2013 was another big year for us here at Mammoth
Networks! We've continued to grow our customer base and our feature
set. We've been working hard on our core infrastructure, policies
and processes to improve our back end - while this work continues,
we've been encouraged with the results so far and look forward to
an even better year in 2014.
Some of the noteworthy changes in 2013 included
refresh of mPanel, our VPS control panel,
providing instant access to the Rescue Console as well as a more
intuitive and practical interface to manage VPSs.
We were also very happy to roll out
Deployment Scripts, providing a powerful
system of automation for Linux VPSs. Customers can write their own
scripts or use examples that we provide to perform tasks like
automatically installing system or application software or starting
and stopping services.
Several other new features were added to mPanel for
VPS customers, including direct support to do
off-site backups to Amazon S3, as well as a
network-level firewall to allow customers to
selectively filter traffic before it hits their VPS.
We also introduced
hourly billing, providing more flexibility
for customers looking for short-term VPS utilisation.
Continuing our commitment to transparency,
extended our Service Status
website to include more historical data about our
service uptime, as well as real-time status reporting on key
We've also been changing a few things behind the scenes to
help improve our communications with customers, and our feedback
from customers in this regard has been very positive.
So, what's next for Mammoth Networks in 2014?
The awesome Mammoth Media software development team
continue to work hard at extending mPanel with a view to improving
our feature set and providing better automation.
Some of the features we're working on at the moment
include the ability to upload your own disk images to run as a VPS.
You'll also be able to download your backups locally, giving you
more flexibility with your data, as well as another avenue to
provide off-site backups.
We're also developing an API to allow programming access
to our VPS services. We're targeting the OpenStack Compute API
compatibility for the service, which will allow application
developers and server administrators to easily build, scale, and
manage Internet services on our platform.
We'd like to take a quick moment to thank all our
customers for their support and we look forward to working with you
We're happy to announce that we've just rolled out a new primary
management interface for VPSs within our control panel system,
The new version is accessible now - if you log into mPanel as
usual and 'Manage' a VPS, you'll see the new interface:
The new look is a result of us checking out statistics and usage
patterns within mPanel and reshuffling the view to make it a little
easier to perform common tasks, moving some of the less used areas
out of the main interface. The result is an interface that we hope
will be easier and quicker to use for the vast majority of
The biggest obvious change is that we now include the Rescue
Console directly in the management view. This will allow users to
immediately check the status of their VPS from its console view -
and to log in and operate it directly from the web browser.
A drop-down menu at the top left allows you to quickly switch
between VPSs, and the grid menu button just to the right of the
drop-down opens the options available for that VPS.
The core status information for the selected VPS is now
displayed down the left hand side. Any hyperlinked information can
be clicked to quickly take you to the relevent management function
- for example, if you click your disk space readout, it will take
you directly to the 'Change plan' page so you can modify your
Graphs for some key metrics are now displayed on the manage
page, to give you an at-a-glance overview of your VPS utilisation -
CPU, RAM, disk space and bandwidth are all displayed.
We are happy to announce that we have a new hourly billing
option available for customers looking for some more flexibility
with their VPS requirements.
When signing up for a VPS, simply select "Pay by the hour" from
the Payment Frequency drop down in the Billing Details section.
The main difference is this is a post-paid option - a VPS
created with hourly billing will only be billed when the VPS is
terminated, or monthly if it is online for that long.
An example use case is for customers who are preparing for a
short spike of activity - for example, if you're running a big
advertising campaign over a weekend and you expect to receive a lot
of traffic during that time.
Now, you can simply spin up some extra VPS instances for load
balancing purposes just for that weekend period, and only be
charged for the hours that they're in use - you no longer need to
commit to any extended periods for short bursts of activity.
We hope this new billing option is useful for customers who are
looking for a slightly more "cloud" style of approach to virtual
server provisioning - as always, we'd love your feedback so please
don't hesitate to get in touch!
A quick note just to advise customers of a minor update to our
The changes are not significant - primarily just some minor
updates relating to privacy to bring us in line with changes in
The full list of changes are as follows:
We've added a great new feature for our Linux VPS customers this
week - Deployment
Deployment Scripts allow you to automate many aspects of
configuring a newly provisioned Linux VPS. You can install new
software, configuring options from easy-to-use web interfaces, set
up and run system services, and much more - all without having to
even connect to your VPS.
