31Aug/180

SRV Records – How do I use them correctly?

Definition of an SRV record

With a Service Resource Record (short: SRV record) you can make services, which are usually available via an IP:PORT combination, reachable using a DNS host name. Important to note regarding SRV record is the fact, that they only work if an application has been specifically programmed to make use of them. Examples for this are TeamSpeak3 or Minecraft. SRV-Records can not be used to point a DNS name to an IP address/port combination for arbitrary use by any application.

Example - Teamspeak:
Usually TeamSpeak is using the protocol UDP over port 9987. If you are running a TeamSpeak instance with the IP 123.124.125.126 every client that wants to connect has to enter the IP:port combination of 123.124.125.126:9987. If you change the port or the server IP, you have to inform everyone about the new combination. With SRV records it is possible to connect to TeamSpeak using a DNS host name like ts.mydomain.com

In general every SRV record contains the same information:

_SERVICE._PROTOCOL.yourdomain.tld 86400 IN SRV PRIORITY WEIGHT PORT SERVER

In this example:

_ts3._udp.ts.mydomain.com 86400 IN SRV 0 5 9987 ts.mydomain.com

Values for priority and weight can usually be left at their defaults, they are only used if two or more SRV records with the same name exist. Please note that for the data field, you cannot simply add an IP address here. Instead, you will have to add a valid DNS host name which in turn resolves to an IP address by using an A record, so make sure that the host name you set there exists.

How to create an SRV record at Contabo

  1. Log in into your Contabo customer control panel using https://my.contabo.com
  2. Using the menu item "DNS Zone Management" you can edit a DNS zone and create a new record
  3. The type has to be SRV
  4. Fill in the form. An example can be seen below (please click on the picture in order to increase its size):
  5. The finished record should look like this:

From now on your users can connect to TeamSpeak using only the subdomain ts.mydomain.com

For Minecraft, the record may look like this:

_minecraft._tcp.mc.mydomain.com 86400 IN SRV 0 5 25565 server01.mydomain.com

Please make sure to consult the documentation of your service or application regarding whether SRV records are supported and what scheme they should use.

Posted by: Markus | Tagged as: , , , , No Comments
9Aug/180

Full Monitoring

The optional upgrade Full Monitoring from Contabo is an extensive monitoring tool for your VPS and Dedicated Servers. We are going to present the features of this tool in this tutorial.

Why Full Monitoring?

By the help of Full Monitoring, outages can be detected quickly.

The key benefit of this tool is the immediate notification via SMS (text message) and/or e-mail, should an outage of a server or of only a running service on a server happen. It is like an alert which signals a need for action! We all know and are aware, that a downtime is always a very unpleasant scenario. You can surely understand, that in such a situation it will be beneficial, if you are aware of it immediately. Full Monitoring enables you to react and to take necessary appropriate actions in order to recover all services as soon as possible. In addition other measures can be started, as informing your important customers, for instance.

The administration of services and functions is separated. The contacts - it does not matter if they are e-mail or SMS contacts - can be assigned to the services  which are going to be monitored in any combination.

Furthermore the traffic graphs for VPS and Dedicated Servers can be displayed.

How does Full Monitoring work?

You will receive special login data for Full Monitoring. After logging into Full Monitoring, the screen could look as follows:

We already added two contacts who should be notified. It is only necessary to click on „Add contact“ under „Alert contacts“. Then you can choose the type of contact, with „E-Mail“ and „SMS“ (text message) being the two available options. Please choose the appropriate form of communication depending on your requirements. Under „Services“ you can add services after protocol and port. Particularly, you can assign different contacts to the corresponding services.

In the screenshot you can see that the VPS is online. The services RDP 3389 and http 80 are online, too.

In the following screenshot we reproduce the worst-case scenario when the server is down.

 

In this example, we would send an e-mail to max.mustermann@contabo.com to alert him. In addition we would send a text message to 4912345678.

As a consequence, the services rdp and http would be down, too. We would inform max.mustermann@contabo.com via e-mail and would send a second text message to 4912345678 that RDP is down. In addition we would text a person at 497654321 that the service http is not working.

Given only the webserver is down, but the server is online, we would only send a
text message to 498754321 in this example.

 

For Dedicated Servers already known, we can provide traffic graphs for VPS now as well! In this screenshot you can see the graph for different periods: Daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. For each period you can see the consumed bandwidth for in- and outgoing traffic.

We hope we could introduce this upgrade well and you can see the advantages it has. Could we awake your interest in Full Monitoring? Our whole team would be very pleased to answer your questions. You can find this upgrade during your online order under „Services and upgrades“. You can order the upgrade together with your server online, but it is also possible to order it at any time later by e-mail. For any inquiries, please do not hesitate to contact our customer support team.

Posted by: Alois | Tagged as: , , , No Comments
13Jul/180

Mounting local HDDs via RDP

With RDP it is not only possible to connect to a Windows server. You can also mount local HDDs on the remote Windows server in order to directly transfer data. In this tutorial this process is described step by step.

By the way: In a separate tutorial, we explain how you can connect to your Windows server via RDP. Please read this first in case you are not familiar with RDP yet.

Open your Windows remote desktop connection:

In the sub-menu "Local Resources" you will find the "Local devices and resources" part. Using the "More" button you can choose the HDDs you want to mount on your remote Windows session.



After that you can connect to your server in the way you are used to. During the connection you have to confirm that you really want to allow remote desktop connections to access your local discs.

