Our Servers Now Go to 11

In our ongoing effort to bring everlasting joy and happiness to our customers, I’m pleased to announce that as of September 1, 2009 we have increased a few worthwhile, and necessary, allocations to our current shared, dedicated and VPS plans. The actual changes are outlined below, but I wanted to take a moment and let everyone [...]
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ColdFusion 9 Beta Is Here!

Adobe’s Terry Ryan gives us the inside scoop

cf9It’s an exciting time in the ColdFusion community, and here at CrystalTech, we’re thrilled we get to hop on and ride the wave with you! Whether you’ve been a ColdFusion user since the Allaire days, or you’re a new enthusiast, ColdFusion 9 Beta’s release is something you’ve had an eye on for quite some time. In fact, we’re willing to bet that given your die-hard ColdFusion loyalty, you’ve been waiting to point and click on the download link with a voracity only matched by August Gloop waiting to get inside the Wonka factory.

That said, we recently had the chance to talk with Terry Ryan, one of the key Adobe Platform Evangelists for the ColdFusion 9 release. He had some interesting insights to share that nod to Adobe’s style in platform development, as well as some of the more noteworthy new features of ColdFusion 9 that are certain to invigorate any CF developer.

CrystalTech: You spent a good deal of time meeting with ColdFusion developers all over the country in the early stages of ColdFusion9 (when it was called Centaur). Is this the first time you’ve been so thorough and inclusive in the development of a new iteration, or is this pretty much the Adobe way?

Terry Ryan: That process is pretty much par for the course with ColdFusion. ColdFusion is heavily driven by both our customers and our community. This was the largest group of prerelease contributors we have had on a ColdFusion version though. I think it’s a testament to the both the growth of the community, and the passion.

CT: ColdFusion 9 is a server that is accessible to developers of all levels. What do you think developers new to ColdFusion will find most valuable about CF9?

TR: In general when I hear from converts, the thing they laud is how easy and concise ColdFusion make so many things. Ldap Query? One line of code. Talking to Microsoft Exchange? Two lines of code. Getting data out of a Spreadsheet? One line of code. It’s that conciseness that grabs developers from other languages.

CT: Same question for longtime ColdFusion users?

TR: I think there are a lot of features for ColdFusion veterans to sink their teeth into. Improved Flex integration, ORM, Office integration, SharePoint Integration, AIR integration, full support for CFscript… the list goes on and on. It’s interesting, no two people seem to agree on what their favorite new feature is, but every single one of these has gotten a passionate response from some group within our community.

CT: What drove the decision to develop ColdFusion Builder – who were its greatest advocates?

TR: Not to sound like a broken record, but the community and customers. They asked for it pretty much from the moment that we stopped work on ColdFusion Studio. Now was the time and this was the team to get it done. It’s really amazing to me, coming in from the community during the process just how passionate and skilled our engineers are. They’ve done an impressive job with ColdFusion Builder in the amount of time they had.

CT: What direction do you see ColdFusion moving as it continues to advance and grow?

TR: I’m not at liberty to divulge too much forward-looking information, but what I can say is that you can expect us to continue our tradition of working with many different technologies, making things easy, and responding to community and customer demand.

To order your free ColdFusion 9 Beta plan today, click here or give us a call at 1-877-323-HOST (4678).

One Size Fits All? Nonsense…

Imagine, just for a moment, you had the IT budget of, say, Google or the Sultan of Brunei…

That was fun wasn’t it?

DSC_0379Now let’s snap back to reality. <Insert heavy sigh.> For those of us dealing with more modest means, the hosting industry has done a pretty good job of providing a somewhat standardized platform to support the websites and applications that our businesses count on. You can find traditional hosting models – shared, VPS, or dedicated – at pretty much any host, all with comparable configurations. But as we know, one size doesn’t always fit all.

Did you know we offer custom hosting configurations? Not everyone does, which is why it’s worth mentioning. The truth is, most of our packaged hosting solutions can and do meet a wide range of demands, but we also possess the resources and the expertise to support much more.

We recently spoke with David Frazier, Vice President of Network Operations and the key architect in many of our different hosting solutions, to find out more about Newtek’s custom solutions.

David put it this way: “It’s becoming much more common for customers to request something outside the standard shared or dedicated solution. Especially if a business is looking to outsource its entire IT infrastructure, in which case a standard hosting solution won’t typically meet their needs.”

He also emphasized that when it comes to custom solutions, the sky is the limit: “We can essentially provide anything a customer is looking for. ‘Custom’ is just as it sounds—it’s a completely customized solution designed to meet very specific needs.”

Many factors can drive a custom option – the common thread for all being that the need is complex. David cited three of the top request scenarios:

Load Balancing:
“Many of our custom clients utilize load balancing to shift the workload of one site between two or more servers – meaning that if one site fails, there will always be a back up in place. Nowadays, it’s becoming more of a typical need, and as demand increases, we hope to make it a standard option.”

Custom Software/OS:
“Some software programs are more demanding in terms of the specifications needed to operate successfully – we’ve run into this quite often with companies that have developed their own programs and applications in-house.”

Virtual Private Network (VPN):
“We have lots of healthcare customers, and all of them have to operate in accordance with HIPAA policies – VPNs help them to create an encrypted connection which protects any information traveling between servers. VPN’s are also a requirement for anyone in the payment card industry – it’s just an added and necessary layer of protection for their customers.”

Granted, custom dedicated solutions aren’t for everyone, as many standard dedicated plans offer plenty of allocations with built-in room for growth, but for those with specific needs, it’s always a good idea to know your resources.

For more information about custom dedicated solutions, please contact our sales department at 1-877-323-4678 (local customers may call 602-263-0300), option 3.

Embracing the Brave New Social World

For those of you who have hosted with us for a long while, you may notice some big changes around here – socially speaking. For those of you that are new to our world, please ignore our past wallflowerish tendencies and pretend that we’ve always been this socially advanced.
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