Allora can affordably host your website, email, groupware, ecommerce solution, or other web applications, on extremely secure and reliable hardware. We specialize in custom configurations of both Linux-Apache and Windows-IIS hosting, to meet the needs of our eclectic clientele.

Our philosophy, as applied to Internet hosting

At Allora, we look at hosting as a vital tool of our larger practice, rather than as a product or service in itself. We are not attempting to compete with BlueHost or Yahoo, which are delivering cheap Internet hosting to the masses. Our monthly prices are higher, which may or may not result in a higher cost to you. For example, when you host your email at Allora, it is easy for us to set up and troubleshoot your office computers` email access. If you host with a third party and have a problem, it will take us more time (and cost you more money) to resolve the issue. Additionally, if you want to add specialty applications or customize your Internet services, you won`t get very far talking to a call-center. At Allora you deal directly with the network technician capable of making it happen. If you will need our consulting and/or support for hosting related projects, we are certain that you will save money by hosting with us directly.

Our equipment and methods

Our hosting facilities and equipment are top notch. We employ mirror swapping for full-system backup, and RAID-5 redundant storage for data-only partitions. In addition, the data on each server (including your website and email) is backed up on a daily basis, with weekly archives retained for six months. The drive mirrors are swapped out on a monthly basis. Each server also has redundant power supplies, so that failure of this critical component will not stall the system. We collocate our servers at CarolinaNET, a physically secure facility with multiply-redundant power and bandwidth. 

Hosting Rates and Availability Services
We offer a number of different hosting and packages to meet our customers' needs. We also offer availability service packages for those customers who wish to take a proactive approach. More information about these packages can be found at the following links:

Open source solutions and standards are those with an open production and design process, and minimal intellectual property restrictions. They are far preferable to closed methods or proprietary frameworks because of their dynamic nature. Open Source Software (OSS) is becoming an increasingly significant factor in IT, because the OSS development community is energetic, widespread, and self-motivated.  The best OSS projects, like Linux, are used worldwide by governments and large corporations, as well as small businesses and non-profits.

Allora develops, uses, and supports several OSS projects, for hosting websites and email, groupware, content management systems, and even office applications. But whereas those are tools, our goal is to carry the essential spirit of openness into our general business practices. We believe that we are doing a service to the community by openly publishing our ideas, methods, rates and opinions. We also believe that, by doing so, we establish our credibility as IT consultants and as the best service provider for our own ideas. Thus we hope to enrich ourselves through sharing with others ~ the essence of the open economy.

When it comes to the perspective of a bussiness owner or a director of a non-profit organization the most improtant difference between Open Source software and commercial products like Apple or Microsoft lies in its flexibility and support opion:

  • Open Source products are 100% customizable, if there's something you don't like, if you need to extend some functionality - there are options to make it happen. It's not the case with commercial software what-so-ever. There everyone is at the mercy of a limited group of developers. You can only customize what you've been allowed to tweak which is a very, very restricted area
  • Popular Open Source solutions have a huge army of supporters. Free forums where one can find pre-cooked answer to various questions explored previously by others as well as an option to post your questions, requests, troubleshooting puzzles and get direct support from developers or advanced users

Of course Allora's prime bread and butter in the Open Source world is Joomla and its amazing pool of extensions. Let us name a few projects involving Open Source development:

  1. - driven by Joomla and CiviCRM this web-portal was built to integrate with a proprietary system of online courses and evaluations for teachers, primer example how Open Source can a non-profit organization without millions of dollars to spare
  2. - driven by Joomla and VirtueMart: leading open source solution for eCommerce. Allora helped Counter Culture Coffee customize the shopping experience and integrate seemingly with their shipping facility on the backend. The project was greatly simplified by an enthusiast who took some time to code and share an extension for VirtueMart that was adapted for our needs and fit very well
  3. - online database of Respite Programs throughout USA and Canada. Driven by Joomla and CiviCRM this webportal provides information on almost six thousands providers each characterized by ~50 parameters. Thank to Open Source we were able to inject pages refelcting information specific to each state as well as alter the default looks and options of displaying the information
  4. At last we'd mention AlloraNET - our extranet system for time tracking, project estimates and communicating with our clients driven by a german Phprojekt Open Source solution

As consultants, we study the marketplace of IT Solutions from the standpoint of the customer: What approach will work effectively and reliably, at reasonable cost? We do not ally ourselves with any particular vendor, and focus on their products for a profit. Allora functions similar to an on-call employee, or an entire IT department without the overhead. In essence: we work for you.

The articles in the IT Solutions section outline our specific recommendations for implementing an IT infrastructure that will improve your company's efficiency, and enhance your organization, communications, and your overall technical prowess. We provide this as a free service to enhance the value of our consulting labor.

Naturally we can relate your needs for technical services to our own since Allora is also a small business firm. Unlike large corporations and freelancers we can easily focus on the aspects of balancing the professional approach and cost effectiveness of the IT solutions for your business. Just like you we have to answer the same questions:
  • What bandwidth should I choose and how much my competitor is paying?
  • What server we should get to do this job while leaving some space in the budget for Christmas bonuses?
  • Are they asking too much for this otherwise lovely Web Gallery application?

Please, feel free to read what our clients have to say about us with respect to the concept of Focusing on the Customer.

In IT world, redundancy is the key to reliability. It is a fact of life that hard drives fail; but having redundant, mirrored hard drives can protect your companyus valuable data when it happens. Whenever possible, Allora stresses the importance of redundancy for critical components of your infrastructure. Not only do we recommend mirroring your server's hard drive; but we utilize redundant solutions for bandwidth, power, server availability, workstation availability, and email.

Allora also provides another form of redundancy that you may not have considered: redundant network technicians. Every customer is assigned a primary and a backup technician; we keep consistent records of vital data that allow the backup technician to be of good service, if the primary technician is unavailable. An independent contractor or a dedicated staff person will eventually need a vacation (or might fall ill). When that happens, who will take care of your network if there is a problem? Allora will be there for you.

The reason that Dilbert so successfully lampoons consulting firms is that their job typically stops when they are through criticizing and advising your company; they leave it up to you (or a systems integrator), to actually implement their advice. Not only does this approach often lead to unrealistic proposals, but it also lacks accountability. You can't blame the consultant if you mess up the implementation.

In addition to IT onsulting, Allora provides execution (implementation) and technical support services.  We back up our advice with action, and we stay involved through thick and thin. We work with you to implement and maintain your IT infrastructure; and when you sign a Customer Agreement, we commit to accelerated response times in the event that you have a technical emergency.

We want to earn your business for the long haul, so that you continue to rely on our IT services as well as our expertise (IT Consulting). As such, we are open and accountable, and committed to proving our words with deeds.


© 2018 - Allora Consulting