Once connected you can see the chosen discs directly in the Windows explorer:

Posted by: Julian | Tagged as: , , , , , No Comments
28Jun/180

How do I connect to my Windows server via RDP?

This tutorial will show you how to connect to your Windows VPS or dedicated server at Contabo via RDP from different operating systems.

The following scenarios will be covered:

Connections from desktop operating systems:

  • Establishing a RDP connection from WindowsOS (e.g. Windows 7, 8, 10)
  • Establishing a RDP connection from LinuxOS (e.g. Debian, Ubuntu)
  • Establishing a RDP connection from MacintoshOS (e.g. Apple MacBook)

Connections from mobile devices:

  • Establishing a RDP connection from Android based systems (e.g. Samsung Galaxy)
  • Establishing a RDP connection from iOS based systems (e.g. Apple iPhone)

 

RDP connections from Windows
  • on Windows 7: Please navigate to the "Start icon" of the taskbar and search for "Remote Desktop Connection"
  • bei Windows 8/10: Please navigate to the "Windows icon" of the taskbar and search for "Remote Desktop Connection"

The RDP client should start as follows:

Now you should be able to connect to your server using its hostname (e.g. "vmiXXXXX.contaboserver.net" for VPS or "mXXXX.contaboserver.net" for dedicated servers) or the IP address (e.g. "173.xxx.xxx.xxx"). The RDP session will be established within a few seconds automatically.

Alternatively, you might choose a few options beforehand (e.g. screen resolution and audio settings). Therefore, please click on the "Show Options" button:

Explanations:

  • The screen resolution can be individually modified using the slider
  • If you would like to pass through the audio signal to your local PC, you have to set the "Remote audio playback" function to "Play on this computer"
  • If you would like to make your local printer available on your server, please enable the "Printer" option at the "Local devices and resources" section (Important: The printer device driver must be compellingly installed on your server!)
  • The clipboard is enabled by default, so STRG + C / STRG + V will always work. It can be disabled by disabling its checkbox

 

Troubleshooting:

If you determine issues while connecting to your server, please find enclosed some information about how to fix them:

1. "Remote Desktop can't connect to the remote computer for one of these reasons":

Causes / Solutions:

2. "The remote session was disconnected because there are no Remote Desktop Licence Servers available to provide a license. Please contact the server administrator."

Causes / Solutions:

Obviously, a terminal service was installed on your server and no active licence server has been assigned yet. After the grace period of 90 respectively 120 days, all temporarily licences will be deleted and all further RDP logins will be rejected.

To fix this issue, you either have to delete the terminal service or the affected Windows Registry key

  • If you rent a VPS, you can connect to your server through VNC to perform the required steps:

https://contabo.com/?show=tutorials&tutorial=vnc-connect-vps

  • If you use a dedicated server and you do not have a KVM device attached to your server yet, please get in contact with us at support@contabo.com

* The required server role "Remote Desktop Services" can be deleted at the server manager ("Remove roles and features")
* The affected Registry key can be deleted at the following path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\RCM\GracePeriod

Important: Please be careful while changing settings at the Windows registry! Please create a full backup of the registry beforehand.

* Now please perform a reboot of your server and you should be able to login to your server afterwards again

 

RDP connection from Linux

Alternatively, you can also connect from Linux to your Windows server via RDP. There is a command line based program called "rdesktop" and it is usable for all available linux distributions.

  • Installation:

sudo apt-get install rdesktop

  • Start the RDP connection:

rdesktop <IP address>

Now the RDP connection has been established and you can login to your server using the initial login credentials.

Important information:

  • In order to be able to establish a RDP connection, your Linux system must have an X11 server available. It should be installed by default if you already use a GUI (graphical desktop environment - e.g. "Gnome" or "KDE")
  • Please note, it is generally not recommended to establish a RDP connection through SSH
  • Alternatively, there is another program called 'freeRDP', which can be used instead of 'rdesktop'. Please find more information about it at http://www.freerdp.com/

 

RDP connection from MacOS

In order to be able to establish a RDP connection from MacOS based systems (e.g. Apple MacBook), a RDP client is also required. Please find enclosed a download URL to get the latest RDP client version:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/microsoft-remote-desktop/id715768417?mt=12&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Afterwards, you can start the RDP client following by entering the Windows login credentials (at the "Domain:" field, you can either use the server's IP address or the hostname):



Please always use the latest RDP client version from iTunes, so it is ensured that no connection issues occur!

Troubleshooting:

1. "Remote Desktop Connection cannot verify the identity of the computer that you want to connect to":

=> This kind of error message is mostly caused by an old respectively outdated RDP client version

Causes / Solutions:

  • Please make sure, that you are currently using the latest RDP client version (download-URL above)

 

RDP connection from Android-based systems

To establish a RDP connection from Google-Android-based systems (e.g. Samsung Galaxy) please use the following RDP client directly from the Google App store. You can always download the latest RDP client version here:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.microsoft.rdc.android&hl=en

 

RDP connection from iOS-based systems

Last of all, we would like to inform you about the possibility of how to connect to your Windows server via an iOS-based system (e.g. Apple iPhone).

Please find enclosed the download URL to get the latest RDP client version:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/microsoft-remote-desktop/id714464092?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Very important: In order to use the latest RDP client above, iOS version 8.0 is required at least!


If you have any further questions about connecting via RDP to your server or need help, please do not hesitate to contact us at support@contabo.com.

