In 2018, we gained a small presence in the US thanks to our acquisition of BHost. Establishing a US presence had been a long-standing company plan, and the acquisition gave us a very useful starting point.
Whilst we’ve been supporting and upgrading existing customers in the US, we wanted to implement some network and infrastructure changes before taking on any new customers.
In early February we combined a trip to the North American Network Operator Group in California with a substantial deployment of new equipment into the facility in Fremont, and we’re pleased to announce that our US site is now fully open for business.
New VPS cloud
We’ve deployed a cluster of brand new VPS host servers, and Fremont is now available as a zone when ordering a VPS. As we’ve done elsewhere, we’re also migrating all ex-BHost customers into our VPS cloud, upgrading everyone to KVM-based virtual machines with newer faster hardware. For ex-BHost users on the OpenVZ containerisation platform this is a significant upgrade to full virtualisation with no hardware contention and at no additional cost.
New DNS resolvers
Fremont to London latency is approximately 130ms. To support US-based servers, we’ve deployed new resolvers in Fremont so that DNS resolution can be local and fast. This includes local DNS64/NAT64 servers for the benefit of IPv6-only hosting customers. We are also mirroring this improvement to our Cambridge and Amsterdam data centres for faster DNS resolution and local NAT64 in all our sites.
We’re now operating our own, fully routed network in the Fremont 2 data centre, and can offer network services to VPS and colocation customers in this facility. You can bring your own IP space to your virtual machine, and you can have BGP sessions to dynamically advertise your routes. Customers taking BGP will see a full routing table, combining transit routes from our upstreams with shorter, faster routes through the internet exchanges. We can also offer very low bandwidth connections (suitable for out-of-band connectivity), and transit connections with 95th percentile billing within the Fremont 2 data centre.
We’ve deployed a pair of routers to provide improved redundancy. These each have a full internet uplink and a link to a peering exchange. One connects at 10Gbps to the San Francisco Metropolitan Internet Exchange and the other at 10Gbps to the Fremont Cabal Internet Exchange. We’re peering as Autonomous System Number 60011 (in Europe we’re 44684) and now accepting peering requests over those exchanges. The BHost cloud is now behind this new routed network.
This means that in addition to improved and increased capacity, we’re also able to offer BGP to customers in our US site and transit sessions to other networks in the facility.
Virtual server features
Consolidating our US zone on our existing virtual server platform means that US virtual servers will benefit from the same technical advantages that we offer in other locations:
- VNC and virtual serial — virtual serial allows you to log your commands with working cut and paste. If your server crashes, the serial will log everything the kernel prints for later examination.
- Bring your own ISO — install any operating system you like.
- Optional BGP feed.
- Managed service options.
- IPv4 and IPv6 connectivity.
- Sympl, our open source server automation platform, is available out of the box.
Management in a different timezone
We offer full managed hosting on our US servers too, although we’ll be doing scheduled security updates starting from 7am US PST, not BST. We already run 24/7 operations so there is no difficulty in being able to offer our US customers the same management services that our EU customers get and we’re more than happy to schedule updates for in or out of your working hours.