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!!25-Apr-2012 Sensitive little servers...
!!30-Jul-2014 News feed switched to Twitter
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Tonight at the Melbourne DC there was some work done on the air conditioning system.
Two of our servers alerted us to deviation in temperature, and two more alerted us to some strange voltage fluctuations. We contacted the M2/Primus DC and asked what was going on and were told about the reset of the air conditioning. No other customers of the DC had reported any issues, so I guess we're monitoring more than other customers, the DRAC cards are great for that. We had a total of 4 servers reporting issues, so it raised a definite red-flag. 20-30 minutes later 2 of the servers told us everything was ok again with voltages, and 10 minutes after that the remaining servers reported A-OK on the temperature variance.
Interestingly, during the same period, drive speeds on those servers dropped dramatically down from 240MB/s to around 45MB/s. I haven't seen that before and it was a strange occurrence. If drive speeds reduce dramatically on a server it usually indicates a RAID-battery failure or RAID-array problem. Two servers at the same time though? And it happened to be the same two which had alerted us about voltage fluctuations. After the alert-period finished and everything was ok, drive speeds immediately returned to their normal rate - literally within 1 second - I was watching them at the time while working in another window trying to determine the reason for the degradation. I can't find anything in the Dell documentation to explain why that would happen, but I guess the servers were just being extra careful.
Sensitive little beasts, but we love our Dells.
* As of today, please see our Twitter for all news updates
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!!24-Apr-2012 MySQL 5.5.23 Released
!!30-Jul-2014 New versions
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We've upgraded our MySQL 5.5 instances today to the latest 5.5.23 release.
This release includes a security fix, partitioning and DROP TABLE performance enhancements.
http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.5/en/news-5-5-23.html
* Java 7u65 and 8u11 have been released and are now available at Metawerx
* Tomcat 7.0.55 is now available at Metawerx
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!!23-Apr-2012 Disk Space Doubled!
!!23-Jul-2014 MySQL Security Alert
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As part of our migration to a new cloud-storage solution, all customer disk-space and all hosting plans have had their disk space doubled in size.
This change is completely automatic and there is no need to re-apply.
* A major security issue has been identified in MySQL
* http://securitytracker.com/id/1030578
* All Metawerx MySQL customers are already on 5.5.38 or 5.6.19 and have been since June 1, so not a problem for us
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!!19-Apr-2012 Notice: Scheduled Maintenance 21-Apr 01:00-02:00
!!18-Jul-2014 AutoShun and OpenBL
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We are migrating all customer filesystems to a multi-array cloud-replicated filesystem Friday night. We expect small outages on the following servers during the transition and subsequent reboot-testing: HIMIKO, NAOKO, TANUKI, MIZUKI.
Once completed, these filesystems will be resistant to RAID-Array failure, multi-drive failure and complete server failure, as they will reside on multiple, separate drive arrays at the same time.
Our firewalls are now integrated with #OpenBL (in addition to #AutoShun). These lists are updated hourly from servers around the world which have identified botnets and hacker IP ranges. By integrating these lists directly into our firewall, we eliminate additional threats before they reach the rest of the network.
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!!18-Apr-2012 Clouds on the horizon
!!3-Jul-2014 Tomcat 8!
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Metawerx is designing a cloud platform to protect our Java Hosting and Database Hosting clients against the failure of any single server and provide instant scalability.
Multiple servers will interact seamlessly in the cloud, with Tomcat/TomEE instances and databases floating to available hardware depending on the load and availability of the participating servers. We will also be able to add new servers much more easily, making their resources instantly available to the cloud.
More news will be released on our cloud platform as it comes together.
If you have any suggestions, questions or comments about the new platform, please feel free to contact us.
Announcing the official release of #ApacheTomcat 8! The latest version 8.0.9 is available at Metawerx (as it has been since the early vers)
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!!14-Apr-2012 Using Railo for CFML and Lift for Scala at Metawerx
!!20-Jun-2014 Updates
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Today we've been playing with Railo 3.3 on Tomcat 7.0.27, and Lift 2.4 with Scala 2.9.
Both were nice and easy to get running on a Metawerx hosted JVM, so we wrote some quick tutorials.
