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  • MX01 SmarterMail Upcoming Scheduled Maintenance

    No comments January 15th, 2017

    This evening at 10PM MST we will be restarting our SmarterMail system to apply the new release of SmarterMail 15 that resolves many issues and further improves the SmarterMail product.

    The full release notes can be viewed on their site – https://www.smartertools.com/smartermail/release-notes/15

    Scheduled Date: 01-16-2017
    Scheduled Time:
     5:00 AM – 5:30 AM UTC
    Max Outage Duration: 30 Minutes

    If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our support department.

    Thank you again for choosing ASPnix as your web hosting provider!

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  • MX01 Emergency Maintenance

    No comments January 7th, 2017 41

    This evening at 11PM MST we will be restarting our SmarterMail system to apply an emergency patch meant to resolve the issue of not being able to add contacts through the webmail interface. This is an issue that over 3 dozen customers have contacted us about since reported several weeks ago. The update was released several weeks ago, but was held off due to the holidays. Due to the nature of the issue and the impact it produces (not being able to add contact is a problem) we are applying this build ahead of the SmarterMail 16 release.

    Scheduled Date: 12-08-2017
    Scheduled Time:
     6:00 AM – 6:30 AM UTC
    Max Outage Duration: 30 Minutes

    If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our support department.

    Thank you again for choosing ASPnix as your web hosting provider!

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  • Announcing Softaculous for cPanel Linux Hosting!

    1 comment December 20th, 2016 49

    We are pleased to announce that our cPanel Linux shared hosting now supports Softaculous for all paid hosting packages and accounts! Softaculous is a cPanel plugin that adds over 400 installers for the most popular and most common web applications. Applications such as WordPress, Joomla, Zen Cart, osCommerce, Drupal 7, phpBB and many more! Most applications are easy to install with a few clicks and a few easy to answer questions, you are up and running!

    Site administrators can rest easy knowing that applications they’ve installed through Softaculous will be automatically updated and maintained by the Softaculous system! For a full listing of all applications supported by Softaculous, please visit their site at https://www.softaculous.com/softaculous/apps.

    All paid hosting accounts have access to this system, free hosting customers will need to upgrade to the paid “Unlimited” hosting package to use Softaculous.

    If you have any questions, concerns or comments, please let us know!

    Thank you for choosing ASPnix!

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  • Announcing our new spam filtering engine!

    No comments December 16th, 2016 43

    We are very pleased to announce our all new spam filtering engine, powered by Message Sniffer and Declude! Just over a month ago we dumped our old Cyren anti-spam system for a new, customizable and very powerful anti-spam solution! We worked with about 3 dozen customers who received a large amount of spam and it was clear that our old solution simply was not working. Most of these spam emails were obvious and it was painful to see them getting through without issues. Especially from domain extensions like .top, .download, .stream that send nothing but spam. The cloud-based solution was just letting these emails into people’s inboxes. Annoying for the user, causes extra support tickets and Cyren has had its fair share of problems with its data-centers going offline and routing problems that caused major problems for SmarterMail, including crashing it on occasion.

    So with all this, we have set up a new solution that is based on Declude and ARM Research Labs, Message Sniffer. Declude is a filtering engine that has been around for a very long time, nearly 20 years. Declude has proven to be very effective against combating spam using very powerful and customizable rules, RBL checks, DNSBL checks and more. Message Sniffer is another great filtering technology that works by combining forces with other sniffer “nodes” running on mail servers all over the world. By using the data from other mail servers, our local Message Sniffer can quickly update to ward off threats and spam that our mail server has not yet seen or dealt with. Combining these two technologies has almost defeated spam for our test group of customers. With most reporting only receiving only a couple of spam emails per week instead of hundreds.

    We are still working to improve these systems to get the number down to zero! Message Sniffer will continue to learn and improve its database on its own over time!

    For information on Declude, please review their site at http://www.declude.com/
    For information on Message Sniffer, please review their site at http://www.messagesniffer.com/Products/aboutSNF.jsp

    We have also improved our reporting of false negative / positive emails – You can check our KB article at https://www.aspnix.com/kb/how-to-report-false-negative-and-false-positive-emails/. Customers reporting misidentified email will further improve the filtering engines and help us build up better rules to fight messages that are harder to identify.

    If you have any questions, concerns or comments, please let us know!

    Thank you for choosing ASPnix!

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  • PHP 7.1 Final Now Available for Windows

    No comments December 5th, 2016 51

    php7-transparent

    We are pleased to announce that PHP 7.1 has been released and is now ready for production use! All customers can upgrade and start using PHP 7.1 immediately!

    PHP 7.1 includes many improvements and new features such as…

    In our local tests PHP 7.1 performs slightly better than 7.0, the focus of the new release was more towards new features and improvements, not necessarily around execution performance. Those interested in upgrading to PHP 7.1 can check the migration guide at http://php.net/manual/en/migration71.php.

    As always, before doing any changes to your website, we recommend testing your site fully first before just changing the PHP version and leaving it. PHP 7 has many breaking changes from older versions that can cause major issues with your website. Please check with your application developer before making any changes to confirm compatibility.

    We hope everyone enjoys the new release! If you have any questions, concerns or comments, please let us know.

    Thank you for choosing ASPnix as your web hosting provider!

