Factoring In Growth To Cloud Hosting Plans

Unless you’re required to use an ensemble of unique services to power your app, planning for scale doesn’t have to be complicated. But without understanding the options available with the development tools you’re using there’s questions:

  1. What “easy” options exist to accommodate growth?
  2. What happens when “easy” options aren’t enough?
  3. For occasional tasks that are cpu intensive, is it beneficial to scale up and back down?
  4. Are there structural tweaks that could resolve complications from rapid growth?

Prepare To Discuss Scaling Your App

The first step to understanding the possibilities is discovering potentials that already exist. These are features of your existing software stack. Doesn’t have to be something new and fancy. It could enable you to utilize something new, but unfancy.

Boring technology might cost less than something new and shiny to fix a scalability challenge. See this slide deck by Dan McKinley that explains, Choosing Boring Technology is wise.

Choosing Boring Technology - Dan Mckinley[Pic from deck: Choosing Boring Technology – Dan Mckinley]

Example Questions might be:

  • Can we add a second web server and split requests between them without trouble?
    • At what point do we need to add a second server?
    • Is adding a load balancer the only thing needed to achieve web-server scalability?
  • How can we distribute the load on our database server?
    • Maybe add read and write to master, but read from mirrored slave server?
    • Does our datasource allow multiple servers (i.e. primary and failover)?
  • What areas can we isolate to either off-peak hours or smaller single purpose servers?
    • Do we have a particularly heavy-hitting query? Can we break it down smaller, or schedule it?
    • How can purpose specific servers be scaled?

The Elusive Cloud vs Old School Customer Focused Hosting

The biggest temptation or “shiny new” object is “Cloud”. Many people abandon their hosting company in pursuit of the “Cloud” – at a loss. The service of Hosting hasn’t changed much – it’s boring.

Elusive Bigfoot - Cloud Hosting

What you CAN do, or what’s OFFERED by cloud and hosting providers alike (software, services, etc.) is always changing. It’s still however only software running on machines somewhere.

The question becomes, what can I do with the hosting I have? Or what does the web hosting I have enable me to do? THIS is where you can strike gold!

Hosting with the right blend of services, and support is a force multiplier. It enables you to take a familiar stack and apply creativity for a necessary outcome. It doesn’t force you back to the drawing board for fractional gains.

Final Thoughts About New Shiny Hosting & Scalability

I remember a story about a european company that invested millions into a new application. It was launch day and so proud of all the development and magic they’d put into the app. It was a mammoth undertaking and finally complete. When it launched, it bombed. Timed out and was slow. It tooks months to determine what was causing the slowness.

By then the app wasn’t needed anymore. 

Don’t refactor your app to fit the new shiny cloud. We can help with application stack and scalability provided by cloud architecture too. Talk to our VPS team if you’re curious to learn more.


The Benefits & Myths of Lucee Hosting

When someone brings up the conversation of trying Lucee as a supplement to their Adobe ColdFusion development there’s some awkwardness. They’ve heard about Lucee, want to try it but it’s also mysterious and new. They aren’t convinced yet. And I don’t blame them.

Lucee Hosting can be a shortcut to overcoming those barriers. Usually if someone get’s a chance to get familiar with Lucee, they are hooked (PS: Lucee Hosting makes this easy vs a worrying about local environment). You can get a pre-setup Lucee VPS much less than a equally equipped Adobe ColdFusion VPS. Or shared Lucee Hosting plan for $5.

Lucee Server - Hosting, Local Environment, Myths & Benefits.

Debunking Myths About Lucee

  1. Compatibility? CFML written for Adobe ColdFusion is compatible. See the supported tag list, and Lucee Server explanation.
  2. Ease of use? Lucee is surprisingly like Adobe ColdFusion in that you have access to a web based admin panel for managing things.
  3. How to start locally? Download Lucee of course choose express, latest-stable. Launch Lucee by running \bin\start.bat or /bin/start.sh (depending on platform) and open:
    1. Note if you have trouble starting Lucee, be sure you have the latest JDK. You can find it at in the Oracle JDK downloads or directly JDK 8 here.
    2. Webroot: /lucee-{version}-express/webapps/ROOT
    3. Admin URL:
    4. Web Context URL:
  4. How to start hosting? We’ve prepared both Shared Hosting and VPS Hosting completely.
    1. Upload your code with FTP.
    2. Our cPanel or Windows Control Panels will include “Lucee Admin” icons. Use this to launch your web-context to manage all Lucee specific settings for your app.

