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Michaela Light 0:01
Welcome back to the show. I'm here with Dakota Clum and Ryan Brown from ex byte. And we're going to be talking about cold fusion hosting options and what you should be very careful of when picking a cold fusion host. And what's new in the ColdFusion hosting world this year? So, welcome, Dakota and Ryan.
Dakota Clum 0:23
Thank you. Thanks for having us.
Michaela Light 0:25
And Dakota isn't CTO xByte hosting. He's been involved in ColdFusion hosting for over 15 years. And he loves helping organizations with enterprise cloud solutions. And Ryan has been doing it for 28 years. And he's the Chief Marketing ops officer for x y hosting. So great to see you both here. And I'll put their emails and LinkedIn and any other good links that we dream up into the show notes at TeraTech.com. So I guess I'm curious what is new in ColdFusion hosting this year?
Ryan Brown 1:03
I mean, we are xByte, that's, that's new. We're new on the scene shaking things up a little bit. So we, we've got tons of experience backing us. But we're, we're I guess we're new to the company is new to the scene. So we're now at the beginning of this year, coming out there shaking things up. And then, of course, Adobe moving to one release every year. That's, that's exciting.
Michaela Light 1:03
Yes, I learned that in a previous episode with Kishore from Adobe. What are both of your reactions to the shift annual releases?
Dakota Clum 1:47
Yeah, I think it's a great commitment from Adobe, and investment in ColdFusion, which we all know and love. We're certainly excited to see it, continue growing and continue being supported. And, you know, it's generated a lot of talk with our client base. So lots of excitement all around.
Ryan Brown 2:08
With a pace of technology, you almost have to go to annual releases nowadays. I mean, it's if I mean, to say the CF is alive, you've got to go to that. So to the actual modern application, to have Peter be updating every two years, you're already behind.
Michaela Light 2:26
Yeah, there's a lot of new technology coming out. And I believe the pace of technology change has been increasing. I saw some data on that that said 100 years of changes used to take 100 years in technology. That was the last century but this century. It took about 10 years for the next 100 years worth of changes in patents and innovations. And then it took the next lot was maybe five years, and now it's three years. I sort of feel the innovation is going to come out before the dates change from the calendar. Next it's celebrating. So definitely a good move to go to annual releases. And of course, Luci CFML has, you know, they have a bit of a weird release schedule, because they have these monthly rollouts on point releases where they add new features and fix stuff. But then they're, you know, major point release, they seem to have been a bit slower on in the past. They're just rolling out version six this year. So, I think on both the Adobe side Malusi side, there's things to learn from each other on release cycles.
Ryan Brown 3:30
Michaela Light 3:32
Yeah, it's definitely good to have a friendly competition. And I started a discussion on LinkedIn about, you know, what do people think about features in Lucy and Adobe? ColdFusion? And should they be synchronized? Or should each of them innovate, and the consensus seems to be it's fine, they both innovate, and when you know, the market picks out features that are good, the other one can implement that feature, and vice versa. So and there is cooperation on their technical level between their two evangelists, Mark and Zack, they kind of keep the languages moderately in sync. So they're pretty compatible.
Ryan Brown 4:18
You've Apple on the phones, you have Apple and Samsung, and they push each other. So whenever you have two good heavyweights out there, it's you'll innovate faster?
Michaela Light 4:29
Absolutely. So or even more than two, you know, we have some other versions of ColdFusion out there with the blue dragon. Let's let's talk about what is important when choosing a ColdFusion host. So what are your thoughts on what people should look at when they're picking a ColdFusion host? And let's just keep it independent of xByte you know, is this for any selection?
Dakota Clum 5:02
Absolutely Yeah, I think I think some of the most important items or key aspects you should consider is, you know, one is cold fusion supported, you know, is it supported at the application layer? Is it supported at the server layer? Are they helping you with your the various updates that come out? So, you know, there's been a slew of hotfixes recently. Are they patching that, you know, proactively and doing the testing for you and keeping you informed? I think that's one really important piece. Are they giving you access to the ColdFusion server itself, such as like the administrator to create your data sources? And, you know, see what's really going on within your ColdFusion? environment? I think it's a important question everyone should ask. In addition to that, I think ColdFusion upgrade protection is really important as well. So is every major release of ColdFusion supported? Do you have an easy path between the different versions where you can test rollback move forward? I think those are all some really key items. Ryan, feel free to add anything else.
Ryan Brown 6:14
I think Adobe's got a list of cloud providers on our website. So going there, using one of those cloud providers gives you that upgrade protection, because we all have access to the cloud enterprise licenses. So you get that big dent. So it's a great option to kind of pick one of those go-to partners.
