FlockHosting Blog

Server Work & Upgrades

The server Praise came along in the first Customer Appreciation Month, it was a big part of the promotion for that year, and customers on board have had a slew of resources thrown out at them since that time, well it’s going to remain for those winners always! No additional accounts will be added, it’s for those winners, and next year I hope to do similar!

However it is a year later and some maintenance is coming up as well as increase to Storage, Memory and Processor – most other servers have had upgrades this year allowing for fun free upgrades as well as the Good Stewards Program to take hold, so its time for Praise to do the same, first thing first, some important upgrades, which unavoidably will take about 2 hours to process as they are some CORE upgrades to Network and Hardware + Build in some support for IPv6 so when it comes thru FlockHosting is ready!

So Praise will go down at November 6, 2011 at 9pm for about 2 hours (3 hours max) – So date one to mark, November 6th at 9PM – now to follow up is the upgrade of resources, to avoid weekend after weekend of late night downtime (I do like to sleep too!) November 20th at 9PM I will be upgrading Disk Space, CPU and Memory for the server, should give it a bit more pep and allow for all users on Praise to get an improvement on speed and more resources should you have a big website you need to deploy!

So Mark your calendars:

  • November 6th 2011 @ 9PM – 2-3 hours for Network and Hardware Upgrades
  • November 20th 2011 @ 9PM – Hardware Upgrades for Memory, CPU and Disk Space – Biggest Time factor uncertainty is Drive Upgrade, blog will be kept up-to-date with Progress!
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me!

Saturday Tuneups!

Quick Jump to Highlights:

Server Tune-ups

It’s a mellow weekend in for me, doing some server work for security, some for performance, and others just some experimenting in the lab that is my test server! The feature in testing this week is some general account maintenance and improvements on billing/server functionality.

One thing customers have had to always open a ticket for in the past was password changes – so if you forgot, if your web designer changed, if the dog ate your scratch paper with it written down – you’ll be able to change it yourself!

Now this testing isn’t just about passwords either, upgrades too! While there is always the Good Steward Program rolling out freebies, may be a time where you say “I NEED MORE NOW PLEASE!” well working to make it easy for you to do it and be good to go!

Instant Account Setups for current customers! So if you already have a package with FlockHosting and want to setup something and are in a hurry (or even if not!) the system will deploy it for you the moment your bill is paid and get it taken care of! Very quick and snazzy! 🙂

Hoping to finish testing this next week and get folks all switched over come the first of the year – this too should help sinch up billing, setup, upgrades, and cancelations as they come up, so hope to keep this rolling and get you all setup and good to go January 1!

Upcoming Maintenance

So some server maintenance windows are upon us, and they will require an estimated 2-3 hours, these are some fair upgrades and adjustments to really future-proof servers with IPv6, some enhanced security, and improvements on the failover systems of these servers.

The servers and times are as follows:

  • FlockHosting.com – October 26th (4AM PDT/GMT-7)
  • Praise – October 29th (10PM PDT/GMT-7)
We have a few more similar to these coming in the last bit of this year, increasing drive storage, memory and some CPU upgrades too – so stay tuned for any further notices like this – on the maintenance windows I’ll keep you posted on progress and anything which may effect the time frame (good or bad) so check back often!
We’ll that’s it from FH HQ – Stay tuned for more information coming soon! Have a Blessed Weekend!

Email Changes

Over the next 48 hours or so I am migrating the mail system I use for FlockHosting, this means some changes – most of which will be transparent, you can still reach me at my normal address (chuck@flockhosting.com) but the addresses that will actually have a change are those attached to The Customer Zone.

The change is pretty simple though, no need to re-write entire address book entries, the address will be changing quite simply from FlockHosting.com -> FlockHosting.net, but the address format will remain the same.

Why would you have these addresses on file? Well as a customer if your email address your sending from matches your email account on file, it opens a ticket for you in the department you emailed, and attaches it to your account! Makes getting help even easier!

If your not sure of the addresses here you go!

  • Tech Support – Assistance with site malfunctions, loss of access, etc. (1-24 hours response) –  support@flockhosting.net
  • General Help – Questions on How-To, Site Help, Random Questions – Non-Priority Support (1hr-3 days response) – general-ticket@flockhosting.net
  • Billing / Sales – Billing Questions – or Pre-Sale questions. (1-24 hours response)  – sales-ticket@flockhosting.net

So there you have it! Just some minor changes, but working to organize FlockHosting’s email system a bit better, and really manage it better on the go!

RFO: Praise

Not to take away from Customer Appreciation Month – But today’s extended outage did throw some customers for a loop, and the Reason For Outage (RFO) is better laid out in a post vs. Twitter/Facebook posts.

Earlier this AM the server praise had a brief outage, due to a drive failure in the storage array the exact response from the datacenter was:

One of RAID disks failed. We are working on its replacing.

Easy peasy – it was replaced and only a minor hiccup as the storage system went briefly into read-only mode. Fast forward to later in the day, to rebuild the redundancy and get the new drive properly in the RAID array, it must be re-sync’d into the system, thus what we experienced this afternoon, tackled with extremely high load on websites & a storm of SPAM hitting the servers filters, it was a combo of just bad timing.

The server went down, and in coming back up ran a FSCK (for Windows Users, think Scan Disk) it checked the disk to make sure everything was working correctly and this can take some time – but things leveled out and came back online with some handy help from the datacenter crew, things are back online.

Now please be aware there is still a sync process on-going and its syncing a LOT of data, so sluggish response may continue – please bear with me on this, I wish I could speed it up, but redundancy isn’t something I take lightly.

The server will continue to be closely monitored and backups still are on-going so your data is safely backed up – but if you have any questions or concerns about the outage today, please do not hesitate to contact me via Email, Ticket, Forums or Live Chat.

Thanks again for your patience and prayers!

Server Move Fun!

Well the primary server which FlockHosting.com lives on was moved – you may or may not of noticed, downtime was really nothing as the site stayed live on both servers – however you may note the Customer Zone is still down, and that’s probably the old copy – once the “Maintenance” notice goes away your live on the new server. I am still double checking everything and making sure were good to go, but the move looks smooth and clean, and work on the wiki and new site will continue this week.

Thanks for the patience the last few months as things continue to revamp here and there, the Wiki is already laying out good – hope to unviel it before the first of the year if not target date for new website, and support wiki is Jan. 25th… and oh yes – fun things happening on that day (or so I hope!)

Have a Blessed Weekend! And stay tuned for more news!