Blog archive

June 2016

Official Ubuntu images and trademarks

Last week, the issue of Ubuntu trademarks raised its head once again, due to some claims from some service providers that they’re being told they have to pay...

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Custom maintenance windows for Cloud SQL

We’ve just rolled out a new feature for our Cloud SQL service: custom maintenance windows. Every Cloud SQL instance is regularly updated with the latest sec...

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May 2016

Cloud Server Group DNS

When building clusters that can dynamically change, you need to be able to discover when new servers come and old servers go. Brightbox cloud servers can loo...

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Terraforming Brightbox Cloud

Today we’re announcing Brightbox Cloud support for Hashicorp’s Terraform in the form of a new provider plugin. Terraform is a tool to make managing your ove...

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March 2016

Managing multiple accounts

Many of our customers need to keep track of the costs of certain groups of cloud resources. Often this is to allow accurate billing of their own customers, o...

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January 2016

Ruby 2.3 Ubuntu packages

The first stable release of Ruby 2.3 arrived right on schedule on December 25th. It sports a few interesting new language features plus lots of little improv...

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December 2015

Case-sensitive DNS records

We recently came across a problem that was affecting mail delivery from servers in Brightbox Cloud. Specifically, it only looked to be affecting deliveries t...

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November 2015

Brightbox Cloud Docker Machine Driver

Docker Machine is a Docker server manager. It takes care of creating and bootstrapping new servers on which to run Docker and helps you manage them from then...

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Brightbox Cloud Go library

We’ve recently been using the Go programming language internally for a couple of projects and we’ve had the need to interact with our own API, so we’ve start...

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Command Line Interface Login Improvements

Following our OAuth API improvements back in August, we’ve been able to make some changes to our command line tool to make it easier to use. We now support ...

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August 2015

Deploying a Juju Cluster on Brightbox Cloud

Juju is described as a state-of-the-art, open source, universal model for service oriented architecture and service oriented deployments. It takes the confi...

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Brightbox API OAuth improvements

The Brightbox API for Cloud Resources is authenticated using OAuth 2.0. The OAuth 2.0 spec was still a draft when we first implemented it and has changed qu...

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Windows licensing price drop

Following our SSD Cloud Server price drop back in April, we’re now simplifying licencing for windows cloud servers. From today we’re changing to a flat fee ...

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July 2015

Deploying a Flynn Cluster on Brightbox Cloud

Flynn bills itself as a next generation open source Platform as a Service (PaaS). It can run stateful services as well as the modern ‘Twelve Factor Web Apps...

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Official CentOS Atomic images now available

Last week CentOS announced the general availability of their Atomic Host distro and images are now available on Brightbox Cloud. CentOS Atomic Host is a ligh...

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May 2015

KVM security vulnerability CVE-2015-3456

A new security vulnerability was announced yesterday (CVE-2015-3456, nicknamed VENOM) in KVM/QEMU’s floppy disk controller emulation. It can theoretically al...

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April 2015

Announcing SSD Cloud Servers with New Lower Pricing!

SSD storage is here at Brightbox! From today you can build high performance ssd cloud servers and see 85,000 random read IOPS and over 1 Gigabyte per second...

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CVE-2015-1855: Updated Ruby packages for Ubuntu

This week, new versions of Ruby were released fixing a security bug related to overly permissive matching of hostnames in certificates (CVE-2015-1855). We’v...

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Jenkins build nodes with CoreOS

Here at Brightbox we use Jenkins to manage most of our continuous integration and deployment jobs. It lets us do all the usual automatic builds, merges and d...

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CentOS 7.1 Cloud Images

CentOS 7.1 was announced yesterday afternoon and is now available on Brightbox Cloud. As with our official Ubuntu images, we import all new CentOS releases a...

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March 2015

Running your own Docker registry with Brightbox Cloud and Orbit

If you’re using Docker to run anything serious, you’ll have needed to store your images somewhere other than your development machine. Docker Inc. run a cen...

