State of the Sanctuary 2018

Happy New Year from all of us here at File Sanctuary! We hope you had a great holiday and are recharged for the year ahead. As is now tradition here at File Sanctuary, it’s time for our annual State of the Sanctuary blog post with a roundup of what happened in 2017 and what lies ahead in 2018.

Uptime matters

In 2017 we continued to provide excellent service availability, reaching 99.984% uptime across our entire Cloud.

As always, our status page is the place to go in order to receive updates about 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.

A few weeks ago we turned on status page notification emails for all customers with Cloud Servers to ensure that you don’t miss a thing, but if you want to unsubscribe for any reason there’s a link in the footer of each email.

Security

2018 started with a bang from a security perspective, as the entire IT industry scrambled to react to the wide-reaching Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities, and we were no different, taking rapid action to deploy patches. We expect more patches in the near future, and will continue to the monitor the situation.

As always, security is one of our top priorities, and we’re always keeping a close eye on the security landscape to ensure that we keep you safe from these threats and any others.

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.

Due to a low number of customers opting in voluntarily, this year we will be making two factor authentication mandatory for all customers. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be changing the customer portal to require you to set up two-factor authentication if you haven’t already done so (we’re rolling this out gradually). More information about securing your customer portal account with two-factor authentication can be found in this blog post.

Cloud Servers

In 2017 we refined our third generation of File Sanctuary Cloud node hardware, with some improvements to our SSD acceleration system. We also completed our retirement of Ubuntu 12.04.

File Sanctuary’s Cloud Servers are being used by customers like you to perform a wide range of tasks, ranging from running their office phones, media distribution networks, source code management, education, health and transport web applications, 4G 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.

In the year ahead we’ll be launching the new Ubuntu 18.04 operating system, and we’ll also be helping customers migrate away from Ubuntu 14.04, which reaches its end-of-life in April 2019.

Web Hosting

Shortly after it launches in April we’ll be preparing our Ubuntu 18.04-powered hosting service with newer versions of Apache, PHP, MySQL, and many other components.

As part of our retirement of the Ubuntu 14.04-powered hosting service, we’ll start offering upgrades to our Ubuntu 16.04 and 18.04-powered services. This will be a slow, gradual process over the course of the year, but we’d like to get everyone migrated with plenty of time to spare.

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 including the new 3-column vertical layout!

SSL/TLS

Over 2017 HTTPS became more important than ever, with both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox starting to flag non-HTTPS websites as “Not Secure” with increasing visual cues as the year progressed.

In order to make it as easy as possible for everyone to make the switch to HTTPS, we ran a promotion all through January where you can save 10% on any SSL certificate, and I’m pleased to announce that the offer is back! Just use promo code 201801ssl10off at checkout before Feb 28, 2018 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 2017, adding support for the latest releases of Windows 10 and macOS High 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

In 2017 we picked up the pace with gTLD launches, and this is set to continue into 2018! Keep an eye on our domains page for the full list of currently-supported domains!

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 time is starting to run out on these 5 year reservations. Claim your .uk domain now, it just takes a few clicks!

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.

In 2017 we launched the server edition of our antivirus solution with the same great benefits, and we’re continuing to offer the Android version too, so you can now cover all your devices with the best possible security!

Freedome VPN

Over the years we’ve had regular requests from customers to launch a VPN service that’s easy to use, and in 2017 we launched Freedome, the VPN solution designed by the security experts at F-Secure. With support for macOS, Windows, iOS and Android, it’s designed to run easily on all your devices. Just install the app, and click the “On” button, it’s that simple.

Protect your privacy, use Wi-Fi hotspots safely, and access blocked content by using one of over 25 VPN locations. Find out more on our Freedome page.

Coming Soon: rankingCoach SEO

Ever wished your site ranked higher on Google? Better rankings mean more visitors, and more visitors mean more sales. But how do you improve your rankings?

Enter rankingCoach, the award-winning online marketing app. We’ve recently partnered with rankingCoach to bring you their do-it-yourself SEO training and guidance solutions, proven to help improve your site’s position in search results and get you more traffic, at a lower cost and with a better feature set than if you signed up directly with them.

This partnership is so new that we don’t actually have a product page available yet (it’s coming soon, we promise!), but if you’d like to get on board now and try it out, create a support ticket or give us a call on +44 20 7183 7813 and we’ll get you set up!

Let’s get back to work!

If you’ve made it all the way through this blog post, thanks for reading, and we hope you’ve found it interesting! We’re excited for what 2018 holds, and we look forward to building more great things with you in the future. Here’s to a great 2018!