What is a web context? Each website or app is considered a “context” which is adopted from how Tomcat describes apps in their own world. Each context has it’s own web-admin for specific settings. It’s not required to use it. Don’t get too confused by this, it will make sense the more you use it.

Real Benefits Lucee Offers:

  1. Management of settings similar to Adobe ColdFusion. One of the biggest benefits is it’s similarity to Adobe ColdFusion in regards to the Admin settings. Frequently accessed areas like “Datasources” are in almost identical places.
  2. Less clutter. Lucee Server is NOT the free version of Adobe ColdFusion, it doesn’t have the same “guts” as ACF. It’s relies on Java, but it’s entirely it’s own “server”. This seems to manifest itself in performance gains – thanks to the original Lucee developers.
  3. Open source. What this means is developers can contribute to the overall health of Lucee. It also means as a community we can help Lucee get better.

Lucee Is Creating It’s Own Future

No doubt there’s some passionate folks behind Lucee. There’s a community of CFML enthusiasts using Lucee. Those make Lucee attractive. Lucee Server even has it’s own dialect & extension (.lucee), to accelerate resolving challenges in it’s own way.

We think Lucee Server is pretty great. You should check it out!


ColdFusion 12 – Is Raijin tough enough?

We attended the Adobe ColdFusion Summit this past week, ending Tuesday. The event itself was held at the Aria in Las Vegas. This specific location, and Las Vegas itself is known for hosting large conferences. The final attendance was just over 500, with many familiar faces.

The conference was kicked off with nice marketing focused video on ColdFusion’s history. Ending with the spotlight on what makes Adobe ColdFusion timeless:

“ColdFusion makes hard things easy”.

Adobe ColdFusion Summit Keynote – About Raijin

The next release of ColdFusion was officially announced. Codenamed Raijin (Japanese god of Thunder). The crowd was anticipating details on this addition to the CF Family. Raijin has been in pre-release for a while, so it’s not exactly news. Adil Munshi led the talk on what’s new in Adobe ColdFusion 12 – God Of Thunder.

You can join the CF12 Pre-Release list here.

Raijin - Adobe ColdFusion 12 Hosting Review by Hostek“Raijin” by D100763 – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.

Keynote Takeaways (summary)

ColdFusion Raijin will be launched alongside new ColdFusion Builder codenamed Blizzard. This was a bit confusing because some security features touted for CF12 actually require CF Builder. See Security below.



First presented was the CF12 CLI. A quick example was given of the ability for CF now to produce terminal output. This was a neat feature which probably applies to some fringe use cases.


Several additions to the PDF features list including Sanitations, Redaction, Import and Archive. This also seemed to be fringe case improvements at best.


Specific mentions were performance improvements for arrays, scope search, cached queries and cfm.exe (the CLI). But (which I thought was a HUGE deal) Redis caching implementation was only briefly mentioned with no explanation.


The single mention of security, which for the developer is a huge opportunity also requires using CF Builder. The Security Analyzer. Using CF Builder you can analyze a specific file (and directory I believe) for OWASP standard security vulnerabilities. The output categorizes the vulnerability and enables drill-down and fix style navigation. It was mentioned in a security focused session that they plan to add the ability to track “false positives”, but it’s not yet implemented.


Some features to make CFML more appealing aesthetically were the Safe Navigation Operator “?.” something already found in Ruby. Ordered and Sorted collection, and “EncodeFor” attribute on cfoutput.

Fixes & Improvements

Some general improvements and fixes were mentioned:

  • No more updating connectors upon update
  • Method chaining dot notation
  • cfloop implicit index
  • Connector settings can be specified per site


Last but not least api features were greatly expanded. The slides highlighted that CF had focused on a small portion but not all aspects of implementing an API. Raijin would include security, manageability (create, manage, control), measurability (impact), developer engagement (providing portal to developers to use api).

