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Reserve Your Seat Today July 7, 2008

Posted by ismywebsite in features, innovation, insane, uptime.
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I’ve just talked to Skylar from Crissic Solutions, and I’ve got some good news and some bad news. First, the bad news:

“We cannot get your Core2Quad from Dell.”

Now, the good news:

“That means we upgrade you free to a Quadcore Xeon.”

Quadcore Xeons are exactly the same high-end servers originally promised to us by Antony. Of course, we only have one of them instead of 5, but this one is offered to us by a reputable company, with a solid delivery date of 2 weeks.

Here are all the features our server comes with:

Intel Xeon Quadcore 3323 (2.5Ghz)
500GB SATA II Hard Drive
2000GB Bandwidth on a 100MBPS full duplex line
4 IP addresses

If you look at the dedicated server offerings for Crissic Solutions, you’ll see the highest server as ‘Intel Enterprise’. This is a server not even typically offered by them. Just to give an impression of how powerful this server is, Skylar typically runs 20 VPSs (Virtual Private Servers) with just one of these servers. Skylar has mentioned that this server could run all, or nearly all, of our current accounts.

Because of our long-term relationship with their company, we are being offered an incredible discount for the server, however this is still a greater cost than our income. As most of you know, since I’m sure I’ve said this so many times, our earnings could be an estimated 9 times as high if everyone placed valid ads on their site. (We could afford 3 of these servers with that.) I think it’s only fair to provide our top-notch server to those clients who are doing their part to make sure we can continue hosting long into the future.

The conditions are not at all tough:

  1. Have finished building your website.
  2. Have placed proper valid ads on your website.
  3. Have submitted your website for review on our forums.

In addition, if you do the above, your account will be on the Improving stage with lots of extra features, 5 times the storage and bandwidth, Ruby on Rails*, and even more on top of what you already have.

Check your account’s ‘Hosting’ section for a new ‘Upgrade’ page. Websites on the Improving stage or higher will be moved ot the new server when it comes online.

What is happening to Node 8?
Node 8 will be moved to be hosted on the server, however it will still use the domain ismywebs.com. No new accounts will be allowed onto Node 8 in the future.

What do I do to upgrade?
You can just go to the ‘Hosting’ section of your account and click the ‘Upgrade’ button. Follow the instructions there.

How do I transfer to the new server?
Transfer will happen automatically once the new server is online. You earned it.

What happens to people not on the server?
Nothing at all. Your account will still have the same relative reliabiliy, and be subject to whatever company manages your node. With the server from Crissic, we will have more control over how it is set up and your accounts.

What will my domain of the new server be?
This server will use the domain ismywebsite.com. For those who use their node’s domain when advertising their site, it is good to get back into the practice of using yoursite.ismywebsite.com. This domain will almost always work to access the site.

What happens to new accounts registered now?
New accounts will still be created on one of the nodes. Once they meet the above requirements, they will move onto the big server. Empty accounts will be removed after 30 days, and accounts with content after 150. (I should think 5 months is more than enough time to complete the above.) Once you are on the new server, there will be no account removal unless requested by the client.

Does the new server have cPanel, Ruby on Rails, PHP, MySQL, Fantastico, RV Site Builder, CGI, Perl, Cron Jobs, or any other feature?
It should have all of those except for RV Site Builder, which will be available once we are making a profit exceeding $30/mo again.

Should I still back up my site files on the new server?
We have a back up system in place, but the answer is still yes. Always have a backup, even if you’re hosted with a reliable company like Crissic Solutions in a datacenter guaranteeing 99.999% uptime.

How many accounts will the server fit?
More than enough for everyone who wants to meet the above requirements.

*Ruby on Rails is not available on all nodes. If you require it, you can request to be transfered to another node.

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”.

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.

Got Us A Deal! June 11, 2008

Posted by ismywebsite in features, insane, volunteer.
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I just finished talking with Skylar from Crissic Solutions, the company behind our 8th node. There were two phases to this deal. The first:

  1. They are willing to donate $2/mo off our bill to get their name up on the IsMyWall.
  2. They want us to help design banners for their site through a competition. They are willing to provide free Standard Resellers to the winners for a year. They are also willing to upgrade us to the Standard Master Reseller in exchange for our efforts here.

So, anyone with graphical skills can start thinking of what they will be designing. We are going to need banners in 88×31 and 125×125 dimensions. What does everyone think of this? More information as it comes…

$190 Donation (Not Kidding) June 7, 2008

Posted by ismywebsite in features, insane, volunteer.
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I didn’t actually believe this would go through. (In fact, I was recently promised another $100 donation that has yet to be paid.) But here it is, actually sitting in my PayPal balance. $190.

It started yesterday with a tiny comment on the blog:

Hmm… Tell me, what is the average cost of your nodes?

Depending on the price, I may be willing to donate enough for 1 year on 1 node, in exchange for waiving of ad requirements for my 1 site, provided that the money goes to a new node to help grow. Contact me on my email to discuss, please.

Bryan Bartlett, username Valareos, issued the following statement about why he donated:

The true value of any company, of any service, is not how they react when everything is running at 100% efficiency, but when a problem arises that shakes the very foundation of that company or service. What IsMyWebsite has went through these last few months could have been the end of the community entirely.

I joined IsMyWebsite just a few days before the great crash. In fact, I was in the queue to have my website accepted. My entire purpose was finding a free hosting service that supported SQL databases so I could develop my scripts in a test environment before going live on my paid hosting account. I was also going to use this service as a backup for all my files.

When the site suddenly stopped responding for days, I assumed that they just folded up, and vanished off the face of the earth. I continued to look for a different service, every so often checking back to see if perhaps the site would come back. Finally, the blog appeared, explaining everything. I waited, I watched, and I was amazed how quickly IsMyWebsite addressed the problem, fixed the problem, AND worked to ensure the problem didn’t repeat itself.

As I was waiting for IsMyWebsite to finish their nodes, and give me domain space, my original host deleted my entire website. Why? Clerical error caused them to show me a year behind on payments. There was nothing I could do. They offered to give me a year free service, but all my files were permanently gone, and there was no backups to go to.

So what did that show me? That IsMyWebsite, a relatively small, free hosting service that is supported by unobtrusive ads placed where the designer wants them handled a crisis with more professionalism, and more care for customer satisfaction than a large “professional” company.

It is for this reason, and many others, that I have donated $190 CDN, to pay for a full year hosting and domain for a new node, to help this community grow.

Thanks, and keep up the good work.

This is the first donation to ring through in months, and I really hopes it stirs up more. Donate like Valareos here.