Steve Whiteley

Head of Platform Services

Steve is Head of Platform Services at CatN, focussing mainly on the Control Panel and vCluster aspects of our hosting services. You can find him on Google Plus.

CatN unveils next generation cloud hosting service

Cloud hosting company, CatN, has launched a next generation service called vCluster, a cloud hosting platform for PHP applications such as WordPress. The service has been designed to scale automatically so that websites can easily cope with spikes in traffic.

The vCluster Platform as a Service (PaaS), built entirely by CatN, is designed to be incredibly simple to use, allowing websites to scale up and down automatically without any need for manual interaction. vCluster has been designed for a host of users, from beginners to expert PHP developers.

Joe Gardiner, Head of Product at CatN, said:

Our aim with vCluster is to make cloud hosting fast and simple for all; it comes with an intuitive control panel so you only need to load your website or code onto the platform and it just works. No complicated documentation or configuration is required.

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Don’t miss our minty fresh new page content

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Last week we took the opportunity to implement and publish long awaited additions to catn.com, some of which are more prominent than others so thought we would highlight them to you all.

CatN are an approved Government Procurement Service Supplier, however until now the only way to view our list of services has been to go directly to CloudStore. We created a new products page to provide a quick summary of our Government services, which has also been added to our menu under the products tab dropdown.

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Generating a CSR with Apache OpenSSL

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CatN have been offering hosting services for a number of years now, with one common request from our customers being the ability to provide and install SSL Certificates for their hosting products. The first stage in the process is to generate an RSA Private Key and and CSR, which can be used by an SSL Authority to generate you an SSL Certificate.

We will use the Apache OpenSSL toolkit to generate both the RSA Private Key and Certificate Signing Request. The following instructions require that OpenSSL is installed on your server, as this is a common package it should be available on most of the major distributions through their package installer.

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Access Control – Are you in or out?

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As CatN continue on our journey towards ISO 27001 accreditation, part of the information security policy requires that we have an active and enforced security model in place at our office location.

Since introducing an access control system in June 2010, all employees have been required to tap in and out of the office using RFID technology, however the process for keeping track of guests coming in and out of the building has been very much a manual process.

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Presenting the all new CatN website, reducing the clutter and cleaning the cobwebs

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Although we are concentrating our efforts on the upcoming launch of vCluster version 2, we have been working on a redesign of the website as a side task over the past few months.

Our focus on this version was to cut the clutter and get straight to the point, which has led to a sleeker, more stylish and polished design that is better organised and hopefully less confusing. Taking inspiration from previous versions we have redesigned the entire site to generate a cleaner, tidier interface with the intention of providing information that is concise and easier to locate.

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vCluster package structure for version 2

With the launch of CatN vCluster version 2 nearing, I will be following on from the previous posts introducing the new version and the vCluster timeline to explain one of the major changes we will be introducing. Previously we offered packages with a tiered pricing model, allowing you to select one of three pre-defined vClusters. After previewing an early alpha version at WordCamp last year as well as the feedback received from users of old version, we have dropped this rigid pricing structure in favour of a more flexible and customisable option.

When you purchase a vCluster in version 2, you will be faced with a single vCluster package option with a base subscription price of £5.00 per month. The package itself contains two products, one vCluster and a Shared Database, which are managed independently within the Control Panel and have their own add-ons and overage costs applied despite being part of the same package.

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CatN vCluster beta closed

Since launching vCluster version 1.0 early last year, we have had a lot of interest and uptake from people looking to test our clustered hosting service for their websites and applications.

We have now exceeded our quota of beta users and therefore disabled the ability to create new vCluster packages in the run up to the launch of version 2.0. This allows us to continue collating the feedback generated and focus on implementing the new suggestions and improve the features available in the new version.

Some of the feature requests have made it on to our Planning Board and will be available with the launch of version 2.0, with any suggestions that do not make it into the initial release added to our backlog for possible implementation in the future.

Back in August 2011 we provided a few teasers of the new control panel in its development stages, alongside allowing visitors to our stall at WordCamp 2011 weekend access to the control panel. This provided us with some initial customer feedback, which proved useful in finalising the design and allowing us to focus on features that improve the hosting product itself.

There have now been over 30 significant changes improvements made since version 1.0 and more additions on the planning board that are under development.

If you have any questions about vCluster or any of our hosting products, please feel free to contact us with your queries and we will be happy to help.