AboveNet outage and resolution

Posted April 24, 2007 by simpli
Categories: Uncategorized

Hi all,

AboveNet (208.185 IP addresses) crashed earlier today for approximately 40 minutes. All Peer1 IP addresses (69.90) and Simpli IP addresses (208.69) remained online.

The official cause was on AboveNet’s end — a loose fiber cable on their switch port.

We are migrating approximately 8 customers per night to our new network, which will not fail if a single upstream provider goes down. We have been pulling long hours at the office to try to get all customers pulled over to our new network. The customers remaining on AboveNet will be migrated in the May-early June timeframe. I assure you that we are working as fast as we can to migrate everyone, while ensuring that all customers who are being migrated are migrated successfully with as little downtime as possible.

I do apologize for the inconvenience. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, however, when all customers are migrated properly to our new network and we no longer have problems like this stemming from upstream provider outages. This isn’t very far away — I expect to have all customers migrated by July 1 at the latest.

Thank you,
-Erica

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Migrating ns2.simpli.biz — and more information about the IP Migration

Posted April 11, 2007 by simpli
Categories: Simpli

Hi all,

First of all, we are migrating ns2.simpli.biz from its current IP of 69.90.210.8 to its new IP of 208.69.176.250 today. Until May 1st, ns2 will work on both 69.90.210.8 AND 208.69.176.250. As of May 1st, it will only work on 208.69.176.250. That means, if you have a server using this IP address for name resolution (if this IP address is in your /etc/resolv.conf file for Linux, or in your DNS server IP addresses for Windows), you will need to change this IP address in your server settings to 208.69.176.250 by May 1st. Please go ahead and make this change immediately.

If you are using ns1.simpli.biz/ns2.simpli.biz or ns1.simplihosting.com/ns2.simplihosting.com as DNS servers for your domain name, you will NOT need to make any changes. We will take care of all changes that need to be made on that end. It’s only if you have the IP address hard-coded somewhere on your server, like in /etc/resolv.conf, that you will need to make the change.

Finally, here is a further explanation of how the IP migration works. During your scheduled migration time, we will be working closely with you to migrate your server(s) over. We will need your root/Administrator password or an account with full sudo privileges to complete this migration for you. After the migration, BOTH your old and new IP addresses will work! You will then have until May 1 (in the case of the 69.90 addresses) until the old 69.90 addresses stop working. During the next few weeks, then, you should flip over all of your domain names to your new IP addresses. May 1st is the HARD CUTOFF DATE for Peer1 (69.90.x.x) IP addresses. I cannot stress this enough — on May 1st, the 69.90 IP addresses will stop working, so please make sure everything is migrated!

By now, if you are on the Peer1 (69.90.x.x) network, you should have received your new IP addresses and a scheduled date and time for your migration. If for some reason you have NOT received this, please email us immediately at support@simpli.biz and we will resend it to you.

Migrations start tonight and go through the end of the month. With your help, this will be successful and your network connectivity will be vastly improved!

By the way, for those of you on AboveNet (208.185.x.x) IP addresses, your migration starts in May, so watch for emails from us in the beginning of May.

Peer1 (69.90.x.x) IP migration beginning!

Posted March 28, 2007 by simpli
Categories: Uncategorized

Hi all,

We’re ready to start a large-scale migration to our new IP subnet. We’ve decided to migrate all 69.90.x.x IP addresses first. This is a significant upgrade in terms of speed and reliability from the bandwidth you have now. 69.90.x.x customers are currently on Peer1 bandwidth only. This migration will add Global Crossing to the mix for better international speeds to and from your servers, and multiple-provider redundancy so that if one provider goes down, we will automatically route you to a second provider.

This week, if you have server(s) with IPs in the 69.90.x.x range, you will receive a series of emails. The first email will ask you to confirm how many and which IP addresses you are utilizing, based on the records we have in our internal database. Once you reply with a confirmation, you will receive a second email. The second email will contain your new IP addresses and complete documentation on how to migrate your server(s). You will have approximately 2-3 weeks from receipt of the second email to migrate your IP addresses.

There will be two different ways to switch over your IP addresses, which we will detail in the second email we send you. One of them involves no downtime, so if a no-downtime migration is important to you, rest assured that we will work with you to achieve this goal.

Within the next month, all customers with servers on the 69.90.x.x range will be migrated to our new 208.69.x.x IP space. Please ensure that you reply to our emails quickly. Time is of the essence, as all 69.90.x.x IPs must be migrated by May 1.