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Official certified images for Ubuntu Core Snappy

In December, Canonical released a new rendition of their distro called Ubuntu Core. It’s kind of an Ubuntu-flavoured CoreOS, sporting transactional updates, ...

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February 2015

A switch failed and what did we do? Nothing

The switch in question is definitely dead. No lights. No fans. Unresponsive. Each Brightbox Cloud rack switch carries public and private network connectivit...

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Official Debian Cloud Server Images now available

Debian has always been available to run on Brightbox Cloud, commonly by booting the installer with our PXE-boot environment, or our Bootstaller image. But r...

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January 2015

GLIBC "GHOST" vulnerability, CVE-2015-0235

A new security vulnerability (CVE-2015-0235) was announced yesterday in GLIBC which allows a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code. The bug is in the GLI...

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The Devops Weekly Top 10 of 2014

Gareth Rushgrove (@garethr) is the curator behind Devops Weekly - the incredibly popular email newsletter for all things operations and devops related. We as...

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Using Carrierwave with Orbit Cloud Storage

Web applications often need to store assets uploaded by users such as profile pictures or documents. The most convenient place to store these may be the web ...

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Access control with Orbit Cloud Storage

Last month we announced our new OpenStack Swift-compatible object storage service, Orbit, which makes it easy to store many gigabytes or terrabytes of data s...

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Ruby 2.2.0 packages for Ubuntu

As is the yearly tradition, a new stable version of Ruby, 2.2.0, was released on the 25th December. We’re of course providing Ubuntu packages for Ubuntu 14....

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December 2014

Official FreeBSD 9 and 10 images now available

It’s been a few years since we first provided FreeBSD images for Brightbox Cloud. Unfortunately, these older images did not include virtio network or disk dr...

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Introducing Orbit: our new Geo-redundant Object Store

Today I’m very pleased to announce Orbit - our new highly available and durable object storage service, based on OpenStack Swift. You can check out the full...

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Snappy Ubuntu Core on Brightbox Cloud

Today Ubuntu released a new rendition of their distro called Ubuntu Core. It’s kind of a Ubuntu-flavoured CoreOS, sporting transactional updates, docker supp...

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November 2014

Under the hood: Optimising firewall rule propagation

In our development team at Brightbox, in addition to working on new products and features, we’re continually working on performance optimisations for our var...

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Brightbox SSD Cloud Servers almost ready for primetime

High performance hardware is not something we’ve ever skimped on here at Brightbox. While many cloud hosting providers trundled along on poor performing, dat...

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Building a replicated filesystem with GlusterFS

Scaling a web deployment beyond a single server inevitably involves sharing files between multiple servers. Traditionally, this might have been handled using...

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Protecting your Cloud Resources from accidental deletes

Brightbox Cloud makes building cloud servers, load balancers, SQL instances and other infrastructure components really easy. The knife cuts both ways though ...

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Prevent MySQL deadlocks in your Rails application

Deadlocks are dreadful. They can be a minor annoyance or, depending on your application’s domain, can seriously affect functionality. At Brightbox, many of ...

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An introduction to distributed load testing with tsung

Brightbox Cloud enables you to build scalable applications very quickly, by creating a number of cloud servers and placing them behind a cloud load balancer,...

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Ruby 2.2 beta packages for Ubuntu

UPDATE: Ruby 2.2 is now fully released and we’ve updated our packages. The first preview version of the upcoming Ruby 2.2.0 release was made available back ...

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October 2014

Getting IPv6 at home with Teredo

The race from IPv4 to IPv6 might be the slowest race in history, but it’s on nevertheless and, despite some uncertainty, it seems clear that more and more us...

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POODLE SSLv3 Security Vulnerability

Last week, security researchers at Google published details of a vulnerability in the design of SSL version 3.0, which they’ve named POODLE (Padding Oracle O...

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Automatic security updates in Ubuntu with unattended-upgrades

Even if you’re not a sysadmin, you’ll probably have heard of the latest bash security vulnerability - it was hard to miss news of the “deadly serious” bug du...