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  • MX01 Emergency Maintenance

    No comments November 11th, 2016 77

    Tomorrow, Saturday the 12th at 10PM MST we will be restarting our SmarterMail system to apply the last update for the 15.x release. This release adds many improvements and fixes to the SmarterMail system. You can check the full changelog at https://www.smartertools.com/smartermail/release-notes/15.

    This will be the last update to our SmarterMail system until the 16.x release releases, assuming no major or security issues are found in this build. This build addresses 1 issue that was reported by our customers and we feel once this build is applied, our SmarterMail system will be stable enough to run until the new major SmarterMail build is released. SmarterMail 16 is not out in beta yet, so we expect we will not see the RTM release until February or March of next year. Expect more exciting information about the new SmarterMail 16 release soon!

    Scheduled Date: 11-13-2016
    Scheduled Time:
     5:00 AM – 5:30 AM UTC
    Max Outage Duration: 30 Minutes

    If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our support department.

    Thank you again for choosing ASPnix as your web hosting provider!

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  • MX01 Emergency Maintenance

    No comments October 28th, 2016 106

    This evening at 11PM MDT we will be restarting our SmarterMail system to apply an emergency patch meant to resolve sync issues reported with macOS Sierra and the Apple Mail client when using EWS (Exchange Web Services). This was a semi-major issue where the Apple Mail client was unable to stay synchronized with SmarterMail and would disconnect and stop downloading emails.

    Scheduled Date: 10-29-2016
    Scheduled Time:
    5:00 AM – 5:30 AM UTC
    Max Outage Duration: 30 Minutes

    If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our support department.

    Thank you again for choosing ASPnix as your web hosting provider!

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  • MX01 Emergency Maintenance

    No comments October 13th, 2016 126

    This evening at 10PM MDT we will be restarting our SmarterMail system in order to apply an emergency patch meant to resolve some issues with ActiveSync on Outlook 2013 / 2016 and apply a new Anti-Spam engine that we will be announcing soon. This will take no more than 30 minutes.

    Scheduled Date: 10-14-2016
    Scheduled Time:
    4:00 AM – 4:30 AM UTC
    Max Outage Duration: 30 Minutes

    If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our support department.

    Thank you again for choosing ASPnix as your web hosting provider!

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  • SQL Server Outage Explanation

    No comments October 10th, 2016 126

    This is the information we have so far for the outage of SQL Server on 10-9 through 10-10. Microsoft’s technical team and SQL Server development team has worked with us since early this morning to figure out what happened, what could be done to prevent in the future and a fix if possible from them.

    At around 3PM MDT we received a very small handful of complaints about connection issues to SQL Server, we investigated but found no issues and were unable to reproduce any problems. This is when the first issue started. Just after 7:30PM MDT the entire SQL Server service and process failed and closed without shutting down cleanly. This immediately caused issues with about 130 databases. These databases went into “Suspect” status, while about 50 or so databases went into “Emergency” status and about 80 databases went into “Recovery” status. We were able to restart the SQL Server service, but with a large number of errors (about 100 per second) to the event logs.

    We were able to recover most of the “Suspect” databases, but none of the “Emergency” databases. The master database was also giving out lots of errors and other issues. At this point, we zipped up the logs directory to give to Microsoft and proceeded to revert to backups. The SQL server Windows installation and all databases are backed up every 3 hours (bare metal) we first restored the 6PM MDT backup, however upon starting, we noticed the same issue as earlier. It appeared that the corruption was occurring before SQL Server crashed. We proceeded with the 3PM backup, unfortunately, we found the same issues on this image as well, though not as much. So we ultimately had to fall back to the 12PM MDT backup which had no issues or errors and immediately started.

    Microsoft responded to us early this morning stating they were looking into it, however due to the very large number of logs, crash dumps and their size, it may take a few hours. Today around 12PM MDT they got back to us with a fairly “simple” explanation about what they believe happened.

    At around 3PM MDT the thread count of SQL Server began climbing, slowly, but at a steady rate, by 7PM MDT the number of open threads was in the 10s of thousands. At this point, the Windows CPU scheduler / threading manager gave up, the OS locked, SQL Server crashed as it had no further resources to do any further actions. Once the service crashed, Windows did recover enough for us to cleanly reboot the server. At this time Microsoft is not sure what caused this, if it is a CPU problem, a Windows problem, something internal to SQL Server, a BIOS issue, something in the processor’s microcode etc. They are continuing this later this week with the Windows support / developers to see what may have happened. As they get more information about what could have caused this issue we will update this post.

    Currently the state of SQL Server is 100%. All databases passed all DBCC CHECKDB checks without errors. We are now more closely monitoring SQL Server’s processes handles and threads. With guidance from Microsoft and their recommendation on limits based on our hardware we have fine tuned our PRTG monitor system to better alert us to possible problems.

    We’d like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding while we worked to resolve this.

    Thank you for choosing ASPnix!

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  • SQL Server Outage

    4 comments October 10th, 2016 164

    We are currently working to restore SQL Server from backups. Unfortunately today around 7PM MDT our SQL Server encountered a fatal error that caused the service to crash. This crash caused corruption in several databases. After getting the service back online, we noted many databases that appeared to be OK, but were failing DBCC checks. Currently we are restoring from bare metal backup which will take several hours to complete. This recovery point is from 1PM MDT on 10-9-2016.

    We’d like to thank everyone for their patience during this time.

    EDIT: Server is now online. All databases are now passing DBCC checks without errors.

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