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Hostirian 2019 SSAE 18 SOC 2

Get the report: Hostirian 2019 SOC 2 Type II

St. Louis, MO  April 21, 2020 – Hostirian, LLC, a provider of technological solutions, announced today that it has successfully completed a System and Organization Controls (SOC) 2® Type II Audit examination for their Colocation Data Center System. Hostirian, LLC retained international business advisory firm Skoda Minotti for its SOC 2® audit work. Hostirian, LLC selected Skoda Minotti after an intensive search based on their reputation as a leading risk advisory and compliance firm.

Ben Osbrach, CISSP, CISA, QSA, CICP, CCSFP, partner-in-charge of Skoda Minotti’s risk advisory group said, “We were excited to work with Hostirian from the very start. They are an intriguing organization delivering high-quality services and their business adds to our growing SOC reporting practice.”

SOC 2® engagements are performed in accordance with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ (AICPA) AT-C 205, Reporting on controls at a service organization based on the trust service principles outlined in the AICPA Guide and reporting on controls at a service organization relevant to security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality or privacy. The SOC 2® Type II report is performed by an independent auditing firm and is intended to provide an understanding of the service organization’s suitability of the design and operating effectiveness of its internal controls. A service organization may select any or all of the trust service principles applicable to their business and Hostirian chose to report on security. The successful completion of this voluntary engagement illustrates Hostirian’s ongoing commitment to create and maintain a secure operating environment for their clients’ confidential data.

Skoda Minotti’s testing of Hostirian’s controls included examination of their policies and procedures regarding network connectivity, firewall configurations, systems development life cycle, computer operations, logical access, data transmission, backup and disaster recovery and other critical operational areas of their business. Upon completion of the audit, Hostirian received a Service Auditor’s Report with an unqualified opinion demonstrating that their policies, procedures, and infrastructure meet or exceed the stringent SOC 2® criteria.

“The successful completion of our SOC 2® Type II examination audit provides Hostirian’s clients with the assurance that the controls and safeguards we employ to protect and secure their data are in line with industry standards and best practices,” said Ken Cox, CEO.

About – Hostirian, LLC

Hostirian is a wholly-owned company of River City Internet Group, LLC. Hostirian is responsible for various activities related to managing client systems. The types of service offerings available are listed below.

Hostirian’s data centers are located on 11756 Borman Drive, St. Louis, MO 63146 and at 710 N. Tucker, Suite 420, St. Louis, MO 63101. Hostirian’s data centers are 10,000 square feet and 16,000 square feet data operation facilities intended to provide uninterrupted power and service for Hostirian clients. The facilities are designed to greatly reduce client downtime and operate under supervision 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. The data centers currently host, monitor and/or manage user systems located within the two facilities. The colocation model is available to all Hostirian clients and allows Hostirian to act as the client’s server or data warehouse.

The colocation model provides 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year on-site live support services for basic reboots, rack or cage space, and power to customer-owned equipment.

About – Skoda Minotti

Skoda Minotti is a Certified Public Accounting Firm based in Cleveland, OH offering a variety of tax, finance, and business advisory services in virtually every area of business. The Risk Advisory practice specializes in SOC Reporting, PCI DSS Compliance, HIPAA Compliance and HITRUST validation, FISMA, NIST, ISO 27001, Vulnerability and Penetration Testing, and other regulatory information security assessments. Staffs in Skoda Minotti’s Risk Advisory hold several industry certifications including Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Qualified Security Assessor (QSA), GIAC Penetration Tester (GPEN), and GIAC Web Application Penetration Tester (GWAPT). For more information about Skoda Minotti’s Risk Advisory Services, please visit skodaminotti.com/risk.

What Impacts Your Website Speed and Why it Matters

Website Speed

Have you given much thought to your website speed?

For many people, you probably don’t really consider it until there is an issue. If you’re browsing online, it can be frustrating when a website doesn’t load as it should, or when it is too slow to load.

Website speed really matters, especially if you’re running a business where you rely on people completing transactions via the site. A slow website can lead to people giving up, meaning your website doesn’t do the job it was supposed to.

Let’s take a closer look at why website speed is important and what factors affect it:

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Why website speed is important

First of all, let’s throw in a couple of quick definitions for page and site speed, as the two are often confused:

  • Page speed = the measurement of how fast the content loads on an individual page
  • Site speed = the average page load time for a sampling of page views on your website.

Both the speed of individual pages and the average site speed are important considerations for your website. One primary reason is bounce rate. This is defined as the percentage of website visitors who navigate away from a website after viewing just one page. Obviously, your preference would be to have people continue to browse and to stay on your website as long as possible!

