UNIXy Next – Refocus

I wish a very happy new year to everyone reading this blog entry. And especially to our clients to whom I give my most heartfelt thanks for continuing to place their trust in us.

The start of 2017 is an excellent time to reflect upon the past few years and set a clear direction forward. But first, we must reflect deeply on who we are as an organization, what got us here, and why we’re doing what we’re doing. The work we do at UNIXy is central to individuals, organizations, upstarts, and businesses needing to manage the increasingly complex world that is online presence. Simply put, we help people.

This reductionist thinking is important in that it externalizes itself in ways and actions that permeate our culture. Our culture lives on helping our clients meet their online needs. This is often embodied in our slogan that is Truly Fully Managed Servers. But as we zoom into our culture and out to what we actually do, we must be very specific about what is it that we do or don’t do for our clients. The minute we begin to outline the dos and donts, we’ve already failed them. And this is where reductionist stance of helping people collapses.

 

In light of a fluid and changing online world where multiple services are needed to bring an online presence to life, I’ve sat down to refocus our mission in a crystal-clear and all-encompassing way. The tenets of our managed services are enumerated in the above illustration so as to leave not an iota of doubt as to what you should expect from us.

The four tenets are: support, security, performance, and outreach. Outreach fills the gaping void that glues everything together so our clients succeed online. Outreach is the part where UNIXy goes above and beyond to meet the clients’ needs whether the totality of their services reside with us or partially elsewhere in the cloud.

I’m looking forward to the coming months as we execute on this mission.

Yours sincerely,

Joe Hmamouche

Introducing Fast-Track Support For Our Varnish Cache Subscribers and Courtesy Programming

Varnish subscribers seeking expedited assistance to their request now have the option to push their request up in the queue for immediate assistance. This option comes at a time when we’re focused on improving subscriber and courtesy programming response times. And it’s indeed a much needed improvement! At a fixed fee of $10, we assign a tech resource to answer your questions immediately. In the case of the courtesy programming department, we ensure your request is assessed right away without the need to wait in the queue. Once you submit your ticket you’ll be presented with the option to upgrade your ticket with the fast-track option as show in the follow screen shot.

 

Fast Track Support Option

 

Managed server and managed cluster clients are unaffected by these changes and remain SLA-backed in both response and resolution times.

cPanel Varnish Plugin release 2.4.0

This new release sports new features and several bug fixes. Notably the Always Up feature. cPanel’s webmail and WHM redirection and/or proxying has been fixed. cPanel’s new Paper Lanter theme has been implemented. Varnish has been upgraded to the latest. And bugs have been fixed among other things. The release is available in the download area.

Enjoy the new release and happy New Year!

Always Up Feature

Note: Always Up is a feature that was innovated and engineered by UNIXy back in 2011 and was deployed on some of our clients’ high traffic servers and clusters since. A detailed article was written on this technology: http://blog.unixy.net/2010/11/3-state-throttle-web-server/

Always Up is a new feature in the cPanel Varnish Plugin starting from version 2.4.0. This feature addresses a serious issue that affects most busy Web servers especially at times when one could be unavailable or away from their desk. As you know, Web traffic is highly erratic. A well behaving server with normal traffic could become unresponsive and crash within minutes due to a traffic spike (slashdot, reddit, viral, news, events, etc) or a runaway process within the system itself (backup, batch job, etc). Always Up is highly dynamic in the sense that it doesn’t kick in and go into effect until server vitals hit a specific programmable thresholds. Thresholds you get to set (in WHM -> Varnish -> Always Up). It’s dynamic because it’s a throttle-based caching mechanism that gets more aggressive as the load climbs up.

Always Up

Once the system triggers Always Up, it sets in motion aggressive caching measures so the server is able to cope with the extra traffic as gracefully as possible. And as soon as traffic subsides, it reverts back to its original pristine state. Always Up requires the input of three pairs of variables (ex 30:1800, 60:3600, 180:7400).

Always Up Screen

Always Up Screen

Each variable (ex: 30:1800) contains two numbers, which are separated by a colon. The first part of the variable designates the threshold 5-minute load average number at which Always Up intervenes to modify caching aggressiveness and set the caching in motion in the system. So as soon as the 5-minute load average is registered in the system, a systemic caching TTL corresponding to that threshold is set in the system.
Always Up Threshold

So in the example above of 30:1800, 60:3600, 180:7400, a 30 5-minute load average will trigger a systemic caching level value of 1800 seconds. If the load continues to climb or is at 60 load average, the TTL becomes 3600 seconds. And so on. The TTL is reverted as the load decreases back down in lock step fashion.

cPanel Varnish LiteSpeed Plugin v2.2.0. Simply Amazing!

The cPanel Varnish LiteSpeed Plugin has received a brand new update with features that will make your Websites pull at 250% faster page loads from the previous plugin release. Yes, that’s 250% speed improvement on top of any LiteSpeed cache option. The Scripts Store now includes Varnish Warp add-ons for WordPress, Magento, and Drupal. This is the smartest acceleration available anywhere on the Web.

Knowledge Base: http://www.unixy.net/secure/knowledgebase/37/Scripts-Store

Enjoy!