Archive for May, 2008

Web Cluster : Don’t Try This at Home

Published on May 29, 2008 at 1:45 pm by iWeb-Olivier in: Web Hosting Articles

A Swedish working in the movie industry has built is own cluster in order to improve the rendering speed of its videos. To do so, he had to use a typically Swedish product : an IKEA cabinet.

Of course, it is an interesting experiment, but it has nothing to do with web clusters as offered by iWeb. A cluster to execute tasks such as video rendering needs a smaller system.

A web cluster uses at least two servers and load balancers to ensure high disponibity of your web services. A little drawing ?


The web cluster uses load balancing to send your visitors? requests to available servers. If a server fails, it is automatically removed from the available servers pool and your visitors are sent to servers capable of serving your web site’s functionalities.

Note that we don’t have any IKEA cabinets in our datacenters.

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Installing Wordpress on its birthday

Published on May 27, 2008 at 1:12 pm by iWeb-Olivier in: Web Development Articles

wordpressBlogs are a huge part of what constitutes today’s web. Their growth is exponential, and content publishing systems for blogs are constantly improving. It is the case of Wordpress, one of the most popular of those softwares. Wordpress (which powers this blog, by the way), provide tools to easily manage a blog.

Today is Wordpress fifth anniversary.

Recently, Automattic published Wordpress’ 2.5 version which brings many changes such as a brand new design for its dashboard. The new version allows, among other things :

- Multi-file upload with progress bar;
- Tag management;
- Password strength meter;
- Few-click plugin upgrades;
- Built-in galleries.

Installing Wordpress on iWeb?s servers is pretty easy, and many options are available. Wordpress requires a hosting plan including Apache and PHP and a MySQL database. It is therefore possible to use it on all iWeb?s servers under Linux

Shared hosting : Shared hosting customers that benefit from Panelbox can use the ?instant presence? to install Wordpress in one click. Just visit the ?Software? section and choose ?Fantastico? to access the installation menu. For others, simply upload to your server Wordpress’ files through FTP protocol and follow the installation instructions provided by Wordpress.

Dedicated hosting : If your dedicated server uses a control panel like Plesk or cPanel where Fantastico is installed, you can also install Wordpress in one click. Otherwise, you can always follow Wordpress’ instructions on their website.

Usually, in order to operate a simple blog, a shared hosting environment is enough. However, the popularity of some bloggers is so huge that their sites receive many thousands visitors a day. Many of the top bloggers are using Wordpress as their blogging platform. What about you ?

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Shaved Head Challenge : encourage an iWeb employee

Published on May 22, 2008 at 11:26 am by iWeb-Olivier in: iWeb Articles

For a second year in a row, one of iWeb’s employee participates in the Shaved Head Challenge which aims at collecting funds to fight children’s cancer. This time, Yves Lafond, Customer accounts manager, is going to shave is head for the cause.


The Shaved Head Challenge, organized by LEUCAN is five years old and since then, 16,000 persons from Québec got their head shaved. You’d agree that it’s a lot of hairs !

In 2007, the event set a new record of 6,550 shaved heads and raised close to $3.4 million! It was held in 26 locations throughout the province“, as explained on the Challenge website.

We would like to invite you to encourage Yves before june 8th in order for him to reach his 1000$ objective, an amount of money that will help, let’s hope, to give better living conditions to sick children who should not have to suffer this way.

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iWeb spins for cancer

Published on May 21, 2008 at 11:37 am by iWeb-Olivier in: iWeb Articles

As planned, iWeb’s employees spinned for the cause of cancer last friday during the Yellow Pages Spinothon. The event went really well and (almost) every registrants have taken up the challenge.

We have made a little video of this day highlights, a day which ended with an happy hour in iWeb’s backyard. A great opportunity to try our brand new barbecue. Note that the video is a subtle reference to the Tour de France and is a tribute to the strength of character of our cyclists.

Here are some photographs taken during the day :

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Stéphane Guérin : Why It Pays to Outsource Server Management

Published on May 20, 2008 at 1:14 pm by iWeb-Olivier in: Customer Cases, Web Hosting Articles

To illustrate the various ways our customers use our services, to demonstrate the benefits from outsourcing web hosting, to give a little visibility to our clients which often offers great services, or simply to present different points of vue on the web hosting industry, we though it would be a good idea to invite bloggers on iWeb’s blog.

Let’s begin with Stéphane Guérin, a well-known blogger in Québec and France who is also running Percute Technologies, a web analytics service which is getting more and more popular. Thanks to Stéphane to have accepted our invitation.

image-6.pngSteph and hosting

iWeb Technologies asked me if I would be interested in writing a blog about web hosting. There were two reasons behind the request: 1. iWeb’s purpose is to host people like me. 2. Because for people like me, having servers in a secure environment is critical… and I just plain liked the idea, so let’s go.

So, Steph, why is hosting important for you?

As for many people, I am really busy. Web development is my expertise, not server management. Espacially not hardware, which is something I don’t get along with. In order to host my sites such as Tout Le Monde en Blogue, my blog, or a critical online application like Percute Analytique, I need top quality servers, but also an environment and support to ensure a 99.99% uptime.

As a small business, we don’t have the means and ressources to maintain a quality datacenter: server updates, backups, generator, cooling system, security, etc. And I won’t even talk about the network administrator I would have to hire.


But Steph, why are you hosting your sites in Montreal at iWeb?

Let me tell you an anecdote to illustrate my point. While looking for the lowest price, I had found a host in Kentucky (not the chicken guy, but the state in the USA). For a still unknown reason, they closed my account without any warning and without any possibility of recuperating my data. Can you imagine the mess ?

Fortunately, it was only the beginning of my operations so I did not lose much. It could however have been really tragic if it had come further along the line. . Since then, I have sworn that I would never outsource my servers someplace I could not reach to kick some butt if need be.

Why iWeb ?

Ironically, after explaining my anecdote on my blog, iWeb’s boss (I’ve got VIP readers, you know !) offered their services. By talking with him, I realized iWeb had really competitive prices. Furthermore, they speak my language, what else could I ask ?

Why don’t you host everything at your place?

I’ve talked about it a little already : it’s to complicated when you’re not a specialist. Until we have enough volume to justify investing in a room with regularly updated servers, it isn’t worth it. And there is always the people I’d have to hire. Not many businesses can afford such infrastructure.

Manage my own servers? As little as possible. Outsource to experts using a turnkey service where I have nothing to do except taking care of my sites? Count me in !

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