Data Centre, Network & POP Maintenance Notice – Wed evening & Thu morning, August 8th/9th 2018

During the evening of Wednesday, August 8th from 9pm that night (through to 6am on Thursday morning) we will be performing upgrades to selected hosting server platforms of Network Presence in Sydney, Australia.

Customers with services (VPS) on the hosting platforms to be upgraded may be emailed advisory notices shortly, and this is a general notice related to other ancillary upgrades and Infrastructure Maintenance being performed during this scheduled window of time.

This Maintenance Window starts from 9pm Sydney time on the evening of Wednesday, August 8th 2018 through to 6am on the Thursday morning, and I’ll be personally contactable by phone & online during and after these works in-case there’s any issues that arise. During this Maintenance Window, selected network or server equipment will be worked on, upgraded and restarted. Works will be completed as quickly as possible (and where possible, timing information will be in emails to affected customers) and restarts are short service interruptions only, while upgrades may incur longer service interruptions.

This will incur outages to selected hosting services of Network Presence in Australia during this off-peak scheduled works period.
In addition, there may be some impact (short 5-10 minute periods) to the general Internet Connectivity of portions of Network Presence in Sydney during these works, though redundant routing will be utilised during these works. Our Adelaide POP is unaffected by this Maintenance Notice and works.

Progress updates during the works will be posted to our Operations Twitter Feed at https://twitter.com/netpresops

FYI and regards,
Richard.

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Server Platform Refresh 2018

Following the release of new CPU architectures, good business growth and other developments, this year’s server nodes/hosts and network upgrades are starting soon.

Accordingly, the following Node #s will be getting hardware and software upgrades & replacements in the 3rd quarter of 2018: 3, 5, 8, 16, 22, 29, 30, 31, 38, 42, 56, 64, 100, 102
Customers on those listed Nodes will be emailed information about their Node’s work and its timing in due course of these upgrades and refreshes.

A number of new VPS Nodes, made up of brand-name units and custom builds, will be bought online between August and October 2018 and we’ll be releasing more capacity for our Shopfront site’s VPS Plans, as well as releasing new versions of our most popular VPS Plans.

We’ll update this post as this year’s server refresh progresses, and we look forward to these upgrades.

FYI and regards,
Richard.

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New features for VPS Management web pages – Firewall / Packet Filtering [in Beta to start]

Our journey to update and refresh our web-based VPS Management site and pages continues to deliver results for our customers, with our next newly deployed feature being the ability to set “Firewall Rules” and packet filters on both the incoming and outgoing network traffic of your VPS.

These settings are set through the VPS Management web pages and are enacted outside of your VPS, so the processing and operation of these filters is external to your VPS itself.

This feature is currently available as a “Beta” release, meaning that customers can contact us to have this feature enabled for their use of our web-based VPS Management pages.
General release of this capability is expected during Q3 this year ie: as soon as next month.

This completes this tranche of new features coming to our web-based VPS Management pages and site, and following the general release of the Firewall feature, our attention will turn to UI updates and better navigation for our web-based VPS Management pages.

FYI and regards,
Richard.

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Adelaide POP now available for our KVM based VPS Plans

After years of waiting for a Data Centre with the relevant connectivity available for us to use in Adelaide, we’ve finally been able to secure the commercials we wanted for Network Presence to establish its Adelaide, South Australia POP.

This allows us to provide all of our website’s KVM based VPS Plans from Adelaide, being the Network Presence VPS Plans:

KVM SSD VPS Plans
Value SSD VPS Plans
Storage VPS Plans
cPanel VPS Plans

These VPS Plans are now all available in Adelaide, South Australia, as well as our decade long running Sydney, Australia location, and you can select the Adelaide location through the ‘VPS Option’ listing ‘Adelaide’ location.

We’re very happy with the connectivity we’ve been able to secure for this POP, which sees our networks in Adelaide made available through many upstream providers, and some of Australia’s best Peering Networks as well from day 1.

Regards,
Richard.

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Customer Loyalty Scheme through our Cloud Credits

Our Cloud Credits provide an easy way to increase or decrease the resourcing levels of your Network Presence VPS.

In addition to purchasing Cloud Credits on our website, one other way that customers ‘earn’ or get Cloud Credits is through ongoing usage of their Network Presence VPS services ie: running their VPS as ordered.

The rate of earning of Cloud Credits varies depending on the size and type of VPS, but some kind of baseline is that if you spend ~$15/month on your VPS, you could expect to earn enough Cloud Credits to add a CPU in ~4 or so months of use.

The Cloud Credit balance (viewed in the Status or Usage buttons of our VPS Management pages) for a VPS is increased each day based on the VPS Plan’s month fees.

I’ll post more about our Cloud Credits functionality and search our Blog site for “cloud credits” for more info.

FYI,
Richard.

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Network Presence Cloud Credits

Our Cloud Credits are available for customers to add/remove resources (CPU, Memory, Disk space, IP Addresses, Firewalls, etc) to their service or Account at Network Presence.

The concept is that you have a balance of Network Presence Cloud Credits for each of your services with us, and that you can use them through our web-based VPS Management pages (and our new API) to “re-provision” your service with more (or less) of CPUs, Memory, Disk space, IP Addresses and other products of Network Presence.
There’s no data loss in this re-provisioning and in most cases, the changed resources are added or removed from your VPS automatically at the time of your request. Note that some resource changes do require a VPS restart, but you’ll be advised if that’s the case.

