Date for the 2016 HostingCon Global Set

February 4th, 2016 | Benjamin Ehinger Mark your calendars for July 24th through July 27th, 2016. HostingCon 2016 will be held in New Orleans, LA during these dates at the Morial Convention Center. This is the premier event for the hosting industry and will include a conference and trade show featuring all types of hosting provides. Last year’s event was held

Internet and Media Company Yahoo to Shed Staff

Internet and media company Yahoo is to shed staff with the company laying off 15% of its workforce. The move is part of the company’s efforts to become profitable and means by the close of 2016 the company will lose 9,000 staff. News of the move was announced on the website in a press release entitled “Yahoo To Improve Profitability and Accelerate Growth By Sharpening Focus”. It comes in the wake of Yahoo reporting a $4.3 billion loss for 2015. The news brought the company’s shares down 1.4%.

"Today, we're announcing a strategic plan that we strongly believe will enable us to accelerate Yahoo's transformation," explained Yahoo’s CEO and former Google executive, Marissa Mayer, who has been with the company since 2012. "This is a strong plan calling for bold shifts in products and in resources. We are extremely proud of the billion dollar plus business we have built in mobile, video, native, and social.” She added “The plan announced today builds from that achievement and will dramatically brighten our future and improve our competitiveness, and attractiveness to users, advertisers, and partners."

Yahoo was established in 1994 and is one of the Internet’s originals. The company claims its web portal, search engine other related services bring in "more than half a billion consumers every month”. In 2008 it turned down a $44.6 billion bid from Microsoft claiming it would not be in its shareholders’ interest. In 2015 the company spun-off its internet business into a separate entity.

Cloud Underwater? Microsoft Tests Submarine Data Center

Brought to you by Data Center Knowledge

Continuing its long tradition of data center experimentation in the name of efficiency, Microsoft announced it has been testing an unusual new data center concept: placing servers underwater out in the ocean.

Close to half of today’s society lives near large bodies of water, and since physical distance creates the ultimate speed limit for transferring data, storing data under the sea, close to major population centers, is a logical way to optimize delivery of cloud services.

“Half of the world’s population lives within 200 km of the ocean, so placing data centers offshore increases the proximity of the data center to the population, dramatically reducing latency and providing better responsiveness,” Microsoft said on the website dedicated to the research effort, called Project Natick.

Microsoft hasn’t shied away from experimenting with novel ideas for data center infrastructure in the past. In Wyoming, for example, the company tested a data center powered by fuel cells that converted methane from a waste processing plant to electricity. In another experiment, Microsoft researchers tested small fuel cells installed directly into IT racks.

What the company learned from Project Natick may lay the groundwork for deploying data center capacity underwater at scale, cooled by seawater and potentially even powered by tidal energy. “While every data center on land is different and needs to be tailored to varying environments and terrains, these underwater containers could be mass produced for very similar conditions underwater, which is consistently colder the deeper it is,” the company said.

Another potential benefit is quick deployment. It took 90 days to build and deploy the test system, which is much faster than the typical process of getting permits for a brick-and-mortar data center, designing, and building the facility.

Project Natick server rack being placed inside the shell for underwater deployment (Photo: Microsoft) Around August of last year, Microsoft researchers deployed the test system off the coast of California. It was a rack of standard servers sitting in a cylindrical steel shell (10 feet by 7 feet). Heat exchangers were outside of the shell, providing the servers with free cooling. In December, the 38,000-pound container was out of the water and back at the company’s campus in Redmond, Washington.

Microsoft has not released any results of the experiment, saying only that they were “promising.” At this stage, the project is more about collecting data than developing a specific solution. There are still major hurdles to actually implementing something like this.

“While at first I was skeptical with a lot of questions. What were the cost? How do we power? How do we connect?” Christian Belady, general manager for data center strategy at Microsoft, said in a statement. “However, at the end of the day, I enjoy seeing people push limits.” Belady says. “The reality is that we always need to be pushing limits and try things out.

