NinerNet Communications™
System Status

Server and System Status

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; 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.

NC027: Upgrade complete

22 November 2014 20:15:20 +0000

The maintenance on server NC027 to increase the RAM, increase bandwidth capacity and move to solid-state drives has been completed. It took far less time than we expected, which is a good thing of course. The server was taken offline at 19:20 and was back online at 19:41 UTC.

Systems have been checked and everything appears to be operating normally. If you have any questions about this upgrade, please contact NinerNet support to let us know and we will be happy to answer your questions. Thanks very much for your patience and understanding.

NC027: Upgrade underway

22 November 2014 19:39:32 +0000

The upgrades to server NC027 are currently underway. They started at 19:20 UTC, which was 20 minutes later than planned. We apologise for the delay in starting, but we still expect to be done within the 90 minute window.

NC027: Weekend maintenance reminder

22 November 2014 04:12:32 +0000

This is a reminder that we will be performing upgrades on server NC027 during our maintenance window this weekend. This maintenance will start at 19:00 UTC on Saturday, 22 November, and will take approximately 90 minutes.

During that time NC027 will be offline. No websites are hosted on this server, but this will affect all email accounts on this server. Your email is hosted on this server if you do not have web hosting with NinerNet, or you have a WordPress website hosted with us.

Incoming email will be stored on the sending mail servers while NC027 is down; it will not bounce, and email will not be lost.

If you have any questions or concerns about this maintenance, please contact NinerNet support and we’ll be happy to help you.

NC027: Server back online

21 November 2014 04:23:48 +0000

We have completed adding additional storage to server NC027. The server was taken down at 03:13 and was back online 28 minutes later at 03:41.

However, we have decided to postpone the other upgrades until this weekend, during our weekly maintenance window starting at 19:00 UTC on Saturday, 22 November.

Thanks again for your patience and understanding.

NC027: Emergency maintenance

21 November 2014 01:30:13 +0000

We will be performing emergency maintenance on server NC027 today during our daily maintenance window starting at 03:00 UTC. We are allowing a 90-minute window for this maintenance to add more RAM, bandwidth and storage, but we expect that it will take less time. We will post an update here as soon as the maintenance is complete.

If you have any questions or concerns about this, please contact NinerNet support. Thank-you.

NC026 maintenance postponed

16 December 2013 04:52:35 +0000

The control panel upgrade on NC026 has been postponed until later this week or next weekend pending resolution of some pre-upgrade issues. We will post updates here.

Thanks for your patience.

Server maintenance: NC026

14 December 2013 00:18:07 +0000

We will be upgrading the control panel software on server NC026 over the weekend. The exact timing will depend on a number of factors, but we will endeavour to do it during a quiet period and we’ll post an update here with as much lead time as possible. During the upgrade websites on the server should remain online, but the control panel itself will not be available. This down time should be brief.

This status page will remain up during the maintenance, so please check here for updates. Thank-you for your patience.

Server NC018 replacement: Update 14

9 June 2013 11:00:54 +0000

Our apologies for our silence on this issue. Work continues on this migration, but not at the pace at which it was happening a few weeks ago. We will, when we are finally in a position to finalise the migration, post an update here.

Thank-you for your patience and understanding.

Server NC018 replacement: Update 13

17 May 2013 13:35:56 +0000

The migration stalled on Sunday due to complications caused by differences in the way the new control panel hosts websites. The control panel on the new server is the same control panel we have been using on the old server, but there are significant differences between the new and the old versions.

The result is that we have to check every single website manually to ensure that they’re all working before we can proceed with the email migration. We have been working on this this week, but it’s going to take a considerable amount of time.

Thank-you again for your patience.

NinerNet home page

Systems at a Glance:

Server NC020, Chicago, United States of America, OPERATIONAL.NC020OperationalPing
Server NC023, London, United Kingdom, OPERATIONAL.NC023OperationalPing
Server NC027, London, United Kingdom, INTERNAL.NC027InternalPing
Server NC028, Vancouver, Canada, INTERNAL.NC028InternalPing
Server NC031, New York, United States of America, OPERATIONAL.NC031OperationalPing
Server NC033, Toronto, Canada., OPERATIONAL.NC033OperationalPing
Server NC034, Lusaka, Zambia, INTERNAL.NC034InternalPing
Server NC035, Sydney, Australia, PROVISIONING.NC035ProvisioningPing
Server NC036, Amsterdam, Netherlands, OPERATIONAL.NC036OperationalPing


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General Information:

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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