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Articles & Service Announcements

Thursday, July 02, 2015

How Windows Server 2003 EOL Will Impact Our Legacy HELM Clients

Why You MUST convert from the legacy HELM hosting platform!

If you are still using the HELM control panel to manage your hosted web services, chances are you have been a long term customer of ours. We have stopped adding new accounts to this platform back in 2012, as it became evident that HELM has reached EOL (End Of Life). Since then, all new client accounts have been added to the new hosting platforms that we operate and support. 

HELM has been our shared hosting platform since 2005 and at its core it is closely tied with Microsoft Windows Server 2003. On July 14th, 2015 Microsoft will discontinue support for its aging Windows 2003 Server OS. After that date there will be no more security patches or OS updates from Microsoft. In essence, the ability to keep the old legacy servers operational and secure will become impossible as other vendors such as Symantec, will discontinue supporting that OS as well. The fact that there will be no more .NET updates and security patches will also mean that other more modern applications will become increasingly incompatible as well. Although we will continue to maintain the operational status of the legacy platform, it may become necessary to limit or discontinue support of customer’s web applications that are still running on the legacy platform. The security issues related to operating these unsupported environments may pose a significant threat to our network, therefore forcing us to make the difficult decision to partially disable or shutdown vulnerable services, rendering certain functions or websites still hosted on the legacy platform inoperable.

What are my options?
The best option for our legacy HELM clients is to sign up for the managed virtual dedicated service. We will deploy your own segregated virtual dedicated server with the latest Windows 2012R2 operating system. Our support engineers will migrate your existing applications, websites, databases, and e-mail services to the new private server. This will ensure that your legacy applications are working correctly and securely.

I have a pre-paid balance in the old system. What’s going to happen?
No problem. We will honor every penny of your remaining balance left in the legacy hosting account and pro-rate any remaining credit to your new account.

What are the benefits of moving to a new platform?
There are numerous benefits to moving your legacy site(s) to a new platform. These include speed, increased security, support for more applications and features that are simply not available in any shared environment. We list the top reasons of how you will benefit.

Increased application performance - Resources of the CPU and disk I/O are hard allocated to your server, no other busy sites that cause slowdowns or timeouts at the least opportune moments. No more spinning and waiting for your web application to load. It works fast and reliably every time.

Better security – In the last couple of years we have seen a large increase in cross-site scripting attacks targeting shared webhosting environments specifically. One vulnerable web application causes other sites to become compromised, allowing hackers to inject undesirable content or disable your website entirely. Using our virtual dedicated environment you are completely isolated from other clients. Furthermore, we can leverage the segregated nature of your installation to fine-tune the security settings and apply policies that are application specific rather than generic server- wide policies that are we are limiting in a shared platform.

Managed service – We fully support you and your applications. Modern web applications such as DNN, WordPress, Drupal, and others are complex systems that rely on programming stacks such as .NET/MSSQL or PHP/MySQL and others. Although attractive GUI interfaces hide these complexities, the reality is that you need to be a full-time System Administrator and DBA to manage, support, and upgrade these applications over long term lifecycle. The majority of our clients don’t have time to develop and maintain these skills. We provide all of this to you, included with the cost of your hosting service.

Compatibility – By using our virtual dedicated service, your old websites and applications will run alongside with the latest and greatest. We can configure your server to support legacy platforms such as ASP classic, Cold Fusion, and even older PHP versions if necessary, while simultaneously running the latest version of DNN or WordPress on the same server. If you have an older CMS, you can continue using it while simultaneously deploying the latest version for your other projects, all within same environment.

More Control – If you are a hands-on type of person or planning on hiring a developer, the HostedAppliance virtual dedicated server is a must. You will have full control over your server using the remote desktop and are free to make any necessary changes while enjoying a safety net of our resident expert advice should you have questions.

You can’t afford to wait – Your business or your client’s business depends on your decision. The HELM platform is at EOL (End Of Life) and at some point, it may stop working. You should begin migration planning now to avoid potential loss.



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