Michaela Light 6:35
I'm just going to add to that list. I think security is important. You mentioned hotfixes, but security in general. And then also reliability does the service stay up? And then under Support? How, you know, how quickly does the host respond to support requests, particularly if your site is down? I've heard good stories among hosting companies of customers, you know, getting quick response, and the site was helped to get back up quickly. And I've heard terrible stories where things took days. So I think that's quite important for a lot of people. And of course, price is another consideration that a lot of people take into account, though, I think for enterprise customers, that's not usually the top of their list.
Ryan Brown 7:22
So you mentioned security, and especially in light of the recent patches from Adobe, on their, on their engine, being able to, to make sure that your providers are being able to upgrade you quickly to limit your vulnerabilities from anyone making use of those exploits.
Michaela Light 7:45
Yeah, I mean, some house have extra software, you know, web application firewall or some other thing. You know, that helps keep naughty attempts out of the cove, ie from even reaching hot fusion. And I know we use some fried tax tools for security. So now those are things, anyone you know, it doesn't matter who you hosted with, you could get those. But do you guys use any security tools to help tighten things up?
Dakota Clum 8:23
Absolutely, yeah, so we employ our own edge level firewall, that's monitoring and filtering inbound requests, particularly looking for actively exploited items and kind of being familiar with what's going on in the wild. So those are both blocked proactively. We have endpoint protection on all of our servers. That's really giving you that additional peace of mind when you're hosting somewhere.
Michaela Light 8:55
What does Endpoint Protection mean? I haven't heard that phrase before for security.
Dakota Clum 9:00
Yeah, so any ColdFusion server environment you can think of, or ColdFusion installation, we have endpoints or security endpoints on each device that's actively monitoring for any attacks or exploits or DDoS is at the network layer, the file level. So you could call it an anti-virus, as well.
Michaela Light 9:27
So it's both referring packets and behavior? Yes. Okay. Well, very cool. I do think a lot of people looking for hosting security, particularly in the government or enterprise space that very interested in security. And this is one of the reasons some organizations use ColdFusion because of the excellent record, Adobe and Lucy have for you know, addressing security holes quickly. So I'm being transparent in the process.
Ryan Brown 10:00
I saw an article out there that when Adobe published their patches. They were no one likes to see your software in the news of any kind, but they're like, they were excited because okay, it's fixed. It's not just hey, there's a there's exploit particularly exploit in an FX or an FX in FX. But yeah.
Michaela Light 10:26
I know, it's a tricky thing where, you know, I think it is important to do what Adobe does. And they publicly say they found something, they fixed it and you know, and then everyone's dashing around for Applied fixes, which is probably a good thing, particularly is one of them, that last bunch of holes that were found one of them was a day zero issue. So this means no one really knew about it until it was revealed. So very interesting. So I'm just stepping back a bit what currently are the different ways you can host a ColdFusion app?
Ryan Brown 11:04
Yeah, I mean, everyone kind of knows, okay, hey, you have the there's an on on-prem, of course, there's the traditional, where you design your own server, and you're, getting the standard license for that. And then when you get into the cloud, it gets a little more complicated, you're gonna have something like a shared hosting model, where you're actually sharing resources with a bunch of people. And so that comes at a much cheaper price. So that's appealing for people. But because you're also using shared resources that can easily I shouldn't say easily, vendors, there's definitely an opportunity for another one of the people on your share box to eat up all the resources and take down any of the people on that shared box. And so if people, it's happened several times to them, they end up and it's a production environment, then they end up wanting to go to some more, say more with dedicated resources. And so that's the next step up is when you get into the dedicated, and that can even call that VPS Virtual Private Server, you can call it a cloud server or a dedicated cloud server, any of those, but it's where it's still a cloud server. So it still has the resiliency of, of having multiple instances up and running of the server. So it's not with was not like a physical box, but it's they're all virtual. So, you know, at the whim of your own box, having a power supply outage or anything, you're clustered in your environment, but you have dedicated resources in that. So that's going to be your cloud server or virtual server, that you also do have dedicated servers. So I mentioned in the beginning of the on-prem server, well, you can take that on-prem server that you may have had in your own data center, and put it in someone else's data center, it's just hosted for you. The advantage of that over just taking your own servers, is the fact that you can pay monthly for that. So that's a big benefit, if you do want to have your own your own box and kind of control that. And so maybe you want to create your own cluster of some kind, you can get that dedicated box and still have a monthly payment. So that's you're gonna have, that's another form of dedicated, but it's, it's not on the cloud services actually dedicated hardware for you. You have your Docker containers, some people go into the companies where they'll split it. So they'll want more of a hybrid solution provider where they're gonna offer some, some of their applications may need to be on-prem for security reasons, or for performance reasons, or whatever it is, they need to have local access to that environment. And so we've talked to people who, who have that and they've identified, hey, we can't move this big set of dependencies, we can't move it. But we do want to move other pieces of our infrastructure, so we can support that.
