Managed Hosting

Security Penetration Testing: What It Is and Why You Need It

Derek Wiedenhoeft August 1, 2017 by under Managed Hosting 0 Comments

If your bank is requiring your company to perform a penetration test as part of your PCI compliance, you’re not alone. Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS) are now requiring penetration testing (or pen tests) for all organizations that accept credit card payments. It’s an added way to ensure the security of credit card transactions and associated storage practices.

So what, exactly, is penetration testing? It’s a way to test your system’s security by trying to exploit its weaknesses. In the same way that the Federal Reserve requires FDIC-insured banks to undergo stress tests, penetration tests are safe methods of attempting to identify security weaknesses in your systems.  As the saying goes, one of the best ways to help protect against hacks into your systems is for someone you trust to try hacking into your systems. This will allow you to rectify security issues before they can be exploited by unauthorized individuals.

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Linux Fault Tolerance: Linux High Availability

Derek Wiedenhoeft February 7, 2017 by under Managed Hosting 0 Comments

IT downtime is expensive for any business.  Gartner[I] estimates that each minute of downtime costs $5,600 on average, with true costs depending on the vertical, the size of the company, and other factors.  The cost can be largely avoided, however, with systems designed for high availability and fault tolerance.

Definition: High Availability
Oracle[II] defines high availability as “computing environments configured to provide nearly full-time availability.”  A commonly held standard for high availability is “five nines,” or 99.999 percent uptime.

Not all service providers are able to meet this robust standard, which makes just over 5 minutes of downtime per year permissible.

For organizations that would approach the average downtime cost, achieving even higher availability than “five nines” is important to profitability, and even survival. offers an industry-leading 100 percent network uptime guarantee, in part by leveraging Linux High Availability (Linux-HA).

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What is a VPN and Do I Need One?

Derek Wiedenhoeft December 27, 2016 by under Managed Hosting 0 Comments

As we continue to rely more on technology, keeping our information safe is becoming increasingly difficult. With Wi-Fi being the standard form of network communication for most business professionals who are on the go, the need for secure data transmission has become even greater.  Public Wi-Fi locations like coffee shops, the airport, and even your home and office are not safe when sending and receiving data. According to[i], in 2015 alone there were over 177 million cases of identity theft reported.

How do hackers access my data?

The two most popular ways of someone accessing your data over Wi-Fi are sniffing and rogue access points[ii].) Sniffing is when another user nearby captures the data your computer transmits over Wi-Fi, and then reassembles it to look for passwords or other unencrypted account information. The aptly named rogue access point is where someone will create a Wi-Fi hotspot that appears to be legitimate, like “Free Starbucks Wi-Fi,” or “Airport Public Wi-Fi,” and then waits for users to connect to it. Once the user is attached to the hacker’s hotspot, the users’ data transmission is all captured on the hacker’s machine. The hacker can then use specialized programs to reassemble the packet capture to reveal what the user(s) was looking at and if any sensitive information or passwords were used. One of the most effective solutions is to encrypt the traffic going between your infrastructure and your home computer/laptop, which is why VPNs were developed.

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RAID 10 (RAID 1+0) – What Is It & Should I Use It?

Derek Wiedenhoeft December 21, 2016 by under Managed Hosting 0 Comments

Utilization of RAID 10 in a server provides an increase of disk capabilities while simultaneously providing redundancy and preventing system failure.

What is RAID?

RAID is an acronym that stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks or Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks, depending on what specialist you ask. The term “independent” is arguably more appropriate, as RAID arrays may sometimes be made with extremely expensive disks.

In layman’s terms, RAID is a method of configuring two or more hard drives to work as a single unit with differing levels of redundancy and allowing better fault tolerance. “A fault-tolerant design enables a system to continue its intended operation, possibly at a reduced level, rather than failing completely, when some part of the system fails.”[i]

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Why Managed Cloud Solutions Are Increasingly Popular

Sam Guiliano May 14, 2016 by under Managed Hosting 0 Comments

Managed hosting services are really a market that is booming right now, according to industry analysts. What is this option all about? Why are companies choosing it more frequently? Generally speaking, with public cloud, you are getting an environment that is significantly safer than what most organizations would be able to design on-premises – simply because of economies of scale.

