All Posts By

Davy Jones

Wanted: Full-time Customer Support Guru

By | Company News, Technical | One Comment

Due to recent growth Anchor is looking for full time customer service guru for immediate start, please find full details of the job listed in-line below: Anchor Systems is a leading Linux based web hosting provide in the Australian market. We are growing organisation and require intelligent, passionate people who want to learn everything there is to know about Linux system administration and web hosting in general. Our customer service representatives: * show initiative and are self motivated who are capable of working in a dynamic fast-paced environment that requires quick learning and intelligent solutions * have an excellent command of the English language as well as good phone manner * get a buzz out of assisting end users * are keen, creative and able to accurately identify problems *…

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VMware announce the new VMware 4 named vSphere

By | Company News, Technical | No Comments

VMware have just announced that the new version of VMware ESX will be called vSphere. Some of the announced features are: 64bit kernel and console operating system (COS) clustered VirtualCenter Servers ESX hosts profile management cross-hosts virtual networking 8-way virtual SMP virtual machines fault tolerance across multiple hosts (the famous Continuous Availability presented last year) VMs and media library alarms on physical hardware faults access control on storage resources configuration change tracking full support for SATA local storage So it seems VMware are catching up to Xen with some of the features. There will be interesting times ahead in the virtualization space, with the recent release of Citrix XenServer for free. With an updated kernel and 64bit COS, end users should see more hardware end up on the compatible list…

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Awesome Linux tool of the day: dstat

By | Technical | No Comments

What is dstat?  dstat is a versatile replacement for vmstat, iostat and ifstat. Dstat allows you to view all of your system resources instantly. Eg, You can compare disk usage in combination with interrupts from your HDD controller, or compare the network bandwidth numbers directly with the disk throughput (in the same interval). No blog post pimping a cool tool would be complete without the obligatory screen shot.

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The 800lb Gorilla Knows Where Your Website Lives

By | Company News, Technical | 2 Comments

If you run a website for commercial purposes, you know that the only way it’s going to provide you with benefit is if people actually visit it. Regardless of what sort of site it is (brochure, company promotion, online store, etc), if nobody’s actually loading the pages, your site may as well not exist. One way or another, you need to drive people to your site. There are many different ways to get people to visit your site, and different strategies work for different sites. TV advertising, for example, has become popular in the last couple of years, to entice people to just visit the site. Other traditional forms of advertising, as well as online banner or text ads, are also popular. Putting your website name on your stationary and…

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Windows 2008 Hosting Now Available!

By | Company News | No Comments

If you’re familiar with the hosting services provided here at Anchor you’re probably aware that we’re big fans of Linux and open source software in general.   That said, it may come as a bit of a shock for you to realise that we’ve actually been doing Windows hosting for quite a number of years now. It all started with a couple of isolated dedicated servers running Windows back in 2004…Since then we’ve deployed a shared Windows hosting server which is now running hundreds of websites and taken on multi-server Windows hosting environments. One thing that has been interesting to note whilst making this transition; sure a lot of us here would prefer to be working with Linux systems, but, at the end of the day, the principles behind running robust,…

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Aggregating RRD data from multiple files

By | Technical | No Comments

The RRD (Round-Robin Database) file format is a beautiful piece of work. It is used for storing time-series data in a (storage and CPU time) efficient form, with a fixed file size, and with some great support tools to retrieve, manipulate, and graph the data in various ways. One problem you tend to hit every now and then, though, is that you want to aggregate the data from multiple separate RRD files into one monster graph. The simple method might be to put all the data into one RRD file, but that doesn’t work in the case where you can’t always collect all the data at once — RRD requires that you insert values for all your data sources at the same time. Now, since we use Cacti for data…

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The Value of Commercial Software Support

By | Technical | 3 Comments

Here at Anchor, we’re often asked to install commercially-supported software products by our customers. Most commonly, it’s Linux distributions, but hosting control panels, app servers, and various other pieces of paraphenalia all get the treatment fairly regularly. The internal opinion on the subject is that most commercial support agreements for software aren’t worth the paper they’re written on (a problem made much worse by the fact that you can’t wipe your backside on an e-mail). A recently-concluded saga with a certain prominent North American vendor of Linux distributions has done nothing but reinforce this opinion, to the point that a rant is the only way to deal with the insanity. In March 2006, we got a problem report from a customer that an aspect of our hosting services was not…

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Can Web Hosting be “Australian Made”?

By | Company News | No Comments

This morning as I made my way up the escalators from Wynard station in the city something caught my eye that had kind of been on my mind this last week. It was the very well recognised Australian Made logo, only it was tattooed on a young girls arm. As proud an Aussie as I am, and admittedly not the tattoo type of person, and as cool as it did look it was hard to avoid the cliched “she’ll regret that one day” thoughts. The tattoo experience got me thinking though, can web hosting be Australian Made? and what is the real difference between Australian hosting and overseas hosting? As an Australian based provider we obviously only use Australian labour, that’s a big part of what we do. Our offices…

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Silicon Beach Australia

By | Company News, Technical | One Comment

As a hosting provider, we quite often seem to the be the starting place for many budding online entrepreneurs adventures. We’ve heard the story of the website that’s going to be getting a million hits in the first month so many times that we seem to have become completely immune to it. It just never seems to happen that way. Now days we automatically quite passively suggest that the client start off with something small and we’ll upgrade them when the time comes. Fortunately saving money is something that most entrepreneurs are more in tune with and most of the time we get to deploy an appropriate amount of hardware in the early days. It’s not all false starts though, we’ve been lucky enough to work with many companies that…

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VPS – Virtual Private Servers now available

By | Company News, Technical | No Comments

After dabbling with a variety of different virtualisation technologies over the last 2 years we’ve launched a Virtual Private Server (or VPS) offering based on VMware ESX server. We’ve chosen ESX server for a number of reasons not to mention the ability to perform a sufficient level of monitoring on the host system and have the virtual machines behave in just about every respect the same as a traditional dedicated server would. A VPS can offer a more affordable step between shared web hosting and dedicated servers but it also creates a more flexible hosting environment. Additional resources can be added to a server with as little effort as a reboot, and they can be added rapidly (hours vs days) in the event that increased performance is needed at short…

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