Category: Service News

Upcoming Downtime

Posted on 01/22/14 by Nick

We are upgrading our server shortly within the next few days between 1/21/2014 to 2/1/2014. This entry will be updated during which time the transfer begins. We request forums to slow down posting and suspend to maintenance mode.

This entry will be updated with further information.

1:00 pm Pacific Standard Time 1/22/2014 The migration has begun.
3:00 pm Pacific Standard Time 1/22/2014 All forums successfully moved.
6:10 pm Pacific Standard Time 1/22/2014 Main website back online.

6/30/2013 Outage

Posted on 06/30/13 by Nick No Comments

The Ashkir Network was aware of slow speeds and some time-outs pertaining to around 3:50 pm to 4:04 pm Pacific Standard Time (-8GMT). Our server hosting provider has been on top of the issue from the very beginning. The server’s stuck processes necessitated a reboot. It took a few moments for things to stabilize. Everything is now fine. Thanks to Michael Denney for the speedy update.

As of 4:10 PM Pacific Standard Time (-8GMT) we have been notified that our server will be rebooted again with a potential of five upwards to ten minutes of slow loading. The server is having an operating system upgrade that will be more efficient, this is a necessary reboot and it is completely intended. Services should be normal by 4:20 PM Pacific Standard Time (-8GMT). The new operating system will also limit persons on the server that is using too much resources while leaving the others unaffected.

I apologize for the outage, please enjoy your web services once again.

 

September 21st Downtime – Maintenance

Posted on 09/21/12 by Nick No Comments

At 10 PM GMT there will be a small burst of downtime that should last for roughly one hour (60 minutes). The hosting provider’s data center is performing some preventative maintenance tonight to install Automatic Transfer Switches.

More information about this device: http://www.olson.co.uk/auto_change_32a.htm

A Wild Ride

Posted on 06/01/12 by Nick No Comments

It has been an amazing seven years. I have coined the term Ashkir in the year of 2005. It was an awesome name I merged together of two of my favorite root words I learned in my sophomore year of high school when I begun to study Greek and Latin roots under the amazing teacher I had whom took time out of his day to explain things further to me because I had a hard time hearing. Tim McGlasson showed me a new world of words, explained how words can clash together and create entirely new meanings and become the basis of our language, he showed the beauty of the roots.

As I went on, I had another English teacher, Sarah Elder. She taught me things no-one has ever approached me before in my writing. Under her I begun to see myself in a new world of literature, finding captivating topics and constant book assignments from her and the librarian, Jodi Wheatly gave me in my aide class with her. I pushed forth with writing, and further onto it. Some friends and I started a role-play forum which we spent countless lunch hours and time on. We created an entirely new world through writing. And hence, the term Ashkir was put together as a major alias for its beautiful meaning, ruined kingdom. I have always been fascinated with the theory of civilization and the phoenix. They fall to ashes and yet, a greater force comes along in the ruins.

With these interests and a love in the internet enforced by Steve Harrell I pushed forward into the world of self hosting. I saved every bit of money I could to mail it off to a hosting company, known as Elixant in which I was referred to by someone known as Ross (ironically he’s probably about 5 now, since he’s a leapie). I enjoyed them, but, ran into issues keeping myself funded. I didn’t come from a wealthy family. I was taking an AP Computer Science class and couldn’t practice at home. In fact, my home computer? Pretty much wasn’t ever allowed on it. On top of that, it was about 2006 and we had Windows 98 with about 64 megabytes of ram.

But, I pursued my interest in the internet. Into code, into design. I see these amazing developers every day talk about how awesome their new code is and how they’ve been coding since they were seven. These developers had an amazing advantage over me, it seems nearly each one of them had access to tools I never have. I grew up in a nearly bad area of town. I lived a half an hour away from my school, I had to sit on the bus for two hours after school and two hours before. I have bad handwriting, so, nearly all of my homework had to be typed. Couldn’t do that at home, hence, had to do it during lunch. This is probably why my strongest grades were in mathematics, because, it did not require being typed. I learned to type quickly, though, a tad oddly, but, thanks to Mr. Harrell’s persistent quizzes on it, I became a very fast typist, soon topping others. My record is now 129 wpm for a sustained quiz with a 98% accuracy.

