Virtualtech System Announcements

As a service to our hosting clients, we post informational notices relating to system status, upgrades, scheduled downtime and maintenance, etc. If you are experiencing any issues, save yourself a phone call and check here first.

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UPDATED: Email server issues resolved - Mar 11, 2016 12:15 pm

As of 11:50AM, all email server issues appear to be resolved.  You may notice that messages sent during the downtime may arrive out of sequence as they are resent by the sending server.

Email Server Issues - Mar 11, 2016 10:41 am

We are currently experiencing an issue with our email server and are working hard to correct.  We anticipate the server to be up and running again very soon.  You will know when you start to receive emails again.  Thank you for your patience and understanding. 

Virtualtech Webserver Upgrade Scheduled - Wednesday, January 27 - Jan 27, 2016 11:53 am

On January 27, 2016, between the hours of 8PM and 11PM CST, we will be upgrading the Virtualtech CentOS webserver to the latest version of Plesk. This update should dramatically increase security and site responsiveness. This upgrade will require a couple of reboots, so you may see site accessibility interrupted two or three times for a few minutes between the hours of 8PM and 11PM.

We will update the status of this upgrade when it has been completed.

UPDATED: Virtualtech Email Server Upgrade Scheduled - Tuesday, January 26 - Jan 26, 2016 11:11 pm

On January 26, 2016, between the hours of 9PM and 11PM CST, we will be upgrading the Virtualtech email server to add more storage space.   This is a very quick upgrade and should only require a few minutes of downtime as the server is rebooted.  Email service will be interrupted during this window, but again it will only be for a few minutes.

We will update the status of this upgrade when it has been completed.

UPDATE: The upgrade was complete as of 10:26PM CST.  All email services are again functioning.

RESOLVED: Webserver Gateway Timeout Errors - Dec 3, 2015 12:09 am

We found the issue to be a configuration error in our CentOS server, and the issue was resolved around 11:30PM.   Site access is now back to normal, and we took advantage of the downtime to upgrade the server RAM and OS.   Thank you for your patience.

UPDATE: Webserver Gateway Timeout Errors - Dec 2, 2015 7:42 pm

As of 7:30PM CST, we are still seeing sporadic timeout errors when accessing sites hosted on our CentOS server.  We are working on it...

Webserver Gateway Timeout Errors - Dec 2, 2015 5:16 pm

At about 4:00PM CST, our CentOS webserver began exhibiting gateway timeout errors, resulting in intermittent outages on some of our hosted websites.  Our network provider believes that it may be a denial of service attack and is working to block it.  We will continue to monitor the issue and update as we have more to report.

Upgraded Mail Security and Exception Errors - Sep 10, 2015 5:01 pm

Virtualtech hosting clients: if you are receiving a "Security Exception" popup when using your Virtualtech hosted email, please read on.

On Thursday, September 10, we upgraded the SSL certificate for our mailserver (mail.virtualtech.com) to a more secure Starfield 2048 bit certificate.  As a result, if you are using a mail client such as Mozilla Thunderbird or Microsoft Outlook to access your email, you may need to re-confirm the security certificate, since it has changed.  It should be a simple one-time, one mouse click deal for you.  When you see the popup, simply click on "Confirm Security Exception" (Thunderbird) or click "OK" on the "The name of the security certificate is invalid or does not match the name of the site" screen (Microsoft Outlook).

This should be a one-time error (though you may see it twice, once for receiving mail and once for sending mail).  Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience.

RESOLVED: Network issue affecting Virtualtech mailserver - Apr 6, 2015 10:58 pm

At about 6:20PM CDT on Monday, April 6, 2015, our network provider sustained a Denial of Service attack.  While no data is at risk, they are rebooting servers as they isolate the attack and take steps to resolve the issue.  Currently, only our mail server is affected.  All other services are functioning normally.  We will update as more information is received.

UPDATE: As of 7:30PM, all network functions have returned to normal.

Slow Network RESOLVED - Mar 17, 2015 12:26 pm

From our network provider: Traffic flow is normal once again after mitigation of the DoS attack this morning. Please advise if you see any further latency issues. We apologize for the trouble this caused.

Slow Network - Mar 17, 2015 11:12 am

At about 10:00AM CDT on Tuesday, March 17, 2015, our network provider sustained a Denial of Service attack.  While no data is at risk, our network access is deliberately being slowed as they isolate the attack and take steps to resolve the issue.  Mail and Web access is functioning, but may be slow at times.

Weekend Network Maintenance March 14, 2015 - Mar 13, 2015 4:19 pm

On Saturday March 14, 2015 starting at 10:00 PM CST thru Sunday, March 15 4:00 AM CST, our data provider will be conducting network maintenance, specifically applying core router updates. You may see brief moments of latency or unreachability during this maintenance window as updates are implemented.

Virtualtech Mailserver Issues UPDATE - Mar 9, 2015 3:20 pm

Mail is now flowing to external domains.  All systems should be functioning normally.  If you had sent messages earlier today, they should now have been delivered.  Thank you for your patience.

