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Technical Difficulties November 13, 2010

Posted by Brendan McNiff (cobrastrike) in downtime, general.
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At approximately 8:10am GMT, the administrative team noticed the main site was having an issue. Rest assured that we are working diligently to bring it back online.

 

In the mean time, the forums are online and we can be reached via all normal methods.

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Beware of Lemons July 6, 2008

Posted by ismywebsite in conflict, downtime, insane, tutorial, uptime.
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Apparently, there’s a limonite, which Dictionary.com so effectively explains as “an amorphous hydrated ferric oxide, varying in color from dark brown to yellow, used as an ore of iron.”

But no sign of lemonite, and much the same with Lemonite Hosting, a company which 2 days ago has suspended all our accounts with them. Fortunately, the majority of these accounts were empty, having been previously moved off of Node 8. However, it is estimated that as many as 50 webmasters could have been locked out of their data by this move. Good thing for Pvcsnathan’s tutorial on backing up your files.

We were never notified of the suspension or the reason behind it, and received no response to our message to their support center. At this time, accounts are being moved to Node 14. Node 14 is managed by the company ‘My Kind of Host’, which so far has lived up to their “commitment to … customer satisfaction [which] is unparalleled in the industry”. They have been very helpful in answering our support messages and we were set up with them in record time.

We are looking forward to a stable future with MKOH “in one of the best connected data centers in the world”.

What’s New At Crissic Solutions? July 3, 2008

Posted by ismywebsite in conflict, downtime, features, uptime.
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Several hours yesterday were spent in heated discussions regarding our future with them. A short 2 weeks ago, there were discussions regarding the Crissic banner design competition, as well as a reduction of $2/mo off our hosting cost to show up as a donation on our donation wall. However, three days ago, the following email came in:

“I am sorry to say that we can no longer support the bulk accounts that you have placed on our server. The amount of accounts you have placed on the server is causing the shared server much stress, causing FTP, HTTPD, and other services to fail on a regular basis. Last night we had downtime in excess of 25 minutes due to these issues.”

110 accounts were terminated immediately. (These had been already moved to other nodes.) On top of this, it was requested that we move 150 further accounts off the server to bring the level to “keep it around 650-700 accounts TOPS”. We selected approximately 350 accounts that would be moved to Node 10, lowering the number of accounts to 505. This is the official statement released by Skylar from Crissic:

“We had to pull out due to the amount of strain the amount of accounts had been placing on the server. For IsMyWebsite to run correctly, they need a medium-sized cluster of dedicated servers. The reasoning behind the time constraint on asking clients to move their data in one week is because the issues that are being caused are too large. FTP and HTTPD are constantly failing, causing outages for hundreds more paying clients with Crissic Solutions. For the sake of our paying clients, holding [the] additional clients that are free clients with IsMyWebsite is not worth [what] Matt is currently paying us. We have [also] received a few isolated cases from the free clients that include warez forums, spam email, and a few other items. The never-ending risk of a free client potentially rooting into the server, or another hacking incident that happened a short few months ago with IsMyWebsite is too large to risk for our paying clients. We wish the best of luck to all at IsMyWebsite, and hope that your future endeavors are successful.”

Skylar MacMinn, Crissic Solutions, LLC

Despite additional attempts at a settlement, the final verdict was reached.

“You have until the morning of the 8th of July to move all data off. Regardless if you are transferred off or not, all remaining accounts will be deleted.”

Skylar has stated that all data currently on the VPS may remain, and we are looking into the potential purchase of a dedicated server with them. As Mike puts it, “I am pro-Crissic is because the servers are fast and reliable and we are getting a good deal”.

The new server wont be here for another 1-2 weeks. Skylar has promised your data will be safe for this time.

Node 7 Suspension June 18, 2008

Posted by ismywebsite in conflict, downtime, insane.
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It’s a mess involving 703 of our websites, all of who are hosted on the seventh node. The company behind the node, Iwhic, which originally promised us they would allow free hosting, has reconsidered. Our access to manage the accounts hosted there has effectively been removed, with the suspension of our account.