* [Installing Lift/Scala on Tomcat|Installing Lift Scala on Tomcat]
* [Installing Railo for CFML on Tomcat]
Other alternatives for CFML are OpenBlueDragon (also Open Source) and of course Adobe ColdFusion (commercial), each of which also run here.
* New: Java 7u60 released and now available at Metawerx!
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!!12-Apr-2012 Boost your RAM!
!!3-Jun-2014 Failover testing, Upgrades
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Today we've been able to reduce our RAM upgrade prices to $30/mth per additional 512mb.
Throw massive additional caching power at your Metawerx JVM for $1/day!
* Failover/Failback test of DB servers successful. DB servers are now running Ubuntu 14.04 and MySQL 5.5.38
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!!06-Apr-2012 Tomcat 7.0.27 Released
!!25-May-2014 Updates
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Tomcat 7.0.27 has just been released and is now available at metawerx.
This release includes support for the WebSocket protocol (RFC6455). Both streaming and message based APIs are provided and the implementation fully passes the Autobahn test suite. Several examples are also included.
It also includes my patch to the HTTP digest support :-)
*[Bug 52953 - Unlike BASIC Authentication, DIGEST mode does not work if the hash is stored in uppercase|https://issues.apache.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=52953]
See the [Tomcat|http://tomcat.apache.org] page for details.
* New: #ApacheTomcat 6.0.41, 7.0.54, 8.0.8 released and now available at metawerx
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!!03-Apr-2012 After 15 years - finally a website redesign ;-)
!!12-May-2014 Alert
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In a few months, Metawerx will be 15 years old. We've come a long way since starting to play with Java right from the first release in 1996. Remember ServletExec? The first Java Servlets specification and the wonders of JSP that followed soon after? Tomcat, finally becoming really useful when it hit version 3? MySQL growing from an interesting free open-source DB into the most popular database in the world? So much has happened over the last 15 years, and we're proud to continue to be a part of it all.
Flashback courtesy of [Jim Driscoll's blog|http://weblogs.java.net/blog/driscoll/archive/2005/12/servlet_history.html] - "Servlets were originally conceived of by James Gosling in 1995, but put aside for other interests. After some time, the concept was picked up by Pavani Diwanji, who built on the concept to create servlets as part of a project then called Jeeves (from a fictional character). This project was eventually productized into the Java Web Server, which many of us in Java EE land remember fondly to this day. I still have a shirt showing Duke in a Tux holding a platter, the symbol for Java Web Server. And incidently, the first versions of the servlet package were called java.servlet.*, since the javax extension hadn't been invented yet."
I'd like to say it's been a difficult journey, but really it's been a lot of fun learning from and supporting all of our wonderful customers, from the university students who wanted to play with Java on a real server, to the thriving enterprise customers who started small and we've helped grow to international online sales companies and multi-server clusters. Every new customer teaches us something new, and we enjoy the daily challenge of always trying to perform beyond your expectations.
We have focused on Java hosting features, database performance, security and reliability, and we've paid far too little attention to sales and marketing. A good number of our new clients these days come from recommendations, which has been key to our growth over the last 15 years. We would like to thank all our loyal customers, especially the ones that have been with us for over 10 years! Without your support, we would not be where we are today.
But, we're coders - system engineers - linux geeks - java freaks - DB admins - network guys - crypto nerds and sysadmins. Not web designers. I can't even match two colours together when I try to buy clothes.
We have 2 x 1300 numbers, a Collins St address, best-of-breed Java support, [state of the art crypto|https://www.ssllabs.com/ssldb/analyze.html?d=ssllabstest.metawerx.net], highly redundant mail, DNS and backup services, [99.985% provable uptime over 5 years|http://www.webhostingstuff.com/uptime/MetaWerx.html] and are the only hosting company in the world that supports the latest versions of Tomcat (7.0.26), TomEE (beta-2), JBoss (7.1) and Java (Java SE 7u3). Lately we're even contributing to the Tomcat project, TomEE and OpenJDK7.
However, our website has been looking old, tired, dated and unprofessional since about 2001. It was built in 1997, and has had content-updates, but no redesign or real work done on it. So finally after much ado, we are trashing it and bringing it up-to-date to match our hosting features. Over the coming weeks, with help from some of our web-design and graphic-artist customers, hopefully we'll have a fancy new website we can be proud of again. We've already changed the old frame-based layout and there's a lot more to do.
