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Spark::red 2011 Review and 2012 Preview

2011 has been an amazing year for Spark::red ATG Oracle Commerce Hosting.

  • We’ve added several new clients (including a well known member of the Fortune 1000!)
  • We’ve added 101 new dedicated servers and over 20 cloud computing instances
  • We’ve opened an office in Boston
  • We’ve earned our PCI Level 1 MSP Certification
  • We’ve hired several employees, a large number of contractors, and even picked up an intern!
  • We’ve gone from 3 data centers in the USA to 13 data centers and 16 points-of-presence including several international facilities
  • While our competitors have raised prices, we’ve managed to keep prices the same or actually reduce them in many places.  All this while providing newer more powerful hardware across the board
  • We’ve introduced a new Oracle ATG Commerce Standard Hosting Package which provides excellent performance, stability, and security, for a very affordable package price
  • Served well over 200 TB of content
  • Partnered with JBoss/Redhat, Oracle, Akamai, Keynote, Knowledge Path, and many other industry leaders in order to provide the absolute best hosting, support, and related services
  • More more!
We’ve grown a lot in 2011 in every measurable dimension.  Clients, revenue, employees, contractors, servers, bandwidth, offices, processes, every aspect of the business has been growing nicely.
2012 is looking like it will be even bigger!  We have lots of prospective clients, two new international data centers opening in Australia and South America, international clients, new hires, a site redesign, a big sales and marketing push, new free ATG modules and open source code, and lots more!
I’m very excited about the upcoming year and what it will bring.  If you’d like to talk to us about what we can do to help you in 2012 give us a call or email us about your ATG Hosting needs!

ATG Commerce MC Edition Hosting Bundle

ATG offers a “starter pack” of their eCommerce solution for smaller customers called the MC Edition. ATG Hosting provider Spark::red has just announced a special ATG eCommerce Hosting Bundle designed for customers with the ATG MC Edition eCommerce licenses.

Spark::red is pleased to offer a hosting package designed specifically for ATG MC4 customers. By providing an affordable solution tailored to the licenses and needs of the MC4 customer, and by delivering all of the required Oracle, JBoss, and RedHat licenses and support agreements, this package is the fastest way to launch an ATG Commerce application.

Spark::red is the only hosting provider with a package designed for ATG MC Edition customers. This should make it much easier for mid-market customers to get started with ATG’s eCommerce software.

Why I Host My Own Websites, Mail, Files, etc…

I read several “Web Worker” blogs, tech blogs, productivity blogs, etc… Almost all of them have touted the virtues of using something like Google Enterprise, GMail, Basecamp, etc… instead of hosting your own site or your own mail or whatever it is. I agree, that if you lack the skillset to easily manage those things on your own, then you should go with someone else. However, I love having full control over my own mail server and web server. If I want to use a specific RBL to deal with spam or change a mail routing filter I can do it easily. If I want to build my web site using html for some pages, PHP for some, RoR for some, and Java for another part, I can. If I want to integrate in applications like Jira or Hudson to a site I host, it’s easy to whip up some proxy rules in Apache, tweak some css, and it’s done.

And while running things myself, on a single server, does mean that I occasionally have issues or outages, it also means that I pretty much always can identify the cause of the issue and fix it.

Ironically one of these blogs has been throwing a Google 502 error page about 1/2 the time. I assume it’s hosted on the Blogger platform, but I’m not certain. Some pages load up fine, other’s generate the 502 with the image below, and sometimes they load up fine if I hit reload a few times. I’m sure Google will fix it at some point, but until then the blog author is stuck with a 1/2 broken blog, and no idea what the cause is, and no ability to fix it.

It may be a little more work and a little higher cost, but the piece of mind of being able to customize things to any degree I want combined with being able to diagnose and fix issues myself is well worth it.