This a question one of our good client’s asked me one day and I have to admit I wasn’t prepared for this one, it’s something we’ve never put active thought in but was rather a matter of instinct. While we do use various OS’s for different platforms including our own in-house Linux, Cloud, Hosting Control Panel, applications and clients including BSD based OS’s such as FreeBSD, this is something we’ve never been asked.
RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) has been a clear leader since the early days of providing a standardized, mission critical platform for business applications in the Linux/Unix environment. It was actually my first Linux install back when I was in highschool and I’ve personally maintained Unix/Linux systems for over 16 years now. In that time I have found the strengths and weaknesses of RHEL in terms of our business and clients. However, the Centos project is a legal clone of RHEL with the only difference being artwork and the name Centos it functions identically as RHEL and is completely Open Source.
Since our team of experts does everything in-house we don’t really on Vendor support, it means when something is going on with a server we can solve the problem on our own very quickly with our own team. We don’t have the need to call a third party and ask how-to fix the problem and in fact it’s quicker for us to just do it ourselves whereas I’ve learned many organizations heavily rely on this type of third-party support. The goal with my ventures has always been that our teams should be self-sufficient for both security and efficiency.
Centos being Open Source is a huge advantage for us, we can customize and redistribute OS’s and deploy them on servers without having to touch a button or connect to monitor or KVM (yes I do realize RHEL can be installed headless/kickstart but not in the way we deploy our custom OS images-possibly for another blog). The only con with Centos is that there is a small delay in updates since it depends on the upstream source which is RHEL but this is a minor issue and all major updates are done to Centos almost instantly.
To conclude, my hats off to Linus Torvalds for inventing the Linux Kernel, the RHEL team and especially the CentOS team and I hope this explains why CentOS for my company’s is the best fit for our needs at the moment.
I believe teaching coding to kids in any form is a benefit for them regardless of their career path. It really exercises the brain and mind into solving problems in your mind and requires a lot of creativity. If they can learn coding at a young age it is likely they will continue to learn well in other areas for the rest of their life.
I don’t know if there is a magic number of when to start but if a child is able to use a computer to play games, they are probably capable of being introduced. I think it’s important to make it as a fun as possible and without too much pressure, which is obviously difficult at a younger age but part of getting them there is not just the coding, but if they start more advanced academics at a young age they are more likely to have the discipline to think things through.
A quick Google search makes it look like there is growing interest for kids and there are now platforms and services intended to help.
Another great thing about kids learning to code is that for children in impoverished areas of the world, who may have access to a computer can be on a level playing field. In IT you work from almost anywhere in the world and your talent can be recognized.
I just logged into two random dedicated servers and I am always happy about the time uptimes we have:
13:05:37 up 960 days, 21 min, 1 user, load average: 0.00, 0.01, 0.05
14:11:14 up 835 days, 18:01, 6 users, load average: 0.09, 0.02, 0.01
In the case of both servers they have never been down, they were literally installed on a rack from the time shown above.
The reason our uptime is always fantastic is not only because our facilities being out of the core disaster areas. We never overload or oversell our servers. We are not a budget provider, but still offer excellent value in my opinion. We’ve had a lot of clients switch to us from other hosts primarily based on the reasoning “no amount of features or gimmicks in the world matter if you have an unreliable service”.
Since one of our product offerings is offering hosting I’m often asked by friends and family which company they should use and where they should host, and which host is the best for their shared hosting, VPS or Dedicated Server.
Surprising to some the answer is not always, host with compevo but based on their actual needs and goals. If someone needs to host their site in Australia or another location we do not offer, I’m not going to suggest they host elsewhere unless there is a good reason or actual business case for it, or if they have a niche we don’t cover, I always recommend they find a niche provider for their industry and usually the company I recommend will not be the typical one most have heard of.
The biggest issue I find trying to help people is getting friends and family to understand what they need and to get the actual requirements from them. In the case that they can’t describe what they want then I’ll try to guide them.
For example I have a friend from Australia who has clients that are mainly from North America and Europe but said he wanted to host in Australia. I told him not to host in Australia as things tend to load a bit slower to most areas from Australia as its not on a main fiber route (eg. multiple routes with lots of traffic transiting since Australia is isolated by the ocean and has no other country physically connected to it). It would only make sense to host in Australia if most of your clientel were from Australia. I suggested he host in North America because it was a middle ground compared to Europe, specifically the mid or east which can provide low ping to most of Europe (in many cases around 100ms), and yet Asia and the rest of the world has excellent connectivity here too.
What surprises me about the questions I get is that a lot of people incorrectly assume they need a powerhouse of a server with loads of RAM to host their website. Unless you have a large amount of traffic that’s not going to be an issue for most sites so I try to save them money. In a case like the above I would normally recommend a VPS in Canada or the US as long as privacy is not a primary concern. If data security and privacy is of the utmost concern I usually recommend Hong Kong, China or Russia depending on the type of the business and if it has fierce competitors in the region it will be hosting.
Depending on what they are after and what they need,when I recommend compevo here’s where I’ve usually sent them:
compevo.cn for VPS in Hong Kong, China, Singapore and Dedicated Servers in China
compevo.com for VPS in Hong Kong near Mainland China
compevo.com Dedicated Servers on Linux and Windows in the USA with premium bandwidth
I’ll let the image for this post do the talking. It is a freshly installed Windows 2008 R2 Datacenter VPS that I quickly provisioned in my test lab (for testing :)). The only thing installed was ClamAV/ClamWIN and Firefox was open with a single tab.
However the memory usage itself was coming from something less obvious. This server boots up and initially uses “697MB” of RAM (quite hefty in my opinion at least compared to the lightweight world of Linux). From that point it only goes downhill in terms of memory usage.
The memory usage ballooned quickly to nearly 1.2GB and was steadily climbing all because of Windows Update doing updates.
This is staggering because many VPS Plans and providers will allow you to run Windows 2008 Server on as little as 512MB of RAM and as we can see below 1GB of RAM isn’t even enough. In fact it could be argued that the real minimum is probably at least 2GB for basic usage (which I define here is just running Windows Update!).
Windows poses unique challenges for virtualization environments and hosts because even a single Windows VPS will start swapping easily with less than 2GB of RAM. The problem with swapping of course is high and constant disk IO/bandwidth being consumed by a single VPS.
As shown in the pic above it doesn’t take much to get into high RAM usage territory and is also likely why some feel Windows does not run well in a virtual environment. In my experience it runs lightning fast and at bare-metal speed but it won’t seem that way if someone tries running it with less than 2GB of RAM.