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Horde Webmail Removal Notice

August 31, 2022

Horde Webmail will be removed from cPanel in the coming months, upon upgrade to version 108 or later of cPanel. This is due to Horde not supporting PHP 8, while PHP 7 reaches its end of life in November 2022. Additionally, critical security vulnerabilities were discovered in Horde over the past year which required us to disable Horde for several weeks until security patches were released.

cPanel will be focusing on RoundCube Webmail going forward and are developing tools that will migrate Horde calendar and contact data to RoundCube upon upgrade to cPanel v108 or later.

If you are currently a Horde Webmail user, we recommend switching to RoundCube the next time you log into Webmail.

Scheduled Network Maintenance: July 5, 2022 [Completed]

June 30, 2022

On Tuesday, July 5, 2022 at 7:00AM CST our network uplink will be migrated by data center technicians to a new core switch. This maintenance will cause approximately 60 seconds of downtime across all services as our network uplink is unplugged from its current switch and plugged into the new one.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Change of Domain Registration Partner

June 22, 2022

Our current domain registration partner, Public Domain Registry, has announced a substantial increase to their domain rates which we feel will limit our ability to offer competitive pricing.

Further, they are hiking the price of their Whois Privacy service to an amount we feel would discourage customers from purchasing, despite this being a necessary service to improve privacy and reduce spam.

Instead of increasing our customer’s pricing, we will be changing our domain registration partner, and may seek multiple partners on a per TLD basis in order to offer the best rates we can to our customers.

Effective immediately, .com/net/org/ca domains will now be registered through our new partner.

There will be no changes to pricing for .com/net/org/ca domains but Whois Privacy will now be free of charge and enabled by default for new .com/net/org domain registrations (Whois Privacy is already free for personal .CA domains).

For existing domains due for renewal after August 1st, our staff will facilitate the process of transferring the domains to our new partner upon renewal. To allow time for the domains to be transferred, your next domain renewal invoice will be sent two weeks early. If you had previously paid for Whois Privacy for a .com/net/org domain, this fee will be removed upon transfer to our new partner, saving you $4.99/year.

Upon completion of the domain transfer, you may be asked to confirm your email address with the registry. Please complete this step if you receive an email requesting it.

Customers with domains other than .com/net/org/ca will be notified separately of any potential changes.

While changing our domain registration partner is very time consuming for our staff, this decision has been made in our customer’s interests to avoid an increase in our domain rates.

cPanel Upgraded to v102 Across All Servers

June 13, 2022

The latest major version of cPanel is now available to all Varial Hosting customers.

This version of cPanel brings with it a completely redesigned interface that unifies the designs of cPanel, Webmail and the WHM reseller panel.

All resellers will find that WHM now features the redesigned interface.

cPanel users can optionally switch to the new Jupiter theme at this time. As cPanel plans to discontinue the previous Paper Lantern theme later this year, we intend to switch all customers to the new theme in the near future after applying some customizations and updating support documents.

Emergency Migration of Lockhart Server [Completed]

June 7, 2022

At approximately 4:00AM on Tuesday, June 7, 2022 our Lockhart server went offline. Data center technicians attempted to bring the server back online but the server hardware has failed and is unresponsive.

As attempts to bring our Lockhart server back online were unsuccessful, we have started the emergency migration of all customers previously hosted on our Lockhart server to our new Tonks server.

We have migrated all IP addresses previously used on our Lockhart server to Tonks, so no IP changes will be required.

Due to our Lockhart server being inaccessible, customer data will be restored from backups. A backup job was completed this morning just before our Lockhart server went offline and will be used to restore from.

Customer accounts will be restored alphabetically by username. Due to the large number of accounts to restore this process will take many hours and our staff will be working around the clock until completed. Progress updates will be posted below.

We thank you for your patience and understanding.

Progress:

This work has been completed and all customer accounts have been migrated from our Lockhart to our new Tonks server.

Horde Webmail Temporarily Disabled [Resolved]

June 1, 2022

Horde Webmail has been temporarily disabled across all servers due to the emergence of a zero-day vulnerability found in the software.

Webmail users can continue to access their email using RoundCube instead.

Horde will be re-enabled once this vulnerability has been patched by our software vendor.

UPDATE: Horde has now been patched and re-enabled across all servers.

Scheduled Maintenance: MariaDB (MySQL) Upgrades on Hermione and Snape [Completed]

May 2, 2022

In the evening of Saturday, May 14, 2022 we will be upgrading the MariaDB (MySQL) database server on our Hermione and Snape servers from MariaDB 10.2 to MariaDB 10.3.

Websites utilizing MariaDB/MySQL databases will be temporarily unavailable for approximately 10-15 minutes until the upgrades are completed on each server.

As both MariaDB 10.2 and MariaDB 10.3 are optimized replacements for MySQL 5.7, we do not anticipate compatibility issues for our customers.

This document will be updated with our progress as the upgrades are performed.

Progress:

Hermione – Completed
Snape – Completed

PHP 8.1 Now Available

April 21, 2022

PHP 8.1 is now available to all Varial Hosting customers.

PHP 8 builds upon the great improvements brought forward in PHP 7 and introduces several new features for developers which you can read about at: https://www.php.net/manual/en/migration81.php

To change your PHP version, simply log into your cPanel and follow this guide: https://varialhosting.com/support/faq/hosting/#changephp

Please be aware that not all web applications and PHP extensions are compatible with PHP 8.1 at this time. For best compatibility we recommend using PHP 7.4 until development of PHP 8 matures.

New Mailing Address for Cheque Payments

January 15, 2022

Effective January 15, 2022 our new business mailing address is:

Varial Technologies, Inc.
PO Box 32107 RPO Erindale
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
S7S 1N8

If you pay your invoices by cheque or money order, please send your payment to our new mailing address going forward. Customers paying by credit card, PayPal or Interac eTransfer can disregard this notice.

Temporary mail forwarding has been established so if you have recently mailed a cheque to our old address it will be redirected to our new address.

2021 Year in Review

December 31, 2021

I’d like to start by thanking you for supporting small business. With the web becoming increasingly centralized year over year, thank you for selecting Varial Hosting as your independent hosting provider.

The pandemic has been hard on us all, both personally and professionally. While we’ve had a few bumps, we’re incredibly thankful that our business has remained strong and stable. We are striving to be as accessible as possible to our customers, to make your website and email one thing you don’t have to worry about during these difficult times.

In fact, our 24/7 support ticket response time average for 2021 was just 22 minutes!

This year we introduced PHP 8.0 support, made major improvements to our email spam scanner and deployed new servers that feature significantly faster SSD storage.

We’ve also kept prices low for our customers, despite further massive price increases by our software vendors. Keeping our services affordable is of the highest priority to us.

Our staff have been working from home since March 2020 and this is a change that we will be making permanent. In the new year we will be moving out of our sales and support office and transitioning to an entirely remote work force.

The only thing that will change for our customers is our mailing address (to be announced soon). Our servers will remain physically located in our Saskatoon data center and you will continue to receive the same quality of support that you’ve come to expect from us.

Being able to spend more time with our families while working from home has been a blessing. Thank you for bearing with the occasional barking dog or crying baby during our calls.

Here are a few new features we’re excited to launch in the new year:

  • PHP 8.1 support
  • Automated malware scanning and cleanup of WordPress databases
  • Migration of all remaining MySQL database servers to MariaDB (an optimized replacement)

We are hopeful that life will be a little easier in the coming year and we are always a quick call or email away if you need us.

Have a Happy New Year and a safe and healthy 2022!

Ryan Smith
CEO
Varial Hosting