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  About Us    System News 

  System News

ParaFX.com has added this page to provide our customers news and updates related directly to the system and services.

This will provide you with information on back-end system upgrades and changes we make to enhance and grow our services.

The information in this area will sometimes be lightly technical but may be valuable information for your web developer.  This will also inform you of back-end upgrades and changes that will benefit you, that you may not have otherwise been aware of.

ParaFX.com constantly investigates the system and monitors hardware for upgrade needs.  We believe our customers deserve to know when we do upgrades that are normally done behind the scenes.


 

August 06, 2017
Extensive Upgrades to Email Infrastructure and Free Upgrade For All Client Mailboxes

We are pleased to announce the completion of a number of infrastructure upgrades that have been performed during a recent maintenance window for SMARTMAIL E-mail services.

Our staff have recently upgraded a number of back end infrastructure aspects for email services.  These upgrades have grown the
structure of our email services and ultimately resulted in a significant increase in performance for many aspects of the email service.

Clients will now experience significant performance improvements especially in circumstances where clients have a large number of email items, and access using Webmail.  The upgrades that have been completed will also enhance back-end mail processing performance and help to pave the way for future additional enhancements.

In addition, the infrastructure upgrades have also allowed us to provide a free upgrade for all mailboxes on the email system.
All mailboxes on our system have had their mailbox storage capacity doubled, completely free of charge.   This complimentary upgrade is effective immediately for all existing and future clients, and does not require any intervention to receive this upgrade.  Unlike many other service providers, it is important to us that upgrades such as this be provided to existing clients free of charge.  Far too often providers reserve enhancements or promotions for new clients only.  Not our style!

The upgraded capacity on your mailbox will activate upon receiving the first email after our scheduled maintenance which was completed on August 06.

We wish to thank our clients for their continued business and support.  We look forward to continuing to pursue service enhancements such as this.

To keep informed, please feel free to follow us on Twitter and also watch our System News page for announcements from behind the scenes

Feel free to follow us on Twitter at:  @ParaFXcomHelps and @ParafxcomStatus

Any questions can be sent to support@parafx.com

Thank you,
ParaFX.com NetOps Staff.

 


 

February 18, 2017
Additional, More Secure Connection Options for Email Services (SSL / TLS for IMAP, SMTP)

We are pleased to announce that we have done a roll out of additional connection methods for our email services to provide more secure options.

Our email services have provided various methods to connect to your mailbox and to receive and send emails.  These methods are:

POP (incoming)
IMAP (incoming)
SMTP (outgoing)
Webmail (Web Based Email client)

However we are happy to announce that the system now provides additional security options for your connection configuration.  Specifically, the system now provides SSL encryption and security as follows:

IMAP (regular non-encrypted) - Port 143
IMAP (With SSL Encryption) - Port 993

SMTP (regular non-encrypted) - Ports 25, 587
SMTP (with SSL Encryption) - Port 587 (SSL Optional) or Port 465 (SSL Required)

Webmail: http://webmail.parafx.com
Webmail with SSL Encryption:  https://webmail.parafx.com

In the coming months, we will be revising our support documents to provide updated information on recommended settings to be able to use the enhanced connection methods.  We will also be laying the smack down on our spam fighting efforts and in that effort, we will work with clients in a co-operative manner.

As part of the enhancements to email services and security, our support group will be advising clients of possible recommended email settings changes that will be required.  The settings changes will be relatively simple and their purpose is to ensure that clients are able to take advantage of new security measures.  In some cases with clients who have been with us for many years, they may be using older settings for their email which do not take advantage of improved security.  As such we will help everyone with the relatively easy setting upgrade, when it is announced.

Below is a discussion of the various methods of how you can connect to your email.  These discuss what these different connection methods are about.

Our mail services provide various methods to connect to your mailbox and use your email.  These methods include:

WebMail - Our web based email client available world wide, as a convenience tool when you are away from your computer or if you do not have an email application or software.  Webmail is provided in both http and https versions.  The https version is known as the secure version, meaning simply that logging in and communication from your computer to our mail system is encrypted.

