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

October 1, 2020

On October 17, 2020, we will be upgrading the MariaDB database server on our Hermione and Snape servers from MariaDB 10.1 (based on MySQL 5.6) to MariaDB 10.2 (based on MySQL 5.7). MariaDB will be run with strict mode disabled for best compatibility.

Prior to the upgrades, database servers will be briefly taken offline in order to make a complete backup of all customer databases. Websites utilizing MariaDB/MySQL databases will become temporarily unavailable until the MariaDB upgrades have completed on each server.

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

Progress:

Hermione – Completed
Snape – Completed

Scheduled Maintenance: MySQL Upgrades on Lockhart, Malfoy & Sirius [Completed]

February 12, 2020

On March 1, 2020, we will be upgrading the MySQL database server on our Lockhart, Malfoy and Sirius servers to MySQL 5.6 as support for all previous versions will be discontinued by cPanel upon their next major release due at the end of Q1 2020.

Significant work has been performed by our staff over the past two years to prepare customer accounts for compatibility with newer MySQL versions, which will allow us to upgrade our database servers at a more frequent pace in the future.

Prior to the upgrades, database servers will be briefly taken offline in order to make a complete backup of all customer databases. Websites utilizing MySQL databases will become temporarily unavailable until the MySQL upgrades have completed on each server.

Additional MySQL upgrades will be scheduled later in 2020 to switch to MariaDB (an optimized replacement for MySQL) to meet feature parity with our more recently deployed servers.

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

Progress:

Lockhart – Completed
Malfoy – Completed
Sirius – Completed

Scheduled Maintenance: EasyApache Upgrade on Lockhart (Completed)

January 16, 2019

On Saturday, January 19, 2019 at 9:00am CST, we will be upgrading our Lockhart server to cPanel’s new EasyApache 4 web stack.

During the upgrade process websites hosted on this server may become temporarily unavailable until this maintenance has completed. Website downtime is expected to be brief.

No customer interaction is required.

If you have any questions or concerns following the upgrade, please contact our Support department.

Scheduled Maintenance: EasyApache Upgrade on Malfoy (Completed)

January 16, 2019

On Saturday, January 19, 2019 at 8:00am CST, we will be upgrading our Malfoy server to cPanel’s new EasyApache 4 web stack.

During the upgrade process websites hosted on this server may become temporarily unavailable until this maintenance has completed. Website downtime is expected to be brief.

No customer interaction is required.

If you have any questions or concerns following the upgrade, please contact our Support department.

Scheduled Maintenance: EasyApache Upgrade on Snape (Completed)

January 4, 2019

On Sunday, January 6, 2019 at 12:00pm CST, we will be upgrading our Snape server to cPanel’s new EasyApache 4 web stack.

During the upgrade process websites hosted on this server may become temporarily unavailable until this maintenance has completed. Website downtime is expected to be brief.

No customer interaction is required.

If you have any questions or concerns following the upgrade, please contact our Support department.

Default PHP version to be changed to 5.6 on December 1, 2018

November 1, 2018

In the coming months cPanel will be discontinuing their current web stack, in use on our Lockhart, Malfoy, Sirius and Snape servers, in favour of a new, modular system that allows for easy, automatic upgrades of its many components.

We have been preparing for this change for many months, planning the best way to proceed to minimize the impact to our customers. After much testing we have created an upgrade plan that we feel will be the easiest for our customers and introduce the least amount of changes.

On December 1, 2018, all customers who have their PHP version set to our “Native” or default version of PHP will be switched to our alternate, hardened version of PHP 5.6 that is supplied by our operating system and security vendor, CloudLinux.

Customers using Native PHP on our Lockhart, Malfoy and Sirius servers will see their PHP versions changed from 5.4 to 5.6. Customers on our Snape server will remain on PHP 5.6, but will be switched from cPanel’s Native PHP version to CloudLinux’s hardened version of PHP 5.6.

This change will only impact customers who have their PHP version set to “Native” on our Lockhart, Malfoy, Sirius and Snape servers. If you have previously changed your PHP version from Native PHP to an alternate version, you will remain on your current PHP version and will not be affected by this change.

As we have offered customers the ability to change their PHP version from cPanel for many years, you can feel free to make this change in advance of December 1st if you’d like to test your website running under PHP 5.6, or even with newer versions like PHP 7.2 which offers significant performance improvements over PHP 5.

