After another record year for growth we have kicked of 2014 with another new rack install here at Simple! As always we have diverse power and network to this 1Gb rack. This will be a home to dedicated and shared customers.
The latest Magento 1.8.1 release includes many contributions from the Magento developer community and empowers merchants to operate their online stores more easily and efficiently by delivering significant tax calculation updates, functional improvements, and security enhancements, including:
Building on tax improvements made in our most recent release, Magento Community Edition 22.214.171.124 provides more accurate and consistent Value Added Tax (VAT) and Fixed Product Tax (FPT) calculations for the Magento admin, invoices, and credit memos. It also improves tax calculations for cross-border transactions, bundled products, and multi-tax scenarios, as well as supports the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment recycling tax in the EU.
Magento Community Edition 126.96.36.199 includes important improvements across the shopping cart, checkout, content management system, and product import and export.
Magento Community Edition 188.8.131.52 delivers several important security enhancements, helping to further strengthen the platform against potential threats. These enhancements were identified through a rigorous process that included comprehensive internal testing, quarterly penetration testing by expert consultants, and engagement with the Magento developer community. Additionally, one improvement from Magento Community Edition 184.108.40.206 is now available for download for earlier Magento Community Edition releases.
You may be eager to start testing out Magento Community Edition 220.127.116.11. But, before you do, please take a few minutes to carefully review the upgrade instructions. We strongly recommend that you do not upgrade Magento Community Edition 18.104.22.168 in the same directory on the same server as your current deployment to avoid any post-upgrade errors. PLEASE DO NOT USE THE AUTO UPGRADE TOOL FROM YOUR APP POOL THIS MAY BREAK YOUR SITE
This latest version is already available in our app pool for easy installation.
We had lots of new shiny boxes arrive this week from Mr Dell. Much to the horror of the Simple install team who were hoping for a rest over the festive period!
This is shaping up to be a very busy holiday period with server installs scheduled right into the 23rd December. We always see a big bandwidth spike in November-December but this year has been something else with several or our ports going over 100MBS this month, good job all of our ports are 1000mbs
cPanel & WHM 11.38 + has seen a number of new SSL improvements in the form of usability changes, SNI support, and support for multi-domain certificates. All of Simple Servers servers have been upgraded to support this feature. Detailed below are some of the major improvements you can now experience when using cPanel with your Simple Servers hosting account.
Enhanced Error Checking
A number of niceties have been added to the user interface to make the process of installing a certificate more straight forward and much more foolproof. In the event that there’s an issue with the certificate cPanel & WHM will deny the installation to prevent the certificate from being installed on the server. Additionally, it will let the user know that there is an issue that needs be to resolved in order for the installation to result in a working certificate.
Server Name Indicator (SNI)
Currently, it’s common for each SSL Certificate to require its own dedicated IP address. The cost of this address is typically being passed down to the end user. SNI is able to change this paradigm by indicating what hostname the client is connecting to at the start of the handshake process. This allows a server to have multiple certificates all installed on the same IP address. Users on shared servers, that support SNI, will be able to install their own certificates and bypass the need for a dedicated address. While this saves on the cost of the dedicated IP address, this also helps reduce the need for extra addresses.
Multi-Domain Certificates (UCC/SAN)
As an alternative to SNI we have also taken steps to improve our support for multi-domain certificates. These allow users to add multiple domain names to a single certificate, and multi-domain certificates can be installed onto shared IP addresses. Within both cPanel & WHM, users can quickly create self-signed, multi-domain certificates and can additionally generate signing requests that they can then take to their SSL provider to have their permanent certificate created.
A new feature in our cPanel area for Simple Servers customers. Simply enter your OneClickSSL voucher number and let the plug-in do the rest – You will have an SSL Certificate installed and active on the site in seconds.
Our web team have been burning the midnight oil to produce a new admin area for our customers.
We hope this makes things easier, it certainly looks better!
Please let us know if you encounter any bugs though.
We have installed our first stable version of Magento 1.8 this morning, here are the release notes from the Magento site.
We will be running more performance tests in the next few weeks.
Magento 1.8 is already available to our customers via our auto installer.
Magento Community Edition 1.8
This new edition improves tax calculations, boosts product quality and stability, enhances performance, and advances security for the rapidly growing Magento community.
Key highlights include:
Enhanced Tax Calculations
Magento Community Edition 1.8 improves tax calculation accuracy for VAT merchants and eliminates potential rounding errors that can be confusing to buyers. Knowledge Base updates also provide more guidance on tax configurations and Canadian tax requirements, enabling you to more fully benefit from the native Magento tax engine.
We made approximately 350 functional improvements that boost product quality in key areas, including the web store, shopping cart, admin order creation, import and export functionality, web API components, and payment methods.
Magento Community Edition 1.8 enables a better shopping experience through faster page-loading in the checkout process and optimized cache adapters for single server systems, which minimize the number of cached pages that must be refreshed when product updates are made. The performance of the 1.8 administrator panel is also improved for those of you with large product or order databases.
Through a number of enhancements, we also strengthened the security of Magento Community Edition. A full list of enhancements is available in the magento release notes.
