All Change!


Written on February 6, 2011 – 12:03 pm | by admin

A Server Update will take place on the night of Tuesday 22nd February between 20:00 and 09:00 the following morning. During this maintenance period all services will be unavailable, websites will display a maintenance page and email will be held for delivery once service is restored.

This upgrade is taking place to move your service to a new, faster server with some upgraded features and performance. There are many ‘under the hood’ changes taking place, read on for full details…

Email

  • Spam Filtering:
    The current MailFoundry spam filtering system is being replaced with a new system called “SpamExperts”. Currently you get a quarantine digest once a day to check the spam that has been detected in your mailbox. The new system has more control – you will be able to log in to your control panel and see (and act on) the quarantined spam in real time without waiting for the daily digest. This means if you are expecting an important email, you don’t have to wait a whole day to see if it’s been flagged as spam.
  • Webmail:
    The current webmail package (SquirrelMail) will be upgraded to the latest version and should be fuller featured and faster. We are also making 2 other webmail clients available: Horde and Roundcube. You will be able to choose which you want to use in your web control panel. Note that enabling any of the webmail clients uses a small amount of your disk space (on average 15MB)
  • Secure Email:
    Secure POP, IMAP and SMTP will be available, so you will be able to send and receive email from a public location (e.g. WiFi hotspot or a cyber café) securely and safely. Details of how to set up mail clients for this service will be available shortly.
  • Mailing Lists:
    Majordomo for mailing lists is being replaced by Mailman. There is no automatic way to do the conversion of old lists into Mailman, instead your current list data will be saved to the home folder of your account admin user – this can then be used to create a new Mailman list with your subscribers – support can help you with this!

Bandwidth

Your bandwidth quota will now be a ‘hard’ limit, and should you exceed your hosting plan’s allocation your web site will be suspended until more bandwidth is purchased. You will be able to check your bandwidth consumption in your web control panel. Previously we charged clients in arrears for excess bandwidth, and where possible we will warn clients before they exceed their quota, but we recommend all sites have a realistic bandwidth allowance to start with. If you want to discuss your bandwidth requirements, please contact us. Users who have recently exceeded their quota will be contacted individually before the upgrade.

Control Panel

A new web control panel give access to all the features of your hosting account, in a more user-friendly interface. Because of the change, some accounts will experience a few changes to some of their account details, as follows:

  • Usernames:
    Usernames, passwords, mailserver and FTP details will all remain the same for most users. However, some usernames which are duplicates of those used by other accounts on Spaceonline will be changed. So if you have the username “admin” for your account, it will become admin1 or admin2 etc. Underscores (_) in admin usernames will be removed if present. If your username is changed, you will be informed of the new one by email, or by phone.
  • New control panel address:
    Instead of using http://www.yourdomain.com/admin
    or http://www.yourdomain.com/user
    you now just use http://www.yourdomain.com/cpanel
  • Statistics:
    Your website logs and statistics are being changed to a more secure and useful system. They will no longer be available directly on your website, but via the control panel. Your current usage history figures will be migrated to the new system, so you will not lose any data.

Programming

  • Version Upgrades:
    There are no planned major version changes that should affect you. PHP will remain at version 5.2.14 and MySQL at version 5 during these upgrades. You will find newer versions of webmail (Horde and Roundcube) and stats available to you as standard, and these will be more regularly maintained on the new server.
  • Custom php.ini files:
    During the upgrade the /etc/php.ini file from individual sites (if present) cannot be migrated and a default php.ini file will be installed for everyone. If you run any site-specific PHP customisations you will need to re-apply these after the maintenance. To apply custom PHP settings, start now by making a local copy of your custom file. After the migration, copy the php.ini file located at “/usr/local/lib/php.ini” into your html root folder, and then make the customisations to the file there, using your old file as a guide.
  • Default PHP settings:
    Some users have used non-standard php.ini files in the past, but we are standardising php.ini for all our accounts, and you can always customise it to your needs if you wish to do so. An example of a positive change is raising the default resource limits, such as memory_limit up to 64MB thanks to the newer hardware being used.
  • Will existing scripts continue to work?
    We are confident most scripts will continue to function exactly as before after this upgrade. Paths to your web root will change, from “/var/www/html/” to “/home/username/public_html”, but we will take care of replacing these automatically in your script’s config files. There may be rare occasions where the migration script misses something, so please test your site after the maintenance and let us know if we can assist you.
  • MySQL connection details:
    MySQL connection information including usernames and passwords should remain the same. The only thing that will change is if you have used an underscore or period in your MySQL username, these are no longer supported by MySQL and will be stripped out of your user during the migration, so joe_bloggs would become joebloggs.

That’s about all the details you will need to see your site fully working after the upgrade process has finished. If you have any questions or need further details, please contact us.

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