PHP version 5.6 is now available on Simple Hosting and becomes the new default choice for instance creation.

You can create PHP 5.6 instances right now, or keep creating PHP 5.4 instances by specifically selecting them from the list.

We have published a guide to help you migrate from PHP 5.4 to PHP 5.6. You'll find testing and migration tips if you plan to move your projects to the new instances.

We also plan to release an automatic upgrade feature for PHP 5.4/MySQL instances on March 22nd, 2016. Other instance types will always have to be migrated manually.

Our Customer Care team is ready to answer your questions and assist you during the migration. Please contact them should you need any help.

The new PHP 5.6 instance runs on a new system image based on Debian 8 (Jessie) in anticipation of more novelties. Your feedback is very important!

 

Bonus: Dependency management with Composer

You can now use Composer, PHP's most popular dependency manager, to easily install your application's dependencies on Simple Hosting (supported on PHP 5.6 and 5.4 instances).

Dependency management tools make it easy for web developers to keep track of third-party code included in a project. Instead of having to manage the files and versions manually, these tools offer a simple way to list an application's external dependencies and then take care of downloading, installing and including the correct files.

Simple Hosting already supported dependency managers for Node.js, Python and Ruby instances using the "npm", "pip" and "bundler" tools respectively. With the addition of Composer to the PHP instance, we now cover modern development workflows on all instance types.

Check out the example project and the documentation to learn more and get started with Composer on Simple Hosting.


3.18 is now the default kernel on the HVM platform

Linux kernel 3.18 is now the new default on the HVM platform, replacing 3.12.

Docker usage is now easier out-of-the-box on the HVM platform, since 3.18 supports the "overlay" storage engine. You can learn more about Docker usage on our platform from our Wiki.

 

Deprecation warning on 3.10 kernel, including AUFS (Xen platform)

On March 10, 2016, we will be upgrading the kernel to 3.10.96. The new version includes security fixes (also related to CVE-2016-0728) but will, notably, drop AUFS support.

If you are using AUFS technology and wish to continue using it, please note that once the update goes through, your system may not function properly and we nonetheless recommend migrating to our HVM platform.

Users wishing to continue using AUFS technology can opt to use their own kernel with the "raw" or "grub" boot options.

Docker users that don't need AUFS can also migrate to HVM and use the 3.18 kernel with their current system, which supports the the "overlay" storage engine by default, but does require you to tweak Docker settings.

You can learn more about migrating to the new HVM platform and more about Docker usage from our Wiki.

 

Security patch and minor version upgrades to 3.2, 3.12 and 3.18

Xen platform kernel 3.2 has been upgraded to 3.2.76 and HVM platform kernels 3.12 and 3.18 have been upgraded to 3.12.53 and 3.18.26. To start using the new versions, just reboot your server.

 

EOL warning on grsecurity-enabled kernels

On March 10, 2016 we will remove our "grsec" kernels (2.6.32-x86_64-grsec and 3.2-x86_64-grsec) from the platform, following recently announced updates to grsecurity's distribution policy.

On this date, “non-grsec” kernel versions will become the default.

Users who wish to continue using these features can use the "raw" and "grub" boot options on our HVM platform[1] to set up their systems with custom kernels.


We are excited to announce the release of the Gandi plugin for Let's Encrypt, making it easy to create and install free certificates on Simple Hosting instances.

Gandi is a sponsor of Let's Encrypt, a free, automated and open Certificate Authority, with whom we share the objective of making the Internet a better and safer place for everyone.

Simple Hosting PHP and Ruby users are now among the very first PaaS customers in the world to enjoy an integrated experience with Let's Encrypt.

Head over to the letsencrypt-gandi project page to install and use the plugin. 

Users of other Simple Hosting instance types, as well as Gandi Server and Web Accelerator customers, can also use certificates issued by LE. 

We have created a complete tutorial about Gandi and Let's Encrypt that shows you how to create and install certificates, covering the entire process.