Michaela Light 14:02
The other reason I've seen for people having stuff on premises is they have some other legacy, you know, II RM or database or something, and they just want the application to be next door to it. So that's one of the other things rather than drilling through a firewall to connect to it, which obviously runs slower. And honestly, a lot of it's because that was the traditional way of doing hosting 20 years ago, you have your own server, and you install ColdFusion on it. And people you know, are just slow to change. So I think, to be honest, these days, either have VPS servers dedicated for your own app, or apps or going into, you know, an Amazon, Google or Microsoft cloud type per thing or if you're using dock or it could be any cloud provider, you know, it doesn't really matter because sometimes the Amazon charges quite a lot of money for all those instances, it can add up, because they charge by the items they charge by the minute or the RFP is the minute usually, though the, the ad, the other thing with those, whatever you want to call on those big cloud providers, they now in the case of Amazon, you can go to the store for AWS, and just pay for ColdFusion by the air. So if you have a cluster, you don't have to be paying for all the clusters all the time. For the VPS option and other clustering options there or?
Dakota Clum 15:48
Yeah, so to your specific question about the clustering options, we take a little bit of a different approach, but there's a lot of similarities is the we do something called load balancing. And what we'll do is we can provision a certain set amount of resources based on your demands and your needs. And we can balance requests between you know, let's say it's too cold fusion servers or 50. That is completely doable. One of the things we offer, and that we found other hosting providers offer compared to like an AWS or an Azure is that fixed pricing, where you can be assured of, you know, hey, what's my monthly bill going to be, you know, all the time as our an AWS, the scalability is there, which is great. And, you know, that hourly model works in a lot of cases. But that pricing point can fluctuate. But yeah, we've had scenarios where, you know, we've supported both types of solutions. And it's worked great for us.
Ryan Brown 16:55
Yeah, with the clustering you all you have, is to kind of mention, you have the web server clustering. If you need it, you can even do sequel clustering. So you can do that both on the global for everybody, this is not something special that the expert necessarily does. But you can do it as you're doing with SQL clustering, you've got to make sure you have the correct license for that. So you've got to have your SQL Standard Edition or Enterprise Edition. A lot of you're looking at cloud providers, a lot of them will have web edition, just because of the pricing of it. But that can't be clustered from a Microsoft licensing standpoint. Then there's also options for MySQL. So if you wanted to get a MySQL to code, I was just talking earlier today about some Galera clusters for MySQL. So those are options as well, if you wanted to get into something like that, and that can be on on the BPS side.
Michaela Light 17:55
Yeah, remember, there's a different build of my sequel, I'm spacing out on the name, right, the second, but you can have a name, nevermind, I'll look it up and stick it in the show notes. But yeah, you can with this database clustering, you can either have, you know, log shipping between the database servers, or you can have one be a backup and the other, that's replicated. So there are different ways you can set it up. But the basic idea of clustering for those who haven't done it is just that you have several servers providing either the database records or in the case of ColdFusion, you know, serving up requests to people. And if one of them goes down, the other one can take over or if there's extra demand, because you just ran a Superbowl ad for your website or something, then you've got you can spread out the load between several servers. It also in my experience makes, you know, doing updates and hotfixes easier. Because you can take one server out of the class, you can apply whatever the Windows or ColdFusion or SQL Server fixes are rebooted, it doesn't affect the application, it just keeps chugging along. I mean, you may still do it after is this is less load on the site. But if you have a 24/7 mission critical app, then clustering is definitely a good thing to be considering.
Ryan Brown 19:25
You've clustering, you also have geo failover. So if you're worried about one, one datacenter potentially having an issue, you may want to also have a failover to another data center. So that's kind of taking the clustering to a higher scale. When you're doing that replication across, across multiple, I guess you probably have multiple multiple data centers or multiple multiple providers. Some people may even want to have some sort of replication amongst, let's say, a public cloud versus a private as a private cloud, where you have some options to kind of say Look, if, let's say for us next by someone or happened to one of our data centers, then you could have failover to AWS because it added production.
Michaela Light 20:11
Yeah, that's a great thing to do have just in case a tornado or something hit one of the data centers. The other reason people do different data centers is maybe they have customers spread, you know, some in Europe and some in America or Asia, and they want to spread out, get the processing happening near to the, to the customers. And then there may also be data processing things like some European laws require that data to be processed in Europe, and they get upset if you process it somewhere else. Yeah, seems a bit like 19th century to me. But that's just my view as an American.
Ryan Brown 20:52
Didn't they just have some sort of a European US agreement on data protection? I thought that was, though maybe I'm in the last month or two, I thought I heard they came to some agreement on data transfers between the two continents.
Michaela Light 21:11
Dakota Clum 22:08
Called players been. We're seeing a wide, wider demand for it, it’s being brought up more frequently, obviously, with their global footprint, you know, bringing a very important aspect. But Cloudflare actually offers some load balancing capabilities now that are really effective. So you know, when you think about your visitors coming to your site, and taking the fastest path to the server, Cloudflare is really streamlining that. So we're seeing a lot of great moments on there.
