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We are happy to announce that our new data center in Paris, FR-SD3, is now in production.

After a couple of months of well-received Alpha and Beta testing, we're now officially opening the datacenter in production and will soon set it as the default datacenter for new resources!

Be aware that only our Gandi Cloud hosting platform is currently available. This includes: Servers, Volumes, IPs, and Private VLANs. No date is currently set for the launch of Simple Hosting and Web Accelerators on FR-SD3. These are currently only available on our other datacenters in Paris and Luxembourg (FR-SD2 and LU-BI1, respectively).

We would like to thank all of you for helping test this new infrastructure and for having shared your feedback with us.

It's important to note that resource usage on this datacenter is no longer free, and the pricing scale in place on our other datacenters is now implemented for FR-SD3 as well.

Feel free to contact our Hosting Support team for any and all questions, comments, impressions, or thoughts. Or, alternatively, share them with us by emailing feedback@gandi.net.

After all around excellent results and feedback during our alpha and beta testing phases, we now have the pleasure of announcing that our new datacenter in Paris, FR-SD3, will be officially opening in production on May 15, 2017!

Starting on this date, FR-SD3 will be set to host your production infrastructure, though this also means that the conditions under which we were able to offer free hosting on this datacenter will no longer be in effect. Billing will then revert to the same rates as on our other datacenters. Until May 15, though, FR-SD3 will remain in Beta and hence free of charge.

It's worth noting that only our Cloud hosting service is currently availble for the moment on the new datacenter, that is: Servers, Volumes, IPs, and Private VLANs. We haven't set a date yet for launching Simple Hosting and Web Accelerators on FR-SD3, which for now are only available on either of our other two datacenters (FR-SD2 in Paris and LU-BI1 in Luxembourg, respectively).

As always, feel free to contact our Hosting Support team for any and all questions, comments, impressions, or thoughts. Or, alternatively, share them with us by emailing feedback@gandi.net.

Today is World Backup Day (Yay!). Happy World Backup Day. Now, if you haven't backed up your smartphone and computer yet, go do that now. We'll wait for you here. Okay, got it? Cool.

Now, just like you back up your personal data and your company's data in case of fire, earthquake, power failure, alien invasion, etc., remember that backing up your website is just as important. It's a dangerous internet out there. Just think of the number of hours you've spent on your site so far and then think of all of that work being wiped away because you didn't make a backup.

With a Simple Hosting instance at Gandi, you can create backups with our free snapshots feature. But first, just in case you were wondering what kind of dangers are out there ...

What's the worst that could happen

Just in case you still don't want to take backing up your site seriously, let's look at some of the worst-case scenarios.

Compromised CMS

Of course, Simple Hosting instances are by and far used to host CMSes (Content Management System, like Wordpress). And you just need to relax your guard for one software update and you could wind up with malicious code worming its way into the core code of your CMS software. At which point it's better just to wipe the whole thing and start over from scratch. Of course, that becomes a lot more painful if you don't have an un-compromised backup to restore from.

CMS Update Gone Wrong

On the other hand, even when you're on top of CMS updates, things can sometimes go awry. Maybe you have a custom theme that suddenly breaks after doing an update, incompatible versions, or a connection issue mid-update.

Accidental Deletion of Files

All it could take is a sticky delete key and your whole site would be gone. But, more realistically, sometimes you think what you're deleting isn't important or that you'll never need it again, or it just ends up being something other than what you thought it was.

Missed Renewal

We don't doubt you're on top of your renewals (psst you could even try activating auto-renew), but on the off-chance you happen to miss the expiration date of your instance, you could end up losing your data. We warn you before the expiration date and you still have two weeks after expiration to renew, but we all know: stuff happens.

Total collapse of society as we know it

You'll definitely want to minimize downtime when society invariably devolves into Mad Max-style anarchy. You'll thank us when your blog post about picking through the rubble goes viral.

How you can backup

Now that you're on board with the idea, let's look at how you can backup your site using snapshots on a Simple Hosting instance.

To begin with, always remember the backup mantra: 3-2-1:

3 backups
2 mediums
1 off-site

If you follow the 3-2-1 mantra, you'll be sheltered even from the most catastrophic calamities that could befall your site.