POP
(formerly known as POP3) - This method is available from virtually any email application or software.  POP method involves your email software connecting to your mailbox on the server and downloading your email to your computer or device.  Most often POP downloads and removes the copy of each email from the server.  POP is a useful method as it allows you to download and keep your email on your computer and can be configured to leave only most recent email items on the server for viewing from other devices.  Because of this, it also helps to maintain your mailbox on the server from becoming full with old email.  When configured, it allows you to virtually store unlimited amounts of email as it uses your computer to keep and archive your older emails.  The POP method is also sometimes helpful if you have a limited internet connection because it only connects to the server to send or check for new mail, but once it has performed that task, it does not require a constant connection.

IMAP - This method is becoming the more common method used.  The IMAP method means that your email application or software will connect to our system, and download email details, however the emails themselves remain stored on our mail system in your mailbox.  Its like working live from your mailbox on the server.  Because IMAP generally does not remove items from the server, email remains in your mailbox stored online so that you can then see the same items from other devices as well.  Most often portable devices need to use this method as they have limited storage themselves.  So devices such as tablets and smartphones use the IMAP method to connect to your mailbox on the server to view emails.  As such if you delete an email from your mailbox via your phone, and later you connect with IMAP from your computer - the email will be gone.  This is great as it centralizes the storage of your email so it can be viewed and managed from multiple devices which will all see the same content.
A drawback to IMAP however is that because mail generally remains on the server, its very easy to forget that eventually your mailbox on the server will get full.  Though it does take quite a while to hit your mailbox storage limit, it does eventually happen when IMAP is used because email is not usually downloaded and removed.  If you wish to retain old emails and avoid hitting your limit, it requires a bit of discipline to either delete emails you don't need, or better yet, to archive older items off the server in your email client software on your computer or laptop.  Most email software will have "Local Folders" or "Storage Folders" which are folders that are contained in your email software - and stored on your computer.  The idea is that from time to time, you should file away older items from your inbox or server folders into these local folders.  Some email programs automatically archive older items for you this way to help.

SMTP - This is the method for sending email.  Emails that you compose and send are sent out using SMTP.  The above methods (POP and IMAP) are the ways in which you receive emails, while SMTP is the name of the protocol that does the sending of emails for you. 

To keep informed, please feel free to follow us on Twitter and also watch our System News page for announcements from behind the scenes

Feel free to follow us on Twitter at:  @ParaFXcomHelps and @ParafxcomStatus

Any questions can be sent to support@parafx.com

Thank you,
ParaFX.com NetOps Staff.

 


 

Saturday Feb 11, 2017 - 1:00am - 3:00am EST
Maintenance and Upgrade of Storage System - StudentPortfolios.ca - Humber Student Web Services

ParaFX.com NetOps staff will be conducting some routine maintenance tasks, and upgrade work on the storage system of our shared hosting services provided to current  and former students (grads) of WDIM and MMDD programs at Humber College.

This will impact the serving of websites that are hosted on the StudentPortfolios hosting system for short intermittent periods.
Our NetOps staff will be performing some upgrades to the storage system and as such, our staff will need to disable FTP access to websites to ensure and protect data integrity.

In addition, websites may be unavailable for periods between the above posted maintenance window.  At such time, we will be placing a notice up to inform of maintenance being conducted.

This upgrade is necessary as it will expand the storage system used by our web servers, and ensure that greater levels of redundancy and performance can be achieved. 

This maintenance / upgrade window has been carefully scheduled so that the tasks required can be carried out in a single maintenance window rather than imposing multiple windows of interruption.  It has also been scheduled to be performed during off peak hours to minimize the impact to clients.

Once completed, all websites will resume service and FTP access will be restored.  The maintenance and upgrade window is not expected to have websites unavailable for the entire time of the maintenance window.

This service window will not impact email, database or domain services as the maintenance is confined to only be on the storage system used by StudentPortfolios.ca Websites and web space. 

Clients hosted on our ParaFX.com shared hosting system will not be affected. 

We will continue to keep clients informed on the progress and completion of the maintenance window on our System Status page and also on Twitter.

Feel free to follow us on Twitter at:  @ParaFXcomHelps and @ParafxcomStatus

Any questions can be sent to support@parafx.com

We thank all of our clients for their patience and support as we perform this upgrade and routine maintenance.

Thank you,
ParaFX.com NetOps Staff.

 


 

Monday Sept 05, 2016 - 12:01am - 6:00am EST
Maintenance and Upgrade to DB Services

ParaFX.com NetOps staff will be performing a series of upgrades to our MySQL DB systems for all shared hosting services.
This upgrade is to improve performance and security as well as to ensure future compatibility with various web applications.