Michaela Light 22:39
Yeah, I saw they had a load balancing service, it wasn't that expensive. It will flip between different servers you set up. And, you know, I don't think we need to dig into all the different options people do with cold fusion clustering. But just to tell people, if you're thinking of doing it, you need to look into, you know, how are you going to how's your application going to deal with people changing service? Or they're going to stay sticky servers, they stay on the first server they went to? Or is it round robin that like the next request goes next least busy server? Or what's the criteria? Because a lot of application code isn't really cluster ready. So in my Yes, yeah. You mentioned some of these hosting options, you can have your own Adobe license, and some of them that the hosting company provides it to tell us a bit more about that issue.
Ryan Brown 23:37
Yeah, with if, if you're not dealing with an actual Adobe cloud provider, then they're not going to have access to Adobe's cloud license. And so you're gonna have to bring your own license at that point. So that, as I mentioned, if you if you just you can go to Adobe site, or you can Google, Adobe hosting partners, you'll see their list of companies, there's a great company listed first, last in the alphabet listed first on the page, you can check it out. But the, that's a great place to kind of start to kind of look at people, and they're gonna, they're gonna have access to that, that gives you a thing to Kota mentioned, gives you the upgrade protection, because you can include in that cloud license or upgrades or updates, but you can also if there is a there is gonna be a small surcharge for that, of course, for the for the Adobe license. So if you've already paid for it, and you're not ready to upgrade yet, then there is you can't bring your own license. And so you can you can save a few dollars, at least at the beginning. And then before your next big upgrade. You can get on to the cloud license and have that upgrade protection kind of built into that but you're also paying every month. So if if you're someone who we just talked to someone who was using an access 97 database, then you may want I pay for it once and not pay for every month. But if you want to kind of stick with something modern, you probably want to get into some, some ability to upgrade.
Michaela Light 25:13
Yeah. I mean, the advantage of paying a hosting company license, I think there are several advantages. One is you pay per month, instead of having to put down the whole license cost in one go. I also get the impression that honestly, Adobe gives a some kind of hosting company discount to hosting companies on licensing because of the volume of licensing they provide. So I think you get a better deal on it. And then as you mentioned, you know, you don't have to worry about upgrading costs, because that's all built into it. So I think unless you've got your own license, it makes sense to have a hosting company deal with that. Oh, there's one other Adobe licensing issue. They count CPUs in a very weird way, in my opinion, you know, they probably wrote the license, probably their attorneys wrote the license 10 years ago, when like, the CPUs were very rare. But now, I mean, what, how many CPUs? The cores? Do you have arms, typical servers, either your hosting company or other hosting companies? 16?
Ryan Brown 26:18
I mean, to kind of dive in? I'm going to talk about number, of course, for each CPU. But, we have access to 28 core CPUs. So it's, it's, it's amazing what, what they're doing now and the core count. And I think AMD is the leading the core count race, trying to kind of, if I recall correctly, they're trying to push that number, of course.
Dakota Clum 26:45
Absolutely. What I think what's traditional kind of in the hosting is the new CM start as low as two. And now you can even see it get all the way up to 128 cores, 64 cores. So that scene is definitely shifted, right in the middle, or the sweet spot is typically that 16, core eight core person.
Michaela Light 27:12
I think the other thing is, if you're running in a virtual situation, you know, if you're running a VPS, you're running on Amazon, AWS, or a car or whatever, you may not know how many cores are running underneath its, or it may be hard to tell. So it's kind of hard to obey the licensing, if you're bringing your own license in that situation. Of course, with Lucy open source ColdFusion, that's not an issue at all, because they don't have that, that way of licensing their CFML engine. So that's why a lot of people moving to Docker, you know, did switch to Lucy for that, just for that reason. They may have had other reasons as well. So something to look at. You mentioned earlier, about how a part of the support a hosting company provides, they may be providing tuning and optimization of your ColdFusion app. Can you tell us a bit more about that? And what to look for there? And when we're picking a hosting company?
Dakota Clum 28:10
Yeah, absolutely. I think, you know, one of the most important things is what are you getting out of the box. So you know, when you select a hosting provider, you're picking a certain set amount of resources, you're picking a version of ColdFusion. Hopefully, that that version is still supported. And then you're expecting to get a tuned and optimized server that has all the latest security enhancements updates. So you know, what's most important is one is ColdFusion. Up to date. Are all the latest patches applied? Are you running on the latest Java JDK framework? In addition to that, if you're buying a 16 core, you know what, let's just speak hypotheticals, you know, 64 gigabyte of RAM server, what is ColdFusion configured to utilize? So if you just install ColdFusion by itself and forget it, you know that Java heap allocation is like one gigabyte, so you're not using all the resources that are available to you. Same goes with you know, making sure the hosting company you're speaking with understands your application needs. So right sizing that environment, how many requests per minute do you expect? What's the database intensity look like? What's the amount of ColdFusion requests you're getting? So there's a lot of aspects there but just partnering with the organization that can help you you know, start in a good spot to begin with based on what you're buying, and then optimize and right size your environment as you continue, you know, growing your own line of business.