What Does CF 12 Means For Developers?

That all depends on what you’re using. The features didn’t seem to have much cohesion however being in it’s pre-release state there’s bound to be more information and useful cases for how developers are making use of CF12’s new features.

Is Raijin tough enough to engage a new wave of developers? Could it reinvigorate existing developers into training greenhorns to code CFML? We’ll leave that up to you to decide. Overall we had a good time at the conference. We look forward to supporting the Adobe team in their efforts to improve CF 12.


Thanks for follow our the Hostek Blog. If your interested in a hosted CF12 pre-release to do testing please submit a consultation request.


Why Hostek Chose Lucee Hosting (You Should Too)

We originally chose to make Railo a hosting option, but that was before the rebranding to Lucee. It’s the same product, different stakeholders, same caretakers. We were one of the first to have certified Railo Administrators on our team, I’m one of those originally certified.

Lucee Hosting - Hostek.com Best Lucee Hosting

RailoNamed after a StarTrek creature, the correct pronunciation would be Ry-Low.
Lucee Named after the movie Lucy and Beatles song.

Why We Chose To Offer Lucee Hosting?

Hostek has supported Railo, now Lucee, for many years. We appreciate the open source aspect. For most businesses and end users seeking Lucee Hosting, price is THE factor. Railo had earned a good name. It was gaining attention. We wanted to support this new growing interest in CFML.

What we considered BEFORE offering Railo Hosting:

  1. Was the CFML community interested?
  2. Would it support the most popular CFML projects?
  3. Was the software engineering of high-quality?
Yes to all three. Even at earlier stages such as Railo 2.x and 3.x it was surprisingly stable. The only thing initially lacking was installer support. Thanks to Jordan Michaels those were created.

4 Great Reasons To Love Lucee

Beyond price, overall interest and quality – what matters?

  • Performance, out of the box Lucee is touted as the fastest CFML engine.
  • Easy management, the UI for Lucee is clean & intuitive.
  • Security, extensive control for individual web-contexts’ (websites/apps).
  • Portability, site config like DSN’s can be moved WITH your app.
If you haven’t seen the admin UI for Lucee before, get a Lucee Shared Hosting free for 30 days HERE. OR for a Lucee VPS HERE & in the comments write “FREE LUCEE VPS TRIAL”.

Why You Should Consider Lucee

Besides the obvious benefits mentioned above.

How did we envision Lucee Hosting helping our customers?

Automating the hosting setup/management. That means cutting out the organization of web-servers/settings by providing an easy to use optimized platform. Management is built right into our Windows Control Panel for VPS and Shared Hosting. And pre-installed on Linux/Cpanel.

Did we choose Lucee over Adobe ColdFusion?

We chose to make Lucee our only option for a Open CFML Application Server hosting.

We’ve supported Adobe ColdFusion, as a partner and conference sponsor for many years and will continue doing so.

We support both Adobe ColdFusion & Lucee

Offering Adobe ColdFusion and Lucee is part of our commitment to the CFML community at large. We believe Lucee provides the opportunity to get more people interested in CFML. That’s good for everyone who loves and supports the language.

Fix ColdFusion Database Problems & Be A Hero [Part 2]

The least favorite thing to hear from a support person is that you need to tune your database or code. Let’s be honest, it’s a roadblock. For the busy developer, free time to tune things isn’t even on the radar. Maybe you’re a one person team, and don’t have support to shine a light on the problems you’re facing. Read on – there’s hope!

ColdFusion database problems, troubleshooting & resolving | Hostek, Best ColdFusion Hosting

What Causes ColdFusion Performance Problems?

ColdFusion runs considerably well when everything is working and running well. It doesn’t do so well to isolate a single problem from the other apps that are just fine. Conversely even if the problems are the ONE application you have, ColdFusion misbehaving at random times is no fun.

What Are The MAJOR Causes?

