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It’s been an exciting year at Host Virtual, and there is much more to come. We’re thankful for such a vocal and engaged customer base. Feedback is the most important part of our service, and this past year has been driven not just by our own roadmap, but also by request, criticism, and suggestion.

So, 2009 in brief along with a few comments for 2010:

Image updates

Many image updates and refreshes. Gentoo, CentOS, Ubuntu, Debian, OpenSuse, and others all received attention from us. We don’t believe in just releasing a new base image for a new O/S release. Keeping images up to date is an important and evolutionary process.

In 2010, we’ll continue this process and in fact be increasing how frequently we’re updating our images. We’ll also be releasing an easy way for you to see image history, and ensure that your own already installed images are up to date.

Community images, as well as the ability to upload/download your own are also on the roadmap.

Plans & Pricing

During the year, we’ve adjusted our plans and pricing to reflect where our service offering is in the market. While we aren’t cut-throat cheap – we’ve carefully balanced our plans to be inexpensive but with dedicated resources and performance.

Many come to us asking if we’ll match a $5 or $10 server with 1gb of ram. When we point out the differences between a chroot solution, actual dedicated resources, or oversold servers some stay and others go. And then typically, we welcome these prospects back as customers in just a few weeks.

Providing a service is much more than just resources, though. From support response times, to network & infrastructure, to feature set and more – you have to strive for excellence in all areas.

In 2010, we’ll be working hard on the service part of our service. While our feature set and infrastructure have quite a few exciting enhancements in the queue we’ll be focusing quite a bit on our knowledge base, ticketing system & making our client more user friendly.

Going Green

We wrote a short post about this. While it’s common sense that reducing physical servers reduces energy costs, not everyone agreed with us.

In 2010, we’ll try to write more on this topic, as well as real problems with virtualization, such as server sprawl, that may in fact contribute more towards energy waste then savings.

This is a hard topic to tackle, with just about every service out there in 2009 being green or “in the cloud.” We’re tired of cloudwashing, and chuckle every time we see a cloud related press release.

vClient enhancements

We’ve worked hard to improve our vClient web interface. Some additions during the past year include the ability to instantly upgrade resources – ram, cpu, disk, to reporting enhancements, bug fixes, & more.

In 2010 we have some pretty exciting features coming to our web interface. In the coming weeks, you’ll notice a new option that will allow you to enable some of these beta features and provide us with direct feedback.

The Social Side

We’ve always communicated with you better directly – as you know if you’ve emailed one of us or sent in a support ticket. Sure, we post on our blog, but in 2009 we tried to go a bit more social by adding twitter, and starting to integrate more feature in our service.

Looking at 2009, we aren’t sure exactly how successful this was. It seems like none of you use twitter, and besides posting blog updates we haven’t had much time to opine on the general state of things. ☺ Although, if you’ve sent us a tweet we’ll respond – and in several cases we did contact customers successfully over twitter when the phone failed. We even received a vacation auto respond saying to “DM me on facebook while I’m out of the office.”

In 2010, we’ll probably continue the trend with respect to our external social activities. But we’d really like to improve our internal capabilities – and facilitate communication between all of you. This may mean forums, an official customer wiki, and maybe even a business directory. We’d love more of your feedback in this area.

IPv6

IPv4 address space is running out. We’re proud that we finished the year strong, after enabling native IPv6 on our network early January 2009 by enhancing our vClient and other systems to add full IPv6 support to our service.

As more people come aware of issues with IPv4 address space in 2010 we’ll continue working on adding IPv6 features and reporting on our own hits and misses.

This topic is growing with urgency and we urge you to look at your own applications and services and ensure you’re IPv6 ready.

Everything else

We’ve continued to update our infrastructure. From better bandwidth (Internap & more peering), to being able to respond and be more resilient to DoS attacks, to bare-metal stuff like Nahalem based host servers, or just moving our office to a larger space.

We have a huge number of things in the pipe for 2010. And while it feels like we never accomplish enough, looking back at 2009 we’re still pretty pleased.

Going into 2010, we’re excited to announce that we’ve been able to hire more staff, as well as open a second location that’s ramped up and ready to help us deliver in the coming year!

It’s an exciting time for us. Thank you for being a part of it. We wish you, your families, and your ventures the best for 2010.

Happy New Year!
the Host Virtual Team