Michaela Light 29:50
Those breakpoints I mean, the other thing that's new in the last year or two is both Adobe and Lucy let you pick which components of ColdFusion get loaded. Um, so if you're not using PDFs, for example, you don't have to load that. And if you're running in a cloud environment or you know, dynamic scaling or orchestration, and it's quite important, how big the footprint is the install on how quickly it loads up. So I know both Adobe and Lucy have been making enormous speed ups in load time. Through that and other features. Yeah. Now, you mentioned support earlier that that does seem to vary quite a lot between the different hosting options, not just the different hosting companies. So I think there is variety there, but also in the different levels of, you know, whether you're going with for shared hosting, or VPS, or dedicated server or whatever the option is. So or even if you've like, you're saying, You've brought your own server, and you've co located it at a host. So tell us about how support works, all those different options, and what we should look for when we're picking a host.
Ryan Brown 31:04
So hosting support, your biggest support is going to be on the VPS. And there's a couple of reasons for that, the main reason is because it's got the perfect price point to be able to deliver the support. And the other reason is because it, it is a shared environment, where is not just a set it and forget it. So I'll contrast that with shared hosting. So in a shared environment, it's generally very low cost. And so there's that it's very, it's extremely difficult to deliver the support to those customers, at a higher enterprise level, because just there's, there's, honestly, there's just no profit and or to be completely candid, on on that side of things, when you're doing, we're doing the sub $10, or sub $20 hosting, there's just, there's no money in that per month to pay for, to pay for the support on that. So we're gonna have a lot less support on that, when you get into more of the VPS or cloud server side of things, that's gonna be the pricing we hired and you're, you're paying for that hands on support. In our experience, developers don't want to worry about infrastructure, they just want it to work, they want to focus on the customer needs. And, and to be able to kind of deliver, develop that those customer needs. And so they're gonna go to that that supported proud product. And then when you go into actual colocated, or, or dedicated physical boxes, a lot of times, someone's getting that because they want to run it. And so they're preferring not to get the support packages, because they look, I just want the hardware, and I want to do everything myself. And that's what they get. And so they’ve selected to not have that, that support package because of that.
Michaela Light 32:59
That makes sense to me. I mean, I'd say to anyone listening, you know, obviously, some people have hobby sites, or it's a nonprofit. And they're like, constrained by budget. And that's why they've picked, shared hosting. And shared hosting was a great idea maybe 20 years ago, because there weren't many other options available, low end. But I'd say now, if you've got those kinds of constraints, learn how to use Docker, learn how to do all this management of the server yourself, at least if it's on Docker, you can backup the image. And if something terrible happens, you can just restore the image from a backup, and then stick it on a cheap cloud provider like DigitalOcean, or the several of them, you know, cheaper and cloud providers, there are 25% of the cost of Amazon. That still work good. So you know, and then just, you're going to have to live with the fact you're going to have to apply those patches yourself and deal with the site itself. Now the advantage of documents, you can have the same Docker image on your development box, at home, so you've got some idea of what's going on. So I mean, I don't like telling people not to whine because it sounds like I'm whining, and whining, and it's like a meta level. While it's like, you know, it's time to change how you think about hosting. And if you're looking for really cheap, hosting $10 a month, you can't expect to get good support at that level. It costs money to have, you know, support engineers that have decades of experience. So they need care and feeding to want to feel happy about doing it too. So yes, in my experience, I mean it's a tough job being a support engineer, is I feel for them because they get all kinds of different people coming to them. Some are very friendly, some are like desperate tearing their hair out, and they get upset and you know, you've got to kind of do your best to help them out. So hats off to all the people who do that you wanted to say something about support engineers.
Dakota Clum 35:10
You nail that on, you know, I think it's you know, expertise particularly even in cold fusion as that's more of a niche area and the Lucy engines in the world, you know, the expertise are becoming more and more limited and then the demands are also rising at the same time. So, you know, definitely partnering with any any hosting organization, you know, support engineers are definitely valued there.
Ryan Brown 35:37
And I will add one extra thing I think the Kishore talked about that with view. Michala, when you guys chatted before is that if the to kind of help increase the number of support engineers, we have the there's CF summit with their one day boot camp at the end. So jump on that. The not not to just be purely Adobe focus, but I know the Autodesk guys have theirs right after that as well. are right on the same time. So there's, there's multiple options that you can go to for for really quality, inexpensive training on on on CFML.