Pingdom conducted some tests to see how page load time impacts bounce rates. As you might expect, the longer the load time the higher the bounce rate. Importantly, look at the bounce rates for load speeds of up to five seconds (most websites can manage this), you can see that the more you’re able to keep load time below five seconds, the better.

Website Speed

Source

If you sell products or services via your website, higher load speeds amount to bad news for your sales. They’re a quick deterrent to visitors exploring any further. Conventional wisdom has suggested for the last few years that page speeds should be less than two or three seconds; however interestingly over that time, Pingdom notes that average website size has steadily increased. This is one factor that can slow down your load speed.

Site speed and SEO

A second key factor for why website speed matters is because it is an SEO ranking factor for your website, and has been since at least 2010. What does this mean? Google says that site speed forms one of the signals used by its algorithm to determine how pages are ranked in search results.

Your website can be doubly penalized in search results if you have slow load speeds. There’s the use of speed itself as a ranking factor, but then there are other ranking factors that may be affected by speed, such as your site bounce rate. Google’s aim is to show the best-quality results to searchers – if they quickly leave a page, it is indicating to Google that the result wasn’t great.

Another potentially negative impact of slow speed on your site search results is the time allotted by search engines to crawl your website. This is the process by which the search engine inspects the pages of your site and creates an index of them. Obviously, you’d like all important pages to be crawled and indexed, but slow speed means that fewer pages can be crawled.

The bottom line? You need your average site speed as well as individual page speeds to be as quick as possible.

Site speed is an SEO ranking factor - don’t let your site get slowed down! Click To Tweet

What impacts website speed?

Multiple factors impact your website speed. The good news is that most of the time, there is something you can do about it if one or more of these factors are slowing your site speed.

Scripts and plugins

Plugins and scripts help you to add functionality or design factors to your website. They give you features such as advertising, pop-ups or needed background functions. Some of these features will be absolute must-haves for you, but scripts and plugins can also be behind slow website speeds.

For example, if you have a lot of plugins or scripts operating on your website at once, these will slow it down. Sometimes the overall quality of those plugins or scripts might not be up to par either. A poorly coded plugin can be a major weight on website speed.

We always recommend that you take a minimalist approach to scripts and plugins. This means only installing those that are absolutely necessary to operate your website as needed. It’s a good idea to make a list of what those functions and associated plugins are. If you suspect that plugins or scripts are slowing down your website, there are a couple of things you can do to fix it.

Firstly, if you have the skills you can test this for yourself. The process would be to test your website speed using a tool, such as Pingdom, then retest after uninstalling each plugin that isn’t absolutely necessary. If you find that there is a necessary plugin causing issues, you might need to look for a better alternative.

Secondly, you can hire an expert to sort out your website speed, especially if issues with coding or how to install or remove plugins aren’t your fort?. Someone who deals with these things every day will have a good idea of where to look first.

Site coding

Besides plugins or scripts, it’s possible that the coding of your website is not up to a good standard. Sometimes you may find that the coding behind your website is overly bulky or cumbersome, slowing the whole thing down.

This can occur when an inexperienced developer works on your site, or when features, such as your theme, use bloated coding. What can you do about it? You may again want to get an expert to look over your website and tidy up any poor coding. Otherwise, potentially you may need to choose a new theme or eliminate some features.

Images or multimedia

The size of images or any multimedia you use can impede the load speed of your website. The bigger the file size, the slower your page load speeds.

It is best practice to compress images before uploading them to a website. Use JPG for most photos, or PNG for low-detail images, such as logos. As for any multimedia, if you can have that uploaded somewhere else, then embedded into your website, that will help to speed it up. For example, by uploading to YouTube then using the embed code on your site.

Website Speed

Use of browser caching

In this case, if you are not using browser caching it can slow your website speed down. Caching is the process of storing files locally so that they are retrieved faster in the future. This is used for content that is the least modified, such as images and external scripts.

Caching can be implemented with a plugin – there are a few good options if you’re running a WordPress website, for example.

Your choice of web hosting

The web hosting you choose for your website plays a big role in how well it performs. Do you know what you’re getting from your web host? Sometimes the cheap hosting deal isn’t a great value after all, especially if it means performance issues.

Some hosting options put you on servers with too many other websites, causing slow speeds when the load on those servers becomes too much. Sometimes you might find that the server technology itself is poor. Older servers might lead to site speed issues, too.

Another thing to look out for is any bandwidth limits that your host imposes. Your site could end up throttled if it meets limits, impacting user experience.

Content delivery network

This is another one where not using it can result in slower website speeds. A content delivery network (CDN) has data centers worldwide in order to store your website data locally.

