Ubuntu Focal Benefits

Ubuntu Focal Benefits

Announcing: The newest Ubuntu distribution-release “Focal” is now available for our “Managed Servers”.

New Ubuntu Version 20.04 LTS

On our “managed” systems we use Ubuntu Linux long term support version (LTS), in order to provide a long support cycle and uniform systems over many years.

Newly added: version “Focal” 20.04 LTS, which will receive security patches and bug fixes from Canonical until year 2030.

 

Our managed services have been undergoing an extensively quality assurance process to ensure that they are ready for the new Ubuntu release.

The following new features on our managed services are available using Ubuntu 20.04 LTS:

Web Services

Apache

The widely-used apache web server is now available in version 2.4.41. Support of TLS version 1.3 is included in Ubuntu Focal.

We provide Apache web server in these combinations:

  • Apache with PHP-FPM (7.4) # older php versions available on request
  • Apache Phusion Passenger (Ruby)
  • Apache Python-WSGI

Nginx

Nginx has received many bug fixes and new features in version 1.18.0.

A short list of the new features:

  • Newly added: We provide nginx together with PHP-FPM, so that you can run your php applications under nginx as well
  • Support for TLS protocol 1.3
  • When access is limited by password, the new auth_delay directive allows to rate limit unsuccessful authentication attempts 
  • The newly-added directives proxy_upload_rate and proxy_download_rate control the stream module traffic rates

We supply nginx in the following combinations:

  • Nginx with PHP-FPM (7.4) # older php versions available on request
  • Nginx with uWSGI Emperor

All bug fixes and changes in nginx version 1.18 are documented on the official site:

https://nginx.org/en/CHANGES-1.18 

Varnish

Varnish plays an important role in our setups as load-balancer and cache-booster.

News from Varnish 6.0:

  • Support for Unix Domain Sockets (included in vcl 4.1)
  • HTTP/2 protocol code has been massively rewritten

The overall changelog of varnish version 6 is documented here:

https://varnish-cache.org/docs/6.0/whats-new/changes-6.0.html 

Databases

MySQL

MySQL is supplied in version 8. A lot has changed on the codebase since version 5.7 which has been in-use on Ubuntu Bionic.

Important Information: Only php 7.4 compatible applications fully support mysql 8.

Some important  innovations are:

  • A new transaction-oriented Data Dictionary has been integrated
  • “Atomic DDL Statements” are now possible together with the transaction-based Data Dictionary
  • The upgrade-procedure has been directly integrated into the mysql database binaries and is no longer triggered by mysql_upgrade
  • A new “EXPLAIN ANALYZE” statement offers extended information about the execution of SELECT statements in a clear tree structure

Detailed information about all changes in MySQL 8 can be found at:

https://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/8.0/en/mysql-nutshell.html 

MariaDB

As an alternative to Oracle MySQL we offer MariaDB, version 10.3 or 10.4.

Several interesting features include:

  • A new “Storage Aggregate Functions” feature allows complex calculations to be swapped out into functions instead of repeated passing of multiple SQL statements
  • “System Versioned Tables” allow you to store the entire history of a row, from creation to modification to deletion - A very useful function for audit-relevant table contents
  • A new sql_mode called "oracle", which supports Oracle-compatible sequences and PL/SQL blocks as well as stored routines
  • Independent of the storage engine, column compression is now available, which stores very large columns "compressed" on the file system

Detailed information about all changes can be found on the MariaDB page:

https://mariadb.com/kb/en/changes-improvements-in-mariadb-103/ 

PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL is provided in version 12.4 which offers many new features including:

  • B-tree index memory usage has been reduced, while the read/write performance increased
  • More powerful queries on tables with several thousand partitions
  • MCV (Multi-column most-common Value) statistics are possible via CREATE STATISTICS 
  • More powerful JSON parse support with the new SQL/JSON Path Language
  • A new special column, "Generated Columns", which is calculated from existing columns.

If you want to know more about version 12.4, the complete release notes are available here:

https://www.postgresql.org/docs/12/release-12-4.html 

MongoDB

A small selection of new features of version 3.6.8:

  • Enhanced lookup with multiple join conditions and sub-queries with variable specifications and pipeline executions.
  • Many new aggregation operators like arrayToObject or dateFromString

The complete release notes are available directly from MongoDB:

https://docs.mongodb.com/manual/release-notes/3.6/ 

Container

Podman

In the container area we offer Podman version 2.1.1 as a docker alternative.

Podman is a "daemonless" container engine to develop, administrate and run OCI Containers on your Linux system. The containers run in the context of the system user www-data and are therefore completely independent of the root user.

The syntax of podman is mostly identical to Docker, so the following bash alias can be used to run Docker commands via podman:

$ alias docker=podman

For Podman, there is a detailed article on our nine blog worth exploring:

https://www.nine.ch/en/blog/lets-have-some-fun-with-containers-on-nine-managed-servers

In-Memory DBs

Redis

The In-Memory Key-Value Store Redis is available in version 5.0:

  • New Stream Data Type with Consumer Groups
  • Active defragmentation (v2)
  • Many bug fixes and security updates

Memcached

Memcached has only made a minor version change, with mostly bug fixes implemented.

Search-Engine

Elasticsearch

In version 7.6 Elasticsearch has achieved massive performance improvements in date and number sorting. If you need a newer version of Elasticsearch, we can provide it on demand.

More information about the new features in Elasticsearch can be found here: 

https://www.elastic.co/blog/elasticsearch-7-6-0-released 

Security

DDoS Protection

If you are interested in a CDN, or want to protect yourself against DDoS attacks, you can benefit from our "Managed DDoS Protection" option.

https://www.nine.ch/en/products/managed-hybrid-cloud-infrastructure/managed-ddos-protection

Wireguard

The new Ubuntu kernel now natively supports Wireguard.

If you want Wireguard as your new VPN tunnel solution, please contact us. We are currently in the process of developing it as a managed service, and we can incorporate your input.

ipsec / openvpn

For secure tunnel connections to the managed server we provide Strongswan and openvpn in the latest versions.

Additional SFTP-Accounts

SFTP/FTP accounts with restricted folder access can be managed via ftpadmin2.

Upgrade to Focal

Are you currently using an older release and interested in an upgrade?

Please contact us for further information:


Email Support

Armin Schenkel

Senior Engineer Managed Services @ nine