Infrastructure Upgrades UK

We are incredibly excited to announce that we are underway with a major overhaul of our UK based infrastructure which will be rolled out within the next few months. 

As part of our continued effort to remain at the forefront of our industry, we have spent the last 18 months planning a large-scale upgrade to your hosting platform, introducing a core focus on cloud reliabilityincreased performance and scalability

The benefits of the upgrade have been outlined throughout this page. 

UK Cloud Infrastructure Upgrades

Dedicated Cloud Infrastructure

At present, all of our UK based accounts are hosted on physical hardware in London, UK. Whilst this offers fantastic power and performance, we do understand that dedicated hardware lacks in other areas, such as scalability, redundancy and reliability.

We are delighted to announce that we have invested on a new infrastructure, allowing us to build out our incredibly powerful cloud platform, which will be the new home for your websites and accounts.

Our new platform has been planned and built from the ground up, to provide a huge number of benefits over our existing hosting platform.

Our current hosting environment consists of large specification dedicated hardware, each of which hosts large numbers of accounts per physical server.

As part of the planned upgrades, we will be building a much larger number of ‘smaller’ machines, each of which will host a smaller number of accounts (approximately 50% less accounts per-node than our current platform).

It’s important to point out here that a ‘larger’ server certainly doesn’t equate to more performance (this is a very common misconception). Smaller machines, with less contention / accounts can deliver significantly higher performance, but with a number of added benefits from an administrative point of view.

The performance of the sites however, is in most part, driven by the architecture and components of those nodes as opposed to the physical ‘size’. The changes in relation to these areas are outlined below.

Improved Contention

Pure NVMe Storage Cluster

Talking of performance – we have decided to build our private cloud environment on a huge array of pure Enterprise Grade NVMe storage, as opposed to SSD drives!

In terms of per-disk performance, the difference is phenomenal. This takes our storage performance to an entirely new level, with faster sequential read / write speeds and an outstanding uplift in IOPS.

The drives we have chosen to use for our environment are U2 formfactor, hot swappable devices, which can be added / removed to the cluster with 0 interruption to service (see more information on our ‘data replication’ and clustering below).

Not only are we introducing the above uplift in performance, but we are also introducing triple-replication to our infrastructure for improved redundancy and failover. 

Our revised cloud infrastructure is entirely powered by the incredible AMD EPYC™ Enterprise Grade CPUs throughout, boasting an unrivalled level of power and performance per core.

The new CPUs will introduce a 300% uplift in memory bandwidth, allowing much faster RAM handling overall, along with a heavily increased clock-speed per CPU core.

The new CPUs will allow you to achieve much higher per-core performance for your websites and applications.

AMD EPYC™ CPU

Data Replication, Clustering and Failover

We have built our new cloud platform to be incredibly robust with self-healing capabilities, auto-failover and triple-replication of your data.

Our infrastructure has been designed and battle-tested to withstand power outages, hardware failures and routine hardware upgrades without the need for interruption to your services.

Our new hyper-converged storage platform (based on 100% NVMe storage) has intelligent, self-healing capabilities allowing us to seamlessly replace physical disks without any downtime. The same storage platform is able to withstand entire node failures, again, without impact to service.

Our storage solution is not based on a ‘SAN’ type environment, but instead a hyper-converged storage cluster between our hypervisor / compute nodes. This allows us to infinitely scale our storage platform as our demand and requirements grow, without disruption to the virtual machines running on the cluster.

Our physical servers are interlinked with 80Gbps of connectivity, yet are physically isolated from each other within different racks of the data center. 

This means that in the event of an entire rack outage, the virtual machines which hosts your websites will failover immediately to one of the remaining servers / racks without disruption, or degradation to service or performance.

At present, each of our dedicated servers runs a single 1Gbps public port, which is used to serve traffic / general bandwidth, and backups.

The new cloud platform boasts a whopping 20Gbps public connectivity per-node, along with 80Gbps interconnectivity between the hypervisors.

In addition, we have introduced a direct 100Gbps link from London to the Data Center in Frankfurt, which is used for our backups and snapshots.

This huge uplift in network connectivity will bring faster site loading times, massively increased bandwidth capacity and drastically improved backup performance.

Increased Network Capacity

Cloudlinux 8

All machines within our private cloud will be provisioned using the latest stable and secure release of Cloudlinux 8 which will run the 4.18 Cloudlinux / LVE kernel.

Cloudlinux is a solution that we have used and depended on for a number of years, which introduces a mass of benefits to any shared hosting platform such as LVE, CageFS and more.

Cloudlinux 8 introduces a number of benefits over the previous version to further the capabilities of those tools and facilities it comes bundled with.

As part of our upgrade, we will be relocating our UK based nameservers from Coventry / Maidenhead, to London to improve latency and performance.

To ensure a seamless migration process, we will still ensure that DNS zones are synchronised to the old cluster, allowing time for the required changes to be made to any custom nameservers or domains.

More information on the migration process will be provided within the next few weeks. At this stage, no changes are required.

Improved DNS Clustering

Icons-12-new2DNSDNS

Improved Backup Performance

Introducing the combination of our 20Gbps public links and our direct connectivity with Frankfurt, we are now able to increase our daily backup performance dramatically.

Also, due to the fact each server will host less data and smaller quantities of accounts, we estimate to reduce our backup window by at least 40-60%.

Not only this, but we will be introducing weekly backups of the virtual machines which will power your websites, so that we have a full recovery point of the entire machine for emergency scenarios.

FAQ

How will I know when the migration is taking place for my sites?

Whilst this is still being revised, we have a fairly extensive migration plan in place, which will include clear communication through the process.

In addition to this, we will be adding a new section to our client area, dedicated to the migration process. This new area will be purpose-built to ensure communication is clear and concise throughout the process. 

We will also reach out by email during the process.

How much are these upgrades going to cost us?

We aren’t charging anything for the upgrades. This is a roll-out we wish to bring all of our clients free of charge.

The costs of the upgrades are being absorbed as part of a service improvement, for the benefit of you as our clients, and us also from an administrative point of view.

That’s not to say that cPanel won’t hit us with another increase in January 2022! If they do, then we will revisit pricing at that stage. 

Will my websites go offline when the migration takes place?

Potentially, yes. Although, any disruption to service would be kept to a minimum. 

We will be providing further steps on how to minimise disruption closer to the migration taking place.

The team will be available to assist throughout the migration process to keep disruption to a minimum. 

Will my IP address change following the migration?

Yes, all IP addresses will be replaced. Please note that communication will be clear in regards to any IP address changes before, and during the process. 

Any clients with dedicated IP addresses will be given new IP addresses on the upgraded infrastructure. Again, this will be communicated during the upgrade process. 

How long will the upgrade take to complete?

The upgrades are of a significant size, which will take a number of months to complete. 

Please note, we will schedule migrations on a per-server or per-service basis, so all accounts within a particular service will be moved in their entirety, to the new infrastructure.

As mentioned above however, disruption to individual sites or services will be minimal.

What do I need to do now?

At this point, not a lot! If you are a reseller, then we would recommend passing this information on to inform them in advance of the upgrades taking place. 

We will be communicating by email in many cases, so therefore we would recommend ensuring your account profile has the correct email address, and that you have whitelisted our domain (*.brixly.uk) to prevent any emails hitting your SPAM box.