What does this mean? Let’s say your site is hosted on a server here in St. Louis – if a customer in Europe were to browse your site, they’d ordinarily find it slower than someone browsing in the US. A CDN will store information closer to their location, so that it loads more quickly.

Get your own personalized website report. Click here and fill out the form at top left

Final thoughts

Your website speed matters. A slow speed can turn visitors away, meaning you don’t achieve the goals that you’d like from the site. It can also impact your SEO. Site speed is a known ranking factor in search results.

Fortunately, if your website is slow, it doesn’t have to be fatal. There are some common issues that can contribute to slow load speeds which can be fixed.

Get your free website report from us here to learn how your site could be more profitable

YunoHost: Everything you need to host your own apps

YunoHost is an all-in-one OS based on Debian. It is primarily designed for making self-hosting accessible to everyone. With YunoHost, it is easy to host your own mail server, web server, LDAP server, DNS server, backup server, CMS platform such as wordpress, or anything and everything easily with few mouse clicks

FEATURES:

  • Based on Debian
  • Administer your server with a friendly web pag
  • Easily install applications on your server
  • Manage users (Based on LDAP)
  • Manage Domains
  • Create and restore backups
  • Connect to all apps simultaneously through the user portal
  • Includes a full email stack (Postfix, Dovecot, Rspamd, DKIM)
  • Instant messaging server (XMPP)
  • SSL certificate management system (intergrated with Let's Encrypt
  • Security systems (fail2ban, yunohost-firewall)

I instantly fell in love with YUNOHOST. It was so simple to get setup and running for kick ass apps like Rocketchat I can save a ton of money hosting my own apps instead of paying per user with single use application provider.

Whats with the Name?

YunoHost was created in February 2012 after something like this:

"Shit, I'm too lazy to reconfigure my mail server... Beudbeud, how were you able to get your little server running with LDAP?"

Kload, February 2012

YunoHost All that was needed was an administration interface for Beudbeud’s server to make something usable, so Kload decided to develop one.  Finally, after automating several configurations and packaging in some web apps, YunoHost V1 was finished.

Noting the growing enthusiasm around yunoHost and around self-hosting in general, the original developers along with new contributors decided to start work on version 2, more extensible, more powerful, more easy-to-use, and one that makes a nice cup of fair-trade coffee for the elves of Lapland.

 

SECURITY:

The utmost effort is made to keep YunoHost secure, and the communications encrypted, you can read more about this subject on the related page: https://yunohost.org/security

Form and Function

You get all the great tools from the original my.hostirian.com control panel with all the easy to configure and manage control from YUNOHost, coupled with state of the art NVMe virtual servers it is a fantastic solution. 

5 Reasons to Choose NVMe over SSD Drives

Why NVMe

You may have seen our NVMe product on our website and wondered what the big deal is.

What does “insanely fast” mean for you? How does it work and why is it better than regular SSD technology?

As a brief primer, NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) is a relatively recent technology protocol. It accesses high-speed storage media and has several advantages as compared to legacy protocols such as SATA.

The earlier SSDs that utilized SATA aimed to minimize any changes in the legacy HDD (Hard Disk Drive) enterprise storage systems. The limitation is that SATA was not designed for high-speed storage media. By contrast, NVMe utilizes parallel, low-latency data paths to media, offering higher performance and lower latencies. (Latency is the term we use to refer to the delay between requesting and receiving information).

What does this mean when you’re making a decision between choosing between NVMe and other technologies? Here are some clear advantages:

Download our NVMe fact sheet here

#1. It’s geared for enterprise workloads

Many enterprise-level companies are data-heavy, requiring some serious heavy lifting from their computing solutions. For example, look at any company that might require a large data analytics load to be operating at any second. Or, consider a busy online trading platform, where thousands of requests per minute may need to be processed.

Any enterprise that is sensitive to data latency is a good candidate for NVMe technology. How does it achieve better speeds? It uses parallel, low-latency data paths within the back-end of flash arrays.

To give a specific example, legacy SCSI is a serial protocol, meaning that it can only talk to one disk device at a time. NVMe allows you to have up to 64,000 simultaneous requests and access storage capacity much more efficiently. The NVMe drives provide significantly more IOPS – Input – Output per second. What this means is the you can write more data per second to the hard drive and you can read more data per second.

In terms of cost, NVMe consumes a lot less power than other solutions and reduces the total cost of ownership (TCO) for enterprises less as well.

Source

NVMe is a top choice to cater to enterprise workloads Click To Tweet

#2. Better website user experience

Higher IOPS means better performance in the eyes of your website users. As you will know, user experience can make or break the success of a website. Our website visitors expect to be able to do what they need to within seconds and that the website renders well for them.

