SQL 2016 Hosting is Here!

On June 22, 2016, in Announcements, by Takeshi Eto

Takeshi Eto sql 2016 hostingI’m pleased to announce that SQL 2016 hosting is now officially available as an add-on option. Some of the new enhancements include temporal tables, query store, stretch database, and native support for JSON.

SQL 2016 can be selected when ordering SQL service through Control Panel. All the backup, restore, attach MDF tools are available as well.

Enjoy…

 

Ray HuangBack in August 2015, I wrote an article which showed how you could deploy an ASP.NET 5 application on our servers for those who wanted to try and test it out.  I also mentioned in the same article that because ASP.NET 5 was still in beta, what I wrote may or may not work for future releases.

I can now say they are no longer applicable.  They will still work for Beta6 but not for RC1 or RC2.  This article covers some of the changes made since Beta6 and why we chose not to support RC1.  ASP.NET 5 (vNext) has also been renamed to ASP.NET Core 1.0, and I’ll refer to it as such from now on.

We chose not to support RC1 for a couple of reasons.  In order deploy an RC1 application successfully, some changes need to be made on the back end.  RC1 requires the installation of an additional IIS module, the HTTPPlatformHandler.  It’s a pretty interesting module which allows you to run non-native Windows languages such as Java, Node.exe, Ruby, etc. under IIS.

But that wasn’t the main reason we chose not to support RC1.  RC1 just presented some technical challenges to overcome, mainly with how the file directory is setup and security (i.e. approot and wwwroot).

Since ASP.NET Core represents a paradigm shift in the way ASP.NET apps were being developed, integrating it with our current infrastructure while providing backwards compatibility for older versions of ASP.NET proved difficult.

There was also the problem with getting Web Deploy/FTP from Visual Studio working correctly which many of our current customers are familiar with and rely on to deploy their websites.  Since this was just a Release Candidate, we adopted a wait and see approach to see what further changes would be made to the product.

Fast forwarding to May 2016, that proved to be a wise decision.  RC2 helps address many of the issues we faced trying to integrate RC1 in our environment.  It no longer requires the HttpPlatformHandler in order to run, but instead relies on a new module, ASPNetCoreModule, developed specifically for Core and can be enabled with the addition of one line in your web.config file.

If you also examine the file structure of an RC2 application, you’ll also notice some major changes.  The approot folder is now gone, but the assemblies, runtimes, and configuration files are still stored outside of the wwwroot directory (either one file directory level above or adjacent to it).

What this means for us is that we no longer have to make changes to our file directory structure to accommodate/fix deployment and security issues such as the one mentioned in my previous article if you want to host the application in the root of your account.  RC2 applications can now be deployed the same way as any other type of application (e.g. MVC, web forms, etc.)

We’ve also been working directly with Microsoft to get Web Deploy working, and I can now say it’s possible to use Web Deploy to deploy an RC2 application with a few minor modifications to Visual Studio and your solution’s publishing profile.   Web deployment now looks and feels like what you’re used to.

We still have some testing to perform before we can roll this out to production, such as integrating the .NET Core Framework in order to support portable applications as opposed to self-contained applications, but you can rest assured that when we do, you’ll also have the technical expertise of a knowledgeable staff to help you get your ASP.NET Core application running on our servers.

 

May Updates

On May 5, 2016, in Announcements, by Ray

Ray HuangHere’s a list of our Web Application Gallery updates for May:

  • Acquia Drupal 4.43.49.6309
  • DotNetNuke (DNN) 8.0.1.236 Platform
  • Gallery Server Pro 4.0.0
  • Joomla 3.5.1
  • Kentico 9
  • mojoPortal 2.4.1.0
  • Moodle 3.0.3
  • Orchard 1.10
  • phpBB 3.1.9
  • phpMyAdmin 4.6.0
  • SilverStripe CMS 3.3.1
  • WordPress 4.5
 

Takeshi EtoSpamExperts Spam Filtering and ArchivingWe are happy to announce two new services that we are introducing in partnership with SpamExperts, who offer premium email security solutions.

Inbox Filtering
This is a premium spam filter solution that will not only keep your inbox virtually free of spam, scams, viruses and phishing, but also comes with a powerful management portal, where you can review your email logs and easily set up whitelists and blacklists. You also get daily quarantine reports.

Inbox Archiving
This service will store a backup of all your clean incoming emails that go through the SpamExperts system. Your email archive is stored in compressed and encrypted format on redundant cloud servers in the cloud.

For more information on features and pricing, check out our website. You can order SpamExperts services through Control Panel.

 

Martin OrtegaIncreased security is always a good idea, especially for important pages like your WordPress admin login. So this article will show you how to protect the wp-admin directory in a WordPress site hosted on an IIS Server. We’re going to do that by blocking access to the directory to everyone but yourself.

On our IIS servers we allow you to use the IP Address and Domain Restrictions module. In this tutorial you’re going to need to connect to your site via IIS Manager. See our Knowledge Base article: How to connect to your site via IIS Manager. (If you prefer a direct web.config file solution, skip to the end of this article for the necessary code.)