11Jun/180

Establishing a connection to your server via SSH

In this tutorial you will find a guide on how to establish a connection via SSH to your Linux server.

Please note that you will have to replace the place holder <IP Address> in the complete tutorial with the IP address of your server.

Linux

In case you are using a Linux operating system on your local machine you will just have to start a terminal.

To establish the connection to your server please type the following command:

The option -l defines the user which will be connected to. In this case we will use "root".
The option -p defines the port which will be used for the connection. Here we will use the standard SSH port 22.

Should this be the first time you connect to the server, you will have to accept its SSH certificate by typing "yes".

Please insert your password, which you can find in our e-mail "Your Login Data". Kindly note that SSH will not display any letters or symbols when typing the password. You can also copy and paste your password by using the right mouse key (please make sure not to copy your password with blank characters at the end - you can check so by pasting the password into an empty editor file before using it).

Now, click the ‚Enter‘-key. Once done, you should get access to your server via SSH:

The connection has now been established successfully.

Windows

In case you are using a Windows operating system on your local machine, you will have to install a suitable SSH client first.

We recommend to use PuTTy as SSH client:

http://www.putty.org/

After installing PuTTy, open the client and enter the IP address of your Server. The port, in this case the standard SSH port 22, can be changed as well if needed.

Click 'Open' to initiate the connection. You can leave all options to default.

Should this be the first time to connect to the server, you will have to accept its SSH certificate:

Afterwards, you will see the following:

Please insert root (login as:) and your password, which you can find in our e-mail "Your Login Data". Kindly note, SSH will not display any letters or symbols when typing the password. You can also copy and paste your password by using the right mouse key (please make sure not to copy your password with blank characters at the end - you can check so by pasting the password into an empty editor file before using it).

Now, click the ‚Enter‘-key. Once done, you should get access to your server via SSH:

The connection has now been established successfully.

Posted by: Julian | Tagged as: , , , , , , No Comments
21Mar/180

How to manage your RAID controller in Windows

Not long ago, we have shown you in a different tutorial how to manage your raidcontroller in Linux. Below you can find the respective guideline for Windows.

Monitoring a RAID array

A hardware RAID has certain advantages, but also a hardware RAID has to be monitored. We always rely on tried and tested hardware to minimize the risk of a hardware failure, but there is always the risk that hardware fails, therefore monitoring the hardware is even more important to guarantee that the server will keep running properly.

In the case of a software RAID, the operating system generates messages about the RAID; with a hardware RAID, the controller does it itself - but you need a special software to read these messages.

This blog entry shows the installation and use of the Adaptec and LSI software on Windows operating systems.
There are also graphical interfaces available for managing raidcontrollers, such as a web interface.

Please contact our support department in case you are not sure which controller was added to your server.

Updating the controller's firmware or the operating system's driver may lead to a complete loss of all data stored on that RAID!

1. Adaptec

1.1 Installation of the arcconf binary

Open the Powershell as Administrator, you will start at the "Administrator" User folder.
Create a new folder and change to that folder, e.g.:

mkdir C:\raid; chdir C:\raid

The binary can be downloaded via Powershell as well, type in the following command:

iwr -URI http://download.adaptec.com/raid/storage_manager/arcconf_v2_03_22476.zip' -OUTFILE arcconf_v2_03_22476.zip; start arcconf_v2_03_22476.zip

(You could also download the binary with your webbrowser from here )

You should see some directories including the "windows_x64" directory, select that directory and copy it to "C:\raid\".

1.2 Monitoring the raidcontroller

Open the Powershell and change the directory using the following command:

chdir C:\raid\windows_x64\cmdline

You should be able to run the executable by using the following command: " .\arcconf.exe getconfig 1" - this will display all information.

You will get all information regarding the 1st controller installed in your system. In case you have installed more than one controller you could display the information of the 2nd controller by typing ".\arcconf.exe GETCONFIG 2".

A list of available options can be displayed by typing ".\arcconf.exe" .
The most important status can be filtered out by typing ".\arcconf.exe GETCONFIG 1 | findstr Status" into the Powershell.

PS C:\raid\windows_x64\cmdline> .\arcconf.exe GETCONFIG 1 | findstr Status
Controller Status : Optimal
Status : ZMM not installed
Status of Logical Device : Optimal

"ZMM not installed" shows that this controller currently has no BBU (battery backup unit) installed, a BBU can be installed at any time as an upgrade.

A "Degraded" status on a LD (Logical Device) indicates that there must be an issue.

PS C:\raid\windows_x64\cmdline> .\arcconf.exe GETCONFIG 1 | findstr Status
Controller Status : Optimal
Status : ZMM not installed
Status of Logical Device : Degraded

To check if there is any failed drive (in this scenario the SSD failed), type in the following command and you will see the "State : Failed" information:

PS C:\raid\windows_x64\cmdline> .\arcconf.exe GETCONFIG 1 PD
Controllers found: 1
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Physical Device information
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Device #0
Device is a Hard drive
State : Failed
Block Size : 512 Bytes
Failed logical device segments : True
Supported : Yes
Transfer Speed : Failed
Reported Channel,Device(T:L) : 0,0(0:0)
Reported Location : Connector 0, Device 0
Vendor :
Model : Crucial_CT275MX3
Firmware : M0CR040
Serial number : 11111111111111
World-wide name : 500A075116639956
Total Size : 262321 MB
Write Cache : Enabled (write-back)
FRU : None
S.M.A.R.T. : No
S.M.A.R.T. warnings : 0
Power State : Full rpm
Supported Power States : Full power,Powered off,Standby
SSD : Yes
Temperature : Not Supported
NCQ status : Enabled

To replace a failed drive just contact us, we will immediately take care of it. To speed up the process you should provide us with the above output. It shows the S/N and the port that drive is attached to. In this case the S/N is "11111111111111" and the attached Port is "0".