The upgrade will affect all shared hosting sites that use MySQL DB services.  This is specifically an upgrade for our DB servers known to clients as: mysql.parafx.com, mysql.smartwebservers.com, mysql.studentportfolios.com.  The upgrade impacts DB services used by shared hosting sites / clients.

Initially our NetOps staff will be doing some preparation work and upgrading the storage system / method for MySQL DB services.  This will take place throughout the weekend and is not expected to be service impacting.  DB services may require a brief restart during these preparation steps and as such - this will take place after hours (after midnight if needed).

During the above mentioned window, MySQL DB services are going to be upgraded to a new version for MySQL.  The upgrade will be to version 5.5

Our NetOps staff do not expect there to be any compatibility issues with the new version and client sites / applications, however it is important that clients also maintain their applications as up to date to ensure compatibility.  Our NetOps and support staff are not able to certify every client site / use of MySQL DB services due to the diverse usage.  Clients should make sure that their web content (whether using a CMS system, web application or custom code) is compatible for MySQL 5.0 or higher, and after this upgrade, the version will be 5.5

Our NetOps staff make every effort to not subject clients to frequent changes in versions of platforms and technologies we use, in order to ensure minimal disruption to clients, however at this time, this upgrade is no longer able to be postponed and we wish to ensure that our services are resilient and efficient.

Following the upgrades, clients can expect to see a significant improvement in performance and efficiency in DB services. 

There will be no change to the method that your site (s) use to connect to the DB services, so there will be no need to change any settings within your site, however again, clients are recommended to use current CMS systems and applications for their site(s) to ensure that there is no compatibility issue.

There will be some brief interruptions to DB services during the above maintenance window, however the interruptions are not expected to last the entire window.  DB services may be interrupted multiple times between 12:01am - 6:00am EST.

We will continue to keep clients informed on the progress and completion of the maintenance window on our System Status page and also on Twitter.

Any questions can be sent to support@parafx.com

We thank all of our clients for their patience and support as we perform this upgrade and routine maintenance.

Thank you,
ParaFX.com NetOps Staff.

 


 

UPDATE - As of 10:00pm EST July 29, 2016 - ParaFX.com NetOps staff are presently not conducting any customer impacting tasks or maintenance.  Unfortunately some tasks will be rescheduled due to a conflict with some vendor / partner aspects.  We are still performing other aspects of maintenance and work within our IDC, however none of our tasks are to impact customer facing services at this time.

Therefore the following maintenance window has been cancelled and will be rescheduled at a later date:

Saturday July 30, 2016 - 12:01am - 4:00am EST - CANCELLED / NO CLIENT / SERVICE IMPACT.

We are still waiting to determine if any brief or momentary interruptions will be required for Sunday, however at this time, we are likely going to reschedule any impacting maintenance for another date.

Thank you,
ParaFX.com NetOps Staff

July 30-Aug 01 2016 - Tentative Maintenance

Saturday July 30, 2016  12:01am - 4:00am EST - CANCELLED - TO BE RESCHEDULED
Sunday July 31, 2016 - 12:01am - 4:00am EST


Please be advised that over the course of the weekend, we are tentatively scheduling various routine maintenance to our servers and network equipment in our datacentre.

This window is presently tentative as we are awaiting some pending equipment / confirmation from multiple vendors.  It is our goal to minimize the frequency of maintenance windows and their impact to our clients - so we are working to consolidate routine maintenance with upgrades.  This window however may be rescheduled for a later date if certain vendors cannot align with our schedule.

Most of our maintenance tasks will not be impacting to clients or services, however there may be some tasks that will be performed that may briefly disrupt services including web, email or DB services.  We are working to conduct a number of tasks throughout our datacentre to prepare for future upgrades, changes and growth as well as increase efficiency of services and operations.

Any service impacting tasks will be performed during the following 2 after hour windows:

Saturday July 30, 2016  12:01am - 4:00am EST
Sunday July 31, 2016 - 12:01am - 4:00am EST

Any disruption to services is not expected to last the entire window, and is more likely to be a momentary interruption instead.
There are a number of tasks to be performed to continue to maintain services.  Some of these tasks are paving the way to upcoming upgrades announced earlier in the year. 

