No Branch At Pune

In the past two days, we have received numerous phone calls about some one opening a branch of Auro Infotech in Pune and offering lucrative salaries. It also appears they mentioned that it is a branch of Auro Infotech, Chennai.

WE DO NOT HAVE A BRANCH AT PUNE AND DO NOT INTEND TO OPEN ONE IN THE NEAR FUTURE IN PUNE.

Please be aware of this and plan accordingly.

Please send all queries related to this topic to admin@auroinfotech.com.

Email Spam Related Topics

We noticed that there are many questions related to email spam, and yet very few answers available online to assist users with information. Hence we will be running a series of blogs focused around Email Spam related issues.

There are a few basic types of issues we have heard in the past on this topic:

1. I sent an email and it got bounced back

2. I sent an email and it went to the receiver’s junk folder

3. I receive emails but they end up in my junk mail folder

4. I did not receive an email from a client – they say they got a bounce back notification that the mail was rejected.

We will try to cover the above basic types and more detailed approach (such as SPF, DKIM, etc) in the future posts on this topic.

If you are interested in getting these updates regularly, please feel free to sign up to our newsletter and you will receive the updates regularly.

How is my website quality?

Many often we find users come and ask us one of these questions: I got my website developed with a third party.

  • How do I know if it has been done with good quality?
  • How do I know if it is fast enough?
  • Does it work well anywhere in the world?
  • Does it work for all users on all devices?

We are starting a series of posts which will focus on the above questions.

(Note: We often confuse ‘quality’ with how a website looks and do not focus on how the website performs. How a website looks is a topic covered under the ‘Look and Feel’ of a website, where the website is supposed to look pleasing, primarily to the owner of the website, and in addition to the people visiting the site. This post does not cover that topic and only covers if the website is technically good.)

There are a few good tools released by some of the top organizations which help us decide for ourselves on the quality of any website. Some of them that we use at Auro Infotech are listed below:

  1. CSS VALIDATOR: This is a tool from W3C and is very useful to see if a site has any CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) related issues.
  2. XHTML VALIDATOR: This is another tool from W3C and is used to check if the HTML coding on the site conforms to XHTML standards as defined by W3C.
  3. Page Speed: This is a series of benchmarks provided by Google and can be easily checked on this link provided by GTMetrix.
  4. YSlow: This is a set of benchmarks defined by Yahoo! and is also available on the GTMetrix site.

At Auro Infotech, we expect our developers and designers to make sure there are less than 5 CSS or XHTML errors and also to get A ranking (90%) on Page Speed and YSlow.

If you find your website to be failing in any of these tests, go back to the developers and tell them to fix it right away.

Upgrading to SQL Server 2008

We are happy to announce that we are finally upgrading our Microsoft SQL Server from 2005 to 2008 this month.

As you all know, we have been providing Microsoft SQL Server with our Windows Servers for many years now. As a part of the continuous upgrade strategy, we are upgrading our SQL Server database from 2005 to 2008 this month.

Since MS SQL Server 2008 is backward compatible with MS SQL Server 2005 version, we expect this migration to be seamless. As always, we will make sure you are well aware of the upgrade process that impacts your sites, if you use SQL Server database. We will contact you before the upgrade and also let you know about the progress as we proceed. We expect this migration to be completed before the end of the month.

Please feel free to email us or call us if you have any questions on the same.

WordPress 3.2 is here but is full of bugs

WordPress team launched version 3.2 today to coincide with 4th July – American Independence Day. As the WordPress team has always delivered fully tested products in the past, we decided to take the plunge and upgrade to 3.2.

As we started using it, we realized the Manage Links feature was fully broken and we could no longer add or edit or delete any links. We gave the benefit of doubt to the WordPress team, as such minor issues do happen.

Then as we started adding new blogs, and then when we tried adding new images, it gave a serious error that file types were not recognized or something like that.

Now I know for a fact that this version has not been thoroughly tested and has bugs which is not worth using right away. So if a patch is released within a day or so, we will apply it or roll back to the previous version on our blog networks.

If you are planning to upgrade to v3.2, I strongly recommend waiting for a few days before doing so.

Switching Servers for Website Hosting

Many times we have come across scenarios where a client has their website hosted elsewhere and then they would like to switch hosting to our servers. During this process, we have always advised our clients to take a backup of their emails and files, before making the switch.

We realized that it would be helpful to all our clients if we publish the guidelines to be followed while moving their website to Auro Hosting. This blog is an attempt to provide an overview of the steps involved in handling the same. Please note that the scope of this migration is limited to Linux based accounts and so if you require help with Windows based accounts, please let us know and we will provide the details of the same.

