Like any other business, ServInt periodically takes stock of the configuration of its products, and makes adjustments to ensure they remain competitive. Unlike most businesses, however, when we make these adjustments, we usually provide them to our existing customers at no extra charge. That’s what we’re doing this time, too. Today, we’re doubling the guaranteed RAM specifications for our Essential, Essential+, Signature, and Ultimate VPS products, and we’re extending that enhancement to our existing customers at no extra cost.
We’re doing this for two basic reasons: one, because we want to keep our current customers happy — and two, because this is a first operational step towards a new and revolutionary platform enhancement that’s on its way soon. Read more
Many of us use FTP to transfer and modify files server side. In most cases it’s just fine. However, there are situations where you need something more powerful. That’s where SSH (Secure Shell) comes in. SSH will allow you to bulk rename, find, move and copy files, and much more. All with a few simple commands.
Just a heads up: This is not an article on root access (complete control over everything on the server). If you are a ServInt customer and need root access to your VPS, you need to contact the MST so we can enable it. We deliver your server with root access disabled by default in order to keep your server secure. If you’d like to know more about root access, click here.
Accessing your server
Most of you are using cPanel. Fortunately for you, cPanel automatically sets up the user to be SSH ready when you create the account in WHM. Here are the directions to double check, which I suggest doing to familiarize yourself with the interface/tool: Read more
For this final post on the history of U.S. Internet regulation, we need to look at one of the broadest pieces of cybersecurity policy out there – broad enough to hit just about anybody in the world. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) of 1984 and its increasingly liberal interpretation have led to a state of affairs in which most U.S Internet users — you and me included — could be considered felons.
Technology is changing far faster than any government could hope to keep up. One of the many challenges of setting cybersecurity policy is that if you set requirements that are technical in nature into the law they will be outdated by the time they are passed. The law can’t be prescriptive when it comes to cybersecurity, so it ends up turning to broad generalization.
The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act is one of those laws that succumbs to broad generalization. Read more
I installed the free New Relic PHP monitoring tool on my own server (mainly for the free t-shirt!). The free account provides you with information on traffic, performance, and state (up or down). New Relic also offers monitoring for many other software/services — MySQL, Apache, Java, etc. — and has paid features as well for those seeking a deeper experience.
The following directions will guide you through the installation of New Relic application monitoring on a CentOS server. Other Linux OS servers will be similar, but not exactly the same. If you’re interested in installing New Relic’s server monitoring package, check out my next article.
The Internet is a seemingly miraculous place for small businesses. These days, there are all kinds of companies offering turn-key e-commerce site design and hosting solutions, all delivered — almost literally — at the push of a button. No design skill? No problem! No technical know-how? Who cares!
Of course, behind the scenes, things aren’t that simple. Many of these turn-key solution providers deliver bloated, inefficient, insecure back-end designs and over-sold shared hosting to house your site when you’re done. As a general rule, I advise my small business-owning friends to steer clear of the “design and host your e-commerce website for $9.99” companies, and do a little work on their own to build and host a site that works best for them.
I’m not saying every small business owner should code their own site from scratch. That would be silly. What I am saying is that — whether you build your site from scratch, or from a popular CMS like WordPress, or whether you hire somebody to build your site for you — you should make sure your site is designed as simply and intelligently (on the front and the back end) as you can. Why? Read more
Have you ever been administering your server when all of a sudden, it appears to have mysteriously dropped off the Internet? You can no longer make an SSH connection, your email client times out, and your websites are down! What gives? Before jumping to the conclusion that your server or web host are down, you should check your server’s firewall. It’s likely the reason why you can’t connect.
A couple weeks ago in the Tech Bench I talked about using ConfigServer Firewall (CSF) to administer a server firewall. CSF is complimented by a lesser-known companion program called Login Failure Daemon (LFD). Read more
At ServInt, we are well into our eleventh year selling the cPanel server control panel. We have been an authorized cPanel Partner NOC since 2003, and believe it to be the best control panel on the market.
I don’t think it’s too much to say that we are also the world’s foremost experts in cPanel.
And now we have distinguished ourselves by being the very first web hosting provider to achieve 100% cPanel certification through cPanel University for our support and sales staff.
I believe so completely in the importance of a quality control panel – and in cPanel specifically – that I trained and passed my cPanel certification as well. It seemed like a natural step to maintain the best perspective on providing services to our customers. I was surprised – and honored – when Aaron Phillips, cPanel’s COO, told me that I am the first C-level exec at any company to get cPanel certified.
