Our Way Forward: MariaDB, CDN, HHVM, New Relic & More

by Pere Hospital  February 11, 2015

2014 was an amazing year for Cloudways. We successfully moved from a consultancy-based, custom approach to cloud deployments to a completely automated and scalable cloud platform. We tripled our customer base, we grew the number of servers in our network by six-folds and we are now managing more than 5,000 active websites. And, we grew a lot as a company in the process.

2015 looks even more exciting and full of opportunities for us. Our main target and main challenge is to keep our service level while sustaining a similar growth than what we saw in 2014. We know that without an outstanding service level, our battle is lost. Service in the form of needed features in our platform, service in the form of proper care for your problems and service in the form of human answers for human questions.

cloudways

What’s next for Cloudways?

So, let’s do a quick review of the core goals we have for the first quarter of 2015:

More Optimized Applications Performance

There is never enough to how fast your applications should run. We use Nginx, try to make all applications work with Varnish, and deploy Memcached. During this quarter, we are going beyond all this and reviewing our web stack and related services in entirety to get the extra boost:

  • We are looking at CDN options to be offered as an addon most probably.
  • We will take a look at HHVM  in our feedback page.
  • We are running performance tests to check if MariaDB would give an extra edge over our current MySQL deployment.
  • We currently use mod-php for its compatibility with all applications we deploy. We will revisit using php-fpm.

Credit System

We are going to deploy a new credit system with which we will be able to tackle several user requests.

First of all, we will be able to create longer term plans at discounted prices.

It will also allow for an account to run without registered Credit Cards, but with uploaded funds from different sources (for e.g., Paypal, Bitcoin, etc.).

More PHP Frameworks

You will be able to deploy different PHP frameworks along with your PHP stack, e.g. Laravel, Codeigniter, Symphony, CakePHP, etc. You can suggest yours here!

The Stream

We are going to deploy a new section in our console called “The Stream”. It will basically be a chronological list of events and alerts related to your account. In our initial stage, you will be able to find there:

  • Application and stack health alerts that you currently received via email
  • Automated advice on when you need to scale your server
  • Detection of wrongly configured applications (i.e., no proper Varnish integration) and option to fix in one click

Special attention to ecommerce communities

We are already well-known in the WordPress community and have thousands of blogs hosted with us. We are building a new team to take care of ecommerce (Magento, Prestashop, Woocommerce) communities, so we can adapt our service to what they really need.

We are firm believers in community driven road maps and with the help of this new team and the community, we will build the best possible experience for our e-commerce friends.

And, there are newer features coming in the next few weeks…

There are a couple more goals that are on the backend part, but these are not so interesting to you; however, it will make our platform much stabler.

And of course, these are the major goals. We will keep doing smaller items that you have been asking for in each of the sprints (fortnightly plans) we do. (We typically work with quarterly plans with the overall targets and fortnightly sprints to steer towards them). For this sprint, we have:

So, we will definitely not be idle for a while!. As usual, I would love to have your input on this plan or any suggestions you may have.

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About Pere Hospital

Pere Hospital (CISSP & OSCP) is the CTO and co-founder of Cloudways Ltd. He has over two decades of experience in IT Security, Risk Analysis and Virtualization Technologies. You can follow Pere on Twitter at @phospital and read his blog at www.perehospital.cat

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  • Neil C Smith

    Some great things on the cards! It’s nice to see the different backup frequencies coming, but what about backup retention times, downloads etc.? We’d be happy to be able to just use an offsite service in our own name that we pay for separately. Currently, the backup options on offer are just not enough for us to move many client accounts to you, which is a shame as we’re really impressed with your offering otherwise.

  • Thanks for your feedback Nell.

    Using a third party service that we don’t control for backups would be problematic as we couldn’t guarantee backup integrity, so this is not likely to happen. What we can definitely consider is offering an option to download a full backup (for whatever you want). There is an idea open in our feedback page, feel free to vote/comment:

    http://feedback.cloudways.com/forums/203824-service-improvement/suggestions/6991548-option-to-download-a-full-application-backup-from

    Completely agree that we could do more with retention. Currently max number of backups that we keep is for 15 days (every 8 days we do a full backup, then 7 incremental backups and we keep two full backups). There hasn’t been many customers asking for this so far, so we have prioritized other things, but definitely something that can be done. I have created an idea in feedback page to gauge interest:

    http://feedback.cloudways.com/forums/203824-service-improvement/suggestions/7091064-allow-for-custom-retention-period-for-backups-cur

    Q1 we are focusing a lot on performance, stability and ensuring that our network will be able to cope with the huge growth we are having. For Q2 we would like to add more usability topics to our roadmap, like the one you mention on backups, better git integration and similar items.

    Again, thanks for your feedback and for your comments on what we have done so far!

  • Splendor

    Any plan to add another service as a complement for varnish? As we recently got the information of that varnish doesn’t go well with the wordpress buddypress plugin. And our community is built on that. It could be great if another service like varnish, that goes well with buddypress were able to be enabled per app instead of varnish. It’s a big problem for us as our connection time increases. With varnish enabled is our connection time about 1.0-1.5 seconds, without it, we are on to the double, nearly three seconds, which is way to much.