They have now given us 2 weeks to move all data over to another node. On a positive note, this means all of our node domains will now be more consistent. There is sufficient storage on nodes 10 and 11 to fit all of these accounts with still extra room.

Working “Perfectly”, Says SmokyHosts May 15, 2008

Posted by ismywebsite in downtime.
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It was cPanel before, and now it’s the entire site! According to Host-Tracker, the connection is being refused everywhere. In other words, the server is not answering requests deliberately.

Hi,
Yes sir, i am able to perfectly access [cPanel URL] at my end!

Regards,
Smokyhosts Support Team

Regardless of how that turns out, I am now getting hosting with Wildcard DNS enabled from CorexHosting, so instead of creating the thousands of subdomains they can automatically exist! They are remarkably fast at setting up my account, so I will have the site back online shortly, originally as a redirect to this blog.

As far as development goes, I’m on schedule to complete the administration tools that will enable me to effectively manage the multi-node setup. This is the first critical step in creating and fixing everyone’s accounts. There are lots of offers to create nodes now, so I have plenty to fit everyone.

Thanks to those who have stayed with me up to this point, and most definitely you will be able to get whatever hosting you need in the end. It’s just a matter of time, since I’m not giving up.

Something Odd With cPanel May 14, 2008

Posted by ismywebsite in downtime.
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I just want to let everyone know that I am aware of some difficulties you may face accessing the cPanel and have informed SmokyHosts of the trouble. As far as I know the main site is working for most of the world now, and if it doesn’t work for you, get OpenDNS – http://www.opendns.com/

I realize that there are also a lot of other troubles with certain accounts working. Once I can rebuild my script to test, I can figure out which ones are experiencing trouble, and rectify them. The IP address is different, and many of the old scripts I was using are not built with multiple nodes in mind, so until they are modified I’m stuck with the primitive and laggy WHM interface. (Does it really have to load a list of all 1000 accounts just so I can modify ONE?)

So, we have:

  • Accounts not working
  • Scripts to fix this in need of modification
  • Deletion requests piling up without any page to handle them
  • Hundreds uninformed the site is back online
  • No easy way to make account modifications
  • Major inactivity at all levels
  • cPanel on IsMyWebsite.com not working at all
  • No explanation of current troubles
  • New accounts piling up
  • Nothing to spend credits on except advertising
  • Little motivation to place proper advertising
  • But other than this, everything is FINE!

So, as far as a plan for fixing this.

  1. Broadcast a PM to explain all damages. Reconstruct the control panel and create all functionality necessary to handle future tasks. (4 days)
  2. Use created scripts to assess and repair the situation universally. Email notification to all Advisors to announce this, which they should pass on to their clients. (4 days)
  3. Upgrade the interface to include a delete account page. Recreate the script to provide a solution to just about all client-related problems, and improve relations through email. (4 days)
  4. Upload e-books and other sales items onto reliable password-protected storage facility. Each will have a different password, and that is how items can be downloaded by purchasers. (4 days)

Any suggestions or further questions about this plan?

Be Right Back… May 2, 2008

Posted by ismywebsite in downtime.
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At this point, no further word from SmokyHosts about any progress. In an effort to bring the site back online I have purchased paid hosting with SurfWebHost which will redirect to this blog for the time being.

The plan I purchased comes with a guaranteed 99.9% uptime and unlimited subdomains. I have talked to one of the owners of the company to ensure they will allow us to utilize those subdomains as a redirection to accounts hosted elsewhere.

Once the main website has been re-established, we can start creation of new websites on ‘nodes’ – reseller accounts which will each hold a selection of client websites on a similar domain. (IsMyWs, IsNumberOne, and a growing number of others.)