Generally speaking, there are no changes to versions or hosting environment that require any changes to be made by clients.  These tasks are more of routine maintenance rather than upgrades, however we are expecting some improvement of services as a result.  Updates will be provided on our System Status page to advise clients on the status of maintenance.

However presently this maintenance is tentative and may be cancelled as late as Friday July 29, 2016 8:00pm EST

We thank all of our clients for their patience and support as we perform our routine maintenance.

Thank you,
ParaFX.com NetOps Staff.

 

 

Feb 2016 - Upcoming Changes and Improvements

Please stand by as additional information on up coming system changes and upgrades will be outlined on this page.

There are a number of projects and upgrades that are in the works for various parts of our services.  To be frank, we often are very selective of upgrades and changes imposed on our clients due to the potential such changes have for customer impact.  Our NetOps team walk a fine line in many cases to ensure that necessary upgrades and alterations to service are performed to provide greater security and stability, while also ensuring that upgrades that are not necessary or beneficial are not pursued.  We also operate several series of servers for different aspects of our services.   We operate multiple shared hosting environments, along with dedicated servers and virtual dedicated servers for our various clients.  Each have their special requirements, focus, and mandates.

In the coming months, there are a few items on deck.  Details are still being established, but we believe in being transparent to our clients.  At this point, we would like to share some of the projects on deck.  Note that some of these projects are still in their infancy stage, and may change or be superseded by other projects or day to day operations.  Many of these projects are in the interest of improved security or stability.

Upgrade PHP on Shared Web Services
We are reviewing options to upgrade the PHP version on our various shared hosting servers.  A specific version had not been determined yet.  Our shared hosting servers are comprised of clusters of many servers all serving client websites.  This means that your website visitors may be served by one of many servers  in a strategic load balanced redundant fashion.  We are looking to perform the upgrade in order to increase security and efficiency.  With upgraded versions of PHP, there is often the creation of new capabilities and enhancements to existing functions.  However with that, there are also certain functions that may become deprecated or completely discontinued.  We strive to select a version that ensures maximum compatibility for our clients to the best of our ability.  If your website employs functions or methods that are being phased out- it usually means there is a newer method to perform the said function.  The grandfathering of functions is determined by the PHP project itself.  Some functions that are becoming obsolete will still work, but a warning may be generated - advising to upgrade code.  Some functions that are completely discontinued will produce an error and will not execute - but most often these functions are quite old and not likely to be used on most websites.  Our goal is to select an appropriate upgrade path to minimize any inconvenience while also ensuring beneficial results. 

Upgrade MySQL DB Services
Our team is also looking to upgrade many aspects of our DB services.  This will include the version of MySQL used, but also some changes and upgrades will be done to the overall service.  These changes are to address greater security and performance, and above all stability. 

We will be upgrading the MySQL version - however the version has not been hard determined yet.  Along with this - there will be some structural changes employed to how the service is used, and accessed.

Changing DB Access Methods
MySQL DB services are offered with a bulk of our hosting plans and are intended to be used by your website or website application.  It provides DB services often required by CMS sites (Content Management Systems) such as Wordpress.  The MySQL service we offer is not intended to be used for applications not hosted within our network structure.  Your website content has a direct method to communicate with your database on our system and data transmission between site and DB remains within our network (not transmitting to the outside internet).  However in the past, another method to manage your database involved using of MySQL client software on your PC to connect to your DB.  This type of access is a somewhat outdated method and does pose some possible issues.  Therefore we will be altering the service to no longer provide this method.  For the most part this should not affect client sites - but may change how you access your database yourself to make changes.  Another method will be recommended and provided to accomplish this.  This particular change is going to be implemented in the very near future and likely take place before other upgrades / changes.

These are a few of the items on deck presently - that are possible to post on our website.  More info will be made available ongoing as many changes and upgrades are on the horizon.  Any questions can always be directed to our support department as our support is provided by administrators of the system. 

 

 

Feb 11 2015 - Backend Improvements for Email Services - Targeting Higher Security and Spam

ParaFX.com NetOps staff have been monitoring and working for some time to make some improvements to our email services.

Our staff are very conscious of the importance of email as well as the threats of spam and viruses and other malicious activity that takes place over email.  As such we have been working very hard over a long period of time to make some improvements to the back end processes for email, however changes have been done in a very gentle mild way so as to ensure that no noticeable imact is felt by our clients.

