Huw Davies

Commercial Manager

Huw works to deliver Enterprise services to our clients and develop the CatN business. You can find Huw on Google+.

Joe Gardiner comments on hybrid cloud on Tech Crunch

Is hybrid cloud the future? What form will the cloud take in business organisations?

The business critical applications with security and performance demands can be hosted on a private cloud. This environment can then be integrated with the less critical services such as web servers, which are at home on a public cloud. Combining these two cloud models leverages cost efficiencies and also builds resilience into a solution. I would highly recommend engaging with a specialist cloud provider to build an effective hybrid cloud.

Read the full article – Is hybrid cloud the future?

95th Percentile Billing – An Explanation

As a hosting provider, one of the most important components of our services is the ability for customers bandwidth to be burstable. Customers will usually commit to a committed data rate (CDR) each month as their baseline level of traffic, enabling CatN to capacity plan our network and customers to be assured of a minimum level of service provision.

In addition to CDR, customers expect CatN’s network to be capable of allowing usage to exceed the CDR for short periods without incurring the cost of paying for blocks of additional CDR which may not be utilised the remainder of the billing period.

Most hosting providers, CatN Included, use 95th percentile billing as a method to charge customers fairly for the bandwidth consumed while remaining flexible to spikes in demand.

Read More

Evolution of our product names

What’s in a name? In the theme of explaining about the origin of our names here is a brief history of how we chose the names of our two main services, and how they have evolved over time.

vCluster is the name we use for our Shared Hosting product, the entry level hosting service we offer. The name came about as an abbreviation of the description of the service – a virtual slice of a cluster of servers. The hardware is primarily designed for multi-tenancy and to scale to meet individual sites needs without users needing to allocate resource manually, and is optimised for hosting PHP sites such as WordPress blogs.

Read More

Theme from a (fri)day at CatN

Following on from Joe’s recent post ‘Ultimate storms beware, you CatN touch this‘ we’ve carried on the theme of misspelling CatN by creating a tenuously linked playlist.

A bit of friday afternoon fun, we decided to create a CatN playlist with all our favourite songs which had ‘Cat’ or ‘Can’t’ in either the song title or artist name and share it with the world!

Let us know your favourite songs which we’ve missed, and why they should be included - if we like your suggestion then you could be made (in)famous for all time by your song being included in the privileged “CatN top 20″ list.

Read More

Is the Government listening to SME feedback?

Since my last blog post concerned with Francis Maude’s mandate for Central Government to engage with SMEs, there have been a number of interesting developments.

In addition to blogging about my recent experiences with the GPS framework, I submitted feedback on our experience to the Cabinet Office ‘Mystery Shopper’ scheme, giving objective reasons for why we felt that the framework process and requirements were obstructive to SMEs.

Read More

On-load Generator Test

On Tuesday the 5th of March 2013 we will be performing an on-load generator test at our Manor Coach House Aldershot facility. This will involve isolating our data suite from the national grid and operating solely on generator and UPS power. This will run for an hour as we test generator operation and increase the temperature and pressure of the engine to test generator function.

This period is considered ‘at risk’ as there is a very small chance that there may be adverse affects from the test, however this is extremely unlikely. Carrying out tests of this manner are an important of site maintenance for any data centre and ensure that all equipment is operating correctly.

Read More

How can central government better understand the SME marketplace?

Francis MaudeAs an SME looking to engage with central government procurement we have recently found ourselves caught in a paradoxical situation where Francis Maude’s IT project management guidelines.

These urge government procurement to have greater engagement with SMEs in order to promote the delivery of more successful IT projects – is completely at odds with the reality of recent Government Procurement Service framework requirements.

Historically, SMEs have been reluctant to engage with government procurement due in part to the onerous paperwork associated with gaining access to frameworks; with this in mind I was fairly sceptical when the MD set me the task to get CatN onto the Government Procurement Service framework. Was this going to be a massive waste of time? Did we have any hope of being able to tick all the boxes? Even if we did get through the framework acceptance process would we actually win any contracts? I was asked to track the progress I made and identify all costs associated with getting onto the framework, in order to build up a ‘price’ of getting to the point of submission of the framework document. This would be used as a case study and also to test the GPS’s commitment to minister Maude’s project management guidelines.

Read More

Sustainability in IT

Time for confessions – I’m a closet ‘Swampy’ – My lifestyle might not be very ‘alternative’ but one thing I am quite passionate about is sustainability.

A lot of people have jumped on the bandwagon in recent years from a number of industries and for a number of reasons: Altruists; those with an agenda, be it political, financial or practical; and those who just want to get noticed. IT has been an industry which is often very cutting edge with its ideas, but sometimes struggles with the sustainability in practice. Demands for increased computing power have resulted in higher energy consumption and demands for hardware refreshes have caused often fully serviceable hardware to be disposed of for no reason other than ‘its old’.

Read More

Diary of a Linux n00b

If you’d asked me about Linux 3 months ago I’d have muttered about Ubuntu before quickly changing the subject to whether anyone wanted a cuppa and made a run for the nearest door; I can now proudly say I’ve configured my first LAMP stack and even edited a database with positive results!

One of the things I wanted to get my head around from week 1 was Linux, I had seen it used but that was about as far as it went. The email saying ‘why don’t you have a go at setting up a LAMP stack?’ had me quaking in my boots, but the one thing I did know about Linux was that the community support was great – so off I went to ask ‘where on earth do I begin?’
Read More