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Gutenblog: server

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October 2018
October 2018
By

The internet is a lot like the wildwest—it operates on trust with very little oversight and no policing, everyone has to look out for themselves. Which makes it very easy for bad actors to anonymously disrupt a website if they want to. One of the most common and difficult types of attacks to respond to is a DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service). This type of attack isn't necessarily a security vulnerability, but it does cause a "Denial of Service" when so much traffic comes to your web server that it is not able to serve real visitors. And the attack is "Distributed" because the traffic looks like it is coming from random legitimate visitors (IP address spoofing). This type of attack can come from a bored teenager or a sophisticated criminal network that has a "botnet" (thousands of hacked computers that are harnessed to carry out the attack at a greater volume).

Prevention Options

Preventing sophisticated DDOS attacks is impossible. Because the internet is based on trust, there is ...

Tags : ddos, server, bots,


April 2017
April 2017
By

We've completed phase 2 of our upgrades which gives us new servers that are faster, more secure, have more redundancy and are running newer operating systems for better long term support.

Faster with HTTP 2.0

This upgrade also enables HTTP 2.0 for all websites with SSL (Secure Certificates). HTTP 2.0 allows pages to load much faster by enabling multiple concurrent connections at once. That means if your page has 50 resources that have to be loaded (e.g. HTML, CSS, Javascript, and image files), instead of loading one at a time, all 50 can load asynchronously.

Our Apologies for the Downtime

We did experience two problems during the upgrade that affected some visitors to a few sites:

1. Intermittent Loading Problems: Our security software on the new web servers mistakenly detected that our Load Balancers were performing a DDOS attack on them. As a result, our web servers intermittently throttled the connections, which caused some resources to fail to load (e.g. the CSS or an image ...


March 2017
March 2017
By

Our planned web server infrastructure upgrades were completed successfully. It required some key changes to the Gutensite platform to allow sessions to persist across multiple servers, and for custom files to be accessible on all servers. Big thanks to Matt for taking on this task.

The new infrastructure allows us to do true "horizontal scaling", with load balancing and much better redundancy. That means that your website is hosted on multiple servers at once. Every page load is distributed across a network of servers that are balanced based on load. If one web server becomes unresponsive, or needs to be taken offline for maintenance, the other servers will take up the load and there should be no interruption or slowness. It's an exciting upgrade for us.

What's Next?

Our next immediate infrastructure plans are to migrate the Gutensite web and database servers from our current datacenter at Rackspace to our new datacenter at Linode. Rackspace is a widely respected hosting service, ...


May 2015
May 2015
By

Over the past few weeks we have upgraded our entire server infrastructure to new, faster, more powerful machines, solid state drives, more CPU and RAM and upgraded software. That means faster web servers, database servers and new load balancers. These changes should improve performance for your website and also give us more flexibility to scale and respond to future server failure scenarios.

To take full advantage of these changes we require 5 minutes of work on your part. We need you to point your Domain's DNS to a new IP address. This is urgent because we will be phasing out the old servers as soon as possible.

Below are some instructions, which can also be found in your control panel: Support > Domain & DNS.

 

How are we already helping?

If are subscribed to Gutensite’s Premium Domain & DNS Management, you don’t need to do anything. Your domain DNS has already been updated and your domain is now pointing to the new updated servers. You can confirm if you are ...

Tags : server, upgrades, dns, domain,


December 2013
December 2013
By

Per our published schedule and instructions, the old servers are now decommissioned. If you cannot access your site, it is because unfortunately you have ignored all the emails we've sent you over the past month and you never took the necessary 5 minutes to update your domain's DNS records. For those who subscribe to our Domain & DNS management service, we were able to update the DNS without any hassle. But for all others, this was your responsibility.

In truth, we have helped out many other clients who are not subscribed to our service, for free, when they asked for our help and provided us with the correct login information for their domain registrar. And we delayed shutting off the server for an extra 3 days to give a grace period. And we offered to keep it on longer if anyone contacted us and needed more time. But since no one has asked for more time, we are moving forward.