When you are ready to switch to our servers, please do the following:

1. Backup of old site:
Remember to take the latest backup of all your files, databases, emails, etc.

Files: The backup of the files can be done using FTP. In order to do this, you should know your old site’s ftp server name, ftp user id and ftp password.

Databases: This has to be done by using the PHPMyAdmin tool which provides an option to ‘Export’ the entire database to a single sql file.

Emails: This has to be done manually for each email account. It is advisable to recommend each email user to actually setup an email client (eg. Outlook or Thunderbird) and download all emails from the old email server.

If you need help with this, please feel free to contact our support team and we will assist you with the same.

2. Automatic Restore of old site on new server:

If your old host uses CPanel (CPanel is a software that assists in managing the websites better), we will be able to take care of the migration in an automated manner, which will make sure the exact replica of your old hosting account is available on our server.

3. Manual Site Creation On New Server:

If the old host does not use CPanel, the restore process has to be done manually using the following steps:
Files: Use the FTP details sent to you along with the welcome email and upload the files under public_html folder. Any file in this location can be viewed from a browser after the ‘Nameserver Switch’ is completed.

Databases:
a. Login to the Control Panel (using the details given in the welcome email).
b. Go to MySQL Databases and create a new database, a new user account and allow this new user to have access to the database.
c. Open the PHPMyAdmin tool and click on ‘Import’ feature to import the sql. This will make sure the contents of the sql file are restored.

Though this task is time consuming, it is the only option available if CPanel Backup/Restore is not available.

Important Note: Please note that in this process, only the website related files will be restored. Emails and other data that are only available on the old server will not be restored and hence it is recommended that all emails be downloaded from the old server before the switch is made.

Emails: Login to the Control Panel and click on Email Accounts to manually create the email accounts. Once the nameserver switch and the propagation is completed, all emails will start getting delivered into the respective inboxes.

4. Nameserver Switch

Once the files, databases and email accounts have been restored/created, go to your domain control panel and change the nameservers to the nameservers given to you in your welcome email.

This switch takes about 48 to 72 hours to complete and once it is completed, the site will show up from the new server when you go to the website on your browser.

I hope the above steps are useful when taking care of the transfer of your website, but at any point if you face any issues, please feel free to contact our 24 by 7 support team.

New RBI Guidelines for using Paypal

Just received an email from Paypal about changes coming to the account starting 1-Mar-2011

It is quite clear that the RBI wants all payments made to Indian Business Accounts via Paypal should be brought into banks in India, before they can be spent for export related expenses.

This is quite an interesting move as it will surely tighten the tracking of the flow of money – which has been quite difficult all these days.

After the confusion last year, we stopped using Paypal, but I guess it be worth giving it another chance to see if things have improved.

As part of our commitment to provide a high level of customer
service, we would like to give you a 30-day advance notice on
changes to our user agreement for India.

With effect from 1 March 2011, you are required to comply with
the requirements set out in the notification of the Reserve Bank
of India governing the processing and settlement of export-related
receipts facilitated by online payment gateways (“RBI Guidelines”).

In order to comply with the RBI Guidelines, our user agreement in
India will be amended for the following services as follows:

1. Any balance in and all future payments into your PayPal account
may not be used to buy goods or services and must be transferred
to your bank account in India within 7 days from the receipt of
confirmation from the buyer in respect of the goods or services; and

2. Export-related payments for goods and services into your PayPal
account may not exceed US$500 per transaction.

We seek your understanding as we continue to employ our best efforts
to comply with the RBI Guidelines in a timely manner.

We regret any inconvenience caused to you and hope the advance notice
will enable you to plan your future use of our services accordingly.
For further information, click here
https://email0.paypal.com/servlet/cc6?iitHiQTBCTQWVHKupgxHmjhpgMhlLJoQJhuV2VTV20G62fGv28w9GVRRRBRATRSVa61ab9VCdaWWRTCT7YRAYUW0VGf6be862GEw05VvwvV86fy6bEvb9VCSASVwzgzgG0b9VUDWDTVXLX

If you have any questions, please contact PayPal customer support by
logging into your PayPal account and clicking on “contact us” at the
bottom of the page. We sincerely thank you for your patience and
continued support.

Sincerely,

The PayPal Team

Auro Shared Hosting New Year 2011 Offer

Auro Infotech is happy to announce our New Year Special offer on Shared Hosting where you can get our 1GB package with free domain and MS SQL Server for just Rs.999/- a year.

