Managed Hosting

Z9 Managed Hosting

Your system needs to be hosted on web servers that live in the cloud. While Z9 Digital does not provide the actual web servers, what we do provide is the expertise to setup, configure and manage your web servers as part of a "Managed Hosting" service.


AWS - Enterprise Hosting Provider

For the systems we typically build... a $5/mo shared hosting account is not going to work... You are going to need more of an Enterprise level hosting provider.

Top Enterprise hosting providers include Amazon, Azure (Microsoft), Google, RackSpace, and SoftLayer (IBM). Of the top providers (and we have tried each), we currently recommend Amazon Web Services (AWS).

To get things started, we work with you to setup an AWS account in your name. It is your account. You pay AWS directly for the actual hosting services used.

Your system and data is only accessible by you and your team.


Base Support Services

Z9 Digital provides a "Base Support" package that covers the "Managed Hosting" services needed for setup and management of the servers required to operate your system.

Where AWS provides the cloud based web servers, Z9 can provide the setup, configuration, and ongoing management of those servers.

Base Support includes:

  • Server configuration
  • Web service configuration/tuning (Apache)
  • Database configuration (MySQL)
  • Backup configuration
  • SSL Certificate setup and automated renewals (LetsEncrypt)
  • DNS Management (excluding brand store/popup shop sites managed by you and your clients)
  • Email relaying (Mailgun)
  • Linux, Apache, PHP updates (as needed for security updates and End-Of-Life updates)
  • Restarting services
  • Rebooting servers
  • Adding disk space, memory, and/or CPU capacity to a server

"Base Support" does not include Application Support. For example, any support related to touching the Z9 Commerce software and/or it's databases and/or its supporting files (product images) is not covered by "Base Support". If needed, Z9 provides "Premium Support" for anything not specifically covered by "Base Support".


Related Support Services

For clients that have an active base support agreement, we provide the following hosting related services at no extra charge:

  • Server monitoring
  • Site monitoring
  • Database monitoring
  • Disk space monitoring
  • Backup monitoring


Z9 Commerce Setup

The Z9 Commerce system starts with a five server setup.

  1. cart sites application server
  2. cart sites database server
  3. admin site application server
  4. admin site database server
  5. deployment server (deployment, redirect service, git repository)


SAM - Server Automation Manager

For the server setup process, we use an in-house tool, developed and maintained over the last 20 years, called SAM (Server Automate Manager).

We routinely update SAM to support the latest version of CentOS Stream, Apache (web service), PHP (programming language), and MySQL (database).

SAM also streamlines the setup and management of sites, databases, DNS, backups, and SSL certificates.



Each server is backed up daily to an attached storage drive for quick retrieval and additionally to BackBlaze so that there is a copy outside of AWS.  We will work with you to setup the BackBlaze account.


Email Delivery

To reliably send application generated emails, the system needs to use an email delivery service. We configure the servers to use MailGun as the email delivery service. We will work with you to setup the MailGun account.


SSL Certificates

All web sites require a SSL certificate to enable HTTPS secure web pages. The SSL Certificates will be provided by LetsEncrypt. The good news is the certificates don't cost anything. After the initial setup, there is a scheduled job that will automatically renew the SSL Certificates every three months.