23 May 2013
Well, not anymore, because today we replaced it with a much more modern version, which uses your browsers Websocket and Canvas support to render a VNC display. It's based on the excellent NoVNC. One major advantage is that it works over an encrypted connection on port 443, which most firewalls allow. Another one is that you don't need to install any plugins. It works in all reasonably modern browsers, and on mobile devices too. If you're still using IE9, it has a Flash fallback, so make sure you have Flash 10 installed.
16 May 2013
The rescue environment is based on SystemRescueCD
The rescue mode is useful for things like resetting root passwords, doing filesystem checks and recovery, offline scanning for virusses, and copying files from your VPS to another location.
When booted into rescue mode your VPS is connected to the internet, so you can access it with ssh like you're used to.
There's more information, including screenshots, at https://support.tilaa.com/entries/23767322-How-can-I-boot-a-VPS-into-rescue-mode
06 May 2013
This release includes a newer kernel (3.2), PHP 5.4 and MySQL 5.5 among other things.
More details can be found in the announcement
26 April 2013
It's (again) been a long time since our last blog post. Needless to say we've been extremely busy helping new and existing clients and generally improving our services and support. There are some interesting things we're working on, but more on that later. In any case, we'll try to blog more often!
Today we've deployed our new interactive voice reponse system (IVR) which helps us to better streamline support by telephone. Our primary telephone number is +31 85 2100 500. Some of the highlights:
- We now have a call waiting queue. Until today, had there been an incident with large impact it could potentially be difficult to get through to our support desk, because too many clients would try to reach us simultaneously. Now, when our support desk is saturated with calls, you will be put on hold until one of us is ready to answer your call.
- Our IVR will notify you when we are having maintenance or if there is unscheduled downtime. This will save some frustration when you're in our call waiting queue while your websites are down, wondering what is going on.
- From now on you can call Tilaa 24 hours a day when there is a problem with the availability of the Tilaa network or hardware. Outside of our opening hours we might ask you for a PIN code if you call us from an unknown phone number or if you disabled the caller id of your phone. You can find the PIN code for your customer account in the Tilaa dashboard. If you don't want to waste any time during an incident, make sure our IVR recognizes your phone number. To do so, simply add your phone number to your user account.
- If you're entitled to 24/7 software support this is also the number to call. You are entitled if you have a 24/7 software SLA. Please take a look at this post to find out which level of support Tilaa can offer you. The Tilaa dashboard will display your current 24/7 support entitlement.
Those are just some of the IVR features we have implemented. We hope you like it!
22 December 2012
During the next week we will have slightly modified opening hours:
- Tue, December 25th (1st Christmas day): 10:00AM - 05:00PM
- Wed, December 26th (2nd Christmas day): 10:00AM - 05:00PM
- Mon, December 31th (New Years eve): 09:00AM - 05:00PM
- Tue, January 1st (New Years day): 10:00AM - 05:00PM
Monitoring of our platform will of course be uninterrupted and continue 24/7.
We normally have our billing run on the 25th of the month. Because this conflicts with 1st Christmas day we will shift our billing run to the 24th.
We wish everyone a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
20 December 2012
This was long overdue since upgrading older ArchLinux versions to systemd became a bit hard to do.
Please give them a try and let us know how they work and if anything could be improved.
30 November 2012
We are proud to announce that we're introducing a significant price reduction for our virtual private servers, effective immediately! Our new pricing is available for both new and existing customers.
Pricing for RAM memory and disk space have dropped significantly, sometimes up to 75%.
We've also added the possibility to modify CPU capacity in our VPS configurator, so our customers can choose the exact amount of CPU resources that they need.
To create more openness and transparency you will see the exact amount of CPU resources that has been reserved for your VPS. You can incrementally increase the amount of CPU resources when required. Our configurator displays how much CPU cores and the capacity on those cores that the VPS will get. We calculate and display the total amount of Ghz from that combination as well. For example, 4 CPU cores running at 2.4Ghz with a capacity limit of 80% will give you 4 x 2.4 x 0.8 = 7.68 Ghz of total CPU capacity.
We've also changed the way we handle network traffic. As of today all inbound network traffic will be completely free. We only keep a quota on outbound network traffic towards the internet. (Traffic between Tilaa VPS instances was already free and that will remain the case.)
Pricing for network traffic has significantly dropped as well. If you're likely to exceed the included outbound network quota it's now also possible to order extra network traffic upfront. Traffic that has been bought upfront is much cheaper than traffic over quota that has to be paid for afterwards.
