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Over RSAWEB’s years  in web hosting we have helped everyone from small mom an pop shops using our shared web hosting platform to big multinationals with our Enterprise Cloud Servers. We’ve helped many customers grow and scale their infrastructure to meet various challenges. Ecommerce provides an excellent challenge where seasonal fluctuations, advertising campaigns, viral marketing, sometimes bad code, mobile apps, affiliate programs and various sources of traffic put varying amounts of strain on the underlying infrastructure.


The South African Ecommerce market is changing fast with more people getting online and moving past the critical ‘I’ve had 5 years of internet access’ where the internet (in whatever form) becomes part of their daily lives. At this tipping point people are far more likely to purchase online. In South Africa we have 11m+ users online now with 4.5m+ over the 5 years of use mark. The wave is here and more are coming.


The Database Bottleneck

Let’s deal with the database first, it is usually one of the biggest bottlenecks and we see customers ordering more servers instead of upgrading their disk. Most customers hit IOP (input/output operations per second) constraints on the hard disks with read & write intensive applications. This can be solved by adding Database servers or simply by deploying faster disk in the form of SSD’s giving ~40x more disk performance than spinning disk. Clever optimising of DB bottlenecks can speed up you application and save cost.


The Load Balancer

As your Ecommerce site gets busier you reach the limits of a single server and need to load balance between multiple web servers. A load balancer needs to be able to detect when a webserver fails and when a new server is added into the farm, with no manual configuration, in order to direct web users to a functioning server. Setting up your environment from the start with load balancing in mind saves pain later and enables you to add servers and resources on the fly with little downtime.


The Web Server Farm

Cloud Servers are ideal for web content processing and delivery. More can be cloned out or added with a few clicks of a button in our Cloud Control Panel. The configuration of these can be automated with a tool like Chef or Puppet as your site gets busier automating tasks will start to save time and money. An automation tool gives you a consistent mechanism to configure servers each and every time, the benefits of this are enormous. You can stand up a dev environment on our Cloud quickly, test your code changes and then destroy it when it is no longer needed. The key here is that on RSAWEB Cloud Servers you only pay for the hours your server is in use.


Caching, CDN & other performance gains

The importance of caching cannot be understated. Cache at each layer of your service but there is a fine balance between too much and too little. Too much means your customers start seeing out of date data and the wrong information in their shopping carts. Too little and your system will grind to a halt with all the background processing when you hit that seasonal spike or a product of yours gets tweeted by a celeb. We recommend tuning the various layers, tuning the MySQL cache’s, run code specific caching like APC if you run PHP, and split out your stats collection onto separate systems, maybe even running alternative Databases optimised by task like MongoDB or Cassandra rather than defaulting to MySQL or SQL.

Content Delivery Networks can offload a lot of the static content, away from your web servers.




So what next?

It is important to note that this can all be done quite easily but often fails when there is a migration to this way of thinking from a legacy way of building apps to the newer DevOps dynamic environment thinking. ‘Server hugger’ thinking will cause a project to fail if sysadmins don’t embrace DevOps in the Ecommerce space. DevOps solves many of the current management issues, its where automation prevails and nobody SSH’s into production servers anymore but thats for another post.

Ecommerce businesses typically experience rapid growth in South Africa due to the relatively uncontested landscape and the rapidly growing internet user base. We would love to show you how we were able to use our infrastructure building blocks like Cloud Servers, Content Delivery Network and RSAWEB’s CloudConnect to deliver a Hybrid Cloud service that scales and ensures 100% uptime.

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Free ADSL Gigs for all SuperDSL clients.


We are upgrading our SuperDSL capped ADSL packages free of charge, giving you up to 3x more Gigabytes per month at no additional cost.


Here is how many free Gigs you will get:




The extra free Gigs go live on the 1st of November and will be added to your account every month. Existing SuperDSL customers will see the extra bandwidth if you log into MyRSAWEB and see your cap size has increased. The pricing has remained unchanged so this one is on us!

You can now enjoy more Internet with less topping up at no additional cost.


If you want to add one of our packages to your account you can do this from the MyRSAWEB control panel or from our website.


Also don’t forget that we offer some of the cheapest ADSL lines around, so move your line to us and save.


We hope you all enjoy the extra free bandwidth.

The RSAWEB team.


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We regularly have contact with customers that are moving their servers and hosting from overseas providers back to South Africa. This trend is interesting and there are several reasons for it. You can purchase a hosting service in the US, but usually the latency is between 280ms-400ms and on bad days (eg Seacom outages) it can be higher. Locally hosted content however is on average 10 times faster with latency around 25ms.





What has changed?

