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Amazon AWS and EC2, are DOWN affecting an estimated 500,000 sites.

Twitter is buzzing with sysadmins, checkout pages are not coming up and millions of dollars lost.



Here at SPI, we believe in redundancy.

Our client sites are hosted with Rackspace, NTT Verio, Softlayer and iWeb... all at the same time, on a master-master setup.

They're all great hosting providers, but as our friends at Pingdom frequently report, if things can go wrong they will.

Replicating client sites across multiple data-centers with multiple non-related hosting providers, is the only way to deliver true 100% uptime across the board.

If your site needs to be up and running at all times, contact us today. We'd love to help.
This is a follow-up to an old post I wrote back in 2008 about registering SSL certificates with VeriSign

While VeriSign is still the elephant in the room, these days, all modern browsers support certificates from GoDaddy, Thawte and many other cheaper alternatives to VeriSign.

Unless you have a very good reason to use VeriSign and shell out $400, I would recommend using GoDaddy. Their standard SSL will only set you back $50 and best of all - it is usually issued within minutes.

Step 1 - Register a domain

This is a no brainer.

Step 2 - Verify Whois information and make it public

Your domain whois information must match the company name and address you'd like to list on the SSL certificate.

Update your whois information if you need to (login to your SoftwareProjects account and click on the domain, or use your existing registrar interface) and make sure your whois information can be publicly accessed by whois.net

If you have private-registration, you MUST turn it off prior to applying for the SSL certificate. You'll be able to turn private-registration back on once the certificate is approved.

Step 3 - Generate private key

Login to your server via Telnet or SSH and run this command:

openssl genrsa -out www.mydomain.com.key 2048

Replace mydomain.com with your target domain name.

You'll be asked to choose a password. Pick any password - it is only used throughout the registration process.

Now enter this command:

openssl req -new -key www.mydomain.com.key -out www.mydomain.com.csr

Again replace mydomain.com with your target domain name.

You'll be asked to provide the country, state, company name and domain name. Make sure you use the EXACT same information as what whois.net shows for your domain.

The common name is your www.mydomain.com.

Step 4 - Buy Certificate

Visit GoDaddy's SSL certificate page here and select the Standard SSL certificate for 1 year.

Skip all the optional add-ons.



You will be asked to paste the www.mydomain.com.csr you prepared earlier.

View 3 Comment(s)

1ShoppingCart is Down

Mike Peters, February 11, 2011
1ShoppingCart.com, a popular shopping cart provider, has been down for 3 hours and counting...

Since 1ShoppingCart is a centralized system, this means every single merchant using 1shoppingcart is losing leads and sales hand over fist.

Twitter is full with raging customers and no ETA from 1Shoppingcart:



Contact us if you'd like to test drive the SPI shopping cart and experience first-hand, why so many are switching over.

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This outage is the second major outage for 1ShoppingCart in the last 6 months.

iWeb down for 4 hours, 3000 servers affected

Adrian Singer, November 4, 2010
Earlier tonight, at 11:00PM EDT, iWeb - a large data center headquartered in Canada, experienced a power outage due to a nearby fire, taking a third of its data center completely down.

As of this writing, 372 servers are still affected and iWeb is working frantically to bring machines back up.



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No matter which hosting provider you use, Murphy's law will have every single one of them go down on you, when you least expect it.

Five 9's reliability is no longer enough.

Customers demand 100% uptime and unless you're Twitter or Facebook, customers will go elsewhere when your service availability begins to deteriorate.

If 100% uptime is important to you, contact us. We can help.

SoftLayer down for 2 hours due to a power outage

Kate Richards, September 4, 2009
Earlier tonight, at 1:30am EST, SoftLayer - one of the tier 1 data centers we use, experienced a power outage in their primary facility, rendering thousands of sites dead.



SPI engineers were alerted to the outage within seconds (we take monitoring very seriously). After establishing that the core problem was a total data-center failure, we verified load balancers are properly redirecting traffic to other locations.

The Power Outage lasted a total of 2 hours and 3 minutes according to our friends at Pingdom:



All SPI client sites are multi-homed, which means we host everything in two independent data centers: Rackspace, Softlayer, NTT Verio and iWeb.

SPI utilizes redundant global load balancing, to immediately redirect end users from west coast to east coast, when such global outages happen.

How it works

New end users hitting your mydomain.com are diverted to active servers.

Old users / scripts (which keep a cached version of your website ip address) continue getting routed to the old server until their local DNS cache is cleared.

What's Next

While the DNS ttl (time to live) is setup as 60 seconds, some browsers and ISPs don't honor that and can take up to 2 hours until the DNS entry is refreshed.

As a workaround for these type of catastrophes where active users have cached a malfunctioning server's ip address, we'll be configuring the load balancers to reply back with all available server ip addresses, letting an end-user's machine rotate ips internally.

We understand the importance of keeping your sites up at all times and although our current setup ensures 100% uptime for new users, we are determined to come up with a solution for users with a cached version of a malfunctioning server ip address.

Your SPI account manager will contact you with any specific steps you have to take, in order to enable this setup for your domains.

Authorize.net is Down

Adrian Singer, July 3, 2009
Authorize.net, the largest payment gateway in the US, lost power to their Seattle data center early this morning.

SJC data center cannot handle the load and as a result, all payments are declining

Twitter is full with users reporting Authorize.net outages:



Expected resolution time is 2 hours.

If you're using the SPI shopping cart and have defined more than a single payment gateway, the system will automatically divert charges to your secondary payment gateway.

Otherwise, if you only have Authorize.net, contact your SPI account manager and we'll instruct you how to easily resubmit all declines once Authorize.net is back online.

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This outage is the third major outage this week and once again goes to show the importance of multihomed hosting.

Rackspace is down... Multihomed hosting rulez

Adrian Singer, June 29, 2009
Rackspace, one of the largest tier-1 hosting providers, is down today, affecting tens of thousands of websites, including some celebrity sites like Justin Timberlake and many others...



Here at SPI, we believe in multi-homed hosting.

Our client sites are hosted with Rackspace, NTT Verio, Softlayer and iWeb... all at the same time.

They're all great hosting providers, but as our friends at Pingdom frequently report, if things can go wrong they will.

Replicating our client sites across multiple data-centers with multiple non-related hosting providers, is the only way to deliver true 100% uptime across the board.

If your site needs to be up and running at all times, contact us today. We'd love to help.
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