Latest News

2018 Service Upgrades

We’ve been busy with another round of upgrades to our services, so we’d like to detail what they are so that you can take advantage of them!

Managed WordPress Hosting

We now include FREE WordPress management with our shared (H20GB plan or higher), reseller, or managed server plans. We will help monitor your website for uptime and performance and help perform updates and help perform WordPress security. We can also help setup staging/testing sites along backups of your site in case you later need to roll back to a previous version. Support for other software packages is available as well! If you feel that your blog is operating slowly or just need help with running your blog, please let us know and we’ll be glad to help you with it!

Faster Servers

We are in the process of upgrading all of our shared/VPS servers with faster processors that often includes additional cores. This will help everyone in particular with faster load times for PHP based websites like WordPress, Magento, Drupal, etc.

Double the SSD Storage

We are more than doubling the amount of SSD storage on each servers for faster IO performance. You can read more about our storage setup here: tiered-ssd-storage !

Free SSL For One, Free SSL for All!

All of our shared/reseller websites now come with free SSL certificates automatically – this includes any parked, subdomains or addon domains you might add as well. You can start to use your certificates at any time!

HTTP/2 Support

We are upgrading our web servers with HTTP/2 support for faster SSL hosting performance!

PHP 7.2

PHP 7.2 is now available on all of our shared and reseller servers along with any cPanel VPS. We recommend that you try and upgrade to it as its more than 240% faster than PHP 5.6!


We hope that you like these new features being added and we have more planned coming up!

cPanel 32 Bit EOL Reminder

In addition to CentOS 5 reaching its end of life on March 31st, 2017, cPanel has also announced that it will end support for the 32-bit version of CentOS 6 on that date as well. Their 56 version is the last one that runs on both CentOS 5 and CentOS 6 32-bit. Therefore, we also recommend anyone who is using cPanel on either distro to plan a migration schedule either to CentOS 6 64-bit or CentOS 7 prior to that date to avoid any disruptions from security issues. As with everyone on CentOS 5, we will be happy to help migrate anyone to a supported distro. We will also be contacting everyone with managed services to work out a migration plan as well to a supported distro so that you can continue to receive the latest features and security updates for your hosting services.

If you have any questions about issue, please contact our support team and we’ll be happy to answer them.

CentOS 5 End Of Life Reminder

We’d like to remind everyone that CentOS 5 reaches its end of life on March 31, 2017, just six months from now. After this date, no further security updates will be provided by RedHat or the CentOS team for this operating system. If you are running your own server, we recommend that you start planning a migration of your server to a supported OS prior to this date to avoid any issues from outdated security packages. We will be happy to help set up a new server at no charge for 14 days to allow you time to upgrade without added costs. We’ll also be happy to help you transfer your data over. Just contact our support staff and we’ll work out a migration schedule with you. We will also be scheduling upgrades for our managed customers to CentOS 6 or 7 depending on your current setup prior to the March 31st deadline.

If you have any questions about this upcoming deadline, feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to discuss it further with you.

New VPS & Cloud Features

As part of our recent round of upgrades, here’s what we’ve done to improve our VPS and Cloud Servers:

Tiered SSD Storage

All of our servers now come with tiered storage featuring solid state drives! If you have a busy server, its content will get moved to solid state drives for optimal performance! You can read more about this new feature on our blog here: tiered-ssd-storage !

More Powerful Servers

Our hardware nodes have increased from 8 and 12 cores to 24 cores; they’re faster than ever before. We’ve also increased the RAM on them as well.

Expanded Backups

We’re increased the retention policy of our backups from 1 week to 4 weeks!

KVM Hypervisor

We’ve switched from Virtuozzo’s hypervisor to the faster, more reliable KVM hypervisor. If you have a KVM based server at any provider, now we can migrate you over without having to make any changes!

New Control Panel Features

Our VPS and Cloud servers now have a new control panel that gives you the choice of changing your OS when you reinstall your server. It also now provides you with graphs of your server’s load, traffic, and memory usage. You can also now manage your server from its service section in WHMCS as well as connect to your control panel.


We hope that you like these new features we’ve added and we have more planned coming up!

New Shared Hosting Features

As we’ve mentioned, we’re having a number of great new features being rolled out for our shared (and reseller) hosting plans. Here’s a list of what’s being added.

Unmetered Bandwidth*

All of our shared hosting plans come with unmetered bandwidth! You can now express yourself as much as you want on your websites hosted with us! No matter how many people visit your websites, you don’t have to worry about using too much bandwidth!

Tiered SSD Storage

All of our servers now come with tiered storage featuring solid state drives! If you have a busy website, its content will get moved to solid state drives for optimal performance! You can read more about this new feature on our blog here: tiered-ssd-storage !

