New to the Team: Robert Church

Everyone, meet Robert. Robert joined us earlier in the summer as one of our systems administrators and he’s probably best known as the guy who stays up all night cranking when there are things like outages. A transplant from Fort Worth, TX to Colorado, Robert came to Name.com with many years in the hosting industry under his belt.

Prior to working in hosting, he was a yakuza assassin that specialized in knives. Even though he was quite good at his job, he felt the lack of benefits and worker’s comp were too much of a liability. He decided to leave the yakuza lifestyle for a more rewarding career in systems administration. However, that doesn’t mean he’s any less sharp at his job! Ba dum bum.

Bad puns aside, Robert has been a fantastic addition to the Name.com team. We’re very excited to have him on board and we hope you will join us in welcoming him.

Fantasy Football Update

Hey fantasy footballers!

The Name.com league has a few games under its belt and we’re starting to see some teams take off..and a couple fall behind. The Dr. Hook McCracken team seems to think their stats are an anomaly and that’s why they’re in last place — whatever makes you feel better. 😉

The only remaining undefeated team is Cowboy Barker’s Beauties, which belongs to our support lead Sky. Proving that his apparent cheating is not just limited to ping pong. (We kid, Sky, we kid 🙂

How is your team doing? Let us know in the comments!

The Little Registrar That Could

For a while now we’ve touted that we have “almost” a million domains under management. That alone has been a big achievement for us — this little registrar tucked away in the Rocky Mountains. Well, now we are extremely excited to announce that we proudly have OVER one million domains under management!

It’s taken a lot of hard work to get to where we are, but really we wouldn’t be anywhere without our customers. You guys are why we do what we do, and for that we thank you. 🙂

Feel free to join us in a big “WAHOO!” as we celebrate this huge milestone. Cheers, and here’s to the next million!

Tip: Verify DNS & Route to Hostname

I came across this handy little tip last week when helping a customer who was experiencing propagation issues. By “came across” I mean our awesome system administrator, Robert, was kind enough to share it with me.

I’m sure some of us have experienced this:

You update your nameservers to point your new domain to your host, but then something’s fishy. Your site is not resolving. Or, it’s resolving for others, but not for you. What it comes down to, is your site is not working right. You’re frustrated and you don’t know whether it’s a problem with your registrar, your host, or your internet service provider (ISP).

If you find yourself in this situation, following these steps will provide enough information to help reveal any possible routing and propagation issues:

Windows

Start -> Run -> Cmd

Then, one at a time, enter these commands and hit Return:

  • nslookup yourdomain.com > c:\netcheck.txt
  • nslookup yourdomain.com 4.2.2.2 >> c:\netcheck.txt
  • pathping yourdomain.com -q 50 -w 500 -4 >> c:\netcheck.txt

This then creates a netcheck.txt file in your C: drive.

Mac

Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal

Then, one at a time, enter these commands and hit Return:

  • cd ~/Desktop/
  • dig yourdomain.com +trace > netcheck.txt
  • dig yourdomain.com @4.2.2.2 >> netcheck.txt
  • traceroute yourdomain.com >> netcheck.txt

This then creates a netcheck.txt file on your Desktop.

Now when you contact the support department of your registrar, host, or ISP you will have an incredibly useful bit of information to send them with the netcheck.txt file. If you’re not sure which support to start with, it never hurts to start with your registrar — they can always point you in the right direction.

Either way, providing the netcheck.txt file will show where the routing is breaking for your hostname and will help support determine what and where the problem is a lot quicker. And quick turnarounds make everyone involved a happy camper. 🙂

I Want My Dot TV

TV

You may have noticed the super sweet pricing we’ve had on .TV domains for the past couple months. $10.99? I mean, holy cow!

Well, we’re happy to announce that this special .TV pricing will continue until the end of 2010. Woohoo!

This means you get two more months of:

  • $10.99 .TV one-year registrations
  • $9.99 .TV multi-year registrations

So if you’ve had an idea for a video site for a while, now’s your chance to secure your .TV domain for as many years as you want..at a ridiculously low price.

Get seen today!

Spooktacular October Promos!

Hey everyone!

We’re pretty excited about the month of October. Sure it’s officially fall and we’re surrounded by absolutely beautiful colors. But we’re really looking forward to this little thing called Halloween at the end of the month. In honor of one of our favorite holidays we have some spooktacular promos just for you!