In an effort to help old and new customers who would like to learn more about how to use the cPanel/WHM control panel package, we’ve put together a joint webinar with our friends a cPanel: “cPanel 101 – Top Features.” The webinar will begin on Sep. 26th at 1pm EDT. Click here to sign up.
To celebrate our 100% cPanel certification, and to meet more of our customers face-to-face, we’re also sponsoring a booth at this year’s cPanel Conference in New Orleans (September 29th – October 2nd) and offering VIP tickets to the conference for our clients. You can Register FREE using the code ServintVIP2013.
I hope to see a you in New Orleans. Look for me at the ServInt booth in the Exhibit Hall or find me after my keynote: “Lessons from 18 years in web hosting.”
As the name suggests, a firewall is a blockade of sorts, and is meant for security. At its core, a firewall simply prevents unauthorized access into or out of a computer network. Real-world firewalls should be based on hardware or software, A server, just like a desktop or laptop, can benefit from the security a firewall provides.
Every Linux server will have IPtables installed by default, which is provided by the kernel. The problem is administering IPtables will likely be daunting. It typically requires command line access, knowledge of chains and rules, and difficult-to-follow syntax. Not many users want to learn all of this just to keep one or two foreign hosts from accessing their server. Fortunately, a number of graphical front-ends exist that make administering IPtables pretty easy.
ConfigServer Firewall (CSF) is one of the most popular front-ends. If you have a cPanel VPS or dedicated server, CSF will be preinstalled (but disabled). You can administer ConfigServer Firewall by clicking on “Plugins” and selecting “ConfigServer Security&Firewall” at the bottom of the left-hand menu in WHM. Make sure it is enabled by clicking the “Firewall Enable” button. For many users, the most useful functions here are: Read more
Any discussion about PRISM centers around the concept of privacy on the Internet. For my third post on the history of U.S. Internet Legislation, I’ll focus in on the laws that govern our privacy online.
When attempting to ascertain the state of online privacy, there tends to be a lot of talk about law enforcement “abuses.” Having a basic understanding of the laws that serve as the basis for most law enforcement and Intelligence community programs that target online activity can help us determine how, and whether, things need to change.
Let’s start our brief look at those laws by imagining that I’m a U.S. Federal officer and you are an American citizen, and my goal is to go through your underwear drawer to look for suspicious activity. To do that I need a search warrant, signed off by a judge, and generally to get that I need probable cause. The Fourth Amendment to the United States constitution, which prevents unreasonable search and seizure, requires that. The Electronic Communications Privacy Act was written to codify that these fourth amendment rights also exist online. However, certain laws carve out exceptions to the warrant requirement under specific conditions.
Discussion of our privacy rights online center around what the government has and doesn’t have the right to do with our online data. In the wake of PRISM I want to define two categories through which we can explore those legal rights:
- Surveillance that is made possible by the acquisition of a search warrant by law enforcement
- Surveillance that is made possible through an exception to the warrant requirement
Below are a few common legislative acts (not an exhaustive list) that empower law enforcement to get data they seek online. Read more
Editor’s Note: This week, we complete our guest series with Larry Ullman’s third installment in his discussion about scaling a website. If you’re just joining us, be sure to check out Part 1: Infrastructure that Scales and Part 2: Code that Scales.
As a web developer, writer, and public speaker, I often interact with people of various skill levels, talents, and interests. This is one of the joys of my career: I’m fortunate enough to bear witness to the thoughts and experiences of other programmers, “idea” people, and just plain dreamers.
One of the common topics that comes up, or that I am directly asked about, is how one “goes big” with a website. In this three-part series, I explain everything I believe and know (or think I know) when it comes to this subject. In Part 1, I covered the myths of going big, what infrastructure you’ll eventually need, and how one should start developing a new project. In Part 2, I discussed how one writes code that can scale well should your site “go big”. And here, in Part 3, I turn to designing databases that can handle the traffic of a “big” site.
Selecting a Database Application
The first step you’ll need to take (from a database perspective) when designing any new site is choosing the right database application. MySQL has been the de facto king in this arena for some time, at least for beginners and in the open source community. This is largely still the case, even though:
- PostgreSQL is a fine alternative
- There are variations on MySQL, such as MariaDB
- Many excellent non-relational applications exist, like MongoDB
- There are non-database storage solutions such as Hadoop
Of the many goals I have for this series, getting into a debate as to the best database application to use is not one of them. Rightly or wrongly, there are other factors that go into the decision, including with which applications you are familiar, have access to, and so forth. For the sake of the rest of this article, I’m going to focus solely on MySQL, for two reasons:
- It’s an extremely common choice.
- It’s known to have scalability issues that some of the others (e.g., MongoDB) deliberately do not.