Customers on our Lockhart, Malfoy and Sirius servers can also change to our hardened version of PHP 5.4 if you wish keep your PHP version the same as you are currently using.

To make this change in advance of December 1st, please follow this guide to change your PHP version from your cPanel control panel, or contact our Support department and we’d be happy to apply this change for you.

Once all customers are switched off of Native PHP on December 1st, we will then schedule the upgrade to cPanel’s new, modular web stack at a later date in December.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our Support department for assistance.

Progress:

Lockhart: Completed
Malfoy: Completed
Sirius: Completed
Snape: Completed

Changes to Default Options for Alternative PHP Versions

November 1, 2018

To prepare our servers for upcoming web stack upgrades, the following changes have been applied to our default PHP options for alternative PHP versions.

These changes only affect customers who have changed their PHP version from “Native” to an alternate PHP version on our Lockhart, Malfoy, Sirius and Snape servers.

allow_url_fopen = Off (previously On)
date.timezone = America/Regina (previously undefined)
disable_functions = exec, passthru, popen, proc_open, shell_exec, show_source, system (previously undefined)
max_input_time = 60 (previously -1)
post_max_size = 64M (previously 8M)
upload_max_filesize = 32M (previously 2M)

All of these options are user configurable and can be changed from within cPanel.

Introducing JetBackup

May 30, 2018

For many years, R1Soft has been our primary tool for daily backups of our servers and disaster recovery.

R1Soft has many benefits over cPanel’s native backup system as it supports fast incremental backups of changed files and full bare-metal restores of entire servers. Unfortunately the software is not without its problems as the longer you seem to use it the slower and less reliable your backups become.

Over the last few years we’ve migrated our R1Soft backups to three different storage servers to combat its issues but problems with it continue to persist. Backups have gone from taking 1-2 hours per server to 6+ hours, with frequent failures requiring a full block scan that can take over 24 hours to complete.

Due to these pressing issues we have decided to replace R1Soft with an alternate solution called JetBackup, which we’ve been testing across our servers for over a year.

JetBackup shares many similarities to cPanel’s native backup system but with many advancements. JetBackup supports incremental backups to remote servers, allows for self-service restores of files and databases through a customer’s cPanel control panel, and is lightweight and uses minimal system resources. More importantly, JetBackup has proven to be more reliable than R1Soft in backing up our servers.

We have set up a brand new storage server for JetBackup and initial replications of our servers are underway. The initial backup will take up to 7 days per server to complete, with subsequent incremental backups then being taken daily. Once initial backups have completed a new JetBackup section will be available in cPanel, allowing customers to directly download and restore their backups.

Once all servers have been backing up with JetBackup for several weeks, we will then disable R1Soft, making JetBackup our primary backup solution going forward.

JetBackup Migration Progress:

Hermione – Completed
Lockhart – Completed
Malfoy – Completed
Potter – Completed
Sirius – Completed
Snape – Completed

 

Migrating R1Soft Backups to New Server

October 11, 2017

We are in the process of migrating backups taken using our R1Soft continuous data protection software to a new, more powerful server, to allow for additional storage space and faster backups and restores.

Backups will be taken using a secondary system while this migration occurs for added customer protection.

A full replication of each server will be required, a process that will take up to 48-72 hours per server, afterwards daily backups of changed files and databases will continue as normal.

Migration Progress:

Lockhart – Completed
Malfoy – Completed
Potter – Completed
Sirius – Completed
Snape – Completed

If you require a restore from a backup during this time, please contact Support for assistance.

Zeus Server Shutdown Notice

May 7, 2017

Now that the migration of all customers from our Zeus server to our new Sirius server has been completed we are making plans to shutdown and decommission our old Zeus server.

On Monday, May 22, 2017 we will stop all services that are running on our Zeus server.

If you are using a 3rd party DNS service to point your domains to our servers and have not yet updated your IP address from 108.163.168.170 to 69.27.124.150 to complete the migration, your service will cease to function on this date until this change is made.

Similarly any attempts to directly connect to Zeus’ IP address 108.163.168.170 after May 22nd will no longer function.

All data will be wiped from the server on Monday, May 29th when Zeus is fully taken out of service.