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The ServInt Source

We’ve updated our privacy policies. Here’s why.

2982826572_41371d83e6_bOn September 2nd, we changed our procedures to narrow the circumstances in which law enforcement can request your data from us without a warrant. In addition, we now inform law enforcement that we will disclose requests for our customer data unless a specific statute requires us to keep the request secret.

ServInt is committed to supporting the Fourth Amendment. We believe that the Fourth Amendment requires the government to have a warrant to access your content. We will not disclose your content unless we receive a warrant, or there is a law creating an exception to the warrant requirement. We do not believe that there should be exceptions to the Fourth Amendment, and we are committed to persuading Congress to change those laws that do. That may not sound like a big deal — but in our industry, it is. Read more

How to Install Node.js on a cPanel VPS

tech bench 2Editor’s Note: As third-party software, ServInt does not support node.js beyond installation. Also, to follow these instructions, users must have a working knowledge of the command line. Click here if you would like more information about logging into your server on the command line.

Node.js is an application development software written in and for javascript for real-time event-driven applications, among other things. Installing node.js on a cPanel VPS is pretty straightforward. Let’s take a look.

The first thing that you will need to do is download the latest version from nodejs.org:

wget http://nodejs.org/dist/v0.10.32/node-v0.10.32.tar.gz

Before proceeding further, you will need to make sure that you meet the following requirements listed in the README file: Read more

ServInt Receives “Best Migration Partner” award at 2014 cPanel Conference

cpanel awardI am very proud to announce that on Tuesday at the 8th annual cPanel Conference, ServInt received the 2014 award for Best Migration Partner during the keynote presentation. We were praised for ensuring quality migrations for all our cPanel customers, and for our migration team’s seamless integration with cPanel’s migration experts.

This award meant a lot to us. We know that moving can be hard, and we take pride in doing it right — and we’re extremely proud to be recognized as one of the companies that does cPanel migrations to cPanel’s exacting standards.

More websites are hosted on cPanel than on any other commercially available Control Panel in the world. They are quite simply the most popular game in town, and they are ServInt’s preferred control panel. ServInt was also cPanel’s very first partner to achieve 100% cPanel certification, but we took it one step further and had every single customer-facing employee get certified, including myself. I still don’t think there’s another mainstream hosting provider that can say that.

I want to thank cPanel for distinguishing us with this award. We at ServInt appreciate your partnership as well. I believe we make migration easier than any other host in the industry, whether users are migrating from a cPanel based account or any other control panel.

ServInt PowerPartners get paid DOUBLE for referring new customers in October!

This Marketing VP wants to pay you money.

This Marketing VP wants to pay you money.

Okay, it’s time for this VP of Marketing to ‘fess up.  We haven’t spent as much time as we should have promoting our “PowerPartners” affiliate marketing program. The truth is, when we made it easy for customers and non-customers to join the program; when we added cash rewards (in addition to hosting credit) for new referred business — and when we added our Custom Shop one-click ordering/referral system — we kind of thought PowerPartner membership would sell itself. We already knew we got a ton of new business from existing client referrals; why wouldn’t these customers line up to get paid for doing something they were already doing for free?

Some customers (and some non-customers) already have. PowerPartners regularly make thousands of dollars a month, getting paid for referrals they probably would have made for nothing in the past. These aren’t affiliate marketing professionals, either: most of them are set-it-and-forget-it part-timers, who don’t want to be bothered with details. Frequently, our best PowerPartners are web designers who point their customers in our direction, or power bloggers who run a simple ServInt banner ad (which we provide) at the foot of their home pages.

What do these people get? A one-time payment equal to the base monthly fee paid for the new client’s server — so anything from $55 for an Essential VPS up to $1,099 for our top-of-the-line BareMetal ONE server. There are no limits on the number of new customers you can refer. They just have to be paid-up customers in good standing for at least 60 days (90 days if they use a promotional coupon).

But here’s the big news, and the reason why you’re hearing from me about the PowerPartners program today: all PowerPartner commissions for the month of October will be doubled. So each Essential VPS customer will net you $110 — and each BareMetal ONE will put $2,098 in your pocket!

If you know somebody who’s looking for a good home for their online business, send them our way. We promise to take extra good care of them, like we always do. And we promise to pay you double the commission for your referral during the month of October.

Easy instructions for getting started as a PowerPartner can be found here. Just remember that commission amounts you see on our site should be doubled this month.

Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you join us as a PowerPartner soon!

How to Update your SSL Certificate to SHA-2 Format

4423925748_22e0396a8a_oWith Google’s decision to sunset SHA-1 SSL certification many clients have inquired about re-issuing SSL certificates in SHA-2 format. For the validity period of the certificate, we are able to re-issue certificates which were purchased through ServInt.

