UK Dedicated Server Management Overview
When shopping for a managed dedicated server itís important to compare like-for-like details. We have not found another company offering managed hosting which matches the pro-active standard and included features that we provide.
Managed Server Overview
Your managed server will be handed over to you ready-to-go with all software installed, updated and security hardened. From day one your server will perform just as you need it to perform. Moving forward our experts will monitor and maintain your server 24x7x365 ensuring it is always online and performing 100% of the time as expected in a secure and up-to-date state.
Most other managed providers will deploy your server in a 'default' configuration and only perform management work on the server when you specifically ask them to do something - This is bad as it requires you to have a knowledge of servers in order to keep on at your host to maintain the server correctly. With a UnitedHosting managed server you do not need to have any knowledge or experience, we will pro-actively ensure your server is at its optimum operating configuration, secured and updated at all times, no need for you to ask us!
Included with all UnitedHosting managed dedicated servers is cPanel control panel and r1soft CDP backups. It is worth mentioning these because when comparing providers you will find some charge around £25/month for a cPanel licence, and will also charge upwards of £50 per month for a limited quota of backup space. Our backups are of your entire server (regardless of size), enterprise grade, and off-site, we recommend you read about them here.
Initial Server Deployment
You do not need to understand what we are summarising below, but it should go some way to show just how much work our server administrators will do just to deploy your server in an optimised and security hardened state.
Initial Operating System and Security Tasks:
Install latest CentOS 5 64bit operating system.
Remove un-necessary operating system (non hosting) software packages.
Secure default operating system groups and remove unnecessary users.
Modify system file/folder permission to secure system directories and binaries.
Harden temporary data paths (e.g. hardened /tmp directory).
Install socket, process, resource system monitors, & brute force detection system.
Install and configure customised Advanced Policy Firewall (CSF Security firewall).
Close all ports which are not required by core software and services.
Implement tweaks for known PCI failures to ensure PCI compliance.
Tweak & harden common services to minimise information broadcasted publicly.
Configure Smartd, a hard disk failure early warning system.
Modify default SSHd server configuration files to address common security issues.
Install and configure mod_security to filter common web based attacks.
Install 'Log Watch' software to pro-actively monitor access and error log files.
Install and configure MUNIN / MRTG system performance graphing and analysis.
Install SIM, this automatically monitors & restarts services should they fail.
Inspect installed software to ensure all packages are updated.
Setup automatic update procedure for the OS and cPanel core software.
Backdoor Inspection: inspect and verify server for sanity from known backdoor exploits.
Installing Web Hosting Environment:
Install and configure latest Cpanel and Web Host Manager (WHM) versions.
Install latest 'hotfixes', as well as bug fixes and in-house patches for Cpanel WHM.
Setup bind DNS and configure your branded Nameservers ready for use.
Check, install and update latest LAMP versions (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP).
Install Zend Optimiser and any required web caching (e.g. Nginx).
Security Harden FTP, SSH, Sendmail, POP3, SMTP, IMAP, and other protocols.
Install and validate any required software licences.
Login to web interface and complete any web based configuration steps.
Setup automatic updates for Cpanel WHM software (stable branch).
Implement system patches to ensure PCI compliance.
Final audit checklist for all software and services which have been deployed.
Final Monitoring and Backup Tasks:
Setup and configure our 24x7 service monitoring and alerting system for the server.
Configure four times per daily off-site backups of your server.
Run initial 'seed' backup to off-site location and verify data integrity.
Setup spam and virus filtering system (SpamExperts or SpamAssassin).
Final audit checklist for monitoring and backups before client handover.
Ongoing Pro-Active Server Management
Server management is a never ending task. Our team will monitor and maintain your dedicated server 24x7 allowing you to forget about hosting and concentrate on your business.
Monitoring services and performance 24x7 to ensure server is performing optimally.
Install any security patches or critical updates immediately as they become available.
Maintain versions of MySQL and PHP as per customer requirements.
Regularly update CentOS system packages (mostly automatic).
Perform regular scheduled system audits across the entire server.
Constantly tweak service config files to ensure optimum performance and efficiency.
Review server logs and system graphs to mitigate resource spike activity.
Regularly check integrity of off-site backups to ensure working backup is always available.
Track new technologies and inform client of improvements we can make to the solution.
Provide customer with any 'additional' administrative requirements or customisations.
True 24x7x365 support is available to you for any other server related assistance.
Server Management Summary
We hope this information has given you a good overview of just how comprehensive our server management is. UnitedHosting always strives to go the extra mile and ensure that your server is performing for your business 100% of the time. Our support team is happy to help with any questions or concerns you may have 24x7 and you will always be welcomed with a friendly useful response to any queries. We are here for you and your server, allowing you to forget about server hosting and concentrate on your business.
Please review our managed dedicated server packages or contact us to discuss your requirements and a UnitedHosting solution. We would love to earn your business.