CatN hosting for Geograph

Over the years Geograph Britain and Ireland has seen continuous growth, both in terms on contributors submitting photos, but also visitors viewing our now millions of images. Today (Jan 2011) we are ranked in the top 50,000 most visited websites worldwide, and within the top 5,000 of UK websites [1]. Daily we see around 30,000 visitors and get over 1,500 new photos uploaded. Overall we have over 2.3 Million photos, have have been viewed upward of 86 Million times.

Of course the servers and hosting to power that is not trivial. We very quickly outgrew (in little over a year) the single dedicated server generously donated to the project. So needed to look for something beefier.

Thanks to OS sponsorship we had funding to be able to purchase our own machinesExternal link. But it just wouldn't be right to have these powerful machines just tucked away in one of our attics on the end of a tiny internet connection, so we needed to find a proper home for them.

So now we introduce FubraExternal link to the picture, they offered co-location hosting for the 5 machines at very favourable rates! What this means is they offer nice rack spaceExternal link for them, round the clock uninterruptable power supply, and a big fat pipe to the internet at large.

We've now been with CatNExternal link (the new name for Fubra hosting) for 5 years, and the service has been excellent. In that time we've seen no unscheduled power outages, only very occasional (less than one a year) interruptions in internet connectivity [2]. In that time the servers have had two changes of address - and in both case the move went very smoothly. Now settled in the custom built facility at CatN HQ.

Managing the machines is something we have done in-house - very much on an ad-hoc basis. The rock solid hosting has allowed us to concentrate on developing the website rather than dealing with server issues day in, day out. In the rare cases we have needed to reboot a machine or other issue CatN hosting has only been a email or phone call away.

Moving forward in 2011 is very exciting, we are looking to phase in even more new servers to supplement the current set, as Geograph continues to grow and need even more server power.


[1] - According to AlaxaExternal link

[2] - In fact more outages have been caused by the separate DNS provider - we've since moved to new provider.
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright January 2011, Barry Hunter; licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Licence.
With contributions by Penny Mayes and Peter Facey. (details)
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