As soon as the drive got replaced the rebuild should start automatically:

PS C:\raid\windows_x64\cmdline> .\arcconf.exe GETCONFIG 1 | findstr Status
Controller Status : Optimal
Status : ZMM not installed
Status of Logical Device : Degraded, Rebuilding ( Rebuild : 1 % )

Depending on your RAID setup this will probably take several hours.

1.3 Installing an available webinterface

For Adaptec controllers there is the "MaxView Storage Manager" available, it can be downloaded here: https://storage.microsemi.com/de-de/speed/raid/storage_manager/msm_windows_x64_v2_03_22476_zip.php

The installer is located within the directory called "manager" - that directory will be created when unpacking the downloaded archive.
You can start the installation by starting "setup_asm_x64.EXE" .
Afterwards you should be able to reach the webinterface on https://<SERVERIP>:8443 .

2. LSI

2.1 Installation of the StorCLI binary

Download of the commandline Binary :

iwr -URI 'https://docs.broadcom.com/docs-and-downloads/raid-controllers/raid-controllers-common-files/1.21.16_StorCLI.zip' -OUTFILE StorCLI.zip;explorer.exe .\StorCLI.zip\versionChangeSet\univ_viva_cli_rel\

A Windows Explorer should popup when using the above command. Now copy "storcli_ALL_OS.zip" to the "C:\raid" directory:

 

Now unzip that file.

 

2.2 Monitoring the raidcontroller

Go to your Powershell and type the following command to access the recently unpacked files:

chdir C:\raid\storcli_All_OS\storcli_All_OS\Windows\

You should be able to call "storCLI.exe", there is also a 64Bit binary.

You can display the current status of the raidcontroller by typing:

PS C:\raid\storcli_All_OS\storcli_All_OS\Windows> .\storcli64.exe /c0 show

TOPOLOGY :
========
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
DG Arr Row EID:Slot DID Type  State BT       Size PDC  PI SED DS3  FSpace
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
0 -   -   -        -   RAID1 Optl  N  255.656 GB dflt N  N   dflt N
0 0   -   -        -   RAID1 Optl  N  255.656 GB dflt N  N   dflt N
0 0   0   64:4     12  DRIVE Onln  N  255.656 GB dflt N  N   dflt -
0 0   1   64:5     13  DRIVE Onln  N  255.656 GB dflt N  N   dflt -
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Example for a failed HDD:

TOPOLOGY :
========
----------------------------------------------------------------------
DG Arr Row EID:Slot DID Type  State BT Size PDC  PI SED DS3  FSpace
----------------------------------------------------------------------
0 -   -   -        -   RAID1 Dgrd  N  255 GB dflt N  N   dflt N
0 0   -   -        -   RAID1 Dgrd  N  255 GB dflt N  N   dflt N
0 0   0   -        -   DRIVE Msng  -  255 GB -    -  -   -    -
0 0   1   64:5     13  DRIVE Onln  N  255 GB dflt N  N   dflt -
---------------------------------------------------------------------

 

PS C:\raid\storcli_All_OS\storcli_All_OS\Windows> .\storcli64.exe /c0 /sall show

Controller = 0
Status = Failure
Description = No drive found!
Detailed Status :
===============
----------------------------------------
Drive Status ErrCd ErrMsg
----------------------------------------
/c0/sALL Failure 255 Drives not found
----------------------------------------

To display the current status of the rebuild you can run:

PS C:\raid\storcli_All_OS\storcli_All_OS\Windows> .\storcli64.exe /c0 /eall /sall show rebuild


Controller = 0
Status = Success
Description = Show Drive Rebuild Status Succeeded.
---------------------------------------------------------
Drive-ID Progress% Status Estimated Time Left
---------------------------------------------------------
/c0/e64/s4 0 In progress -
/c0/e64/s5 - Not in progress -
---------------------------------------------------------

2.3 Installation of a graphical interface

You can download the latest MegaRAID Storage Manager using the following link:

https://docs.broadcom.com/docs-and-downloads/raid-controllers/raid-controllers-common-files/16.05.04.00_MSM_Windows.zip

After downloading, unzip all files. You should be able to access the directory, just run the installation wizard.

Usually you will not have any LDAP authentication, in this case you have to unmark the checkbox when running the installer - otherwise you cannot connect to the manager.

A new shortcut will appear on your desktop, now run that shortcut and type in your login credentials. The following MSM interface should show up:

 

 

 

Posted by: Gianni-Donato | Tagged as: , , , , , No Comments
7Mar/180

How to manage your RAID controller in Linux

Please note: This tutorial focusses on Linux OS. Should you be a Windows user instead, please confer our respective tutorial on how to manage your RAID controller in Windows.

Monitoring a RAID array

A hardware RAID has certain advantages, but also a hardware RAID has to be monitored. We always rely on tried and tested hardware to minimize the risk of a hardware failure, but there is always the risk that hardware fails, therefore monitoring the hardware is even more important to guarantee that the server will keep running properly.