Our standard 1GB package is now only Rs.999/- per year (19.95USD per year) as a part of the New Year offer until 15-Jan-2011. (Service tax of 10.30% applicable).

This package also comes with Microsoft SQL Server databases included in it – besides the usual MySQL database. The features in this package are:

  • Free domain registration or transfer
  • 1GB Disk Space
  • 10GB Bandwidth usage per month
  • Unlimited MS SQL and MySQL databases
  • Unlimited Email Accounts
  • Unlimited FTP accounts
  • Unlimited sub domains and parked domains
  • Control Panel (Plesk on Windows server and CPanel on Linux server)
  • SMTP/POP3 with Webmail
  • Weekly Backups included
  • 24 by 7 support

This offer is applicable to new registrations as well as domain transfers. The offer is valid for the life of your account, which means that you just pay Rs.999/- each year during renewal and nothing more.

Also, this offer also qualifies for our Annual Auro Shared Hosting Customer Loyalty Rewards Programme.

Get your domain name and hosting account today by signing up today at New Year Promotion Order Online: https://auroinfotech.com/clients/cart.php

Note:

  1. 10.30% service tax will apply on all orders.
  2. MS SQL Server is available only on Windows servers.
  3. This special offer expires on 15-Jan-2011.
  4. During order placement, the domain cost will say Rs.450/-, accept it and the promotional discount will be applied right away. The final checkout will be only Rs.999/- as the total amount to be paid for this offer.

Please click here to contact us if you have any questions on this offer

98 Server Issue – Status Updates

Status Update as of 6pm GMT (11.30pm IST / 1pm EST)

More than 90% of the sites have been restored now. We are now working on the final list of eight domains or so, which had corrupted backups and we could not recover. We are now working with the data center to connect the old secondary hard disk as the secondary hard disk now. (When we got a new primary hard disk, we moved the old primary hard disk as the secondary hard disk to start the restores). We hope to get the last good backup from these and restore these sites.

In any case, we expect to complete the remaining handful of sites within the next hour or so.

We will provide the next update in two hours from now and hopefully this nightmare will be behind us.

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Status Update as of 3pm GMT (8.30pm IST / 10am EST)

More than 50% of the sites have been restored.

Some of the site backups have been corrupted and hence we are manually copying from the original location (and not the backups). In these cases, we might have to manually recreate the email ids and database user ids, though the good thing is that we are making sure the emails and the data are not lost.

Due to the above issue our restoration is taking longer than planned.

In any case, we expect to complete the remaining 50% of the restorations within the next two hours or so.

We will provide the next update in two hours from now.

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Status Update as of 1pm GMT (6.30pm IST / 8am EST)

We have received control of the server and now we are restoring the accounts from the backups.

As mentioned earlier, we will notify each client by email as soon as their site is restored.

We expect this process to be completed in the next two to four hours.

Will update within the next two hours on this.

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Status Update as of 12 noon GMT (5.30pm IST / 7am EST)

The data center has confirmed that the server will be online any minute now. As soon as that happens, you should start seeing your sites back online.

If you have an emergency and your site is not up yet, please contact us at support@auroinfotech.com and we will make sure your site is back up immediately.

Even otherwise, we expect to get all the site back up within the next few hours. Each client will receive an email as soon as their website is up.

We will update you again within the next hour, as soon as we take possession of the server.

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Update as of  10am GMT (3.30pm IST / 5am EST)

Please note that the server is offline now. The data center is replacing the primary hard disk right now. We will update as soon as the server is back online. Once it is online, We will starting our restore process and you should see your sites come back online.

We will provide the next update in two hours from now.

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Status Update at 9am GMT (2.30pm IST / 4am EST)

Please note that the server will go offline at 9.30am GMT (3pm IST / 4.30am EST).

We expect to restore the sites on the new hard drive within four hours from then.

Please standby for our next update.

————————–

Original Post:

Over the past three days, one of our servers (.98 server) has been having continuous hardware issues. In order to resolve this, the data center team has tried various solutions such as replacing the RAM, doing FCSK on the drives, replacing the chasis, etc.

At this point, they are recommending a complete formatting of the hard disks, which will cause the entire set of files to be lost.

In order to avoid losing all the content, we have identified an alternative solution.

We managed to get the server back up temporarily and have managed to get a backup of all the sites on the home directory of the respective sites.

The data center has arranged for a brand new hard disk ready for us to use now as the primary drive. They will load this disk and then load the current primary disk as the secondary so that we can restore all the sites back.

We expect this process to have a downtime of about twelve hours and have come up with a plan to minimize the same.

Please standby for an update on this.

Regards,
Server Support Team