All changes that have been made so far have not caused any negative impact to our clients, in fact they have been virtually invisible as we appreciate how much our clients depend on email services, and we do not wish to disrupt such services or implement changes that have not been thoroughly tested and well planned.

Our work will continue and in the coming months, we will be implementing other changes and improvements to significantly imrpove the management of email and also target very aggressively the problem of spam to our clients.  In doing so, of course precautions and planning will be a key factor, but in addition, we will be announcing some changes to clients - in order to accommodate improvements.

In some cases, we will be implementing stronger methods of authentication for clients to access email services, and improved settings options to allow more functionality and easier use.

As we progress to make improvements and changes, we will take every measure to accommodate clients and minimize disruption.  All changes will also be announced ahead via this website and our twitter feed.  We are also hoping to have client co-operation with these improvements and changes in order to provide enhancements.  We will also be seeking client feedback to know whether the enhancements have improved the levels of spam, and ease of service use.

In the meantime, we do suggest that clients also exercise some diligence with regards to email service and security.  Recently we have become aware of some cases where malware infections on client computers caused some clients to have their password information leaked out.  Although we cannot prevent this (as it took place on client PCs), we do remind clients to be mindful of where they use passwords, and store them.  Also we recommend that clients maintain strong passwords for all services.  Another suggestion; clients often use passwords for multiple purposes (ie use the same password for hosting, email, and for other outside services like Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo etc).  Doing so increases the risk of login information being leaked.  If another service you have is compromised - and you use the same password info on your hosting services, then ultimately your hosting service may be compromised as well or abused.

We will continue to work diligently on our email services and in doing so, we will also be implementing additional rules on the system to govern against the spam related activity, in order to provide customers a cleaner inbox.

Please watch this page for additional info and we will be sure to keep everyone posted.

We wish to thank each and every one of our clients for their continued support and business as we continue to implement new operations and services.  This would not be possible without our clients.

Through the coming months, we will complete, but also continue to implement operations to benefit clients as well as target for minimizing our environmental impact.  As always we strive to grow and improve.

Any additional details will continue to be posted on this page.
 

 

 

Nov 09 2012 - Upgrades to PHP on My Site Hosting Web Farm

ParaFX.com NetOps staff have performed a system wide upgrade to PHP 5.3.9 on our shared hosting platform.

This upgrade was performed to update the PHP Engine as well as to implement more functionality as more CMS systems are requiring PHP 5.3.x or higher.

In addition, the upgrade of PHP was also to address potential security issues that can arise from running an older version in a shared environment. 

Unfortunately there may be some issues with some websites that use older coding methods or functions that have been discontinued.  We will work to help clients as these issues arise.

We wish to thank each and every one of our clients for their continued support and business as we continue to implement new operations and services.  This would not be possible without our clients.

Through the coming months, we will complete, but also continue to implement operations to benefit clients as well as target for minimizing our environmental impact.  As always we strive to grow and improve.

Any additional details will continue to be posted on this page.
 

 

 

Nov 12 2011 - Upgrades to MySQL Database Services

ParaFX.com Network Operations staff have implemented a recent hardware upgrade to our database servers. 

No change has been made to software versions at this time, however our core database servers have been upgraded to provide double the processing power and memory to continue to support clients websites and media.

This upgrade did require a small interruption of approximately 6 minutes of database service in order to ensure the safety and integrity of the databases and their data.

We wish to thank each and every one of our clients for their continued support and business as we continue to implement new operations and services.  This would not be possible without our clients.

Through the coming months, we will complete, but also continue to implement operations to benefit clients as well as target for minimizing our environmental impact.  As always we strive to grow and improve.

Any additional details will continue to be posted on this page.
 


 

Nov 2011 - Updates and Changes to SPAM filtering Systems

ParaFX.com Network Operations staff have implemented some strategic changes to our back end spam filtering strategies.

Our mail admins have always taken an aggressive approach to managing and controlling incoming SPAM to the system but still maintaining a delicate balance to ensure that no legitimate emails are filtered.

Through using updated filtering systems and a more in-tune system to evaluate message, we have managed to reduce the amount of incoming spam by an average of about 37%.

This does not mean that all spam will be stopped, as it is an ever evolving battle, but through use of more sophisticated scoring system, a significant reduction of spam can be achieved without posing a risk to filtering legitimate emails.

