[57north-discuss] Fwd: Your BitFolk VPSes ("finzean", "garioch") need to be rebooted for critical maintenance

Robert McWilliam rmcw at allmail.net
Fri Sep 11 09:06:22 BST 2020

Servers will be rebooted next weekend. 

Everything should come back up, but if you notice anything not working after (or before) that: let us know, and someone can give it a poke. 

Robert McWilliam     rmcw at allmail.net    argh.technology

What do you consider to be your median achievement?

----- Original message -----
From: andy at bitfolk.com
To: Robert McWilliam <rmcw at allmail.net>
Subject: Your BitFolk VPSes ("finzean", "garioch") need to be rebooted for critical maintenance
Date: Friday, 11 September 2020 04:05

Dear customer,

We've recently been made aware of some serious security issues in the
hypervisor software that we use (Xen). Fixing these problems will
require us to reboot our hosts and therefore all customer VPSes must
also be rebooted (or experience suspend/restore - see below).

You do not need to respond to this email unless:

- you have questions about the process
- you wish to request monitoring of your VPS and its services
- you wish to have your VPS moved ahead of the scheduled time

We must apply these fixes to ensure the security and reliability both of
your VPSes and of our infrastructure, which is why we have no choice but
to proceed with this work in the short period of time between
notification and the end of the embargo.

I understand that this will prove disruptive to you and that you would
prefer much more notice. When it comes to our own maintenance we do
generally provide more notice, but as this is an upstream security issue
with an embargo date it does mean that we need to reboot everything
before the embargo on the details ends (12:00Z 22 September 2020).

Your VPSes have been assigned a maintenance window during which the
reboots will take place. The start of the maintenance window for each of
your VPSes is listed below, in UTC time zone. Each maintenance window is
up to 60 minutes long, though the work should be completed much sooner
than this, typically within about 15–20 few minutes (yay, SSDs!).

Please note that all of these times are in UTC time zone. If you're in
the UK you'll be at UTC+1 at the time of the maintenance, for example
if your maintenance window says 00:00 that corresponds to 01:00 local
time (BST).

| Name            | Main IPv4     | Window start (UTC) |
|         finzean | | 2020-09-20 00:00   |
|         garioch |  | 2020-09-20 01:00   |

At some point in each maintenance window your VPS will be cleanly shut
down. The host it is on will then be patched and rebooted, and then your
VPS will be brought up again.

You should ensure that your VPS and all its services start up correctly
on boot. We offer a free monitoring service which can help you to know
if your VPS and its services are working correctly. If you have not done
so already then you may want to get in touch with us to have this set
up. You can do that by replying to this email and describing which
services you would like monitored.

If you would prefer for us to attempt to suspend and restore your VPS
to/from storage, resulting in less disruption, then you can indicate
that preference on our web panel at:


Doing so will cause us to add ping checks for your VPS so we can have a
good chance at knowing if the restore was successful.

If the assigned maintenance window is problematic for you, we can move
your VPS to already-patched hardware at some other time in advance of
your assigned maintenance window. This will still require us to shutdown
and then boot your VPS, but the time between shutdown and boot is
typically less than 10 seconds. If you'd like us to do that, please
reply to this email to say so.

If a reboot at all is problematic for you then we can attempt an "almost-
live" migration to already patched hardware. This is a somewhat
experimental process for us, where we suspend your VPS and copy across
its memory image before restoring it on the other hardware. It would
result in a pause of operation for a few tens of seconds. Doing this
also requires you to opt in to suspend and restore. If you'd like us to
do that, please reply to this email to ask about this.

You can learn more about suspend and restore here:


If you have any questions please reply to this email, which will open a
support ticket. There is no need to reply to this email unless you have
further questions, wish to request monitoring, or need your VPS moving
before the assigned window.

Best regards,
Andy Smith
BitFolk Ltd

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