Why are we using Softlayer Nameservers?

I was reviewing the live chat transcripts earlier today. An interesting one that was served by “Ronskit”, a live chat operator of Mellowhost caught my attention. One of our visitor was interested to know, why are we using Softlayer nameservers for the domain “mellowhost.com” (http://intodns.com/mellowhost.com) instead of ns1.mellowhost.com or so on. The visitor was more interested in proving that Mellowhost is hosted in a shared server and all of our clients are also using a server that is not really managed by Mellowhost. His excuses were flowing towards why we don’t sell VPS or Master Resellers, or so called “Alpha” Master Resellers instead we only sell Reseller and Shared Hosting. It is eventually hard to answer a management level of query by a sales representative and as expected he wasn’t able to please the visitor 🙂 I quickly thought to write this down for future references.


Lets first come to the question, why are we using Softlayer Nameservers. To be honest, the root reason is to easily achieve two fault tolerant nameservers at almost no cost. Mellowhost.com is hosted on a dedicated server with Liquidweb. All of our shared servers are using Softlayer. The distinction is done to make sure our helpdesk is always up even if the Softlayer shared servers are facing any sort of error or undergoing a maintenance. I have been monitoring softlayer nameservers for last 3 years (softlayer NS were our secondary NS before while using Liquidweb NS as primary), it is the least down monitor in my pingdom list. One of the reason, why these NSs are fault tolerant, is they are hosted in two different DNS servers under Softlayer’s management. Even if we had set a private NS in the Liquidweb, it would still be a single point of failure until we setup another server just for DNS. Softlayer NS would still respond if the Liquidweb server goes down for some reason. We had plan to setup a backup MX on this purpose which we do not have yet. Although, it should be up within October as far it is planned.

Moreover, Softlayer DNS management is not a publicly available free DNS server like afraid.org or some other. It is only available to the users who own servers with Softlayer. That automatically answers the other question of the questionnaire about owning servers.

We used to offer Master resellers, but we have already stopped offering this to our clients. I almost hate the words these days like “Master” or “Alpha” or whatever web hosting companies are using everyday to gain more and more customers. These packages grow extensively to be honest from my years of experience and the result becomes more spam from the higher level of granularity. We eventually have one of our own master reseller panel integrated with WHMCS under (mellowhost.com/master/). This application is an absolute inhouse developed and fully functional master reseller script that we have never sold to anyone. We may start offering master resellers in future, although, the chance is pretty low.

We do not offer VPS hosting because to be honest, we do not have that amount of man power yet to empower a VPS Hosting service. A service should be offered in full form otherwise, there is no reason of offer a half broken service. We do have Semi Dedicated Shared services given when a client overuse his shared resources. These servers are shared among least users and use high end CPU, Memory & IO.

Every question is valuable, and the answer should be given, its important for Democracy 🙂 Happy Hosting!

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