8May/178

Contabo data center uplinks: Now 100 Gbit/s available!

We have great news for you, once again 🙂 We have enhanced our data center connectivity with two additional high-quality uplinks.

The two carriers Level 3 and Telia have been connected with additional 2 x 10 Gbit/s to our backbone.

With regard to the internet connection of our data centers, we don't accept any compromises at all. Quite the contrary, we continue to focus on highest quality and best availability possible for you, our customers. It deserves to be mentioned: With Telia Carrier and Level 3 we chose the number 1 and number 2 of the world's biggest internet carriers for the upgrade of our upstreams - there is no other carrier who operates such huge networks worldwide.

The result? Quite some advantages for you: Now you receive an even better redundancy in case of a malfunction of any data center uplink. Besides, the additional upstreams increase the available bandwidth and provide you with an even better global routing and with a better price of traffic.

The Contabo data centers now are connected to the internet with 100 Gbit/s:

  • Telia Carrier: 30 Gbit/s
  • Level 3: 30 Gbit/s
  • DE-CIX: 20 Gbit/s
  • Versatel: 10 Gbit/s
  • M-Net: 10 Gbit/s
2May/170

Plesk Onyx: One month for free now!

We are happy to inform you that we, in cooperation with our partner Plesk, are now offering you the popular administration panel Plesk Onyx one month for free. This offer is available for all our VPS - exclusively at Contabo - and applies for new orders.

You are free to choose which one of the three Plesk Onyx editions on offer you would like to try for free with one of our VPS:

Plesk Onyx Web Admin Edition (Price after the free month: 2.99 € / month)
Plesk Onyx Web Pro Edition: (Price after the free month: 4.99 € / month)
Plesk Onyx Web Host Edition: (Price after the free month: 8.99 € / month)

If you are convinced of Plesk after the free month, you do not have to do anything: The license renews automatically, if you haven't cancelled the Plesk license with us during the free month; however, the regular monthly price applies then, which you can find in the overview above.

Being a Gold-Partner of Plesk we have worked hard in order to present you with this exceptional offer, which is only available at Contabo.com. In addition to that, we provide you with an excellent support for Plesk Onyx, just get in touch with us in case you have any detailed inquiries.

Please note that this offer is valid for a limited period of time only. So what are you waiting for? Just give it a try and opt for the edition which suits your needs and order it in combination with one of our VPS.

Posted by: Markus | Tagged as: , , , , No Comments
27Apr/170

New operating systems Ubuntu 17.04 and CentOS 6.9 available now!

As of today, you can order the new operating systems Ubuntu 17.04 (replaces Ubuntu 16.10) and CentOS 6.9 (replaces CentOS 6.8) from us. Existing customers can upgrade within their customer control panel as well!

Ubuntu 17.04 can be combined with Webmin, LAMP, Webmin+LAMP as well as the Software Raid 1.

Apart from Webmin, LAMP, Webmin+LAMP and Software Raid 1, you can also combine CentOS 6.9 with cPanel and Plesk.

In addition to Ubuntu and CentOS, we offer you a wide range of Linux distributions (as well as Windows Server 2012/2016). Just click on "Customize & Order" on our VPS and dedicated servers overview sites and opt for the operating system that fits your needs - further details can be found on our website!

Posted by: Markus | Tagged as: , , , , No Comments
31Mar/170

Being spoilt for choice – Windows or Linux?

The operating system is the centrepiece of a server. You can imagine how important it is to choose a fitting operating system. For servers, two operating systems have established themselves: Windows and Linux. In this short overview, I'd like to present you the main differences between those two operating systems.

 

You might have heard that Windows is less stable compared to Linux. This actually was the case 15 years ago. Older Windows Server operating systems tended to operate rather unstable at times. However, Windows Server developed into an utterly robust operating system during the past years. Nowadays, you won't find much of a difference between both operating systems regarding stability.