These changes and upgrades have increased the processing power required to manage mail.  We employ using a "farm" of several servers in our datacenter all processing mail functions, so in turn, upgrades have also been performed to all mail systems to ensure there will be no performance impact to clients.

Network staff are always investigating the system to implement improvements to our production environment to ensure higher quality service for clients. These changes were performed seamlessly and in a way to not impact clients.

This upgrade was done proactively as well to allow for greater capacity.  Many hosting providers will hold off such upgrades to oversubscribe the system as a cost saving measure.

We wish to thank each and every one of our clients for their continued support and business as we continue to implement new operations and services.  This would not be possible without our clients.

Through the coming months, we will complete, but also continue to implement operations to benefit clients as well as target for minimizing our environmental impact.  As always we strive to grow and improve.

Any additional details will continue to be posted on this page.
 


 

July 01 2011 - Upgrade to Humber Hosting / Studentportfolios Hosting RAID Storage System

ParaFX.com Network Operations staff have installed some new networking hardware into the RAID storage system that houses core website data for our Humber Hosting / Student Portfolios System.

This upgrade will provide larger throughput with operations between the web servers and the storage system.

In addition we have also added additional servers to our cluster of web servers for the Humber Studentportfolios service.  ParaFX.com has always operated a "cluster" or "farm" of several servers in a load balanced / redundant fashion.  When web requests come in - our load balancing cluster equipment delegates the task to one of the servers in the "farm"  By adding additional servers, the "farm" can handle much larger volumes of web requests and FTP connections.  All of our core services use this method.  This also allows us to remove servers from service to perform updates, tests and maintenance.

Overall the Humber Student Portfolios hosting system has increased capacity, and equipped to handle more web services than ever before.

This upgrade was done proactively as well to allow for greater capacity.  Many hosting providers will hold off such upgrades to oversubscribe the system as a cost saving measure.

We wish to thank each and every one of our clients for their continued support and business as we continue to implement new operations and services.  This would not be possible without our clients.

Through the coming months, we will complete, but also continue to implement operations to benefit clients as well as target for minimizing our environmental impact.  As always we strive to grow and improve.

Any additional details will continue to be posted on this page.
 


 

Apr 17 2011 - Core Network Upgrades

Over the course of the past several months, ParaFX.com Network Operations staff and owners have been working diligently to implement many core operation improvements to further grow the infrastructure and efficiency of the Operations.

Our primary goals have been to re-design operations to improve the service as well as re-engineer the datacentre physically to implement more energy efficient solutions.

In recent weeks, ParaFX.com has implemented several new environmental control systems which, as discussed in our Green News page, allow the datacentre to utilize the outside weather for temperature control when possible.  This allows us to reduce our load on the power grid and minimize environmental impact significantly while also maintaining a proper environment for server / system operations.  In addition several renovations have taken place to improve the facility itself and prevent waste of resources.

In addition several core network upgrades have been implemented which include upgrades and additional internet peers.  This allows for more internet connectivity and better routing with local and worldwide ISPs. 

ParaFX.com Operations have also implemented many hardware upgrades which not only will increase performance significantly but also introduce more redundancy and failover options to ensure greater stability and growth potential.  On this point, ParaFX.com staff are continuing to do such upgrades and replacement of hardware in day to day operations.  Some hardware and systems can be replaced without customer impact so that is being done on a constant basis over the next few months.

These are a few of the many changes that we are implementing on the core operations.  Over the next few months, many back end changes will be taking place to increase efficiency and reliability - while being virtually seamless to our clients.

Once these undertakings have been completed, we expect to be launching some new hosting options and services in the near future and as we have done in our over 10 years of operation, we expect to be providing free upgrades and service enhancements to our existing clients as a thank you for your continued patronage. 

For those clients who have been with us for many years, they are already aware that from time to time, we expand quantities and services to existing clients as well as new clients.  It is the practice of many service providers to offer new options to new clients only, while we strive to provide benefits to all our clients as much as possible.

We wish to thank each and every one of our clients for their continued support and business as we continue to implement new operations and services.  This would not be possible without our clients.

Through the coming months, we will complete, but also continue to implement operations to benefit clients as well as target for minimizing our environmental impact.  As always we strive to grow and improve.

Any additional details will continue to be posted on this page.
 


 

Apr 19 2010 - More Green Operations

ParaFX.com is continuing efforts to enhance our operations with specific target to maintaining quality of service while enhancing our operations to tend to environmental concerns.

