Frequently Asked Questions

1- What is RAID 5?
2- What is hot-swap disk technology?
3- Describe your facilities.?
4- What bandwidth is available?
5- What backup procedures do you utilize?

1 ..... RAID (redundant array of independent disks) is a way to combine multiple hard drives into a single logical large volume with increased performance, redundancy, and less downtime.

AWDI deploys RAID 5 and utilizes four identical separate drives per server. When data and parity bits are written, they are written to more than a single drive. Thus, if one of the four drives fails, the RAID controller is enabled to ignore the faulty drive and utilize the other "copies" of the data on the remaining drives and continue processing without interruption.

If hot-swap disk technology is also deployed (as it is at AWDI) the faulty drive can be replaced and "re-synched" with the other three drives without ever taking the server down for service. This effectively eliminates the single greatest potential point of failure, the disk, found in servers today. All production servers at AWDI have this capability.

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2 ..... Certain disks and their controllers offer a hot-swap capability. This allows a faulty disk drive to be physically replaced without taking down the server. Obviously, this is highly desirable in the 24x7 world of the Internet. All production servers at AWDI have this capability.

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3 ..... Our servers are located in an Internet Business Center in Tampa, Florida.

This building is an 82,000 square foot facility designed to support Internet based companies. It offers excellent security and connection services for our customers. Some of these are the following:

    Electronic key access to work area and 24/7 security.
    Enclosed elevated server room with restricted access.
    Waterless fire suppression.
    All servers in individually locked cabinets.
    Power redundancy through a backup generator and UPS system.
    Redundant high volume air conditioning.
    Redundant high speed Internet connection via wireless microwave and OC-48 optical fiber. These connections terminate at the main peering point in Tampa where multiple Tier 1 carriers are employed.
    24/7 network monitoring.

4 ..... Our servers are connected on a bandwidth on demand basis. This means as we need more bandwidth, it automatically is provided. This insures that our customers never have to worry about bursts of traffic exceeding our bandwidth capacity. While each hosting plan has a monthly transfer rate limitation, should more data transfer be needed, it is readily available.

5 ..... The first line of defense in the protection of your data and program files is found in our utilization of RAID 5 on all our production servers. This effectively eliminates the single biggest point of failure on today’s servers, the hard disk. Since the drives can be replaced on a hot-swappable basis, you should never experience downtime or loss of data due to a disk failure. Additionally we backup all database files on a daily basis to digital linear tape (DLT). For the less volatile web pages, we run weekly backups. Each week backup tapes are deposited in an off-site safe deposit box.