Michaela Light 36:15
Yeah, I mean, obviously, to be a sport engineer, you've got to understand ColdFusion to some extent, but you also have to understand a lot of server and hardware-related stuff. So it and like I said, You've got to be able to be kind of even keeled when people get excited and help them feel you're taking care of their issue. So good communication skills. Definitely. Let's, let's talk a bit about it. You mentioned ColdFusion upgrade protection earlier, how does that fit in with a host?
Dakota Clum 36:57
Yeah, I think you know, any, any host you're working with, you want to fill in shirt or rest assured that when the next ColdFusion release cycle comes out, you'll have access to it. In addition to that, you don't want to find yourself stuck on a ColdFusion 10 or ColdFusion. Nine that's out of support and no longer you know, receiving critical updates or hot fixes that address vulnerabilities. So when you think about CF upgrade protection is you know, you want to future proof your environment is where's my application going to be in five years or 10 years or so when you're partnering with an organization or a host? No, getting that CF upgrade protection is going to be really important.
Michaela Light 37:44
What about folks whose app uses, you know, special features in AWS? You know, AWS has about 50 different libraries, I think these days, and it's a very powerful thing. But if your app needs any of that, should we expect hosts to give you access to that? Or how does that work?
Dakota Clum 38:05
Yeah, that's that is a great question. I think what we're seeing is kind of a trend shift. And I think I've even heard Adobe use some of this terminology is that multi cloud aspect, you shouldn't have to be as a business owner or developer, or CIOs, you shouldn't have to be trapped with one hosting option or one provider. So when we think about the AWS are the answers of the world, when there's a need for those specific resources are specific tooling and libraries, we want to be able to support that. So, to your point, there's no kind of lock in or, or anything like that you shouldn't do one or the other, you should keep all the options open to you.
Michaela Light 38:56
That makes sense. Yeah, go ahead.
Ryan Brown 38:58
Honestly, Michaela, like you mentioned some of those, some of the work with Docker with AWS and their ability to kind of spin up things within like Kubernetes to, to control how many Docker images you have. And so if you're someone who's going to needs that, then then you're going to make decisions on licensing for your ColdFusion you're gonna make decisions on a lot of things. And so you will need to have that support. And, but that may only be one application, you may have other applications who don't need that kind of Docker containers. And you may want to put those somewhere else. And so the question is do these when you're picking when you're choosing a partner out there is okay, hey, this partner have expertise in those areas? Do they have the kind of support both and then as a business owner, you gotta make a decision if you want to have that one person supporting both, or kind of going to different people to kind of hedge your support. And so as a business, you just got to make that decision as you're talking to people.
Michaela Light 40:01
I'm gonna say a word that frightened some people begins with B is backups. Is that something you should be looking out with a hosting provider?
Ryan Brown 40:12
Absolutely not? Me? Don't worry about that. Yeah, that's servers never go down.
Dakota Clum 40:24
Oh, I do tell they do. That's something we talk about all the time. And it's, it's, it's so important to have a backup strategy. As you think of the multi data center scenarios that we talked a little bit about earlier, anything can happen. So making sure you're partnering with someone or have your own strategy in place that says, Okay, if I lose this all tomorrow, what's my recovery strategy? Or what's that disaster recovery scenario. So backups are really important, you should look at backups beyond just the website level, but your databases, even the ColdFusion settings, can be really important, because those contain things like data source information, etc. So, always have a backup strategy in place is definitely important.
Ryan Brown 41:17
That you have your Dr. And then you for disaster recovery. And then you even have local backups. So what happens if you just lose a file, and you want to be able to have access to that file? And so having kind of a multi tiered approach to your backups, even multi days of retention so that you can, okay, hey, I deleted this file three days ago, let me or where I like that version better. Let me restore the three days ago version of it. And so the as you're looking at your cloud provider, making sure you have access to something like that, especially in the development world, where you may have made a decision and for whatever reason, you're not you're not running your Git repository or something or you didn't you didn't say that up to get you want to have access to that, then then you do you have that ability if you have the days of retention.
Michaela Light 42:09
Yeah, and I typically I've seen people have 714 or 30 day retention time, and they have daily backups, sometimes people get more frequent backups, running, depends what's going on. Definitely good to have backups. That also I've talked to people who had ransomware attacks, and their server got kind of attacked by a hacker, and now they can't access the server. If you've got backups, it's like you're not paying them 10 bitcoins or whatever they're asking for these days, you're just standing up a new VPS server, you're restoring from a backup from a few days prior when it wasn't infected. And, then you're back in business, and maybe you lost a few days data, but you, you didn't get as much egg on your face, as you would if if you didn't have that, I'll tell you.
Ryan Brown 43:01
For coming from a past of doing the on prem environments, it's amazing how many companies still rely on just tape backups for an on prem environment. And don't test them until they've had a like a something like a ransomware attack, and then they test the restores, and they don't work. And now all of a sudden, they thought they've been protected for all this time. And they're not. So if, if you're dealing with backups, any kind of Dr. environment, we encourage you to also have an ability to test those backups.