Soon, I moved to a host in late 2005 and early 2006, something around there for a side project I wanted to do. It was called HopeForAnotherday. It was an amazing project, I was extremely proud of it. I collected beautiful stories, and conducted amazing interviews with things you’d never think in this world. Child slavery, woman’s view on life from Iran, actually meeting an Iranian whom went back to Iran, the letter Empress Farah wrote to me, views on religion, a viewpoint from the President of the United States, Bill Clinton. I’ve had great influences, in fact, amazing influences. I’ve talked to people moments before they passed from our world. Around this time, a friend offered me an account on his reseller on HostGator. I experienced an incredible amount of time of being unable to access cPanel. RackSpace gave me a free hosting account for a while which they kept online for a year.

A man named Tyler Weinreich, whom is about the same age as I introduced me to a nifty software called WHM. It was amazingly fun and I learned a great deal after pestering him with a million questions. I went on from him to have actual experience with a root server from a man known as James Staricha, though, it did not last long. Thanks, mainly to Mr. Tyler Weinreich, I experienced a complete new realm and something I enjoyed. I learned a great deal. Around that time, I was threatened with a gun when I was buying a collar with the only money I had from my birthday, for my brother’s new dog. I rode my bike from my home, it took a half an hour to get to the pet store, only to be threatened. I had a great realm of experiences in my later teenage years.

I graduated high school in 2007. Since then, I pursued my own interests. I couldn’t go to school, I was sleeping almost eighteen hours a day. I had constant chest pain that my own mother thought I was faking. I had a hard time focusing. So, I decided to invest into something I enjoyed, websites and the internet. I learned a new software called Wiki. Before I knew it, I was being called an expert on it by other experts in the field whom to this day still speak at conferences around the world about Wiki. I’ve been invited to those conferences several times, and, sent a plane ticket once. Never worked out, sadly. By an extremely random stroke of luck, I was accidentally made an administrator over the AboutUs wiki. This changed my viewpoint of wiki entirely. With their help, I learned the ropes and went through RecentChanges like no tomorrow with Vartan Simonian at my side, whom was fun to talk to and also accidently made an administrator. AboutUs’ managers decided to let us keep our ranks, and to this day, we still hold it, five years later.

In early 2008 I joined a small web-hosting company known as BigWetFish. I did this at both Ross’ and Michael Wright’s recommendations. I loved it, and paid for a year. However, things did not go so well that year. BigWetFish was an amazing host, their support was top notch, and Michael was willing to answer and help me out anywhere. But, I got a lot sicker. I slept for eighteen hours a day, pain continuing to increase. I saw a new doctor around the same time, a new heart doctor. He immediately said I needed surgery and needed to go to the hospital in a few days. The government revoked my insurance as well as I got sicker. I had no money, my dad and grandma had to pay from their own pockets for my medicines. We fought, and eventually CCS covered the cost of the medicines, but, the surgery was a no go. A local lawyer sued on behalf of me, it was an eight month long battle, but, I got insurance back, and had my surgery. The surgeon said I was extremely lucky. I had huge complications. In fact. I died. We waited too long for the surgery. I had to have three parts of my heart replaced and my heart encased in plastic. But, on the bright side, my little brother was let out of prison.

During this long recovery time, I wasn’t up to do much. I mainly done Sudoku puzzles when my mind was up for it. I couldn’t eat for almost a month, I had a hard time the next two months until the point my other brother was arrested and I went back home. I didn’t like that lifestyle, and want to avoid it. I’m a different person than my brothers. I graduated high school, they never have. I was always the sick kid, my brothers protected me, but, yet, I was older. I went back to the internet websites in late December, I had no money, my hosting with BigWetFish had lapsed. My domain I had through Misk has been dropped. I had Ashkir.com since 2005. This saddened me big time. I lost control of it, and, someone else grabbed it and held onto it until they dropped it after a year, in 2010 when I was able to grab it once again.

In 2010 I found a place ran by a Jerry Smith called YuriHosting. Wonderful host. He was awesome, he was patient, and willing to work with me. Guess what? My fansite I made for an mmorpg exploded and became the #1 fansite for that game. I was eventually asked to join their forum and wiki moderation team as well. I became the first non-employee they brought on and the most senior one, I outlasted most of the employees that were on the project. However, YuriHosting closed down and gave us time to move away, I was going to follow Jerry to a place called PacificHost. Horrible experience with them.

