FlockHosting Blog

Performance Issues

Good morning. It has been a long 24 hours trying to sort through some performance issues seeing hit largely on Lilly, other servers have varying degrees of the issues but it’s not what I aim for when I offer to host – it’s not “Oh well you are only paying $5/$10… You want performance you pay for it!” not a bait-and-switch company until you outgrow truly the limitations of Shared Hosting, it should be snappy and happy. Yesterday, it was not.

I have been monitoring increased load across all servers, and it seems something was updated and it’s not playing nice. I’ve been working to help customers with performance issues today, and some are improved, some are not, but working on the issues with software that was updated to see if we can nail it down, but this isn’t a “quick” thing to fix. I’ve stopped all but critical updates on all other servers for the short-term to avoid any other boxes getting to this level of performance loss.

Now for some of you – this REALLY isn’t good. You run a business, you are publishing, you need a quick, responsive website which doesn’t take over 60 seconds to load – and I’m not diminishing anyone else, but some of you have told me:

No Big deal, praying it gets fixed quick, don’t forget to sleep!

That’s who I’m mentioning here – but to all of you who are waiting for improvement, Moses is here to lead you to the promise land! Fresh hardware in a slightly different configuration which should help lighten the load on not just Lilly but Grace as well – and I’ll continue to monitor, and work with software vendors and hardware vendors to find a more long-term fix that holds as we tried several fixes that seemed to work, but even under slight load, things went sideways.

So if you are feeling the pain of lag and then some on your current account on Lilly or Grace, then Moses will be a live option in the morning, currently provisioning software, and making it ready to bring over some websites out of the wilderness! Those of you who already have a ticket I’ll be reaching out to as soon as the server is up with the option to move, if you don’t have a ticket open and need/want to move please do so! Easiest is using FlockHosting nameservers, I can do all the work, but if you manage your own DNS, I’ll provide the fresh IP of Moses via the ticket!

I do apologize for the issues and the time it has taken to get to here, but datacenter guys were helping, software vendors were reviewing, I didn’t want to have to move folks again if it could be avoided, but sadly looks like that’s where we stand. More updates on this post and social in the AM once I manage to get some sleep under my belt.

Some Updates on Projects!

Good Afternoon!

It has been a busy couple of weeks, and some things have been going on behind the scenes! What you may ask? Well, a few things are wrapped up:

  1. Full Rollout of Full Metrics Monitoring – Gives me an overview of server resources/usage and helps me plan a bit more! Also alerts me on spikes/etc. very handy tools in place!
  2. Migration of FlockHosting.com to new hardware, running smoothly!
  3. Building out John & Noah – New hardware will be noted below, but servers are still behind firewalls only viewable to me, but looking good!
  4. New Hardware Provisioning this week for Grace, Lilly, and Church!

So that’s a pretty full list! So what does that mean you to? Let’s go over it:

The Review!

#1: This is general upkeep, these new monitoring tools give me a great overview of servers, and allow me to make thresholds which alert me when say a CPU is maxed out and help get the server before it’s overloaded! Also with migrations, it’s done great to keep me aware of how fast things are going and load impacted as more users are migrated, let’s me know if more memory is needed or CPU long-term great for growth.

#2: The site had no problems, just was on a server that needed some upgrades, more of an FYI than anything, but helps keep the primary website secure, safe and running smoothly.

#3: John & Noah. What are these? John is the 4th Church Hosting server and will be the final for a while, stretching the budget a bit to build these out but I wanted one more box to really balance out hosting, some heavy hitters are on Fellowship and Church, wanting to move some sites around to allow things to run smoother for everyone, and avoid the continued load issues. Noah follows the same idea except for balancing things out from Grace & Lilly. So If your site is running a bit hot, once other migrations are done you’ll be notified and data migrated – this is a case-by-case basis, so don’t expect you will be included, but if you feel you may benefit? Leave a comment/Open a ticket and let me know.

#4: Grace, Lilly, and Church! This is the one folks have been asking about, it was mentioned and nearly a month went by without any update. The server hardware should be ready to go on Friday. I’d love to make the move on Friday if at all humanly possible, but realistically and allow things like sleep it’s going to be next Friday. So 10/19/2018 things will move off the older hardware. The move is super simple and if you have purchased your domain or use FlockHosting’s DNS you’re done. Nothing to do – if you don’t you’ll need to change an IP or two in your configuration.

All in all, this should make this month a tad busy too! BUT it should simplify things, and improve performance overall across the board! Tie in the audit I’ll be starting soon, hopefully clearing off any old accounts which missed the cancel request for clearing, it should give us a lean, mean, hosting machine 😀

So I’ll be emailing folks too regarding the migrations, but for now, that’s your quick update! Have a great rest of your week!

FlockUpdate for September 2018 (Quarterly)

 

Show Notes:

  • Unblock IP Feature
  • Hardware/Software Updates
    • Backup System Upgrades
    • Software Enhancements (NodeJS/Python Selector)
    • Fresh Network & Hardware
      • Migration of Current Servers -> New Hardware (Schedule coming soon!)
    • Monitoring/Alerting
    • Church Hosting Status
      • Migration of Church to New Hardware (Schedule coming soon!)
  • BIG Audit
    • Billing Audit
    • Services Audit
  • Thanks for watching!