To activate snapshots on your instance, click the Activate link next to Snapshots (in the upper-right corner) from the control panel page of your instance.

A snapshot takes a picture of your instance's disk at a given time, so you would use this to create a backup of your files.

More than likely, you'll need to back up your instance's databases as well. If you're using a CMS, that will be the case. Your database is where the majority of your content is stored.

Snapshots create a total of four images of your disk at four separate times: one snapshot of yesterday's content, one of the day before yesterday, one of last week, and one last month. They will appear in your instance as a "snapshot" directory in your root (/) directory.

That covers your files. You can schedule backups of your database using a tool built-in to your Simple Hosting instance called anacron. This will then create a "dump" of your database that will be included in your snapshot.

We'll go over setting that up for a MySQL database (the most common database) via sFTP. You should start by finding the anacrontab file. It should be at this address:


To do a backup of your databases, you need to perform an export using the command “mysqldump”.

To keep backups up-to-date, you need to create an anacron task that performs regular backups. Here is an example that you can add to your instance (If the user 'root' does not have a password, then you must delete {-pPASSWORD}, or delete the brackets {} and indicate the password of your 'root' user after '-p':

@daily 0 mysql_backup mkdir -p /srv/data/tmp/mysql_backup ; mysqldump -u root {-pPASSWORD} --all-databases | /bin/gzip -9 > /srv/data/tmp/mysql_backup/`date '+%F'`.databases.sql.gz ; rm -f /srv/data/tmp/mysql_backup/`date '+%F' --date '1 week ago'`.databases.sql.gz

This particular line will export your database everyday, and will keep the last export for one week, which will line up perfectly with snapshots.

And keeping in mind the 3-2-1 rule, remember to periodically copy the snapshot directory from your instance's root directory. If you do forget to renew your instance, like we mentioned above, and the whole thing ends up removed, your only backups will be the ones you downloaded to your local machine.

In case of emergency

If you should ever have to restore from your backups, then you would just need to put the contents of the directory corresponding to the most recent backup. The folder name will be a Unix timestamp like 1490741558.daily. The higher the number, the more recent the backup.

Copy the contents of the directory with the highest number into your lamp0 directory, delete 'htdocs' and then move 'htdocs' from the snapshot directory into the 'vhosts' directory.

First, remove the old database and create a new database with the same name.

Then, you can import your database dump into this new database using phpMyAdmin. To import it, click on the Import tab from the phpMyAdmin interface.

Happy World Backup Day

And that's it. Now, regardless of what kind of chicanery takes place tomorrow, even if you wind up fooled, you won't be a fool because you backed up your Simple Hosting instance. And the best part is, it's free now that we've introduced free snapshots on Simple Hosting. Happy backing up!

A few months ago we announced our plan to upgrade to a more recent version of Xen, a virtualization software used on our hosting platform, in order to be able to better mitigate security vulnerabilities without customer intervention.

In the meantime, we've been able to take advantage of recent stop/starts of servers to upgrade most of our platform to Xen 4.8. Thanks to the new features available in this version, the majority of you will not be impacted by a new security vulnerability found in Xen, to be announced in the coming days, which we are able to address by live-patching or -migrating servers without impact to our customers.

In the next few days, only a small number of our customers whose servers aren't yet running on upgraded nodes will need to stop and start their servers (restarting alone will not be enough) to deal with the new security vulnerability. We have emailed impacted customers directly to ask them to perform this operation themselves at their convenience, to avoid downtime, before the announcement of the vulnerability. We will stop and start any affected servers that have not yet been stopped and started ourselves between 9:00 AM and 02:00 PM CEST (12:00 AM and 3:00 AM PDT) that day.

Otherwise, we have been pleased to see the initial results of our recent efforts to upgrade our platform have been positive. This should hopefully be the last time we need to ask our customers to perform such tasks and we intend to continue working towards improving the customer experience on our hosting platform and we would encourage you to check out our plans for 2017.

Please feel free to contact our Customer Care team if you have any questions or to send us your feedback by emailing feedback@gandi.net.

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