Cloud Credits can be purchased through products in the Professional Services pages of our website and we’ll post soon about other ways you can accrue Cloud Credits for service resource provisioning. Customers can see how many Cloud Credits they have for any service by logging into our web-based VPS Management pages and clicking “Status” or “Usage” icons.

For an example of using our Cloud Credits; If you have a cPanel #1 VPS with us, you can add another CPU by logging into our website and selecting the VPS Management link from our Support menu, then enter your VPS credentials and click the “Credits” icon or button, then select “Modify CPU” Resources and select the CPU resourcing levels on the next page, then tick the “Cloud credit Authorisation” checkbox, and submit your ‘provisioning order’ by clicking the “Change CPU” button to get our network and servers to use your available Cloud Credits to update and change the relevant resources that you’ve asked for.

Our Cloud Credits capability is being updated during April/May of 2018 and we’ll post more about how it’s used and available for customers.

FYI and regards,
Richard.

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How to upgrade from Ubuntu 16 to 17

VPS Customers running Ubuntu 16 can upgrade to their latest OS version, being Ubuntu 17.10 currently, with the following commands run as the root user:

apt-get update && apt-get upgrade

Then set ‘Prompt=normal’ in /etc/update-manager/release-upgrades and run (as root, preferably on your VPS Console (access to which we provide)):

do-release-upgrade

And answer Y or let it proceed with defaults.

Finally, reboot into your new upgraded kernel and system.

FYI,
Richard.

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New features for VPS Management web pages – Disk Usage

Our journey to update and refresh our web-based VPS Management site and pages is continuing to deliver results for our customers, with a newly deployed feature being the listing (where possible) of the usage of your VPS Disk’s filesystem (mostly for Linux/BSD based VPS currently).

The “Usage” page now returns in real-time the current filesystem usage of your VPS main disk, listed in as a percentage used. The page can take a up to a minute to return all the real-time information and the UI’s handling of that time delay (partial page loads etc) is being worked on now with V1.1 of this new feature to be deployed soon.

There’s still more new features coming to our web-based VPS Management pages and site, with the next major new feature already in testing and aiming for release soon February now.

FYI and regards,
Richard.

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New features for VPS Management web pages – Single Login & Snapshots

From late December 2017 we started deploying new features and functionality to our web-based VPS Management pages on our website.

The new site has better login functionality and navigation since late December 2017 and this week (late Jan 2018) we’ve deployed a new feature for all VPS customers called “Snapshots”.

VPS Snapshots provide you with a point-in-time ‘snapshot’ of your VPS main disk, and this snapshot is retained and available for ‘reversion’ for a week by default.

You can create a snapshot, delete it if you want to take another (or let it be automatically removed after a week) or ‘revert’ to the snapshot, all through the Snapshot button on the web-based VPS Management pages.
(this functionality for snapshot’ing will be incorporated into our API within a week now too, more on that later)

Reverting to a snapshot means that any data changed on your VPS main disk since the snapshot was created will be removed and your VPS disk will be as it was when the snapshot was created. Depending on the volume of data changed since a snapshot was taken, the ‘revert’ request web page will return quickly and the operation will continue in the background, with it emailing you when the VPS disk is as it was when the snapshot was originally taken. Your VPS will be shutdown/stopped when the reversion operation starts and cannot be started until it’s finished.

This is an easy way to be able to make changes to your VPS and then ‘back out of them’ within a week if things go wrong, or you’re just trying something for a few days, etc.

There’s more new features coming to our web-based VPS Management pages and site, with the next major new feature already in testing and aiming for release in February 2018, with more updates to the UI/UX of the site soon after that too.

FYI,
Richard.

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How to use the CentOS Plus kernel for CentOS 7 on Xen VPS

RedHat has dropped the ball on supporting the Xen based virtualisation technologies and due to commercial reasons will not fix their recently introduced kernel bug on Xen PV platforms.

So the fix is to switch to the “CentOS Plus” kernel, which has been updated by the CentOS Team to correct the issue introduced by RedHat.

The way to do this is:

a) Boot your CentOS 7 Xen based VPS onto an older kernel that still works (not in the 611 version stream)

b) Change your /etc/yum.repos.d/CentOS-Base.repo file to be:

[centosplus]
name=CentOS-$releasever - Plus
mirrorlist=http://mirrorlist.centos.org/?release=$releasever&arch=$basearch&repo=centosplus&infra=$infra
#baseurl=http://mirror.centos.org/centos/$releasever/centosplus/$basearch/
gpgcheck=1
enabled=1
includepkgs=kernel-plus
gpgkey=file:///etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-CentOS-7

c) Edit your /etc/sysconfig/kernel file to list:

DEFAULTKERNEL=kernel-plus
(instead of DEFAULTKERNEL=kernel )

d) Run “yum install kernel-plus” as root.

e) Reboot on the CentOS Plus kernel, which should be the new default kernel in your Grub.

Note: If you still get a kernel crash on the latest CentOS Plus kernel (kernel-plus), the a recent (Dec 2017) working kernel is installed with:

yum remove kernel-plus
rpm -iv http://mirror.centos.org/centos/7/centosplus/x86_64/Packages/kernel-plus-3.10.0-693.11.1.el7.centos.plus.x86_64.rpm

FYI,
Richard.

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