  • Cloud infrastructure growth rapid, with managed hosting a major component
  • What is managed cloud hosting exactly?
  • Why, specifically, do businesses choose managed cloud?
  • Finally, did we mention that it’s safe?

Cloud infrastructure growth rapid, with managed hosting a major component

An August 2015 report by Research and Markets found that the market for infrastructure-as-a-service was set to hit $109 billion last year. It was projected to almost double by the end of the decade, reaching $206.9 billion. According to this analysis, each of the industry’s segments will contribute to the growth, with the largest source of revenue coming from the manufacturing and finance industries during that fast expansion. Many customers of cloud infrastructure companies will use managed hosting services, according to the forecast – which will result in a breathtaking compound annual growth rate for managed cloud of 16.2% through 2020.

As seen in those statistics, firms are turning to these hosting plans in greater numbers. They are able to use these plans to establish enterprise-grade computing systems that are based on operational rather than capital expenses. Like traditional legacy systems stationed on-premises at companies, this infrastructural option can be used to achieve all of the business’s digital needs, such as service delivery and collaboration, leveraging the speed and reliability of cloud.

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How to Install WordPress Ubuntu 16.04

Brendan Bonner March 3, 2016 by under Managed Hosting 0 Comments
WordPress Illustration by Walker Cahall

WordPress Illustration by Walker Cahall

Verified and Tested 06/15/15


This how-to will take you through installing WordPress on Ubuntu 16.04. WordPress is a content management system which is free and open source. Since it is open source, there are a numerous amount of themes and plugins that are readily available to you. Although it is typically used as a blogging platform, it can be used for many other uses.


To install WordPress, a Ubuntu 16.04 server running LAMP or LEMP is required. Please see our how-to guide for installing LAMP or LEMP.

Installing WordPress on Ubuntu 16.04

Installing WordPress is very simple if you follow these steps. We will first start off by setting up the MySQL database.

Setting up the MySQL database in Ubuntu 16.04

We are going to start off by setting up the MySQL database by running the following commands:

mysql -u root -p

When prompted, enter your MySQL root password that you set up when installing MySQL.

In MySQL enter the following commands:

create database wordpress character set utf8 collate utf8_bin;

Make sure you set your secure password where it says [insert-password-here]

grant all privileges on wordpress.* to [email protected] identified by "[insert-password-here]";
flush privileges;

Get the Latest WordPress Install on Ubuntu 16.04

Now that the database is created, we can download the latest version with the following command:


The latest package will download to the directory that you are currently in, with the file name latest.tar.gz. We need to decompress the file by running:

tar -xzvf latest.tar.gz

Configure WordPress on Ubuntu 16.04

Next, we need to copy wp-config-sample.php to wp-config.php which is where it gets its base configuration. To do that, run:

cp wordpress/wp-config-sample.php wordpress/wp-config.php

In your favorite text editor, edit wordpress/wp-config.php

For a basic setup, we need to have the following.

define(‘DB_NAME’, ‘wordpress’);

define(‘DB_USER’, ‘wordpressuser’);

define(‘DB_PASSWORD’, ‘[insert-password-here]’);

It should look like this when completed:

An example of the wp-config.php file

An example of the wp-config.php file

Next, we need to move the WordPress folder to your web directory.

cp -r ~/wordpress/* /var/www/html

Note: Your web directory may be different based on your configuration.

Finish The Installation Through The WordPress Web Installation.

Now, we can go to the WordPress web installation. In your browser go to http://yourhostname-or-ipaddress

If you are unsure what your IP address is, run the following:

An example of using ifconfig to show the IP address of your server

An example of using ifconfig to show the IP address of your server

In our example, we would put in the address bar and get the following page.