If you’ve purchased a one-year certificate and have six months left until your certificate expires, we’ll be able to issue a new certificate in SHA-2 format for the remaining six months. We are also able to add the remaining months on your current certificate to a new order. For example, if you have two months left on a certificate and wish to purchase a certificate for next year, we can issue a new certificate covering the next 14 months. Read more

Patching the Shellshock Bug Exploit

20562069_7cf1e2aaec_oIt’s been a busy couple of days at ServInt, but I’m glad to say that our customers are protected against the recently found Shellshock bug.

Some background

Shellshock is a newly found vulnerability in Bash, the most common application allowing users to execute commands on Linux machines.  It’s the environment within which commands are executed – the “shell”. There are a variety of shells available in the *NIX world, but Bash is by far the most common in Linux. Read more

Maximizing Site Speed with ServInt’s New Resource Graphing Tools

all graph simpleSite speed is all about page load times. But what causes one site (or one page) to load faster than another?

The short answer is that it depends on the site and the server. Each combination is unique, but there’s a lot you can do to find your bottleneck.

Even to experienced developers, the traditional VPS or cloud server sold by most hosting companies can be something of a black box. There are specs listed on the company’s site; there may even be a control panel that reminds you of the power of your server. But in the end, you make a purchase and hope that the hardware is fast enough for your application.

But how much of your allotted resources are you actually using, and how much do you have in reserve for growth? Read more

ServInt’s Resource Graphing: Beyond the Site Performance Guarantee

As part of ServInt’s SolidFire Site Performance Guarantee, our system resource graphing allows you to track and analyze all of your critical system resources from one convenient dashboard.

There are more uses to these proprietary server analytics than simply ensuring that you’re receiving all of your critical system resources. Let’s take a moment to look at some of the most common ones.

1. Checking your site performance

The stated purpose of the Site Performance Guarantee resource graphs is to show that you are receiving your promised resources. If you see your site performance degrading, it’s very simple to check your resource graphs and make sure you are receiving 100% of your critical server resources.

Resource degradation, though, is so unlikely that not only could we not find an example of it to show you, we could not find an accurate way of artificially producing the problem for illustrative purposes.

The important point to remember when checking for hardware degradation is to make sure you look at the “Allocated” number in individual resource graphs. If that number falls below your guarantee for even five minutes, you qualify for a refund of that entire month of service. cpu no degradation The important point to note here is that for each of our guaranteed resources — CPU, RAM, disk space and IOPS — if your site slows down and you do not know why, you can check these resources at any time to confirm that it is not a problem with the hardware. If it is — you get that month of hosting absolutely free. If you want the fine print, you can read our entire SLA here.

2. Monitor your total server uptime

With ServInt’s SolidFire SSD VPS, full server downtime is very unlikely in all but the most dire circumstances. Still, let’s look at what a full server outage would look like in your resource graphs. all resources outWe simulated an outage on August 25th by rebooting a test server. Notice that the lines on the graph simply disappear. If you see this, click into a specific resource graph (such as CPU): cpu out You can see in this graph that not only has the resource utilization gone to zero, but the allocated amounts have as well. This indicates that the server itself was offline.

In the extremely unlikely event that you are temporarily unable to access the Portal, please know that these graphing tools will continue to collect data. This will be valuable after the incident should you decide to seek a refund for downtime.

3. Monitoring resource usage.

Confirming that your server hardware is running at 100% efficiency and your server is up are both important, but frankly, we don’t expect many customers to find evidence of resource degradation or downtime.

What is far more common is for customers who are experiencing site slowness to log into their resource graphs and find that their server is online and they are receiving all of their promised resources, but that they are using all the resources in one or more categories. Let’s look at some examples of this. slamming ram slamming cpu slamming iops These examples show customers who are maxing out IOPS, CPU and RAM respectively. Simply put, if you are using all of the resources your server has been allocated and you then wish to use more, your site will slow down. The question of how to fix this is one of time or money: should you optimize your code or purchase more server resources. spiking cpu Sometimes customers only have spikes in their resources. These spikes may have been anticipated or may be a surprise. The questions to consider in this scenario are: Did you have enough computing power in reserve to handle this extra traffic, and was the traffic spike preventable or simply a result of increased visits to your site?

Finally, there is a special circumstance when monitoring RAM usage on your ServInt SolidFire SSD VPS. There are two separate RAM metrics that add up to Total RAM: Active and Cache RAM. high total ram usage Active RAM is just what you would expect — this is the RAM the processes on your server are actively using.

Cache RAM is an optimization wherein unused RAM is temporarily used to store (or cache) data that has been recently accessed on the server. When that RAM is needed for Active RAM, the cache is simply dumped (or a portion is dumped) to free up the RAM. Some servers have a large cache because of many active users. In this case, the Active and Cache RAM total nearly all of the allocated RAM. But other servers do not require a large cache or the cache has been recently dumped due to the need for more active RAM. not much cache ram variable ram If your active RAM usage increases to near the limits of your allocated RAM, you will have little-to-no space left for Cache RAM. Depending on your configuration and requirements, this could signal a need to optimize your code or upgrade your hardware.