How is this relevant in South Africa you may ask? Our internet speeds are increasing as fibre, VDSL and LTE rollout, latency is also decreasing as more content is hosted locally with content caching services like our AfriCDN, Google cache and other providers put more content locally. This means users are getting used to a more stable, lower latency local internet experience.


Its all about happy eyeballs

Google studied the impact that a near undetectable (to a human) additional 300ms (0.3 seconds) had on the users behavior. The result was that users disengaged from the site at a relatively alarming rate of between 5-8%.

Many people are unaware, but recently South Africa had only 1 operational international submarine cable, with 3 others undergoing emergency maintenance. Several large consumer ISP’s had performance problems to US and UK hosted websites however if your app/website/system was locally hosted, you would have experienced no issues and that translates to happy customers.

Serving your content from overseas higher latency servers may unknowingly be costing you customers and losing revenue.


Isn’t it more expensive?

The other misconception is that local hosting is expensive, this was the case until recently but this has fundamentally changed. The local monopoly of Telkom is being challenged, bringing input costs down significantly and thus our price to you.

All in all, if your users are local, it makes sense to host locally.

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With our new Cloud Servers v3 product going live last week we’ve had great feedback and suggestions from customers, thanks to everyone! The more feedback we get the better we can make the product for everyone.

This week sees a 4 major updates we have made to Cloud Servers, check them out below:


1. Traffic Price Drops

We have dropped our traffic pricing by 50%! Down from R5 per GB to R2,50 per GB. At the time of publishing this blog post we offered the cheapest cloud per GB bandwidth pricing in the country.


2. Easy Console Install

Some customers were having a bit of trouble getting the required console  plugin installed. We made it simpler by adding a setup wizard explaining what is needed for each operating system and browser. Please note that console for MAC is currently still not supported by VMware, we hope to have this resolved shortly.


3. Fullscreen Console 

There were a couple of issues with certain resolutions when it came to viewing the console. Some vertical and horizontal scrolling was necessary :/. This has been fixed with a full screen feature so that you no longer have to work in a small window.


4. Recommended Resources

We had reports of some servers not running very well, this was due to running certain high resource intensive operating systems with the minimum resources selected. We now recommend the ideal minimum running requirements for each server upon server creation. We advise that nobody drop below the recommended amounts to avoid possible performance issues.


We still have a lot of features and improvements to make to the product. Keep checking out our blog for all the latest updates!


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Ready to go Cloud?

October 10, 2013

We are very excited to announce that our new Cloud Server product is officially live!




This is the 3rd version of Cloud Servers and we have completely rewritten the control panel to make it even simpler to use. We have also swopped out the backend with VMware technology and are confident that it is the best version yet.

Cloud servers behave just like physical servers but take away the need for physical hardware. This means you can upgrade their RAM or disk size with one or two mouse clicks rather than having to open the server and install a new disk or RAM stick. By removing the hardware management you get to focus on the application you want to run on the server and have the peace of mind that your server will always be running.

We have made server management simple and the best part is that we only charge you for the hours you use, so you are in control of your costs.




Along with the upgrade to the underlying hardware and software that powers our Cloud Servers product, we have also built a couple of features that were highly requested by customers:

Pay Per Use

South Africa’s first true cloud offering is now billed per hour.

Only pay for the resources that you use and nothing else. Here are our rates per resource type:

RAM/CPU: 49c per hour (per GB)

Storage: 5c per hour (per 25GB increment)

Microsoft Windows Licensing: 12c per hour (Linux is free)

Bandwidth: R2,50 per GB!

If you have a big campaign ramp up resources, when it’s over, just scale back down. Simple.





New Control Panel

 We’ve simplified the management of your Cloud Servers by building a new and improved control panel within MyRSAWEB.

Included is a setup wizard to help first time customers launch their first servers and real time activity monitoring to quickly see if something needs attention.

Servers made simple.



You can now group your servers and manage them by projects. This helps management and shows you the cost for each project in real time.


Upcoming Features

We are not finished yet, our Cloud team is working around the clock to improve the product and will be releasing many improvements over the next few weeks.We would love to hear your feedback.


 Frequently Asked Questions

 How do I deploy a server?

You simply need to log into MyRSAWEB and navigate to the “Cloud” menu item and follow the setup wizard instructions to launch your first server.

How will I be billed?

Once your first server has been created billing will begin, if you chose to stop your server at any given time you will no longer be billed for RAM/CPU usage, however you will be billed for your storage which is still active. Servers are billed by the hour per resource.






What will be happening with the older version of Cloud?

We are migrating existing cloud servers during the next few weeks.

We will be assisting all existing customers personally during the migration processes.

If you have any feature requests or ideas, we would love to hear your comments.



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Below you are able to see when our next free cloud workshop is scheduled for.
We update this schedule regularly based on demand.





Last Cloud Workshop was: 19th April 2013

Next Cloud Workshop is: No date set at this time.


