NinerNet Communications™
System Status

Server and System Status

NC031 upgrade in progress

16 July 2016 23:10:01 +0000

The upgrade of NC031 started at 23:06 UTC and is currently in progress.

NC027 and NC031: Server upgrades

13 July 2016 22:02:41 +0000

The above two servers — the primary mail (NC027) and web (NC031) servers — will undergo hardware upgrades during our regular weekend maintenance windows this weekend and next:

* 16 July, 23:00 UTC: NC031, duration approximately 2 hours
* 23 July, 23:00 UTC: NC027, duration approximately 7 hours

Please click on the above dates and times to use the World Time Server website to convert to your local time zone. The above durations are only estimates. Down time will be slightly less, as some of the work can be done while the servers are still up, and there’s always the possibility that the work will finish more quickly. However, please plan for the servers to be down for the entire durations stated above.

Incoming email during the maintenance of server NC027 on the weekend of 23 July will be held on the sending servers and delivered once the server is back online. No email will be lost.

During the maintenance this status website will be available, and we will post updates when the maintenance starts and ends, as well as during if necessary.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us to let us know. Thanks for your patience and understanding as we work to improve our service to you.

NC020: Emergency maintenance complete

28 June 2016 12:36:56 +0000

Previous similar work on another server took well over an hour to complete, so to be on the safe side we estimated two hours of downtime for server NC020. However, this time it took only 33 minutes and the server was only down for a few minutes during that time.

Sometimes things go inexplicably well, so we’ll take the good news!

NC020: Server going down for emergency maintenance

28 June 2016 11:35:28 +0000

Starting at approximately 11:45 UTC on Tuesday, 28 June 2016, server NC020 will undergo emergency maintenance. Some of the maintenance will need to be conducted offline. The server will be offline for up to two hours.

This will affect some websites, mostly WordPress websites that have not yet been migrated to server NC031. One website it will affect will be our status website, the one you’re reading right now. Once the server is back online, we’ll post an update here.

Email to the niner.net domain will also be interrupted during this maintenance.

We apologise for the inconvenience and the short notice. If you have any questions, please contact us. Thank-you for your patience.

NC020: Data centre maintenance complete

28 April 2016 22:20:58 +0000

We’ve been informed that the network maintenance within the NC020 data centre was completed successfully this morning. All services are running normally.

NC020: Data centre network maintenance

16 April 2016 10:52:19 +0000

The data centre where server NC020 is located plans to do some possibly disruptive network maintenance. They write, “We have taken precautions in preparation for this maintenance and do not anticipate a disruption lasting longer than one hour during the scheduled maintenance window.”

The maintenance window will be on Thursday, 28 April, between 05:00 and 10:00 UTC.

Please use the WorldTimeServer.com website to convert this time into your time zone.

Server NC020 still hosts a few websites that have not yet been migrated to server NC031. It also hosts some custom mailing lists and some secondary email domains. And it hosts this status blog, actually.

If you have any questions or concerns or want to find out if any of your services are hosted on this server, please let us know. Thank-you.

Web server upgrade

12 March 2016 12:33:12 +0000

We’ll be sending out an email shortly to informĀ NinerNet clients that over the next few weeks we will be moving all of the shared hosting websites hosted on servers NC018, NC020 and NC026 to a new server, NC031. While this might look like one server is taking on the workload of three, that’s not quite the case; servers NC020 and NC026 are currently hosting only a relatively few websites that had outgrown the limitations of NC018. On top of that, server NC031 is a shiny new server, running the latest commercially available versions of all software, with far more resources than the servers it is replacing, and an increasing emphasis on secure connections.

The new server is also running a new control panel. The one on server NC018 (Plesk) has served us well. In fact, server NC026 was running the latest version of Plesk when it was set up a couple of years ago, but our experience with the new version has — to put it simply — been disastrous. In fact, we’ve gone out of our way to avoid clients actually using it. We evaluated another popular control panel — cPanel — but we came away with much the same opinion as we’ve developed of Plesk, but for different reasons.