If you are a designer, SEO expert, have a proposal, suggestion, or just want to help out and get a mention in the credits, please contact us to be part of the change. And for everyone else - please excuse us while we change in front of you.
!!02-Apr-2012 Security Upgrade: POP3 over SSL now available
As with our popular IMAP/SSL hosting, we now provide POP3 over SSL.
We have implemented both the Alternate SSL Port method (on standard port 995) and the new STLS/STARTTLS method (on standard port 110).
Switch to SSL to ensure you are not sending your credentials over plain-text, and also prevent snooping on your email contents while receiving mail.
On Eudora 7, you can enable SSL by using either of the secure methods highlighted below:
[http://www.metawerx.net/images/screenshots/tls-pop3-eudora7.png]
.. and another major Struts security bug, this time versions 2.0-2.3.16.1 http://securitytracker.com/id/1030204
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On Outlook Express 6, the settings are as follows:
!!5-May-2014 Alert
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[http://www.metawerx.net/images/screenshots/tls-pop3-outlook.png]
[http://www.metawerx.net/images/screenshots/tls-imap-outlook.png]
A major security bug has been found in Struts 1 - http://securitytracker.com/id/1030159
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Remember to also use SSL for SMTP, and please contact us if you have any questions or run into any problems.
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!!29-Apr-2014 Updates
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!!01-Apr-2012 Security Reminder: Enable SSL for SMTP
We provide TLS encryption between our servers and any mail clients or servers which support it. This ensures the transmission and reception of emails between our servers are securely encrypted.
Systems which support Secure SMTP include GMail, Exim, MS-Exchange, Sendmail, most banks and financial institutions, and many popular email clients, including Outlook Express, Thunderbird, Mac Mail and PC-Mail applications on iOS and Android devices. Hotmail does not enable secure SMTP (as of April 2012).
If you use the Metawerx SMTP server for outgoing emails, set your Outgoing mail (SMTP) port to __587__ and enable __STARTTLS__ mode or __secure connection (SSL)__ mode to ensure your emails are not being sent in plaintext.
You can also enable it within your applications if you use JavaMail by setting props.put("mail.smtp.starttls.enable","true") in your JavaMail session.
Here is an example for Eudora 7:
[http://www.metawerx.net/images/screenshots/starttls-eudora7.png]
* We have 14 JVMs running on JDK8 now, and 3 on #ApacheTomcat 8-beta :-)
* First upgrades to Ubuntu 14.04 tonight - looks good!
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Here is an example for Outlook Express 6 SP1. Note this example uses IMAP SSL as well, if you are using IMAP, set your IMAP port to 993 and tick the secure connection box for IMAP as well:
!!21-Apr-2014 New Stuff
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[http://www.metawerx.net/images/screenshots/starttls-ie6.png]
New at Metawerx: Java 7u55, Java 8u05, mainly security update releases
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!!31-Mar-2012 phpMyAdmin Upgrade: 3.4.10.2
!!15-Apr-2014 New Ciphers
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phpMyAdmin has been upgraded today to version 3.4.10.2. This is a security and bug-fix upgrade.
We have achieved an A+ rating on ssllabs for our Apache control panels!
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!!26-Mar-2012 Security Upgrade: FTPS - FTP-Secure
!!31-Mar-2014 End of March Quarter - New Stuff
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All servers now support FTPES - FTP with TLS Explicit Encryption, otherwise known as FTP-SSL or FTP-Secure.
It is important that you enable this feature in your FTP client, otherwise malicious parties or software may be able to snoop on your password and gain access to your account.
Be sure to set it to Explicit or FTP with TLS/SSL - not the Implicit mode which uses a separate port.
Here is a screenshot for enabling the feature in WinSCP's login dialog box:
[http://www.metawerx.net/images/screenshots/FTPES.png]
* File Backups in SiteWinder now has a Diff feature, similar to the one you see when using our Online Editor. You can view compare files or entire folders to see what changed since a selected backup point and optionally restore backups or restore using a new name. This feature is also available from our Mobile control panel and Android app. See [Online Backups|http://www.metawerx.net/features/backups.htm] for some screenshots!