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September 2014

CVE-2014-6271 - Bash security update

Over the past few days there has been much discussion relating to a security-update for the GNU Bourne Again Shell (bash). The security hole relates to a li...

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Cloud Load Balancers 400% Capacity Boost

Our Cloud Load Balancers add fault tolerance and horizontal scalability to your systems by enabling you to balance traffic across a pool of Cloud Servers loc...

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Brightbox Cloud image feed now syndicated on ubuntu.com

As part of the Ubuntu Certified Cloud programme, Canonical now publish a syndicated feed of officially supported Ubuntu images available on Brightbox Cloud. ...

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Deploying & Scaling Wordpress 4 on Ubuntu 14.04

With the recent release of Wordpress 4.0 I’ve written up a new guide to deploying it in a scalable fashion to Ubuntu 14.04 on Brightbox Cloud. The deploying...

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August 2014

CentOS 7 GenericCloud Test image

We’ve been building CentOS 7 cloud images for a while now, but today CentOS released their own ‘Generic Cloud’ image that they intend to use as the base for ...

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Rescuing a Cloud Server with SystemRescueCD and PXE

Yesterday, I was debugging a puppet module that was causing Ubuntu Trusty servers to stop booting properly. The system would boot about half way and stop, be...

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July 2014

CentOS 7 Cloud Images

CentOS 7 was announced this month, and is now available on Brightbox Cloud. There are a couple of ways to get going with CentOS, depending on your requiremen...

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Brightbox joins Ubuntu Certified Cloud programme as first European partner

Today, we’re really pleased to announce that we have joined the Ubuntu Certified Public Cloud programme, which means our Ubuntu cloud images are now official...

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June 2014

GitLab on Brightbox

GitLab is basically an open source clone of GitHub, allowing you to host your own git-based code collaboration system. We’re been fans of GitLab here at Bri...

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May 2014

Load Balancer SSL/TLS acceleration improvements

We’ve rolled out a couple of improvements to our cloud load balancer service this week. They’re only little tweaks but they help you tighten up your security...

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Dashboard design overhaul + Realtime event feed

We’ve just released some major updates to the Brightbox Cloud Manager dashboard, which we’re pretty excited about! We’re hoping these improvements will both ...

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A journey through the fog

We’re big users of fog here at Brightbox. Not only is it used in our CLI tool but we use it within our control panel to access our API. This blog post discu...

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April 2014

Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty LTS on Brightbox Cloud

The latest “long term support” release of Ubuntu went live today: Ubuntu 14.04 “Trusty Tahr”. We’ve been importing the daily builds of all Ubuntu releases si...

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OpenSSL security vulnerability CVE-2014-0160

A new security vulnerability was announced yesterday (CVE-2014-0160) in OpenSSL that allows an attacker to read up to 64kB of memory. Any service that suppor...

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March 2014

Auto-import of CoreOS on Brightbox Cloud

We’ve been providing CoreOS images on Brightbox Cloud since back in October but we often lag behind their official releases a little. So, in the spirit of Co...

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Adding CAcert root certificate to Debian/Ubuntu - properly

Due to various auditing failures and other security issues, the CAcert root certificate set is slowly disappearing from the Ubuntu and Debian ‘ca-certificate...

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February 2014

Design decisions: our Cloud IP allocation algorithm

It’s nearly four years since we began building Brightbox Cloud, so we thought we’d write a series of blog posts detailing some of the design decisions we’ve ...

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Try Brightbox Cloud for free

Today, we’re making it even easier to get started with Brightbox Cloud by offering £20 of free trial usage for new customers. The...

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Brightbox Cloud SQL now supports MySQL 5.6

As of today, Brightbox Cloud SQL (which we announced a couple of weeks back) now supports MySQL 5.6 in addition to MySQL 5.5. MySQL 5.6 brings lots of new ...

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Announcing 50% price drop for outbound Internet Data, inbound now free!

As Brightbox Cloud continues to grow, we’re able to benefit from increased economies of scale. Unlike many other “cloud providers”, we actually maintain our...

