The Express Cloud is an important part of the Leaseweb portfolio. Our attention is always focused on products that help our customers grow, and we notice more customers are using our Cloud products as the basis or extension of their infrastructure. This is quite a logical development, since Cloud offers flexibility and performance, while cutting on operational cost and investments. We are very proud to announce that we are taking the next step by introducing our new Leaseweb Express Cloud platform.
Customer’s wishes are leading at Leaseweb, which means they decide much of how we prioritize our product development. To facilitate this, we need strong tools and platforms that allow us to build exciting new features and add-ons to existing products. For the Express Cloud, we went through a careful design process – building an entirely new platform from scratch that we can expand for years to come.
As of today, all new Express Cloud orders are delivered on this new platform. It contains some very exciting features, so I would like to present a few of the key characteristics of our Cloud platform to you.
First of all, we chose to build a fully redundant platform. While the Express Cloud is priced at an entry level, we of course only want to offer quality infrastructure, so we didn’t cut any corners there. Seeing as how the Leaseweb network architecture is one of the strongest in the industry, we used that as a basis, adding dual switches and uplinks for every component in our Cloud network. We made sure we always keep 50% of our network capacity reserved to prevent issues in case of hardware failure. We do this for both our public and storage networks. The storage network connects enterprise-grade Nexenta storage systems to your Cloud instances, storing all data twice, on separate systems. To top this off, we – naturally – connect the platform to dual power feeds. This infrastructure is repeated for the management and control systems needed to orchestrate the platform.
The hypervisors are the physical machines running your Cloud servers: they provide the horsepower and memory that powers your Cloud. For our hypervisors we use high-powered servers running KVM hypervisor software. We monitor the platform 24/7, and make sure everything runs as it should. In case of a hardware failure on one of the hypervisors, all Cloud instances are automatically moved and restarted on a fresh machine.
We made a few changes to the product offering as well; it’s now possible to order a number of new operating system combinations (FreeBSD 9 is now available, Ubuntu and Debian are now available with Plesk), and removed some unsupported ones (Windows 2008 variants on 32 bits systems).
We also eliminated the possibility to order more than one IP address on all Express Cloud orders, as available IPv4 space is running out fast globally. If you need more information on running multiple services with a single IPv4 IP, I recommend reading Grzegorz Janoszka’s blog post titled 10 myths about the use of IPv4 addresses. It offers many ideas on how to be efficient with this scarce resource. Of course, it’s always possible to order IPv6 addresses for your Express Cloud instances.
As I wrote in the beginning of this blog, our customer’s wishes are leading. This not just promotional talk: a few weeks ago we asked all our existing Cloud customers for their input on what features they would like to see. Now that the new Leaseweb Express Cloud platform is live, we are working on delivering the ones that were requested the most. Be sure to keep an eye on the Leaseweb blog, as we’ll be posting a peek into our roadmap soon. And as always, if you have any suggestions, ideas or questions, leave a comment below. Thanks in advance for helping us build an amazing product!