* Tomcat 8.0.5 (beta)
* MySQL 5.5.37
* MariaDB 5.5.36
* Cleanups in security monitoring resulting in less redundant daily alerts sent to Metawerx staff (less false alerts, less wasted time)
* System management software overhead reduced by ~50% (faster system changes via SiteWinder)
* OutOfMemory alerts now show more information about the Java memory space types and the reasons they run out
* OutOfMemory log scanning is now much faster
* UnsupportedClassVersion errors are now reported by email, so you instantly know if you uploaded a Java7-only library to an older Java5/6 JVM
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When connecting, a lock image should appear somewhere in your FTP client, like it does in a browser. Once again, an example from WinSCP:
!!17-Mar-2014 More Mobile!
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[http://www.metawerx.net/images/screenshots/FTPES-lock.png]
SiteWinder for Mobile and the new Metawerx/Smart App for Android have had a lot of improvements this month.
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Here is a screenshot for Transmit on the Mac:
[http://www.metawerx.net/images/screenshots/FTPES-mac-transmit.png]
Notable changes:
* We now support Android, iPhone, iPad, Symbian, BlackBerry, RIM, Windows Phone and Amazon Kindle
* Mail Manager is now mobile, set usernames/passwords for your customer's domains in Mail Reseller, then let them administer their mail server by themselves - on their PC, mobile device or tablet. Browse to mail.metawerx.net on your device to check it out.
* File Manager is now available! Download JSP, Groovy, Clojure source and images, edit them with a local app (such as 920 text editor or Photo Editor) and upload them again, all from your mobile device - code anywhere!
* Series of visual/performance tweaks to make the mobile site even easier to use.
* Traffic reports optimized for mobile.
* Database list now available.
* Account payments page and automatic connection to PayPal.
* Restart individual Tomcat Apps easily with My Apps option.
* Restart Tomcat, view charts.
* Manage your domains and mail servers.
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Other FTP client software will have a similar feature, and if they don't - then it's time to upgrade your FTP client ;-)
If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us.
I'm using my Motorola Droid to edit this page right now. It's a bit trickier than using a notebook at first, but once you get used to it, it's really cool. I'm making a lot of small changes to this article while watching TV (Endgame series 1). Using my Kindle would probably be easier as the screen is larger and this editor is a bit small, but this works well and I can't be bothered getting up to get the Kindle at the moment. Hopefully this is a feature that makes everything easier for you as well! - Neale
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!!26-Mar-2012 HTTP DIGEST Authentication on Tomcat Manager
!!18-Feb-2014 Metawerx Mail Administrator is now Mobile-Optimized!
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In the interests of increased security, we have started using [HTTP DIGEST Authentication|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digest_access_authentication] on [Tomcat Manager] to prevent plaintext passwords being sent over HTTP on accounts where SSL is not used for Tomcat Manager logins. This involves quite a few changes throughout our infrastructure, so is being implemented in a phased approach according to Tomcat version.
Our Mail Administrator is now optimized for mobile, a nice addition to our mobile control panel.
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The change has been completed for all Tomcat 7 customers. We are working through earlier versions, but due to the size of the customer base, earlier versions will take longer to be transitioned over. If you are on Tomcat 6 or earlier and want to have this addition immediately, please contact support.
Access it by browsing to our control panel with your handset/tablet or via the Metawerx SiteWinder/Smart Android application, available from [Google Play|https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.metawerx.android.sitewinder&hl=en]
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If you are on a Self or Semi-Managed VM, you will be converted over last, but of course you already have the ability to change this yourself anyway.
We are personally checking every account that is changed over to DIGEST mode to ensure there are no login problems.