I’ve been asked on staff to some large websites to ever touch the internet, which have been great honors. I was even made a senior moderator over an active and actual mmorpg that still runs to this date. With my domain once again, I set up a stronger hosting portfolio. In 2010 I also rejoined BigWetFish once again. Along with my personal domains, I have brought on my first non-profit website to my shared hosting plan. I had to upgrade my shared hosting plan once, than, I had to upgrade to a reseller as I brought in about another ten registered non-profit websites to help people obtain low-income housing. Name.com registered them quickly and worked with me to bring those websites up in a timely manner. In fact, my entire experience with Name.com has been positive. I recommend them.

It has been about two years now, I’ve been back with BigWetFish. I experienced awesome customer service, but, I also have an extremely bad stroke of luck. In late 2010, BigWetFish had an issue with WordPress. I was getting PHP errors spitting out everywhere. Pages were blank, things weren’t working right. They did quickly find out it was an issue in the auto-installer. This was reported to the WordPress team whom issued a fix for it. Awesomely, BigWetFish told me on Twitter to open a ticket, and they gave me an extra month of hosting. When I was building a website for a Junior Woman’s Club, I experienced many deprecated php errors once again. These stumped everyone. Issues were ongoing throughout October and until November. I asked for an upgrade, and went to a reseller. Moved to a new server in the USA sector. Everything worked perfectly, I had a great year of stability since then. About a few weeks later, BigWetFish figured out what the errors were due to other complaints, it was an incompatibility in WordPress’ software. WordPress did not work on PHP 5.3. It worked on 5.2, the server they moved me to used 5.2. I began to experience stability issues after a long period of time, but, BigWetFish were upfront about it and fixed it. Downtime hardly happened and was much, much, better than previous experiences with the other hosts.

Other blogs joined me, and eventually, I had a strong hosting portfolio and have nearly hit my bandwidth cap!

I liked their support. They were friendly and upfront with me. I loved it. I continued with another upgrade, and eventually begun hosting some RPGs. I loved the host, and, I was given a move from the US shared server reseller to the Maidenhead cloud reseller and an upgrade. I enjoyed the cloud server, everything seemed perfect. Stability was strong, but, the cloud had some flukes. Here’s a timeline of recorded errors from myself that were confirmed.

45 minutes downtime January 31st, 2011.
PHP issues all fixed, February 2, 2011.
– Several jolts of 5 minutes to 20 minutes, from tickets, about 8 different downtime, which is okay, 5 minutes is unnoticeable. One fo the reports from January 27, 2012.
Move to the UK datacenter/cloud on February 7th.
– Awesome stability for the next month.
– April 29th, 2012 there was almost an entire day of inaccessible service.
– May 17th, 2012… MySQL services became very unstable. We were getting maxed connections which was unusual. BigWetFish corrected errors quickly.
Pulsant Datacenter Down; BigWetFish’s entire datacenter in Maidenhead went down. This was not their fault, but, Blue Square/Pulsant’s fault. Lost an entire business day with them.
– We’ve been experiencing ever increasing load times.
– We’ve been experiencing several moments of slowness over the past month.
– Emails are now delayed by up to two to five moments, which can affect the business day.

All in all, BigWetFish has been wonderful. I’ve just had a bad stroke of luck. I experienced a great deal of uptime and great support. I learned a lot, and I’ve been generally happy. Downtime percentage has been 0.006164. This means I’ve had 99.994% uptime. Which is pretty damn impressive. They tell you problems first hand, most hosts will cover it up. If you look at percentages, it’s impressive.

Due to major outrages at some of the largest data centers in the world, Blue Square & Pulsant where huge portions of my cloud are stationed in the world I am pulling this offer until further notice. I’ve been with my host for a long period of time, they are fantastic and a wonderful host. Due to rising costs and the fact I’m on government assistance for a bad heart means I cannot continue to afford upgrades as easily.

My host is really wonderful, fantastic support. I’ve been with them for years. But, sadly, it’s starting to become time to look far beyond. Their datacenter has become unstable as their growth skyrocketed. My host said they’re investigating switching to a new datacenter because of the constant issues Pulsant seems to be having.

