Web (Cloud) Hosting—Portland Maine

We’re about providing quality digital services and marketing to people who have better things to focus on. For every business and budget, there are unique needs. That's why Dirigo delivers a portfolio of solutions like Cloud Hosting, Managed VM's, Shared Hosting, Content Delivery Network (CDN) Connectivity, Hosted Exchange E-Mail, and Hosted POP E-Mail.

We support Open StackAt Dirigo, hosting is more than just a piece of computer hardware, it is a fully managed solution designed for making money. Our robust network infrastructure will ensure maximum uptime and terrific performance.

Our typical webhosting client atop a sophisticated stack of computer hardware and software. Gone are the days of old where we served from a single web server and database server. Our Dirigo Cloud is comprised of Firewalls, Load Balancers, DNS servers, SMTP mail servers, FTP/SSH upload servers, VMWare Virtual Machines, Veeam restore points and backups, database clusters, redundant SANS, and network attached storage. The Dirigo Cloud is engineered to be fault tollerant and highly available.

It’s Not Always Sunny on AWS or Azure

Let's talk about the 'big' clouds for a moment. The Amazon Cloud is super sexy. A little bit too sexy sometimes. The cloud is often seen as less expensive than managing onsite infrastructure, but this is often not necessarily the case. In 2012 Zynga transitioned away from Amazon Web Services to its own Citrix-enabled Z-Cloud. Why? Because they could save huge money by hosting elsewhere (dare I say - their own Cloud). At a super simple/small scale or when the need for server capacity flexes radically (efficiencies of scale), Amazon Web Services is competitive and fairly simple. When price does not matter, you can't argue against AWS and Azure. But when you’re consuming lots of bandwidth, compute power, and storage cloud pricing falls apart. We put it this way - if you drive lots every day, buying a Mercedes is cheaper than taking taxis. We'll leave it at that.

How We Came to Host

Our Managing Partner, David Addison, came from the hardware business. He’s maintained mission-critical systems since 1992. In the early years Dirigo leased equipment from RackSpace—a premier hosting provider. The decision to open our own hosting facility in 2009 was born out financial necessity. We needed to host enormous amounts of video and CPU intensive applications. The cost to outsource such an endeavor was prohibitive. We needed an affordable solution for the long-haul and we choose to build our own solution. The outcome was to move equipment to a Dirigo controlled facility. At the time, Dirigo managed 38 dedicated servers: 24 web/database servers, 13 application servers and 3 Google Search Appliances.

We were also delivering more than 20MM e-mails a month from our proprietary Mail Transfer Agent (MTA). We needed additional capacity. As luck would have it the stars were aligned and we found the perfect solution.

In early 2010 Dirigo racked equipment with Nexus Management (now Enables IT) in Brusnwick Maine. Then in 2011 Dirigo took over a portion of Hannaford Bros. corporate datacenter on Cumberland Avenue in Portland, Maine. From this facility, Delhaize, the parent of Hannaford supermarkets, ran billions of dollars in business from ~750U of rack. In 2010, Hannaford consolidated global I.T. infrastructure and moved equipment away from Maine. The facility they left behind was a custom built, world-class data center that was perfect for Dirigo.

In 2016 Dirigo's hosting offerings were overhauled and most all of the original equipment was replaced.

Facility Overview

  • 75 feet above sea level.
  • 24/7/365 secure access.
  • 24/7/365 remote monitoring and surveillance.
  • Alarm system: Smoke alarms & in floor sensors.
  • Exit and entry logs.
  • Closed circuit video system.
  • Locked server racks.
  • Redundant, uninterruptable conditioned power, Liebert 300KVU uninterruptable power supply (UPS). Redundant cooling - Liebert 22 Ton Downflow HVAC system. Humidity controlled.
  • Diverse carrier access, multiple carriers on-site. All Maine telephone and Internet trunks run through this location. The FairPoint central office is located just 200 yards away from this building. Redundant fiber feeds are available from Verizon, FairPoint, LightShip, GWI, NEON, Time Warner, and others. Our Maine network is fully meshed and redundant with multiple tier 1 backbone providers with multiple paths in and out of the state (and diverse routes to Internet backbone from the North and South).
  • High security, fireproof concrete construction. Originally constructed as fireproof, secure records storage facility; converted in the 80s for telecommunications or data center use.
  • 12-14 foot ceilings, 200 psf floor loading, secure interior loading area, and freight elevator.
  • Up to 100 watts per square foot power available (480 volt, 3 phase); 20, 30 & 50 Watt service.
  • Property has eight on-site diesel generators, one dedicated for our space with 72 hours of onsite fuel.
  • Seismically braced raised floor.
  • INERGEN fire suppression system.

Is hosting with Dirigo expensive?