Select * queries, numerous joins and frequently accessed large tables with no index. Period. If these areas are managed well, you’ll have very little trouble. Yes there’s more, but if this area isn’t managed, you’ll have major trouble seeing gains from tuning anything else.

There’s a great post by Ben Nadel many years back called “ColdFusion Session Management And Spiders / Bots“. This deserves to be read and re-read also. It could save you from having problems with ColdFusion due to sheer annoyances caused by bots/spiders.


How Do I Find And Fix Slowness Related To Databases?

The first step is to discover which pages contain costly queries (costly = wasteful and slow). Start with this post on ColdFusion performance problem discovery. Using easy to find and install tools anyone can find problems, on the surface.


Got Tools Installed, What’s Next?

Just finding the page requests that’s taking > 500ms might be easy – fixing can take a bit of work. But it’s worth it. Amazon found every 100ms of latency cost them 1% in sales.

  1. Locate the query causing you trouble (see first post).
  2. Create a query with real data. Using the same sql statement, that’s slowing you down. It will look something like “Select * from tbl_employees”.
  3. Use a SQL Tool to run this query (PHPMyAdmin for MySQL and SQL Management Studio for SQL for example).
  4. **TO GET HELPFUL INTEL** Before executing the query:
    1. MSSQL. Use Management Studio. Start a new query, tick the menu item “Include Actual Execution Plan” under the “Query” menu. This StackOverflow page has some helpful info.
    2. MySQL. Preface your query with EXPLAIN. See the MySQL docs about EXPLAIN.
  5. Run the query.

The first time you look at this, you might glaze over. Don’t worry. What we’re trying to do is get an understanding about why this slow query is taking longer than normal to complete.

Quick Improvements

If you are using Select *, you might be able to stop before doing any of the above. Simply specify the table and columns – and if possible in your query reference the primary or secondary key which should be indexed.

Deeper Performance Tuning

  • Simplifying SQL query logic. As mentioned above, and there’s TONS of resources out there to read up on how to create efficient queries. Now you’ll know where to apply your time.
  • Create appropriate indexes. I found this article quite enjoyable about MySQL Explain and optimizing queries. And this for MSSQL – which is lengthy but does a good job of reminding you to eliminate the unnecessary and create indexes in the right places.

It doesn’t have to be complicated. Honestly, you can make really big improvements in a short period with a little dedicated time performance tuning.

You will get monumental wins, and drive down page response times.


ColdFusion Performance Consulting

The Hostek team has the ability to take a look at all aspects. From the type of hosting, Shared or ColdFusion VPS Hosting. Quantity and resources of each server.

Have problems you’re facing now? We’d love to speak with you. Schedule a free consultation, and we promise not to try selling you ANYTHING. We’ll discuss improvements. If Hostek is a good fit, we’ll discuss available platforms.

I hope this helps you have the courage to crack open some tools and make significant improvements to performance for your app!

Fix ColdFusion Problems & Be A Hero [Part 1 – Slow Pages]

In my job to support Adobe ColdFusion, I ran into lots of problems. That was awesome, because it meant the opportunity to learn real world solutions. Our whole team constantly learns by real world experience, it allows us to provide the best ColdFusion Hosting.

Find and Fix ColdFusion Problems Like A Hero

In mid 2009 there was a bug that plagued many ColdFusion 9 websites. The infamous “Class Loader Bug” in Java 1.6.0_(pre 10). We tried everything to keep servers stable. This point in time severely strengthened what we had learned about ColdFusion Performance Tuning:

  1. Not to accept the default settings for ColdFusion (memory or other).
  2. By methodically tackling problems performance would improve.
  3. Pay close attention to Garbage Collection configuration and metrics.

These are the 3 most important points to solving ColdFusion Problems.

Common ColdFusion Problems We Experienced:

  • Blank Page
  • 500 Errors
  • Slowness
  • Long Running Pages
  • Timeouts
  • JRUN Error (now Tomcat related)
  • OOM Errors (out of memory)

Start finding and Fixing ColdFusion Problems

We use these same methods, with the help of in house tools & procedures to give customers the best ColdFusion hosting. These steps won’t fix every problem, if it’s hardware related for example. They will however give you a great chance at solving common issues that impede performance.

