Rimuhosting May 2015 newsletter

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A recap of recent improvements

We have been doing some major networking upgrades over in Dallas. Lots of 10G fiber being run. More uplink capacity. More capacity between servers.

We have expanded our global presence to Frankfurt. You can order a VM there. Or we can provide custom quotes for dedicated servers there.

Intel keeps on putting out newer, faster, better CPUs. And we keep offering them. You can now order Intel's Haswell v3 CPUs with DDR4 memory.

We are seeing SSDs move from a niche/high end option to the mainstream. Prices are dropping. And after trying a few different brands we have found the Intel SSDs we offer to perform really well and reliably.

Most of our new shared VM hosts are now using SSDs for storage. SSDs on VM host servers reduces disk I/O contention and lead to big performance gains. Newer CPUs and cheap/big memory sizes mean memory and CPU are rarely a performance bottleneck.

A few new features to be aware of in the RimuHosting control panel: host load, disk IO and CPU graphs for each VM. An option to reset your root user password (and add ssh keys). Tweaks to our websites to improve them on mobile devices.

There are a couple of new distro options for new server installs: Debian 8 (jessie) and CentOS 7. Both those distros let our customers use Docker, which leverage containerization features in our recent Linux kernels.

Speaking of Linux kernels we now offer a 4.0 Linux kernel. That is a big move forward from the 2.4 kernels that were available back when we started in 2004.

Security matters

Lots of security topics over the last couple of years.

ghost (glibc get host by name exploit) and shellshock (bash exploit) were two vulnerabilities that affected most servers and caught a lot of people by surprise.

We auto-patched many customers servers for both ghost and shellshock. We also wrote scripts to help customers upgrade from some older (unsupported) distros to newer ones.

We also needed to upgrade all our Xen-based virtual machine host servers after a hypervizor security issue. Some customers had their several hundred day uptimes disturbed, but it is also good to be running recent, stable versions of the Xen hosting stack and the underlying distro on all our VM hosts.

We still see the occasional customer server exploited. The two most common causes are exploitable webapps (e.g. wordpress) and poor passwords. Please use good strong passwords and keep your webapps up to date.

We installed some brute force ssh protection on each of our host servers that will automatically protect customer VMs. We have started installing fail2ban on new orders of recent distros.

On the RimuHosting website logins we have enabled two factor authentication. And we are switching over to https connections by default on RimuHosting websites.

A reminder about who we are.

We provide affordable, no-hassle, easy to order virtual machines. We love virtual machines. We think virtual machines offer more functionality and flexibility than running on bare metal servers. And we encourage anyone looking to 'get on the web' to use a virtual machine over a shared host. You get better security and servers nowadays are no longer the daunting task to manage they once were.

We provide dedicated hardware for customers that want to run lots of VMs or have the need for bare metal performance. We love quoting for custom setups. We have customers running databases on bare metal servers with hundreds of GB of memory and dozens of SSDs. We having customers using very affordable dedicated servers to run dozens of virtual machines providing their software-as-a-service offering. We have customers using a cluster of physical servers with us as the back end to their wildly popular mobile apps.

We have a team of super-talented sysadmins available to help take the hassle out of your hosting. Any time you need someone to troubleshoot an issue, configure software, install something or advise just let us know. We are constantly working with things like web hosting control panels, mysql servers, postgresql servers, apache configs, email setups, firewall scripts and node/tomcat/rails hosting stacks.

Keep informed

We would love to keep you posted with useful information about new features and services we offer.

Follow http://twitter.com/rimuhosting (to be the first to hear all our news and observations about the world)

Register at http://blog.rimuhosting.com (for all our main news)

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Help us improve?

We have posted a 5 minute survey. Please tell us there what we are doing well and what we need to improve. The form will also help us better understand our customers needs. Oh, and you can add a $10 credit to your account by submitting the form.

Refer a friend or colleague?

We would love to help your friends and colleagues with some hassle free hosting.

Say something about @RimuHosting on your http://twitter.com account.

Email a friend or colleague who needs a Linux server and tell them about us. Say something like: email support@rimuhosting.com and tell them what you need and mention I'd referred you.

Photo credit: oinonio

About Peter Bryant

Peter founded RimuHosting in 2003
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