If you cannot access your site, the fix is easy. Follow the instructions in your admin > Support ...


November 2013
November 2013
By
Do not ignore this CRITICAL information about your website and our major server upgrade and migration.

Big Picture

In order to ensure the long term reliability of your website we have been working hard on your behalf for the past four months to create a brand new server infrastructure with the redundancy and scalability that will serve you far into the future. There may be some elements that are temporarily inconvenient and frustrating for you over the next few days of migration. I am really sorry for those things in advance, but this upgrade is absolutely necessary and good for your website long term.

This upgrade has entailed massive rewrites of how our CMS must now function across multiple web servers, interacting with many different cloud storage systems and databases. We have tested our platform rigorously and are aware of a few remaining minor bugs that we are working to fix. But on thursday, the old server had a kernel panic that took it down for 45 minutes, and we feel it ...


November 2013
November 2013
By

We appreciate all your patience as we've been focused for the past 4 months on a major server infrastructure upgrade, to rebuild and migrate our hosted CMS to Rackspace's Cloud servers. This has required a rewrite of how we deploy websites, how we roll out updates and versions to the core code base, how we manage hosting, how we connect with databases, and many overall changes to how the CMS works across multiple web servers, connecting with a cluster of read and write database servers, and other servers for extra services.

Major Upgrades

  • We've grown from 2 web servers at our old host to 10 new servers at Rackspace.
  • We can scale to make each of these servers 32 times more powerful if necessary and deploy new servers within minutes.
  • If a web server fails, we can restore a new one from nightly snapshots within 30 minutes and have your site back online without any data loss.
  • The servers can remain small because we have migrated all your personal files off the web server to ...

September 2013
September 2013
By

In July we bagan officially working on rebuilding Gutensite 2.0 from the ground up, with a new codebase and new server architecture. But shortly after we began, our existing servers gave us a fright and we knew we had to step back and make certain that the server architecture for 1.0 was fully stable and will continue to be scalable far into the future. So we have been heads down for the past 2 months working on this massive overhaul.

The migration has been progressing steadily and is nearly complete! We have successfully migrated all images, documents and multimedia files to Rackspace's Cloud Files, which make them faster to load, cheaper to store, redundantly secure against data loss. The entire CMS and all the accounts have also been migrated to a cluster of Rackspace's Cloud web and database servers, and are fully operational. We are now in the final stages of making sure that the virtual hosting and domain creation, modification, and delete functions all work, as well as ...


August 2013
August 2013
By

As part of our long term server infrastructure upgrades, we are integrating with Rackspace's Cloud Files to store all your images, documents and multimedia. Cloud Files provides 3 redundant copies of your files (in case any single version gets corrupted or is on hardware that fails), and it delivers those files to your visitors through a CDN (Content Delivery Nework) that caches a copy of the files closer to the visitor which speeds up your site load times. It also allows us to offer unlimited amounts of scalable storage and fast bandwidth at competitive rates.

We're happy to announce that last week we successfully integrated all multimedia (video and audio files) to Cloud Files. This week we will move over documents (e.g. pdfs and other files from your downloadable resource library), and then we'll move over all your images.

Once we complete the Cloud Files migration (hopefully this week) we will begin the web server migration to Rackspace's Cloud Servers. This will provide much ...


July 2010
July 2010

You may have noticed that your site was unavailable last friday (July 16th at around 12:30 PM PST). The downtime lasted about 30 minutes and was caused by a hardware failure with one of the core routers at the data center that hosts our servers. This affected their entire data center, including our server. It was not a problem with our server per se, but a network problem that slowed or stopped traffic from getting to our server. We take uptime very seriously, but these things happen, unfortunately, despite redundancies and backups in the network.

Our secondary backup server (located in California), detected that our main server (located in Montana) was unreachable and promptly redirected all traffic to itself. However, at the moment the backup server is not a full sync of our main server, so all it can display is a nice error message that explains the problem (not the entire website, but better than a white screen). In the future, though, we plan on creating a fully redundant ...