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Physical move of server NC018 this weekend

18 July 2011 05:07:49 +0000

On 24 July between 01:00 and 13:00 UTC we will be moving server NC018 to a new, “greener”, state-of-the-art data centre. Because this is a physical move — i.e., the server will be carried from one location to another — the server must be powered down, disconnected, moved to the new data centre, reconnected and powered up again. This means the server — and some or all of the services hosted on it — will be unavailable for up to 12 hours this weekend.

Here are the dates and times in some major time zones:

UTC:     24 July, 01:00-13:00
PDT:  23-24 July, 18:00-06:00
CAT:     24 July, 03:00-15:00
AWST:    24 July, 09:00-21:00

Please visit the World Time Server website to convert this date and time into your own time zone if it’s not listed above. Please also ensure that you pass this information along to employees, colleagues, developers, customers, etc., so that they are aware of the outage in advance.

Many of the redundancies already in place will help ensure that the effect of this maintenance outage will be minimised — apart from the fact that, of course, the server will be offline for all or most of 12 hours. However, the recovery from this downtime will be quick because of these redundancies.

Here is some service-specific information that you should be aware of:

IP address

If your website is currently hosted on IP address 65.61.157.54, it will be hosted on 72.3.245.152 after the move. This will not be of interest to most clients, but there are some for whom this might be important.

The IP address of NinerNet’s primary mail server (mail.niner.net) will also change to 72.3.245.152. Again, this will not be of interest to most NinerNet clients. If it is of interest or concern to you, then you will already know that. Such instances usually apply to configuring firewalls, or other security considerations that are based on IP addresses rather than domain names.

DNS

A few days before the move, we will be lowering the length of time that DNS (domain name system) information is cached for your domain around the world. Immediately after the server comes back online, we will then update the DNS information for your domain and associated services so that, if your domain or an associated service is using the new IP address, the change will propagate within minutes.

Communication

Following this post, before and after the move we will be communicating important information through our status website at status.niner.net. However, because the niner.net domain itself will be offline during this move, the status website will also be available at its alternative address: status.ninernet.net. Please make a note of that address and use it to seek updates during the move.

NinerNet website

As indicated above, the niner.net domain and all sub-domains on the niner.net domain will be offline during this move. This includes the main NinerNet website.

Email

All email accounts and forwarders (redirects) hosted on server NC018 will be unavailable during the move. Incoming email will be held on the sending servers until server NC018 is back online, at which point it will be delivered. While some email may arrive out of order, no email will be lost; it will only be delayed. Webmail will be unavailable.

Special cases

Because we have quite a number of clients with unique configurations, those clients may be less affected by this outage than if all of their services were hosted on server NC018. In these cases — all of which assume that you are using the standard NinerNet nameservers (i.e., ns*.niner.net, where the asterisk is a number) — we will put in place (if it’s not already in place for your domain) an extra nameserver that will ensure that your self-hosted mail server or other service remains online during the move. Here are some examples, some of which may apply to you:

  • Self- or other externally-hosted mail server: If you host your own mail server or host your email with a third party (e.g., Google Apps or your ISP), that service will remain online during the move.
  • Website not hosted on NC018: If you host your website using our virtual private server (VPS) service, on the PHP 5 server (NC020) or with a third party, your website will remain online.

Both of the above assume that we have access to your domain registration to add the extra nameserver. If your domain is not registered through NinerNet, then you will need to add the extra nameserver yourself. That extra nameserver is ns3.niner.net, and its IP address (in case you need it) is 173.45.228.52. Please contact support before adding ns3.niner.net to your list of nameserver to confirm that you should do so.

  • DNS hosted elsewhere: If you use your own or a third party’s nameservers, but point one or more of your services to server NC018, the service hosted on NC018 will be offline during the move. Other services pointing to other servers will remain online. If your website or some other service was hosted on IP address 65.61.157.54, please update your DNS to point it to 72.3.245.152 during the move window.
  • Zam.co domains: If you have registered a .zam.co domain (e.g., example.zam.co), your domain will remain online.
  • SpamSlip.com: Your rotating anti-spam email addresses will continue to work.

In the case of email, a website or any other service hosted with a third party, please contact support to ensure that we’re aware of your configuration and that we have assigned or will assign you an extra nameserver.

Also, please be aware that although your service hosted on another server will remain online, performance may be slightly degraded during the server move. The degradation will be almost negligible, and performance will return to normal after the move has completed.

Emergency contact information

If your domain or service hosted on server NC018 is not back online within 30 minutes of the scheduled conclusion of this maintenance, please check the status website at either status.niner.net or status.ninernet.net for updates that may explain the situation. If updates there indicate that everything is (or should be) back to normal, please follow these steps, checking to see that your domain or service is still down after each step:

  1. Reboot your computer.
  2. If that doesn’t fix the problem, reboot your router, modem, and any other connection equipment.
  3. If that doesn’t fix the problem, please ask someone else — i.e., someone in another location (not the same building) that you have to phone to talk to them — to see if they can load your website.
  4. If that person cannot load your website, use the service at Just-Ping to see if the server is up.
  5. If that indicates that the server is down, please send an emergency email through the NinerNet website.
  6. If you cannot load the NinerNet website, please send an email to (deleted).
  7. If you use Skype, add NinerNet.Support to your list of contacts and talk to someone.
  8. As a last resort, please phone one of the following numbers:
    • Vancouver, Canada: 604 715 7263
    • Toll-free in North America: 1 855 NINERNET (1 855 646 3763)
    • Outside of North America: +1 604 715 7262

We appreciate your business and your patience, and most of all your understanding during this maintenance to improve the services that we deliver to you. Please contact NinerNet support if you have any questions or concerns.

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This is the corporate blog of NinerNet Communications. It's where we post announcements, inform and educate our clients, and discuss issues related to the Internet (web and email) hosting business and all that that entails. This includes such concomitant industries and activities such a domain registration, SSL certificates, online back-up, virtual private servers (VPS), cloud hosting, etc. Please visit our main website for more information about us.

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