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January 2014

Announcing Brightbox Cloud SQL, our new MySQL Database-as-a-Service

Today, we’re pleased to be announcing the beta launch of Brightbox Cloud SQL - our new cloud database service… Cloud SQL combines the performance and securi...

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Ruby 2.1 Ubuntu Packages

Ruby 2.1 was released on the 25th December and we’re now including it in our Ubuntu packaging project. We’re providing packages for Ubuntu Precise, Quantal, ...

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November 2013

Announcing SSL Support and Major Performance Upgrade for Cloud Load Balancers

Brightbox Cloud Load Balancers provide a rock-solid solution for fault tolerance and horizontal scalability. They support balancing TCP, HTTP and WebSocket c...

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Remote: Office not required

Back in February I was interviewed for the new 37signals book Remote: Office not required. Here’s the transcript of that interview for those of you intereste...

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October 2013

MySQL locking for the busy web developer

We web developers are mostly careless about database locks. It is something we throw in as a last measure, when we don’t want anyone to touch the record we a...

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Fedora 19 on Brightbox Cloud

We’ve been providing our own custom-built Fedora images for a while now but we’re very happy to see that Fedora is now providing their own cloud-based images...

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CoreOS on Brightbox Cloud

We’re now providing server images for CoreOS. CoreOS is a lightweight operating system built for large-scale distributed deployments. It comes with a self-as...

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Linux Systems Administrator - Join the Brightbox team!

We’re looking for an experienced and motivated Linux Systems Administrator to join our join our small but highly productive team here at Brightbox. Main res...

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Brightbox Cloud CLI v1.0.0

We’ve just released a major new version of our command line tool, v1.0.0 - it’s available for installation right now on Windows, OSX and the various GNU/Linu...

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September 2013

Announcing new tier of Cloud Servers - available at 40% lower cost

Today we have two exciting Cloud Server pricing announcements… Firstly, we’ve added a new “standard” tier of Cloud Servers, designed for more agile workload...

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August 2013

Team Collaboration in Brightbox Cloud

Managing cloud applications is rarely a one person project; there’s often a team of people involved. Something is wrong if all the members of your team have ...

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NGINX 1.4.2 + Passenger 4.0.10 Ubuntu Packages

We published updated NGINX packages to our Passenger 4 Ubuntu package repository this week. NGINX is now upgraded to 1.4.2, and Passenger to 4.0.10. We upgra...

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July 2013

Firewall policies and server groups with Brightbox Manager

I’m very much a command line guy, but our new web gui really makes managing firewall policies for large numbers of servers really easy. I’ve put together a s...

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Brightbox Ruby deployment gem 2.4.1 released

We’ve just released version 2.4.1 of the Brightbox deployment gem, which includes a raft of improvements and some important changes.  In general, it fixes a ...

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Announcing the new beta Brightbox Cloud Manager

You may have noticed that we’ve been a little quiet for the last couple of months. I’m really pleased to finally show you the results of our hard work - the ...

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May 2013

Passenger and Ruby Ubuntu updates

We’ve been busy updating our Passenger and Ruby packages for Ubuntu over the last week or so. Passenger 3.0.21 was released, primarily to address a security ...

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Update to the Official Images

Finally there is a hint of Spring in the air. And that can mean only one thing. It’s time to update the Brightbox Cloud Official Images. The RedHat Enterpr...

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Introducing the Brightbox Bootstaller

Brightbox Cloud provides standard images for Windows and several Linux distributions. That’s great if you want to get going quickly or have systems that are ...

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April 2013

Tech blog roundup, April 2013

We’ve been busy over on the Brightbox tech blog so I thought I’d do a roundup here. We’ve been maintaining up-to-date Ruby packages for Ubuntu for several y...

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Vagrant Box Files available for Brightbox Images

I mentioned the other day that our Vagrant integration wasn’t as smooth as I’d like. So I’ve fixed that for you. The Brightbox documentation site now publi...

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Brightbox plugin for Vagrant

Some of you who watch the Gem feeds may have noticed that I sneaked out a provider plugin for Vagrant that supports Brightbox Cloud. Vagrant is a tool, writ...