If you keen to attend an even let us know in the comments or contact us directly.

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Our very own Stuart Marais did us proud at the Totalsports Challenge 2013. Harsh winds and harrowing external factors did not stop him. A time to look back & reflect on all that goes into a single day, 7 disciplines, 6 hours & lots of fun, racing & challenging the daunting Totalsports Challenge 2013. Check out Stuart’s race report!
Being a multisporter and passionate sucker for punishment, I arrived back in Gordon’s Bay for the annual TSC, a world class event organised by Stillwater sports. My preparation was short after a niggling injury towards the end of last year. I did what I could in the build up, trying to balance the quality & quantity over 4 very different & challenging disciplines in just 2 months.

Raceday. Early start & we (my seconding team) set off to Gordon’s Bay, amped for a big day. It seemed all our prayers for calm conditions had come true… until we arrived in G’Bay, to gale force SE wind! I quickly needed to adjust my race plan- I knew what lay ahead.

We set off with a blistering start & as expected, Dan was on the front. I found myself settling into a good rhythm about 30sec back in a group of 4 swimmers. We constantly jostled for positions around the many turn buoys in the 3 lap swim. I was comfortable, but knew the hard work was still to come. I quickly ran up the beach & tried to focus on time splits being shouted from supporters on the side. I heard 30sec, so felt comfortable that I would bring this back, especially in the windy conditions. I slugged down a Gu Roctane & settled into a good tempo. (more…)

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End of year Cloud price drop

December 05, 2012

As a company we are so behind cloud infrastructure that we want everyone to try it. We have dropped prices to the floor in order to allow you  the opportunity to try our cloud servers. With pricing this good whats your excuse?


All the info and cloud pricing can be found on the RSAWEB cloud page.




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Another weekend, another awesome win for TeamRSAWEB! 

Check out Renays’s race report below from this weekend at the Contego Wines to Whales!

The photo says it all, Matthys and I managed to hold on to our overall lead and emerged the victors of the 2012 Contego Wines to Whales! We crossed the line after 2 hours 58 minutes in second place for stage 3 behind surprise stage winners Adriaan Louw and Louis Knipe


I say surprise because the day was full of ups and downs and unfortunate mechanical issues for some teams. The first casualty of the day was second placed team Blend Properties, where Ruan du Toit suffered a bad puncture and lost a big chunk of time in the race. Soon after that it was the turn of Craig Boyes from Team Daiken who trashed his real wheel on a particularly rough downhill.

The last team to suffer misfortune was team Asrin (Rene Haselbacher and Chris Wolhuter), who took a wrong turn and ended up not completing the race.

As a result, the 3 teams out in front for most of the day were Team RECM, Contego 28e, and RSAWEB/CangoMTB. No matter how hard we chased, we were surprised that we could not bring the leaders back into sight, and soon lost all hope of a stage win, as those boys were clearly on fire!


Towards the end the Contego boys made a bold move to try make up their 50 second deficit on RECM, while Matthys and I were quite happy to follow their wheels, stay smooth, and protect our lead. We crossed the line in Onrus after 2 hours 58 minutes just 20 meters behind Contego fully expecting a 3rd place for the day, but surprise, Team Contego had pulled off the stage victory!

Not too phased on missing out on the stage win, Matthys and I were truly happy to pull off an amazing victory at such a special event. What a great way to end off the season! The amount of support we received along the route each day was phenomenal, and we feel truly blessed to have been able to pull off such an amazing victory.

For me, this race marks the end of my racing season, and I look forward to putting the bike aside for a few weeks, putting on some kg’s, growing my leg hair, and working on my summer tan!!

I cannot end this post without thanking my amazing sponsors RSAWEB for the fantastic support I have received throughout the year, Rocky Mountain Bikes for the flawless bike, and all the other people who have contributed to making this season a success, you know who you are!

Thanks Renay! Here’s to an awesome season!! 

For more from Renay, check out his blog for all his race reports and news.

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This morning we held our second Cloud Breakfast of the year, and we’re pleased to say it was a big success. Held in Knead, Wembley Square, we invited some of our partners, colleges and clients, both old and new, for an informal and (hopefully!) informative morning of presentations, coffee and delicious breakfast.

We got a great turnout and it was awesome to see the interest and excitement is still as strong on the topic of Cloud in SA as ever.

This year we gave away our MD (Rob’s) favorite new tablet, the Nexus and Dominique  dHotman from Ooba was the lucky winner. Congrats Dom!

We also gave away free Cloud trials to all delegates, if you missed it and would also like to give our Cloud Servers a spin, simply click here and sign up for a free trial.

We’ll be running more #Cloudbreakfasts next year, so keep an eye on our Twitter account and get involved.

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