The advantages of this setup include:

  • No dependance on any one company or server to maintain the site.
  • Should one of our ‘nodes’ go down, the others will remain up and, more importantly, we will still be able to communicate with the client.
  • Each ‘node’ can have individual management, without revealing any of the main website code, client passwords, or potential threats to the main website.
  • This setup allows clients upgraded to resellers or with their own servers to host certain clients without sacrifice to everyone else. (Of course we will be only allowing select clients this privelege.)
  • Should the main site go down, everyone’s websites will still be safe (minus the redirection).
  • Hosting the database and main site on another server is a separate layer of security from hackers.
  • Our more trusted clients can be hosted on more reliable servers to keep them away from the new clients who could potentially cause damage.

For the time being, I am still waiting for the domain to propagate and slowly reconstructing the site starting this weekend.

Our Confusing Situation April 30, 2008

Posted by ismywebsite in downtime.
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SmokyHosts has asked me to find out if anyone needs files restored from April 25th, as they will be restoring these selectively. (Just send me an email if this is you.)

I don’t know what’s going on with the server. I could see the website yesterday and I can’t today. According to Host-Tracker, for the other half of the world, it’s pointing to the IP 67.228.0.180, displaying the ‘Great Success! Apache is working on your cPanel® and WHM™ Server’ page.

Regarding new websites, we are quite eager to get them online on a separate, more reliable, server as soon as possible. (The one Mike was talking about in the last post.) However, both the data and the script to create them are currently down with the server. We can’t do anything until we have both of these.

Once I get a reply from SmokyHosts, I will know if this is possible or not. Your patience is appreciated.

Regarding The Latest Downtime April 28, 2008

Posted by ismywebsite in downtime.
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On Friday April 25th at 3:50 PM, I received the following email from SmokyHosts:

“As you’d already have realised, the server … is currently down. We already know about this and our server administrators are working on it to fix the issue.

The actual issue and the reason … is concerned with the server security.”

The following day at 10:09 AM:

“The server … has been down now for about 22 hours. We are extremely sorry for the downtime, but hope you understand that it was very much necessary.

About 22 hours ago, … somebody is trying to hack into the server. At that very instant, we took the server offline so that we can keep all the data protected.

The hacker had launched some infected script/program onto the server! On further thought, … we will instead move all the data to a newly installed hard-disk on the server. And since it was a weekend, we finalised that it will be a wise decision to take down the server and secure the data.

At this very instant, the data movement is in progress and we are working hard to finish the task as fast as possible.

At this time, as we sense it could take about another 12 hours for the task to finish.”

Finally, Sun, Apr 27, 2008 at 12:08 PM.

“Now this is … a weeked which we wish never repeats!!

Let us assure you that your data is perfectly preserved and you will be receiving your account and data as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, due to an error … we are having to redo the complete task which has actually made us break our previously given ETA. As of right now, half the hard-disk transfer is already completed and the remaining half is there which we expect would take atleast another 8 hours.”

The latest word at Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 12:56 AM:

“After repeated trials, … we are planning to restore the server to the latest backup of all your data that we have, which will be dated to the 17th of April 2008, which ofcourse will be after a few more hours of trying to remove the infected files.

Keeping our fingers crossed, we will still put up few last ideas in order to get the server back to normal and will let you all know before resorting to the latest available backups.”

And 1 hours later:

“The damage has been caused upto an extent that whichever method we follow to transfer the data to the new hard-disk, the infected files also get transfered! So the only final resort is to restore the backups of last weekend i.e. 17th of April 2008.

Keeping in mind that your data is indeed quite important, we will selectively agree to move your data from the infected hard-disk (as that hard-disk is still with us and connected to the server).

As an appreciation to your patience during all this downtime issues, we will be offering compensation to all of you once this issue is completely resolved.”

New accounts are already planned to be created on our newly acquired servers, however the data to create them is also down with the server. Let’s hope that SmokyHosts can get us back online soon. It will be good to have the security fixed, and the compensation will help us get through the next month for sure.