Simple hosting is a new phase in the evolution of Gandi. Back in 2008, when we launched our VPS cloud hosting service, many people thought we were crazy. Some who have since changed their stance claimed, incorrectly, that it would never work. Others were disappointed, since the offer was too advanced and complex for their needs. To meet the needs of this latter category, we are proud to introduce our new Gandi Simple Hosting service.
What is Gandi Simple Hosting?Gandi Simple Hosting is Gandi's version of simple web hosting. There are no "shares" to worry about, no servers, resources, or even "distributions" to deal with. No system administration either. We offer a platform built on our Cloud infrastructure that offers you the easiest possible hosting. In short, you get the ease of shared hosting and low-cost dedicated servers, but with the inherent advantages of using a Cloud infrastructure, combined with our usual excellent service.
What makes it Simple?We let you choose the type and size of instance that you want to host. You can think of an instance as a server that has a specific set of applications.
For example, for our Beta testing phase, we are providing you with a PHP/MySQL instance, which is the most in-demand type. These will be limited in size to the Small package during Beta testing, and to hosting at our Paris datacenter. Though it is our smallest instance size, it still gives you 10GB of storage and will support about 100,000 pageviews per month. This corresponds to the needs of a personal website with many visitors, or a professional website with an average number of visitors.
Once the Beta testing period is over, it will be possible to simply modify the size of your instance with a few clicks, without the need for any content migration.
A closed, but still accessible, Beta testing phaseThe reason we are having a closed Beta testing phase is so we can control the number of participants, test the limits of our system, and deploy the instances on just a small segment of our platform. This lets us see how the system reacts in a sort of "micro-environment", without risking any potential negative effects on the regular users.
If you participate, you will have the chance to test the new product before everyone else, totally free of charge. After the Beta testing phase is over, we will grant you a limited free period (probably 3 months).
The inconveniences of a Beta testing phase have to do with the volatile nature of the instances created. After all, it's a test, and so it is possible (though we will do everything possible to prevent this) that your instances might disappear due to a bug, or simply because we run into a situation where we need to reinitialize the platform, for example to correct a potential problem. You will also not have access to all the features of the product, such as the ability to resize your instance, to perform snapshots, or automatic configuration of your DNS.
Our customer support is not totally in place either, and will not be able to assist you during the beta period in the event of a particularly difficult case. The objective is to open the Beta testing phase to only about a thousand accounts.
Who are we looking for?The profile for beta-testers that we are looking for is rather diverse. You only need to know how to configure your domain's DNS to point to the Simple Hosting server (or only use the gpaas.net service URL that is available to you). You must know how to use an FTP client and it is preferable that you know how to manipulate a database (via PHP or PhpMyAdmin).
If you have a website that is totally built on PHP/MySQL and you know how to import/export its database, you can also test the installation of your website on a Simple Hosting instance. As a reminder, when the product is fully released, we will also offer an instance for static websites that will also allow you to host HTML files.
Do you want to participate?The sign-up form for the Beta testing phase is open to all customers that have a Gandi handle that was created before September 13th 2011.
Just go to the Simple Hosting, main page. Let us know why you would like to test it, whether or not you are already a Hosting customer at Gandi or elsewhere and for what type of offer, and your level of experience working with web hosting services*...,then, all you need to do is configure your instance.
Once we have validated your request, you will get an email that will tell you your connection settings.
NOTE: Each request is read and treated manually, so we ask that you be patient, and that you don't make multiple requests
How to give us your feedbackDid you encounter a problem? Have you found something that does not work and is reproducible? Do you have an idea for something that could be done better and how? Your participation in the beta is partly to help us make a better product for you, so don't hesitate to contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to give us your feedback.
When is the Beta testing period over?The right answer is: when it's ready!
We still have some interfaces to finish, notably the linking of the domain name to Simple Hosting, and some parts we know we need to make easier to use. The Beta testing phase will hopefully let us identify some problems that we have not yet seen, however we are confident that the final version will be ready for release in October.
With that, we'll let you discover the PaaS infrastructure and its many advantages for yourself
* this information will not affect your eligibility. We just need to be sure to have a variety of profiles in order to qualify the feedback we get.