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General

Making Magento Shine with Varnish – Part 1

By | General, Technical | One Comment

Developing for the web can be overwhelming – the stack of technologies involved has only grown over the years, whilst customers demand faster and more responsive websites. Performance is often an afterthought, partly because it can be tricky to define. New features are tangible and easily demonstrated, but it can be difficult to make a business case for performance during the development stage. Yet as studies by Akamai, Google and Amazon have shown, the success of e-commerce sites in particular is closely linked to how they perform. Magento is a popular e-commerce framework that offers a wealth of customisation through an extensible design, though this flexibility can easily result in slow, sluggish websites if you aren’t careful. But what does it even mean for a website to be slow or…

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If your server is a function, is your company a library?

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Our Anchorite, Head of Engineering Andrew Cowie will be giving a talk next week at the Commerial Users of Functional Programming conference in Gothenburg, Sweden. The abstract for the talk, titled “If your server is a function, is your company a library?” This article gives an interesting perspective on some of the cool stuff our Engineering department is up to. ==== Haskell is lauded for being a good foundation for building high quality software. The strong type system eliminates huge classes of runtime errors, laziness-forced-purity aides in separating messy IO from pure computational work, and the wealth of tools like quickcheck mean that individual codebases can be robustly unit tested. That’s fine when your service runs from a single program. Building anything larger requires integration testing of components and that…

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2014 Australian Web Awards

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Every year, the Web Awards recognise the best of the Australian web. The awards seek to recognise the highest standard in website design, content, UX and accessibility and each year attract a wide variety of entries from both agencies and company in-house web teams. With the 2014 Web Awards looming, the call is out for entries as well as judges. If you’ve worked on a web project you’re particularly proud of in this last year, or know someone whose high standard of work deserves recognition, get your entries in as soon as possible. Also, if you know someone who would make a great judge, email their name to info@webawards.com.au. We’re looking for accomplished people in each judging criteria; design, content, UX, development and accessibility. Being a judge doesn’t prevent him…

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Startmate 2015: Accelerating Australian Tech Start-ups

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The 2015 Startmate accelerator program is now open for applications from budding start-up entrepreneurs looking for a leg-up. Globally recognised, the Australian Startmate program has helped many tech start-ups become established and build that necessary momentum. One side effect of the rapid evolution in digital technology is the vibrant tech start-up industry. Newspapers love to report on new start-ups that are suddenly acquired for astronomical sums because of the freshness of the idea and the elegance of the solution. Of course, the main aim of most tech start-ups is to achieve a stable and growing business model, instead of chasing the unrealistic hope of mega deals and digital stardom. Yet, for every Instagram or Dropbox, there are hundreds of otherwise stunning ideas that never even make it to launch. Turning…

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UMAD: Knowledge, Now

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One of the big problems we face here at Anchor is the weight of knowledge that we carry around. We’ve been in business for almost 15 years, and the amount of information that we’ve acquired in that time is immense, largely due to the fact that we’ve dealt with many different technologies for many unique customers. How things work, how to fix things, how stuff gets done – these things tend to get encoded into people’s brains, and Anchor is no different. Even when it’s written down it can be hard to find that information. This is a challenge because it holds you back. Your ace employees with all the knowledge and experience are often the ones least available to teach new staff, which limits your ability to scale up…

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eCommerce Melbourne Prize Winner

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Congratulations to Guy Cooper from Wave Digital  Guy has won an appleTV just by visiting our booth at The Melbourne eCommerce Expo, which was held last month. We’re always giving away cool prizes at events, so make sure you keep an eye out for us to be in the draw to win. You can keep up to date with our events by signing up to our newsletter, watching this blog, or checking the events page.

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DNS records and DNS management – an overview

By | General, Technical | No Comments

Arthur C. Clarke’s third law of prediction states that “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” – a fair description of the elation you feel when after hours of stumbling around in the dark you finally fluke the right DNS configuration change and BAM! – your blog, website, mail server or load balancer suddenly springs into life. Well, that’s true for me anyway! DNS (or the Domain Name System) can be a complicated beastie if you’re not working with it day in and day out; it is however an essential building block that makes the Internet possible and if you have ever tried to get a website online you’ll have had to muck about with DNS records at some point in your life (and probably will again!). The role…

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What is cloud storage?

By | General, Technical | 3 Comments

Storage ain’t storage anymore – not in the world of web hosting anyway. Long gone are the days of servers writing to locally installed hard disks; cloud storage is abstracted from the physical server itself, instead residing on a high-speed network of distributed storage clusters. These clusters contain gazillions of hard drives which automatically replicate your data between different nodes for safety, scalability, performance and ease of management. Storage can be consumed using one or more different interfaces depending on its suitability to the task at hand. Anchor’s distributed storage system is built using Ceph – and we love its speed, flexibility and industry leading reliability. Here’s an overview of the different ways in which Anchor’s storage platform can be consumed and why you might use one interface over the…

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Click Frenzy – The sale that stops a nation. Is your website ready?

By | General | One Comment

At 7pm sharp on Tuesday the 19th of November 2013 (Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time) Click Frenzy is back, featuring a huge range of killer deals across all categories from top retail brands. This frenzy includes many retailers who have their websites hosted with Anchor, including Booktopia, Costume Box, Toyworld and Paddy Pallin. If your online store is participating in this event, you need to make sure it’s ready to cope with a large surge of shoppers hitting your site all at once. It is quite clear from previous events that this online shopping festival will again drive a huge amount of traffic. If you’re participating, there is only one thing you should be worrying about at sale time – fulfilling all the orders! Anchor specialises in providing hosting solutions that can scale quickly and cost-effectively. If you’re concerned…

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AppleTV Winner

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Congratulations to Alexander Stamp from CloudHerd  Alexander has won an appleTV just by visiting our booth at Tech23, which was held last week. We’re always giving away cool prizes at events, so make sure you keep an eye out for us to be in the draw to win.

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