An example of the web installation

An example of the web installation

From here all that is needed to do is to follow along with the WordPress install and give the information required.

Congratulations! You have just installed WordPress on Ubuntu 16.04, check back for more updates. For more information, you may want to check out the WordPress Codex.

Atlantic.Net offers managed hosting services which include a layer of business-essential managed services to your hosting packages. Contact us today for more information.

How to Install Apache, MySQL, PHP (LAMP) stack on Ubuntu 16.04

Brendan Bonner March 1, 2016 by under Managed Hosting 0 Comments
LAMP Illustration by Walker Cahall

LAMP Illustration by Walker Cahall

Verified and Tested 06/22/16


In this How-To, we install LAMP on an Ubuntu 16.04 Server. LAMP is a simple software bundle made of 4 components, Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. Linux the core of the platform, in this case, we are using Ubuntu 16.04. Apache is the web server, majority of the web servers in the world are running Apache MySQL is a database management system, developed by Oracle. PHP is an extremely popular programming language that is widely used in web development. Altogether this forms LAMP or LAMP stack.


A server with Ubuntu 16.04  installed. Atlantic.Net can help with managed hosting services.

Installing LAMP on Ubuntu 16.04

Before we begin the installation, it is important that your system is up to date, you can do so with the following command:

apt update

Once updating, we can get to the first step of making a LAMP stack by installing Apache.

Installing Apache on Ubuntu 16.04

Install Apache by running the following command:

apt install apache2

Hit enter to when it asks “Do you want to continue?” during the install.

After the install, you can check to see if Apache is running by running the command:

service apache2 status

Also, you can verify if all is working by opening your browser and going to http://youripaddress

If you do not know your IP address, you can run the following command:

An example of ifconfig showing the IP address

An example of ifconfig showing the IP address

In our case, we would put in your browser’s address bar and get the following page:

The default page for Apache on Ubuntu 14.04

The default page for Apache on Ubuntu 14.04

Installing MySQL on Ubuntu 16.04

Install MySQL with the following command:

sudo apt install mysql-server php7.0-mysql

Hit enter to when it asks “Do you want to continue?” during the install.

During the install, it will prompt you to enter a MySQL root password. Set any password that you would like. It should be a strong password.

Enter a strong password of your choice

Enter a strong password of your choice

After you enter your MySQL root password, you will need to re-enter it.

Re-enter the password you set before

Re-enter the password you set before

Continue with the MySQL Security installation with the following command:


Note: You will be prompted with a series of questions. Just type N for the change root password and Y for yes on all of the rest, see the screen shot below:

An example of what mysql_secure_installation looks like

An example of what mysql_secure_installation looks like

Verify that MySQL is running with the following command:

service mysql status

Installing PHP on Ubuntu 16.04

Install PHP with the following command:

apt install php libapache2-mod-php

Hit enter to when it asks “Do you want to continue?” during the install.

Create a test PHP file called info.php in /var/www/html/. In this how-to, we will be using the text editor nano with the following command:

nano /var/www/html/info.php

Insert the following code in the text editor then save and exit:


Since we made changes, we need to restart Apache so that the changes take effect:

service apache2 restart

Test your page in your browser with the following hyperlink changed with your IP address:


The result of the file you made.

The result of the file you made.

Congratulations! You have just installed LAMP on your Ubuntu 16.04 Server. Thank you for following this How-To on installing LAMP, please check back for more updates.


How to Transfer Files with Commander One

Brendan Bonner February 8, 2016 by under Managed Hosting 0 Comments


Commander One is a dual-panel file manager for Mac OS with built-in FTP/FTPS/SFTP client. Although the FTP client is a paid feature its basic options are free and paid functionality is available to you for 15 days trial for free. Commander One is essentially a file management solution, and it  significantly enhances the FTP functionality by providing a convenient way to work with FTP file structure. Thanks to the dual-panel interface you can even connect several FTP servers at once and transfer your information from one to another directly, without copying them to local Mac.

