Wow. Another year passes. 2014 just flew by so fast that I didn’t even have a chance to post this in December! Every year I try to look back and talk about the top ten things that we accomplished during the year. This is the first of such lists for Everleap. So for 2014 – here goes…
1. Everleap cloud launches!
A few years in the making, the highlight for 2014 was launching Everleap. Our cloud hosting solution soft launched in March 2014 and we publicly announced Everleap in Arpil 2014. When we went live, we were the first host to offer a production solution using the websites functionality of the Windows Azure Pack.
So we operate two brands, DiscountASP.NET, our shared ASP.NET hosting solution and Everleap, our Cloud hosting solution.
2. First Windows Azure Pack update
We went through our first Windows Azure pack update without a hitch. And with the update we launched fixes and enhancements – we fixed a nagging PDF display bug as well as launched PHP 5.5 support, the ability bind different SSL certs to domain pointers and subdomains, DNS manager enhancements, a billing cycle switching tool and quick browsing for the SQL backup and restore tools.
During this Windows Azure Pack update, we used a rolling update method where we take down a few servers at a time to apply the update, so that customer sites are still being served from the other cloud servers and did not experience any extensive outage. Frank posted a blog about the update with more details.
3. Reserved Cloud Servers upgraded with SSD power and new large option added
We converted all of our Reserved Cloud Servers to solid state drives. Solid State Drives (SSD) are typically around 3X faster than standard hard disk drives. Faster is better, so we upgraded all our Reserved Cloud Servers with SSD and we did this without increasing our pricing.
While we were at it, we introduced a new Large Reserved Cloud Server option which comes with 4 CPU and 4 GB RAM.
4. SQL 2014 hosting
At DiscountASP.NET, we have a reputation for keeping up with new Microsoft releases and you should expect the same at Everleap. Microsoft launched SQL 2014 so we made SQL 2014 available to our customers as an option for SQL database hosting.
5. Control Panel reporting enhanced with historical memory usage and CPU usage stats
With traditional hosting, the control panel typically includes reports for disk space usage and bandwidth usage. Of course when we launched Everleap we had both those metrics in our control panel.
But we later enhanced the reporting in our control panel with data on historical memory usage, CPU usage, in/out traffic and errors. All of these enhanced reports help our customers gain more insight into their application’s behavior during production use.
6. Git integration
These days many developers are using Git for distributed version control so we integrated Git with our Everleap cloud. You can manage your site using a local Git repository stored in your account. You can also add and manage additional users through our control panel to publish using Git.
7. Customer stories and Everleap reviews
We launched a new section of our website called Customer Stories, which contains interviews with real Everleap customers. Our customers discuss what they do and how the Everleap cloud helps them achieve their goals. We are excited about the customer stories and we intend to continue to publish more stories throughout 2015.
We also put the word out to the developers in the CodeProject community to give Everleap a try and to write about their experience. We received some great reviews from seasoned Microsoft developers. We have links to these reviews on our website.
8. Connection string and App setting security
With the Windows Azure Pack system it is not currently possible to encrypt information in the web.config like you can with regular IIS. We had customers express their concern about potential security issues. So we introduced a section in the Control Panel where you can securely enter your connection strings and app settings. The connection strings and app settings entered into Control Panel are encrypted and securely stored in the Windows Azure Pack database and are dynamically loaded into the application at runtime.
9. SiteLock security and CDN solutions
We partnered with SiteLock to offer Everleap customers with both website security solutions and CDN solutions.
With the website security service, customer sites are scanned daily to detect any malicious activity and with the premium solutions you get FTP scanning which can automatically remove malicious files if they are detected.
With the CDN solutions, customer site content is cached in various globally located edge servers so users will pull up some of your site content from the closest edge server regardless of where they are geographically located. Therefore, using CDN will speed up the delivery of your site. And not only will the speed improve user experience but it is important for SEO.
10. Microsoft Gold Partner renewal
We successfully renewed our Microsoft Gold Partner status for 2014. Every year, Microsoft raises the bar with more requirements. So it is an investment we make to maintain the Gold status and it differentiates us from other hosts.
Thanks for reading and we look forward to an even more exciting and productive 2015!