Category: Namecheap News
10 years ago Namecheap.com was hosted in its entirety on just a single physical server.
Over the years as we’ve grown, to over 1 million customers managing 4 million domains, our infrastructure base has also grown. With hundreds of thousands of customers and visitors visiting us every day to register their domain, to purchase a hosting package, to manage their existing domain, add a SSL certificate or take advantage of our private email, infrastructure is an important part of the Namecheap organization.
At the time of writing (November 18th, 2014), Namecheap.com is hosted on a powerful multi-server VMWare environment in our Atlanta datacenter.
As of the week commencing November 24th, 2014, Namecheap.com is going to be hosted on a new VMWare environment with approximately 300 x the horsepower of the older setup. The new VMWare environment will be hosted out of our Phoenix datacenter.
Yes, you read that right. 300 x more power than our old platform.
We’re doing this for you, our customers. Namecheap, as you probably know, is 110% committed to deliver an amazing customer experience. This includes great products, the best support in the business, a total commitment to privacy and best practices in security. And this all begins when you access Namecheap.com
This commitment is why we’re making a significant seven figure investment into our infrastructure that will drive Namecheap.com into 2015 and far beyond. It is the biggest single investment we’ve made into our infrastructure to date. And as the executive leading this initiative, I’m incredibly proud we’ve made this investment and I’m excited to show you, our customers, how this will improve your experience. Interested in the tech specs, the geeky stuff? Then read on….
We’re completely overhauling our network setup in Phoenix. We’re installing brand new Juniper M104 routers in a N+N redundant model. Our new routing engine gives us 320Gbps of bandwidth capacity.
Our core switching is a mixture of Juniper and Arista. Our core switching model is capable of delivering multiple 10G low latency connections to our rack switching. The low latency is especially important for the storage element of our VMWare cloud.
Security is very important at Namecheap. We operate a policy of security through obscurity so there will be no photos or descriptions of the security devices in use. But I will say we’ve taken a best-in-class procurement process in selecting hardware for firewalling, DDoS detection, DDOS mitigation and more.
We’re using extremely powerful Dell blade servers to provide the underlying physical hardware for VMWare. Each server contains multiple E5-2650v2 CPUs, maximum RAM allocations and a plethora of 10G ports to connect to our storage infrastructure. Use of the M1000e chassis improves cabling, improves reliability and reduces energy consumption.
Storage is provided courtesy of Dell Compellent SANs. We run several tiers of storage to cover read intensive, write intensive and slower backup/archive needs. These tiers are achieved through different SSD and SAS disks, all redundant and all hot swappable in the Compellent chassis.
The completed build – minus some tidying, cable management and general house-keepings, looks something like this:
At the time of writing, Namecheap.com is still hosted on the older Atlanta VMWare setup. There will be a maintenance window of approximately 3 hours of downtime to migrate to the new infrastructure setup I’ve described above. If you’re reading this before this maintenance occurs, then stay tuned for the announcement of when this will be. If you’re reading this while the maintenance is occurring then please sit tight while we make these improvements – they’ll definitely be worth it!
Questions? Ask via the comments below and I’ll check in periodically to answer.
Innovation needs people who dare to take the first step to do something great, and July is a month famous for innovation. It was 238 years ago that John Hancock put the first signature on the Declaration of Independence, and 45 years ago that Neil Armstrong put the first footprint on the moon.
Don’t wait to be great.
We want to help you take your #GiantLeap online.
For the month of July (this offer is now expired!), you can get a .US domain name and 1 year of private email for $0.98. See the details here https://www.namecheap.com/promos/2014/giant-leaps.aspx
Tweet us @Namecheap to show us what you are up to, and we will share the best right here.
Nathan, Namecheap Marketing
Are you one of the many who owns a .me.uk, .org.uk or .co.uk? Have you been waiting for .uk as a top-level domain? Here’s some exciting news: Today, June 10, Namecheap is beginning to offer .uk as a direct extension. We’re pleased to be one of the largest US registrars to offer .uk.