In the case of a software RAID, the operating system generates messages about the RAID; with a hardware RAID, the controller does it itself - but you need a special software to read these messages.

This blog entry shows the installation and use of the Adaptec and LSI software on Linux operating systems.
There are also graphical interfaces available for managing raidcontrollers, such as a web interface.

Please contact our support department in case you are not sure which controller was added to your server.

Please note: Updating the controller's firmware or the operating system's driver may lead to a complete loss of all data stored on that RAID!

For this tutorial some additional software is needed, for Ubuntu 17.10 it can be installed using the following command "apt install zip unzip net-tools"

1. Adaptec

An overview of available software for your Adaptec controller can be found here: https://storage.microsemi.com/en-us/support/series6/index.php

1.1 Installation of the arcconf binary

Installing the binary with the Linux commandline is very easy, you can manage the controller using that binary afterwards.

A download link for the latest available binary can be found on the above mentioned website by clicking on the "Storage Manager Downloads" link.
The "arcconf" binary can be used for various Adaptec products, usually there is no need for additional software.
In this tutorial we are going to download the following binary: https://storage.microsemi.com/en-us/speed/raid/storage_manager/arcconf_v2_03_22476_zip.php

On your commandline just type:

wget http://download.adaptec.com/raid/storage_manager/arcconf_v2_03_22476.zip && unzip arcconf_v2_03_22476.zip

Now move the binary to your binary folder and make it executable:

mv linux_x64/cmdline/arcconf /usr/sbin/ && chmod +x /usr/sbin/arcconf

The "arcconf" command should be available now.

root@contabo:~# arcconf
Controllers found: 1
| UCLI | Adaptec by PMC uniform command line interface
| UCLI | Version 2.03 (B22476)
| UCLI | (C) Adaptec by PMCS 2003-2016
| UCLI | All Rights Reserved

1.2 Monitoring the raidcontroller

Usually the RAID should have an "OPTIMAL" value, in case one HDD fails the controller will start to send an audible alarm signal. That signal will be recognized by our technicians working in the datacenter, in this case we will contact you and inform you about a possible hardware failure.

With the parameter "arcconf GETCONFIG 1" you will get all information regarding the 1st controller installed to your system. In case you have installed more than one controller you could display the information of the 2nd controller by typing "arcconf GETCONFIG 2".

A list of available options can be displayed by typing "arcconf getconfig".

The most important status can be filtered out by typing "arcconf getconfig 1 | grep Status" into the commandline.

root@contabo:~# arcconf getconfig 1 | grep Status
Controller Status : Optimal
Status : ZMM not installed
Status of Logical Device : Optimal

"ZMM not installed" shows that this controller currently has no BBU (batterie backup unit) installed, a BBU can be installed at any time as an upgrade.

A "Degraded" status on a LD (Logical Device) indicates that there must be an issue.

root@contabo:~# arcconf getconfig 1 | grep Status
Controller Status : Optimal
Status : ZMM not installed
Status of Logical Device : Degraded

To check if there is any failed drive (in this scenario the SSD failed), type in the following command and you will see the "State : Failed" information:

root@contabo:~# arcconf getconfig 1 PD
Controllers found: 1
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Physical Device information
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Device #0
Device is a Hard drive
State : Failed
Block Size : 512 Bytes
Failed logical device segments : True
Supported : Yes
Transfer Speed : Failed
Reported Channel,Device(T:L) : 0,0(0:0)
Reported Location : Connector 0, Device 0
Vendor :
Model : Crucial_CT275MX3
Firmware : M0CR040
Serial number : 11111111111111
World-wide name : 500A075116639956
Total Size : 262321 MB
Write Cache : Enabled (write-back)
FRU : None
S.M.A.R.T. : No
S.M.A.R.T. warnings : 0
Power State : Full rpm
Supported Power States : Full power,Powered off,Standby
SSD : Yes
Temperature : Not Supported
NCQ status : Enabled

To replace a failed drive just contact us, we will immediately take care of it. To speed up the process you should provide us with the above output. It shows the S/N and the port that drive is attached to. In this case the S/N is "11111111111111" and the attached Port is "0".

As soon as the drive got replaced the rebuild should start automatically:

root@contabo:~# arcconf getconfig 1 | grep Status
Controller Status : Optimal
Status : ZMM not installed
Status of Logical Device : Degraded, Rebuilding ( Rebuild : 1 % )

Depending on your RAID setup this will probably take several hours.

1.3 Installing an available Webinterface

For Adaptec there is the "MaxView Storage Manager" available, it can be downloaded here: https://storage.microsemi.com/de-de/speed/raid/storage_manager/msm_linux_x64_v2_03_22476_tgz.php

You could also just download it via commandline:

wget http://download.adaptec.com/raid/storage_manager/msm_linux_x64_v2_03_22476.tgz && tar -xzf msm_linux_x64_v2_03_22476.tgz

The installer is located within the directory called "manager" - that directory will be created when unpacking the downloaded archive.
For our system (Ubuntu 17.04) we will install the package using the following command:

dpkg -i manager/StorMan-2.03-22476_amd64.deb

Afterwards you should be able to reach the webinterface at https://<SERVERIP>:8443