The learnings we get from this are invaluable and will in some way manifest into future designs.”

Project SkyBender from Google Includes Testing Solar Powered Drones

A number of sources have quoted a report in the UK’s ‘The Guardian’ newspaper that suggests Google is secretly testing solar-powered drones that they ultimately intend to use to deliver 5G internet services. Named Project SkyBender, the testing is taking place at Spaceport America, located in the Jornada del Muerto desert, New Mexico, United States. A number of prototype transcievers and drones are being tested as part of the project.

According to the report, the drones are testing millimeter wave radio transmissions in the 28GHz frequency, which offers faster speeds (40 times faster than 4G LTE technologies) but less range than 4G. The solution is expected to be able to transfer several gigabits of data per second.

Project SkyBender is under the Google Access team which is also in charge of Project Loon – what Google calls a “network of balloons traveling on the edge of space, designed to connect people in rural and remote areas, help fill coverage gaps, and bring people back online after disasters”. The Guardian learned of Project SkyBender through documents available as public records in the United States.

Google is housing their drones in a 15,000 square feet hangar at the Gateway to Space terminal which was designed by Richard Foster for spaceflights planned by Virgin Galactic. Google has also built a flight control center in the Spaceflight Operations Center near the terminal.

Search Engine Optimization Then and Now: 1990s

Search engine optimization (SEO) has gotten more competitive over the years. At this point, it’s more difficult than ever to target and acquire new customers by ranking in search. Doing so on a budget is an even tougher challenge.

But it wasn’t always this way. In fact, the internet used to be a lot like the Wild West. Budgets were high and scrutiny was low. Banner ads and keyword stuffing were the norm and Google and max bids weren’t even a thing.

Search engine optimization has changed a lot, so let’s compare the way things used to be and the way they are today.

Search Engines in the 1990s

THEN: Yahoo! Alta Vista, AskJeeves, Excite, Go

NOW: Google, text ads

From the beginning, we’ve seen that search engines were the secret to growing your customer base. Back then, you wanted to be found in search engines (although Yahoo! kept calling themselves a directory). There were a few pretty serious search contenders in the 90s. Some of the biggies were Yahoo!, Alta Vista, Ask Jeeves, and Excite.
If you were lucky enough to get in early, you could lock down an exclusive advertising spot to show your 468×60 banners at the top of the search results for the coveted keywords “web hosting” and “hosting.”

You would negotiate a CPM rate between $10 – $45, and most importantly, you would almost certainly get first right of refusal on your keyword buy. In short, you could own a 100% monopoly on your keywords for a specific search engine until you decided otherwise. Sweet, right?

If you chose the search engine optimization (SEO) route, you were entering a strange world of uber-nerds with almost mystic powers of divination. They would set up mysterious doorway pages that would grab the search engine spider’s attention and trick them into listing the page as full of wonderful, keyword-rich content when a user performed a search.

Another early SEO tactic was keyword stuffing. Do you remember selecting a top search result from a major search engine, only to find an entire page (or more) of the exact same keyword printed over and over and OVER again on the page? Search engines eventually banned the practice, but a mutated version soon emerged–keyword stuffing, but using either transparent text, or text matched to the same color as the web page background to remain invisible.

Search engines today

Today, search engines are still important. Every marketer wants to land among the top 10 web searches. But unlike the 90s, there are fewer contenders in search. Google is the most popular search engine, Yahoo! has faded into the background, along with MSN, Alta Vista, AskJeeves, Go, and Excite.

Doorway pages and keyword stuffing have disappeared, replaced by more sophisticated algorithms that produce more relevant, unique, valuable search results.

Today’s SEO gurus are more apt to really understand the nature of the businesses that they are marketing, and have access to software that reveals the specific traffic for each search term as well as the optimum page set up and keyword densities that consistently yield the highest rankings.

About the Author:
Article written by Ben Fisher and Derek Vaughan of The Hosting News. All rights reserved. If you wish to republish this article please make sure all weblinks and the about section is intact.