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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.

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!

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!

Church Hosting Update – Special Edition!

It is Sunday! You’d think that bots would have something better to do than to push an attack at 4:30AM bogging down a server till hanging up, and which is still running a little hot at the moment, but thankfully I’m seeing folks get to live stream URL’s and prayer boards – so PTL! God is indeed good to give the servers grace even in these surges of attacks and legitimate traffic.

But as it is Sunday and I have both Church & Family time ahead of me (and yes it’s going to be a bit sleepy!) I did want to address these continual issues we are seeing lately, sure a day or two working is great and I do say Praise God for uptime, but a more solid full-time solution vs. limping is needed so there is a plan. What’s that plan you may say? Well as I want to do this quick so I can go brush my teeth and get the family in the car to get there before song service starts, here’s the quick version:

  1. Fresh Network. Moving to another network, hopefully avoiding what appears to be, attacks common to this network for starters, but having Church Sites makes us a target too – so new network actually offers some DDoS filtering so should help!
  2. Fresh Hardware. Going to get some new hardware and spread out folks a bit to ensure a better growth plan, adding 2 new servers to make 4 total Church Hosting Servers.

So there is more to this for sure, but I wanted to just let folks know, I do take Church Hosting outages seriously. This is not some sub-standard service I’m just handing out for free and if it crashes it crashes, again I was up at 4:30AM to work on this and have continued to monitor this, but a 4yr must sing – and I have to trust that God can monitor the servers even while I’m at Church & Family time after.

Stay tuned this week for a plan to roll out as well as an early migration options to the 2 new servers which need names (Got any ideas?) thanks for your patience, kindness, and prayers!  Updates coming soon!