At this time, we are in a beta phase and developers can sign up for FREE to test out the PaaS platform and provide us with feedback and suggestions. During the beta, we will continually be introducing new features and will be improving the system.
What is Snapp?
Our PaaS solution is an elastic cloud hosting platform for .NET applications. Snapp provides a scalable hosting platform where developers can increase or decrease the number of workers, but there is much more…
What is different about Snapp?
1. Deployment Options – Developers can deploy applications the way they want to without a learning curve. Snapp supports web standard FTP, web deploy, GIT, and Team Foundation Server.
2. Staging Done Right – Snapp is the first PaaS that comes with a configurable staging and production environment for every application. Developers can actually test their applications before it goes live.
3. Exception Management – Snapp comes with an exception management system to help developers identify issues with their application.
4. Easy Rollback – Eveytime an application is published from staging to production, we’ll keep a snapshot of the application in a repository. If anything unforseen should happen in production, rolling back to a previously working snapshot is just a click away.
Why launch a .NET PaaS?
Our focus at DiscountASP.NET from inception has been to empower .NET developers with hosting solutions. So we’ve been providing cutting-edge shared hosting solutions for .NET developers for the past decade.
But — we’ve also seen the needs of developers change over the last decade. And we will evolve too.
We’ve seen improvements in back-end cloud hosting technologies and changes in application lifecycle management with the adoption of a more agile and continuous development rhythm, and the increase in development activities in mobile web applications. When we asked ourselves what kind of cloud hosting solution we could offer to help make developers lives more productive, we kept converging on a Platform-as-a-Service solution.
Snapp is built on top of Antares, code name for Azure Services for Windows Servers. Antares is the same technology Microsoft uses to run Azure Web Sites, which is being made available to hosting partners. We’ve been working with Microsoft over the past year+ on Antares.
Call to Action -We need your help
Thank you for reading this blog post to the very end. Please help us by signing up for our FREE beta and taking Snapp for a spin. What we have here is still bare bones and please excuse the dust. We have plenty of great ideas cooking to make Snapp really rock and we could use all the feedback from you to help us improve Snapp and help prioritize the feature enhancements, to ultimately make your work more productive.
I know, it’s been quiet around these parts for a few weeks. It isn’t because we’ve suddenly lost interest in writing or ran out of things to talk about. That will never happen because we’re full of it. I mean, full of ideas!
It’s been a little slow on the blog front because a lot of us have been involved in preparing for a significant beta launch. “Oh yeah?” I hear you wondering, “Like what?“
Like…like I can’t tell you yet.
How’s that for anticlimax?
What I can tell you is this new project has been more than a year in the making, and it’s going to make a lot of you very, very happy, because it will make your life easier. Your development life anyway. We can’t help with the messy real-world bits. Yet, anyway.
So stay tuned. The coming weeks and months are going to be interesting.
You may have seen a headline like this in the news last week; “The Better Business Bureau said Tuesday that it expelled the Los Angeles chapter after an investigation into an apparent pay-to-play scandal.”
Well, we could have told you that was going on.
Until recently, if you checked the BBB web site for DiscountASP.NET you would have seen this:
An F rating, even though we had only six complaints from some 70,000 customers over a period of seven years, and we responded to five of those six complaints using the BBB “guidelines.”
Naturally I was curious as to how this could be, so I called the Better Business Bureau to find out. The friendly woman who answered the phone asked if we were “accredited.” When I said we were not, she said, “You should consider it. Accredited business generally receive higher rankings.”
That sounded like an outright and unabashed admission of a “pay to play” scam, which surprised me, so I asked for clarification. “So you’re saying if we pay for accreditation you can make the ‘F’ into an ‘A’?”
“Well, I can’t guarantee that,” chuckle, chuckle, “but if you were accredited you would be able to speak directly with an account manager, and they can usually clear up any problems you may be having, such as a low rating.”
I thanked her, hung up and thought, “So the Better Business Bureau gives us an F unless we pay? Well, F the Better Business Bureau!”
Now the news comes out that there has been a “pay-to-play scandal” that’s been talked about for years. It sounds like it may have been one of the worst kept secrets in Los Angeles. But apparently a lot of businesses played ball with the BBB because the cost of “accreditation” was only a few hundred dollars a year. I’m sure many of them simply considered it a cost of doing business.
