🍂 Fall update 🍂

After our last email we had a few people say that they didn’t know we had shipped some features. Whoops! So here’s an email reminding you of some of the other things we’ve shipped to make your life easier.

🌎🌍🌏 Regional Shared, VPS, and Dedicated Hosting

On the web you have a global audience. Having a hosting provider that provides servers across the globe is really important. We know you and your users are all around the globe which is why we launched with shared servers in the US, Germany, and Singapore.

If you need more horsepower or dedicated resources we provide VPS and Dedicated servers in the US, UK, Netherlands, Germany, and Singapore. 

🌐 Regional Managed DNS

You can now point your domain’s NS records to us and we’ll deal with creating all the right A and MX records for you automatically. Need some custom DNS records? You can create them in your Opalstack dashboard and they’ll be deployed to our name servers in seconds. Want to keep lookups speedy for your visitors? Choose one of our three regional NS pools that is closest to your site’s audience.

🔐 Let’s Encrypt

We all know how terrible managing SSL/TLS certificates can be: paying for them, copy/pasting them out of your provider’s website, do you need to change the format, then uploading them to the new service, and then doing it again every year.

When deciding how to build our Let’s Encrypt integration we looked at the options for domain challenges: HTTP, DNS, and TLS-ALPN. The TLS implementation isn’t well supported and is generally less well known so we dropped it from the list. That left us with HTTP and DNS.

The HTTP option has some downsides: no wildcard certificates and an HTTP only server has to be available at the /.well-known/ URL, and it doesn’t work for numerous domains with redirects in place. The upside is it works on most platforms and is very common.

The DNS option has some downsides: we have to manage your DNS in order to add the verification records and it takes longer for the certificates to be generated because of propagation time. Since we control DNS records on our platform from end to end we know exactly how long DNS records take to update and we can use a more robust Let’s Encrypt implementation.

Securing your site is as easy as clicking the Let’s Encrypt button. The certificate will get automatically renewed and updated before it expires.

New Features

🗄 Adminer

The most requested feature after Let’s Encrypt has been a way to manage your MariaDB/PostgreSQL databases through a web interface. We’re happy to say now you can!

We’ve provided Adminer (adminer.org) which works with MariaDB and PostgreSQL through the same interface. Now you don’t have to go to different URL to manage different kinds of databases.

Your Adminer URL will be https://server.opalstacked.com/adminer/ where your server is either opalN or vpsN.

📀 Backups

Another feature that we failed to mention: Backups! Since mid September we’ve moved to a fully automated enterprise level daily back up system.

All of the data in your home directories (/home/user(s)), email directories, MariaDB databases, and PostgreSQL databases get backed up daily. 

Right now we’re keeping 3 daily backups, 2 weekly backups, and 2 monthly backups. The backups are granular enough to restore a single file, whole directories, and your entire home directory. We can restore them as an archive(.zip, .tar.gz), to your home directory, or over top of the files you have in place.

Backups aren’t a glamorous feature but they are extremely important and we’re really excited that we have such a robust backup system in place this early in the company’s history.

Wrap up

We’ve also been hard at work on some other features to make your life easier that haven’t fully shipped yet. This coming Thursday is 🦃 Thanksgiving Day 🥧 in the US and that means eating too much food followed by tons of deals on things you want to buy before the end of the year.

This year we’ll be joining the thousands of companies offering a sale after Thanksgiving so you’ll be getting an email from us next week!