Customers can build their own scripts from scratch or use
existing ones from our Deployment
Scripts Library - we've currently got examples that will allow
you to automatically install things like a LAMP stack, WordPress,
or MySQL. We'll be adding to this library over time, and we're more
than happy to publish customer scripts if they think they'd be
useful for others.
We've also tried to ensure that our system is compatible with
Linode's fantastic StackScripts
system, which offers a huge variety of pre-made scripts for
customers to tinker with.
We hope this new feature is useful for VPS customers - we look
forward to expanding on the library over time to make things even
easier for customers to automatically provision new online
Scripts are available right now and are free for VPS customers
to use. Enjoy!
At Mammoth Networks we're strongly commited to transparency for
all aspects of the service. We want existing customers (and
potential customers) to have access to as much information as
possible about the service so they can make informed decisions
around their online infrastructure and hosting.
We've recently added two small new features to our Service Status website
which we hope provide more information for customers:
- A new summary module on the home page that gives at-a-glance
information about the status of core elements of the service - the
network, web hosting (for shared hosting customers) and VPS hosts.
Any failures here detected by the third-party monitoring services
of Pingdom will be reflected there within a few minutes, allowing
customers to quickly see if there are any current service-level
- A new Uptime
History page. This page retreives uptime summary data from
Pingdom for every major top level component at Mammoth Networks -
routers, VPS hosts, DNS servers, and more. Information about the
previous month, year to date, and previous year is available.
While these are minor additions, we hope that these changes will
make it even easier for everyone to understand the state of our
Over the last few weeks we've added a variety of new operating
system images for VPS customers. You may have seen them roll into
the options list if you changed plans, but we also wanted to
quickly mention it here so people who weren't actively poking
around are also aware of the new options.
New operating system images include:
We do our best to ensure we've always got the latest versions of
our supported operating systems available, but if there's anything
you're particularly keen to see supported please drop us a line via
our support page and we'll see what we can do.
In addition to rolling out cool new features, we've had the
chance recently to re-evaluate how some existing services have been
performing. One of these services is our additional backup
offerings - something which we're really passionate about because
we know how important it is to maintain regular backups of your
We're happy to announce that as a result of this evaluation we
have decided to drop backup price by 50%, reducing the cost from
$0.20/GB to $0.10/GB.
We hope this will encourage more users to take advantage of our
flexible backup system and allow harried system administrators to
relax just that little bit more knowing they have a wider variety
of backup options for their all-important systems and data.
Another new feature this week - we've added support for off-site
backups of VPSs to be created on the Amazon S3 service. This will
provide another layer of comfort for customers who want to know
their data is backed up outside of our network.
Customers who have added this service to their VPS plan will
have their disk images sent to their nominated bucket on Amazon S3
immediately after a successful local backup is made.
As the backup is stored in your own S3 bucket, you can download
the disk image and manipulate it directly, allowing you to verify
the contents of the backup or simply access the contents of your
VPS locally in your own test environment.
Off-site backups can now be enabled for your VPS on the 'Change
Plan' page in the 'VPS Details' section. They are currently charged
at $0.20 per gigabyte per month.
More information on how to create your own S3 bucket for use
with this new feature (and information on how to download and
manipulate your VPS image locally) can be found in this
As always, we remind all users of any computer system that
making a backup is only part of a good backup strategy. We strongly
encourage our customers to make their own backups that are
independent of our systems and to test both sets of backups
regularly to ensure they're valid and that they'll restore as
We're happy to announce we've released a new feature this week
for VPS customers of Mammoth Networks - a firewall service.
This new firewall is a web-based system that works at the
network level, providing enhanced security for your VPS by allowing
you to selectively filter traffic before it gets to you.
An easy-to-use interface allows customers to selectively allow
or block traffic to or from particular addresses (and ports). The
firewalling is effective immediately upon completion of the
The firewall service is available now and is free for all VPS
customers. To access it, log into mPanel, select your VPS and
select 'Firewall' from the 'Manage' menu.