What is hosting?

Having signed hosting terms with us, you might be wondering what this entails and what these monthly costs actually pay for.

In short, the hosting fee pays for the platform that your system runs on. We host all of our systems and websites via Amazon Web Services, and hosting fees include the provision of an appropriate hardware platform. Whilst ‘the internet’ may seem very ethereal, it does rely on physical data centres and infrastructure.

The hosting costs we charge therefore provide for:

  • An always on web server.
  • An always on database server.
  • An always on backup* database server.
  • A ridiculously fast internet connection to the web server.
  • Storage for both web assets and data.
  • Daily off-site backups for web and data.
  • Monitoring and health of the platform with somebody on-call to deal with any platform issues.
  • Applying security patches to all of the above.
  • Applying operating system upgrades to all of the above.
  • The expertise of somebody to manage all of the above.
  • All system generated emails.

* Data is replicated to this server from the primary server in real time. If the first server was to die for some unknown reason, this server becomes the primary and another (new) server is created and becomes the backup.

From January 2020, we are monitoring changes to our customers’ system usage on a quarterly basis, as hosting costs are subject to increase in line with usage, effectively due to costs we incur from Amazon Web Services. Things that that would most commonly impact upon your monthly hosting costs are, for example, changes in numbers of users, system-generated emails, or amount of data storage required.

The Switchplane Team

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