The past two weeks have been busy, and I expect no less of the next three weeks. August is traditionally a very busy month, and of course why not throw in 2 stressful server upgrades amidst the other projects. *ha* A status report for both servers (I am happy to report) is that both machines are running the latest and greatest with no known issues. If you find something that you feel is out-of-the-ordinary, please let me know and I will investigate right away.
One change you’ll notice is that you will be getting a lot less spam to your inboxes. We are now using the Spamhaus Zen list to block spam, which uses the SBL, XBL and PBL lists.
I myself used to receive over 150 spam messages per night, and this morning I am happy to report I received 9. Yes, nine I can deal with.
This reduction is due to the fact that we are now blocking mail which originates from end-user computer IP ranges. Please read more about Spamhaus’ PBL list and if you have any questions, please let me know.
1. WEBSRV01 FINAL STATUS REPORT
After a much needed sleep Tuesday night, I had a chance to break-from-it a bit on Wednesday, work at my real job at Queen’s University, and tonight fix a couple of little wrinkles that were reported.
Issues which were identified and have been resolved / noted:
- The secure SMTP digital SSL certificate has been re-installed, so if you send mail using SSL on secure.digitalorphans.org you will not get a certificate warning in your e-mail client.
- Due to the fact that we are now using a new spam block list (zen.spamhaus.org) some of you at common Internet Service Providers were having problems sending mail through port 25 or 2525 yesterday / today. The error was saying something along the lines that your “IP address is blocked by Spamhaus: yourip”. While we can’t really fix this on port 25 and keep using this block list, we did remove it from port 2525.
In short, if you’re having problems with sending e-mail, change your Outgoing Mail (SMTP) port to 2525 instead of port 25. Please read the “Recommended Outgoing Mail (SMTP) Configuration” to see how we recommend to configure your SMTP server settings in your mail client.
- Index file priority (Directory Index) has been restored. If you had an index.html or index.htm and an index.php file, the HTML documents should take priority (for historical reasons).
- If anyone uses the Ioncube Encoder for encoded PHP files, please ensure that your scripts are functioning properly. There was an instance today where domain using Ioncube Encoded files had problems until I made some domain-level Apache adjustments. Please contact me if you are having issues.
- Microsoft Frontpage extensions is no longer supported, as Microsoft stopped support for it last year. That means Microsoft doesn’t do support for, patch or address vulnerabilities for the extensions, which means they can no longer be supported in a production environment. There are many alternatives including Adobe Dreamweaver & GoLive.
2. WEBSRV02 FINAL STATUS REPORT
Just a quick note on this, to let everyone know that the upgrades to websrv02 were completed successfully without incident. Downtime was actually only a few minutes, which was nice. This machine is now running Redhat Enterprise 4.5 and Plesk 8.2. An upgrade to PHP 5.2.3 will commence the second week of September.
There are no known issues with any services on this machine, so if you discover something unusual, please let me know right away.
3. RECOMMENDED OUTGOING MAIL (SMTP) CONFIGURATION
I thought I would add a section on how I recommend you setup your e-mail clients’ outgoing SMTP server details, as there are 3 ways that can work (mail.yourdomain.com port 25, mail.yourdomain.com port 2525, and secure.digitalorphans.org port 465 / secure.onlineportfolio.ca port 465).
Depending on which server you are on (websrv01 or websrv02), I recommend that you set your outgoing mail server using the following:
websrv01 Outgoing Mail (SMTP) Server: secure.digitalorphans.org
– OR –
websrv02 Outgoing Mail (SMTP) Server: secure.onlineportfolio.ca
Mail Server Port: 465
Enable SSL & SMTP Authentication
If you have specific questions or problems, please let me know. I’m happy to walk you through your setup.
If you have notice any issues, please as always let me know. I can be reached via e-mail and telephone. I suppose the next big news that I should mention is that I’m getting a new website. Actually, not just 1 new website but my whole network of websites (silentweb.ca, digitalorphans.org, onlineportfolio.ca, listmessenger.com and mattsimpson.ca) are under re-development.
The expected launch date for the new sites is October 15th, 2007, which believe it or not is the 6 year anniversary of Silentweb and our servers.