DigitalOrphans Update v2.3

This is a notice to inform you that there are scheduled server maintenance updates planned for both websrv01 and websrv02 which will take place tonight, Thursday, March 8th at 10:00PM EST.

These updates will encompass all available Redhat Linux Updates, as well as prepare the server for Sunday’s new Daylight Savings Time changes. At the same time, we will be upgrading PHP on both servers: websrv01 will be upgraded to PHP 4.4.6 and websrv02 will be upgraded to PHP 5.2.1.

Downtime for this update should be minimal, around 3 – 5 minutes for the servers to be rebooted.

DigitalOrphans Update v2.2

A quick notice to let everyone know that tonight (Thursday, February 8th, 2007) between 10:00PM EST and 11:00PM EST there was network problems at our data centre, which affected both websrv01 and websrv02 as well as the entire iWeb network. The problem was intermittent, but prominent and did impact all services on our servers during this time.

All network activity is now considered back to normal operation. If you experience any other problems, please let me know.

DigitalOrphans Update v2.1

Important message for e-mail users on both websrv01 and websrv02
who use the POP3 mail protocol and any e-mail client (such as Outlook,
Thunderbird, Eudora, etc) which send e-mail through either of our servers.

Today we have removed the ability on both mail servers to allow
“pop3-before-smtp” authentication for sending e-mail. Previously, if you
had your e-mail client setup to check your e-mail using the POP3 protocol,
you were then able to send e-mail messages for a period of 20 minutes
before needing to check your e-mail again.

This was causing problems with e-mail users that have virus infected
Windows machines, which were then free to send their spam through our
server for a period of 20 minutes (until the POP Lock was re-enabled).

If you previous did not have your e-mail client setup to use SMTP
Authentication, then you will need to reconfigure your client to enable
SMTP Authentication before attempting to send mail through the server.

Digital Certificate Expired

On Wednesday of this week the digital SSL certificate for expired before I had a chance to renew it. Ouch. If you attempted to access Plesk from Wednesday to Friday evening on websrv01 you would have been presented with a warning message from your web-browser stating that the digital certificate for the domain has expired.

I apologize for not getting this renewed on time; however, it was successfully renewed and installed this morning. The old digital certificate is still installed when sending e-mail through if you have SSL enabled, but I will get Greg to copy that over today.

DigitalOrphans Update (v12)

Server Maintenance Report: websrv01
The scheduled maintenance of websrv01 went very well today with no problems to report. All relevant Red Hat updates were installed and I’ve upgraded PHP on the server to PHP 4.4.4.

Greg and I have not yet decided on a date to upgrade Plesk to version 8; however, we will be looking into it shortly and we will definitely post a solid date and time. I’m thinking arbitrarily sometime in mid-November… I’ve actually heard that SWSoft is going to be releasing Plesk 8.1 very shortly so at this point it might be better off to wait and see what they are doing first.

DigitalOrphans Update (v11)

Server Downtime: websrv02
On Saturday, September 16th at approximately 5:25PM EST we had some unexpected downtime on websrv02. This was caused by a permissions problem during a standard RedHat package update. The issue was resolved after about 15 – 20 minutes when Greg found the issue and corrected it. Users may not have actually noticed an issue at all since it was a problem with DNS and it only affected new queries to Bind. websrv02 was rebooted during this update.

PHP Updated: websrv02
Thanks to Greg’s persistence and assistance, we have also upgraded PHP on websrv02 to PHP 5.1.6. If you had PHP scripts running on websrv02, please check them out for any compatibility issues.

Server Maintenance: websrv01
We need to do some updates to websrv01 as well and we’re thinking that Sunday morning would be ideal for this. Updates will be performed to RedHat Enterprise on websrv01 on Sunday, September 24th @ 10:00AM EST. Downtime should be minimal if any, although we will need to perform a reboot of the server. A PHP upgrade to PHP 4.4.4 will also be done at this time.

Future Maintenance: websrv01
We still have not decided on a date to perform the upgrade of Plesk on websrv01 to version 8.0.1; although I will consult with Greg about this shortly and provide a solid date. After we have upgraded Plesk to the 8.0 release, we will shortly there after be upgrading PHP to version 5.1.6 as well. As previously stated, please make sure that all PHP scripts on the server are compatible with PHP 5.1.

DigitalOrphans Update (v10)

  1. Server Maintenance Status Report
    Just a quick update to let everyone know that the required server upgrades were performed successfully this evening. All RedHat Errata were applied on both websrv01 and websrv02 and both servers were rebooted without incident. websrv02 also received a Plesk update which pushed it to version 8.0.1. The only thing that was not completed was the PHP 5.1 upgrade on websrv02; I have read of a few minor issues I must first look into regarding the webmail application (Horde) and PHP 5.1 compatibility. I will be investigating this over the weekend (likely Sunday evening), but I will not be scheduling any downtime for this upgrade because generally it will happen so fast that no-one would notice.
  2. Conclusions
    I am always a happy camper when upgrades go “as-planned” 😉 If anyone notices any problems or is having trouble accomplishing something that was previously working, please contact me immediately.