Category Archives: Web Hosting

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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

Important – 777 Permissions To Be Removed From All Servers

Due to the large scale phishing attacks happening on many of our sites due to the lack of security on many of the domains, we are taking certain steps to protect our servers and the sites from such attacks.

As a part of this, we are disabling 777 access to any website. To accomplish this, we are migrating our servers to SuPHP to secure our PHP and apache configurations. This move will make sure files cannot be written by everyone and will prevent the issue caused by the 777 permissions that were previously allowed on all files.

We are implementing this change in our shared servers on 30-Oct-2010.
suPHP is a tool for executing PHP scripts with the permissions of their owners. With this we have following advantages in shared hosting environment

No folders or files can have 777 permission and it cannot be owned by user “nobody”. This is one of the greatest advantage where we can secure the files and folders in the site as none can do anything other than the site owners.

This change will go in at midnight on 29-Oct-2010 and as of 30-Oct-2010 we will not allow any 777 access on any of our servers.

Site Owner should make following in their site
1. Make sure no 777 permission files or folders/directories present in the site. The recommendation is to change it to 755 for folders and 644 for files.
2. .htaccess file should not contain any php_value. Please move those values under php.ini file instead.

Please feel free to contact us if you need any help with this.

Resellers please pass this is to the respective site owners.

Site Complaints Notification Process at Auro Infotech

In the past year or so, we have received an increasing number of website related complaints of various kinds. Some of the common categories of complaints against sites on the servers managed by us are:

1. Copyright violation notifications against sites
2. Phishing attacks originating from sites
3. Spam mails originating from sites
4. Malicious content such as spyware, worms, etc originating from sites
5. Other types of abuse notifications about the sites

The process to notify these complaints is defined below:

1. Please send an email to support@auroinfotech.com with the following information:
a. Name of the site
b. Exact Link where violation occured (This is mandatory for reporting copyright violations, phishing attacks or malicious content notification)
c. Short Description of the issue and the action expected to be taken
d. Name and email id of the team to whom response should be sent

2. We will forward the notification to our clients and we always insist our clients to provide a response within 24 hours on the action taken.

3. If the client provides a response within 24 hours, we will pass it to you. If we do not get a response within 24 hours from our clients, we will take necessary action as per your request and update you.

4. Upon receiving written legal notification postal letter under Indian laws, we will provide the name and address of the clients whose servers are managed by us.

Please note that we manage the servers and the sites on it. We are not responsible for the content that resides on these sites, but as a professional policy, we will follow up on such complaints against sites hosted on servers managed by us.

On a related note, we will write separate blog posts about each of the types of complaints listed above, and the steps that can be taken by our clients to protect their sites from such violations.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about this.

Blackberry using SMTP and POP3

Some of our clients with hosting accounts on our servers have often asked us for details on how to connect their email accounts with their blackberry device.

Since we use Blackberry heavily at Auro Infotech, we are quite comfortable with the setup of Blackberry to be used with email accounts on Auro Infotech hosted domains. This post gives details of the steps involved in setting up the same.

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WordPress upgradation from 2.9.2 to wordpress-3.0.1

From our previous post

We have successfully upgraded our wordpressmu from 2.9.2 to 3.0.1

Here are the steps we followed for this upgradation
http://wpmu.org/how-to-upgrade-wpmu-2-9-2-to-wordpress-3-0-in-5-easy-steps/

We have also upgraded all our plugins and we are happy to say that we are in WordPress-3 club.

Have fun!!

Magento Upgrade from 1.3.1 to 1.4.1.1

Magento is one of the preferred ecommerce open source platforms we specialise in at Auro Infotech. Recently, Magento announced upgrade to 1.4.1.1 and we also decided to upgrade on of the Magento based sites that we manage.

In version 1.3.1, we faced the following error when we checkout using paypal
“There was an error proccessing your request”

We did many studies to fix this and we finally we decided to upgrade the magento to the latest version as we thought this might fix the issue. Since we developed the skin(theme) for the site, we knew it should be done with great care as we need to merge our custom code with magento code.

As always, before upgrading the live site, we upgraded the testing site with many trial and errors and atlast we did it successfully in testing. We have the steps noted down below which we took while upgrading the production site. Below are the steps which we like to share

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