I’m excited to announce that our Cloud Backup service will now automatically back up your SQL databases off-site to the Amazon cloud. So Cloud Backup has you covered for your website, SQL and MySQL databases. You are in full control of when backups are made and how many versions to keep.
Automated SQL backups is a feature that many customers have been asking for over the years and we are happy to be able to deliver this solution to you.
And that’s not all….
While we were working on enhancements, we added Blacklist Monitoring as well. With this feature, we will monitor Google to detect if they ever flag your site for being compromised. If we detect a Blacklist event, we’ll alert you and stop the backups of your site and databases so that you are not making backups of compromised files. This should help you recover your clean backups more easily.
The “peace of mind” Cloud Backup solution starts at $1.75/mo. You can order Cloud Backup in Control Panel.
Some of the enhancements of ASP.NET 4.5.2 include better ability to schedule async work items, better control over http headers, and debugging improvements.
This update is an in-place update so we did not rush pushing it out. Experience has taught us that in-place updates can be disruptive to some customers despite Microsoft assurances of backward compatibility. In fact to be on the safe side, when we updated to .NET 4.5.1, we only updated our Windows 2012 platform, leaving our Windows 2008 R2 platform at .NET 4.0, so that we could move customers should any unforeseen issues arise from the update.
However, updating our entire hosting platform to .NET 4.5.2 is now important because Microsoft announced that they will be deprecating .NET 4 – ,NET 4.5.1 in early January 2016. In the future, Microsoft intends to only support the latest few frameworks.
At the end of February, we updated our Everleap cloud hosting platform to .NET 4.5.2 and we did not encounter any issues, so we scheduled the update for DiscountASP.NET at the end of March during the usual maintenance window. You can now enjoy the latest Microsoft web stack. Of course, if you do notice any issues, please contact us right away.
Microsoft continues to raise the bar to attain the Gold level status, so we do put a great deal of investment every year in maintaining our Gold Partner status. We think that our partner status truly shows our commitment to stay on top of Microsoft-related technologies. This commitment not only serves as a differentiator, but it also helps us maintain our strong relationship with Microsoft – a relationship that helped bring Everleap, our cloud hosting solution based on Windows Azure Pack, to life.
Today we are announcing a new Cloud Backup solution that will backup your website off-site onto the Amazon cloud. The service comes with a web-based management portal to manage backup scheduling, versions and restoration.
A solution for “Oops” recovery
We’ve all done it – accidentally deleted an important file or overwritten something that broke a site or threw off the entire layout. Having a previous backup could save hours of painstaking work.
Bounce back quickly from website hacks
Hackers are constantly probing and learning how to exploit application vulnerabilities. No matter how vigilant you are in patching and updating, it’s still possible for hackers to gain access to websites and replace pages, or place malicious code or files within your site. Cloud Backup can help you quickly recover in the event of any hacking activities, restoring your site with a previous clean version.
Cloud Backup can access your MySQL database and back it up automatically.
Backing up your SQL database is a two step process. The SQL backup tool in the control panel will copy your SQL backup into your web space and will be backed up with your site. You can run the SQL backup tool manually or automate the process using our SQL backup API.
Check out our site for more information on plans and pricing and learn how Cloud Backup can help you achieve peace of mind.
1. We launched Everleap
This project was brewing in R&D for a couple of years and we are excited to launch our cloud hosting solution at Everleap.com. Everleap is powered by Windows Azure Pack (WAP) and provides scaling options that do not exist at DiscountASP.NET. We were the first host to launch a production hosting solution using the websites functionality of WAP.
Over the years, we’ve witnessed web applications becoming more sophisticated and complex and customers outgrowing traditional shared hosting services. So we wanted to provide a hosting solution for growth but we were not so keen on doing the same old VPS and dedicated hosting as all the other hosts.
Now with Everleap, we have a great upgrade path for our shared hosting customers, seamless scaling options that are not easily found at traditional hosts, all offered at flat, fixed pricing without mystery bills. In fact, we are offering free migration services for DiscountASP.NET customers who want to move to Everleap.
2. SQL 2014 hosting in the US and Europe
As always we try to keep up to date with new Microsoft technology releases. We launched SQL 2014 hosting in both our US-based and Europe-based data centers.
3. Managed TFS 2013 hosting in the US and Europe
We launched Managed Team Foundation Server 2013 hosting in both our US-based and UK-based data centers. This is a great option for businesses that want their own instance of TFS that is not shared with any other users and/or those who require server-side customization. TFS 2013 includes real-time collaboration enhancements with Team Rooms.
4. Exchange ActiveSync
ActiveSync was an “ask” from many customers, and now some new updates in Microsoft licensing make it possible for us to offer this feature. Exchange ActiveSync helps sync your email, calendar, contacts and tasks with the Smartermail email server and your mobile devices in real time – including Google Android, Apple iPad and iPhone, Motorola, Nokia, HP, Samsung, LG and Windows Phones.
