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About Simply WebhostingAdvantagecom Networks is also known as SimplyWebHosting.com, Schmolie.com, and WallaWallaInternet.com. These web sites link to specific services that we offer. Advantagecom.net is our corporate web site.
Advantagecom Networks is a fully licensed corporation in Washington state and is a member of the National Federation of Independent Businesses.
It is our mission to provide our customers world class web hosting solutions, the tools for successful e-commerce, and expedient support. This enables our customers to focus on their core business and reach their own goals without concern for the technology supporting their business operations.
We recognize that our most expedient path to financial success is by helping everyone we deal with to prosper. To that end, we aim to provide these services with competitive pricing that allows us to fairly compensate employees, ensure our investors' interests are secure, and fund continuing growth.
Advantagecom Networks, Inc. was founded in December 1995 under the name Advantage Communication Enterprises and was incorporated in March 1999 under its present name.
Advantagecom is a company that has been driven by Internet technology since its inception. The founders believed that any individual could achieve business success on the Internet if firm integrity, perseverance, and a hefty dose of common sense were applied to a viable business model.
Initially, the company was a test case for that belief. The company sold various products and services over the Internet for approximately two years after its inception. Marketing methods were refined, procedures were developed, policies were implemented, and business management skills were honed. Eventually, the company began to show a profit.
While selling products and services over the Internet, the founders of Advantagecom came to realize that one major stumbling block in the way of Internet business success was finding a good web hosting service.
Many web hosting companies were experiencing reliability, performance, and technical support difficulties. Some web hosting companies were simply trying to get their hands on the customers' money in whatever way they could, often making outrageous promises that they had no intention of keeping. In spite of all the problems with web hosting services, it was still the number one expense when running a small online business.
The founders of Advantagecom decided they were going to fill the need for reliable web hosting services that were reasonably priced and sold with integrity and ethics. They raised the necessary startup capital and began selling web hosting services in September 1998.
Since that time, the service offerings of Advantagecom have continued to grow and evolve to keep up with the ever changing computer and Internet technologies.
Advantagecom even managed to successfully navigate the "dot com" bubble and subsequent economic downturn.
Today, Advantagecom Networks, Inc. is growing and continuously attracts more business through its continued innovation and ethical business practices.
Obsessive network engineering at your service.
Visitors to your web site will simply choose a different web site to view rather than wait for your web site to function. Your web site must always be accessible and at a level of performance such that no visitor spends time waiting on your web hosting company's network to deliver the data.
To create and maintain a network that delivers 100% of the time at levels of performance that exceed all expectations requires a special kind of obsession. Let us handle the "obsessing over the network" part. It's what we do and we love it.
Here is our special obsession:
Gigabit Ethernet with 364Mbits/sec effective throughput over a 400Mbits/sec FCC licensed wireless link. This is carrier quality licensed wireless engineered for error free operation at greater than 99.999% of the time. It uses the same spectrum used by governments to beam data to and from satellites, though this is a terrestrial application with less than 0.2ms of latency. What happens during that 0.001% of the time that conditions are so bad the top data rate cannot be maintained? The link stays up, but the data rate is reduced to create a stronger signal. There is a 150ms delay as the link reduces its data rate. When conditions improve, the data rate automatically increases.
This link is currently being upgraded to dual redundant Gigabit Ethernet links over a city-wide redundant fiber optic ring. When the dual redundant Gigabit Ethernet links are in place, the 400Mbits/sec FCC licensed wireless link will be repositioned in our network as a backup link. This upgrade is scheduled for completion in Q1 2011.
The upstream backbone provider's fiber optic network is fully redundant with transparent fail-over in the event of a fiber cut.
The upstream backbone provider's IP network is fully BGP multi-homed with multiple 10 Gigabit Ethernet links to multiple upstream providers. They also direct peer with many regional and national networks at the Seattle Internet Exchange (SIX).
When the upgrade is complete, there will be two separate forms of backbone delivery to our facility - wireless and fiber optic. No one cable cut will bring down the network. This is much more cost effective and reliable than the traditional method of having multiple fiber feeds from different sides of the building. Please note that the wireless used on a high-end backbone link is not the same caliber of wireless that you may use for a laptop in your home or office. It is a much higher level of quality, uses very different spectrum, has ultra low latency, and is engineered for 99.999% link reliability. It is generally unaffected by rain, snow, heavy fog, birds, or any other airborne object.
Enough fiber optic capacity for nearly limitless bandwidth. With present technology, there is nearly 1200Gbits/sec of bandwidth available on the fiber optics at our facility or, in other words, enough capacity to transmit the entire contents of 219 completely filled CD-ROM discs per second. Of course, this immense capacity is only turned on incrementally as required.
Comprehensive capacity planning and usage monitoring on all backbone links ensures there is always adequate capacity available for your heaviest usage.
Cisco 7206VXR with NPE-G2, 2048MB of RAM, and dual redundant load sharing power supplies. It has three gigabit Ethernet ports (1000Mbit/sec each), three fast Ethernet ports (100Mbit/sec each), two DS3 ports (44.21Mbit/sec each), and eight T1 (1.536Mbits/sec each) ports. If needed, additional ports can be added. This high-end router was originally placed into service in 2001 when it was brand new. The processing core was upgraded on January 9, 2008 with brand new components that give it approximately 10 times the processing power it had when it was originally placed into service in 2001. This router has been meticulously maintained over the years and we anticipate it will have many more years of valuable service.
