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We are more than halfway through January, and it’s time to wish you the best for 2018! We hope that the new year brings you suc­cess in all your projects and even bet­ter things than it did in 2017.

As in past years, we will take this oppor­tu­ni­ty to step back and present our upcom­ing projects.

So let’s remove our par­ty hats and dive right into 2018.

New Year Cat GIF @Giphy

2017: The Year of the Migration

You lived it with us. In ear­ly 2017, we began the tran­si­tion to a new soft­ware infra­struc­ture. It was a months-long process aimed at improv­ing our solu­tions. With an upgrade of our stack, all efforts were made to bring you a host­ing plat­form that would meet your expectations.

In addi­tion, we added new fea­tures. Native sup­port for new lan­guages (Node.js, Go, Elixir, Lua) for your apps is now direct­ly avail­able from your cock­pit. Don’t pan­ic if you can’t find what you need. The user pro­gram entry lets you run any app in your home, even one based on an exot­ic lan­guage. If you host sta­t­ic pages on a Github Pages account, you can trans­fer them to a sta­t­ic-files site in your home, which will pro­vide the same ser­vice. You’re at home with alwaysdata!

Offering new inter­preters is a big deal, and we know very well the issues faced by our devel­op­er friends. Their stack is com­plex, which is why we’ve ensured that all pack­age man­agers are also avail­able: npm, com­pos­er, pip, bundler, and more. Everything’s here.

We’ve auto­mat­ed this process so that it func­tions at its best. It’s now our stan­dard design. Anyone can freely run migra­tions as he or she wish­es. Staging servers are now avail­able with the new stack. From your cock­pit, you can trig­ger a cloning process to those instances and ensure that every­thing is fine. Those test instances are freely avail­able for a lim­it­ed amount of time, and you can run all nec­es­sary tests. When everything’s fine, you just have to trig­ger the migra­tion by your­self to get the final trans­fer, and there’s noth­ing more to do. Our next release that will need this kind of migra­tion will be done in the same man­ner. It gives you the lev­el of com­fort that you expect. We have learned from this expe­ri­ence and have list­ed some things that we will improve. Feel free to give us some feedback.

2018: A More Comfortable Hosting Platform

Let’s take a look at a (non-exhaus­tive) list of our projects:

  • a WAF that will allow you to pro­tect your apps by pre­vent­ing attacks, SQL injec­tions, XSS, etc.;
  • an HTTP Cache (RFC com­pli­ant) that will let you cache your reg­u­lar assets and improve your performances;
  • two new cock­pit-inte­grat­ed tools that will allow you to pro­gram repet­i­tive tasks and reg­is­ter ser­vices to mon­i­tor in your instance. No more need to deal with crontabs anymore;
  • HTTP/2 in alproxy is on the rails! We’ve talked about it for a while, but now we will start it for real. No dead­line is avail­able yet, but we plan to get as much as we can from these twelve months;
  • Mailman inte­gra­tion into our email stack. You’ll get a smart sys­tem that will allow you to man­age your email dis­cus­sions and lists from your cockpit;
  • are you a Java devel­op­er? If so, we have been think­ing about you. This year, you will get your lan­guage native­ly sup­port­ed like oth­er lan­guages; and 
  • our mar­ket­place: if you need to quick­ly host com­mons web apps quick­ly, they will be avail­able and pre-con­fig­ured to allow you to host with­in minutes.
Keyboard Working GIF @Giphy

Security, and FIC 2018

Let’s Encrypt is auto­mat­i­cal­ly enabled for all your sub­do­mains. There are no longer any excus­es not to serve your con­tents through HTTPS and con­tribute to a more secure Web.

Our admin pan­el allows for 2FA, giv­ing you an addi­tion­al guar­an­tee that a mali­cious user won’t take con­trol of your cock­pit. We high­ly rec­om­mend that you enable it.

A note about the Spectre & Meltdown secu­ri­ty issues: We’ve been keep­ing our eye on them. Our servers and instances were patched with the lat­est secu­ri­ty updates, and, since then, we haven’t faced any per­for­mance issues.

If you’re involved in secu­ri­ty, m4dz — who joined us as a Tech Evangelist — will be at FIC 2018 on January 23th and 24th. If you’re there, feel free to get in touch.

From you to us

2018 also presents the oppor­tu­ni­ty for us to pro­vide you with more infor­ma­tion and more con­tent and help you get in touch with the blog and the oth­er channels.

On that note, we need your sup­port. For more than ten years, the alwaysdata’s com­mu­ni­ty has been grow­ing, and you are a part of it. We want to hear your opin­ions, and we want to encour­age you to con­tribute to the mar­ket­place and get involved in the com­mu­ni­ty. If you’re inter­est­ed, leave us a com­ment or send us a mes­sage at community@alwaysdata.com.

Hack Hacking GIF @Giphy

Welcome to 2018!