Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Servers Down

It would appear that as of about 1pm ET the BWD server is down. I am checking into it, but am unable to reach tech support at the moment. Past experience says that this will be remedied in 5-10 minutes, but I'll keep on top of it and update this post if I learn of any more delay than that.

Greg Campbell

A couple bad signs are that the tech support line is "busy" (or, when I did get through a message said they are not accepting calls at the moment) and most of their own access points are down as well. So it's the hosting company, or a large chunk of it, not just the BWD server.

And, right on cue, at 1:06pm ... the server seems to be operational once again. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Old Hosting Accounts Closed

As was stated previously, all (nearly all) BWD hosted accounts have been closed/deleted from the old server. I am in the process of moving the old (main) domain name [bwd-graphics.com] to the new hosting service. That should be completed by the end of this week. All of your domains should be pointing to the new servers. If you are unsure, please contact me via the email address in the left sidebar.

Thanks everyone for your patience through this. I am very happy with the new hosting service and hope that the months and years ahead will be very, very stable!

Greg Campbell
Basic Web Design & Graphics

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hosting Server Move Information

For those of you whose accounts I have moved to the new hosting service, here are some important links for you during the transition time.

All your settings will remain the same (I even tried to get most of your passwords copied correctly, after you sent them to me). You can login and correct any errors using the information below (login to the new server). But your mail server settings will remain:

incoming/outgoing mailservers: mail.[yourdomain]
username: your full email address
pw: your password

[NOTE: Some ISPs require that you use their mail server to send mail. If you have trouble sending, check with your ISP to see if this is the case. Also, you may need to set the outgoing port to 26, rather than the default 25. I found this to be the case with one account, but no others so far.]

cPanel (settings like email accounts and passwords, redirects, databases, etc):

cPanel (to check/retrieve any old settings not correctly transferred, email, auto-responders, databases, etc):

Webmail (to retrieve any mail incorrectly directed to the old servers, which can sometimes happen during the name server change):

Your cPanel login should be the same as it was before. And to check mail on the old server, just use your email address(es) and the associated passwords. If you need me to send your login information to you, just send me an email to the address in the left sidebar here.

IMPORTANT: Accounts will be on the old server only until July 31st. They will be deleted shortly after that.

Very sorry for all the issues over this past month. I am hopeful that there won't be anything like this ... ever again! :-)

Thanks for your business.
Greg Campbell
Basic Web Design & Graphics

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Continued Server Issues

As you may have noticed, there was another good chunk of time that the [old] BWD servers were down/inaccessible today. That will be the last straw. About 40-50% of the BWD accounts were moved to a new hosting service over the past several weeks. Tonight and the rest of this week I will move ALL accounts to a new hosting service.

Ideally you will not notice the change. If you have changed your email password since I created it for you then I will not be able to set that up for you. That will be a simple password "change" once the domain is pointing to the new server. You will not miss any mail. I will send you a link to check mail on the old server in case any does get directed there.

(In fact, I'll post it here: http://bwd-graphics.com/webmail ... login there with your email address and password to get any mail sent to the old server once the domain points to the new server.)

I'll send an email to everyone once all have been officially moved.

So sorry for the past month of at best inconvenience, at worst giant headaches. (I know I have one...)

Thanks for your patience.
Greg Campbell

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Server Downtime [Conclusion?]

The hosting service has decided that the problem is a hardware issue that is not repairable, and are currently moving ALL of their accounts (including all BWD accounts) to brand new servers. This will result in a bit more downtime this weekend, but by Monday, all should be smooth sailing.

Here is their message in response to a support ticket yesterday:

I am transferring your sites now... Your nameservers for ns1.bwd-graphics.com / ns2.bwd-graphics.com will be updated towards the end of the transfer. Please note that it could take some time for propagation, and it will probably be a rough transition as a result of the old server occasionally going down, but when it's all done it should be very nice.