2. LSI

2.1 Installation of the StorCLI binary

Download of the commandline Binary :

wget https://docs.broadcom.com/docs-and-downloads/raid-controllers/raid-controllers-common-files/1.21.16_StorCLI.zip --no-check-certificate && unzip 1.21.16_StorCLI.zip && cd versionChangeSet/univ_viva_cli_rel/ && unzip storcli_All_OS.zip

For our system we will install the Ubuntu package by typing:
dpkg -i storcli_All_OS/Ubuntu/storcli_1.21.06_all.deb

Create a link to make the "storcli" command available to your shell.
ln -s /opt/MegaRAID/storcli/storcli64 /usr/sbin/storcli

2.2 Monitoring the raidcontroller

You can display the current status of the raidcontroller by typing:

root@contabo:~#storcli /c0 show

TOPOLOGY :
========
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
DG Arr Row EID:Slot DID Type  State BT       Size PDC  PI SED DS3  FSpace
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
0 -   -   -        -   RAID1 Optl  N  255.656 GB dflt N  N   dflt N
0 0   -   -        -   RAID1 Optl  N  255.656 GB dflt N  N   dflt N
0 0   0   64:4     12  DRIVE Onln  N  255.656 GB dflt N  N   dflt -
0 0   1   64:5     13  DRIVE Onln  N  255.656 GB dflt N  N   dflt -
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Example of a failed HDD:

TOPOLOGY :
========
----------------------------------------------------------------------
DG Arr Row EID:Slot DID Type  State BT Size PDC  PI SED DS3  FSpace
----------------------------------------------------------------------
0 -   -   -        -   RAID1 Dgrd  N  255 GB dflt N  N   dflt N
0 0   -   -        -   RAID1 Dgrd  N  255 GB dflt N  N   dflt N
0 0   0   -        -   DRIVE Msng  -  255 GB -    -  -   -    -
0 0   1   64:5     13  DRIVE Onln  N  255 GB dflt N  N   dflt -
---------------------------------------------------------------------

root@contabo:~#storcli /c0 /sall show


Controller = 0
Status = Failure
Description = No drive found!
Detailed Status :
===============
----------------------------------------
Drive    Status  ErrCd ErrMsg
----------------------------------------
/c0/sALL Failure   255 Drives not found
----------------------------------------

To display the current status of the rebuild you can run:

root@contabo:~#storcli /c0 /eall /sall show rebuild

Controller = 0
Status = Success
Description = Show Drive Rebuild Status Succeeded.
---------------------------------------------------------
Drive-ID   Progress% Status          Estimated Time Left
---------------------------------------------------------
/c0/e64/s4         0 In progress     -
/c0/e64/s5         - Not in progress -
---------------------------------------------------------

2.3 Installing an available webinterface

Unfortunately, there is currently no webinterface available for Linux.

 

Posted by: Gianni-Donato | Tagged as: , , , , , No Comments
15Dec/170

Basic information about our Webspace

Today we would like to give you some basic usage hints about our webspace packages. First of all, our webspace offers are based on cPanel which is well known and under active development. However, we would like to explain some points and present the most important features. In this post we will refer to the YouTube-playlist of the cPanelTV channel which contains many tutorials directly provided by the producer. You may also find it at the end of our explanations, so you do not have to search for the videos.

Concerning webspace packages there are few basic topics to be considered:

  • Make sure you use safe passwords. cPanel provides the option to generate a password according to chosen criteria and gives feedback of the security level of your password.
  • Installing updates: We maintain the hard- and software your webspace is based on, but do not have acess to your website. Therefore it is always important to keep the used CMS (content management system) up-to-date. Not only the visitors of your websites will thank you for not becoming a victim of possible attacks, but also us, as the risk of spamming via a hacked CMS can be minimized.
  • Commensurability: Our goal is to provide you with a lot of resources at a low price. Yet, you should consider whether a webspace is the best product for the intended purpose. A large online shop containing many products on a webspace is, for example, not recommendable. In case you are planning to host such a large online shop, kindly contact our customer support department and we will gladly assist you in finding the best hosting solution for your needs.

If you have other inquiries, our support will be at hand at the regular times as well. Just contact us!

But now we continue with the original topic of this tutorial, namely presenting some important and basic elements to operate cPanel.

Passwords

Earlier we mentioned safe passwords are important, unfortunately, even more will come with a webspace and add to your long list of already existing passwords. It is quite tempting to use the same password for all services, but this is absolutely not recommendable. An example: An attacker gets to know your administrator password using a security breach of your CMS. This password is also used for the login to cPanel, your email account, as database password and for ftp access. Therefore, the attacker will have access to all those services and will be able to send emails using your name, delete your data or upload illegal content. Unfortunately, this example is not hypothetical but rather common. Consequently our advice is: always use individual and secure passwords. Further examples are provided by cPanel in the video "cPanel Tutorials: How to change your password", where you will also find a tutorial how to change an existing password.

File manager

After your order has been completed, you receive an email with all required information and login details, including a URL to cPanel. After you logged into the system the question you probably ask yourself is "How can I upload my website?". We can inform you that there are multiple ways to proceed:

  1. The most common way is using FTP(S), which stands for "File Transfer Protocol (over SSL)" and is a standardized protocol to transfer files, the letter "S" for securing the connection by using SSL. We always recommend using FTPS, since this guarantees that the file transfer is encrypted, which is not the case if you use plain FTP. More details how you can create an FTP account can be found at the video tutorial "cPanel Tutorials: FTP".
  2. The file manager included in cPanel: This is the easiest way and should work from nearly all sources, in addition, the file manager provides the possibility to edit files or check out the content. A video guide is available, too. It is called "cPanel Tutorials: File Manager".
  3. Another option uses the so called "Web Disk" which uses WebDAV for file transfer and can mount the webspace as a drive within the local PC. Please check out the video "cPanel Tutorials: Web Disk" for more details.