To strengthen our friendship with the UK business sector even more, we present a hosting deal to go along with your new .uk domain. If you register your .uk with Namecheap, you’re eligible to receive one year of our Value hosting plan (hosted from our UK datacenter) for only $1. Second-year renewals will be available at the regular rate.
All .uk domains and new UK hosting plans are backed by the same powerful Namecheap guarantee, service and support you’ve come to depend on.
At Namecheap, the freedom to be heard has always been very important to us. Helping our users to do, create and ultimately be heard online has been our mission for over 10 years. When our users register a domain for email, put up a website or blog, or open an online store to the world, they all have one thing in common: They want to express themselves and their ideas, publicly or privately. We believe in that core principle of expression, and we’re proud to help our users tell their stories online.
This is why we as a company are particularly concerned about the recent debate over Net Neutrality. We want to make sure that all of our users are aware of this issue, what it means and how it impacts not only them, but the entire Internet as it stands today.
What is Net Neutrality?
There are many great primers on the Internet about Net Neutrality, so we won’t reinvent the wheel. For a serious summary from the Guardian, try here: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/may/14/net-neutrality-fcc-what-is-it. For a more lighthearted take, check out this recent video from John Oliver: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpbOEoRrHyU
Quite simply, Net Neutrality is the concept that all data on the Internet, regardless of what kind it may be (text, voice, video) and the source of the data (Wikipedia, Skype, Youtube), should be treated equally. No one type of data should have priority over another, and hence no one party can determine the source or type of content you can access. Everything is open and free, sticking to the core principles that made the Internet possible in the first place.
This is the way the Internet has worked from Day One, quite well so far. Why change it now? The answer is simple but probably not surprising: Money!
Why do ISPs and others want to change this core principle?
Streaming services such as Netflix and Youtube are very bandwidth-intensive, which means they use a lot of Internet capacity. If the Internet works as intended and doesn’t discriminate between what type of data it transmits or the priority it gives any data, your Netflix video should theoretically be delivered at the same rate as any other Internet data, such as email or web browsing; there’s just more of it.
ISPs such as the usual suspects starting with C and V don’t like this very much. They built their networks to handle a certain amount of data per user based on past usage. Today’s high-bandwidth Internet usage pattern is forcing them to upgrade their infrastructure to handle a typical user, and this costs them a lot of money.
In response, ISPs want to change the law so they can charge Netflix and others for access to their networks, creating a ‘fast lane’ for companies who pay the toll.
Why is this so bad?
Good question. It might seem fair that, if their customer usage patterns are skewing toward Netflix and other such higher-bandwidth services, and ISPs are forced to upgrade their networks at a faster rate as a result, someone should pay for it. Netflix can afford to do so, but at what cost?
Consider that in the future, the next Netflix-killer will be forced to pay more to deliver the same quality of service. Ask yourself: Could Reed Hastings and company have started and grown Netflix from scratch into a giant with this additional burden? And more importantly, aren’t we supposed to be removing and not creating burdens for entrepreneurs?
The point is this: The Internet is built upon neutrality and interoperability. Without them, we risk censorship. If we legislate treating certain data on the Internet differently from other data, and allowing certain gatekeepers to make this determination, we’re sliding down a dangerous slope that ends at virtual censorship. You may be able to publish whatever you want, but you’re no longer guaranteed that everyone will be able to read, hear or view it as easily as any other content. That doesn’t sound like an equal and open Internet to us.
More broadly, perhaps instead of charging someone more and keeping profits high, telecoms should instead adjust capital expenditures to reflect the reality of customers using the Internet in 2014: As a high-bandwidth, always-on life utility. Legislating quality of access instead could change the current bizarre situation where telcos are racking up record profits while the USA is ranked 41st out of 192 countries for Internet speed… an interesting and frightening paradox for a nation that considers itself a technology and thought leader.
Making sure your voice is heard
Coming back full circle now, when our customers register their domain, create a website or storefront, post a video, or even send an email, they are expressing themselves and want to be heard. The services that power our voices and our messages must be able to access the Internet equally in order for their users to be heard.
