Canadian Web Hosting Blog and News
6Jun/140

Is Your House Smart?

Are the dishes done? Are your clothes spinning or rinsing? Have you made the weekly grocery list? Though the majority of us still need to physically check the dishwasher, the washing machine and the refrigerator to determine the phase of our household chores, many have made the switch to smart appliances. While smart appliances can and will relay to you the progress of its task, they have the capability to do so much more by utilizing cloud technology, truly altering the way we live at home.

Smart houses go beyond washers, dryers, and dishwashers, in fact, smart technology can be found in your home’s lighting, windows, doors and many other fixtures that can be installed into every room of your house. Acquired by Google for $3.2 Billion in early 2014, Nest presents a strong front when it comes to thermostatic technology in your home. This “must have” gadget of 2014 is changing the way we heat our homes, and saving us money along the way. After making your initial heating/cooling settings, Nest will learn and adapt to your preferences—with the help of cloud-based technology, keeping costs low, and saving energy. We live in a time where technology adapts to our preferences, learns our habits and continually changes to fit our needs. Dads around the world can rest easy knowing that no one touched the thermostat, it changed all by itself.

Though household appliances and gadgets are making the smart transition, the increasing number of apps required to manage them are beginning to take up space on our mobile devices. This opens the door for companies like Apple, who recently announced their arrival into the smart home revelation with HomeKit, and Google (who has yet to actually launch an app, but will most likely follow in Apple’s footsteps) to consolidate the information into one seamless application. In the not so distant future will we be able to control our entire house, from the front door to the back, from any mobile devise around the world. This concept may seem overwhelming but cloud-based technology allows us to access information from nearly any port around the world, eliminating the tether felt between us and our possessions.

If you’re the type of person who needs an app telling you when to drink water, how many calories you’ve burned, what to have for dinner…etc., then this is an investment you should consider. Making the transition to smart technology will not only save you time and money, but it also offers piece of mind to home owners concerned with the safety and security of their house and family. Additionally, many of these appliances and gadgets are environmentally friendly (for those who are actively trying to reduce their carbon footprint). Conversely, for those still yearning for a tech-free world, a basic fridge will suffice, and you can live happily knowing who controls the thermostat.

Kevin Liang
CTO / SEO Guru

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30May/140

Where Startups Get Their Start

 

Incubators and Accelerators have gained momentum in recent years (primarily outside the tech world) so much so, even HBO has dedicated a series to this venture. Evidently, there is a large audience of people—both tech-savvy and other, eager to learn how geeky college drop-outs can become billionaires essentially overnight.

What’s the difference between an incubator and an accelerator anyway? An accelerator is a condensed, structured program (typically 3-4 months) that aims to rapidly grow the size and value of the subsequent company.  An incubator, however, fosters an idea developed internally. There is no specific timeline, to which the project may or may not have an overall goal.  Incubators provide a level of support and similar to accelerators, that is, an intricate network of connections, opportunities and resources.

So you have a great idea, but you need to know which incubators supply the most heat? There are several factors to consider before selecting your curator. Do your research on incubators you are interested in and find out as much information as possible on your potential mentor. Ideally, you’d want to work with someone who can give you valuable advice while also remaining critically objective. Whether you are seeking an accelerator or an incubator, consider the costs associated with each option. Various rent fees may be applicable, not to mention the prospective capital your mentor may be entitled to. Choosing a launch pad sets the course of your startup and the right one can make or break a company, because after all, the dream is to be acquired by Google, right?

Canadian Web Hosting and CA Cloud proudly sponsor Zen Launchpad—a local incubator and accelerator, conveniently located across the harbor from Canadian Web Hosting’s downtown office, in North Vancouver. As the premier North Shore startup hub and collaborative workspace, Zen offers entrepreneurs the support they need to jump start their ideas (not that we’re biased or anything.). Other larger, Canadian launch pads include GrowLab, nGen and INcubes.