Because of this, I have suspended any migrations that were in process to the other hosting service. Probably about 20% of BWD accounts have been moved from the company who has had the hardware trouble for three weeks now to the new hosting company. You have been notified if yours was one of these accounts.

I will be watching very closely over the next week to see what will happen with the current hosting company (on the new hardware). If there are still issues, I will have to continue moving accounts.

If you would prefer me to move your account anyway, just let me know. Use the email address in the left column of this page.

Greg Campbell


FYI, as of this afternoon (Jul 10), All BWD accounts have been moved to the new hardware (but with the same hosting company, except for those mentioned above who have been individually contacted about being moved to a new hosting company). There may be some domain name server propagation issues (being directed to the wrong server) but overall it seems the switch has been made and this should resolve all of the downtime and slowness issues. Please contact me if you're still experiencing problems after Monday. (A couple of days to make sure any name server issues are resolved.) Thanks.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Increase In Spam

If you have experienced an increase in spam in the past few days to a week, it's likely due to your account being moved to a new hosting service. I discovered that they do no have SpamAssassin enabled by default. (I was unaware of this initially.) I have not turned it on and given it a setting of 5, the default setting. This should catch/eliminate most spam.

If you'd like to adjust your spam filtering settings, simply login to your control panel:

Navigate to the SpamAssassin page and set the auto-delete number. Lower means it will delete more messages, higher means it will allow more to pass through. You can also enable a "Spam Box" if you'd prefer not to have SpamAssassin auto-delete. (Though I have found it does do a very good job of determining which messages are spam and which are not.)

This will not eliminate spam entirely, only greatly reduce it. One way to eliminate it (almost) entirely that is built into your hosting service is Box Trapper. Box Trapper requires authentication of every email address that sends you email. Once authorized, mail will be sent through normally, but the user must authorize their email address on the first attempt to send you a message. It works really great for me. I highly recommend.

If you're having any issues with spam, please try these solutions, and then contact me if the troubles persist.

Friday, July 2, 2010

MAJOR Issues Continue - Moving Accounts

The main BWD hosting company has not resolved the issues that have plagued the servers hosting most BWD hosted websites and email accounts, and though we have a long-standing and excellent relationship with this company, it has been nearly a week of intermittent connectivity (plus a day where the sites were inaccessible for a couple hours just before this past week) and many times the sites and email have been completely down for even hours.

This problem does not affect everyone, but the highest-traffic sites are being moved over and configured so that you will experience very little (or no) server move related downtime. Hoping to have all such sites moved to a new hosting service by the end of this weekend.

If you are having issues, please contact me using the alternate address in the left sidebar.

So sorry for the past week of very sub-par service. Looking forward to using the new faster, more reliable service.

Thanks for your patience, and your business.

Greg Campbell

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Continued Downtime for BWD Servers

The BWD servers have been slow again this evening (10:44pm ET)and are currently completely down. This means your website and email hosted with BWD are completely inaccessible. The hosting company continues to work on the issue, still promising to have it back to normal "soon".

Please contact me here, or at the email given in the sidebar (or by phone) if you have some urgent need that has been interrupted by this prolonged outage. Steps are being taken to eliminate these problems completely.

More soon. Please visit this blog page if your email is not connecting (incoming or, if you use BWD servers, outgoing) or if you find your website is running slowly or just completely down. I'll keep this updated as often as I can.

Very sorry for the inconveniences. Thanks for your patience.
Greg - BWD

BWD Servers Down for up to Four Hours

If your site relies on databases to deliver some or all of your content, you may have noticed today that that delivery is quite intermittent. We have been looking into any and all reasons this might be occurring, and the data center finally decided it could be a hardware problem. This will require shutting the servers down for up to four hours today.

VERY sorry for the inconvenience. Things break, to be sure, but added to the ongoing issues described below, this has been a very frustrating week for everyone involved.

Will update this post as updates are available.

