Not only is it a new year, but it’s a new decade! Once again it’s time for our annual State of the Sanctuary blog post with a roundup of what happened in 2019 and what lies ahead in 2020.
In 2019 we continued our commitment to reliability, with uptime for our Cloud platform over the full year being a strong 99.965%.
Don’t forget that our status page is the go-to place to learn 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. You can also sign up for email updates from our status page.
Intel CPU vulnerabilities
In 2019 as the wave of Intel CPU security issues continued to come to light (starting back in 2018 with Foreshadow, Spectre and Meltdown), we continued to apply software and firmware updates in an expedient manner. We also took the decision to disable hyper-threading on all our Cloud Nodes in order to protect our customers from any future and as yet unknown side-channel vulnerabilities in Intel’s CPUs.
In 2019 we added an additional location for customer Cloud Servers, with servers now able to be provisioned in our Maidenhead datacenter. Cloud Servers in Maidenhead will have the same great hardware that we use in our Coventry datacentre, with Intel Xeon Silver processors, fast DDR4 RAM, and pure SSD storage — which all add up to faster Cloud Servers for you.
So if you need the resilience of having servers in multiple datacenters, or if you need a load balancing setup with failover, create a support ticket today to see how we can help!
Ubuntu 16.04 EOL coming up soon
In April 2021 the Ubuntu 16.04 operating system will reach it’s end-of-life, so we’ll be reaching out to customers over the next year to help them get upgraded. Customers will be able to choose from Ubuntu 18.04 (available now) or Ubuntu 20.04 (available in April) as their new operating system. The sooner the upgrade is done, the more flexible we’ll be able to be with support availability. We usually find that our support queue is longer in the last few weeks before a release reaches end-of-life, so to ensure we can help you on a timescale that works for you, start planning your migration today.
In 2019 we launched our all-new Web Hosting and WordPress Hosting platform, with a huge array of new features, including generous disk space allocations, unlimited mailboxes, AI-powered Smart WordPress Updates, premium SpamExperts incoming filtering included as standard, and much more — all powered by our new Plesk control panel.
We’ll continue to support customers on our Virtualmin platform for the foreseeable future, however if you’d like to upgrade to our new platform, create a support ticket and we’ll do all the work to get you migrated across to the new platform for free.
In 2019 we launched our Business Broadband service, offering high speed Fibre broadband (FTTP or FTTC) and ADSL broadband connections. We can also bond multiple lines together for increased speeds and greater resilience against line faults. If you’re having trouble with your existing office internet connection, or if you want to get a faster connection, contact us today to see how we can help your business.
We can now also provide leased line connectivity at speeds of upto 1Gbps. As leased line costs vary depending on location, please contact us for a quote.
After numerous requests from our customers, we’re pleased to be able to offer Office 365 as part of our Cloud Solutions Provider partnership with Microsoft. Help your team be the most productive that they can be with tools like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Teams — always kept up to date with the latest versions. Office 365 also comes with access to OneDrive cloud storage with 1TB of space per user, and advanced features like calendar and contact syncing across devices. To find out which package is right for you, visit our Office 365 page, or talk to us to learn more.
F-Secure Protection Service
We’ve seen a continued increase in signups to our managed antivirus and endpoint security solution, F-Secure Protection Service. How can it help your business? It keeps your Macs and PCs safe from online threats with antivirus, firewall, enforced software patching, and a filter to prevent you from visiting sites that contain malware. Not only this, it can also be installed on your servers and Android mobile devices, to protect those too.
What’s more, you don’t need to worry about making sure all your staff know how to deal with the alerts normally shown by antivirus software. Instead, similar to how a monitored burglar alarm system is watched over and controlled by a monitoring team, our F-Secure Protection Service software 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.
Vulnerability scanning is the best way to find security weaknesses you weren’t aware you had, and with F-Secure Radar, our fully managed vulnerability scanning service, we do all the hard work for you, finding where the weaknesses are in — both your office network and on your Cloud Servers.
We can provide regular reports, and we can also help you to resolve any security issues that are detected. This helps you become compliant with regulations such as GDPR and PCI-DSS.
In 2019, we started offering free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates with all Web Hosting and WordPress Hosting accounts, and we’re pleased to see extremely high uptake on this. It’s important to ensure that your website is protected, and by making encryption available to all our hosting customers at no extra charge we believe we’ve removed a big barrier for most people to start adopting this increased security.
In 2019 the Livedrive desktop client was refreshed with a new design, and it also added support for the latest versions of Windows 10 and macOS Catalina. Livedrive continues to be a great way to ensure your PCs and Macs are all securely backed up to the Cloud. It also allows for great team collaboration with the Briefcase cloud drive and Team Folders. To learn more, see our Livedrive pages.
Let’s have another great decade!
Thanks so much for all your support over the last year, and the last decade! We’re super excited for 2020, and we’re here to help your business succeed. Here’s to a great 2020!