Once you’ve chosen your incubation site, there are hundreds of annual startup competitions your business can participate in for cash prizes and international exposure. Depending on the particular goals of your company, this may be the road you intend to take. From major US competitions like Tech Crunch’s Disrupt Cup (as seen on Season 1 of Silicon Valley), to smaller, local events such as the Grizzly Den Elevator Pitch Contest (Last year’s event was held at Zen Launchpad), there is guaranteed to be a competition best suited to your particular business.

Wherever, or whomever you chose to collaborate your idea with, be sure to do your research and understand both the risks and benefits associated with incubators and accelerators. Ultimately, your launch pad and mentor is there to help foster and grow your company in order for it to reach its full potential.

Kevin Liang
CTO / SEO Guru

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23Apr/140

Ubuntu 14.04 Server LTS Released

One of the most well-known and stable Linux distributions that Canadian Web Hosting provides to customers is Ubuntu Linux for servers. There is a lot of buzz about Ubuntu's latest release that integrates several new and exciting technologies.  The latest version, 14.04 LTS, will be supported and maintained for the next 5 years.  Businesses considering migrating their existing servers including dedicated and cloud based servers, this enhanced operating system may be the right choice for their implementation.

Similar to recent developments with OpenStack, developers have taken a leading role and have helped move this release towards increased advanced interoperability with OpenStack platforms.  Similar to Canadian Web Hosting’s OpenStack deployment, this advancement is due in large part to collaborations with well-known tech providers such as OpenStack, Cisco, Dell and many more.   Some of the updated features include:

  1. Support ARM64 processors
  2. Rapid deployment and scaling services
  3. Desktop and server based

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS will be a great addition for everyone from the average home user to enterprise level cloud based infrastructures. The brand new addition is available through Canadian Web Hosting but also you can also from Canonical’s Ubuntu downloads section:

http://releases.ubuntu.com/14.04/

The most updated version of Ubuntu 14.04 will be available for both our traditional Virtual Private Servers (VPS), dedicated servers as well as our cloud based servers. If you are interested in upgrading your operation system, or want to know more about how Ubuntu and other Linux distributions can work for you contact our support team for assistance at 1-888-821-7888 or by email at sales@canadianwebhosting.com

Matt McKinney

google.com/+canadianwebhosting

8Apr/140

Heartbleed Bug Targets OpenSSL

According to recent reports, there has been a vulnerability discovered with certain versions of OpenSSL. OpenSSL is a toolkit which implements SSL/TLS protocols as well as general cryptography for various operating systems. This vulnerability can provide a back door for attackers to gain access to confidential information.

Canadian Web Hosting is aware of this issue and we are taking the proper steps in order to mitigate the risk to our end users. We will be performing an update of the OpenSSL versions present on our shared servers. This will not be a service impacting upgrade.

For clients with VPS/dedicated servers, check your OpenSSL version using the following command through SSH:

openssl version

The output will determine if your version of OpenSSL is vulnerable.

OpenSSL 1.0.1 through 1.0.1f (inclusive) are vulnerable

OpenSSL 1.0.1g is NOT vulnerable

OpenSSL 1.0.0 branch is NOT vulnerable

OpenSSL 0.9.8 branch is NOT vulnerable

Further information can be obtained from the following link:

http://heartbleed.com/

Only CentOS 6.5 with OpenSSL 1.0.1e-15 is affected. It's recommended to patch any CentOS 6.x version.

CentOS 5.x are not affected.

CentOS released an update earlier today and can be updated by logging into shell and running

#yum update openssl

then run

#rpm -q --changelog openssl | grep -iE 'CVE-2014-0160'

and you should see "- fix CVE-2014-0160 - information disclosure in TLS heartbeat extension"

One thing to note is the rpm is backport number. Even though the version is -e (openssl-1.0.1e-16.el6_5.7.x86_64), look at the backport number "5.7" as that is the latest.