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February 2013

Ubuntu packages for Passenger 4 beta 2

The latest beta version of Phusion Passenger 4, beta 2, was announced last month. You can read more about it in Phusion’s blog post. We’ve updated our Ubunt...

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January 2013

Rails JSON and XML security bugs

Two serious vulnerabilities in Rails have been discovered. They concern the parsing of JSON and XML request bodies and can result in an attacker bypassing co...

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December 2012

Ruby Garbage Collector CoW performance

We’ve been maintaining updated and tuned Ruby packages for Ubuntu for many years now and most recently we’ve been using Sokolov Yura’s performance patches to...

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November 2012

Measuring the shared RAM usage of a process

I’ve been testing the ram usage performance of various versions of Ruby, to compare the effectiveness of Narihiro Nakamura’s bitmap marking garbage collector...

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Ubuntu Ruby 1.9.3-p327 packages

We’ve pushed updated Ubuntu Ruby 1.9.3 packages to our experimental launchpad repository. They’re from upstream 1.9.3-p327, which fixes the hash-flooding Do...

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Ubuntu packages for Passenger 4

The team at Phusion recently announced the first beta release of Passenger 4.0. It’s got some great new features, such as support for running multiple versio...

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September 2012

Brightbox Outperforms Amazon EC2 in Ubuntu 12.04 Benchmarks

In July, the technology review website Phoronix published several benchmarks they ran of Ubuntu 12.04 running on Amazon EC2. The benchmarking software Phoron...

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Updated Official Images

We’ve just updated the official images on Brightbox Cloud. The RedHat Enterprise derivatives (Centos, Scientific Linux) are now at version 6.3 and Ubuntu Pre...

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August 2012

Puppet Git Receiver

We’re big fans of Puppet here at Brightbox and have been using it for years to manage the configuration of many hundreds of servers. puppet-git-receiver is ...

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Single Port Graphical Console

We just deployed a little improvement to our web based graphical server console. It now operates entirely over one single tcp port, https port 443, which mak...

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July 2012

New Official CentOS, Fedora and Scientific Linux images

We recently added Brightbox Cloud support to RedHat’s “cloud appliance builder” project BoxGrinder, which makes it easy to build customised rpm-based distro ...

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New Cloud Servers in 10 seconds

Last week we rolled out a few improvements to the image library facility on Brightbox Cloud. You might have already noticed that creating a cloud server is ...

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May 2012

Weekly and Daily Ubuntu image builds

We’ve been providing Ubuntu images in the Brightbox Cloud image library since we first launched, but what you might not know is that we provide weekly builds...

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Announcing CloudCamp North - 14 June 2012 in Leeds

We’re really pleased to be hosting CloudCamp North in Leeds on the 14 June, alongside our MC for the evening Paul Miller - writer, analyst and consultant of ...

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April 2012

Securely wiping dirty disks

Recently, some security researchers identified a security vulnerability with some cloud services (in particular VPS.net and Rackspace Cloud) that caused cust...

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New - Cloud IP Port Translation

If you’ve been looking for a good solution for hosting multiple SSL/TLS sites on the same cloud server, then look no further! Our new Port Translation featur...

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March 2012

Extended free period for Image Library fees

We’re extending the free period for usage fees associated with the Image Library to 1 Jun 2012. This means it will remain completely free of charge to take, ...

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Load Balancer enhancements for real-time applications

“Real-time”, “asynchronous”, “event-driven”, “distributed” are all words familiar to today’s developer. Two examples where this is more evident than anywher...

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Ubuntu Precise daily images

Ubuntu’s next Long Term Support release, 12.04 “Precise Pangolin”, is due at the end of April and it’s looking really good! To make it simple to help with b...

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Brightbox at FLOSS UK Spring Conference

I’ll be up in Edinburgh at the FLOSS UK Spring Conference on Thursday (22nd March) and at Puppet Camp the following day. I’m doing a talk about distributed ...