This month you can use the promo code OMGZOMBIES for:

  • $8.49 .COM & .NET registrations
  • $8.99 .COM & .NET renewals
  • $7.49 .ORG renewals

Don’t forget we’re also offering these specials:

  • $6.99 .IM registrations and renewals
  • $10.99 .TV registrations
  • $6.99 .ASIA registrations

Cheers!

Our Bad Luck Continues!

Hi folks!

We thought we were in the clear after last week’s hardware difficulties, but it seems we’re just not that lucky. Today we are experiencing a completely unrelated hardware issue and no customer sites are affected, only the Name.com website.

Our Systems team has been communicating directly with IBM about our issues and they are recommending we upgrade certain parts of our hardware. We are in the middle of this process now and during this time the Name.com website will not be available. We believe that once our upgrades are complete it should prevent any hardware issues like this going forward.

We apologize for any inconvenience and we thank you dearly for your patience during this time.

Name.com Sponsoring Podcamp Denver!

We’re excited to announce that we will be one of the sponsors of the first ever Podcamp Denver! We had a blast at Podcamp Boulder 2 earlier in the year and we’ll admit that we’re looking forward to participating in one a little closer to home.

Things kick off in Denver this Friday night (10/1) for a bit of networking and planning, and then the “UnConference” runs from 9am to 4pm on Saturday. We’re happy to say that our sponsorship is covering breakfast and much needed caffeine for the attendees. We’ll also be attending and helping answer any domain related questions people may have.

For those unfamiliar, Podcamps are a casual, unorganized conferences for new media enthusiasts and professionals interested in sharing and learning in an open environment. For more details on Podcamps and a list of upcoming events you can find all of the info you need on the official site.

If any of our Colorado peeps are interested in checking out Podcamp Denver, you can register for the event here (it’s FREE!). Hope to see you there!

New to the Team: Pat Ramsey

Okay, okay, those of you that watch Beer Fridays will know that Pat isn’t super new. He actually joined our Dev team earlier in the summer as a software developer, and right away he found himself at home reviewing beers with us in front of a camera. My kind of programmer. 🙂

Pat is a recent graduate of Colorado College down in Colorado Springs, where he majored in Computer Science. When he’s not computing or making beeps and boops (often times with his mouth), he is your typical Coloradoan that enjoys skiing, biking, and chillin’. He also enjoys scuba diving, but I will refrain from making a sarcastic comment about Colorado and its abundance of oceans. Whoops.

We’re very excited to have Pat on board. He codes with the nimble fingers of a seamstress and plays ping pong with the wingspan of a Pterodactyl. One makes him an asset to the team, the other makes him our ping pong nemesis. Either way, we hope you all will join us in (retroactively) welcoming Pat to the Name.com team!

Update on Recent Outages

This week we ended up having quite the series of bad luck.

Things started off when the Name.com website went down twice due to a hardware failure. In both instances no customer sites were affected, only Name.com. Our Systems team worked swiftly to restore accessibility and both times they had Name.com back online in under 30 minutes. An accomplishment we have to say we’re pretty proud of.

Then, just when we thought we were in the clear, we experienced a separate hardware issue when a RAID controller failed on one of our shared hosting servers. This happened on Tuesday, September 21, at 12:15pm MDT (GMT-6). Unfortunately since this was a shared server, some customers experienced downtime.

Our Systems team worked through the night trying to restore the service. When plans A, B, and C failed, we finally had to move on to plan X. Thankfully we have backup servers for these “just in case” type of situations and no customer data was lost during this outage.

The vast majority of customer sites were back online by Wednesday, September 22, at 11am MDT (GMT-6), and any accounts still experiencing issues were personally contacted and updated until they were restored.

We understand the serious nature of this outage and that for some customers this meant their businesses were offline. To all of the customers that experienced downtime, we sincerely apologize. You trust us to keep your sites up and running, and in this instance we failed you.

While there was nothing we could have done to prevent this particular hardware failure, we have learned a great deal about how we can improve our response time and restoration process. Our team is critically evaluating everything that happened to see if we can prevent outages like this in the future. We are also taking steps to ensure that if we ever get hit with bad luck like this again, we can be quicker and more efficient at restoring your services. After all, time is money and your time is just as important to us as it is to you.

Again, we apologize for the events that occurred this week. We will be sending an email out to all affected customers explaining everything that happened and compensating each account for the time their service was down. This is the least we can do for the inconveniences caused by this situation.

Everyone’s patience and support during the past couple of days has really been fantastic, and we thank you. Further proof that our customers are, in fact, the best. 🙂