Doubled The RAM

We’ve doubled the RAM on all of our shared servers for improved performance!

Expanded Backups*

We’re expanded the retention policy of our backups from 1 week to 4 weeks! You also now have the ability to restore backups directly from R1Soft from your control panel!

Apache 2.4 with Worker MPM

We’ve updated to the latest Apache webserver and switched to its new event driven handler for the fastest possible performance!

MariaDB 10.0

The original creators of MySQL are back with MariaDB, a MySQL compatible database that offers many improvements including better performance. For a comparison checklist, you can go here: mariadb-10-vs-mysql-56-feature-comparison-update . We’ve updated to this version to bring all of these new features to everyone!

Hardened PHP

No longer is running a website that needs an discontinued PHP version like 5.2 an issue. CloudLinux is now backporting all PHP security updates to older versions of PHP including 4.4! You’re now able to continue hosting your website without having to worry about support for that PHP version being dropped!


All of our servers now offer PHP 7 which was released last fall. If you’re looking to turbo charge your WordPress or PHP site, switching to PHP 7 will help you do this. You can read this article hhvm-vs-php-7 to see how you can almost double the number of visitors to your WordPress site by switching to PHP 7! It also provides a huge improvement for Drupal and Joomla. You’ll also want to make sure you enable OpCache to further boost your script’s performance!


All of our servers come with Memcached which you can integrate into your apps (Such as with W3TC on WordPress) to further improve the performance of your website. Combined with the PHP OpCache module, you can greatly improve the performance of your website!

Ruby and Python Selector

Now in addition to being able to select a PHP version for your account, you can now also select a Ruby and Python version for your website as well! You can now use Python versions 2.6, 2.7, 3.3, 3.4, and 3.5. For Ruby, you can select versions 1.8, 1.9, 2.0, 2.1 and 2.2!

SSL Certificates On Shared IPs

Our servers now support Server Name Identification (SNI). This means you no longer need a dedicated IP for an SSL enabled website!

Free SSL Certificates!

Our servers now offer free SSL certificates issued by Let’s Encrypt! You can read more about their free SSL certificates here: Combined with SNI, SSL hosting is now free for everyone. You can still order a SSL certificate if you need the trust branding seals and added warranties to help assure your website visitors that they are secure.

Enterprise Spam Filtering

Our larger shared hosting plans now come with SpamExperts, an enterprise grade spam filter that you can manage from cPanel! Spam can now be a thing of the past for your emails!

New Website Builder

We’ve rolled out a new responsible website builder to help you build your websites. If you’re still looking for rvSiteBuilder, that is still there, but we hope you like the new website builder.


We hope that you like these new features being added and we have more planned coming up!

* Unmetered bandwidth and R1Soft backup integration is not currently available on our reseller plans.

Announcing Tiered SSD Storage!

Today I’d like to talk about one of the biggest improvement that we’re bringing to Netwisp’s services – tiered storage featuring solid state drives (SSD). This is an exciting change because storage speed has always been one of our biggest bottlenecks for web hosting services. When we started back in 2004, 80GB hard drives was the standard being used for hosting. Today for the same price you can get a hard drive that holds 8000GB. However, while you can store 100 times more data on a single drive, its only about twice as fast. What this means is that rather than taking a few hours to replace a failed hard drive, it can take days. It also handles the same number of IO requests as the 80GB hard drive (about 125 per second). So while drives today are able to hold much more data,

A few years ago, solid state drives started to finally change this equation. They are memory based so they can handle up to tens of thousands of IO requests a second, which is a huge improvement over mechanical drives. At first they weren’t that reliable, but over the past couple of years they’ve finally matured to the point where we can start adding them into our services. The two most popular methods hosting companies have used for integrating SSD has been either as a caching system, or more recently, switching to entirely using SSD drives. I’ll briefly discuss what these two methods are.

SSD As A Caching Layer

This has been a popular solution for companies looking to use SSD to improve the performance of their storage. How it works is that data that is often requested will get duplicated to the SSD drives so that it can accessed from there rather than the slower mechanical drives. There are many solutions out there for using the SSD as a cache. Facebook for example has developed FlashCache for using SSD to help cache their website content. While these solutions do work well, there are a couple drawbacks. The first is that the SSD drives can’t be used for storage. If the SSD drives are 500GB in size, that is 500GB that we can’t use for storing people’s data.

