Server UpgradeMon, 1 Nov 2010
Virtual Creations is about to perform a significant upgrade to our server infrastructure to better support the needs of our clients. We have purchased a new dedicated server to replace our collection of shared servers. All client websites and emails are (most likely) to be transferred during the evening of Tuesday November 2nd 2010.
Why are we doing this?
Since Virtual Creations started hosting websites back in 2001, we have always used shared servers (meaning that our clients' websites were on servers that were also being used to host websites from other, unknown organisations). There are several problems with shared hosting, and we have been putting up with these problems for a while now, simply because purchasing our own dedicated server was out of our budget. This has now changed, and the benefits that you - the Virtual Creations client - can expect from the upgrade are as follows:
- Improved speed. Even with all our client websites on one server, the server will still be under considerably less load than any of the shared servers we've been using
- Improved reliability. Hosting companies occasionally need to take servers offline to perform maintenance and other tasks. With our own server, we get to decide when such actions will happen, if at all. Result: Less downtime for your site and emails
- No more blacklisting of emails. Occasionally on shared servers, other users of the server (not customers of Virtual Creations) may decide to send out spam, which can then result in the entire server being blacklisted. When this happens, it can become impossible to send emails to certain recipients. When we are using our own server, there is virtually zero chance we will ever be blacklisted.
- No more Denial of Service attacks. Occasionally, for unknown reasons, people can decide to organise a concerted attack on a given website. That website's server then has to be taken offline until the attack passes, meaning that all the other websites on that server become unavailable. Again, with our own server, there is virtually no chance of this happening.
- No issues caused by system configuration changes. About once or twice a year, the server people find it necessary to change a system setting on the server. That change can sometimes cause problems with our websites. This happened last week, causing problems with our clients' ability to edit their web pages and create news items/events/etc. The issue has not yet been resolved, but will be easily resolved when we move our client websites to our new server.
- Greater flexibilty and service. Occasionally we want to be able to offer a certain service to our clients, but the owners of the server will not allow their server to be used to provide that service. With our own server, we can offer whatever services we want.
Most likely no. If everything goes according to plan, your website and email service will continue uninterrupted. You won't even notice that anything has changed.
However, there's a possibility that your site may be down for a couple of hours during that evening.
If you have a secure shopping cart on your site, it may take an extra day or so for the "security" of that site to be reinstated (the SSL certificate needs to be regenerated).
What do I need to do?
If Virtual Creations is managing your domain name for you, then you won't need to do anything.
If you manage your own domain name, then you may need to change the nameservers on your domain name. The new nameservers will be ns1.virtualcreations.com.au and ns2.virtualcreations.com.au. If you have your domain nameservers set to ns1.speedydns.net and ns2.speedydns.net, then you will need to change them to the new nameservers. Do not change anything yet! If the server upgrade is on schedule, then the change should be made on Tuesday evening. We will send out another email when it's time to make the change.
Also, in the unlikely scenario that your system setup makes reference to "[something].myserverhosts.com", you will need to change this. This setup may include:
- Email configuration (Outlook accounts, etc)
- FTP, Dreamweaver or FrontPage setup
- Remote SSH or MySQL access
Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about the coming upgrade.