How can existing customers activate new pricing?
The new pricing model is not applied by default, because the ratio between VPS components has slightly changed as well: Our new lower pricing includes less CPU resources and outbound data traffic by default. That way customers will get good value with our default pricing and can order extra CPU resources or traffic to get exactly the amount of resources they require, without paying for resources they don't need.
In case you would like to have the new pricing, go to the Tilaa VPS dashboard, look for the block called 'Server size' and click the button 'Change'. The configurator will show the price difference between the current and the new selection. If you don't make any modifications to the VPS and click 'Update settings' in step 4 the new pricing will be activated immediately. It's of course possible to make changes to the VPS components there as well if you wish.
23 November 2012
I'm on a blogging spree today, so I might as well announce that we now fully support IPv6!
We've supported basic IPv6 connectivity for years as a beta feature, but it wasn't fully supported until now. We've silently launched IPv6 support on our website a couple of weeks and are now ready to announce it to the general public:
- Each VPS already got a router advertised IPv6 address by default, but they are now displayed in the Tilaa dashboard as well.
- DNS AAAA and PTR (reverse DNS) records for IPv6 addresses can now be modified on the Tilaa dashboard as well.
- Each customer has one additional /96 allocation per site from which they can assign extra IPv6 addresses.
- All IPv6 addresses out of that /96 can be used on any VPS on that site belonging to the same customer account, so can be used in cluster configurations, for example.
- One or more extra IPv6 addresses can be requested through the Tilaa dashboard and will be assigned immediately. (You can of course modify AAAA and PTR records for those addresses as well.)
We will add some articles to our knowledge base about how to configure extra IPv6 addresses on a VPS in the next couple of months. In the meantime, please contact our support team if you have trouble assigning or configuring IPv6 addresses on your VPS.
Due to popular demand we have implemented PayPal express checkout support: You can now order a VPS and make a payment directly through PayPal!Move website to .com
We've decided to move our main website from www.tilaa.nl to www.tilaa.com. Even though we are a Dutch company, we provide our services to an international target group. We thought a .com domain would be more appropriate.New support portal
We've switched to a new support system, powered by Zendesk. The new support system is hosted on support.tilaa.com. It features a knowledge base, a forum, you can view your ticket history and submit new tickets. This new tool should help us better manage our support flows and provied our clients with more self service support tools.
The last 6 months we have made some notable improvements to our network. We thought you might appreciate some background information.
So one thing we already publicly announced earlier is that we're now directly connected to the AMS-IX. Since the 1st of October we also have a dedicated port on the NL-IX. Presence on these two internet exchanges has resulted in peerings with most Dutch internet service providers, a lot of the bigger EU internet service providers and some international carriers, resulting in lower latencies, less hops and reduced dependence on transit carriers.
Another big project we've recently finished is replacing all of our HP ProCurve top of rack switches with EX-series switches from Juniper networks, which improves manageability, performance, stability and allows for port trunking over multiple switches (virtual chassis) to further improve bandwidth and network redundancy for our virtualization hosts.
In the background we've also been busy with redesigning our network core to divide up our ethernet broadcast domains into smaller layer 2 chunks and only use layer 3 routing in our network core. This prevents MAC and ARP tables from growing out of control, dramatically reduces ARP/broadcast traffic and unicast flooding and makes debugging network issues a lot easier.
We've also improved our out of band VPS firewalls to drop more unwanted traffic, prevent common types of network attacks and misconfiguration of a VPS's from causing any harm for our other clients. We are currently in the process of carefully rolling them out on all our virtualization hosts.
All these projects combined have resulted in a very stable network ready to facilitate our growth in the years to come.
12 October 2012
As of today Tilaa supports fully automated provisioning of the recently released 2012 edition of Microsoft Windows. You can now also order a Windows 2012 VPS through our VPS configurator. Some notable changes compared to 2008 R2:
- Most features that were previously only bundled with the Enterprise edition are now included in the Standard edition.
- There are no more Web and Enterprise editions. The only edition that remains is the Standard edition.
Pricing for the Standard Edition license is just € 5.95 a month. We don't support an in-place upgrade from 2008 R2 towards 2012. If you currently have a 2008 R2 VPS and would like to start using 2012 you can simply re-install your VPS. But before you do, make sure you've got a backup of all your data!
We've also added support for the Standard Core edition, which is essentially Standard edition without the full desktop GUI. This edition can be useful if you centrally manage your Windows servers and want to save some RAM.