MySQL and PHPMyAdmin

The two points MySQL and PHPMyAdmin need to be mentioned together, PHPMyAdmin is the software part which provides you with access to the databases with the login credentials you set. After you logged into PHPMyAdmin you are free to check the databases, delete records or perform any changes. In addition, you can upload or create a database backup using PHPMyAdmin, too. MySQL is the data base server installed by us. Nowadays nearly all content management systems require a database to save the information which should be shown on your website. A guide how you can create a database and a user ist shown within the video "cPanel Tutorials: MySQL Databases".

Domains

A webspace requires a default domain, which needs to be provided during the order process in order to create the account and provide you with the login details. But of course, additional domains can be added to your webspace. There are different ways to do so:

  1. You can always order new domains from us, for details please consult our website at https://contabo.com/?show=domains.
  2. You can transfer a domain from another provider to us using the auth code which needs to be provided by the current provider.
  3. You can register domains at another provider and use them together with the webspace, but please keep in mind, that this requires that the nameservers are changed to the ones shown within the customer control panel and a DNS zone needs to be created. A few more details:
    Under the menu item "DNS Zone Management" in your Contabo customer control panel at https://my.contabo.com you can create an unlimited number of DNS zones for your domains free of charge. Your domains can be registered by third party providers as well. The DNS zones are stored on our nameservers, and within these DNS zones you can define multiple DNS records such as the "A record", which makes a domain point to a certain IP address. You do not need to specify the DNS records individually when creating a DNS zone; just choose the correct target IP address, working DNS records will be set automatically. After the creation of a proper DNS zone and once our nameservers are assigned to your domain, you can use the domain on your webspace package in a very secure way. Please note that only the present domain provider is able to change the assigned nameservers, thus you will have to contact the domain provider directly, or optionally use an administration panel from your domain provider if there is any available. After all, you need to add the domain in your webspace package using cPanel. You can choose between adding it as an "Alias" (also known as "Parked Domain") or as an "Addon Domain".

An "Addon Domain" will have its own subfolder in your public_html directory. It will also have its own rights such as an independent FTP login and the option to administer email addresses for the new domain.

An "Alias", on the other hand, has no own subfolder, it is linked to the main folder. Creating redirections and email addresses is also possible with "Aliases", of course.

Email

Most likely a webspace is used for email purpose, too. Basically there is one major point which should always be kept in mind: Webspace plans are not designed to send masses of emails. The option "Email" offers quite a lot of different functions and we unfortunately cannot discuss them in detail, but most of them are explained within the cPanelTV videos linked below.

Please note, that the videos may include options which are not offered by us or are not available with all packages. In addition, it is unfortunately not possible to install additional PHP modules upon request. Should you require special modules, we recommend to check out our VPS and Dedicated Server offers.

Softaculous

In order to provide an easy way to use our webspace products, we have a feature included which offers you the possibility to install quite a lot of software packages without having to search for installers, uploading them and performing the manual installation. This feature is called "Softaculous" and you can check out more details by having a look at our homepage:

https://contabo.com/?show=webhosting
https://contabo.com/?show=webapplications

If you have any questions regarding the above mentioned points or other general requests we are available via email and telephone.

 

Update:

Brand new: The Contabo Website Builder - available free of charge in all of our webspace plans. Create your own website in just a couple of minutes!

Posted by: Paul | Tagged as: , , , , No Comments
30Nov/170

Comparison of administration panels: cPanel vs. Plesk vs. Webmin

We are often asked which panel we would recommend. Since there is a variety of different panels with different functions and focus, we cannot easily answer this question. Currently we offer cPanel, Plesk, LAMP und Webmin, which we will introduce here.

cPanel/WHM

cPanel is a webhosting panel which allows to administrate a great number of users in an easy way and configure the installed services. In order to avoid security breaches many settings are pretty restrictive, which may cause issues due to the demands of your software. In addition, without plugins from external developers, it would not be possible to use nginx as an example. The software cPanel is divided into two parts, the interface for users is called cPanel, the administration interface WHM (WebHostMananger).

The developers provide a really detailed documentation which explains nearly all functions cPanel/WHM provides:

https://documentation.cpanel.net/

If errors occur or special questions appear which are not answered within the documentation, it is always a good possibility to ask for this within the official forum:

https://forums.cpanel.net/

And for those who do not know cPanel/WHM or want to check out what was changed before updating the own installation, a demo and the changelog are available:

https://cpanel.com/demo/
https://documentation.cpanel.net/display/CL/Change+Logs

If you are a new user, you may check out their YouTube channel, too:

https://www.youtube.com/user/cpaneltv

Plesk Onyx

Plesk understands itself as a platform for developers, thus it has a lot of software already installed and software like Docker, Ruby, etc. can be installed with a few clicks. In addition to this, a lot of features can be installed, using free or paid addons, which can be installed with a few clicks, too. Nevertheless, it is even an alternative to start a webhosting. At the moment, three different versions are offered, all details regarding the differences and the official addons can be found within the following document provided by Plesk:

https://www.plesk.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/plesk-onyx-licensing-guide.pdf

