CC-BY pkirtz on flickr

State of the Sanctuary 2017

Happy New Year from all of us here at File Sanctuary! We’ve had a super busy start to the year so it’s taken us a little longer than usual to write up our State of the Sanctuary post this year, but we’ve finally got it sorted!

So, what happened in 2016? Lots! We’ve launched our third gen Cloud Servers, kept you safe from security threats, provided free upgrades, and maintained excellent uptime once again, but perhaps most importantly of all we celebrated our 15th year — a milestone we’ve only been able to reach thanks to the support of you, our customers. Thank you for trusting us to keep you safe all these years. We look forward to continuing to look after you for many years to come!

Keeping you online

In 2016 we continued to provide fantastic service availability with us hitting 99.962% uptime across our entire Cloud.

Our status page continues to be a fantastic resource for scheduled maintenance and service availabilty information. This page is hosted outside of our network in order to ensure it stays online even if our other systems are unreachable.

Security

Now more than ever, security is one of the top priorities. Not only have we been keeping our own servers safe, but we’ve been helping managed Cloud Server owners keep their own servers safe too.

Again we notice that not all customer accounts have a security question and answer set. This is something we require when you contact us via phone or our live chat so please ensure that yours is set and that any additional contacts on your account also know the answer to this question if they will need to contact us. You can check if you have a security question set or change an existing one in the customer portal by visiting the security settings page on the customer portal.

If you have a smartphone, we also recommend that you also enable two factor authentication on that page to secure your account even further. More information about securing your customer portal account with two-factor authentication can be found in our blog post.

Cloud Servers

In 2016 we launched our third generation of File Sanctuary Cloud node hardware, which allowed us in turn to launch our third gen Cloud Servers for you.

Our third gen Cloud Servers now come with much more CPU power with our new Intel Xeon E5-class CPUs, and disk I/O has had a dramatic performance boost thanks to our new SSD acceleration system.

We also doubled disk space capacity because we were able to make some cost savings there despite the performance upgrades, so we’re passing those savings along to you!

Better yet, every single Cloud Server was upgraded to the new hardware completely free of charge as part of our commitment to provide you the best possible service.

We also took the opportunity to simplify our Cloud Server lineup while we were at it. We now offer 5 simple Cloud Server packages, each customisable from scratch and with optional Server Management.

File Sanctuary’s Cloud Servers are being used by customers like you to perform a wide range of tasks, ranging from media distribution networks, source code management, education, health and transport web applications, 3G mobile data networks, and there are now several other hosting companies using File Sanctuary behind the scenes to power the services they provide to their own customers.

Coming up in the next couple months, we’re finishing the retirement of Ubuntu 12.04, helping you move to Ubuntu 14.04 or 16.04 wherever possible.

Web Hosting

Early in January we had a successful beta and launch of our Ubuntu 16.04-powered hosting service with newer versions of Apache, PHP, MySQL, and many other components.

As part of our retirement of the Ubuntu 12.04-powered hosting service, we’ve started moving customers to our Ubuntu 16.04-powered service, which is also powered by our third gen Cloud Servers, dramatically improving the performance of your website and email! This will continue over the next few weeks, and we’ll be in touch via a support ticket if the changes affect you in any way.

Many of our customers continue to make use of our Roundcube webmail client. We’ve continued to perform many upgrades to Roundcube over the past year, mostly security updates, although there have been some new feature upgrades too. Keep an eye out for the new Vertical layout, coming soon!

We mentioned last year that we’re excited about Roundcube Next, which looks set to bring some dramatic improvements to Roundcube, although it looks like the current version of Roundcube is still getting plenty of love in the meantime, and we’ll continue to share those updates with you.

SSL/TLS

HTTPS just became more important than ever, with both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox starting to flag non-HTTPS websites as “Not Secure” from this year onwards.

In order to make it as easy as possible for everyone to make the switch to HTTPS, we’ve run a promotion all through January where you can save 10% off any SSL certificate we offer.

Today we’re extending that offer until Feb 28! Just use promo code 201601ssl10off at checkout to save 10%. Don’t delay, ensure you’re not maked as unsafe… get an SSL certificate today!

Livedrive

Livedrive continued to get better than ever in 2016, with Detailed Status making a return not only on Windows but now also on the Mac client. We’ve also added support for the latest releases of Windows 10 and macOS Sierra, along with regular updates for the mobile apps!

Don’t have Livedrive and want to know more? We’ve written a couple of blog posts that go into more detail about the new Livedrive desktop clients and the new Livedrive web portal, so we’ll let those posts tell the story there.

Domains

We slowed our launch of new domains in 2016, but we’ll be picking up the pace again in 2017 with many more gTLD launches! Are you ready for the possibilties?

Don’t forget that if you own a .co.uk domain registered before June 10, 2014, then you also have the .uk version of the same name reserved for you. This reservation will remain in place until June 10, 2019, but why wait? Get your .uk now! Create a support ticket to get started.

Antivirus

It’s not just servers that need looking after, the computers you use in the office and at home also need to be taken care of in order to keep you safe online.

Our managed antivirus solution, F-Secure Protection Service, has been a runaway success, because it keeps your Macs and PCs safe from online threats, without the worry of having to deal with the alerts normally shown by antivirus software.

Similar to how a monitored burglar alarm system is watched over and controlled by a monitoring team, PSB sends all your computer’s anti-virus, firewall and software update alerts to the team here at File Sanctuary, allowing you to transfer these often complicated tasks to us so that you don’t have to worry about them.

The year ahead

As always we’re excited for the year ahead, and we’ll continue to work on making our products and services better so that you can stay not only safe, but successful online.

If any of you are going to WHD.global 2017 in March this year, some of our staff will be there and we’d love to meet you! Get in touch and we’ll be sure to find you for a chat over a coffee or beer!