10 years ago Namecheap.com was hosted in its entirety on just a single physical server.
Over the years as we’ve grown, to over 1 million customers managing 4 million domains, our infrastructure base has also grown. With hundreds of thousands of customers and visitors visiting us every day to register their domain, to purchase a hosting package, to manage their existing domain name, add a SSL certificate or take advantage of our private email, infrastructure is an important part of the Namecheap organization.
At the time of writing (November 18th, 2014), Namecheap.com is hosted on a powerful multi-server VMWare environment in our Atlanta datacenter.
As of the week commencing November 24th, 2014, Namecheap.com is going to be hosted on a new VMWare environment with approximately 300 x the horsepower of the older setup. The new VMWare environment will be hosted out of our Phoenix datacenter.
Yes, you read that right. 300 x more power than our old platform.
We’re doing this for you, our customers. Namecheap, as you probably know, is 110% committed to deliver an amazing customer experience. This includes great products, the best support in the business, a total commitment to privacy and best practices in security. And this all begins when you access Namecheap.com
This commitment is why we’re making a significant seven figure investment into our infrastructure that will drive Namecheap.com into 2015 and far beyond. It is the biggest single investment we’ve made into our infrastructure to date. And as the executive leading this initiative, I’m incredibly proud we’ve made this investment and I’m excited to show you, our customers, how this will improve your experience. Interested in the tech specs, the geeky stuff? Then read on….
We’re completely overhauling our network setup in Phoenix. We’re installing brand new Juniper M104 routers in a N+N redundant model. Our new routing engine gives us 320Gbps of bandwidth capacity.
Our core switching is a mixture of Juniper and Arista. Our core switching model is capable of delivering multiple 10G low latency connections to our rack switching. The low latency is especially important for the storage element of our VMWare cloud.
Security is very important at Namecheap. We operate a policy of security through obscurity so there will be no photos or descriptions of the security devices in use. But I will say we’ve taken a best-in-class procurement process in selecting hardware for firewalling, DDoS detection, DDOS mitigation and more.
We’re using extremely powerful Dell blade servers to provide the underlying physical hardware for VMWare. Each server contains multiple E5-2650v2 CPUs, maximum RAM allocations and a plethora of 10G ports to connect to our storage infrastructure. Use of the M1000e chassis improves cabling, improves reliability and reduces energy consumption.
Storage is provided courtesy of Dell Compellent SANs. We run several tiers of storage to cover read intensive, write intensive and slower backup/archive needs. These tiers are achieved through different SSD and SAS disks, all redundant and all hot swappable in the Compellent chassis.
The completed build – minus some tidying, cable management and general house-keepings, looks something like this:
At the time of writing, Namecheap.com is still hosted on the older Atlanta VMWare setup. There will be a maintenance window of approximately 3 hours of downtime to migrate to the new infrastructure setup I’ve described above. If you’re reading this before this maintenance occurs, then stay tuned for the announcement of when this will be. If you’re reading this while the maintenance is occurring then please sit tight while we make these improvements – they’ll definitely be worth it!
Questions? Ask via the comments below and I’ll check in periodically to answer.