Plesk provides a detailed documentation, too:

https://docs.plesk.com/en-US/onyx/

In addition, a knowledge base with the most common problems and errors - and corresponding solutions - is provided:

https://support.plesk.com/hc/en-us

Moreover, the developers and community are active within the forum and provide assistance in case of problems:

https://talk.plesk.com/

Webmin

Webmin is no classic interface for webhosting, it is a server administration panel which provides a graphical interface to configure the installed services with the goal making server administration easier. An overview of the supported services can be found within the official documentation:

http://doxfer.webmin.com/Webmin/Webmin_Modules

In addition to the supported modules it is no problem to add additional software via SSH or develop more addons for Webmin to extend the list of services, this is possible due to the fact, that the source code is provided via GitHub:

https://github.com/webmin/webmin

As already mentioned, Webmin is by default no webhosting interface like cPanel or SSH but there was an additional software stack developed which provides the functionality required for webhosting:

https://www.virtualmin.com/

If you only want to use the server as a mail server, cPanel, Plesk and even Virtualmin may be a little bit to heavy, you can think about Webmin, too, since there is an additional addon which provides the basic mail server software:

http://www.usermin.com/usermin.html

LAMP

LAMP has already been offered since a few years and is not a panel like the other ones already mentioned, it is a software stack which contains (Linux,) Apache, MySQL and PHP; this is the basic software to start with your own web presentation. We already published a tutorial about this called "LAMP made easy".

Webmin + LAMP

After we had started offering LAMP, we were often asked why it is not possible to select both Webmin and LAMP. Since we always note down your feedback, we started offering both solutions as one package, so that you can start directly with your webpage after we have sent out the login details to you.

 

Conclusion

As you can see, there are different Panels on offer and the decision, which one to choose, also depends on the chosen operating system: cPanel can only be combined with CentOS, whereas Plesk can also be used with Windows Server. By the way: You can test Plesk one month for free (available for our VPS) and get used to the many functions this panel offers!

26Oct/170

How to manage your websites in Plesk: The WordPress Toolkit

In Plesk Onyx, which we offer for our VPS and dedicated servers, you can comfortably manage your WordPress sites with the extension "WordPress Toolkit". The software enables you to set up a new WordPress site by only a few clicks, it can find already existing WordPress installations on its own and it will show them all in a list. There you can do administrative tasks like updating, installing plugins and much more on all installed WordPress instances at once. Therefore, the extension is very interesting for resellers but also for end users. The WordPress Toolkit is available for all three Plesk Onyx versions at no additional charges, but the range of functions in the Web Admin Edition got reduced in some points. For more information about the differences between the full version and the special Web Admin edition, please take a look on this site: https://www.plesk.com/extensions/wordpress-toolkit.

You can easily check if the extension has already been installed in your Plesk by changing to the following oversight: Server Management > Tools & Settings > Updates and Upgrades > Add/Remove components > Plesk extensions. You should see a green tick next to the extension "WordPress Toolkit". If there is still a red X shown, please use the "Install" function in the drop-down menu. With continue, you will proceed with the installation. You will find the extension afterwards below the menu item "Server Management" in the main menu of Plesk. It is called "Wordpress" there. In case you can not find those menus, you can also use the Plesk search bar. Maybe you are not using the Service Provider view then.

Here you can see a screenshot of the available options. You can increase the size of every image in this tutorial by clicking on it.

You can use those options selectively or on all WordPress instances at once. We will now explain those options from the left to the right.

  • Scan
    There you can search for existing WordPress installations. They will be added to the list below automatically.
  • Check Security
    There you can check your WordPress instances for elementary security problems. You will get a list with points that got checked and possible automatic improvements you can confirm.
  • Plugins
    You will get a collection of the installed plugins and also an update check for those plugins will be performed. You can install and remove plugins for your sites there as well.
  • Themes
    There you can manage your themes and exchange them for multiple WordPress sites at once.
  • Update
    You can update your WordPress installations to the newest version here. Plugins are not touched.
  • Check for Updates
    Here you can check if there are WordPress updates for your sites.
  • Auto-Update
    There you can decide if your WordPress sites should get automatic updates in future.

Additionally to those features, you have the functions Clone and Sync available in every line with an existing WordPress installation.

With Clone you can save a lot of time, if you want to use a fully configured WordPress site as Template. You can also easily change the URL of a WordPress installation this way by deleting the original site afterwards. After clicking on this function, you can do the few required settings and create the target subdomain or select one of the existing domains.

With Sync, you can copy changes to other WordPress installations. This is useful, if you want to test for example new plug-ins on a subdomain before you use them in your public blog. You have the choice between the files, the database or both.

If you want to install a new WordPress for one of your domains, you have to change the menu. Please go to "Hosting Services" and there to "Domains". If it does not exist yet, please add your domain now and open it in the list with all the available domains by clicking on the name of the domain. Next to the usual options, you can see the new one called "Install WordPress", as shown in the image below:

After the installation, you can directly log into the WordPress administration panel from Plesk. If you need the login data or want to change them, you can find this and further options in a dedicated management menu. To open this menu, please click on the name of the WordPress instance left to the direct log in button. We marked this in the picture below:

Sounds great, doesn't it? Give Plesk Onyx a try at Contabo and benefit from our one month for free promotion:

Simply order one of our VPS in combination with Plesk and you will get the edition of your choice one month for free!