Month Total Visitors Visitors per Day Unique Visitors Unique Ratio Pages Hits BW
April 2013 285,598 9,519.9 183,722 64% 3,521,151 31,729,312 1,149.2G

 

In April, on a 4GB RAM virtual server, this site served pages to 285,000 visitors and had 31.7 million hits.

Breaking this down further we might assume that a similarly coded web application could handle about 70,000 visitors on a 1GB RAM ($39.95 per month) virtual server and about 35,000 visitors on a 512MB RAM ($19.95 per month) Brownrice virtual server.

 

What security tools do we use?

Clamav

Clamav

 

What tools does Brownrice use to alert us to a compromised hosted web site or server?  Let me show you:

OSSECA great open source tool that constantly monitors server log files and file systems in real-time. OSSEC’s log monitoring helps with an important part of PCI Compliance, it can be configured to automatically block bad guys from doing bad things, and its a fantastic tool for post-mortem hack analysis.  We have OSSEC installed on all of our hosting servers, virtual servers, and managed customer servers.  It reports back to a mother-ship server so we can keep an eye on things from a central location.

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