Server Hardware Updates

Published on 17 Feb 2015

We visited the data centre yesterday evening to perform a couple of hardware updates on the servers. Our internal infrastructure server received a hardware upgrade so it can now cope with higher throughput on our backend support systems.
At the same time we refreshed some settings on our build server and we will continue upgrading our CI and build processes in the coming weeks for faster and even more reliable code deployments.

The Big Move

Published on 13 Feb 2015

The move from our on-site hosting facilities to the Custodian Data Centre has been successfully completed. We are very happy with how it went and have secured a stable and long-term strategy for growth of our business.

The last few weeks and months have seen feverish activity in the planning stages and purchasing of new hardware to get us into a viable hosting configuration before we even attempted to physically move our servers. We have spent a lot of time rebuilding machines into more efficient bespoke 2U housings, as well as reconfiguring our network infrastructure with some enterprise class switching. We invested a lot of time in securing our firewalls and ensuring that our data remains safe while allowing high levels of availability on all of our services. Some of our hardware infrastructure has been through a process of virtualisation in which we have been able to upgrade some of our physical machines to virtual devices that can be more effectively managed. This has allowed us to consolidate many of our services onto more efficient machines with more capacity for scaling our services with demand, while allowing us easier management of real-time replicas and maintenance cycles.

The move itself occurred last week. In the evenings leading up to it, we carefully moved each of our servers over to the new network address space, using some creative juggling of gateways and firewalls. This allowed us to test the new configuration in a completely secure network environment before we then moved to a new physical location. With this successfully completed, we then went ahead the next Saturday with the move of the machines into their new home.

The move itself, while long, went without major problems. Each group of servers moved were racked and powered on, bringing back their services in the correct configuration each time. We had one issue which required some creative thinking in the middle of the installation involving some jammed rails, but with some effort we were able to work around the problem and have everything running as we wanted.

Each of our servers is labelled and cable colour coded so that we can easily see at a glance which machine is which from the back or the front. Drives are labelled so that we can manage them individually in the event of any replacements being required.

We have full redundancy available in all of our hardware, from the switches, to the firewalls, to servers. Remote monitoring systems keep an eye on their health 24/7 and alert core team members in the event of any issues arising, so that we can pro-actively fix problems without our customers even noticing in most cases.

The award winning facilities at Custodian will allow us to maintain power and network connectivity at an unprecedented new level of reliability while being an environmentally responsible operation, and physically secure to ISO 27001 standards.

We are looking forward to the future in our new location, and if any of our customers has questions or queries regarding their hosting arrangements then we would be only too happy to answer them at our Support Helpdesk

Winter Migration

Published on 6 Feb 2015

We are expanding and improving our server operations this weekend by migrating to new facilities.

The build-up to Christmas and all of January have been a busy time for us as we have been preparing for a migration of our servers to an award winning local hosting provider.

We have selected the Custodian Data Centre in Maidstone to provide our ongoing hosting. Their award-winning facilities currently have a 100% uptime record and will provide power and network resilience beyond what we have been able to achieve so far.

We are planning to move all of our live infrastructure over the course of a few hours on Saturday 7th February. As such our customers may experience some unavoidable downtime while we physically move our servers into their new home. We have prepared the way as much as possible to minimise disruption and will continue to monitor them pro-actively once they are bedded in.

We hope to provide a more thorough write-up of our move once it is complete.

Thanks to all our customers for their patience and we look forward to working with you in the coming year.