The second drawback is that a lot of unnecessary IO can be created which defeats the purpose of using SSD drives as a cache. The first problem is that the system will eventually fill up the drive with cached data. This becomes an issue like with the 500GB drives above, you’ll add the overhead of 500GB of data being copied to the SSD, even if the data may not need to be cached. This ends up having a performance hit. Also, any time cached data changes, you end up with two writes. The first goes to the SSD drives, and the second goes (eventually) to the mechanical drives. Since all writes have to still go to the slower drives, they may still be too slow to keep up with the traffic.

Pure SSD Storage

This has been the other route many providers offer, and while it offers the highest performance, there is a drawback with this. Its very expensive. A 2TB enterprise class SSD still costs over $1000 each. For the cost of one single SSD drive, we could instead get over 40TB of mechanical storage (20 2TB SATA drives). Having a SSD only setup limits how much storage we can offer and I’ll show why tiered storage makes better sense than a pure SSD setup.

Tiered Storage

Tiered storage is where the system migrates your data based on how often its being accessed.


The way it works is pretty simple. If you have data that is being often used, it will get moved to faster storage. If its being used less often, it will be moved to slower storage. The important thing to realize is that during transition times (like lets say you have a blog page that suddenly became popular), the system’s memory will also work as a tier because your website will get cached in memory. The reason why tiered storage makes much better sense than a pure SSD or cached setup is that most data isn’t used that often. Here’s another IBM chart showing how data is usually used less often the longer it remains on the system.

If you think about it, websites operate the same way. Just like FaceBook’s – posts from today are the ones that are being hit. Those needs to be stored on SSD. That picture you posted a year ago? Its only viewed once or twice a week and it doesn’t need to be on SSD storage anymore. The same goes for wordpress blog posts. The posts you wrote three years ago are likely not being seen as often as the ones on your homepage. Or you made a backup of your account or uploaded a video to share with your friends, that doesn’t need to be on SSD storage either.

We also observe this behavior on our servers. Here is the usage breakdown of one of our tiered storage servers that currently has 750GB in use:

0       sdb1       121614              36783                     5522                       16105                      671567378         1958662399
1       sda4       1109216            948961                    1621                         634                       1798949382         703693842

As you can see, only 36GB of the data is being used often enough to make it worthwhile to have on tier 0 (SSD). The other 710GB has just 10% of the IO requests that the hot data has. It doesn’t need to be on SSD. This is why a pure SSD setup doesn’t make sense. We can instead offer more affordable storage this way than with a pure SSD storage setup.

The other thing is that going to a tiered storage setup opens many doors for us. Right now, we’re only doing two tiers. A tier of SSD and a tier of SAS/SATA drives. But we’re also starting to use network storage for our backups. As we develop this system, we can extend our tiers to include network storage that will allow us to add increasing amounts of storage without any major drop in our quality of service.

This is why we’re excited with this feature being added to all of our servers and why we think it will separate Netwisp from the other providers out there.

Big Changes Ahead!


I realize that Netwisp has often been far more quiet than what I’d like about who we are, the services we offer, and how we can help you be on the web and cloud. Our goal with starting this blog is to change this by starting to discuss the improvements we’re bringing for everyone. In many ways, we’ve never implemented this many new features at one time in our history and there are many new exciting things to share with everyone.

The most significant change of course is that we finally have a new website that has most of the current services we offer and we’ll be adding services and content in the coming months. One of the new plans coming up will be a managed wordpress hosting service for people who want worry free high performance hosting for their blogs. We already help many people maintain their wordpress sites on our shared plans, but we’d like to create plans that are specific for this task. We’ve also added live chat support to make it easier to reach us when you have questions. We hope that you like the new website and our new plans and welcome your feedback for additional ways that we can improve it.

The second change is that we’re almost done integrating our services with our members area. For our shared/reseller customers, you’ll now able to log into cPanel from your members area and vice versa (accessing your members area from cPanel). For our virtual server customers, you’ll be able to manage your VPS/VM from the members area as well as see graphs of your server’s performance. We’ll be adding VNC support so you can console into them as well. We hope that this will help make it easier for you to manage your services with us.

The third change is that we’re also in the process of upgrading everyone to newer, faster servers that are being configured with tiered storage in order to take advantage of solid state drives. SSD technology has matured to the point where they’re reliable and cost effective enough to be used in IO heavy workloads like web hosting. But we have taken a different route than the other hosting companies and I will discuss how our tiered storage setups will set us apart from the other providers out there.

Finally, as we’ve done in the past, we have been upgrading everyone to our new expanded plans on the newer servers at no extra charge. We want to reward everyone who has trusted us to host their websites with the additional resources without having to ask for it. Thank you for being with us and we hope that you all enjoy the changes we’re making to improve your hosting experience.


Hal Bouma

Netwisp Web Hosting Services