Michaela Light 43:37
Yeah, I think that's definitely a good idea. I mean, that's a good way to check that your disaster recovery plan really does cover everything, and all the bits are all backed up correctly. Because when you have a ransomware, or you have a data center goes down or whatever, you need to be able to get the site up in a certain number of hours. And if you've never tested that, you don't know if it's gonna all work out, okay. And you don't know if maybe the place you're restoring to isn't set up right for some reason, or maybe someone maybe the person who has all the passwords for switching the IP addresses is out on vacation and you've got to have a backup for them or there's all kinds of snack foods that can happen from what I've seen. Also, I mean, I don't know if this story is true, but I have heard of this was with tape backup. The junior developer, they had the site go down they told the junior developer to restore and he thought he was restoring but really he was erasing the tape and what they had nine backups and he was already through eight of the backup tapes now for the more senior person stopped him from erasing the final backup. So the other thing you did briefly mentioned on site for is off-site on Site Backups right at the data center, it's very quick to restore. But of course, if something terrible happens to the data center, you're Sol for getting that data back that day. So occasional, weekly or monthly, or whatever your cadence is, have an off-site backup can be a good thing to do. And then the other layers that some people put in, having source control for the ColdFusion source, sticking the ColdFusion admin settings into source control, sticking your database structure into source control, and then having an off-site copy of the database, or can be good things to do, or what you were saying with geolocation earlier, that effectively is a hot backup. Yeah, because you've got a copy of the site. It's excellent in a data center.
Ryan Brown 45:49
It is expensive, though. And so as you're talking to, if you're a business owner, or IT provider, you just got to balance those two, where you're okay. Hey, how much is it worth it? For me to be able to come back and how many hours? So the Okay, hey, I need to be up in four hours. Or when we talk we're in we're in a lot of spaces. And so we talk to people about on prem as well as just cloud backups to their on prem environment. And for those people, we talk to them about, okay, hey, if there's a disaster in your local area, does it matter if if you're back up and running, if all your customers are local? No, because they're all dealing with that local disaster. So you can take for days, it doesn't really matter. But if but if you're dealing with with not having all your customers local, if you're if you're not a local paint store or something like that, then then you're dealing with people around the country, you can't be down, maybe you still want to do some sales, maybe well, you're dealing with a disaster if your fulfillment center or something. So you got to figure that out. And again, for these business providers, you've got to talk to a company who, who, any company, there's a lot of companies you can talk to but talk to the companies had some experience and can kind of guide you into that.
Michaela Light 47:09
No, I think that's a good point. I mean, this is true for most things, it, there's usually some kind of trade off happening. So although we none of us want downtime, sometimes you've got to accept some downtime to trade off for the cost. It is interesting to me with all this Docker and container, stop it, it kind of changes the game a bit, because it's a lot easier just to spin up a Docker container very quickly, even in another data center, and even to automate that with either Kubernetes or some other orchestration software. So it does seem to have gone to a different place. Where speaking of cool things are happening, but where do you see ColdFusion hosting, changing in the next year or two? Any ideas on trends you're seeing that might happen? next few years. And be bold. Remember, we've had congressional testimony last week that said aliens been found by the US military and they have bodies and spaceships. Amazing Possibilities. Yeah. I think silence. Yeah. Because I'm not saying you have to promise to provide it. I'm just saying what do you think's out there for any of the hosting companies?
Dakota Clum 48:39
Yeah. So, I think what immediately comes to mind is we're seeing Adobe, really pushing ColdFusion in the form of, the new CF certifications that you can get, I know, the artist group, and all their all focus, and both the ColdFusion and the Lucy community for modernizing code, the CF a live podcast, there's a lot of traction and talk happening in ColdFusion. And I think that trend, and kind of the community driven aspect of it is going to bring a lot more adoption towards developers and organizations who want to revisit ColdFusion and implement it in their, their own code base or throughout their own processes. So I'm definitely hopeful we'll see more of a ColdFusion hosting trend, as far as where that lands, I think Adobe's stance on the multi cloud approach, and all the capabilities they're offering through that whether it be Docker, your traditional VPS hosting your shared environments, I think is also going to be really critical for adoption. Continued adoption, and that's a trend I envision growing upward. Combine that with, the annual release cycle And the new features that are adding around SAML support the Graph QL capabilities. That's all very exciting stuff. And it's going to continue bringing momentum to the ColdFusion sector.
Ryan Brown 50:13
From a hosting perspective, I can see more combinations of hosting plus applications. So it's not just where you're gonna go out there and say, hey, I want to spin up a VPS. With with cold fusion, it's like, Hey, I, the I'm working with a partner, I actually need this specific application spun up with with with which is gonna was gonna already have ColdFusion tune for it to have the Windows environment or the Linux environment tuned for it for that application. And you can say, hey, I need this application, boom, now you're up and running. So these app providers will be able to more easily deploy solutions for customers, and then they get better at templated setups, you can just hey, do this, spin this up. And then and then just answer these questions. Now all of a sudden, you're running with your, your ERP or your CMS, or whatever it is, it's gonna be a lot easier. And even Docker, you just throw Docker out there have everything that I need on a, it's already everything already set up. So there'll be a lot more work within that application side and kind of combination, working with the hosting providers.
