FAQ: Moving from a standard server to MageStack

Ask Sonassi

It looks like Sonassi setup is quite non-standard

Absolutely. We’re the only company in the world that are so dedicated to Magento that we wrote an entire operating system specifically and wholly for Magento.

There are 3x propositions on the market right now,

  1. Off-the-shelf standard environments like cPanel/Plesk/Interworx; generic web server control panels not in any way tailored to Magento
  2. Bespoke configurations; that lack documentation, that lack reliability, often don’t get feature/security updates because the provider lacks orchestration to do it at scale on all their customers at once
  3. MageStack; a fully documented platform built for Magento, to be high performance, to be secure, to scale – and most importantly, used by all our customers at scale. So it gets immediate security updates, feature updates – and we’ve got massive visibility over exactly how it performs by virtue of thousands of stacks running the same OS. Its tried and tested – and built for Magento.

We built MageStack for developers, for Magento, knowing that they need a powerful OS – that was effortlessly simple/straightforward to use/transition to, and that required no specialist knowledge in house or any changes made to your store. We built the OS around what developers wanted – and around what Magento wanted (and largely still do develop it/add features based on demand from our customers).

… in other words, they don't use 'standard’ Linux

Actually, we do. You’ll have full, unrestricted root SSH access to your access server - an environment running Debian Linux (the world’s most popular and secure Linux distribution).

So everything is the same as what you know already; you’ll manage your cron jobs using crontab –e - you install applications with apt-get; nothing changes and there's no steep learning curve.

… we can't guarantee how long the deployment process would take

Given you'll have access to a standard Linux distribution, that you are free to install whatever you wish on; you should know exactly how long a deploy will take.

Because the access server runs a standard Linux distribution, any form of deployment will work – so we’ve got customers using remote deployment via Beanstalk/DeployHQ, others using Travis/Capistrano for CI – and some others just doing an old fashioned git pull or copying in files by FTP.

The world is your oyster, you don’t have to do things the MageStack way – MageStack facilitates your own method of deployment. Remember, we built MageStack for developers for Magento, not to hinder them, but to empower them and expedite every facet of how they work.

Sonassi is actually a web developer whom we’re guessing sells off partitions of their servers

We are not.

We are a specialist Magento hosting provider, that has roots of being an agency (yes, we spent 6 years building and scaling Magento stores); that stills retains the same expert knowledge and experience of exactly what it takes to fix, debug, scale and improve performance for Magento stores. Except we've gone on to build out our own infrastructure, our own network and our own operating system - wholly for Magento.

It positions us perfectly, as unlike other hosting providers that have no application level support or expertise, where a gap in knowledge exists between hosting provider and developer (and a lot of finger pointing between each when something doesn’t work!); with Sonassi, there is no gap. We can identify/fix server side issues, and if you need our help (or even if your developers need a second opinion), we can identify and fix store issues.

It is well worth reading about our Magento expert support - if not only to just review the 3 FAQs at the top,

  • Do you build stores? No: We stopped building stores in 2014 to focus our attention on providing excellent support to our hosting customers
  • Do we need a developer? Yes: Our code support is an emergency expert resource to complement your existing developer

We work with your agency, at a technical level, understanding their needs (and yours) – so that you can have the best possible experience and service from both of us.

Why they’re probably a lot cheaper than larger organisations

Interesting. We’re often told we’re more expensive than other standard hosting providers; and honestly – we don’t care either way. Our price is a reflection of the quality of our data centres, our equipment and the service we provide – none of which are comparable to other hosting providers; because no other hosting provider has our expertise, our heritage, our anything close to our OS.

Sure, there are providers larger than us; there’s no question. But to compare us would be futile, we are totally different businesses. Larger organisations don't specialise in Magento, they'll offer many products and services, with Magento being a small fraction of it. Whereas we only cater to Magento, 100% of our focus is on Magento.

I’ve personally migrated a number of agencies and hundreds of customers from larger organisations to Sonassi - and all it takes is the first opportunity to show your agency that there’s considerably better options for Magento hosting than their standard hosting provider can offer them.

I’d have no doubt that once you come on board and your agency have their eyes opened by what a true Magento OS is; they’ll migrate all their other customers over too. Because that’s what all the other large Magento agencies have done.

I’m sure other standard hosting providers are great at providing servers; but we are phenomenal at providing Magento hosting.