Let's come down to the first real difference: Interface and Remote Access, which certainly are the most obvious differences between Windows and Linux.
With Windows Server, you access your server remotely with a protocol developed by Microsoft called RDP. The software used to connect to your server remotely, Remote Desktop Connection, is installed on every Windows machine by default, regardless of whether it's a Desktop or a Server version.

remote_en

Once connected to the server, you'll find a familiar Windows interface you already know from your Windows PC you use at home.

remotedesktop2

And that is probably the biggest advantage of Windows Server. Web server, DNS server, or other services, everything can be managed with a graphical user interface.

 

On Linux, this is totally different. While desktop versions come with a graphical interface as well, in server versions, you won't find one there for the benefit of performance. Also, you cannot access it using RDP, but via SSH.
Windows operating systems do not have an SSH client installed by default, therefore you have to install such a client on your own. There are plenty of them on the market, a well known and established client is PuTTY.

putty

Unlike on Windows Servers, there won't open a Desktop environment, but only a command line.

putty2

Administering the server is done exclusively via commands you type into the command line. While the experienced Linux user knows the most important commands, users who are new to Linux will probably have some trouble here, which could cause problems regarding server security and stability.

 

You might already know that Windows Server, unlike most Linux operating systems, is not for free. Microsoft fees a monthly amount for licensing their products. The amount of this fee differs, it depends on the hardware of the server running the operating system and the version of Windows Server.

 

Basically, every service can be realised on both Linux or Windows Server. The choice is mostly a matter of taste.

2Mar/172

Changing the Windows Administrator password – The easy way

Today we are going to show you how to change your Windows Administrator password the easy way.
This tutorial works with almost all Windows versions starting from Windows XP/NT (Windows Server 2003).
On Windows 10 or Windows Server 2016 you should make sure that you are using local user accounts - not any online accounts.

Start the CMD.exe with administrator privileges, e.g. "Windowsbutton +R" and type in CMD.exe

cmd_en

The CMD.exe application should now pop up soon, the syntax for changing the password is very simple:

net user <username of the account you want to change the password> <new password>

Example :

net user administrator SomesecurePW2016

Of course you should never use this as a password, nor should you ever use it only for "testing" purpose.

Another option would be to use "*", this will prompt you to enter a password. On a desktop Windows operating system like Windows 10, you could remove the password by just entering an empty value.

pw_en

Posted by: Gianni-Donato | Tagged as: , , , , 2 Comments
9Feb/170

Advantages of ZFS

ZFS as a rather new filesystem offers various advantages in comparison to regular filesystems like ext3, ext4 and NTFS. We have summarized the most noticeable ones as follows:

The main benefit of using a ZFS filesystem is guaranteed data integrity

ZFS protects your data by enabling volume management on filesystem level. This feature makes “Copy on Write” (CoW) technology possible. When a block of data is altered, it will change its current location on the disk before the new write is finished. If your system crashes or loses power in the process, that data would be lost or damaged. ZFS does not change the location of the data until the write is completed and verified, thus keeping your data safe in case of a system crash. To verify data integrity, ZFS uses checksums to ensure that the data remains original from write to write. This means that every write is tested, which in turn eliminates bit rot. ZFS not only protects your data with the CoW feature, but offers additional RAID protection in comparison to standard RAID levels. RAID-Z3 allows for a maximum of three disk failures in a ZFS pool. Regular RAID only allows for two disk failures per volume. ZFS offers the ability to set up a multi-disk mirror (nRAID). Usually the RAID mirrors are composed of a single disk and its copy. With a multi-disk mirror you can have multiple copies, which adds levels of data integrity not found in typical RAID setups and is great for read speeds.

Highly Scalable

The storage capacity of ZFS is years ahead of what might become a problem soon for regular filesystems. The possible maximum of a ZFS storage pool is 6 EiB = 16 * 2^60 Byte, which is as much as 3,000,000 6TB HDDs. A configured ZFS pool can easily be changed in its size to accommodate a growing need for more storage. The pool can be upgraded step by step with larger disks, without compromising the filesystem or complicated procedures. Harddisks can even be added on different physical ports or in a changed order in a new computer system, as long as the ZFS version on the target system is the same or higher. You will be able to use your migrated data as soon as the import is completed.