4. Planning for future optimizations or upgrades

One of the best ways to use your ServInt SolidFire SSD VPS resource graphs is to plan for future growth of your sites. Monitoring resource usage over time and deciding on predetermined limits past which you will upgrade can save you the headache of running out of resources in the first place. steady increase disksteady increase cpusteady increase ram

 

Study your resource graphs. Determine how much of your system resources you’re using on a regular basis and how much you need to hold in reserve for growth or spikes in traffic. This will help you know when it is time to scale before you run out of resources. With ServInt’s SolidFire SSD VPS, knowing when to upgrade your resources has never been simpler.

VPS or Cloud: What’s in a Name?

ml01blogIn the context of hosting, “Cloud” originally referred to a “next generation” of technology abstraction, something better than basic virtualization. Vendors proposed many conflicting definitions that included a mix of vertical scaling, horizontal scaling, automatic scaling, API driven provisioning, etc. Usually, whatever a particular vendor was offering was that vendor’s definition of Cloud.

There was never full agreement on what constituted Cloud, and then, over time various traditional, non-Cloud hosting platforms began growing Cloud features. So, did those platforms become Cloud platforms, and if so, when? That’s a question that’s open for debate. Read more

The Future of VPS Cloud Hosting is Clear — Transparent, Even

Screen Shot 2014-06-29 at 3.22.54 PMToday, ServInt continues the ongoing rollout of customer-facing and back-end improvements to our VPS hosting platform. Here’s a status report on our platform enhancements, as of Sep. 1:

- Downtime-free OS kernel updates – Available now
– Redesigned network core to increase resiliency to attack and hardware failure – Available now
– Enhanced, third-party network status update resources – Available now
– New privacy policies and procedures – Available now
– New SLA and SolidFire Site Performance Guarantee  – Available now
– New, customer-accessible, to-the-minute analytics on server resources – Available now
– Reliable, customer-controlled backups, powered by R1Soft, heavily customized by ServInt – Coming soon
– New bandwidth providers and increased capacity – Coming soon
– Improved DDoS mitigation – Coming soon

You’ll see that there are two or three items on the list that are “coming soon.” When I say “soon,” I do mean “soon.” As always, we need to balance our desire to bring you platform improvements as quickly as possible with the need to make sure those enhancements are stable and customer-ready.  We’re almost there, and I appreciate your patience.

We’re very proud of these enhancements, about which you’ll be hearing more over the next few weeks. We believe they will result in a VPS hosting solution that radically outstrips anything offered by our competitors — and there’s more to come.  But I want to spend a little time reminding people about something we rolled out a week ago, in our first installment of these VPS platform enhancements, that may be the most significant addition we’ve introduced:

On August 21, all of ServInt’s SolidFire-powered hosting accounts started being covered by a new SLA that guarantees our SolidFire customers’ sites will never slow down because of a shortcoming in RAM, CPU, Disk or disk read/write operations per second (IOPS) on the server that hosts them. To keep us honest about that, we put a completely new, precedent-shattering set of system resource utilization graphs in our customer portal so clients can see exactly how their resources are being provisioned and consumed. What’s more, if those graphs show that a running server fails to deliver the proper amount of RAM, CPU, Disk, or IOPS for more than five minutes, we’re going to give our SolidFire customers an entire month of hosting for free.

Nobody else in the hosting industry offers anything like ServInt’s SolidFire Site Performance Guarantee, because nobody else can.  With this radically transparent approach to server resource reporting, we’re literally redefining VPS and the cloud.  You want to know how many cores you get with any of our VPS solutions?  ServInt will tell you — and then guarantee, and then prove to you that you’re getting every fraction of every core you were promised.  The same goes for RAM, disk, and even IOPS.  That’s what we mean when we say: if you’re a ServInt SolidFire hosting customer, we guarantee that your site will never slow down because of your server. And we’ll prove it.

ServInt may not be the only web host to tell you how much RAM, CPU, disk and IOPS you’ll be getting when you sign up — but we are most certainly the only web host willing and able to prove to you, on a near real-time basis, that you’re getting what you were promised… and that’s huge.

At ServInt, we have never been a simple infrastructure provider. We’re a solutions provider — and our goal is to provide the best solutions for our customers by not simply following, but establishing best practices in hosting technology design and customer care. Providing this performance, while offering premium levels of security, privacy and transparency has always been the foundation of the trust we’ve earned from our customers over the years. Simply put, we’re not willing to leave our customers’ livelihoods to chance. These upgrades are the right thing to do for you, and that’s the only reason we’re doing them.

So welcome to the transparent, honest, worry-free, high-performance future of VPS cloud hosting.  You’re going to like it here.

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