We launched a new version of Server Controller
A new version of 4PSA Clean Server is scheduled for September. There are many unique features built in this new version. You know that 4PSA Clean Server was the first mail antivirus for Plesk (it was released almost five years ago). Parallels also introduced some antiviruses, using engines from Dr.Web and Kaspersky. Although much more expensive than Clean Server, especially Dr.web is quite popular. There is no major difference between Clean Server and Parallels offering (well, two years ago Clean Server was considerable faster and more stable, today the difference is minimal). Clean Server still has many more features than any of them, but we felt that this was not enough for our next generation product.
One of the common problems with antiviruses (the same with antispam – yes, a new Spam Guardian 4 is also in development) is that in one massive email flow, some emails might not be scanned because the scanning engine is too busy. In order to prevent this, with Clean Server 4 we introduced a Grid scanning infrastructure. Let me explain.
Let’s say that you have a single Plesk server. You will install Clean Server on this server and it will work like previous versions. But, let’s say that you do not want your machine to be loaded by antiviruse scanning. No problem, you can get another server (a VPS might be fine) and install there the scanning engine. Then you point your Clean Server to that scanning engine. Even better, you can have multiple Plesk servers pointing to the same scanning engine, which means that a machine will be dedicated only to antivirus scanning.
Wait, that’s not all. Let’s suppose that this scanning server gets too loaded. No problem, add another scanning server and point your Plesk servers to both scanning machines. Add three, four – it does not matter. The Plesk servers will load balance scanning requests between servers in the infrastructure.
Benefits? Hard to count them all:
– It will be impossible for a hosting machine to be loaded with too many scanning requests, meaning that other services will not be affected by high loads.
– Emails can no longer pass unscanned due to QoS settings. When your scanning machine is too loaded, simply add another machine!
– Resources are much smarter spent.
– The scanning engines collect information from multiple machines, which mean that they can learn better about nasty email profiles.
This is just the most important architectural improvement in Clean Server 4. We also increased its speed by more than 200%, added more control features for end-users, improved interface, etc.
With Clean Server 4 we make a considerable jump ahead our competition. I am fully confident that this idea will be sooner or later copied. But this will take some time and guess what — we already know which one will be the next generation architecture and we started the research on it 🙂
The idea to write here answers to some popular questions came to us after HostingCon 2008 (yes, we got lots of questions there). In the following days we will try to answer to such questions.
People often asked if Plesk is required in order to use VoipNow. The answer is that VoipNow has nothing to do with Plesk, it’s a totally different software. Its interface looks pretty much alike, and it was created this way for end users, because it’s easier for them to learn software with a familiar interface. In fact VoipNow cannot be installed on the same server with Plesk. However, we created a Plesk addon, called VoipNow Plesk Module
Last week we visited Chicago and attended HostingCon 2008 as exhibitors. I want to comment a little bit around this experience. Chicago is a beautiful city, and we really enjoyed it. We accommodated downtown at the Intercontinental Hotel, next to Chicago Tribune and NBC on Michigan Avenue. We walked quite a lot, mostly in the night (too hot during the day). The town features a very inspired combination between old and new, its streets are clean and overall is hard to say anything bad about this part of the city (cannot comment about the rest).
HostingCon 2008 took place at Navy Pier, an entertainment and exhibition centre located at Lake Michigan. I think that the location and the organization was OK for the event. I didn’t like the food, but it can be just me :).
During three days, we discussed with a lot of people and we were able to get feedback from service providers and software vendors, both exhibitors and attendees. What I found quite intriguing was that the high number of exhibitors was not also matched by a high number of attendees. Most people described the event slower than the ones in the last years, and it looked like organizers focused on exhibitors and forgot about attendees. Yes, we got in touch with providers that exhibited, we were also visited by customers, and also many prospects asked us questions. From what I have been able to spot, most guys that participated as attendees were service providers. I believe this is quite unfortunate for exhibiting providers that also expected customers to be present, and here I mean the industry that buys Data Center services. I guess it’s nice to see all your competitors on the same place, it’s nice to exchange ideas on a party, but these do no pay the bills.
Possible causes for the low number of attendees would be: the period of the year chosen for this event, the large number of hosting and related events over the year, and maybe insufficient propaganda. I hope that the organizers will learn from this experience and prepare a better HostingCon 2009. BTW, next year it will be on Washington DC.
Sometimes I have nothing special on my list and I surf on the net searching for cool sites. Basically I keep looking for sites with quality information about VoIP (and aviation but that’s another story..). Most of the time I see the same news replicated across the whole VoIP blogging ecosystem, but sometimes I get lucky 🙂
Look at what I found:
bandwidth calculator tool
We will exhibit at HostingCON this year. Actually HostingCON will start in less than three weeks (it’s between 28-30 July 2008). You can find us in the same booth with Parallels, booth #401. HostingCON is the largest event in US for this industry (actually I think it’s the largest in the world). Size matters, but it’s not everything 🙂 – the quality of the event is also very good with providers and ISV joining from all continents.
So, this looks like the perfect opportunity to visit Chicago. We scheduled some interesting product releases around HostingCON, so we will have what to discuss there. If you want to schedule a business meeting with 4PSA management, email hostingcon AT 4psa.com.
Some of our partners sent us emails asking why the hell we introduced the VoipNow Hosted. There were a couple of concerns expressed on their emails:
1. we are not a service provider
2. we started to compete them
3. we can offer better services because we make the software
I will try to summarize the answer to all three issues:
1. This is correct, we are not a service provider and we do not want to become one. It is true that our support department offers level 3 support, emergency support, and consulting to a lot of providers, but I think that this is one of our main assets. Usually, software companies do not have a good support, so having such activity recommends us not only from the software perspective.
2. We do not compete with our customers. Our hosted service is a premium one and it was designed to:
We discussed recently inside our team about the opportunity to go (as exhibitors) to some VoIP conventions in the US and Europe. After all, we had a pretty good number of customers and partners around the world and it seems a good place to meet them in person while gaining additional exposure. After thoughtful researches we had to choose between Pulver Media’s VON and TMC’ s event ITExpo. They have both Spring and Fall US editions while VON had also (used to..) events in Europe.
As newcomers in US VoIP fairs and exhibitions we seek some advice and almost everybody indicated VON as the right choice. So we start preparing for that, and we missed the Amsterdam event (VON Europe) because it was too close, but decided to go to VON Fall edition in Boston. Unfortunately, while chatting with some friends from TMC I found out that all VON events have been canceled, Pulver Media no longer exists and nasty things are happening