This is a general introduction and overview to the various hosting services provided by Affino - just so everyone has a clear picture of what options are available and by what magnitude hosting provision can be ramped up to handle traffic growth and spikes in activity.
The Affino SaaS Platform is a fully cloud-hosted solution, which has been hosted on the Amazon Cloud from its earliest days. It uses the latest industry standard technologies for security, backup, load-balancing, scaling, recovery, and business continuity. We only host our own solution - Affino.
Affino has been using scaling technologies for as long as they’ve been available, and we have a wealth of experience and expertise in auto-scaling server infrastructure to ensure maximum uptime and performance during busy periods. This means increased efficiency combined with cost reduction during the low traffic periods. Affino Auto-scale is fully automated and allows our hosting services to grow (and shrink) with your traffic/load requirements meaning we achieve 99.9% uptime across all key services.
Using a combination of custom work by our talented development team and the latest in problem detection/reaction Affino have developed a unique health checking service which means that problem servers can be identified, diagnosed and replaced with full automation. You’ll (almost) never have to wait for a engineer to be on-call or put up with downtime during the middle of the night our smart failover systems will detect your issue and recover even in the event of severe hardware failure. In exceptional circumstances when there is a failure that cannot be handled through automation Affino has an expert multi-disciplinary team on hand to work through any recovery scenario.
Affino’s CDN is able to deliver all your content using a global network of edge locations. Requests for your content are automatically routed to the nearest edge location, so content is delivered with the best possible performance by being stored as close as possible to your end users - including the United States, Europe, Asia, South America and Australia.
We have the four standard hosting tiers with an additional Dedicated Data Service:
Shared hosting service (comes with the core Affino SaaS Service). Has the benefits of 24 / 7 support, auto failover and auto scaling. ’Shared’ - means that server resources are shared by up to 10 Affino instances.
This is good for low 100,000’s monthly users, has a dedicated application service cloud with small application servers. Importantly has auto-failover and auto-scaling which is much faster for scaling up than the shared service. It is also faster overall since the server is optimised for delivering just one site (or related sites). The service also has more data, storage, emails and bandwidth available each month than the Shared service.
This is the same as the Premium service but has the benefit of also being load-balanced. This means that as a baseline it has double the capacity of the Premium service and handles peaks much more effectively. It is essential where sites are regularly sending out 10,000s of high impact email alerts.
Is a significant step up from Premium Plus. Has 10x the capacity of Premium in terms of bandwidth, messages and storage, and instead of running on small servers it runs on large servers for much greater performance and resilience. Auto-scales up to 4 large servers when under heavy load.
The Custom hosting service tier typically involves a higher baseline of load balanced servers and higher peak capacity when required. The single biggest hosting project we have undertaken has been for 500 million monthly users with campaigns reaching 100 million at a time. Note that if you are aware of one-off peaks such as breaking news stories you can also contact the Affino team in advance to pre-scale your setup, which we will do for you as long as it’s a rare event.
For data-heavy sites and sites where there is considerable analytics, sales and marketing automation required, which in turn generates a great deal of data - we provide a dedicated data service. This service has an entry level which is more than adequate for most sites, however if needed, it can be scaled and load balanced in the same way as the application servers. Where required, Affino can also be integrated with big data services to deliver super-scale data services.
This is now recommended for everyone, yet is still quite a manual process requiring CSR (Certificate Signing Request) and a moderate amount of admin. All the search engines now give priority to HTTPS sites (SSL Encrypted) so this has become a standard component of Affino’s hosting services, which most of our Clients avail themselves of. Affino has considerable experience in working with SSL services - we are not only able to work with any SSL provider and any SSL certificate type we are also happy to support you at every step of the setup process and maintenance. We constantly keep our ear to the ground for any potential security threats, which are typically addressed the same day they arise, and rolled out to our application servers meaning we have never had a security breach to date and only work with the most advanced security on all our services. Do note that even though we do work with all the SSL providers we tend to have a preference for and recommend GoDaddy, as we find them the most reliable, as well as the most responsive for support issues.
Affino is constantly evolving with new updates always on the horizon. Even with intensive testing, and few glitches can slip through in final releases. We advocate the use of Staging sites - particularly for the more complex configurations / setups which have custom components. This means you can load new releases and critical fixes and updates - to test first on the staging server, before you then transition those across to the live site. This minimises any interruptions to core services, and moreover allows you to experiment and innovate more without the potential of negatively impacting your live customer experience. All our staging environments are top of the line and mimic our production infrastructure - meaning you can rest assured that your site will be in perfect working order every step of the way.
All our services are provided with multiple levels of backup, both onsite and offsite in the event of disaster recovery.
If you want complete peace of mind, and insurance that all bases are covered. We offer business continuity options which involve direct access to our hosting methods and your own hosted online backups of all your content, databases and site code. This gives you fail-safe access to all your vital resources and allows you to fully recover your entire Affino solution should some extreme disaster event or ’act-of-god’ occur.
Domains are owned by the Client companies, and the management and responsibility for such lies beyond our control. We can of course however provide assistance and advice in relation to Affino hosting, as and when required.
For more details and if you’re looking to scale further please contact your account manager.