  1. Narrow down the symptoms. This might seem obvious, but in an active application with includes or cfc’s you need to discover the actual requests that are taking the longest to run. There are a few ways to do this.
    1. (Simple Way) SeeFusion or Fusion Reactor, you can monitor recent requests, and slow requests. Sometimes that’s enough. Both SeeFusion and Fusion Reactor install easily, and you can easily find this details about page requests.
    2. (Simple Way – If you have CF Enterprise) Use the Monitoring in ColdFusion Enterprise. Similarly you can monitor requests to discover which ones are taking the longest.
    3. (Complex Way) Either of the three tools mentioned above, get the thread dump. This can be tricky, if the requests isn’t super slow. Charlie Areheart describes Easier thread dumps and stack traces very well. When you need to confirm your suspicions or need more detail about what the JVM is working on – proceed.
  2. Find and Fix Easy Problems. Step 1 might have lead you to a query written a long time ago. One that looks like “Select * FROM X”. If that’s the case, you may have found an easy win. In your SELECT statement only grab columns with data you need. If possible index those columns frequently accessed in large tables. Another huge speed bump is image manipulation with cf.
    1. How MySQL Uses Indexes & How to Avoid Full Table Scans

    2. SQL CREATE INDEX StatementSQL Server Index Design Guide
    3. Handle images with care. Do not resize images on the fly, it kills ColdFusion the server. See: cfimage & cffile – optimize image rendering in three steps

ColdFusion Heap, GC & Connector Settings. It might have been appropriate to put this as #1, however if code is poorly written or database that’s not optimized the best ROI will be resolving those areas. We will touch on these in Part 2 of Fix ColdFusion Problems And Be A Hero.

Hostek spends a ton of effort to deliver the most reliable ColdFusion VPS Hosting, and ColdFusion Shared Hosting. Each VPS is pre-tuned with tested & proven settings. Try us out 60 days free.

PS: Find VPS plan you want using the link above, and Schedule a consultation to get your 60 days free. This promo ends Nov 1st.


Brush Up On Your ColdFusion Programming Skills Fast!

We all have the habit of leaning heavily on Google. I’ve heard from friends how their IT team only uses Google to solve problems. I want to pretend that’s not me.

ColdFusion Programming - Tips, Tools, Links Training and Best Hosting for ColdFusion

Learning ColdFusion programming is for anyone.

Solving problems for others (where I started) is one way to start learning about code. As I expressed earlier in a post about Adobe ColdFusion, I’m no developer. When I was first learning  ColdFusion Programming, here’s a few things that helped me learn faster.

  1. Solving problems for people. As a ColdFusion Support specialists we encountered real world errors, problems and questions. The hands on experience was phenomenal. At Hostek when we find and resolve a problem, we document it in our Support wiki. This is a great resource for our ColdFusion Hosting or ColdFusion VPS customers.
  2. Find a small niche solution, figure out how to make it easy for anyone & create the steps. Before Adobe ColdFusion had built in captcha I wrote about using reCaptcha for cfmail Forms.
  3. Build something specific. Search high and low you’ll find someone willing to let you have a crack at creating something they need. I created a tool to measure MySQL performance, created an app to sync a member list with a mailing platform. Built a site in Mura for my neighborhood.

Since you’re either a CF Developer already, or interested in learning more. Here’s a list of links to sites and books for reading or subscribing to & training that we highly recommend. These are the best of the best.

I’m sure we’ve left something or someone out, so if you have something to add reply to the twitter post on this article.

Just starting to learn ColdFusion Programming – START HERE

i.e. Adobe ColdFusion or Lucee Server

For in depth, hands on & more complex topics – START HERE

Other Recommended Reading

What’s next?

If you’re interested in Performance Tuning Adobe ColdFusion, we’ll release a DYI guide in the next post. And if you’re wondering why we haven’t discussed Lucee Server. I’ll be blogging about the difference between ColdFusion and Lucee and why I became a Certified Railo Administrator.