As such ParaFX.com will be implementing several "green" incentives in our operations both within the data centre and the office / monitoring facilities.  During our annual network maintenance window which is to be announced, several initiatives will be implemented to lessen our environmental impact.  In the past many efforts have already been made, but there is always room for improvement.

D
etails of these changes and upgrades will be announced in the near future.
 


 

Mar 31 2010 - Core Upstream Upgrades

ParaFX.com have recently performed a major overhaul on the portion of the infrastructure which handles our upstream providers and peers, as well as our border network security and routing.

Network Operations staff over a 4 day operation have replaced hardware of our border routers.  In doing such as well as with working with our upstream providers - we have implemented a new system which provides more sophisticated routing and redundancy as well as additional protection and safeguard provisions for attempted attacks.

Through this intensive upgrade - customers will see greater speed, enhanced reliability and also additional prevention of internet attacks.

This upgrade paves the way for better performance overall for our upstream providers and also is a crucial step for further core upgrades that are to be launched throughout the year.
 


 

April 06 2009 - PHPInfo Posted

As part of a security mechanism on our system, users are not able to run the phpinfo command from their script.
This is done to prevent confidential system information from being disclosed.  However the phpinfo function is helpful to programmers who need to know key information about the system.

We have posted an edited copy of the PHPInfo which contains the system information that users may require.  To view the information visit http://web.smartwebservers.com/phpinfo.html

Students who are hosted with Humber College (or graduates), are hosted on a different system, however many of the php configuration is the same.  Students can view the PHPInfo for their system by visiting http://web.studentportfolios.ca/phpinfo.html  This system is applicable if you have a Student Portfolios Linux Plan.
 

 

March 31 2009 - SPAM Filtering Increased

ParaFX.com provides a system wide spam filtering mechanism.  At present we operate a very light filtering of spam which catches a large amount of spam, preventing it from entering your mailbox.  The reason for using a very light threshold is to prevent any legitimate messages from falling into the category of SPAM.

The threshold level has been in place for about  5 years now, and after 5 years of collecting data and assessing the results, we have decided to lower the threshold - which means that more spam will be filtered than before.

It was important to observe over a long period before making this change so that, like when we first implemented SPAM filtering, we can be sure that legitimate email is not being filtered.

So as of 4:00pm today, the threshold for SPAM (the scoring of spam) has been adjusted to filter more.  This is not expected to impact your ability to receive legitimate mail, however you may see a phenomenal difference with the amount of spam you receive.

This action was performed based on your feedback and also years of data accumulation.  We hope that this will be a significant positive impact for you, such that you have less spam to delete or deal with.  We hope that this will increase your productivity and save you time and effort.  We expect that some customers will see a more noticeable difference than others.  Some customers businesses, and site will lend itself to receiving more spam than others - so those customers may see an immediate improvement.
 


 

April 2009 - Hardware Replacement and Updates to be Implemented

In the coming month, ParaFX.com is continuing to target replacing a number of servers to provide larger scale hardware.  Most of the servers (or farms of servers) are used for back end processing, or behind the scenes services that allow your web and email service to operate.

We thought it best to keep you informed of some of the servers which are destined to be replaced in the upcoming weeks:

1.  Our public facing DNS server farm - These are the servers your domain resides on.  They are in charge for resolving your domain name and all pointers which make up your service.

2.  Outbound Mail servers - These are the servers that are used by your website (not your regular email service) to send out emails. An example is if you have a contact form on your site, these servers mail the results out for you.

3.  Internal and external monitoring systems - ParaFX.com operates an independently owned datacentre.  In addition we also employ a remote site known as "The Remote Monitoring Centre or (RMC)".  The remote monitoring centre is completely detached from our datacentre, however it employs internet links from popular providers in order to provide us with a way to test the services from a customer perspective and from several different ISP perspectives.  As such there are many servers performing tests, from many different providers in the datacentre, and also in the RMC.  These servers will be replaced and system administrators will also be making adjustments and exploring new monitoring techniques for more enhanced tracking.

All the above discussed upgrades will be scheduled and planned thoroughly.  In all cases above, there will be virtually no customer or service impact resulting.  Since all the above servers are redundant (ie there is more than one of each), the servers can be replaced and upgraded seamlessly, simply by performing the replacement one by one.