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New 16GB and 32GB Cloud Servers Now Available

Today, we’re announcing two new super-sized (and imaginatively-titled!) Server Types, XL and XXL, which are available for you to use right away. In Brightb...

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February 2012

Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 now available

“Any OS, any app, any time”, whilst not any sort of official slogan or mantra, is a phrase that has been ticking over in my head for a while and sums up the...

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January 2012

IPv6 for Cloud Servers

Eagle-eyed observers might have noticed that we quietly rolled out IPv6 addressing into Brightbox Cloud over the last couple of weeks. In fact, John’s Riak C...

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Building a Riak Cluster on Brightbox Cloud

I’ve just published a new guide on the docs site that takes you through building a small four node Riak database cluster on Brightbox Cloud. It covers server...

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November 2011

New - Cloud Firewall service for Brightbox Cloud

I’m very excited to announce today the release of our distributed stateful Cloud Firewall service for Brightbox Cloud! The new firewall service provides a h...

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October 2011

New - Custom Reverse DNS for Cloud IPs

Brightbox Cloud IPs now support using your own custom reverse DNS names. Cloud IPs automatically have a preconfigured default reverse DNS entry, which looks...

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Brightbox Cloud - general availability

Earlier today we officially removed the “beta” label and enabled full signup, meaning anyone can now signup and be up-and-running on Brightbox Cloud within...

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August 2011

Pricing for Brightbox Cloud (and last call for private beta)

In preparation for the official launch (more on that to follow soon), we’re announcing the close of the private beta phase of Brightbox Cloud. We’ve had aro...

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May 2011

NGINX Passenger 3 Ubuntu packages

We’ve updated our NGINX packages to NGINX v1.0.0 and Passenger 3.0.7. They’re now hosted on Launchpad.net, which makes it dead easy to use in Ubuntu. We’ve ...

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March 2011

IPv6 in the Brightbox Cloud

I don’t have to tell you why IPv6 is important – even the mainstream media has finally realised that the pool of IPv4 addresses is exhausted (it’s not like w...

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Wanted: Senior Ruby Software Engineer

Job description: In the three and a half years since Brightbox started, we’ve built a solid reputation for our “Serious Rails Hosting” platform. We’ve spent...

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New: web-based console for Brightbox Cloud Servers

There are occasions when it’s very useful to see what a Cloud Server is outputting to screen, for example, while troubleshooting boot issues or when building...

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January 2011

Cloud Balancers now available in beta!

Today, we’re excited to announce Brightbox Cloud Balancers – our new distributed load balancing service which is available right now as part of the cloud bet...

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November 2010

Libcloud Python driver for Brightbox Cloud API

Hot on the heel of last weeks announcement of support for our new cloud API in the Fog Ruby cloud library – some news for Pythonistas! We now also have a Bri...

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FreeBSD in the Brightbox Cloud

Last week we added a “compatibility” mode to our new cloud hosting platform, which allows running operating systems without virtio support. This opens up ou...

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Announcing Brightbox Cloud – the UK’s first true IaaS platform!

Today, we’re announcing the private beta launch of Brightbox Cloud – our new IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) platform! We’ve dedicated several months to ...

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November 2009

Clearing out Rails Sessions

As I’m sure you’re aware, Rails can be told to use ActiveRecord (and hence the MySQL database) to store session data. (New Rails apps use the cookie store by...

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Queues and Callbacks

A major part of our work behind the scenes is about improving our internal processes and, whenever possible, automating tasks. To this end we have a number ...

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November 2008

Using RSpec, Cucumber and User stories to build our internal systems

Here at Brightbox we are making heavy use of RSpec and Cucumber as we develop our next generation internal systems. These let us write specifications, in En...

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September 2008

How to do Ethernet Bonding on Ubuntu - Properly

It’s amazing how quickly guides on the Internet go out of date. I suppose this one will be no exception. However as I’ve been looking around there doesn’t ap...

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December 2007

Secure virtual disk deletion - is your data safe?

Everyone knows the dangers of old hard disks being discarded with sensitive data still on them, but what about virtual disks? With so many virtual machine h...

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