Commander One Installation

– Download a free installer for Commander One here.

– Mount the DMG image to your Mac and drag Commander One icon to ~/Applications folder.

How to connect to FTP using Commander One

Launch Commander One from ~/Applications directory or Mac OS Dock.

An example of the Commander One icon on the application dock

An example of the Commander One icon on the application dock

Navigate to FTP connections menu from Toolbar or Go → Connect to Server menu, or use the corresponding keyboard shortcut (def. ⌘K).

An example of where to click for FTP connections

An example of where to click for FTP connections

Press “+” button to add a new FTP connection to the list.

Give your connection a name of our choice.

Choose a protocol – simple FTP, FTP over SSH and secure FTP with SSL.

An example of choosing FTP

An example of choosing FTP

In “Server” field enter IP address of your hosted server or domain name.

Enter  your login credentials in ‘Login’ and ‘Password’ fields. If the server allows, you can use Anonymous access.

Specify whether you want to store your user ID in Mac OS Keychain.

Choose Passive or Active FTP mode and home directory for connection.

Now, press “Connect” button and your server will be displayed as a mounted drive in Commander One window. You can select it in either panel, or both of them simultaneously to optimize the workflow.

An example the Commander One workflow

An example the Commander One workflow

Commander One allows transferring and editing files over FTP, as well as changing files’ permissions directly over a  web server.

Atlantic.Net offers managed hosting services which include a layer of business-essential managed services to your hosting packages. Contact us today for more information.

What Is RAID?

John Papiewski February 3, 2016 by under Managed Hosting 0 Comments
Target Audience

This article is an introduction to (or basic review of) storage options utilizing multiple computer disk drives.


RAID, (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks, or often now, Redundant Array of Independent Disks) encompasses an industry-standard set of enhanced data storage technologies. RAID combines the storage resources of several physical disk drives into a single logical device recognized by the computer’s operating system. It comes in several standard implementations called levels, each of which has different cost/benefit trade-offs, including disk read/write performance and resiliency.

Common RAID Levels


A RAID 0 configuration joins multiple physical drives into a single logical drive having space equal to the sum of the constituent drives. It utilizes a process called striping to write a segment of data, or stripe, on the first disk, puts the next segment on the second disk, and so on, until the last disk in the array. The process repeats for all subsequent segments, laying them down in a round-robin fashion.

This configuration offers improved read/write performance over a single drive (or other RAID configurations), but it offers no data protection in case a drive crashes; in fact, the loss of any drive in the set results in the loss of the whole set. RAID 0 takes a minimum of two drives.


RAID 1 uses a process called mirroring to create a redundant copy of data on each drive that is a member of the array. Because RAID 1 duplicates data, the total useful capacity is half of the drive total, compared to RAID 0. So, for example, two 1 TB drives, configured as RAID 1, can store a total of only 1 TB. In the case of one drive’s failure, however, you can still access your data from the remaining drive.


RAID 5 works similarly to RAID 0 striping, but it also creates an extra piece of data called parity that is mathematically derived from existing data on the other drives. This parity data, distributed evenly among all drives, allows for the recalculation of the original data if that data is not accessible, as in the case of a drive failure. It has a similar resiliency to RAID 1–in that the array can operate if one drive fails–while offering some of the speed increase of a RAID 0. RAID 5 requires at least three physical drives.


Similar in many respects to level 5, RAID level 6 adds extra parity information, allowing up to two drives to fail without impacting system availability. RAID 6 requires a minimum of four physical drives.

Nested RAID

You can also combine RAID levels to obtain additional benefits. This technique, called nested RAID, merges physical drives with one RAID level, and joins the resulting logical drives into another. Nested RAID levels are written as two and three-digit numbers: the first digit is the “innermost” level that governs the physical drives, and the next digits denote how the logical drives are combined. The nested RAID levels listed below are frequently used examples, though several others are possible.


