Liquid Web is a company that is truly passionate about great hosting solutions coupled with top-notch customer support. This hosting provider is famous for running all of its data centers by itself and managing all aspects of their business by themselves, making sure that they have full control so they can fulfill all expectations that their customers have. Liquid Web values great customer and technical support so highly that it registered its “Heroic Support®” slogan and created its own fit and sporty-shaped customer support mascot.
We recently had an interview with Stefan Nava, Sales Engineering and Business Development manager at the company and got to learn more about what drives this company and its team. He also shares a few great tips for anyone considering VPS hosting and gave us a few hints at what’s coming at LiquidWeb in the near future.
Can you tell us a bit more about yourself and what you’re responsible for at Liquid Web?
I am the Sales Manager at LiquidWeb. I am responsible for the overall operations of the Sales and Billing Departments. Our Sales team is available 24/7/365 in an effort to meet our customer demands for technical consultations on new deployments or upgrades. Many of our customers don't have a lot of experience with servers or configurations, so they depend on us for new deployments and overall architecture recommendations. We serve a wide variety of customers, from single domains with minimal traffic to large Enterprise server clusters with a number of topologies.
Video: Tour In a LiquidWeb Cloud Data Center
How well do your VPS servers handle sudden peaks in traffic?
Our Storm VPS servers were designed with scalability in mind. This means that we wanted to offer the necessary tools to customers so they could scale up and down, depending on their influx of traffic. We have multiple options available depending on website traffic and these servers were designed with performance and value in mind. We want to make certain that our servers are able to satisfy our customers' demands at all times.
Is it easy to go from a VPS plan to a dedicated server?
Our Storm Platform features easy, one-click migrations from Storm VPS to Storm Dedicated/Bare Metal configurations. No manual migrations are required and everything is performed by our provisioning system. This means that our Storm servers are easily scalable, utilizing a fully automated platform developed in house by our engineers.
Why should your customers use your new Cloud Block Storage?
Storm’s Block storage provides raw storage volumes that can be created and then connected to servers. You have the ability to install whatever file system you desire in the volume and mount it to any server instance. This technology allows you to deploy volumes in a High Performance environment, with redundancies built in, and connect them as if they were individual storage devices. This feature makes block level storage useful for almost any kind of application. Most notably, this includes mass storage, database storage, and virtual machine file system volumes, amongst a host of other capabilities, too vast to list outline comprehensively.
Here are just a few of the myriad capabilities of Storm Storage (HPBS):
- Cross mounting between instances. You can simultaneously access files from multiple independent servers. A typical example of this is OCFS2. With traditional file systems you can attach your volume to a single server instance or detach it and attach it to another.
- Resize volumes by increasing the total usable disk space via your Storm Dashboard in an easy and quick manner. It is important to mention that once you resize your volume, you will need to resize your File System in order to utilize the increased volume size. Once this operation is complete, you can re-attach your nodes/servers to the new volume.
- Resizing volumes is very important as it means that you can increase your storage capacity without having to spend additional funds on increasing the capacity of your server or deploying new ones. You can increase your storage volume on demand, as you need it.
- HPBS has been designed with 10Gigabit connectivity at the back end. This means that you will not be charged for any bandwidth between your volume(s) and your server(s).
The data between HPBS and your server(s) is private which ensures a secure environment in which no packet data can be intercepted. The back end connectivity between your HPBS volumes and your servers is 1Gigabit.
- Some of the common applications for Storm Storage:
- Mount your volume to a Storm server and capacity. This represents an enormous savings for you as a customer or business owner.
- Storm Storage can function as a storage solution for business critical data, applications or databases.
- You can store your data in a volume and delete your server. This means that you can archive your data without spending money on running servers. With Storm Storage, you pay only for the total space of your volume.
- You can use Storm storage to transfer data from one server to another in a quick and easy way.
- In an upcoming release, you will be able to boot directly from Storm Storage.
