PINKI Server – Critical Hardware Update **Resolved**

This notice is for clients on the PINKI (76.74.236.95) Server only *

Yesterday, 8/23/09, we experienced a sudden (without warning) hard drive failure on the Pinki server. Usually, we get notifications that the hardware is having some sort of issue that we need to look into, which gives us time to diagnose and troubleshoot. This time, however, there were no warnings – it just happened without notice…one minute the drive was functioning, the next minute not. Machines are not infallible – – and web servers are machines, after all. It’s frustrating and scary all at the same time!

We discovered this problem late yesterday afternoon and immediately went to work with our DataCenter (and hardware providers) at ServerBeach and commissioned a new server. The great news is that we do full adn complete backups of all client accounts on a nightly basis and store them on a separate drive for safekeeping. Once the new server was up and running with a new copy of the Operating System – we began the account restore and things are about 99.9% back to normal right now.

We do continue to work on the new server configurations, however your sites are in working order at this time. Some people have reported a few items that are off – – a couple missing posts, template tweaks that are not there anymore, etc. We are currently working on those issues on an individual basis.

Because our own web site was down during this time, as well – – we’ve been providing updates on our Twitter account as much as we possibly could during this outage. If you do not follow us on Twitter – it’s probably a good idea to do so at times like these: http://twitter.com/BlogsAbout

We want to thank everyone for their patience, and for those of you who write and Twittered words of support and encouragement – we are grateful. We realize that times like these are frustrating for everyone – including ourselves. So, thank you for your patience and understanding during this time. PLease know that we continue to work on smaller issues on a case by case basis and are getting through them as quickly as we can.

One thing that we have noticed, for WordPress users – when you go to update a plugin, or update your WordPress installation – WordPress is asking you for your FTP login information. It has never done this before and this is a function of our server configuration that we are working to resolve. In the meantime, you can just input the information as requested – or, there is a work around for individual sites that you can read about in the WordPress Support forums here: http://wordpress.org/support/topic/242686#post-1180641 (RESOLVED)

* – If you do not know what server your account is currently on – you can locate the IP number of your server in the left menu of your CPanel. Compare your IP number with the three I’ve listed above to find out which server your account is currently hosted on. Or, leave a comment on this post and I’ll do my best to help you determine your server assignment. Thanks!

New Billing and Support System

We are very excited to roll out our new billing and support system for our existing clients, and new ones, as well. The really nice thing about it, for us and for you, is that account creation is completely automated with instant activation for all new accounts.

For our existing clients who are used to our old Client Desk ticket system, we now have a new Client Area where you can:

  • Manage your billing and invoices
  • Submit support tickets
  • Directly login to your web hosting Control Panel
  • Join our NEW affiliate program and earn 5% on all payments your referred clients make for the lifetime of their account!
  • Access our knowledge base **Coming Soon**
  • Access our helpful downloadable files to include free blog themes for your WordPress blog **coming soon**
  • Access tutorials and helpful resource links **Coming Soon**

All of our existing clients have been migrated into the new system and you should have recieved an email with your login information for the new client area.  The emails were sent to the email address that you have set up as your contact email in your Control Panel.  If you did not recieve the email or do not know what your login/password is, you can visit the Client Area login page and request a password reminder – – be sure to use the same email address that you provided to us when you initially created your account.

Eventually, we will be cancelling all existing PayPal hosting subscriptions for existing clients, as all billing will be handled via the new system.  We expect this to happen by June 1.

For now, we will continue to use our existing/old Client Desk support ticket system through June 1 to answer your questions about the new system, but as of June 1, 2009 – the old Client Desk support ticket system will redirect to the new system.  If you have questions or need clarification – visit that Client Desk and submit a ticket and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

This new system puts everything you need to manage your hosting account, data/files, billing and support all in one convienent place!  We think you will find it very easy to work with!

Server Alert: Jingles RAM Replacement [Updated x2]

This alert is for clients on our Jingles server – IP: 66.135.55.41

( The IP of the server you are on is listed in your account CPanel, in the left menu – if it matches the one listed above, your site is on Jingles)

We are upgrading the RAM on this machine today.  The server is functioning fine right now – although we did experience a minor 5 minute outage earlier this morning.  The RAM upgrade will occur overnight – during times of lower traffic and readership.  The integrity of all backup files will be maintained in our system, but you may experience some maintenance downtime in the very late hours of the night tonight, if you’re like me and are still awake at that hour!

Grab a book.  Catch up on the news.  Relax – have a good night of sleep, you probably won’t even notice.  Will provide updates here when it’s done and dusted!

UPDATE: 11:15 PM (CST/GMT -6) -> We’ve confirmed the time of the hardware maintenance on this server to be between 12:00AM (Midnight) – 4:00AM (CST/GMT -6).  That’s not to say the server will be down for the entire 4 hours – – but that is the window of time that the maintenance is scheduled for.  Will update here again with progress as it happens!  Hang tight – we’re getting there!

UPDATE #2: 10/21 – All is well and good in the land of Jingles!  Our Jingles got herself some brand new, shiney RAM – as well as a new chassis because we suspected the box had some I/O issues, as well.  Pretty much everything was replaced except for the hard drives and she is running smooth and we expect to hear ZERO whining out of her!  If you even noticed the downtime last night between 12:00AM (Midnight) and 4:00AM CST – we thank you very very much for your patience.  If you didn’t notice – all the better!  The intermittant problems we’ve had with Jingles are resolved and we expect smooth sailing out of her from here on out.  Yay!

Update 10/21 – We have worked with the fine folks at CPanel about a licensing issue for the CPanel software.  During/after the repairs to Jingles, our authorized license did not get transferred and access to CPanel was limited for a small amount of time.  The license has since been transferred over and we’ve not experienced any CPanel access issues since then.  If you have, or continue to experience problems accessing your CPanel – <a href=”http://tickets.blogs-about.com”>please file a ticket in our Help Desk</a> and let us know so we can get it resolved for you.  Thanks!

Mail Server Update

(update 10/21/08 – sorry for any Twitter followers who got this post in a Twitter broadcast!  This is an old post that we edited today, and it got broadcast to twitter as *new* through the Twitter Tools plugin we are currently using.  No worries on the mail server issues — this is old info!  Sorry! 🙂

Over this past weekend, we have upgraded the anti-spam and anti-virus software on all of the mail servers within our network. Our clients should experience greater protection than ever before. As always, should you experience any strange behaviour with your server mail – incoming or outgoing, please visit our Support Center to file a help ticket with our support staff – – our technicians will be happy to assist you.