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The Road Ahead

News, updates and thoughts from Calzada Media

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15 Jul 2019
 by Alexander John in Announcements, Customers
Length: 38 seconds (127 words)

We've made a few changes to our customer (MyAccount) login to protect against malicious login attempts. Customers logging in will now need to complete a CAPTCHA or Are you human? question in addition to entering their username and password details. We've added the CAPTCHA challenge to guard against malicious automated systems that may attempt to penetrate our login system through a brute force attack.

Our CAPTCHA challenge is to complete a relatively simple maths operation, for example: 1 + 2 = ? If you are unable to complete the CAPTCHA question, refresh the login page (press F5 or CTRL+R or use the browser refresh button) to get a new CAPTCHA question.

If you have any questions about CAPTCHA or your customer account, please contact us.

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04 Sep 2018
 by Alexander John in Announcements, Help & Support, Maintenance, News
Length: 2 minutes, 1 second (404 words)

We haven’t disappeared, we’re still here. The computer gods have just not being favouring us for the last couple of days.

One of our web servers, NENE, has been offline for nearly 48 hours due to events that are beyond our control. As this issue is not likely to be fixed before Friday (at the earliest), we have temporarily moved all affected websites including our own to a different server.

Our standard mail service have not been affected and are working as normal. We intentionally split our Web hosting and mail services exactly for this kind of situation.

So, what happened?

Over the past few weeks, our NENE web server has been misbehaving for no apparent reason. This behaviour was not apparent to our customers or visitors, but noticeable to us via our daily checking and monitoring.

As any investigation could cause service interruption, we held off until last weekend. Unfortunately, despite many hours of work we couldn’t trace the problem and we suspected that Windows itself may have been corrupted beyond easy repair.

As NENE is actually a virtual server, the quickest and easiest solution was to replace it with a brand new virtual machine (we had backed up all data prior to taking the server offline). With virtual servers, the process of installing and configuration is typically quicker than with physical hardware so we aimed only to be offline for a couple of hours.

So we provisioned a new virtual machine, a process that typically takes a few minutes. It didn’t. It took over six hours for our service provider to provision a new server. Once available, the new virtual server was far from healthy, with one of its’ more apparent problems being its’ inability to restart without hanging/crashing.

We’re currently sitting in a very frustrating limbo as our service provider attempts to find a fix. They’ve managed to independently replicate the problem but have yet to discover a cure.

Update 17:00, 4th September

The latest update we have from our service provider is that they have managed to replicate the problem in their test environment and are currently investigating the underlying cause.

Update 15:30, 5th September

Our service provider has traced the issue. However, as the fix requires some changes to their infrastructure that are unlikely to be completed before Friday (7th September).

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19 Apr 2018
 by Alexander John in Data Privacy & Protection, Legal
Length: 1 minute, 22 seconds (275 words)

As many are aware, on the 25th May a new set of data protection rules and regulations known as the EU General Data Protection Regulations or GDPR. Although we are leaving the EU, the government has previously announced that it will be implementing GDPR in full.

In the next couple of weeks we will be updating our privacy policy and other legal documents to reflect the changes brought by GDPR and to ensure we are compliant.

Data Consent

An important aspect of GDPR is the consent to store data, especially sensitive data like usernames and passwords. Our default policy is not to store customer usernames and passwords and we strongly advocate all customers to change any passwords we have issued (for example through account signup or password reset) to values that only they know.

For some customers, typically those with ongoing support, maintenance or management packages, we do store certain items of sensitive data like usernames and passwords. This data is retained with the knowledge of those customers and is required to deliver their service package. To ensure there is a formal, compliant record of consent for storing this data, we will be contacting all applicable customers in the next week explaining what data we hold and asking for their consent to continue to store it. If we do not receive consent, or no reply from a customer by the 1st May 2018, we will delete the relevant customer data.

Additional Questions

Anyone is entitled to ask for details of the data we hold about them. To do so, please see Requests for Account Information.

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24 Apr 2017
 by Alexander John in Announcements, Help & Support, News
Length: 58 seconds (193 words)

At around 14:35 BST today, our AVON and NENE hosting servers abruptly and completely unexpectedly went offline and did not return until around 17:45. This downtime was due to a problem within the data centre and our server provider and was completely out of our control. Our apologies for any inconvenience caused.

This problem did not affected our Standard Mail, Hosted Exchange or DNS services.

With the affected servers back online, we have checked their services, websites and databases and everything appears to be running normally. If any customer has any problems or questions, please do hesitate to contact us.

Unfortunately, this problem affected our website including our support ticket system. Our apologies to any customers that tried to contact us by support ticket - we couldn't access our website either.

During this downtime, we were posting regular updates on twitter https://twitter.com/calzadamedia If you haven't already subscribed, please do so today to get the latest updates and information from Calzada Media.

You may track our service status at any time through our live status website: https://status.calzadamedia.com

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04 Feb 2017
 by Alexander John in Announcements, News
Length: 43 seconds (143 words)

Thames is dead. Long live Avon and Nene.

We have retired our oldest hosting server, Thames, and it with two new servers called Avon and Nene. All websites and services hosted by Thames have been transferred across to the new servers.

This replacement is the first of a series of upgrades we have planned for 2017.

New Hosting Control Panel

As part of the upgrade, we've moved to a new Hosting Control Panel. The new control panel software is more intuitive and reliable than it's predecessor WebsitePanel (which, if we are honest, we didn't particularly get on with either).

The new control panel has a new web address too: https://cp.calzadamedia.net

New Microsoft SQL Server Packages

As we are increasingly deploying websites powered by Microsoft SQL Server, we will shortly be

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