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Archive for the ‘web site’ tag

Is Your Website Ready For The Holidays?   no comments

Posted at Nov 7, 2017 @ 10:00am Holidays,Web hosting

Is Your Website Ready For The Holidays?

It’s getting colder outside. It’s getting darker sooner. The time has been rolled back an hour, for those of us living in the United States. Winter is right around the corner and with winter, comes holidays. Thanksgiving is a few weeks away with Christmas coming in a close second and finally New Years. Now, why am I telling you all this? Matter of fact, why am I reminding you of these holidays? Isn’t this supposed to be a blog based on technology and not holiday seasons?

 

Well, I’m glad you asked. This part of the season is busy for us, due to the holiday specials we run. All the way from Black Friday to Cyber Monday. Everything is on sale for a fraction of the price. Everything from Virtual Private Servers (VPS) to top-of-the-line Dedicated Servers. During this time, traffic nearly quadruples to our main site, TurnKey Internet. Everyone wants to get in on the sales. Everyone wants to setup a website for their business. People are just shopping around for hosting providers if you will. Well, with that increased traffic comes increased strain on your servers which brings me to reason I’m writing this article.

 

With the holiday season rapidly approaching, you may decide to run a special on your products and services. The number one item that always occurs when running specials is an increased awareness of your product. That means you may have bandwidth spikes from potential customers viewing your website. You may have your products selling like hotcakes, but the question becomes, are you prepared for this? Are you prepared from the increased amount of traffic to your site? If you’re not sure, then you should continue reading.

 

As mentioned previously in this post, you will more than likely have a spike in traffic to your website which brings me to bandwidth. Do you have enough bandwidth ready to accommodate the spike in traffic your site may experience? If not, you should speak with your hosting provider about pricing plans for bandwidth.

 

Next, what about disk space? If you’re selling products online, more than likely you have a database storing the products with the customer information that is purchasing said products. Well if you’re running a special and have a higher than normal amount of people purchasing from you, you would want to ensure that you have enough disk space to accommodate said orders.  The last thing you want is your website to freeze or go off-line due to you running out of space because your database has tripled in size. You should speak with your hosting provider to ensure that you have enough adequate disk space.

 

This brings me to last point. You’ve checked your bandwidth and your disk space and they are more than adequate for your special. What’s next? Well, is your current environment sufficient to handle your increased sales? Let’s say your website is on a basic hosting account and receives a large spike of traffic during your holiday sales. Will your host throttle your account as it could be consuming too many resources? If your account is on a basic shared server, this is very high probability as the server will throttle your account for consuming too many resources. You should be aware of these limitations and speak with your hosting provider to see if they can handle your increased traffic. The last thing you want is a user who can’t place an order because when they view your site, they are seeing Resources Exceeded instead of your website.

 

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Written by David Maurer on November 7th, 2017

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Net Neutrality – If It Isn’t broken, don’t fix it!   no comments

Posted at Nov 19, 2014 @ 8:13am Ask the Expert

netneutralityPart I: Definition of net neutrality; definition of parties involved; examination of parties’ roles; detrimental to new business development

Net neutrality, as defined by the Federal Communications Commission is: “The ‘Open Internet’ is the Internet as we know it. It’s open because it uses free, publicly available standards that anyone can access and build to, and it treats all traffic that flows across the network in roughly the same way. The principle of the Open Internet is sometimes referred to as “net neutrality.” Under this principle, consumers can make their own choices about what applications and services to use and are free to decide what lawful content they want to access, create, or share with others. This openness promotes competition and enables investment and innovation.”

 

There are basically only three parties to the whole internet/net neutrality equation:

  1. Retail Traffic carriers: such as cable companies, phone companies, satellite companies, etc.
  2. Content providers: such as Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Spotify, etc.
  3. End users: you and me

 

The whole net neutrality issue has come about because the traffic carriers, want to charge content providers a fee for “fast lane” service to deliver their content to the end users.

 

So what’s wrong with this picture?  Here’s what’s wrong with it…. You and I pay a monthly fee to a traffic carrier for X amount of bandwidth.  You and I want to watch a movie or listen to a song from a content provider.  Hey, we have paid a fee for our bandwidth so we rightfully expect to be able to utilize that bandwidth whenever we want to.  The problem is, the traffic carriers have oversubscribed their networks.  Let’s say a traffic carrier serves a neighborhood of 1000 homes and they give each home 5Mbps of bandwidth and, the total bandwidth that the traffic carrier can carry on their main circuit to that neighborhood is 500Mbps.  This means that if 100 homes are utilizing the full 5Mbps of bandwidth they have paid for, the other 900 homes will have no bandwidth and won’t be able to use the internet.  Now, bear in mind that this is the theoretical limit.  Since data is moved in bits and pieces, all 1000 homes in the neighborhood would have at least some access to the net but if everyone maxed their connection at the same time, everyone’s connection would slow to a crawl since the maximum available bandwidth in this example is only 500Mbps.  The traffic carriers are gambling that only a certain percentage of the end users will be online at any given point in time and that only a certain percentage of end users will be using the maximum bandwidth that they have paid for at any given point in time.  Quite frankly, that’s a workable model and one that has prevailed over time.  The problem is – what if all the end users want to use their fully allotted bandwidth all at the same time? If that happens, then the traffic carriers cannot provide what the end users have paid for because they don’t have that much bandwidth.  This is known as oversubscribing your network.

So, what the traffic carriers want to do is to charge the content providers in order to give the content providers’ data, priority over other types of traffic.  This is completely wrong because the content providers host their servers at a data center (or multiple data centers) and they are already paying the data centers for all the bandwidth they need.  It is the traffic carriers who have oversubscribed their networks and yet it’s the traffic carriers who want to charge the content providers.