Cisco 7513 with dual redundant auto-failover route switch processor cards (dual RSP4 with 256MB RAM each), dual redundant VIP2-50 interface processors with 128MB of DRAM and 8MB SRAM, and dual redundant auto-failover power supplies. This router contains two DS3 ports (44.21Mbit/sec) and four 100Mbit/sec fast Ethernet ports. There is a tremendous amount of available expansion left in this router and it will easily scale to multi-gigabit speeds as required.
All routers run in hot standby mode. If a router fails, another takes its place within seconds to prevent downtime in the unlikely event a router fails.
The routers are connected to our LAN through an auto-failover redundant fast Ethernet mesh comprised of multiple switches and multiple 100Mbit/sec switched links to protect in the event of any switch or port failure. The mesh is configured in such a way that it can handle up to two failed switches without losing connectivity between the routers and the LAN. This redundant fast Ethernet mesh is in the process of being upgraded to gigabit Ethernet with a 48 gigabit redundant ring topology.
Transparent firewalling and bandwidth management system. This keeps unwanted traffic off the network and blocks known hacker networks. Dynamic attack detection and firewalling automatically blocks the bad guys. The firewalling and bandwidth management system can handle up to 8 gigabits per second of aggregate traffic and can scale to 80 gigabits per second with upgrades.
Managed 1000Mbit gigabit Ethernet switches with a 48 gigabit redundant ring interconnect. Each server gets a dedicated 1000Mbit or 100Mbit port to our network, depending on the device. Over 600 gigabits of non-blocking capacity and ultra low latency. For special needs we can provide switched 10 gigabit Ethernet ports.
Data backup system
Backup and restore staging area on hard disks. This ensures that file searches, backups, and restores all happen very quickly. The very fast seek times of hard drives also allow us to do one full backup each month with daily incremental backups without incurring unreasonably long restore times. It also enables a smaller storage requirement for backups than if we did full backups every day. This system is completely extensible and will be expanded and upgraded as required.
Portable storage devices enable off-site storage of the data in the backup staging area. A mirrored copy of the backup data is taken off-site each evening by a member of our staff. At least one fresh copy of the backup data is off-site at all times. This system will be upgraded and expanded as necessary.
For systems that use our data backup system, backups occur daily between 6PM and 6AM Pacific time. This is the period in which backups are least likely to impact performance for most customers. Dedicated server and colocation clients can work us to specify a schedule to meet their needs if they have purchased the daily off-site backups service.
APC Symmetra LX fully fault tolerant site-wide battery backup system. This battery backup system is fully scalable and all critical components are n+1 redundant. It self-tests all components every two weeks and sends us an email that goes to two cell phones if any problems are found during the self-test or during normal operation. It also sends an email to two cell phones if any parameter such as temperature or voltage is abnormal. Just about every possible aspect of the system is monitored continuously and logged every 5 minutes. In the event of a power outage, we have over 30 minutes of run-time on battery. This gives us plenty of time to prepare our generators for power outages over 30 minutes.
We have two computer-grade gasoline generators continuously on-site, which is enough to power our entire network and all servers with power to spare. We keep enough fuel on hand for about 10 hours of continuous running. That gives us plenty of time to procure more fuel should there ever be a power outage longer than 10 hours. The longest power outage we've seen in our area between 1995 and now was about 5 hours.
A live full power backup system test, including battery backup, generators, cabling, and power switching equipment, is done monthly to verify readiness. In the rare event an issue is identified, it is fixed as soon as possible and the entire system is retested.
Due to the geography of our area (in a valley surrounded by mountains on three sides), any power disturbances are localized and not over widespread areas like you'd find after a major hurricane or other widespread disaster. This helps keep the mean time to repair relatively low for electrical outages in our area. Furthermore, we are just a few blocks from the local power company's repair truck dispatch facility and in the high priority repair airport area.
Temperature and humidity in our datacenter is continuously monitored for abnormal fluctuations. If any problem is detected, our environmental monitoring system pages two cell phones so that the problem can be investigated and corrected.
Datacenter is cleaned weekly to remove any dust that may have accumulated with normal use.
Security system is monitored 24/7.
Datacenter access is only by escort from one of our staff.
Due to our proximity to the regional airport, our area is constantly patrolled by airport police. If our security system detects an intrusion, they are typically on-site within one to two minutes of receiving the call.
Situated at the foot of the Blue mountains in the southeast corner of Washington state in Walla Walla, the geography of our location naturally has a lower risk for natural disasters such as floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, mud slides, hurricanes, and volcanoes versus the typical datacenter on one of the coasts or in southern states. The area is in a valley surrounded on three sides by mountains.
Our location within Walla Walla is at the regional airport, which was formerly a military airbase. It sits at a higher elevation than the rest of the valley and thus avoids any flood risk from the nearby rivers and creeks. When selecting this location for an airbase, the military naturally took into account those risks.
The northwestern quadrant of the United States has several active and dormant volcanoes. Though our location is not directly at risk from any of those volcanoes, ash fall from any of those volcanoes could be a concern. To deal with this risk, we have taken steps to prevent fine volcanic ash from reaching and damaging our equipment, including electrical generators and datacenter air conditioning. We also have an ash mitigation plan that allows us to continue uninterrupted operations in the days and weeks of clean-up that could follow an ash fall event.
There are no known risks of floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, mud slides, or hurricanes at our location.
In the event of a fire or other event that destroys servers, we mirror data backups to portable storage devices that are safely taken off-site at the end of each day. There is always at least one fresh copy of data off-site at all times.
Electricity for the area is generated by hydroelectric turbines and windmills with zero emissions.
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Advantagecom provides web business infrastructure services such as colocation, VPSs, & private cloud from their own Walla Walla, WA facility. In biz since ‘98
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