How do you manage to keep costs, and thus the pricing of your services, down even though you run your own server locations and manage all other aspects of your business by yourself as well?
The fact that we own and operate our own datacenters provides us with significant flexibility to control our server prices and offer competitive options. We also have the ability to control the hardware we utilize and provide SLA’s that are unmatched within the industry, resulting in overall savings for our customers. All datacenter operations are in house, which means that we do not outsource any of the critical components of our infrastructure, keeping the costs down and allowing us to provide our customers with great value while maintaining quality.
Does your Expert Web Hosting run on the same infrastructure as your VPS hosting?
Our Storm VPS and Shared hosting are completely separate infrastructures/platforms.
For which purposes can the Liquid Web VPN be used? Is it also suitable for personal use?
Our VPN services can be used for any purpose that would call for a secure, encrypted connection between an external client and a server. There are many applications for this kind of security. This can also be utilized for personal use should a secure connection be desired, depending on the type of data you will be handling in the server.
What makes Liquid Web better than competitors such as Linode?
Storm servers are considered to be an option for full management in the Cloud. Apart from the robust architecture of our servers, we continue to strive to offer the industry's best and most responsive customer experience with our 24/7/365 Heroic Support and its coverage. In addition to the high-end SLAs we offer, our platform has been designed with scalability, performance and High Availability in mind.
In addition, our Engineers are continually adding new features and improving the platform to keep up with market trends and customer demands. The fact that our servers can be scaled up and down with a click of a button is a major advantage for our users. Our Platform is utility based, which means that you are only paying for the resources you are using and no more. The end goal is simple; we strive to provide a high quality, highly scalable, highly supported and highly automated platform with continued improvements at a very competitive price. Achieving this goal attracts users who are dependent upon a reliable infrastructure while keeping costs down.
Is it possible for customers who have a self-managed plan to hire you for extra services that aren’t included in this support plan?
At this time, we can only offer management services on Fully Managed or Core Managed plans. Many of our customers run highly customized environments when working with self managed images. This makes it difficult for our team to provide meet the support quality standard we have set and strive to maintain at Liquid Web.
Which tips would you like to give to readers who are looking into buying VPS hosting?
There are many tips I can think of, but the most important ones are the following:
- Always develop your applications with scalability in mind. Having an application that has scalability options from the beginning is an important factor in saving potential resources, time, money and hassle in the future.
- Keep an eye on your server's resources as much as possible. Storm offers many monitoring tools, integrated within our Dashboard, which will allow you to determine how your server is performing and if you need to make changes to the resources.
- Security and software patching is extremely important. When using software like WordPress, Drupal or any other CMS, make sure you keep your software up-to-date. In addition, be careful with the modules you install on your CMS, as many represent a security threat. Keeping a server up-to-date with the latest OS is very important, as it will assure a secure environment for your websites.
- Always keep backups of your data. Many servers run with Raid configurations at the hard drive level. It's important to remember that these are merely redundancy points to be used in the event of failover and not an actual backup option. Making certain that your data is backed up either to an off-site or off-server location is important. It is also important to not only configure a backup solution, but to confirm that the backups are installed and running properly.
What does Liquid Web have in store for the months to come?
There are many new exciting features that will be available to all of our Storm Platform Customers and beyond. Some of them we cannot divulge, publicly, at this time, but I can tell you that we are building a new datacenter in Phoenix, AZ (USA) as well as a new European datacenter. In addition to this physical growth, we are also going to be launching some exciting Database solutions for HA Environments, Object Storage solutions and improvements to our Storm Storage (HPBS).
Big thanks to Stefan, PR-manager Cale and everyone else from the LiquidWeb team for doing this interview with us. Are you currently a customer of this VPS hosting provider? Then certainly write your customer review for LiquidWeb on their review page on our site.
By the way, LiquidWeb has great office prank videos on its YouTube channel: