The beginning

This is the first post in the astrahosting.co.uk blog.

I thought I should begin this blog by sharing with you the timeline that has got the company from concept to the point where we started trading.

In early January 2015, after 20 years of building and delivering datacentre projects for the public, for the private, and for the academic sectors, I decided I could deliver quality, inexpensive datacentre services to small and medium businesses. I began planning the infrastructure that I felt the planned astrahosting.co.uk Tier 2 datacentre needed to have. I wanted infrastructure that I, as a highly experienced IT professional would want a datacentre to have, if I was hunting around, with a view to buying these services.

In February 2015 I found the perfect premises for the datacentre. I began buying and installing the infrastructure (climate control, network, routers, server racks, servers, UPSs).

In March 2015 I prototyped the operating system, physical servers and virtual servers (which technical people call VMs). The prototyping helped me to improve the planned infrastructure, and update and improve my designs.

In April 2015 I began recruiting technical staff to support the company. We rebuilt the primary hosting servers, which included changing the operating system, and adopting a new control panel for our future users.

In May 2015 we streamlined the processes that we had developed to build the servers and the services that we wanted to offer. Instead of designing and building rigid, inflexible systems and procedures, we became agile in the design and deployment phases.

In June 2015 we started testing. We began testing the hardware to try and break it. We began testing the operating systems to try and break them. We began testing the VMs to try and break them. And we began testing our networks, to try and break them. We tried to break the way we built, the way we configured, and the way we handed our services and our servers over to our customers. And as we tested everything, we improved everything. And we continued to improve everything. We got better with every test.

By the time we got to October 2015 we couldn’t break anything any more.

In November 2015 we built our own backup & restore servers. Then we built real-time replication between our Production hosting servers and our backup hosting servers. This gave us high availability, so that we had failover from one set of servers to another. Then we spent two months testing these new services and new servers.

And that brings us up to Christmas 2015. We had nothing left to test. We were unable to find anything that we could break.

So we had a great holiday.

We decided that Monday 4th January 2016, fittingly, the first UK working day of the new year, would be the perfect day for astrahosting.co.uk to open the doors, and go live.

And that’s how we got astrahosting.co.uk from concept to ‘live’.

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