We've also found a series of small issues in Tomcat's implementation of [DIGEST|Web.xml.AuthMethod] support, and have submitted the following patches and fixes to the Tomcat project:
*[Bug 52953 - Unlike BASIC Authentication, DIGEST mode does not work if the hash is stored in uppercase|https://issues.apache.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=52953] (already approved and fixed in 7.0.27 release onwards)
*[Bug 52954 - Allowing for broken android HTTP DIGEST support|https://issues.apache.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=52954]
*[Bug 52983 - DIGEST auth broken on 6.0.x manager app because of redundant WWW-Authenticate header in 401.jsp|https://issues.apache.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=52983] (fixed for all metawerx customers already)
Features:
* Multi-domain management over SSL
* View, add, edit and delete email addresses, aliases and mail-blocks
* Modify mail server settings, including POP3 Country Restrictions and domain mirroring
* Change mail passwords
* Set up mail-forwarding
* Set up temporary or permanent AutoResponders
* Set up Mail Notification URLs
* Redirect mail aliases to new address lists
* View outgoing SMTP logs
* Mail Admin documentation (help)
* No recoding of validation systems etc, no new security issues or bugs - this is Metawerx Mail with a new HTML front-end
* ... basically everything you can do with the full PC version except for Mailing-Lists
* ... world's first Mail Server configurable via Android/iPhone/iPad (as far as we know at Feb 2014) and the only hosting company offering this feature
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!!24-Feb-2012 Quercus 4.0.25 released
Feedback welcome!
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Quercus 4.0.25 is now available for use on metawerx sites.
And here are a few screenshots ...
[http://www.metawerx.net/images/screenshots_mobile/mailadmin-270.png]
[http://www.metawerx.net/images/screenshots_mobile/mailaliases-270.png]
[http://www.metawerx.net/images/screenshots_mobile/addaddress-270.png]
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!!24-Feb-2012 JBoss 7.0 and 7.1
!!16-Feb-2014 New Stuff
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JBoss 7.0 and 7.1 are now available at metawerx.
* ApacheTomcat 8.0.3 beta now available
* Mobile-optimized version of Monthly and Daily Traffic Reports
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!!22-Feb-2012 MySQL 5.5.21 Released
!!4-Feb-2014 New Stuff
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The following upgrades are now available at metawerx:
* MySQL 5.5.21
* Tomcat 7.0.50
* Tomcat 6.0.39
* MySQL 5.5.36
* Java 8 EA b126
* CouchDB 1.5
* Dashboard chart improvements to detect missing data, such as during a JVM restart
* New Disk Read/Write dashboard chart
* Menu Improvements for our mobile-edition control panel (SiteWinder/Smart) to increase usability
* Upgrades to disk space and traffic on some plans
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!!22-Feb-2012 Tomcat 7.0.26 Released
!!17-Jan-2014 New Java 7 release
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The following upgrades are now available at metawerx:
* Tomcat 7.0.26
Java 7u51 has been released and is now available at Metawerx.
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This release is primarily a bug fix release and includes numerous bug fixes compared to version 7.0.25. See the [Tomcat|http://tomcat.apache.org] page for details.
Release 51 includes a series of bug fixes, some changes to FIPS 140 compliancy mode, JAXP and port binding.
The JRE security baseline for Java 7 is now 1.7.0_51 (7u51).
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!!16-Feb-2012 JDK1.6.0_31, JDK1.7.0_03 Released
!!12-Java-2014 Welcome to 2014!
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The following upgrades are now available:
* Java 1.6.0_31
* Java 1.7.0_03
We would like to wish all of our customers a prosperous 2014 and good luck in developing their applications and projects and running their online businesses!
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These releases provide a series of security fixes, see [Oracle Java SE Critical Patch Update Advisory - February 2012|http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/topics/security/javacpufeb2012-366318.html]
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We now have all servers running on Ubuntu 13.10 and we're working hard on testing our new Instant Activation systems. Soon you will be able to add new testing environments, new accounts or databases with a few clicks/touches.
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!!23-Jan-2012 Tomcat 7.0.25 Released
2013 was a big year for hacking. Whether you want to read that term as coding and improving systems, or as attacks on systems, there was a lot of it going on!
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The following upgrades are now available:
* Tomcat 7.0.25
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We will try our best to keep your systems secure again this year and protect your business and reputation by keeping up with the latest software versions and protective techniques.
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!!17-Jan-2012 Tomcat 5.5.35 Released
On that note, the following new Tomcat versions are now available, with a lot of bug fixes and a series of improvements for WebSockets. All managed instances will be on the new versions when their JVM is next restarted.
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The following upgrades are now available:
* Tomcat 5.5.35
* Tomcat 7.0.50
* Tomcat 8.0.0-RC10
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!!12-Jan-2012 MySQL 5.5.20 Released
The following upgrades are now available:
* MySQL 5.5.20
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*[News Archive 2013]
*[News Archive 2012]
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