We are proud to support Let's Encrypt and will continue to work towards making it as easy as possible for our users to obtain and install TLS/SSL certificates. 

Don't hesitate to contact us at feedback@gandi.net if you have any questions about Gandi and Let's Encrypt or to reach out to our Customer care team if you have any trouble getting your certificates up and running with our products.


In order to provide better support for the system images offered on our IaaS platform, we will reduce the number of available systems starting January 14, 2016. We have decided to focus our efforts on the more commonly used systems and encourage you to deploy your favorite images on our HVM platform yourself.

At the same time, we have decided to also introduce something new. We are happy to announce that FreeBSD is now officially supported by Gandi, after several weeks of beta testing by developers, community members and enthusiasts.

Starting January 14, 2016, only these systems will still be maintained by Gandi staff:

  • Debian 8.x and 7.x
  • Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and 12.04 LTS
  • CentOS 7.x and 6.x
  • FreeBSD 10.2 (a ZFS version and a UFS version)

All other images will be flagged as deprecated on January 14, 2016 and will be removed on June 14, 2016, at which point you will no longer be able to create new servers or disks with them. You will therefore have a six-month period to transition to newer systems or maintain your own legacy images using snapshots

As part of our ongoing effort to transition our customers to the new HVM platform, supported images will only be available for one architecture (x86_64) as we are also deprecating all 32-bit images on our Xen platform.

Going forward, we will offer the latest stable versions of selected systems according to the release schedules of the upstream developers. Please see our wiki article for detailed information about supported and deprecated images.

We encourage our customers to take advantage of the new HVM platform features to build their own images. Please contact our developers and support agents through the usual channels if you need any help.


Packet-journey (pktj) allows network operators to mount easy-to-configure, scalable software routers. To accomplish this, the application is based on DPDK drivers and libraries and utilises functionalities which are native to the Linux kernel, forming a bridge between fast-forwarding and flexible software routing.

The software provides features like:

  • choice of the best route with LPM
  • ACL L3/L4
  • learning of routes via the netlink kernel mechanism
  • the ability to communicate certain packets to the kernel
  • performance which is proportional to the number of receipt queues and CPU cores configured at boot
  • dynamic ratelimiting

Have a look at the project on our GitHub page. We'd love to hear what you think!


The new default way to start your Node.js application on Simple Hosting is now the npm start script instructions found in your ''package.json'' file. We have added support for npm start scripts a couple of months ago and have now promoted it to default.

Start scripts allow you customize how the Node.js application is started. You get to decide what file is used for booting, instead of having to use a ''server.js'' file. To make sure your application boots locally as it does on Simple Hosting, simply run "$ npm start".

You can also set environment variables and pass flags to the Node.js process itself. For example, you can activate ECMA Script 6 features on your Simple Hosting instance by passing the --harmony flag.

This new boot method also offers better support for pre-packaged apps, as Node.js apps typically provide start scripts in their ''package.json'' files.

Along with this major change, we have pushed Node.js 0.12.9 (LTS) to production, along with versions 0.8.28 and 0.10.41. These minor upgrades mostly provide security enhancements.

If you're not yet a Node.js user on Simple Hosting, you can create your first instance now. If you're already a Domain customer, you can try Node.js for free as you get a 10-day free trial, and 50% discount during one year for any Simple Hosting instance creation. 

As usual, we're here to help so please contact us if needed.


Following this announcement we applied the necessary patches, thus reinforcing the existing security measures we had previously implemented. Over the past week, we have continued to study the vulnerability. As a preventative measure, we have decided that a reboot of KVM based VMs is required in order to ensure that all possible attack vectors have been mitigated.

We will contact affected customers directly via email to provide instructions on performing the reboot on their own. This preventive reboot will not affect customers we do not contact.

