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Metawerx News Archive 2007

24-Oct-2007 - New backup system for MySQL Customers

Recently, two of our customers almost lost their entire database due to error or a malicious user. Luckily, we were able to restore their database to the previous day's backup. If we had not been informed in time however, the new daily backup would have overwritten the previous day's backup, making recovery impossible. I'm sure everyone can relate to how scary that was for the customers involved! Luckily, their full systems were recovered, and they were back up and running within the hour.

As a result of the above, we have today implemented a new rolling backup system for all MySQL databases, to protect your data in the same way that our PostGreSQL and SQL/Server customers are already protected.

For MySQL, we now keep a full 14 days worth of your data on our backup SAN, which means we can recover your data to any of the previous 14 day's snapshots in case of accidental data loss.

We would like to remind everyone that a separate backup to your office computer is also recommended every so often, as no backup system can ever be relied on 100%.

8-Oct-2007 - Happy 10th Birthday Metawerx!

We are proud to announce that Metawerx has been hosting Java based applications and sites now for 10 years!

As one of the few java hosting companies in the world (or hosting companies in general!) to reach the 10 year mark, we would like to sincerely thank our loyal customers, some of whom have been with us for over 9 years now.

Hardware and software have come a long way, and java has become a mainstream technology. In the last few years we have branched into dedicated server hosting and server clusters, to provide the upgrade path that we never had 5 years ago. Metawerx has experienced solid and steady growth, and we will continue to maintain our focus on Java and high quality support.

Here's to the next 10 years!

8-Oct-2007 - Free IMAP - Limited Time

This month, Metawerx will be providing up to 2 (two) free 1gb IMAP mailboxes to any existing customers who ask for it. This offer expires 31-Oct-2007. New customers who sign up before the 31-Oct-2007 are also eligible to apply.

Unlike normal POP3 email, IMAP allows you to use full webmail, with all your existing folders available. Multiple users can also access the same account, which is great for sales and support email addresses.

Read up on the benefits of IMAP enabled email over POP3, then apply by contacting Metawerx Support and letting us know which of your email address(es) you want IMAP-enabled.

More info...

8-Oct-2007 - Upgrades

On selected VM's, we have upgraded again to the latest copies of the following today:

  • JDK 1.6.x to JDK 1.6.0_03
  • Tomcat 5.5.x to Tomcat 5.5.25
  • Tomcat 6.0.x to Tomcat 6.0.14

If your VM has not been upgraded, and you want it to be, please contact us.

12-Aug-2007 - Special Offer - FREE Subversion Hosting

We are offering absolutely free, no strings attached, Subversion hosting to the first 100 applicants starting today (* Australian Clients Only).

The plan includes 200mb of Subversion Repository storage space, and 1 user account.

This is a great way to get started with Subversion, and version control.

Why are we doing this? We are confident that after getting used to our service and reliability, as your requirements increase, you will eventually move on to one of our standard Subversion hosting plans.

See our Subversion Hosting page for details.

6-Aug-2007 - New Dedicated Server Pricing Plans

New pricing has been released today for our range of Dedicated Servers, with prices starting from only $199/month.

Newer systems include the dual-CPU, dual-core 1333Mhz FSB range of PowerEdge 1950 servers with SAS-drives. As part of the pricing restructure, we are no longer offering 2x1.4 or 2x1.8Ghz systems.

In the coming months, Metawerx will also be offering VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting on our high-powered servers and network. This is an ideal solution for customers who:

  • want the privacy and control of their own server
  • want access to SCSI drives, RAID reliability, dual-power redundancy and metawerx support, as our shared servers offer
  • are not ready for the jump to a full dedicated server

Our first new VPS server sports a RAID-10 array (stripe of mirrors) with 1.5 TB of drives and 10gb of RAM.

Places will be limited at first, so if you are interested in reserving a piece of the new server, please contact our sales department with your requirements.