Then restart all the services that rely on the ssl library

cPanel recommends rebooting the server as a precaution.

You can test your website by going to Heartbleed Test or Heartbleed Test2

For other distros, contact our support dept.

NOTE: Window Servers are not affected.

____________
Iptable Rules

Here are iptables rules to block all heartbeat queries using the very powerful u32 module.

The rules allow you to mitigate systems that can't yet be patched by blocking ALL the heartbeat handshakes.

The rules have been specifically created for HTTPS traffic and may be adapted for other protocols; SMTPS/IMAPS/...

# Log rules
iptables -t filter -A INPUT -p tcp --dport 443 -m u32 --u32 "52=0x18030000:0x1803FFFF" -j LOG --log-prefix "BLOCKED: HEARTBEAT"

# Block rules
iptables -t filter -A INPUT -p tcp --dport 443 -m u32 --u32 "52=0x18030000:0x1803FFFF" -j DROP

 

Customer Support Team- Canadian Web Hosting

Toll-Free: 1-888-821-7888

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28Mar/140

What is RAID?

When you are purchasing a NAS device or server, the term RAID probably have come up a lot. What does RAID stands for? It stands for Redundant Array of Inexpensive (or Independent) Disks. Basically RAID either improve the performance of a server or provide some level of fault tolerance for a server.

There are many RAID levels and there are a few things you need to consider before deciding which RAID level is right for you:

  • How many hard drives are going to be putted in the storage device
  • How important is fault tolerance
  • How important is optimizing the performance of the server
  • Which RAID is going to be used: Software RAID, Hardware RAID or both

Some of the popular RAID levels are:

RAID 0

Data is written across 2 or more disks thus improving the disk I/O

Advantage:

  • Increase the server performance
  • Supported by both software and hardware RAID

Disadvantage:

  • No fault tolerance

RAID 1

Data is mirrored simultaneously on 2 or more disks, so in the event of a disk failing, the server will automatically switch to read the normal disk. With software RAID 1, data can be mirrored between 2 or more partitions instead of physical disks. Note that by using RAID 1 configuration, it will cut the total storage in half.

Advantage:

  • Fault tolerance
  • Supported by software and hardware RAID

Disadvantage:

  • Slight lag on the server performance

RAID 5

Data are striped across 3 or more disks. Each of the disk will have space reserved for copying the data from the fail disk. In the event of a disk failing, the other 2 disks (or more) will automatically start copying the data of the failed disk in to the reserved space.

Advantage:

  • Fault tolerance
  • Hot swappable (meaning you can replace a failed disk while the server is still running)

Disadvantage:

  • Performance lag when there are many writing operation (ie. Many people accessing a database at the same time)
  • Not supported by software RAID

RAID 6

Identical to RAID 5 but instead of 1, you can have 2 disks failing and still have the server running normally.

Advantage:

  • Fault tolerance
  • Hot swappable
  • Can have up to 2 failing disks at a time

Disadvantage:

  • Performance lag when there are many writing operation (ie. Many people accessing a database at the same time)
  • Not supported by software RAID

RAID 10 (RAID 1+0)

Minimum of 4 disks. Data is written across 2 disks thus improving the disk I/O, and in addition, the 2 disks are mirrored simultaneously on the other 2 disks. It is recommended to do it on hardware RAID because software RAID will not have the increase performance like the hardware RAID.

Advantage:

  • Fault tolerance
  • Increase the server performance (hardware RAID only)
  • Supported by software and hardware RAID

 

Different levels of RAID have its own advantages, so it will depend on your budget and what benefits you want. If you have a server with important data, you will always want to set it up in a RAID configuration because you will be glad that you still have the data when a disk failed or corrupted. You can try to use hard drive recovery service to recover your data, but hard drive recovery can cost anywhere from $200~1000 and more, and the recovery is not always 100%. The moral of the story is, set up your server with RAID configuration to avoid loss of important data.

 

Jim Wu

 

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