If you have additional questions, please wait to ask them until you receive the first email from us. This will allow us to finish sending out all customer emails quickly. Most questions you have should be answered in the emails you will receive.

Thank you,
-Erica

IMPORTANT: Terms of Service updates

Posted March 15, 2007 by simpli
Categories: Simpli

Hi all,

We have made several important changes to our pricing and terms of service. We will detail these changes below and also point out where you can find each change on our website. Since our power, space, and staffing costs have risen so dramatically and are set to rise even more, we must make these changes in order to remain profitable. There will be no exceptions to any of these new terms.

  • Additional power pricing. For colocation customers, our new rule is that your servers must take less than 1 Amp of power on boot per 1U of space. Unfortunately, we were losing a lot of money on colocation customers who colocated servers that chewed up several Amps of power but only took 1U of colocation space. If your servers (combined) use more than 1 Amp per 1U of space, we will charge you an additional $30/month per Amp or $400/month per additional 20 Amp circuit. We have a power measuring tool in the datacenter and can measure your servers’ power when you install them.
  • Contracted power pricing and usage. For colocation customers whose contract states “1/2 of a 20 Amp circuit” or similar language, please keep in mind that national electrical code states that you may only use 80% of a given circuit. 1/2 of a 20 Amp circuit, then, means you can use 8 Amps of power. A full 20 Amp circuit means you can use 16 Amps of power. If you use more, you will be charged $30/Amp/month or $400/month for an additional 20 Amp power circuit. This is strictly enforced by Market Post Tower and, thus, by us.
  • New hourly rate for services. As we continue to hire higher-quality employees, we find that we must raise our rates for on-site datacenter work for colocation customers in order to continue paying salaries for the high cost of living here in San Jose. Our new rate for datacenter work is $150/hour, 1 hour minimum. We must have approval from you before we begin work, even if it is an emergency, to avoid confusion regarding billing. If you need emergency hands-on service, expect a phone call or reply to your support ticket asking for approval, and be ready to approve the charges before we begin work.
  • New fees for additional IP addresses. Now that we have our own set of IP addresses from ARIN, and must pay significant fees in order to maintain that IP address allocation, we will begin charging monthly for IP addresses. As always, 3 IPs come free — colocation customers receive 3 IPs per colocation package, and dedicated server customers receive 3 IPs per dedicated server. The next step up is a private VLAN with 8 total IPs, of which 3 are usable (mostly advantageous for those of you who would prefer a private VLAN.) Monthly fees for private VLANs start at $8. A complete rundown of new fees for IP addresses can be found in our Colocation FAQ (although this change applies equally to dedicated server customers.) This charge will begin when you are moved to our new 208.69.x.x IP space and will apply equally to all customers.
  • New option for Gigabit uplink. We are now officially offering a Gigabit uplink option. This will allow you to burst from your server or switch to 1000Mbit to the Internet. If you have a 100Mbit or greater commit, this port is free. Otherwise, we will charge $100/month for each Gigabit uplink. If you are interested in this option, please email our support team at support@simpli.biz.
  • Reminder of disconnect for non-payment policy. Our policy has always stated that accounts 10 days or more past due are subject to disconnection. We are now strictly enforcing this. Accounts that are disconnected are subject to a $150 reconnect fee…no exceptions! Accounts that are disconnected will be reconnected during normal business hours (10AM-7PM PST, Monday-Friday) only.
  • Reminder of cancellation policy. Our terms of service state that you must give 30 days’ notice of cancellation. This is another older policy that is now being strictly enforced. If you wish to cancel service, you must give us 30 days’ written notice. Your account is not considered cancelled until you have notified us in writing by emailing support@simpli.biz and we have replied confirming your cancellation notice. If you stop using your server(s) and neglect to notify us that you wish to cancel, you are still responsible for ALL charges, including reconnect fees.
  • Clarification of our uptime guarantee. Our Terms of Service still had several terms from when we were providing shared hosting. Since we no longer provide shared hosting, we have clarified our uptime guarantee. You will receive 10% of your monthly fee back for every hour our network is down. Total downtime of less than 1 hour in 1 month will not be credited, and scheduled maintenance windows announced on this blog are not subject to our uptime guarantee. We have been very reasonable about this in the past and will continue to be as reasonable as possible about it.