Greg Campbell

UPDATE - 5:04pm:
The servers have been restored, and there do not appear to be any more database-related errors. Again, sorry for the inconvenience and downtime. Let me know if you are noticing any more issues.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

More Downtime for BWD Servers

The BWD servers are again offline, and this time a cause has been discovered. This is the second time this week, and third time in the last couple weeks. Very sorry for the inconvenience. It is likely no BWD accounts that are the cause of the problem, but unfortunately, we have been the victims of it.

Here is the message re: the downtime from the hosting company:

Causes / Solutions of Recent Downtime (BWD Server)
The BWD server has been down or unreachable 1 to 2 hours per day. There are two primary causes for this.

  1. Continuous brute-force attacks
  2. Frequent customer-inititated backups outside the normal automated backups.

The brute force attacks are very sophisticated and are coming from multiple locations around the world, most likely computers which have been compromised. Each attempt creates a number of log entries, which literally filled up one of the partitions on the drive (the cause of yesterday's downtime). The data center has been tweaking the firewall above the server to thwart these attacks as much as possible. Meanwhile, Platinum Server Management is working on tweaking server security.

The customer-initiated backups are most likely a result of the downtime itself. When there is downtime, there is a tendency for everyone to start generating and downloading backups on a more frequent basis. This uses up a lot of cpu and overloads the server. In short, fears about a crash become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I have no doubt that the issue will soon be resolved. In the mean time, thank you for your understanding and your patience as we work through these issues.

The servers are currently still down as of 4:55pm ET. Will continue to monitor and update here when all is back online.

UPDATE: The servers are back online as of 5:45pm ET.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

BWD Hosting Down: 4:14pm ET 23 Jun

It has come to my attention that the BWD hosting servers are completely unavailable at the moment. Websites and Email are down until the service can be restored. I'll update this post as there are any developments, or when the service is restored completely.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

At about 5:15pm, service was completely restored. Let me know if you're having any trouble with website access and/or email sending and receiving.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Overloaded Server Causing Intermittent Connection Issues

The BWD shared server (where most all BWD clients are hosted) is experiencing trouble current due to heavy traffic from a non-BWD account on that same server. This is causing dropped connections when checking for or sending email, inability to connect to databases, as well as very brief downtime for your sites. The problem is being troubleshooted currently, and will be corrected some time today.

This post will be updated when the problem has been resolved.

Monday, May 3, 2010

BWD Hosting Down: 9:30am ET 03 May 2010

The BWD servers are currently completely down. Web and email is inaccessible until service is restored. Will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates here.

UPDATE: 10:05am ... just after I posted the initial notice, the service has been restored. Please contact me if you are having any continued connection issues.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Server Down - Feb 13 [RESOLVED]

The BWD server was rebooted earlier today (about 1.5 hours ago) to correct some issue, but unfortunately, that seems to have caused greater issues. The server is down and they are working on getting it back up. As of 6:50pm, still not back up, but will update this post when the issue has been corrected. Sorry for the inconvenience.

UPDATE: (7:31pm ET)
This is a very serious issue. We will continue to monitor it and update you here.
The following update was posted by the hosting company:

February 13, 7:20 PM (NY time)
The server had to be rebooted due to an overload. Unfortunately, the reboot left the file system of the entire server in a state of disrepair, which has led to a loss of data for all web sites on the server. At this time, the DC techs are attempting to repair the damage and recover the data. More information will be posted here when it becomes available.
If the data can not be recovered as-is, we will begin restoring the most recent backups available. Please note that the MySQL partition was not damaged, so database information will still be up-to-date. It is only files that will have to be restored.

February 13, 8:42pm (NY time)
The file system check is currently at 43%. Updates will be posted as they become available.

February 13, 10:42pm (NY time) (BACK ONLINE)
The server had to be rebooted due to an overload. Unfortunately, the reboot left the file system of the entire server in a state of disrepair, which led to a loss of data for all web sites on the server. The DC techs were successful in repairing the damage and recovering the data in a relatively short period of time. Thank you for your patience while the problem was resolved.