Updates to the Alpha Release
A few new updates were made to the alpha version of Magento Community Edition 1.8. We removed the requirement to have globally unique category and product URL keys, giving you greater flexibility in your URL structures. We also incorporated the recent USPS API patch, DHL code updates, and the latest Redis backend cache code, now called Cm_Cache_Backend_Redis. We have also included Cm_RedisSession, a Redis session storage module.
The Samsung 840 EVO 750GB is a tour de force in solid-state technology, combining for the first time vast capacity by ssd standards, with super fast performance, and at an approachable price.
The Samsung EVO is spearheads a second-generation of solid-state drive to use the more affordable TLC flash chips. It allows an increase in capacity and reduction in price. And a surprise when it comes to performance.
Samsung is still accelerating the development of flash memory, now introducing its second generation of TLC solid-state storage before any other brand has even shown its first.
Three-layer cell (TLC) NAND flash can be a useful compromise to increase storage capacities and lower costs. But the 3-bit version of multi-layer cell (MLC) flash has an intrinsically slower write speed and shorter overall lifespan.
For better performance and longevity, there’s still Samsung’s 840 Pro Series with its more familiar two-layer MLC technology. But we found that in performance terms at least, the Samsung EVO can hold its head up high against the 840 Pro; and with it, all current leading SATA 6Gb/s solid-state drives.
The use of TLC flash has here allowed a long-awaited extension in storage capacities. As well as the familiar sizes of 120, 250 and 500GB, Samsung has added 750GB and 1TB sized drives.
The latter becomes the first truly terabyte SSD, since Crucial’s competing flagship M500 series includes additional built-in over-provisioning that brings the available space on its largest SSD to just below the terabyte mark, at 960GB.
Recommended prices for the Samsung 840 EVO Series SSDs start at £86.99 for 120GB, then £148.99 for 250GB, £289.99 for 500GB, £415.99 for 750GB and £509.99 for 1TB.
The buffer size is relatively large, so that with most daily operations it should not be readily depleted. But if it is, it simply puts write operations back to regular TLC speeds. For reference, the original 840 Series with its unaided TLC flash had sequential write speeds of around 250 MB/s.
Since this dedicated part of the drive only works in SLC mode, Samsung assures us it will have better endurance than short-lived TLC – around 100 times longer life.
The two smallest drives each get 3 GB of TurboWrite Buffer, while the 500, 750 and 1000 GB capacity versions get 6, 9 and 12 GB respectively of fast-write buffer.
Besides some clever data juggling used to bolster write speed, several other changes have been noted for the Samsung 840 EVO when compared to the original 840 Series.
The controller is now designated MEX rather than MDX, still based on a three-core ARM processor and with clock speed increased from 300 to 400 MHz. This is said to assist in management of the larger capacities, as well as deal with the shift to a new 19nm NAND process.
We also understand that the controller now has more housekeeping automation hard-coded into it, rather than being programmed and run by firmware.
The controller is backed by more DRAM cache for the largest drives, taking 256 MB cache for the smallest 120 GB capacity, 512 MB again for the 250 and 500GB models; and now featuring 1 GB of LPDDR2 memory for the 750 GB and 1 TB capacity SSDs.
Idle power consumption is said to be reduced, while temperature sensing deliberately slows the drive down when it gets too hot under load. Dynamic Thermal Guard looks like a similar technology to the adaptive thermal monitoring used in Crucial’s latest M500 series SSDs.
When we first tested the Samsung 840 EVO, we were almost downcast to find comparable performance to the previous-generation Samsung 840 Pro. But we were not immediately aware of the technology inside, based on TLC flash like the cheaper 840 Series; not 2-bit MLC like the 840 Pro Series. Things were looking interesting again.
Looking at the other extreme, of very small files, we found that 4 kB random reads had just about doubled in number, from 22 to 41 MB/s with the 840 EVO.
That’s with a single queue, a good indicator for real-world performance still, as your PC spends a lot of time working randomly with many one-off small files, not just large sequential transfers or even multi-threaded small random read/writes.
Increasing queue depth to QD=32, the 840 EVO also approached its Pro-labelled mentor. Random 4 kB reads now hit 405 MB/s and writes were 367 MB/s. Which means the 850 EVO is now officially in the 100,000 IOPS league with its 104k IOPS read result.
(litter lout) litterer: a person who litters public places with refuse.
As ever the team have been busy adding new servers into our latest rack, we do seem to create rather a mess though!
As always we made good in the end though.
Our latest new rack went live August 1st 2013. This will further expand our dedicated and shared infrastructure and link to our existing Gbit external and internal network. As per our other racks with have redundant switching, Diverse A/B power and diverse networking.
Pictures below during set up and install
We are in the process of signing off all the paper work for our new 1,575 sq ft Head Office. Set only 1.5 miles from our Data Centre and set in the Worcestershire country side.
This really gives us an edge being even closer to our primary Data Centre than we are now. With the added benefit of a dedicated fibre line direct to our Data Centre giving us GBit connectivity
Our planned moving in date is mid August
Images of both floors: