Scheduled Server Downtime Notification

Please be advised that there is a scheduled server outage on Thursday,
November 27th at approximately 6:30AM EST that will affect all services
(web, e-mail, etc) on websrv03. This outage could last as long as 30
minutes while we perform important system maintenance.

I apologize for any inconvenience, and I hope to keep actual down time to a
minimum. If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate
to let me know.

Unscheduled websrv01 Downtime

We are currently experiencing an unscheduled service outage on websrv01 due to what we believe may be a hardware issue on the server. Unfortunately our co-location provider misconfigured the power port that our server is plugged into, so we were unable to reboot the machine ourselves. Currently we have a technician assigned in Montreal who is on his way to the data centre to reboot the server and investigate further. We will update this post as more information becomes available.

Update 3:53PM
We are still working with our co-location provider to determine the exact cause of the problem. One theory currently being investigated is that we may be experiencing a distributed denial of service attack on the server. As soon as we have any further information, we will post it.

Update 6:20PM
The problem has now been resolved, and all service has been fully restored. It does in fact appear to have been a distributed denial of service attack, which fortunately ceased on it’s own. We sustained 1Mbit of http traffic to websrv01 for only a short period of time before the server was unable to handle the requests. The 1Mbit wall continued until just after 6PM when it stopped just as mysteriously as it began. Further investigation is on-going and any new information will be made available.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

Unscheduled websrv02 Downtime

A quick post to let you know that as of 10:55AM today websrv02 is currently off-line, and we are currently investigating the issue. At this time it appears as though the power port the server is plugged into at our data center has malfunctioned, but we are confirming this now with the network administrators. I will update this post as new information becomes available.

Update 12:01PM
We have confirmed that the problem is an issue with the APC power unit that all servers in this particular rack are connected to. Our network administrators are working at installing a new APC power unit as we speak, and the issue should be resolved very shortly.

Update 1:50PM
I have just received another update from our network administrators stating that they are now replacing the switch that connects all of the servers on the rack. They have informed me that it should be operational again shortly.

Update 2:10PM
Service has now been fully restored. If you have any issues, please feel free to let me know. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Silentweb News Update (Volume 4, Issue 1)

New Scheduled Downtime Notice

I would like to notify you that there will be some scheduled downtime on both of our servers this coming weekend while we perform scheduled maintenance tasks and upgrades on both of the production machines.

websrv02: Friday, January 30th at 10:00PM EST
websrv01: Saturday, January 31st at 10:00AM EST

The first downtime should not be too much longer than a few hours per server; however, Plesk upgrades have in the past went over our maintenance window so I hesitate to give a precise amount of time (~1 – 2 hours). There will be a second downtime after the Plesk upgrade is finished, which should be very brief (~15 minutes) as we apply operating system patches and reboot the servers.

During this maintenance window we will be upgrading both servers to the latest and greatest Plesk release (details below), as well as doing all of the regular operating system patches, and a PHP 5.2.6 upgrade.

Plesk 9.0.1 Upgrade

This is a significant Plesk upgrade that has many changes including a rather new visual interface. I will caution you that the new interface is different, and while you will need to learn the new way Plesk operates, I am sure that the new features will make up for any inconvenience.

Here are some of the many new features you may notice:

  • New visual interface.
  • Ability to add your logo and branding to control panel.
  • New optional web-mail client called AtMail.
  • Upgraded version of IMP / Horde web-mail client.
  • Option to run PHP in FastCGI mode.
  • Ruby on Rails support.
  • Ability to throttle bandwidth on high traffic sites.
  • Very much improved website backup and restore tools.
  • New anti-spam techniques (i.e. DomainKeys).
  • Better support for Safari 3.1.
  • The usual bug fixes and security hardening.

Website Backups and Account Cleanup

We do fairly regular backups of our servers as part of our disaster recovery plan, but if something happened would you have a backup of your content? I would hope that the answer to that question is yes, but in case it is not now is a good time to remind you.

Please make sure that you keep backups of your websites, databases and e-mail.

While you are looking into what you need to backup, check for things you can delete. If there are old domains in your account they *must* be deleted. Old web-applications *must* be removed or upgraded to the latest release.