For a full overview of Windows 2012 new features and changes, please look here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831769.aspx
13 July 2012
We have configured BGP sessions to the AMS-IX route servers, which provides about 50.000 IPv4 and 6.000 IPv6 routes to other AMS-IX members or about 15% of the global routing table. We will slowly add more peering sessions to other AMS-IX members over time.
What does this all mean? Basically it means that for a lot of routes there are less hops (routers) to pass. This in turn results in lower latency to the Tilaa network, which in turn results in faster loading webpages.
We also have increased redundancy and bandwidth to handle the traffic for our fast growing customer base and are less reliant on (relatively expensive) transit traffic.
If there are network engineers out there who want to peer with us on the AMS-IX, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org (especially if you're working for a big Dutch or European ISP :)!
01 July 2012
We'd expected that to be handled smoothly by Linux, just like the Y2K issue. Unfortunately that turned out to be not the case.
The day before the leap second, ntpd reports to the kernel that a leap second event is going to happen. This report caused a complete lockup of some of our systems.
Of course we didn't suspect the leap second to be the problem. We first suspected our hardware, then our virtualization software, then our firewall rules and eventually the phase of the moon. Then we got reports coming in from other people having the same issue. Old kernels, new kernels, it didn't seem to matter.
The fix was simple. Stop ntpd everywhere, and remove the leap second event with a tool called adjtimex. We waited for the big-bang at midnight, but nothing happened.
Except... there seemed to be another issue. The load on all our servers running MySQL shut through the roof after midnight:
The fix is simple: sudo service ntpd stop; sudo date -s "`date`"; sudo service ntpd start
So if you're running MySQL on your VPS, and your load is very high (you can check this with 'top'), run that command and you should see the results immediately.
I'm glad we were able to limit to impact on our platform. Others were not so lucky. FourSquare, LinkedIn and even the PirateBay were impacted, and I suspect we'll see more reports in the coming days. The next leap second hasn't been announced yet, but next time we'll make sure to be prepared.
21 May 2012
01 May 2012
27 April 2012
19 March 2012
03 January 2012
In the past we've always worked with fixed plans, which combined memory and disk space in a single VPS package. Our most prominent new feature is the ability to customize a VPS and configure memory and storage space independently.
Another noteworthy feature is that our virtual private networks feature is now out of private beta and available to all customers. The virtual private networks feature allows you to create a private network for network communication between two or more Tilaa VPS's. Use of this feature is free and traffic over the virtual network is not billed.
We've also added some statistics: You can view things like CPU time, disk I/O and network I/O for a short and longer term impression of the performance of a VPS. This is an addition to the accounting system we already had.
We now have a decent order system in place. It's now easier to configure and order multiple VPS's in one go or create a quote for your IT manager to approve.
We hope you like the new website! Even though we've been testing the new website extensively it is of course possible there are still some bugs here and there. If you find one please let us know!
28 November 2011
As of now you can order a VPS with cPanel/WHM VPS optimized license for just € 9,95 extra instead of € 15,-.
A DirectAdmin licensed VPS doesn't cost € 7,50 anymore. You can order DirectAdmin for just € 3,95 extra from now on!
A control panel is an out of the box LAMP server solution based on Linux, which is completely manageable from your browser. When you order a VPS with a control panel, Tilaa does the installation for you, totally free!
The web interfaces are easy to use. No knowledge of Linux operation systems is needed to use cPanel and DirectAdmin. With the Tilaa 2 weeks satisfaction guarantee you can try out our services. If your VPS doesn't meet your expectations, we will refund all subscription fees.
You can visit the websites of cPanel and DirectAdmin for more product information.
21 November 2011
A while ago we did a blog post about working towards virtual private networks. Today we can announce that we've reached a point where we can provide this feature to select customers in a private beta program!
It's now possible to easily build one or more virtual private networks between any number of nodes on our platform. Haarlem and Amsterdam use a flat layer-2 network, so nodes running in Haarlem will be directly reachable from nodes in Amsterdam and vice versa without any routing required. Our Schiphol site also supports virtual private networks, but runs completely stand alone from our other sites.
Virtual private networks are provisioned on a seperate VLAN and are completely isolated from each other by an extensive set of firewall rules to ensure maximum privacy and security.
The main reason for not making this feature available to all customers yet is that it's quite possible that we currently block too much traffic and that our rulesets might need some finetuning. By testing this feature with selected clients we can iron out any issues that might arise with specific customer setups.
Once everything works to our satisfaction we will unlock the virtual private network feature for all our clients. This should be somewhere within the next 2 months. If you would like to test this feature as well, please contact our support team!