We don’t think so. For smaller accounts we provide lots of services like a dedicated Cisco firewall, database backups, RSA data encryption, and VPN service. These are security features that don't come cheap. Hosting starts at $29.95 per month. Sure, you can get $1.99 hosting—and good luck to you if you do. If you’re on the larger side or have special needs, we’re super competitive. Over the years we’ve done some pretty big stuff. If you’ve ever needed to install a host with 64GB of RAM or 18TB of disk space with multiple RAID10's you’ll quickly find out that the establishment want’s big dollars. But why? The hardware is just a one-time expense. Honestly, we don’t know why others charge so much. It seems like more RAM and disk space means that you’re supposed to be a big company. This is not always the case. We’ve needed this sort of power for clients with under $2MM in annual revenue. Dirigo's price is a calculus of hardware cost, backup space requirements, spare parts, power consumption, cooling, bandwidth and technical service.

Why does Dirigo host when there are lots of hosts?
We host Web sites because it makes development more efficient. We know our network and we know every aspect of the serving platform. We’re better able to meet the challenging needs of our clients with our own host.  Web hosting at Dirigo is a bit different from that for a general user. The needs of our agency call for attention to detail and specialization. While some Web site developers crave simplicity, our clients tend to demand functionality. Without proper access to programming languages—lot’s of different languages—we can be limited. By hosting our own servers we ensure flexibility because we can support most any programming language that a developer might need (e.g. Rocket U2’s Pick/UniVerse database, older version of MS SQL, IBM’s DB2, Oracle’s 11g, MySQL, Filemaker, etc).  We run both Windows (2008r2 & 2012 Server) and Linux (SUSE, CentOS and Ubuntu) machines.  Our business is built around customization.  We're a Microsoft SPLA participant.

Is Dirigo hosting PCI/HIPAA compliant?
One of our specialties is helping healthcare organizations achieve and maintain HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) security requirements. Though some hosting companies provide PCI DSS checklists and documents, leaving you alone to decipher your responsibilities, Dirigo can guide you on PCI DSS compliance. We understand compliance challenges and knows how to turn certification into a greatly simplified - and most importantly - a successful experience.

Is Dirigo hosting secure?
No host is full-proof.  We follow industry standard guidelines and we’re not a big target because we're a small boutique host provider.  We take security very seriously and to date have never had a breach.  Businesses small and large are subject to an increasing number of security events that threaten the integrity of their hardware and software infrastructure. Without protection, threats can result in reduced productivity, stressed IT resources, loss of confidential information, lost customers and brand damage. Our smaller customers did not have access to “big boy” security products before we began hosting.  Yet, they have the same threats as the big boys. Our dedicated Cisco firewall solutions protect our servers from online exploitation using industry-standard Stateful Packet Inspection and Unified Threat Management (UTM) to protect against worms, viruses, Trojans and malware.  Need an Intrusion Detection Service (IDS), we can do it?  Patch management, we’ve got you covered.  In fact, we find that we’re more proactive with patches than the big managed hosts.

Does Dirigo offer virtual hosting (e.g. shared hosting)?
Yes.  Virtual hosting refers to the fact that your site is on a single server, and that this server hosts a number of other sites. Only a percentage of Web sites need the power of a dedicated server, so this option provides to be a reliable and cheap solution.  That said, we tend to do more dedicated hosting than virtual.  And we run our servers well below capacity.

Where does Dirigo host?
We do a ton of web hosting for Southern Maine.  Our servers and facility are located in Portland, Maine. Half of our hosting clients are from away (outside of Maine). In additioin, we manage several servers in Europe.

What does a dedicated server cost?
It depends on the hardware and bandwidth requirements.  You'll need to call 1-207-347-7360 to get a quote.  We have dedicated servers as low as $129/month and as high as $1,700/month.  Our standard offering is a 6 core 3.0GHz Intel/Windows server managed backup, hardware firewall, 16GB RAM, and 2.3TB of usable disk space (hardware RAID - mirrored). This configuration costs ~$570/month. This is a managed server, which means that we'll take care of the patching and file back-up. All of our servers run in RAID1, 5 or 10 configurations. We backup with Veeam Backup & Restore.

What software does Dirigo support?
We’ll support most every want, as long as the software is current and does not present security issues.  We have a special relationship with Microsoft called SPLA (Microsoft Services Provider Licensing Agreement) because we’re primarily an ASP.NET shop.  SPLA partners have the ability to deliver a customized service with a flexible cost structure, no startup costs, no monthly sales minimums or required term of commitment.  SPLA gives us access to Antigen Enterprise Manager, BizTalk, Core Infrastructure, Commerce Server, Dynamics (GP,  NAV & SL), Exchange, Forefront Endpoint Protection, Lync Server, Project Server, SharePoint, MS SQL, Search Server, Systems Control Center, Team Foundation Server and the entire suite of Windows servers.

Connect with Dirigo Design & Development
and connect with your goals

Achieving success in your business isn't just about your organization's products and services. And it's much more than your organization's brand and its leadership team. Dirigo is an experienced integrative marketing organization that achieves goals. If your organization wants to generate more, call Victoria Kuhn at 207-358-2990. We're here to help you connect with your customers and grow your organization.

Hosting services

  • Virtual hosting (shared)
  • Dedicated hosting
  • Managed Exchange
  • POP E-mail
  • Content Delivery Network (CDN)
  • Mail Transfer Agents (Port25)
  • Direct Attached Storage
  • Search Appliances
  • Enterprise e-Commerce Search (nXn)
  • Intrusion Detection Service (IDS)
  • Managed Firewalls

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