  1. Once connected to your site via IIS Manager, navigate to your wp-admin directory by double clicking on the folder within IIS Manager. It’s important that you’re in your wp-admin directory – if you create the following rule in the root of your WordPress site, you’ll end up blocking everyone from accessing your site.
  2. Next, double click on IP Address and Domain Restrictions icon

IP_Address_and_Domain_Restructions

  1. Under the Actions panel click on Edit Feature Settings…
  2. This will pop up the Edit IP and Domain Restrictions Settings Click on the drop down menu under Access for unspecified clients and select Deny. Leave Deny Action Type: as Forbidden. Click on OK button.

IP_Address_and_Domain_Restructions2

Now anyone from around the world will be blocked. This means you will be blocked too but that’s okay. The next steps creates a rule to only allow your IP address to access the wp-admin directory.

  1. Within the IP Address and Domain Restrictions module under Actions click on Add Allow Entry…
  2. Enter your IP address into the Specific IP address Click the OK box to save the IP.

IP_Address_and_Domain_Restructions3

Now we blocked everyone in the world but only allowed your IP address to access the wp-admin directory. This also means if your IP address changes you will need to update the rule to allow your new IP address. If you don’t know your outside IP address you can always Google What’s My IP. Google will tell you at the top of the search results. That’s the IP address you want to allow.

If you just want to cut to the chase, simply create a web.config file within the wp-admin directory and enter the following:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<configuration>
    <system.webServer>
        <security>
            <ipSecurity allowUnlisted="false">
                <add ipAddress="8.8.8.8" allowed="true" />
            </ipSecurity>
        </security>
    </system.webServer>
</configuration>

Of course you want to replace 8.8.8.8 with your real IP address.

 

Takeshi EtoI’m very proud to announce that we have just renewed our Microsoft Gold Partner status for the 11th straight year.

microsoft gold partner - hosting competencyMicrosoft has been updating their partner program and raising the bar for the Gold Partner level every year, so we in turn have been making investments annually to meet the requirements of the Gold Partner level. We believe that our partner status is a differentiator and truly demonstrates our commitment to stay on top of Microsoft-related technologies.

Maintaining a strong relationship with Microsoft is one of the things that helped us launch Everleap, our ASP.NET cloud hosting solution, and ensures that DiscountASP.NET remains the premiere .NET host for developers worldwide.

 

Takeshi EtoASP.NET 4.6.1 Hosting Today we announce that we have added support for ASP.NET 4.6.1 hosting at DiscountASP.NET. Finally!

We are aware that ASP.NET 4.6 was officially launched back in July 2015 and typically we are quick to update – but this particular update took us a while to get in – so I wanted to let you know what was going on.

When ASP.NET 4.6 was officially released we had every intention of getting it on to our hosting platform but during our testing phase we saw reports coming out about bugs found in ASP.NET 4.6 with recommendations not to install it in production. Since ASP.NET 4.6 was an in-place update, rather than a side-by-side install, we opted to be cautious. There were some patches and workarounds released to address some bugs – but we did not want to rely on patches and workarounds on our production hosting platform. Therefore we decided to wait until an official update, which came as ASP.NET 4.6.1 in November 2015.

We’ve been using the Windows update and our regular monthly maintenance window to install updates, so in November we expected the latest update to appear in the monthly update, just like other minor versions in the past. However, in the case of ASP.NET 4.6.1 – it wasn’t in Windows Update. We don’t know what goes on within Microsoft as they QA new updates, but if ASP.NET 4.6.1 wasn’t cleared for mass distribution, we figured that we should wait until it made it into Windows Update before putting it into production servers. We thought approval for mass release would come soon – but that was not the case.

Finally, a little over a week ago, we saw that ASP.NET 4.6.1 made it into Windows Update but it was only available for Windows 2012 R2 server. For our Windows 2012 platform, we have a mix of Windows 2012 and Windows 2012 R2 servers. So we updated all of our Windows 2012 R2 servers with ASP.NET 4.6.1 during February’s maintenance window, while our Windows 2012 servers remain at ASP.NET 4.5.2.

It did take us a while to update to ASP.NET 4.6 but when it comes to our production servers that power our customers websites, we want to be careful when making updates that could potentially cause problems for customers.

If you ever want to target a newer ASP.NET version that is not on your current server, please contact our technical support team and we may be able to move your site to the server environment with the ASP.NET version that you want to use.

 

February Updates

On February 4, 2016, in Announcements, by Ray

Ray HuangHere’s a list of our Web Application Gallery updates for February:

  • BlogEngine.NET 3.2
  • DotNetNuke (DNN) 7.4.2 Platform
  • Joomla 3.4.8
  • Moodle 3.0.1
  • nopCommerce 3.70
  • Orchard 1.9.2
  • phpMyAdmin 4.5.3.1
  • SilverStripe CMS 3.2.1
  • Umbraco 7.3.4
  • WordPress 4.4
 
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