Also, the above upgrades may shift in priority based on urgency and other tasks at hand.  In some cases, the above upgrades may provide a logical path to upgrade some area of service not listed above.

These are just some of the upgrades we are proposing to perform with datacentre hardware in the coming month.  This will pave the way to larger scale service, and greater datacentre efficiency and operation.
 


 

March 30 2009 - ParaFX.com Upgrades MySQL Services to Version 5.

ParaFX.com has upgrades our MySQL service from version 4.1.22 to version 5.0.24.  This new version provides faster performance, as well as adds many features to the most popularly used database in the industry.

This upgrade was performed, based on customer demand.  It is important to note that many hosting companies who have existed for more than 3 years, often provide MySQL version 4, and provide an "upgrade option" for clients to move to version 5.  Most often this upgrade is also an increase in cost.  At ParaFX.com we strive to provide upgrades to existing and new clients at no additional charge whenever possible.

 

March 30 2009 - ParaFX.com upgrades MySQL Hardware

ParaFX.com has recently replaced our MySQL servers with larger more redundant hardware.  This ties in with our upgrade of the version of MySQL.

This new hardware, though invisible to the end user, will provide higher scale performance and flexibility to our users.  Customers will notice an improvement of their websites where MySQL is used, especially for those customers with complex heavy database driven sites.

 

March 25 2009 - ParaFX.com Replaces and Upgrades All Customer Mail Servers

ParaFX.com operates what we call a Mail Farm.  The Mail farm is comprised of many servers all performing mail requests and tasks for customers.  We then employ load balancing equipment which distributes requests among the several servers available.  This provides customers with redundancy and performance.

Recently we have replaced all of our mail servers which are used by customers for mail tasks such as webmail, sending, receiving and antivirus protection. 

Customers may see a performance increase.  At present no changes have been made to how our system operates with mail, but all hardware has been replaced.

In the coming months, ParaFX.com will be working on further upgrades which will be announced.  These upgrades may provide some new additional features, while some of the upgrades will be back end process upgrades to increase efficiency.


 

Fall 2008 - ParaFX.com Upgrades All Mailboxes to provide 1 GB (1000 MB) of Storage

ParaFX.com mail administrators have upgrades all customer mailboxes to provide 1 gigabyte of storage (1000 megabytes) from the previous 250 MB storage allowance.

This upgrade is effective for all mailboxes on the system regardless of what package you subscribe to and is effective immediately.  This upgrade is provided at no additional cost as with most upgrades we implement.



 

Fall 2008 - ParaFX.com Upgrades all MySQL Databases to 250 MB

ParaFX.com has implemented an upgrade to all MySQL databases to provide 250 MB of storage from the previous 25 MB.  This is applicable to all customers who subscribe to a hosting package that includes a MySQL database.

However there is an issue with the web hosting management interface, whereby some customers may still see 25 MB storage limit in the SMARTSQL section.  This is a cosmetic issue only that we are working to resolve, however your space usage is accurate and your allowed space is 250 MB regardless of what is indicated in the management interface.

This upgrade has been provided free of charge to all customers who have a MySQL database.



 

Fall 2008 - ParaFX.com Replaces all Linux (My Site Hosting) Web Servers

ParaFX.com operates what we call a Web Farm.  The Web Farm is comprised of many servers all serving your website requests and tasks.  We then employ load balancing equipment which distributes requests among the several servers available.  This provides customers with redundancy and performance.

Recently we have replaced all of our Linux Web Servers which are used by your websites' for serving to your site visitors.  These servers serve your web content, and also provide you the FTP and FrontPage access to your website files. 

Customers may see a performance increase.  At present no changes have been made to how our system operates the web services, but all hardware has been replaced.

In the coming months, ParaFX.com will be working on further upgrades which will be announced.  These upgrades may provide some new additional features, while some of the upgrades will be back end process upgrades to increase efficiency.



 

This system news page was launched in April 2009.  Previous upgrades and system changes were announced to customers but details are not available on this page at this time.  System upgrades have been a constant invisible process that our owners and Network Operations staff have engaged in from our conception in November 2000.  We continue to work to provide free upgrades to existing clients as much as possible.

Unlike other hosts, we do not believe in "grandfathering" customers, or providing incentives and upgrades to only new customers.  We believe in providing increasing value to our customers, new and existing, year after year.

We thank all our customers for their continued business and support!



 

 
 

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