We’re funny around here though, and those kinds of things rub us the wrong way. We don’t pay extortion money to RBLs or business bureaus. It’s a slippery slope that we choose not to go down. Nothing against anyone who did pay the Los Angeles BBB for a rating. Hey, it’s understandable.
But the Better Business Bureau is a holdover from a time when people couldn’t readily speak to each other about their experience with a business. The BBB has effectively been rendered obsolete by 1001 different rating and ranking sites. Not that those sites are necessarily any more objective (and many of them are “pay-to-play” as well), but the BBB just seems like a quaint, dusty old institution these days.
I just checked the BBB web site to see what kind of rating we had in light of the recent excommunication of the Los Angeles chapter and found this:
We’ll see what happens from here, but you may want to think twice before putting too much stock into ratings from places like the Better Business Bureau. You never know what they really mean.
Years ago, at another hosting company, I was interviewing a systems administrator. His resume was full of Microsoft certifications, so I assumed he would be a good fit for our company, which was a unix/Windows hybrid.
Now I’m not a system administrator, but in those days (circa 1997-98) I did a lot of work on the Windows servers – manually setting up new accounts and database connections, troubleshooting, crying. You couldn’t host more than 250 sites on one box, no matter how powerful it was, and even at that relatively measly density, memory leaks were so common and rampant that the servers had to be rebooted at least once every day. I drove in on weekends, just to reboot dozens of NT servers.
So I did the usual interview with my new friend, then – since I was interviewing him in our “server room” (really a glorified broom closet with an in-wall air conditioner) – I said, “Why don’t you log in to one of the servers and I’ll show you what we’re up to around here.”
But he couldn’t.
Not because he didn’t have proper login credentials, but because he didn’t know how to log in to an NT server from a lock screen.
Up until that point he had been a very persuasive speaker, and I felt as if I may have been in the presence of a great and wonderful mind. I may well have been, but if Einstein couldn’t figure out how to sharpen his pencil, he would have been kind of limited in what he could have accomplished.
All this is to say that you shouldn’t be inappropriately dazzled by a new, upstart host’s claims of employing MICROSOFT CERTIFIED ENGINEERS. It doesn’t mean they know anything about the realities of hosting your site.
Make no mistake, we’re lousy with Microsoft certificates around here. They are spilling out of filing cabinets and getting stuck in the ventilation system. Technically it’s probably a fire hazard, we have so many certificates. The certificates are very important. Everyone who works here is encouraged to gain certification, we even provide a financial incentive for them to do it. We have to have a good deal of the staff certified (and keep those certifications current) to maintain our “Gold Hosting Partner” status.
Maintaining that status has recently become considerably more difficult, and you may notice that certain hosts no longer label themselves Microsoft Gold Hosting Partners, because they can no longer qualify. We still qualify, because we’ve got a lot of very smart people in our midst.
So certification is important and we encourage it. But – just between you and me – in reality, experience is far more important than certificates. Interviewing that certified system administrator who couldn’t log in to a server taught me that. As it happens, we’re lousy with experience around here too. In fact, some of the same people who I worked with in 1997 are here in the office with me every day. Along with a system administration team that has an average of 13 years of web hosting experience per person.
That’s critically important – the “web hosting experience” part. Someone who has 20 years of experience building corporate intranets or managing SQL servers at a hospital isn’t necessarily the person you want running a commercial shared web hosting network. They might be great at what they do, but you’re shopping for web site hosting, not a count of how many Advil are on the shelf at Cedars-Sinai.
So let’s recap:
- DiscountASP.NET: A ridiculously large (and constantly growing) stack of Microsoft certificates.
- DiscountASP.NET: Experience running commercial, shared web site hosting that extends all the way back to the Neolithic era of the industry.
- DiscountASP.NET: A decade-long track record of excellence, awards, kudos, innovation, industry leadership and competitor jealousy.
- DiscountASP.NET: Brilliant blog authors! (?)
What more could you ask for?
This post is apropos of nothing, as they say, but today I saw a new competitor’s web site that made quite a fuss over their “Microsoft Certified Engineering Team,” but no mention of how long any of those engineers had actually been supporting commercial hosting servers. So here we are, me typing, you reading, and now we’re finished.