1-Aug-2007 - Subversion hosting now includes WebSVN

All Subversion hosting plans now include WebSVN, free of charge. Previously WebSVN was an add-on feature available for $5/month.

WebSVN allows online browsing of your repository, revision notes and online-diffs of source files from a standard browser.

For more information, see our Subversion Hosting page.

31-Jul-2007 - Data Centre Network Outage Report - 21-Jul-2007

At approx 5.45pm AEST on Saturday 21 July 2007 a fault occurred with the Primus Data Centre Core switches resulting in intermittent loss of internet connectivity for some Data Centre Customers. By 10pm the issue had been resolved.

There was no failure of any metawerx service or equipment during the outage.

Today we have been informed that the problem was due to hardware failure in equipment outside of the data centre. All traffic is being re-routed around the failed hardware and a replacement has been ordered. Action has been taken to ensure that traffic is re-routed as soon as possible should a similar failure occur in the future.

28-Jul-2007 - PostGreSQL historical backups upgrade

We have implemented a new backup strategy for PostGreSQL today.

Previously, with our PostGreSQL backups, only a single nightly backup was performed and kept. As of today, 30 days worth of nightly backups are now kept. With the new system, the entire PostGreSQL database cluster is also backed up and kept for 30 days, in case of database system metadata corruption.

Historical database recovery is available on request (restoration fee applies).

12-Jul-2007 - System version upgrades

Various upgrades have passed our compatibility tests today, and the following software is now available on all servers:

  • Tomcat 6.0.10 upgraded to 6.0.13
  • Tomcat 5.5.20 upgraded to 5.5.23
  • JDK 1.6 updated to JDK1.6u1
  • phpMyAdmin and phpPgAdmin upgraded to latest versions
  • WebSVN now available for Subversion customers
  • MySQL4 and MySQL5 updated to latest stable release versions

29-May-2007 - PayPal and Hard Disk Space Increase

PayPal is now accepted for all accounts except Dedicated Servers.

This week we are also pleased to announce that most plans have had another increase in RAID disk space. Existing customers will be upgraded automatically as usual. Disk space was increased by 100% on all plans except the Student Plan, and the Developer Plan which grew from 300mb to 500mb. We doubled disk space allowances last October as well, so this is now almost a 4x increase for most plans over the last year. A welcome addition for customers close to their limit who were considering upgrading to the next plan.

21-May-2007 - More Mail Features: Full Domain Redirect and Outgoing Mail Logs

Two new features are available today in Metawerx Mail. Full Domain Redirect allows all email for a domain to be redirected to another domain, and an Outgoing Mail Logs feature shows all outgoing mail sent from your domain through out mail servers, including the results of mail forwarded to external mail servers such as hotmail/gmail/yahoo.

For example, if you own the following domain names ...

  • mydomain.com (your main domain name)
  • mydomain.com.au
  • mydomain.co.nz
  • mydomain.net

... you can now redirect all email to your main domain. For example, when an email arrives for enquiries@mydomain.net, it can be automatically redirected to your main mydomain.com mailbox with the same name (in this case enquiries@mydomain.com).

Previously, the same setup could have been achieved only by setting up each mailbox individually and redirecting them to mailboxes on the main domain. This new feature saves setup time, management time, and mail collection time for your additional domain names. The new feature is available on the Mail Server Settings panel in SiteWinder. Thanks to David Barton for the idea and requirements spec.

The Outgoing Mail Logs can be used to find problems with mail forwarding, or to monitor the emails sent outward by your web application.

16-May-2007 - New Mail Server Settings panel

There is now a new Mail Server Settings panel available within SiteWinder, allowing access to some of the advanced settings of Metawerx Mail which could previously only be changed by contacting support.

Of particular interest is the ability to enable/disable the Junk Rating system, and enable/disable the Catch-All Email Address on your domain(s).

To access the new feature, log into SiteWinder and access Mail Administration for one of your domains. The new link is at the top of the page.

