Superior Networks - Major Improvements Roadmap

Introducing a range of major improvements being made to the Superior Networks services between now and the end of Q1 2021.

4 min read
Superior Networks - Major Improvements Roadmap

Today I wanted to share with you all some of the work that we've been planning and already starting behind the scenes for Superior Networks, and what you can expect to see between now and April 2021.

Superior Networks has been running since March 2013, and over that time we've made significant steps forward in our evolution since starting as a basic web hosting company to where we are today, however we know there is still a long way to go, and that we can't stop innovating and bringing improvements to our service. This is why we're excited to announce a plan of major improvements you will see on the Superior Networks Infrastructure in the coming months.

Internal Infrastructure Improvements

This is the part of the roadmap that I suspect will be of least interest to most people, but is a critical part of the work we're undertaking. Over the last 7 Years we've had a number of pieces of internal infrastructure to facilitate the running of both Superior-Networks and wider ATLAS Projects. As this infrastructure has aged in a number of cases the underlying operating systems are now reaching end-of-life and in many cases have no extended support.

We are currently undertaking a major internal project to retire all of our servers currently running on CentOS 6 or on Ubuntu 16.04 and move any services still running on them on to newer nodes running either CentOS 8 or Ubuntu 20.04 depending on exactly what is running on them.

The maintenance recently on our SolusVM VPS Control Panel was part of this work to retire the VPSCP which was previously running CentOS 6, some work had already been taken earlier this year such as the client area maintenance where we moved the client area services out on to it's own dedicated VPS running CentOS 8 rather than on the older CentOS 6 Webserver.

Further Brand Refresh

Earlier this year we launched a brand new website for Superior-Networks as part of our ongoing mission to refresh the Superior Networks brand. Over the next few months we will be progressing with this brand refresh with additional work going into improving our website and adding additional content.

As part of this ongoing brand refresh we will also be looking to refresh the other aspects to the organisation including our logo.

VPSCP Upgrades

As part of a review into our current software choices we have decided that we will be moving away from SolusVM over the coming weeks, and moving to a new control panel solution. SolusVM has served us well, however it has become clear that we're no longer seeing the level of development and support that we saw when we first adopting this software solution.

Our team are currently finalising our new software solution, but we will be moving to a software solution where we can move to a more granular level of billing including weekly, daily and hourly billing which we hope to be able to make available shortly after the new software stack is introduced.

It is however worth noting that our longer term plans will always offer the best value, right now when you purchase a plan on an annual basis, you will get 2 months free, and when you buy on a 24 month plan you get 4 months free.

Virtualization Change

As part of our major improvement works we will be moving our infrastructure away from the current OpenVZ Technologies and migrating to a new underlying technology stack.

Our team have yet to fully confirm the new technology stack, however our current design is to move over to KVM, this will give all of our clients a far greater level of control and flexibility when it comes to the software being used on the servers, as clients will no longer be restricted by the kernel and kernel version we are running on our underlying hardware.

This upgrade will also allow us internally to shift some of our internal infrastructure where we have had the need to run custom ISO images or other non-linux operating systems into a single infrastructure platform. Our hope is the new panel we deploy in advance of this will allow us to enable our clients to use custom ISO's on our hosting platform, however this will depend on the final tech stack we deploy.

Due to the nature of this upgrade, it will not be possible to migrate clients automatically on to the new hosting options. We are currently working through exactly how this migration will take place, and you can expect to see a further blog post as we approach the go-live of this new hosting option to explain how the migration will be undertaken.

This change is likely to be implemented as part of the deployment in our next improvement which we are very excited to be able to announce...

Hardware Overhaul & Moving to SSD Backed Storage

As part of a review into our hardware portfolio, and from listening to the asks from our client community we have decided to make another major upgrade to our underlying infrastructure.

Earlier this year (Q1 2020) we did some major upgrades to replace legacy hardware with a similar spec system, but still ultimately running in similar underlying configurations. This has meant we have been running HDD based servers for some time, and we now feel the time has come to make this upgrade to back all of our new infrastructure with NVMe backed storage.

What I'm even more excited to announce that all our existing pricing and clients will be moved on to this new upgrade at no additional cost. We will be continuing to honour our current HDD pricing when we make the jump to SSD backed storage.

We are expecting this change in storage to happen at the same time as the jump to KVM virtualization so there are some complexities to be worked through when it comes to the migration of data, but we will announce a firmer plan on this in the near future.

We can't wait to bring you these improvements, and as always if you have any questions on these changes, please do reach out to the Superior-Networks helpdesk team!