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.

Friday Migrations – Church, Grace, Lilly @ 10PM (Pacific)

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Good Afternoon! 

It is time for another round of migrations this Friday for Church, Grace, and Lilly. The move should be super straightforward – if you are using your DNS you’ll need to make some changes, this includes Cloudflare users too – so without further delay here are the new IP changes, RED are the old and GREEN are new:

church.flockhosting.com
142.54.180.243 -> 173.82.245.171

lilly.flockhosting.com
23.111.146.75 -> 173.82.106.161

grace.flockhosting.com
23.111.146.78 -> 173.82.106.154

Starting at 10 PM Pacific time the server data will begin moving over, rebuilding on the new hardware – in most cases with domains using FlockHosting DNS the change should be super quick – cutting over once the moves are done within 10 minutes. Now if you are using your own DNS provider and want a similar situation then adjust the TTL column to say 500 – this varies with each DNS provider but the TTL column in most is accessible and will greatly increase the speed at which the site cuts to the new IP on Friday.

Now to clarify it’s OK to adjust the TTL now. This won’t hurt anything, but don’t change the IP till Friday at which point anytime after 10 PM will be fine.

Now as always if you have questions, concerns, or just need help on this move please don’t hesitate to leave a comment, open a ticket or schedule a call with me.

State of the Server (2016)

I was asked recently as things calmed down if I could do a “State of the Server” address, and you know what? Sure thing. It’s been about two years since the last one, let’s talk about where we stand!

Server: Grace & Church

This past weekend Grace & Church got their migrations completed, customers are moved over, and backups from the previous are still in place for about another week then I’m going to purge and free up space once we are in the clear 100%.

So what did we do in the realm of an upgrade? Well, we went from a Xeon L5420 series of CPUto an Intel Xeon E3-1230 v3 – definitely a more modern CPU! The memory we are still at 16GB, but I’ve been working to fine-tune the CloudLinux Setup.

Upgrades to Network too – a completely different path out of Dallas vs. Atlanta, but too 1gbps ports vs. 100mbps ports.

Server: Fellowship & Lilly

These two kids have been on their newer hardware for a while now, still rocking the Xeon E3-1230 – just the v1 not the latest v3, but still running like a champ with 16GB of memory, and a fairly well tuned CloudLinux setup to ensure everyone is getting fair use.

Server: VPS Servers

All private VPS and Mail Servers are still using the older network and provider. The move is not as easy as packaging up a pile of accounts, doing this is going to take more time and will come likely in July/August. I am looking at if we continue using OpenVZ (which has served us well) or make the jump to KVM.

If you use the VPS or Mail Servers and have a thought – drop it in the comments below!

Server: Name Servers

Still running DNS spread out in 2 locations and clustered – I will note Grace and Church are not yet linked into the cluster just yet, but they will soon, and no matter where you are – we have a name server that is close and ready to respond!

Server: Managed WordPress & Backup

Managed WordPress just did a BIG upgrade, invested a lot into the system which helps keep your WordPress Blogs up-to-date! Includes some features which I’ll be rolling out in weeks to come including Wordfence & iThemes Security scans on a regular basis, as well as some spring cleaning of your databases to make sure your websites run smoothly!

We now have 3TB of storage across three separate backup servers – this is a continual upgrade and looking at adding at least two more TB of storage before years end! Staying ahead of the growth not just in Church Hosting, but too folks in paid hosting, and with the $7 package coming soon I’m betting, even more, growth!

That’s it! I am always looking to improve, grow and expand services, more goodies are coming as we grow this year! Stay tuned for more!

Let’s Clean-up Email!

spamI’ve been searching for something that combined what most folks wanted – a quarantine (one of the most requested features!), a good whitelist, and free. Fortunately, I found MXGuardDog which fits the requirements. If we pool our resources, it can be free for any and all FlockHosters!

The service uses “Tokens” that you can earn or buy.  In our case, I’m hoping we can all pool our tokens. I am currently using the number of website projects I have out there to earn a bunch of tokens (Currently earning 30+ and only using 8!). Earning tokens is as simple as putting a link at the bottom of your website. Here’s an example:

Image 2015-06-26 at 1.14.20 PM

This is at the footer of a website! Easy right? From there you can even set things up to automatically sync up with cPanel to ensure it has all of your new accounts. You’ll never have to go in and add a batch of folks to ensure everyone gets filtered!

If you would like to join in on our pool of tokens, simply open a trouble ticket and I’ll help you update your MX Records to have MXGuardDog filter your email and link up your cPanel account with their service so anything you add will be automatically synced!

If you would prefer to do this on your own, open a ticket as well and I’ll help you make the needed changes to get your email filtered!

How’s that for good news on a Monday? Have a GREAT week!

 

Church Hosting On Deck!

So paid customers this past week got a taste of new hardware and improvements to the servers, hopefully you are all enjoying it! And while Crowdfunding for Church Hosting really didn’t take off sadly, that doesn’t change that I still have a view of Church Hosting growing.

So why stop growth? Two servers both really just maxing out and filling up – well it’s time to kick it up a notch while I’m at it, let’s make a new server and we will call it simply…

Church

We’ve had Fellowship and Koinonia both servers are nearly full – I try to keep some room but when the demand keeps up at on average 2-4 accounts a month sign-up, it’s time to really buckle down and make a way for Churches to Grow. More room for Email, more room for MP3 sermons and much much more! Let’s just be honest, I haven’t given up my dream of a big Church Hosting platform that rocks! Here’s still my dream list:

  • Email Only Service (similar to Google Apps)
  • Massive Storage
  • Video Streaming
  • Audio Streaming
  • Windows Hosting
  • Help Making Apps for Android/iPhone
  • Logo Design
  • Custom Programming
  • Pre-Fab WordPress Setup (fill in the blanks!)

I’m going to step out in faith and KNOW that God is GOOD! Let’s get things setup for a bigger Church Hosting and take that step and see where God leads the next one!

The new server Church will bring the latest tech, the latest security enhancements, and even more room for growth as you need it! More CPU dedicated towards your websites! Let’s me be a good steward with the resources we have at hand, and toss as much as I can at the server to ensure your websites load quickly, safely, and have the latest and greatest!

So all sites are moving! I don’t have a date just yet, waiting for word on the new hardware in the morning from the Data Center – Likely Monday, but don’t quote me on that just yet! Fellowship & Koinonia will both re-locate! If you are managing your own DNS stay tuned, I’ll get a new IP to you!

Why?

Because I do have a vision of Churches saving money on hosting – saving the church even $50 a year is $50 to feed a family, fill a gas tank, you name it! Let the funds of the church be used to serve the community around it, and let me serve them on the web! Sadly I don’t always get every church to believe this is a free service, nor does every church see the self-hosted platform as the best way to get online, very few take and utilize the help I have offered! It’s not just a free lunch, dinner is included too!

Recently a church came on board, then when they found things to be difficult they just said “Point my domain at XYZ” and then even after that they were back a week later because they saw that service XYZ was charging for every.. little.. thing. I’m not.

So let me help you get your website online! I have been helping churches set up something that may not be a multi-million dollar website theme, but some great options out there for getting a great looking website, and many churches are having a great time making a website!

More is coming after the Church Migration, including easy upgrades and management by FlockHosting at again no cost! Things are getting good!

Stay tuned for more, I’ll newsletter on this and the next post coming Friday about a new service called FlockHosting Design! Stay tuned! Have a blessed night all!