Until such a time resolutions are made, I am not fully confident in my host’s uptime. I however have faith in them. I enjoyed nearly perfect uptime in the past. Things have changed. When they improve, I’ll open up hosting for new registered non-profit websites, personal sites, and or forums that support the arts.

Seven years people. It’s been a wild ride. A long and memorable one. Thank you for forging amazing experiences. Onto the future, may we march forth.

Some numbers: I host a total of 15 registered non-profit business websites in the United States. I host a total of 4 personal blogs. I host an (1) otter website. I host 9 forums (most are tiny, less than 100 posts), including one about Rome! I host about 5 other websites. 2 fansites, including a fansite of name.com.

Data center outage.

Posted on 05/29/12 by Nick No Comments

We’ve had a major outage today and have been unable to offer updates due to the entire datacenter basically disappearing. Our fantastic host, BigWetFish has stayed on top of this from the very beginning. Here’s a timeline in -8 (Pacific) GMT.

UPDATE

The outrage has made the news at The Register. Click here for the article.

Gist: There was a major power outage at the Pulsant / Bluesquare datacenter in Maidenhead, United Kingdom. This was not the fault of Ashkir [dot] com nor BigWetFish. And we both apologize for these issues.

Who was affected? All of the Ashkir [dot] com network was affected as well as several webhosts and businesses throughout the world by this power outage. This has caused a great delay in emails being sent and has disrupted many hours of business and charity work, in fact, a majority of the Californian workday was affected by this causing emails and talking to offices, personal, and businesses hosted on this network. I apologize profoundly about this and would like to assure you that none of the email were lost.

Actions: Actions and measures are being reviewed and being put into place to prevent this from happening again in the future. It was an unforeseen issue. Personally, I plan on moving to an VPS as funds become more abundant to allow us a greater stability and a future in the web business.

What are we going to do: Make sure everything is running smoothly and nothing was lost. So far so good! I do want to do an eventual move to a VPS for greater stability for us. However, funds to do so aren’t available right now. This will probably happen around 2013 when it’s time for my hosting plan to renew. :). Thanks for the patience, and once again I apologize. I am updating all support tickets now.

The Timeline:
All times -8 GMT
1:51 am (9:51 am GMT) Lost connectivity to the internet. All packet loss. (tweet)
2:11 am (10:11 am GMT) Internet connectivity has been restored. (tweet)
3:12 am (11:12 am GMT) Downtime totaled about twenty minutes. Update is being looked into by BigWetFish. (BWF)
10:53 am (6:53 pm GMT) The issue earlier was resolved to be a routing issue affecting all servers inside the data center. Backup systems were brought on line quickly to rectify the issue. Engineers are working to restoring everything as soon as possible.
2:27 pm (10:27 pm GMT) Issue has arised again in the data center. BigWetFish is in communication with their partners to get to the bottom of this. It is not affecting BigWetFish or Ashkir [dot] com alone. (tweet)
2:41 pm (10:41 pm GMT) Hosting service, Tsohost in the same data center as BigWetFish released an update about three of their Maidenhead racks were without power. (tweet)
2:59 pm (10:59 pm GMT) BigWetFish’s Control Panel Server for their OnApp Cluster has returned online. The SAN and Hypervisors are back online. They’re starting up the VM’s as of now. Some services may need to fsck (file check). (BWF)
3:29 pm (11:29 pm GMT) All cluster servers on the cloud have returned online. Hypervisor load will be heavy for a short while. (BWF)
3:35 pm (11:35 pm GMT) Server 26 is back online. (tweet)
3:38 pm (11:38 pm GMT) Server 26 (our cloud) was reported as one of the affected by the outage. (tweet)
4:00 pm (2:00 am GMT) Everything’s stable. Load is within acceptable ranges. Though, tad slow.
4:17 pm (2:17 am GMT) Load in acceptable range, load is faster.
5:20 pm (1:38 am GMT) Hypervisors are stable everything is going well. Email services are now caught up.
June 1st 2:01 am (6:01 am GMT May 31st) News article is up.
I would like to thank BigWetFish, my host, for staying on top of this issue at all times and for giving me updates!