Thanks for your patience, let us show you what it was all for.

So we’ve reached September and all our equipment is in place and working as planned, but if you’re reading this you probably know it wasn’t smooth going. I wanted to take this opportunity to explain why and thank you for your patience. Let’s start with what happened this past 12 months … January started badly. A family bereavement and a full *paid for* DDoS attack. We knew then our equipment would need an upgrade.

April then happened, a full outage that cost us but tested our backups to the full. We managed to recover everything and prove our backups worked (silver lining). We immediately contacted our supplier and started working out the equipment we needed. The minimum we looked for was;

  • A new switch powerful enough to handle the Jan DDoS
  • A additional server for failover
  • Centralised storage system

After months of planning and discussions we ended up with;

  • 2 Switches, each able to handle the Jan DDoS (and more)
  • The additional server
  • A new firewall
  • Centralised storage

We also decided that our old server needed a full overhaul, and after research decided to switch to cPanel. They are the number one provider in the field and their support is near immediate. They managed the majority of the migration from Plesk to cPanel and helped us reconfigure everything for the new network.

All the new equipment would be configured and checked with experts in their fields. For the network we hired a Newcastle based company and their senior engineer Glen

Glen KBR

Glen works on the network configuration of the firewall and switches

Our SAN was configured by HP themselves to run at their optimum settings, we even ordered more drives after speaking to them to make it perfect

Our new SAN in its private RACK

Our virtualisation software was reviewed and by Citrix to align it with all the other equipment.

All our equipment now sits in a private cabinet with more redundancy than we’ve ever had. Everything has a backup. We paid for additional power, additional cables and equipment beyond the recommended specs to give us all the redundancy we can build in.

Glen and I worked through August configuring and tuning the new equipment making sure we were happy with all the physical setup, then a few trips into the datacentre to check the configuration was perfect.

Most nights we worked till midnight checking and securing the new network, the firewalls where completely reconfigured for the latest security settings and tuned for performance at every turn. With every step forward we reviewed the previous steps to make sure everything was covered.

As you can see by the pictures we even hired one of our customers Gavin Forster to take all these pictures, here are a few of the new equipment we have to showcase.

What’s next?

We’re in the process of upgrading our VPS functionality to give users more management of their servers, we’re reconfiguring our backups to allow for faster backups and restores. We’re planning a local backup service and a redundant off-site backup.

 

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