Category Archives: Network

Hardware Upgrades Complete!

Our goal is to provide the best performing, most reliable service that we can and a lot of this comes down to the hardware that we use. Newer hardware can easily provide performance benefits but proper deployment of it is crucial as far as reliability and security is concerned. We always try to avoid any service interruption whenever possible and building redundancies into our infrastructure has allowed us to do this more easily.

Over the past five months, we’ve been working diligently to overhaul our entire hosting infrastructure.  The individual server upgrades were a big part of this process and these were all completed by the end of July. Behind the scenes, though, our work has gone far beyond just the server upgrades. We’ve also upgraded every other piece of hardware that has a role in providing our services. All switches, power distribution, and even cabling has received upgrades in some form or another.

  • Switches – All of our public and private network switches have been replaced which provides greater performance and continued security updates. This was done without impacting any services and zero downtime on our public network. Our private network has received an even bigger overhaul with it now being entirely 10G, allowing for even better backup performance.
  • Power Distribution – All of our in-rack PDUs have been replaced with new zero U PDUs. This has saved at least 4U per cabinet and cleaned them up considerably. The new PDUs also have additional control and monitoring features. Because all of our gear has redundant power, we were able to swap these out without any power loss or downtime.
  • Cabling – As a result of the PDU changes, we wanted to re-cable everything to clean it up and allow for even better airflow. New slim Cat6A cables handle 1G connectivity and most 10G connectivity is over DAC.

Many other items were upgraded over these past few months as well. I just wanted to provide a brief look behind the scenes here that you wouldn’t otherwise know about. We’re very focused on providing the best service possible and our continual hardware upgrades play a large role in this.

Behind the Scenes: POODLE SSLv3 & Network Speedtest

As you may have heard, in October a new vulnerability was disclosed in SSL version 3 that was dubbed POODLE (Padding Oracle On Downgraded Legacy Encryption). This allowed an attacker to read SSLv3 encrypted data via a man-in-the-middle attack. It has long been standard to disable SSLv2 and as a result of this new disclosure many providers, including us, have opted to disable SSLv3 as well. Disabling SSLv3 was really long overdue anyways and only used for legacy support of older operating systems that have long reached their end of life, such as initial releases of Windows XP. Any recent OS or software will instead use a version of TLS to connect which is now the only option that our servers permit. Aside from a couple of very minor cipher issues which were quickly remedied, we’ve experienced no problems with the deployment of these changes back in October. Ultimately this is just another small part that shows our ongoing commitment to security here at Dathorn, where keeping your data safe and secure is a priority.

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 10.53.07 AMIn other unrelated news, we have added network performance testing information to our network page. We frequently receive requests for information on how to test our network connectivity from a client’s location. To help make this process easier we’ve added this information directly to our website and have even setup a speedtest there. The image above shows some sample results from my own cable connection at home. Does anyone with Google fiber want to show off a bit?