We’re still offering 60 day free trial of the Best ColdFusion VPS Hosting you’ll find anywhere. Fill in your details to schedule a brief consultation (click here) before it’s too late – ends Nov 1st.

Is Adobe ColdFusion Dead Or Getting Better?

You might hear ColdFusion is a dying language. I’ve believed it myself. Since being introduced to ColdFusion (CFML) around 2005 and respecting its power & simplicity, my curiosity had moved on.

At first ColdFusion was something I needed to support for customers. Eventually however that evolved to developing internal tools for monitoring mysql performance, integration with marketing automation systems, recaptcha and more. It was fun and I learned a ton.

Hostek | Adobe ColdFusion  Hosting, ColdFusion VPS Hosting, ColdFusion Shared Hosting

That’s also when I learned that app development wasn’t for me. One of the greatest reasons ColdFusion loses traction remains: It’s so easy anyone can pick it right up, but to develop a strong foundation for a long term development career you’ve got to have more depth. I didn’t have that, but have many friends who are also amazing ColdFusion developers, that do.

In less than one month ColdFusion developers will gather for the Adobe CF Summit, which I will be proudly attending. You might wonder, since you aren’t a developer why would you go?

I haven’t lost respect for ColdFusion

The question “Is ColdFusion Dead” isn’t often forged from hard facts about its failure to deliver as a language but rather but social queues. The better question is can developers still respect ColdFusion as a language?

A few reasons not to:

  1. ColdFusion had a period v8-v9 of few relevant feature releases.
  2. ColdFusion is a closed source development language.
  3. Community support (and paid) for ColdFusion was not improving or impressive.
  4. ColdFusion lacks structured packaging & deployment for continuous integration.

In an interview with Jake Hand we talked about the past, present and future of ColdFusion. Jake has spent several years tuning ColdFusion servers. He had a fantastic point of view – pointing out positives regarding the future of CFML.

There’s great reasons TO respect ColdFusion, and these were his points:

  1. Since the ColdFusion development team moved to India there’s been:
    1. Increased support for bugs and problems in CF 10 and CF 11.
    2. Many new features were added, some adopted from opensource CFML engines.
    3. Jake mentioned Anit Kumar Panda has been a great resource.
  2. Adobe ColdFusion Summit was launched, improving community comradery.
    1. This also provided the opportunity to meet and mingle with the CF dev team.
  3. Tools for continuous integration are easily accessible and inexpensive.
  4. ColdFusion Hosting is more affordable than ever.
  5. Personally I have found the CF Team (Kishore Balakrishnan especially) accessible and helpful.

I still enjoy supporting ColdFusion and helping developers with the best ColdFusion Hosting solutions. My curious mind still has room for ColdFusion, more so toward the infrastructure side than development.

I’m excitedly anticipating Adobe ColdFusion Summit, and especially looking forward to attending Pete Freitag’s pre-conference security workshop.

Stay tuned for more about ColdFusion

Over the next 2-3 weeks we will share some awesome resources for the ColdFusion developer & engineering tips as we approach the Adobe ColdFusion Summit 2015.

Consider subscribing to our blog to receive those updates.

Also, I plan to share how experience gained from managing ColdFusion servers can translate to other fields of expertise.

For reliable ColdFusion VPS Hosting we’re glad to help. Until Nov 1st I’m inviting anyone reading this post to get a new ColdFusion VPS server for 60 days at no cost. If you’re interested schedule a consultation, we’ll talk over your project briefly and get your VPS setup right away.


How We Solved A Major SQL TLS 1.0 Problem

We had a customer who was working on PCI compliance – and failing scans due to weak ciphers and TLS 1.0 being enabled. We have some information about PCI Compliance in our support wiki describing what is disabled on our shared servers and why.

Since we help customers obtain PCI compliance by providing guidance and a secure infrastructure we thought this would be a simple task that we are familiar doing.

We have a PowerShell script for disabling weak ciphers and outdated protocols on Windows Servers (Windows VPS Hosting in this case). We ran the script and completed the process by rebooting the server.

BIG PROBLEM – The MSSQL Server Service failed to start. 