A two-tier Internet would prevent the platform you choose from having an equal chance to compete, and we at Namecheap can’t stand to see that become the status quo.
To ensure all users continue to be heard equally, Namecheap is running an ongoing campaign for Net Neutrality and raising money for the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Fight for the Future. Click here to learn about our current Reset the Net effort and please help spread the word about this critical issue for all of us online.
– Richard Kirkendall, Namecheap CEO
Namecheap believes in every internet user’s right to privacy. That’s why we’re partnering with Fight for the Future on June 5th, in support of Reset the Net. Reset the Net is a day of action designed to end government surveillance online. The best way you can protect your customers’ privacy is with an SSL. That’s why we’ll be offering two great deals on site security: Use coupon code POSITIVERESET to get a one-year Comodo PositiveSSL certificate for $1.99 and/or coupon code RAPIDRESET to get a one-year GeoTrust RapidSSL cert for $4.99. Restrictions apply. For every SSL certificate sold as part of Reset the Net, we’ll donate $0.50 to Fight for the Future. When the number of SSLs sold tops 1000, we’ll double that donation amount. FftF is an organization dedicated to preserving the internet’s power to transform human lives for good. Learn more and sign their pledge at resetthenet.org.
It’s a great week to be a ninja or a travel professional. These new top-level domains become available for general registration May 28: .ninja, .cruises, .flights, .rentals, .vacation, .villas and .immobilien. And don’t forget about .wiki on May 26! Get in on the action – visit the registration page to secure your new domains today.
Starting Monday afternoon (EST), we experienced 4 separate outages/issues with the main Namecheap website. These lasted until the early hours of Tuesday morning (EST), rendering some Namecheap.com services completely inaccessible at times. These outages were unplanned and we are extremely sorry for the inconvenience that these caused.
In this blog post, I’m going to explain a little more about what went wrong.
As a background, throughout the last 3 months, we’ve been upgrading a number of core Namecheap.com systems to better serve you. These include a faster Namecheap.com, improved My Account performance, a more resilient DNS system, an improved DDoS detection and mitigation system, better spam protection and enhanced email/URL forwarding. Quite literally, we’ve left no stone unturned in our desire to deliver a better Namecheap experience.
Over the weekend and into Monday, our Systems Team was performing what we assumed to be minor maintenance to our storage networks. We have a redundant storage network with multiple nodes and the intention was to upgrade these individually with zero customer impact. Unfortunately, these upgrades did not go to plan and we experienced a system crash at our Virtualization layer taking all hardware nodes offline. Initial diagnosis shows a software bug that affects certain VMware instances was at fault.
Our emergency response quickly leapt into action and we began a system restore and upgrade
(to patch the bug) in the early hours of the morning. Most services returned to normal by Tuesday morning EST.
I’d again like to take this opportunity to again apologize for the inconvenience and impact this caused you and your business. Our commitment to deliver amazing services to our customers is as strong as ever, and in this particular incident, we did not. We are thoroughly evaluating what went wrong and we do not expect any reoccurrence of the issues that caused this.
The Namecheap Team
The little word “works” can refer to a lot of things – fireworks, waterworks, how something works, even authors’ works. Now you can tell the world how you work or what works for you, with a .works domain name. This is a perfect extension for employment agencies, informational sites and all kinds of blogs.
And, of course, there are experts in every field: Science, technology, marketing, fitness, fashion, just to name a few. If you want to share your expertise in any area, the .expert TLD is a great way to name your new website. Head over to our registration page and get yours today.
We want to thank you for helping us care for Planet Earth and its 7 billion inhabitants. Your purchases on Earth Day 2014 enabled Namecheap to donate $2936 to The Nature Conservancy and $2624 to Water4, in support of healthy ecosystems and clean drinking water worldwide. Way to go! We look forward to working with you in support of Earth Day 2015.
Good news for Spanish-language travel and tourism organizations, coupon sites, and farmers. The new top-level domains .viajes, .codes and .farm become available for general registration April 23. Early registration opens April 20. Keep track of these and other new domain options at our New TLDs page.