CentOS 8 now available at Anu

While we have a small percentage of other distributions running for specific purposes, our standard Linux distribution of choice is CentOS. CentOS is an Enterprise Linux distribution which is ideally suited for long term and stable server deployments. This is in contrast to distributions like Fedora, which has a fast release cycle, the latest cutting edge software versions, and is targeted more at end users and developers.

Major CentOS version releases only come around every 3-4 years, so when a new version comes along it is a great opportunity to upgrade older servers. Major new releases always bring new features as well as security and performance enhancements, but can also pose challenges if your application or code base requires major upgrades or changes to run smoothly on the new OS.

CentOS 8 was recently released and is now available for new VM deployments at Anu.

CentOS 6 will become end of life on 30 November 2020, so now would be a good time to start planning to upgrade either to CentOS 7 or 8.

We recognise that a major OS upgrade can be time consuming and challenging for some customers. In order to facilitate a smooth upgrade, we offer our customers running CentOS 6 and 7 a complimentary new CentOS 8 VM with the same spec, running in parallel to the existing VM. Should it be required, we can provide migration support including data transfer and porting configurations for a modest fee. Once customer applications have been tested and are running smoothly on the new VM, the old one is deleted and billing switches to the new VM.

In case the customer requires more than 30 days to complete the upgrade, both servers will be billed after 30 days, until the transfer is complete.

Not sure which CentOS version you’re running? Check the Webmin dashboard, or run ‘cat /etc/redhat-release‘ from the command line.

Ready to upgrade? Ping us an email on support@anu.net and we’ll get you started.

Customer portal improvements

Our trusty Customer Portal has long provided a convenient way for our customers to access select self service functions, update contact data, pay invoices and contact support via a secure authenticated channel.

Today we are pleased to announce a new capability. End users of our Hosted Email service may now log in with their email address and password, and conveniently gain access to:

  • Mailbox settings including Change Password and Vacation Message functions
  • SpamTitan user profile settings where the Spam Quarantine threshold can be tweaked, the frequency and language of the Spam Quarantine Report can be changed, along with numerous other settings.
  • Direct access to RoundCube Webmail
  • Authenticated customer support channel including a form to submit a new ticket and a Live Chat feature.

Over the coming months we plan to work on a number of frequently requested features such as scheduled vacation messages and integrating other services which currently only offer stand-alone interfaces. If there is a feature you would love to see added please do not hesitate to drop us an email.

18 years of hardware history

Some of the servers that we decommission we keep for spare parts or potential reuse. Most of it has gathered dust over the years.

Today we spent the morning cleaning out a storage locker we maintain in a secure storage facility opposite our Amsterdam 2 datacenter in the Netherlands

In total we cleared out:
– 47 x Rack-mount servers
– 137 x 3.5″ SATA and SAS HDDs
– 5 x Remote controlled Power Distribution Units
– 1 x Rack-mount KVM over IP
– 2 x External FireWire HDDs
– A lot of rails
– 1 x Apple Mac G4 tower
– 2 x Large boxes of obsolete CAT-5 Ethernet, power and KVM cables
  – 3 x 19″ shelves

Thanks go to the professionals at it-recycling who took the lot to their secure facility for correct disposal in line with current legislation and environmental best practices. All hard drives will be shredded into confetti size pieces in their unique shredding machine.