Published on 02/03/09.
We took Net-at-hand down for about 45 minutes this morning in order to perform some maintenance and system upgrades. Your websites were available to your visitors during all but about three minutes of that time.
During this maintenance we performed upgrades to some of Net-at-hand’s underlying system components. These upgrades should improve the system overall (which hasn’t had any problems), but more importantly, the upgrades will pave the way for some exciting changes that are coming to Net-at-hand in the days and weeks ahead.
Anytime changes are introduced to a stable system, there is the potential for problems. Rest assured that we are constantly monitoring Net-at-hand for any problems and will take immediate action if any issue arrises.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns.
Published on 10/08/08.
The server that Net-at-hand runs on became unresponsive this morning around 4:01 am CDT. Once the server started up, there were a couple things that we needed to take care of to get the system back up and running. As of 6:18 am CDT everything is running and functioning normally.
We are not sure at this time what may have caused this issue, but we will be monitoring the server throughout the day today to see if further action is needed.
We apologize for the downtime.
Published on 07/29/08.
Part of our philosophy at Net-at-hand is that we do not try to do everything ourselves. We rely on third parties for different aspects of the service that we provide for the simple reason that we want to focus on doing what we do best, which is providing an easy to use web interface for the purpose of publishing websites.
One of the main areas that we rely on third parties in is our servers. We don’t own the servers that we use, we rely on the services of third parties to provide provide the server infrastructure and maintain them.
Slice host is the provider that we use for the main application servers. They have been very good for us because they allow us complete access to the server; we can set up the exact environment we need to make Net-at-hand efficient. Their service is also excellent, if something goes wrong their staff knows about it before we do usually and has emailed us directly to say what has happened and what they are doing to fix it.
Slicehost, however, had nothing to do with the issue on July 20.
The second major service that we use is the Simple Storage Service from Amazon Web Services. This is a service provided by amazon.com that opens up part of their very robust infrastructure for use by other web developers. Net-at-hand uses this service for the storage and serving of all image, mp3, and file uploads.
Amazon Simple Storage Service has had two issues this year that have resulted in downtime. One was back in February, and the second was on July 20. Throughout both of those times, the staff was very good at keeping me informed about the situation. You can read a full description of the event here. This is a direct description of what happened, what they did throughout the situation, and what they have done to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Why we use Amazon Simple Storage Service
We use Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) because it allows us to have the infrastructure in place to grow indefinitely. If we have thousands of customers uploading one hundred images per day, or millions of customers uploading hundreds per day, we have the storage and serving infrastructure in place to handle it. Amazon S3 is built on the same infrastructure as amazon.com, so we know it is going to be able to hold up to the load.
However, and this is a big however, we are not tied to Amazon S3 by any means. If the service proved to be unreliable, we could easily switch to a different platform. The list of distributed online storage services like Amazon S3 is growing quickly.
We feel however, for now anyway, that Amazon S3 offers the best solution for the needs of Net-at-hand and our customers.
Published on 07/20/08.
Today at 11:05am CDT the servers that hold all image, audio, and file uploads have stopped responding. A team of engineers is addressing the problem, but we do not, at this time, know how long it will take to get the servers back up. We will update this post when further information is available.
UPDATE 4:36pm CDT—The first hurdle to getting all the servers back up has been passed. Essentially, all the servers can now communicate with each other. The engineers are now working on restoring each server’s ability to accept requests.
UPDATE 7:00pm CDT—The image servers have all been fully restored and are functioning normally. We will post more information about this failure once a full investigation has been completed. We appreciate your patience.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.
Published on 07/15/08.
We actually posted this design a couple of weeks ago, but failed to say anything about it here.
The “Minimalist” design group is now available for everyone to use. Like all the other groups, there are five color schemes to choose from. The goal of this design was to create something simple and clean that would work in many different applications.
Published on 07/13/08.
We have discovered that the stats view is causing some pretty serious performance issues on the system so we have temporarily disabled the view until we can sort it all out.
While you will not be able to see the stats, the system will still be collecting the information, so when the view is again available, you will not have lost information.
We are embarrassed that this has happened, but it will give us a chance to do a little bit of homework and make Net-at-hand even better. We appreciate your patience. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.
UPDATE – 7/15
The performance issue with the stats tab has been fixed and everything is back up the way it should be. The problem existed because of an error we made in writing the code.
Thanks for your patience while we were working on it.
Published on 06/18/08.
One of the features that has been requested the most was a way to view visitor stats for a website. We are glad to announce that we have added a “stats” area to the “site” tab. The stats area will show a graph of the number of visitors, page views, and unique page views for your site. You can view a full year at a time, or drill down to individual months.
Published on 06/13/08.
The Net-at-hand system will be taken down for about an hour at 10:00pm CDT (GMT-5:00) on Saturday, June 14. This will be for the purpose of some routine maintenance as well as something new that we will be announcing soon.
During the time that Net-at-hand is off-line, your website will be viewable just as it always is; however, you will not be able to log in and make any changes.
Please feel free to contact support if you have any questions.