The new control panel we’re using is called Virtualmin, and is based on a control panel (Webmin) that we first used privately in 2006 but which has been around since 1997 … almost as long as NinerNet! There will no doubt be a period of adjustment as we switch — for you and for us, especially as we develop support documentation — but we’re confident that Virtualmin is far better than other control panels that we have evaluated, and we’ve been impressed by their responsive support so far.

With that background information out of the way, here are a few points you need to know:

  • As we set up your domain(s) in the new control panel you will receive an automated email with the log-in information you will need for the control panel and for FTPS (FTP Secure) for uploading files to your server. Please keep this information in a safe and secure place, for future reference. Your website will be moved shortly after that, but not necessarily immediately.
  • Where possible we will move your website without any coordination with you. Where coordination is necessary or desirable, we will contact you at least 24 hours in advance.
  • If you or your web manager, designer or developer would like to contact us in advance of moving your website to discuss any particular needs or requirements, please feel free to do so as soon as possible.
  • We will be starting with websites on server NC026, then server NC018, and lastly server NC020.
  • All files in the “web root” on the old server will be moved. Where necessary (rarely) we’ll rename existing directories if their names clash with directories set up by default on the new server — unless this will cause a problem with your website, in which case we’ll rename the directories on the new server. If you have any files stored outside of the “web root” — the “httpdocs” directory on NC018 and NC026, or the “htdocs” directory on server NC020 — please either download them to your local computer, or contact us so that we’re aware that they need to be moved too.
  • Speaking of the web root, the file path on the server to your website will change. The new path will be /home/USERNAME/public_html , where you will replace “USERNAME” with your actual user name, of course. Most of the time this is irrelevant, but for some web applications it might be important to know this.
  • If the nameservers for your domain are hosted elsewhere — i.e., we cannot access them to update the information for your domain to point it to the new web server — you will need to do this yourself. The IP address of the new server is 173.255.231.250; you will need to know this to point your domain to it after we transfer the files.
  • We will manually check to ensure that your site is online after the move and check a few additional pages, but please check yourself to make sure everything is good. Once a day we’ll email the owners of the websites that were moved that day.
  • Your website will not be down during the transfer. Where there is the possibility of complications, we will leave your domain pointing to the old website until any complications have been resolved.
  • This migration has nothing to do with email in any way. The email server is not involved, and your email will continue to flow uninterrupted while we migrate websites.

One other item to note is that we’re really emphasising the importance of complex passwords. These have always been important to us, but our older systems haven’t always enforced complex passwords. Complex passwords are vital to the security of everything you do online that requires you to log in to view private data (such as your email or bank account) or manage services that unauthorised users should not access (such as the back-end of your website). This is why we set longer (a minimum of 12 characters) and more complex passwords by default. To manage long and complex passwords we use and recommend a program called KeePass, which has versions and clones made for all major systems — e.g., Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS (iPhone/iPad). We strongly recommend this program or one like it. It will make your life so much easier, and more secure too.

As always, we strive to ensure that your hosting (and the move to the new server) are without any headaches, and that attitude will apply to this move as well. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. Thank-you.

NC023: Maintenance complete

1 November 2015 03:34:56 +0000

The upgrades to server NC023 completed at 03:22 UTC. We will run some tests to ensure that everything is fine.

If you have any issues with server NC023, please let us know. Thank-you.

NC023: Maintenance underway

1 November 2015 02:21:27 +0000

Server NC023 went down for maintenance at 02:20 UTC. The server may be up and down a few times over the next hour.

NC023: Server maintenance

1 November 2015 02:03:11 +0000

Server NC023 will be going down within the next hour for up to an hour for some operating system upgrades and disk management. We’ll post updates here as necessary, but we don’t expect that this will affect many clients.

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This blog provides information about the status of NinerNet Communications systems. Dates and times of posts to this blog are in the UTC time zone, and dates and times given for events are also in the UTC time zone, although conversions may be offered for some time zones common to our clients. Please use the World Time Server to ensure accurate conversion of dates and times to your own time zone.

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