The content providers are not the problem.  The content providers have paid their hosting company(ies) for ample bandwidth to move their data to the end users.  It is the traffic carriers who have oversubscribed their networks that are causing the issue.  So, the traffic carriers want to charge the content providers to prioritize their traffic.  Which raises another question… if the content providers’ traffic is prioritized over other traffic, then what does that do to your VoIP phone service, or the content you’re trying to get from a company that doesn’t pay to have their traffic prioritized, or your email?  What needs to happen here is there should be no charge to the content provider.  The traffic carriers need to increase their overall capacity so that the end users can download whatever they want whenever they want it at the maximum speed that they have paid the traffic carrier for.

Think about this… if your next-door-neighbor downloads content from a content provider who has paid the traffic carrier a fee to prioritize their traffic and you are downloading something from a content provider who has *not* paid an additional fee to the traffic carrier, you could see your download slow to a crawl while the traffic carrier prioritizes the traffic of the paying content provider over that of the traffic from a nonpaying content provider.  Under this scenario, you, and the content provider you are using, are both being penalized so the traffic carrier can prioritize the data of the paying content provider.

If traffic carriers are allowed to charge content providers to prioritize their traffic, that may become an insurmountable barrier to countless new businesses that could potentially exist.  Think of it this way… suppose content providers have to pay traffic carriers to carry their traffic – in this scenario, what happens when someone comes up with a new idea, like youtube?  Can you imagine a couple kids in a garage that come up with a great idea but next to no one can download the content because the kids are running a startup and they don’t have the type of cash needed to pay traffic carriers to prioritize their content??  Think about how that will stifle competition and not allow for the latest and greatest ideas to get out to the public.

 

This will be a multiple part series since there is so much ground to cover on this topic.  Stay tuned for more.

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Written by Dave on November 19th, 2014

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Locked out of cPanel Again? Locked out of your Web Site?   no comments

Posted at Oct 21, 2014 @ 9:01am Ask the Expert,Web hosting

cpanelAvid readers of the blog know that I’m a slayer of tickets and protector of the Turnkey Internet realm of support tickets. If you have a support need with your software that you’ve purchased from Turnkey Internet, more than likely, I will be one of the team members who works on your issue. I wanted to write you gentleman and ladies, a post on a support request I see at least once a week if not more. I will start this article off by asking one question. Have you ever been locked out of your house? You walk out the house not thinking about the door, but then you realize that you need to go back into the house to grab your keys. However, the door is locked.

 

What will you do? If you’re a super prepared individual, you may have a spare key laying around somewhere, but if you’re like me, this may not be the case. So, what’s next? Maybe you start thinking, “hmmmm, I wonder if I have any windows unlocked?” You walk around the house hoping, praying, that you have a window unlocked. You soon discover, that you’re a very safety conscious individual and all of your windows are locked? Well, what do you do now? You have no spare key. No windows are unlocked. While that rock on the ground could easily go through the window, do you really want to pay money to get the window repaired?

 

This usually leaves you with no other option then contacting your local locksmith. Pay the ridiculous amount to have them drive out and let you back into your house in a matter of minutes. Now, what if that happens on your server? For the sake of this article, we will assume you have a server, VPS/Dedicated/Cloud, that has cPanel installed. You haven’t changed the password, but all of a sudden you can’t login to your cPanel or WHM anymore. What do you do? Well, if you purchased your services from Turnkey Internet, the quickest way would be to open a support ticket and have one our engineers allow you back in, but what if you’re a do it yourself type of person? Is there a back spare key you can use?

 

Now, just to be clear, I’m not talking about not being able to view your site in a browser, but specifically about your cPanel password, that you’ve not changed, no longer working. You may get the first thought that, holy crap, my account has been hacked. Someone has stolen my password and is slowly but surely stealing all of my data. While yes, this could be a possibility especially if you have an insecure password, e.g. CAT123, but what if you have a secure password. A 12 character password. It’s more less likely that your cPanel password has been stolen and more likely that you’re locked on our your account by cPHulk.

 

It’s very possible that you’ve heard of cPhulk before. For those of you who haven’t, the link below will explain exactly what cPHulk is:

 

http://docs.cpanel.net/twiki/bin/view/11_30/WHMDocs/CPHulk

 

cPhulk is a brute force protection software that is installed by cPanel by default. This little piece of software constantly monitors the server to ensure no one is brute forcing their way into your server. For users who do not know what brute forcing is, please see the link below:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brute-force_attack

 

To summarize that link, brute forcing is when a hacker tries every iteration possible to login to your account. They start with a dictionary of commonly used username and passwords and attempts to login to your account with each one. This is called a brute force attack and is what cPHulk is written to protect against. However, cPHulk can be a bit over zealous at times and end up blocking you out of your own accounts. So, how do you fix?

 

This fix assumes that you have root access to the server and a SSH client such as Putty to access the server.

 

  1. SSH to your server
  2. Type mysql
  3. Connect cphulkd;
  4. Delete from brutes;
  5. Delete from logins;

 

That will clear all IP’s currently blocked on the server and allow you to login to cPanel/WHM. At which point, you can go to Security Center -> cPHulk Brute Force Protection  and white list your own IP to keep this from occurring in the future. You’ve essentially just become your own cPanel locksmith. If you’re still having issues, you can always open a support ticket with us directly at: https://helpdesk.turnkeyinternet.net/

 

Until next time…

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Written by Jeremy on October 21st, 2014

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