12-May-2007 - Daily Traffic Reporting / JBoss and Geronimo new versions officially supported

Daily Traffic report figures are now available in SiteWinder. To access the new feature, go to your Monthly Traffic Report and click the total for any month. The monthly total is now a link which drills down into the specified month, showing totals for each day.

As of today, JBoss 4.0.5, Geronimo 1.2 and Geronimo 2.0 (Milestone 5) are now supported options for Dedicated VM plans. We are also offering the new JBoss 5.0.0 Beta, with free upgrades when the stable version is released. This is ideal for sites still in development who require the cutting-edge JBoss 5 features.

5-May-2007 - Java VM Thread Dump feature

We are pleased to announce the addition of a new technical feature in our administration section today, for customers of dedicated Tomcat, JBoss, Geronimo and Command Line VMs. This feature allows you to list all active threads and their stack traces. If you have any tasks which run for an extended period of time, you can use the thread list to check which functions are being executed. It is also a useful way of verifying that additional threads started by your application are running correctly and have not exited (eg: a cleanup/sweeper thread or a background indexing thread).

1-Mar-2007 - Tomcat 6 now available at metawerx

Tomcat 6 has been available at metawerx for a while now, as we started offering it on developer plans during the beta stage. Today, the Apache Tomcat team have announced that Tomcat 6.0.10 has been marked as stable, so Tomcat 6.0.10 is now available for production sites on all hosting plans with JDK1.6. We are also providing the new APR on most VMs.

For a full list of all supported shared-VM configurations, please see the metawerx Compare Plans page. Dedicated VMs can use any configuration - although we don't recommend Tomcat 3.3 with JDK1.6...

6-Feb-2007 - IMAP, WebMail and Tomcat-Work-Folder-Clear function

We are pleased to announce that IMAP mail services are now publicly available. An IMAP mailbox costs $5/month, and provides a 1gb mail storage space on our servers, with unlimited folders. See the Metawerx Mail IMAP Guide for setup and ordering information.

IMAP and existing POP3 users also now have access to our Horde WebMail installation (see the Metawerx website for the link under Customer Tools). For POP3, this provides the ability to check your Inbox from anywhere. IMAP users can access their entire mail-folder structure with full synchronisation of all folders including Sent Items and Drafts. With either mail system, Horde also provides basic online task management and calendering services.

There is a new function in SiteWinder today, which allows the Tomcat "work" folder to be cleared. This is rarely something which is required, but for metawerx-managed dedicated VM customers, it can be useful to ensure that Tomcat is not maintaining compiled versions of old JSP files in the work folder, after large-scale upgrades of your application.

3-Feb-2007 - IBM Yahoo OmniFind now available

The new OmniSearch search system can now be added to your site. This is free software from IBM and Yahoo, providing a powerful Yahoo-like search system for your website.

OmniFind contains a web-app written in Java, and uses an extra binary for the crawling.

The system provides basic customisation features such as logo branding, plus full XML-based display formatting for more advanced interfaces.

Costs for hosting the OmniFind system are $10/month per system. One system can index one, or many locally hosted websites.

To try out the search, please see the Metawerx site search page. At the time of writing this article, in the case of the Metawerx search page, we have used a basic logo customisation only, and have opted to leave the IBM/Yahoo copyright notice at the bottom of the page. We selected the logo-customisation over XML-based customisation because it allows all of the Yahoo special features to be used, such as search-term highlighting, with a minimum of work.

21-Jan-2007 - CruiseControl and Automated Builds

We are currently looking for developers, companies, or OpenSource project teams who use CruiseControl, ANT and Subversion, to manage their build/test cycles. We will be trialing a new service set over the next 3 months and are looking for a limited number of participants for our feedback program. In exchange, the selected teams will be offered free use of these services online during our feedback and integration process.

For more information, see the Build Cycle Feedback Program page.

Numbers are limited, so please contact us for more information if this sounds like you!

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