 

Fellowship Migration to Fellowship

While I’m still accepting transfers from Fellowship -> Matthew, I am moving forward with a migration of Fellowship -> Fellowship. Yes, the same name. I know. Confusing.

Matthew was deployed and took the load off, however, the attacks are continuing, and Church Hosting is continuing to grow so Matthew actually has brand-new churches online! So things are continuing to grow! But the last two days showed another range of attacks on the server hitting WordPress sites pretty hard, plus the usual crawlers coming to index for Google and Bing – so busy mornings took the server to the brink.

I hate having you guys losing access to mail and other resources you rely on day-to-day for Church Use! Prayer requests boards, email, a website with CRM data, etc. you guys do some amazing things with the hosting and I hate for it to be offline while you are in most cases starting your day! And not to mention I do like to sleep now and again 😄

So to that end, Fellowship is going to be moving this ASAP. I’d love to just push a button and have everyone be done and moved, however, this move can potentially break things for churches and create more problems, so the goal is very few problems.

What will happen that you might need to make changes on? IP Address – that’s it.

For most of you, you have bookmarked fellowship.flockhosting.com URL’s for Webmail, cPanel, and in your email configuration for IMAP/POP3/SMTP – so you have everything in place, but if you do manage your own DNS you will need to make a change of IP to keep your domain/email alive and functioning.

I’ve created a discussion thread if you want to ask questions in the migration and to track whats happening!  Right now I’m planning on the migration starting Monday Night (09/03/2018) but if you are worried about stability for this coming Sunday please open a ticket today and let me know, we can move you to Matthew and give you greater stability so you’re not having issues on Sunday Morning!

The Future of FlockUpdates (FlockUpdate July 2018)

It’s the end of the month and by now some of you enjoy the usual “FlockUpdate” however it’s viewership is limited, production time is a bit consuming (Recording, Editing, Publishing) and while I love reaching even a handful of you, let’s be honest, what your hosting company is doing isn’t a item of time consumption in a day you care to spend – I completely understand.

I’ve been asked to try a Podcast format, and I’ve considered it as well, however, it to would be recording, editing, publishing, then probably re-publishing to post to every service/site folks use as the easiest I found was Anchor but its a service in itself, not sure I can get all of you to download a fresh app to listen to me drone on for a bit 🙂

So what’s the plan then?

Quarterly.

FlockUpdate 2.0

Starting in September I’ll be publishing a more robust/complete FlockUpdate, it will be a review of the previous quarter + what’s to come in the next – and while I do realize not everyone enjoys this medium, it’s a great way for me to get to “talk” to you guys about what’s happening at FlockHosting.

With this change, my hope & goal is to produce a monthly newsletter + blog articles on a more regular basis – I can cross post these on social networking and with the monthly heads up of things I can pre-write and schedule posting of the newsletter, social posts etc. meaning I can do some leg work and get ahead of things at the start of the month and leave more time for the work at hand of server changes, software upgrades, business growth etc. while not leaving you guys completely in the dark.

So what’s going on this month? What did I miss?

This month has been a busy one. With the release of a new Google Chrome version that now marks domains as “Not Secure” if they don’t have SSL – it’s been fielding a lot of questions about how to make your WordPress & Sites, in general, be secure so folks aren’t scared away by google’s warnings. Happy to report all servers support Let’s Encrypt so you can easily add basic SSL functionality to your site! Easy as pie and at no additional cost! If you get stuck or need help please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Church Hosting delays have continued with a fresh surge of attempts to get free hosting for hackers. This has caused a huge slow down and a big review process, currently at a 7 day wait period sadly on average, and it’s just not an easy thing to sort through and I hate the idea that someone who is really legit might get thrown into a fraud case so manually reviewing to ensure I don’t blacklist anyone who’s genuinely in need. Prayers are appreciated!

Now some of you have graciously offered to help cover costs and grow Church Hosting, I’d love to keep things growing and it’s rapidly approaching the need for a fresh server (or two) so if you’ve been looking for a time to give, never been a better time to visit https://crowd.flockhosting.com – contains several options for donating, including a new one called Ko-Fi which offers just another option for folks looking to give – and this isn’t a “PLEASE DONATE NOW!” type message, just like to update folks who’ve asked for adds like Ko-Fi instead of sifting through emails.

While some of you may enjoy the canned meat, not any of you seem to like the un-requested spam, and to that end, a friendly reminder – MX Guard Dog is 100% free of charge, while I’d add it to every single account as a default the issue is some folks set up accounts, then cut to Google or another email service and MX Guard Dog would use up credits even if the accounts were not in use – so if you need some protection, please just let me know!

Lastly, I’d ask for your help, FlockHosting has seen a huge surge of Church Hosting, however standard hosting has not seen such a huge surge, and I’d appreciate some help with getting the word out to be it on your social media or just a banner on your website! I don’t require this of ANYONE this includes Church Hosting, it’s not a requirement but I’d ask if you feel FlockHosting has served you well please consider helping spread the word!

For now, stay tuned for some more blog posts over the next few months but we’ll have another Video FlockUpdate coming in September! Look forward to talking to you all then!