Improved Performance

ZFS also allows to send writes to individual physical disks, instead of just the RAID volume. Because of this, ZFS can stripe writes across RAID volumes, which is speeding up write performance. In the case you need to sync mirrors with only a little bit of information, you do not have to wait for it to sync any of the empty disk space, which can take a good amount of time. ZFS incorporates algorithms to ensure that your most recently used and most frequently used data are kept in the fastest system storage media. Spinning disks are known to be slow and SSD drives come at a very high price compared to regular disks. By using these algorithms in combination with flash-based ZFS write cache and L2ARC read cache devices, you can speed up your performance by up to 20% at low cost. Other great feature of ZFS are the intelligently designed snapshot, clone, and replication functions. ZFS snapshots only update based on what has changed since the last snapshot. This means that clone and replication tasks are less time consuming compared to traditional replication technology.

Easy to administer

Creating a new ZFS-Pool is fairly simple. The available storage devices can be listed with “rmformat” and can be created with the “zpool create -m /mountpunkt Contabo1 DEVICE” command. The new filesystem is automatically mounted and immediately accessible. There is no need to format the new ZFS-Pool. If additional storage space is needed, you can easily add a new device with the “zpool add Contabo1 DEVICE” command. This compares to the classical RAID 0 in which the data is distributed on all available devices.
In general a setup for data integrity is much more adviseable. With the “zpool create Contabo1 mirror DEVICE DEVICE” command you can easily create a ZFS-Pool with mirrored disks as in comparison to a classical RAID 1. You can also add several mirror disks to enhance data integrity even more with the “zpool create Contabo1 raidz DEVICE DEVICE DEVICE DEVICE” command for example. This will create a ZFS-Pool with four disks, in which one is allowed to fail without issues. When using the raidz2 option instead of raidz, two disks can fail at a time.

There is also the option to add Hot-Spares to a ZFS-Pool in order to have a replacement disk ready at all times. If a live disk fails the Hot-Spare will be used automatically to start a rebuild and take the place of the failed disk. This can be done with the “zpool add Contabo1 spare DEVICE” command, which will add the last disk in our example to the pool as Hot-Spare.
With "zpool list" you can review all existing ZFS-Pools with size, usage and health status.
With “man zfs” and “man zpool” you can review the commands that will give you full control over your ZFS-Pools.

A short overview of the mostly used commands:

- Creating a RAID-Z pool
zpool create NAME raidz DEVICE DEVICE DEVICE
- Creating a mirrored pool
zpool create NAME mirror DEVICE DEVICE
- Listing of available pools
zpool list
- Show I/O for all pools
zpool iostat 1
- Show attributes of pool devices
zpool vdevs
- Add disk to a pool
zpool add NAME DEVICE
- Delete a pool
zpool destroy NAME
- Creating and mounting a ZFS-Pool
zfs create POOL/NAME
- List pool filesystems
zfs list
- Creating and mounting a ZFS-Pool on a non-default mountpoint
zfs create POOL/NAME /MOUNTPOINT
- Create a snapshot of a filesystem
zfs snapshot POOL/FILESYSTEM@SNAPSHOTNAME
- Mount a ZFS-Pool
zfs mount POOL/FILESYSTEM /MOUNTPOINT
- Delete a ZFS-Pool
zfs destroy POOL/NAME

Which operating systems are compatible with ZFS?

ZFS was initially designed for Solaris, but can be used today on FreeBSD, FreeNAS, Proxmox and most linux distributions.

Posted by: Philipp | Tagged as: , , , , , No Comments
13Jan/170

Manage Windows Updates in Windows 2016

In Windows Server 2016, the administration of the (automatic) Windows Updates has changed slightly. The following tutorial will show you how to check and manage the Windows updates for your Windows Server 2016 system.

1. Please connect to your server using RDP and open the Settings App via the Start menu.

Afterwards you can click on "Update & Security" which will forward you to the following screen.

Everything regarding updates can be done via this screen.

You have the option to "Check for updates", which will check for the latest updates and automatically download and install them. If some updates require a reboot, Windows will schedule it accordingly.  It is possible to set "active hours" from the link "Change active hours" where a time frame can be given in which Windows shall not reboot the device automatically.