The above changes are detailed on the following pages on our website:

  • Power pricing; 80% rule; $150/hour service charge: Colocation page
  • Reconnect fees; cancellation policy; uptime guarantee: Terms of Service
  • Additional IP address pricing: FAQ

These changes will enable us to continue to provide you with the excellent service you have come to expect from our staff. If you have any questions about these changes, please email support@simpli.biz. We look forward to serving you well into the future!

Reminder: Daylight Saving Time changes

Posted March 11, 2007 by simpli
Categories: Simpli

Hi all,

Daylight Saving Time starts on a new date this year, and accordingly you must update your servers. If you are running CentOS or Red Hat Enterprise Linux and have run “up2date -u”, or Windows 2003 and have run Windows Update recently, you are covered. If you have not updated your server recently, we urge you to do so so your time updates properly.

Here are the instructions for upgrading Red Hat Enterprise, which apply equally to CentOS 3, CentOS 4, and White Box Enterprise Linux 3.

Managed customers, we will be contacting you directly to ensure that your systems are updated.

Thank you,
-Erica

Announcement: Adding Global Crossing tomorrow night

Posted March 10, 2007 by simpli
Categories: Simpli

Hi all!

We are upgrading our core network and adding Global Crossing as a provider. In order to do this, we need to quickly change over a cable and make a few changes on our routers. While we hope and plan to accomplish this with no downtime, we are scheduling a maintenance window at 11:59PM Sunday night, 3/11/2007 for 20 minutes. While this maintenance window is happening, you may see a brief outage or packet loss. Only SOME customers are affected… please note below whether you will be affected:

If your IPs begin with 208.185 or 69.90, you will NOT be affected and should not experience any downtime.
If your IPs begin with 208.69, you MAY be affected and may experience a short amount of downtime and/or some packet loss.
If your IPs begin with 64.34, you WILL be affected and may experience a short amount of downtime and/or some packet loss.

Again, the maintenance window is for 11:59PM Sunday, March 11, 2007 (in approximately 24 hours) and will last approximately 20 minutes in total. This is a significant upgrade to our new network and must happen in order for you to experience the highest-quality bandwidth here at Simpli. We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding, and are planning the switch so that there will be as little downtime as possible.

Thank you,
-Erica

Important Announcements from Simpli

Posted March 4, 2007 by simpli
Categories: Uncategorized

We have a few important announcements to make as we roll over into March.

First, I am saddened to announce the departure of Seth Blank. As Simpli’s Chief Operating Officer, Seth built a team of hard-working people and also designed many of the policies, procedures, and long-term plans that have helped to make and will continue to make Simpli a successful business. Seth has been an integral part of our team and he will be missed.

Seth is now pursuing consulting opportunities; he remains an active investor, advisor, and supporter to Simpli. Since several customers have already asked us about Seth’s availability for consulting work, I would like to mention here that Seth is open and willing to consult on an hourly or per-project basis with Simpli customers regarding network/server architecture and design.

To help fill the gap Seth left, I have moved both Daniel Garza and Sohrab Vaid into leadership roles within Simpli. Consultants will help us fill in other roles, as well. Our new staff roles are:

Erica Douglass, CEO
Daniel Garza, Lead Systems Administrator
Sohrab Vaid, Lead Datacenter Operations
Tristan Donofrio, Jr. Systems Administrator
Dan Serri, Jr. Systems Administrator (Dan starts Monday, March 5)
Wolf Noble, Systems Administrator (part-time; Mondays/Tuesdays)
Kolya Noble, Office Manager/Billing

We are also actively hiring a weekend systems administrator. Hours will be 10AM-6PM Saturday/Sunday. The weekend systems administrator will need to be located in or near downtown San Jose and will work out of our office. If you know anyone who would be interested in this position, please have him/her forward a resume to jobs@simpli.biz.

Also, I am pleased to announce that we have a new office! Things were a bit hectic last week as we got everything moved in as well as tried to keep pace with the normal flow of billing issues and support tickets, but work should settle down this week. Our new office is a significant upgrade from our old space, with nearly 1000 more square feet of space and in a much nicer building/location.

Our new office address is:

Simpli Hosting, Inc.
95 S. Market St., Suite #648
San Jose, CA 95113

Please send all checks from here on out to this new location! (We will also send out separate reminders to those of you paying by check.) Our post office box will be going away in the next few months, and the 95 S. Market St. address is where you should send all written correspondence from here on out.

We will have several more announcements for you soon, as this is an exciting time at Simpli…so stay tuned!