MSSQL and their app were hosted on the same machine. We advised them to isolate app and sql on different servers for best security practices. They hadn’t made this change yet but had plans to do so.

Trial And Error – Solving The Problem with SQL TLS Protocols

  1. (FAIL) We tried the Local Security Policy, enabling “System Cryptography: Use FIPS compliant” see image below. We quickly learned after a reboot that our original changes to the cipher suite and weak protocols were undone and TLS 1.0 was enabled. Microsoft actually has a great post on why they don’t recommend FIPS anymore. And SQL would not start.SQL TLS Fips Compliance - PCI Compliance Troubleshooting
  2. (FAIL) We thought to had missed something. We reset the settings back to what we had before. As I mentioned before we use a PowerShell script to automate these changes but the manual methods are described in KB245030. We rebooted and, SQL Failed to start.
  3. (WIN) We did more thorough search on SQL SSL protocols and discovered that TLS 1.1 and 1.2 were not supported at the time. Although a patch would be released soon.
  4. (SOLUTION) A patch for SQL (2012 in this case) was released. We updated the server to the latest patch version and restarted SQL. SQL was able to start without problem. This particular patch was SQL 2012 SP2 CU6.

Check Your Version

Check your version of SQL by running SQL Server Management Studio and right clicking on the instance name, select properties.

Then check this handy chart for more specific detail related to SQL versions, builds and download links. For SQL 2012 you’ll need at least SP2 CU6.

In Summary

To pass PCI compliance your server needs to have only the most secure protocols and ciphers. You should also have your database on a dedicated server – especially if it contains credit card data of any kind.

For the highest SQL encryption you should patch to the latest release of 2008, 2012 and 2014. Then disable weak ciphers.

If you want help achieving PCI Compliance on Virtual Servers we can help. Get one on one advice from a server expert by scheduling a free consultation appointment.



4 Questions To Bounce Back From Hosting Problems

Let’s talk about a developer who is taking over a new project for a new client. This new project is a beautifully wrapped disaster waiting to happen. A mixture of ad-hoc development and a few dedicated servers from who knows where. Sound familiar?

This is one reason businesses abandon custom development in exchange for SaaS website building platforms. To avoid the risk of developers who create partial solutions that lack long term thought & little documentation. The cost is massive for hosting problems like this.

The options available today for businesses are endlessly overwhelming. But there’s hope because smart companies are leveraging the use of Cloud Hosting and Windows VPS or Linux/cPanel VPS’s powered by highly reliable servers and storage. But how does this help them avoid the same mistake? One word:



This is a powerful shift in how outdated hosting was sold. Now hosting is not so complicated that you NEED to be techie. It has become more user friendly with the power of the Cloud – which in essence is highly available servers/services exposed to users (you and me) to control more easily.

Cloud hosting has brought the C level team closer to the IT world. Costs are easier to calculate, complete solutions are proposed & outcomes can be planned up front. Power to quickly adjust based on need is now and common feature.

Here’s four questions for your new host or developer to keep you on track for having hosting success – from this point forward.

Ask your host or developer these 4 questions:

  1. How do our servers get updated and patched?
  2. What is the cost of our servers today & when will we have to buy new servers?
  3. What support do we have for our hosting or servers today? Dig deep here.
  4. What is the process for upgrading hosting or servers? Hint: don’t confuse this with streamlining your application. Upgrades should be performed to the server infrastructure when a well written app simply needs more resources, space, CPU, RAM to accommodate more traffic.

These are 4 questions every business owner should be asking before buying equipment, hosting or preparing to enter into a contract with a developer or design firm. They can uncover costs you should plan for, and help you avoid pitfalls.

Since we’re also describing hosting gone wrong – these questions provide a platform for choosing a provider that will truly be a partner with you.

For each answer you should feel comfortable that they know what you need, and are your partner to take care of it. Doing so will protect you from depending on a single person or design company to manage your growing business – and avoid future disasters.

If there’s a hosting question you have, we’re here to help. Contact our sales team for general questions or setup a Consultation for more in depth conversations regarding servers, VPS or infrastructure hosting in the the cloud.