I’m pondering tonight .. what does the future of Web Hosting Industry hold for those geeks like me who are fortunate (so I think) to make a living working on it.

Back in the day, say first half of this decade, one of the problems that afflicted sysadmins, such as myself at the time, was downtime.

We hated the fact that when a machine went down, somebody had to run all the way to the DC and check what the problem was, this was especially a problem when you where the one that had to do it, I remember having to drive to the DC at 2:00 AM to fix an hardware failure, just to drive back at 5:00 AM for a fault in the same machine.

Yes, with the years advances where made, for once DC’s started to hire more than just mere NocMonkey’s, and a hole culture of DC’s targeting the Web Hosts emerged, but still, to pay $125 for a reboot and a FSCK was something many of us where not comfortable with, or even could afford, luckily the advent of KVM over IP and IPMI made our lives easier, but still, on a more serious problem, it was still you out of bed at 4:00 AM on a cold winter night rushing to the DC while customers complained on every forum they could find.

Yes, some people will say that a Web Host should have 24×7 staff and own their own DC, or pay the DC to fix the problem, but thats just not the real world, many Hosts out there cannot afford the 24×7, and if they have to pay allot of Tech fee’s to the DC, they simply cant afford to offer those dime-a-dozen ubercheap hosting plans that everybody loves, but complains when things go wrong, heck I remember when I owned my own Small DC back in 2002-2005, in the beginning when lights went out at 7:00 PM the place was empty, we could not afford “on site 24×7” when we opened it. 🙂

So as I glaze at the upcoming VPS.NET platform, and test the fail-over ability that allows a server to take over and boot the client’s virtual machines from a failed server, in a matter of seconds .. all I can think of is all those late nights almost 10 years ago, when I wished I had such a system, how good it would have felt to wake up to a system notice page about a failure that was self-fixed, turn around and go back to sleep