RAID level 10, also written as “1+0”, combines the techniques and benefits of levels 1 and 0. In RAID 10, you configure multiple RAID 1 mirrored disk sets, then join them into a single logical RAID 0 drive. For example, with four drives, you create two sets of Level 1 RAID logical drives consisting of two physical drives each. The two logical drives are then combined to create a single RAID 0 drive. RAID 10 has two main benefits: continued operation despite multiple drive failures, and fast I/O processing. The mirrored RAID 1 sets each tolerate a single drive failure–although if both drives in one of the RAID 1 configurations fail, the whole set fails.


Level 50 is a combination of levels 5 and 0. Here, several level 5 sets are elements of a single RAID 0 logical drive. Each of the level 5 sets can survive the failure of an individual drive. The total set can survive the failure of two or more drives, as long as none of the level 5 sets has more than one failed drive. For example, you configure nine drives as three level 5 groups of three drives each. Each of these groups can continue despite a single-drive failure, so the whole set of nine can handle up to three drive failures as long as it doesn’t exceed one per group.

RAID 100

RAID level 100, or 1+0+0, uses RAID 1 mirrored disks combined into two or more RAID 0 sets. The RAID 0 sets are themselves combined again with an outer RAID 0 into a single logical drive. Although expensive in terms of disk overhead, with the mirroring taking 50 percent of available space, it offers significant performance advantages over other techniques. RAID 100 is well-suited to very large and highly-active databases where speed and uptime are important. RAID 100 requires a minimum of 8 drives: you begin by creating four RAID 1 drives, then merge each pair of RAID 1 drives into two sets of RAID 0, and finally join the two RAID 0 drives with RAID 0 again into a single logical drive.

Other RAID Levels, Uncommon or Obsolete

RAID levels 2, 3, 4 and 7 also exist but are either not in common use or are obsolete. Level 2, for example, required a complex drive mechanism synchronization, increasing costs and leading to its virtual abandonment. Level 7 is a proprietary standard developed by Storage Computer Corporation, which has since gone out of business. Levels 3 and 4 are similar to level 5, though less common.

Hardware and Software

Both hardware and software approaches exist for implementing RAID. Software methods rely largely on an operating system’s built-in disk management facilities, such as those offered by Microsoft’s Windows Server, Apple’s Mac OS X, and Linux. However, when you use the software approach for RAID, it increases the server’s CPU workload, which can affect overall system performance.

The hardware alternative to RAID uses an intelligent drive controller with its own CPU and memory. This approach places little to no extra burden on the main CPU but adds cost to the server hardware. When planning a RAID-based system, check your hardware and software to ensure they support the RAID level you want to implement.


RAID techniques work with either traditional hard disk drives (HDDs) or solid-state drives (SSDs). When RAID 0 is applied to multiple SSDs, I/O performance gains can be striking. Performance increases with level 5 and SSD can be complicated, however. A RAID 5 array can be slower than a single SSD for write operations, as the drives are writing parity as well as user data.

RAID and Backups

RAID is not a substitute for regular data backups. Although most RAID levels reduce downtime and take the sting out of most drive failure situations, it cannot compensate for the loss of individual files, such as from human error or corruption or from system-wide losses due to fire or other physical catastrophes. It pays to think of RAID not as a cure-all but as an additional tool for improving server reliability and availability.


RAID is a data storage technology that joins multiple physical drives (HDD or SSD) into a single unit. Depending on how RAID is implemented, it can offer markedly improved I/O speed, reduced downtime, or a combination of the two. Knowing what the various levels offer can help you to determine the implementation that works best for your data storage needs.

Atlantic.Net offers managed hosting services which include a layer of business-essential managed services to your hosting packages. Contact us today for more information. .

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