Imagine a lot of people arriving on a website at once. For example, if you run tax services and it is tax season, or if you have a popular ecommerce store and it is Cyber Monday. Legacy technologies can lead to significant performance issues when there are multiple site requests simultaneously.

Some websites operating on older technology will outright crash with heavy use, while others will slow down so significantly that users lose patience with them. Overall, not only is this a poor experience for the user, it can be costly to your business. The chances are people will leave if they can’t achieve what they need to quickly. NVMe provides more outputs per second, meaning your website renders faster in the browser of the user.

Consider the types of websites where data needs to be saved or uploaded too. If a user is hitting a “submit” button, NVMe allows this to happen much faster and assures them that their data has been received. This is because there are more inputs per second writing to the hard drive.

From the perspective of website users within the company as well, NVMe can provide a superior experience. Consider for example companies with large databases that want to pull a lot of information from the hard drive at any one time. Sometimes a “show all” command involves thousands, even millions of rows of data in a database. With legacy SSD technology, this will usually involve several minutes of waiting around, whereas NVMe cuts that wait time right down.

To give a specific example, we have some clients that use Quickbooks on their NVMe servers. They like them because they can pull up all of their customers much more quickly. They also report that generating invoices is a much quicker process than it used to be under older technology.

#3. Better bottom-line business benefits

We can infer from better customer experience and faster performance for the business that there will be better bottom-line benefits too. In fact, there is some data to suggest this is so.

To backtrack slightly, a lot comes down to customer expectation of performance. While internet speed and device performance have improved, they’ve also lead to increased expectations around website speed. Data shows though that websites have become more technology-heavy and have slowed down overall, especially when we look at large ecommerce sites and other traffic-heavy websites.

Research shows that 57% of website visitors will leave if the website doesn’t load after three seconds. 80% of those people will never return. Of that 80%, half are likely to tell other people of their bad experience. This means that not only is a slower website impacting the number of conversions you get, it’s affecting your overall reputation. Would a speed boost from NVMe be worth it from this perspective? We think so. You could potentially expect more revenues, more commissions and better overall customer service.

Even if your website is mostly used for internal purposes, you can get better benefits for your bottom-line. Consider the workload of team members and how it may be impacted by website speed. Are they waiting around for thousands of lines of data? Or, does the data arrive quickly allowing them to get through their work speedily.

Better business efficiency allows for more focus on activities that drive your bottom-line. We’d say that’s a great reason to opt for NVMe over other choices.

#4. NVMe has unique features

There are several features that are unique to NVMe and very helpful to businesses – we’ll mention just a couple here. One of those is that no custom device driver is required. Early SSD versions would often require the deployment of a completely new device driver to access the SSD any time a user upgraded their operating systems, or even made a simple security patch.

NVMe is supported as-is by all major modern operating systems. The standardized interface supports any NVMe from any manufacturer.

Another feature is that NVMe can increase device lifetime. With older SSD technology, SSDs have a finite lifetime dictated by the number of write operations known as program/erase (P/E) cycles NAND flash can endure. NVMe uses multi-stream writes which reduces device management writes to improve device lifetime.

#5. NVMe is the technological future

Consider this extract from a Network World article:

“As NVMe technology matures, costs decline, and storage performance requirements rise, enterprises will move toward flash-based storage systems that implement NVMe end-to-end and can support mixed workloads. “There’s a TCO argument around a system for mixed workloads that’s built out of NVMe instead of SCSI. It still has flash, but it’s flash that you talk to over NVMe versus flash that you talk to over SCSI. You can build a more powerful system in a smaller footprint that uses less energy with the NVMe-based version,” Bergener says.”

The overall implication is that NVMe will eventually replace other storage options anyway. More and more enterprises are shifting to NVMe already, although it hasn’t yet reached the 50% threshold.

If you’re looking for new solutions anyway, you could look at NVMe as a future-proofing investment. If you want to be able to scale easily and require higher infrastructure density, then NVMe will deliver you the best possible performance. Importantly, NVMe is upgradable for newer storage technologies so you can be certain you’ve made a good choice for the long-term.

Get our NVMe fact sheet here

Final thoughts

NVMe is next-level when you’re looking for superior and reliable website performance. Speed matters, and NVMe is what we’d describe as “insanely fast.”

If you’re making choices about your website infrastructure, we’d put NVMe near the top of the list as a solution. It has longevity, performance and a range of features that push it ahead of other solutions.
To learn more about our NVMe hosting solution, click here.

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