Music maker takes up with new host

Dance music Web site inthemix.com.au has dumped its former Web hosting provider to meet growing server requirements in a 12-month deal worth $120,000.

Faced with delivering more than one million Web page impressions per day to about 60,000 unique visitors each month, and with 50,000 people on its e-mail databases, the site is experiencing a growth rate of up to 30 per cent each month.

The site has been running for about three years and Andre Lackmann, managing director, inthemix dot net Pty Ltd, said the previous Web hosting provider, which he declined to name, was given the flick because it was "not performing to the level we hoped". Inthemix also has some tens of thousands online ticket sales a month.

After considering five Web hosting providers, and then shortlisting two, Lackmann said he chose Macquarie Corporate Telecommunications and partner, Diversified Data because of the cost savings and "excellent data centre in Sydney".

Under the agreement, which costs $10,000 a month, inthemix uses the data centre's connectivity (Ethernet into the Macquarie data network) and its dedicated firewall and intrusion detection systems.

Diversified Data provides collocation Linux servers, operating system infrastructure and first-level direct support services backed by Macquarie.

Diversified Data moved to Macquarie's $35 million "intellicentre" data centre last June, and on-sells a range of its telecommunications and hosting services to its own customers.

Before switching to Macquarie and Diversified, inthemix had been working off one machine for Web and mySQL, and another for streaming. It now has a dedicated Web server, database servers and a streaming server.

"We now have a three-server, dedicated environment, and are about to commission a fourth due to our growth," Lackmann said.

To ensure continuity of service, inthemix also upgraded its infrastructure, security and back-up systems. It also needed the flexibility to scale on demand.

"The service level agreements (SLAs) we have in place are standard, as an example, if outages occur, which would be rare, we'd get a certain amount of rental back. We haven't had any network outages since it's all been in place. It's been going smoothly for four months," Lackmann said.

The project took about a month to install, but only affected users for about an hour during swap-over time.

"It was just a matter of picking up applications and moving across, testing and then doing the proper migration," he said.

According to Macquarie, its dedicated firewall service provides managed security, with inthemix only paying for real data usage.

"Macquarie's firewall blocks pings, port scans and other garbage data, that many providers charge for. Macquarie's reporting and SLAs mean we can track network and data centre performance with minimum drain time and resources and get money back if they fail to deliver," Lackmann said.

Glen Noble, general manager, hosting solutions, Macquarie Corporate Telecommunications, said while Macquarie "generally focuses on high-end enterprise and government users, our facilities are also attractive to customers such as inthemix, that are growing rapidly using open source".

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