Virtualtech Mailserver Issues - Mar 9, 2015 12:58 pm

At approximately 10:00AM CDT on Monday, March 9, we began experiencing issues with mail sent from our mailserver to external domains. Incoming mail is working fine, as is mail sent between Virtualtech-hosted mail accounts. Our network provider has narrowed this down to a network misconfiguration and is working to resolve the situation. We will post an update as soon as we have more information.

Server Migration Complete - Feb 1, 2015 2:33 am

The migration of our main webserver to its new hardware is complete.

Server Maintenance Update 1-31-15 - Jan 31, 2015 10:22 pm

Our data provider ran into a few issues in preparing for the server migration below.  As a result, the downtime window has been postponed to 10:00 PM on Saturday, January 31 to 5:00 AM on Sunday, February 1.  Again, this is just a window that the migration is expected to take place within, and the actual downtime should be no more than 15 to 20 minutes.

Server Maintenance 1-31-15 - Jan 31, 2015 3:01 pm

Virtualtech web hosting customers may experience a brief outage on Saturday, January 31 between the hours of 3:00PM and 8:00PM as our data provider is migrating one of our web servers to upgraded hardware.  This outage should be no more than 15 to 20 minutes.  Only one of our servers will be affected, and this will not affect email access.

Emergency Mailserver Upgrade Update #3 - Nov 4, 2014 4:41 pm

As of noon on Tuesday, November 4, our mailserver should be back to normal, with some minor tweaks to come in the days ahead as we discover differences between the upgraded server and the old one.

Emergency Mailserver Upgrade Update #2 - Nov 3, 2014 12:49 am

Upon further testing and hearing from clients, we made several tweaks to our new mailserver to bring its behavior closer to our old server.  Notable was the importing of our custom spam filtering rules (the new server was allowing far too much spam through) and disabling the requirement to use STARTTLS.  This should resolve most issues.  We will be monitoring over the next few days to adjust settings further as needed.

If you are experiencing trouble sending and receiving, please try the following: in your mail client (Outlook, Thunderbird, Windows Live Mail, Apple Mail, etc.) settings (Roundcube users are not effected)

  • make sure that the security is set to "STARTTLS" or "TLS", instead of "None" for both SMTP and IMAP (or POP).
  • if you receive a "Security Exception" telling you that there is a problem with the security certificate, please approve the exception.

Assistance with these settings can be found at http://www.virtualtech.com/support/email.php

Emergency Mailserver Upgrade Update #1 - Nov 1, 2014 8:42 pm

After several hours trying to fix what the upgrade broke, we realized the best way was to move our mail hosting to a new, already upgraded server instead of trying to upgrade our existing server.  After about 6 hours of moving archived mail from the old server to the new, it was brought online in its basic "stock" format around 7:30 PM on Saturday, November 1 and service was restored to all clients.

Emergency Mailserver Upgrade - Nov 1, 2014 10:01 am

On Friday night, October 31, we realized that we needed to upgrade our mailserver to the latest version in order to address some potential security issues.  Because of the size of our server, the upgrade is taking much longer than the hour or so it was anticipated to take.  We’ve been working around the clock to get this done and get our mailserver back online.  We expect that this will be done sometime on Saturday, November 1. We will update this space as completion draws nearer. We apologize for the inconvenience, and we thank you in advance for your patience.

New Virtualtech Email Policies - Aug 11, 2014 1:49 pm

Due to recent events involving compromised email accounts being used to send out spam, we will be implementing some new policies regarding use of the Virtualtech email system. The majority of our users will not be affected.

  1. We will be implementing a "mimimum password complexity requirements" policy. While it may be convenient to have simple, easy to remember passwords, today’s hackers can "guess" a simple password in a matter of seconds. We will be notifying you if your password does not meet the requirements so that it can be changed with little impact to you.
  2. To limit the "damage" from a compromised account, we will be implementing a "maximum number of recipients per message" policy. Basically, the reason for this is that a compromised account gets used to send out thousands of spam messages, and because it comes from our system, other providers blame us and we end up being blacklisted by other providers. What we will be doing is to set a limit of 50 recipients per message sent. Again, this will not affect the majority of our users.

A reminder: bulk mailing is not permitted from the Virtualtech mail system. If you are using our system to send out newsletters and/or marketing emails to multiple recipients in excess of 50, you may want to talk to us about an iContact account, since that’s what we use iContact for.

These changes, very common in the email provider industry, will benefit all users of our email system, since efficiency and reliability will be greatly enhanced and the possibility of our being blacklisted by other providers will be greatly reduced.

Another Temporary Email Block - Aug 8, 2014 10:33 am

Once again, due to a compromised email account belonging to one of our clients, we experienced a short-term email block by Yahoo and Hotmail. The account password was changed and the block was lifted within a few hours. To reduce the chances of this happening again, we will be making some policy changes in the near future. Check back for details.

Temporary Email Block - Aug 4, 2014 11:32 am

Due to one of our clients' computers being infected with a virus, a large amount of spam mail was sent through our system, resulting in a short-term email block by Yahoo and Hotmail. The client's computer was scanned and repaired by their IT department. The account password was changed and the block was lifted within a few hours.

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