5. SSD powered Reserved Cloud Servers at Everleap
On our Everleap cloud hosting solution, we introduced SSD accelerated Reserved Cloud Servers. The Reserved Cloud Servers are your own private VM that is reserved to serve only your sites, no other customers. So you get to use all the resources of the server, meaning all the CPU and RAM and there is virtually no constraint on idle timeouts and concurrent connections. We offer them in three flavors – small (1 CPU, 1 GB RAM), medium (2 CPU, 2 GB RAM) and large (4CPU, 4 GB RAM). These are a great option to grow into for CPU intensive or memory hungry apps.
6. Smartermail update
Admittedly, we did not keep up to date with Smartermail updates over the years. In 2014, we updated all our mail servers with the latest Smartermail version and we will work to keep up with the updates.
7. Git integration at Everleap
Many developers are using Git for their version control nowadays. We had customers ask about Git but integrating Git with DiscountASP.NET is difficult. However, WAP includes features to integrate Git so we offer Git publishing over at Everleap. We even host a local Git repository in your account. You can add additional users with Git publishing rights as well.
8. TFS 2013 Updates 1-4
Microsoft is adopting a faster cadence for releases. With Visual Studio 2013 we saw 4 updates released throughout 2014. So for our TFS 2013 hosting service, we stayed up to date with all the updates. But we don’t go ahead and blindly install updates. We test them out as thoroughly as possible and we schedule the updates with our customers.
9. Urban Turtle for Managed TFS 2013 and TFS 2012
For a while there, we were only able to support Urban Turtle for TFS 2010. Now, the latest Urban Turtle tools for TFS 2013 and TFS 2012 are available for our Managed TFS hosting solution. And, as discussed in the previous item, Microsoft’s fast release cadence can cause breaking changes with add-ins. So when we apply updates to TFS, we also work with Urban Turtle to make sure compatibility issues are ironed out.
10. Microsoft Gold Partner renewed
I know I may sound like a broken record (remember those?) but I think the renewal of the Microsoft Gold Partner status it is something important to include here because it is not a trivial task to maintain. With Microsoft continually raising the bar for the Gold Partner level, we’ve witnessed many hosts dropping in partnership level. Maintaining the Gold status is an investment and a differentiator.
Thank you for powering through and reading this long post and we look forward to having more things to talk about in 2015!
Many of you have asked for it, so I’m happy to announce that Exchange ActiveSync is now available as an add-on enhancement. You can activate this add-on through the Control Panel.
Though Exchange ActiveSync has been supported on SmarterMail for some time, it is only now with changes to how Microsoft licenses this technology that we are able to launch this feature.
For those unfamiliar with Exchange ActiveSync, it is a protocol that has become a de facto standard to sync groupware and mobile devices. With the ActiveSync add-on, your email, contacts, calendar and tasks are synchronized between our mail servers and your mobile device (e.g. your smartphone or tablet) in real time.
ActiveSync includes synchronization support for most mobile devices on the market, including Google Android, Apple iPad and iPhone, Motorola, Nokia, HP, Samsung, LG and Windows Phones.
We know that we are a mobile society and having access to information on-the-go is increasingly important for your business and personal life. So we are glad to be able to make this feature available to help you be even more productive.
SQL 2014 has been added as a new option when you order SQL service through Control Panel and all the backup, restore, attach mdf tools are available for it as well.
While we were at it, we also added more flexibility to the DNS Manager. You can now create multiple records with the same name, edit and delete the root domain A record, create CNAMEs with the root domain name – and a lot more.
With all of the excitement over the launch of our new cloud hosting solution over at Everleap, I overlooked announcing that we have successfully renewed our Microsoft Partner Gold Hosting Competency for 2014! We are going into our 9th year of maintaining our Microsoft Gold Partner status.
Even though we’ve been announcing our Microsoft Gold Partner renewal annually, it is no small feat to continue keeping this status. Microsoft has raised the bar significantly to attain the Gold level status over the last few years.
To earn a Microsoft Gold Competency, organizations must employ more Microsoft Certified Professionals who must pass various up-to-date certification exams related to the competency, submit multiple customer references and demonstrate their commitment to customer satisfaction by participating in an annual survey and score well. There are Cloud marketing assessment tests to pass as well.
Achieving the Gold level status is an investment that we make every year because it truly shows our commitment to stay on top of Microsoft-related technologies, helps us maintain a strong relationship with Microsoft, and serves as a big differentiator among all the other hosts.
As an example of our commitment, it is through this strong relationship with Microsoft that we were able to be the first host to launch a production scalable cloud hosting solution for websites and web applications using Windows Azure Pack.