Tag Archives: server

Top Five Reasons You Should use Google Apps for your Domain

Michael wrote me an email to share his list of reasons why you should be using Google Apps on your own domain… possibly even instead of something like Exchange.

  • Use your own domain. – This might not necessarily be a big deal to the vast majority of users but to people like me it is. For example i could use my own domain for my e-mail address. That gives me a much higher selection of (good) e-mail addresses than if i had a standard GMail, Yahoo!, hotmail etc. account. For example is it (for the most part) not possible to have an e-mail address like [email protected] usually you would have to accept having something like [email protected] not only is it longer, it also seems less professional (that of course is generally spoken). instead I can now have an e-mail address such as [email protected] Another thing is that Google also allows me to use my domain as a part of the URL that I write down to visit Googles services (such as GMail, Google Docs, Google Sites, etc.). that means that when I for example want to use Google docs or GMail I just have to visit mail.mydomain.com or docs.mydomain.com.
  • Use it with Google services. – Of course it is great that you can let Google take care of your e-mail system. but they do also deliver other great services such as Google docs which is a great office suite that does not require a local installation on your hard drive since all the software runs in your browser. Google also supplies with apps like Google Sites, Google calendar, etc. again and all of these apps run in your browser. that means that you do not waste up unnecessary hard drive space and you do not have to update the apps since Google takes care of that automatically.
  • Collaborate (without installation). – Another thing about “Google apps for your domain” is the great collaboration features. For instance, I could make a document in Google docs that someone else could edit at another point in time. This might not sound as a big deal since you could manually send the document to those that you are collaborating with. But Google apps takes care of that automatically. And if you wish for even more features you can also chat with those who are editing your document. Right from within your document!
  • It is free. – Google apps does not cost a dollar at all. Of course it requires you to purchase some kind of domain but that is usually fairly cheap. I pay around 7 dollars a year for my domain at www.cheapdomain.com. But Goolge themselves does not charge anything at all for this valuable service.
  • It is secure. – Yes, Google apps delivers a lot of secure things like a great spam-filter and anti-fishing in GMail. But what i find really secure is the fact that Googles servers take care of my e-mail, etc. and then also the fact that I use my own domain for my e-mail etc.. Googles servers are so fast and are almost never down (not working). that means that I am almost sure to get my e-mail as fast as possible. And since I can use my own domain name for my e-mail address I also know that if Google cancels my account then I can just use another e-mail service without changing my e-mail address. if my e-mail address were [email protected] and Google banned the account I would have lost the e-mail address forever.

Monitor Your Web Site's Uptime for Free

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I’ve been dealing with Web servers for more than 10 years now. I own my own dedicated servers at this point, and host through WebAir. I may be able to work out a deal for you, if you’re needing new service. Let’s look at how you can monitor your uptime. There are two websites dedicated to helping you monitor your website(s)… abosolutey for free!

On Mon.itor.us, you can register for free. Provide your email address(es) and website(s). They will send you an email anytime something goes down. You can also request “internal monitoring” to Inspect resource utilization and internal web services. Lastly, they also offer free visitor tracking, to help you understand your web users and business potential, marketing effectiveness and website load capacity.

Over at Montastic, you will Know when your site is down before the customer (or your boss) tells you! Here are a few of the free features you can expect:

  • Get an email when your site goes down.
  • Get an email when it goes back up.
  • Read statuses via RSS or Yahoo widget.
  • Fun, easy and elegant user interface.
  • No unreasonable limit on the number of websites monitored.

I recently had an incident where all of the sites running off of Pirillo.com had gone down completely. Apparently, one of the hard drives decided to become 100% filled up! My Server Admin, Allan was able to diagnose the problem and fix it for me thankfully. It was great to have these services email to tell me everything was borked, so I was able to get it taken care of immediately.

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Media Temple (mt) Grid Server Outage

For giggles (and scalability reasons), we set up a Media Temple (mt) “gs” account – setting up some of our sites on their new Grid Server service plan. This morning, it all went to hell. By the afternoon, I started to get antsy – and blitzed a request in their general direction. I received a response quickly, which pretty much said that I wasn’t the only user having issues on the Grid today. Then, in the early evening, I received this update – which I share with you now, in case you’re also a Media Temple gs customer:

This update is intended to summarize the many smaller micro-updates and progress that has been made with this issue since 4:25pm.

– Issues were discovered with the new firmware patch that was provided to (mt) Media Temple this afternoon. This new patch, which was designed to solve the stability issues with our storage segment, introduced new issues. The patch solved the crashing issues, yet introduced performance problems and possible incompatibilities with our GRID technology.

– BlueArc impressively has responded expediently throughout the issue and has escalated (mt)’s issue to the highest level within the company. Constant communication between engineering departments has remained all day.

– During the diagnostic phase (mt) Media Temple found techniques to dramatically reduce disk I/O load from the web segment. This improvement has been scheduled to roll into GRID Master Release (v.1.1). This action has restored the web segment to full performance while the root is issue is discovered.

– Performance issues in the email segment continue to come and go, currently exhaustive work is being done in this area.

– Commitment has been made by both teams to work continuously until permanent resolution is made.

I’m not quite sure what all of that means, but… I sure hope it doesn’t happen again. I mean, I don’t expect much for such a small amount of money, but Media Temple (in my mind) has one of the best Web hosting reputations on the planet – which is largely why we’re dipping our digital toes in their waters. Things seem okay again, although my Comcrap connection has made the Internets close to unbearable.