It is further possible to set a custom day and time for the reboot via the link "Restart options".

The link "Update history" provides an overview about recent updates where it is possible to uninstall recent updates and to check further recovery options.

The link "Advanced options" provides you with the option to also update other Microsoft products through Windows updates and to "Defer feature updates", which is described by Microsoft as follows:  "When you defer upgrades, new Windows features won't be downloaded or installed for several months. Deferring upgrades doesn't effect security updates. Note that deferring upgrades will prevent you from getting the latest Windows features as soon as they're available".

The link "Privacy settings" will forward you to the general privacy settings of Windows.

Posted by: Dirk | Tagged as: , , , No Comments
13Dec/160

NEW operating system available at Contabo: Arch Linux

Great news: From now on we offer you a completely new operating system, namely Arch Linux! It is available for all your VPS and Dedicated Servers! What's even better: Arch Linux will always be up to date, which means you will always get the latest version!

You can combine it with the Software RAID 1 and an installation with a manual configuration is possible as well - for further details, kindly contact our customer support!

Our existing customers know it already:

We always offer you a wide range of the latest Linux distributions (as well as Windows Server 2012 and 2016!). Simply click on "Customize & Order" below your desired (virtual) server model to get a detailed overview. Then scroll down a bit and select your OS of choice!

Further information and a product overview is available on our website!

Posted by: Markus | Tagged as: , , , , , No Comments
28Nov/160

NEW at Contabo: Fedora 25 and Suse Leap 42.2

From now on, we offer you Fedora in its latest version 25, it replaces the previous version 24. Likewise, Suse Leap received an update and the new version 42.2 is available now at Contabo!

Both operating systems can be combined with the Software RAID 1 and Webmin. In addition, Fedora 25 can be installed via VNC as well.

Existing customers can upgrade to the latest versions easily through the customer control panel.

We offer you a wide range of the latest Linux distributions (as well as Windows Server 2012 and 2016!). Simply click on "Customize & Order" below your desired (virtual) server model to get a detailed overview and select your OS of choice!

Further information and a product overview is available on our website!

Posted by: Markus | Tagged as: , , , , , , No Comments
23Nov/160

Available now: Windows Server 2016

Not long ago, Microsoft officially launched its latest operating system for server systems, Windows Server 2016. We immediately went to work and performed numerous functionality tests and thus ensured a smooth integration in our systems. Today we can finally say:

Windows Server 2016 is available as an upgrade for all our root servers and VPS with 100% SSD!

As you already know from Windows Server 2012, you can once again choose between the Standard Edition and the Datacenter Edition when ordering Windows Server 2016.

If you are a new customer or place an additional order, you can select Windows Server 2016 as your operating system during the order process on our homepage. We kindly ask existing customers to send a short e-mail to our support department, then we will process the upgrade manually.

So what are the costs of Windows Server 2016 at Contabo?

The most important thing first: As a special service for our customers, we offer Windows Server 2016 free of charge for the first two months - for every root server customer. In other words:
No costs apply for the use of Windows Server 2016 on a root server within the first two months.

If you opt for a root server at Contabo, you are free to choose between the two new versions as well as the previous versions of Windows Server 2012 – in addition to a broad selection of Linux distributions. For most of our Dedicated Servers, Windows Server 2016 Standard Edition is available for 39.99€ per month (from the 3rd month onwards, free of charge before). The Datacenter Edition is a bit more expensive with a monthly fee of 279.99€ (from the 3rd month onwards, free of charge before); however, it offers the ambitious user additional possibilities, as for example in the field of virtualization.

If you decide to order one of our VPS with 100% SSD disk space and add Windows Server 2016 as your operating system of choice, you automatically receive the premium Datacenter Edition. It is available from 5.99€ per month for our VPS – the eventual monthly fee depends on the chosen VPS model. Of course, all available Linux distributions can be selected as the operating system for your VPS as well.

Order your new Contabo VPS or root server with Windows Server 2016 today!