Over the next two weeks you’ll be seeing a number of maintenance windows targeting our Cloud Container platform. During these windows the Control Panel will be put in maintenance mode. We know this can be disruptive so we wanted to take a moment to explain what we’re doing – and it’s all good news.
The short version is that we’re upgrading the operating system under every Cloud Container, ensuring support through to at least April 2025.
And when we say “every Cloud Container”, we mean it. One of the many benefits of our Cloud Containers is that we maintain every customer server in the fleet as part of the product. It’s a product that we intend to support for many years to come. This allows us (and more importantly you) to avoid some of the common downsides of many hosting products such as servers that are old, unpatched, inconsistent and hard to maintain.
For you, this all means that a Cloud Container provisioned on launch day back in March 2016 is essentially identical to one provisioned today. No matter when the server was created it has been updated consistently to match the brand new ones – same operating system (OS), same packages, same settings and the same security patches. This is incredibly powerful and rewarding for both us and our customers because Cloud Containers can continue to improve while not increasing technical debt. The maintenance over the next two weeks is another step in that process.
This all means that a Cloud Container provisioned on launch day back in March 2016 is essentially identical to one provisioned today.
This time around we are updating all servers in the Cloud Container fleet to Ubuntu Focal. Ubuntu Linux is the OS that powers all of these servers. Until now they’ve been running Ubuntu Xenial which was released in 2016 and reaches the end of its standard support life in April. Upgrading our entire fleet of Cloud Containers to Focal provides a bunch of improvements and ensures standard support until at least April 2025. It also means that every single one of our Cloud Container customers will be running the latest system without you having to lift a finger.
We have already started this process with our internal Cloud Containers last week, and now we start with your servers. We plan to complete this work over two weeks as we ramp up the number of servers we do each night.
While this is a complex upgrade, we only expect around five minutes of downtime per server. When you consider how scared most people are of updating their personal computers and how long that takes we think that’s pretty impressive. We’re doing this across hundreds of Cloud Container servers running tens of thousands of containers – so it’s a significant challenge but we’re ready.
So that’s a little context around the upcoming maintenance windows. We’re sure you’ll see the value in this work and once again we thank you for your patience during any disruption. See you on the other side.