FlockHosting Blog

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 ūüėÄ

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!

Sunday is Here.

This is the mission-critical¬†day for Church Hosters. Hundreds of churches all slowly waking up on Sunday for folks to tune in, download a bulletin, search for that nearby church while visiting from out of town, and maybe just email the final song list to the worship team! So it’s a critical thing! I know the Sunday morning routine (Pastor’s Kid + Music Minister for many years)¬†ūüėÄ

So today I’ve really done everything I can to try and ensure the servers function as they should. Our friends in the UK are coming up on noon and their accounts have already surged a bit so PTL first round has taken its hit, now they’ll upload sermons and such while the East Coast of the US comes online and starts their’s here already at 6:30AM we have some load increasing but holding steady!

This will hopefully be the last of such weeks for a long time to come! Matthew has taken some of the Fellowship & Church accounts as well as picked up some more fresh churches (2 deployed last night) but I’ve done what I can to level things out – not perfect, but I pray it will do. 3:30AM here in California, and I’ve reviewed current attacks on WordPress sites adding a few new rules I’ve been testing, and tuned up performance where I can without anything too crazy.

I appreciate the prayers and patience for this day that is to come! Monday we will see a new Fellowship come online and operational! So stay tuned – it’s going to keep getting better and better! If you have any problems please open a ticket, Live Chat may say I’m up and online, but honestly, I’m not. It’s 3:30AM and I have a kiddo with a dollar ready for the offering plate! Good night! I hope you all have a blessed Sunday!

ps. I scheduled this to post later on social media, so times may not make sense. I pray I’m not up when this posts to social networks.

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¬†ūüėĄ

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!

Update: Church Hosting & IP Blocks

First things first – Matthew is doing great! Performance has been awesome for most, some sites we are having to adjust a few minor things to improve performance greatly with improvements in load time and overall server performance, it’s been a great first day, and there is still room for more Church Hosters to make their way over! Doesn’t matter if you are on Fellowship or Church – have about 10 spots left! Open a ticket and you could be moved over in tomorrow’s batch @ 5PM (Pacific)

Onto one other thing….¬†IP Blocks.¬†

I can hear the collective groan of “WHY DO WE GET BLOCKED!” well login failures and such happen, sadly I can’t tell if its from a legitimate¬†IP or an attacker, so for your safety and server safety – IP’s do get blocked – well if you are a customer, you can now unblock yourself! Simply login to https://secure.flockhosting.com¬†and look under the support drop-down. That’s it.

It’s that easy. It will populate your current IP so you can have it check for blocks on the server your site resides. No more tickets, live chats, etc. to try and track down an IP and get unblocked. It’s just that easy.

Now Matthew won’t be able to do this till tomorrow, still fine-tuning¬†its link up to the customer zone, but hopefully, tomorrow fine tune a few more settings and have it linked up as well!

Lastly – Church Hosting has grown, and with very soon 4 servers there should be even more options to choose from, namely – Email Hosting Beta. Yes, Beta. Why beta? It’s an un-tested idea which may honestly end up costing even more than I can currently handle! But in good faith that God’s in control, funds will be there and it will be a blessing to folks, I’m going to take a leap forward and begin working on the service and hope for a launch by September’s end (if not sooner) so stay tuned!

More tomorrow (or nearly today as it’s almost midnight) but prayerfully the moved accounts should help keep the old church hosting servers running smoothly! Few more to allow the attacks to not be as load heavy would be great! Please get in touch if you’d like to move, its pain free and quick! Average transfer time is around ~35 Minutes and 5 minutes then for DNS to cut over if you are using FlockHosting Nameservers. Good night!

Hello Matthew!

It’s time to welcome a new member of the Church Hosting server family, Church, Fellowship, and Matthew is the latest in the Church Hosting Fleet.

The naming convention suggested by¬†Keith M. on Facebook, it’s one of two new servers coming to serve churches, and it’ll be ready for use technically today. I had planned to really dig into it and fine tune another 24 hours, but another outage on Fellowship is kicking those plans into action now. This does not mean the server is not ready, just means some performance improvements will be done over a 24 hour period as we settle in – it actually helps give a more realistic¬†set of stats to tune up with – so really a good thing.

All the services and features you know will be there – packages have been copied over from Church & Fellowship so all your features and functions work, software like Softoculous, Sitepad, Let’s Encrypt etc. have all been installed and ready for your use! Even some new performance/security tweaks which were slated for upgrades to all servers the first part of 2019, will be added, so more secure, fewer headaches. Good stuff.

So in an effort to keep folks running smoothly, I’m looking for a max of 20 sites who are up for moving to this new server, that means leaving Church or Fellowship behind for Matthew – the move is painless and simply requires a quick swap on your DNS, if it’s hosted with FlockHosting’s DNS servers even easier still! Looking at maybe a 5-minute window and you’ll be 100% migrated to the new server.

Want in? Quite simply open a trouble ticket and let me know you’d like to move! However, once I hit 20 sites, that’ll be it. I want to keep the moves simple and clean. Now there are more moves in the future – another server is planned (Code Name: 1 of 4 Gospels, leaning towards Luke) + Fellowship and Church will also be re-created so, in the end, you’ll move eventually and things will balance out across all 4 servers – so hang tight! My hope is these 20 will help lighten the load we are having lately and keep things running as smoothly as possible for those remaining on Fellowship/Church for the time being.

Thank you all again for your patience! More tune-ups are coming too for Lilly & Grace very soon! Plus if all goes smoothly, a much-requested feature will be added called “Church Email Hosting” as some churches have requested email-only, but it’s still in testing, and still trying to stir up some funds to do things like mail deliverability and such and not completely break the bank or leave folks with issues sending. So stay tuned!