Michaela Light 51:24
That sounds very exciting. So the other thing I see is more AI being utilized in cold fusion hosting, we already have fusion reactor with some AI features. To do the tuning on a more automated basis, I can imagine that happening for security staff, we already have the security, scanning tools, both in built into Adobe ColdFusion, they have some code scanning things, but also there's the founder of security tools, I just see more of a kind of AI assistant that helps get your app more secure, more performance tuned.
Dakota Clum 52:08
That'd be great. Definitely.
Michaela Light 52:12
Anything else you want to share with listeners about picking a hosting company.
Ryan Brown 52:19
I mean, I always start at the end of the phonebook. And I always start at the end of the phonebook and work backwards is My general advice for picking a hosting provider. But all kidding aside, I mean, it's, you have to balance what you're willing to pay, and the support that you need. And the features that you need, every business is going to have to make decisions on balancing that. And so to kind of have an idea of as you're getting into it, what your what it would mean to you to have someone take over your infrastructure, and have an idea of okay, hey, here's the here are the price points I want, here's kind of what I'm looking for. And then then I'll help narrow down who your providers are. And then even look, then look at the other side of things. If you're coming into it, say, I want to save a bunch of money, look at that, but then talk to one other person about a more expensive option. And it's just, and then you understand that trade-off. When I'm when I've made this my personal what I do is when I'm on Amazon, or wherever I'm shopping on Amazon is the all sorts of prices, both directions, some say hey, look, show me the expensive stuff to say, okay, hey, if I want all the bells and whistles where it's gonna be, Okay, now, let me just look at the other way and okay, am I okay, saving this amount of money and giving that up? Okay, no, okay. We keep going down until I felt find the point, which is my sweet spot, which, okay, hey, here's the price point I want. And the belt and enough of the bells and whistles that I'm comfortable with that.
Michaela Light 53:53
Makes make sense to me. Anything you want to add to Dakota?
Dakota Clum 53:58
Yeah. Ryan, I think I think you nailed a lot of great points. You Michaela, back to your earlier point early on in the in the episode is the security aspects, what are? What is the most important or what are these hosting providers doing to lock down your ColdFusion server to live to deliver that out of the box tuned and optimized, where it's really future proofing and securing the application as you move it over?
Michaela Light 54:31
I also think support is pretty important for most developers. So it's a little hard to evaluate that because everyone's every hosting company says their support is wonderful. Maybe you can tell I mean, there's been discussions in the ColdFusion program. Our Facebook group has three or 4000 members in and you can see what other people's experiences have been in there. So Well, that's one way to measure it. Maybe there's some others out there as well.
Ryan Brown 55:05
It talked to other people. And if, if you're going to go with a hosting provider, ask them to, to if they don't have published or have published audited reviews out there, or independent reviews, I should say, then asked to talk to other customers or where, as you mentioned, there's there's a Slack community, there's a Facebook group, there's, there's Reddit, go to one of these social communities. And if you're considering somebody throw their name out there and see what people say.
Michaela Light 55:34
That's a great suggestion. Well, thanks for coming on the CF live podcast, guys. If people want to find you online and contact you what what are the best ways to do that?
Ryan Brown 55:48
So I My name is easy. It's Ryan dot Brown. xByte.com. Actually, the hardest part is the company. So it's x b y t e.com. You'll get me you can look up. Ryan Brown on LinkedIn. Michaela, you have the you have my actual profile address. It's there. You can look at expat hosting on LinkedIn or there as well. One quick shameless plug. And just because Dakota's on you're not gonna embarrass him. The we had probably one of the greatest reviews ever given by somebody. And so the kale, I shared you with that if you care, you can share it. Or you can look at the expert hosting LinkedIn page. But this company had a really big problem and we put our our top resource our CTO on it. And he gave probably the most colorful Customer Review ever. And and I believe Dakota is now a like fourth level ninja or something I forget to. But yeah, he gave an amazing review. So check that out.
Michaela Light 56:55
It's I'll put the link to that LinkedIn article with that review in in the show notes at Terra tech.com. And also give a link I wrote a ColdFusion hosting independent guide which lists out a lot of the key points to look for, and gives a lot of different hosting companies you can look at and other options. So I'll put that link in there as well. Great. Well, thanks so much for coming on the show and have fun at CF Summit. I know we're both sponsors there, so may the CF summit go well, as well.
Dakota Clum 57:30
We will be there. Yeah. Thank you, Michaela. Thanks a lot.