We will reboot the VMs of affected customers (who have not rebooted on their own) on November 19th. An outage of 30 minutes maximum is expected for each impacted VM.

If you have questions or encounter any problems regarding this issue, our support team is available to assist you.

A new critical security vulnerability will be publicly announced Thursday, October 29. The Xen team has already communicated fixes to Gandi. This flaw is found in the Xen virtualization software.

Following this announcement we applied the necessary patches, thus reinforcing the existing security measures we had previously implemented. Over the past week, we have continued to study the vulnerability. As a preventive measure, we have decided that a reboot of Xen-based VMs is required in order to ensure that all possible attack vectors have been mitigated.

We will contact affected customers directly via email to provide instructions on performing the reboot on their own. This preventive reboot will not affect customers we did not contact
We strongly recommend that customers concerned by this to restart their VMs themselves, in order for them to verify that all of their services have been correctly restarted.

We will reboot the VMs of affected customers (those which were not rebooted by their owner) from Thursday, October 22 until Wednesday, October 28. An outage of 30 minutes maximum is expected for each impacted VM.

Maintenance status page: http://status.gandi.net/timeline/events/226


We recommend making sure that automatic updates are enabled for your WordPress installation, or running a manual update. There's a lot to gain, and a lot to lose if you don't, since this release is mainly focused on security fixes.

Two of the corrected vulnerabilities are XSS (Cross Site Scripting), related to the processing of "shortcode" tags in versions 4.3 and earlier, and the user list page.

The other problem is a privilege escalation which in some cases allows an unauthorized user to post private items and mark them as "sticky".

Although this version does not add any new features, it corrects a total of 26 bugs that exist in version 4.3.

In all, 64 files have been modified, with improvements to various aspects of the web interface of the world's most popular CMS, as well as its backend functions.

So, log in to your admin console and get started!

Visit the official changelog for more details: https://codex.wordpress.org/Version_4.3.1


Simple Hosting, our Platform-as-a-Service hosting option, now supports npm start scripts, a function currently used by nearly all pre-packaged Node.JS applications that also promises to offer greater functionality to advanced Simple Hosting users.

Until now, you needed to put a 'server.js' file on the root of your project in order for your application to boot correctly. Now you have added flexibility and control, specifically over the way your application starts up using a `package.json` file.

You can, then, define the point of entry of your application with `package.json["main"]` :

//package.json
{
"name" : "foo",
"version" : "1.2.3",
"description" : "A packaged foo fooer for fooing foos",
"main" : "index.js",
}

In the above example, the index.js file is used to boot your application with node.

The other option is to define a command to launch on start-up of your application with `package.json["scripts"]["start"]`

// package.json
{
"name" : "foo",
"version" : "1.2.3",
"description" : "A packaged foo fooer for fooing foos",
"scripts": {
"start": "node index.js"
}
}

Careful readers may have already discerned, correctly, that this means access to the launch parameters of the node process. This means, for example, that you can use ES6, the newest version of JavaScript, and all the latest features that entails, on your instance

//package.json
{
"engines": {
"node": ">=0.12"
},
"scripts": {
"start": "node --harmony app.js"
}
}

This new functionality allows you also to take environment variables into account with the start command. Previously, this was only possible from the application itself.

// package.json
{
...
"scripts": {
"start": "NODE_ENV=staging node app.js"
}
}

You can use this functionality to manage your application's processes yourself, with process managers like pm2.

We recommend taking a look at our wiki to see more examples of both basic and advanced uses.

If you already have a Node.js instance, this update doesn't require any change. To take advantage of the new functionalities, you just need to delete or rename `server.js` and configure `package.json` to start up according to your customization.

Of course, for your next project, we recommend starting off using these new features.

These changes will become permanent on December 1, 2015 when priority will be given to instructions found in the `package.json` file. The file `server.js` will only be referenced from that point on as a last resort.

Want to try Node.js on a Simple Hosting instance? Try a free five-day trial.


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