Joe Gardiner

General Manager

Joe is the General Manager of CatN. He oversees product development, customer engagement and commercial activities. You can find him on Google Plus.

WordPress Survey Quiz Tool Plugin is back!

I’m pleased to announce that we have updated and re-released the very popular WPSQT plugin. It’s a highly customisable Quiz, Survey and Poll plugin to which allows for unlimited questions and sections – perfect for running an exam website or collecting visitor feedback .You can check it out on WordPress plugin directory.

With this release (2.14) we’ve responded to feedback on the forums and have fixed a number of bugs.

  • We have fixed the survey results display so that it no longer gives and error and fails for some question types.
  • You can now include an option in the results shortcode to display the results as a chart.
  • We have reformatted the auto-review display so that quiz or survey users can review their results more easily.
  • We have fixed the save/resume quiz feature so this is no longer broken.
  • The plugin icon has been changed to match the control panel design of newer version of WordPress.
  • Many other minors bugs fixed!

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Introducing a new login and signup user experience

login-screenshot

The new CatN user login and signup system offers a simpler, streamlined look for accessing the control panel. Since the launch of vCluster it has been exciting to watch our customer base grow and gather your feedback. One message kept coming through, the login system is confusing and obtrusive.

We’ve been working hard to improve this and give you a login process that is painless and as simple as possible. Today we pushed our this system live, and next time you go to log in to the control panel you’ll see a brand new design.

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Important Update: The OpenSSL Heartbleed Bug

A serious vulnerability to the OpenSSL project, named ‘Heartbleed’, was disclosed a couple of days ago. This vulnerability allows anyone on the internet to read information protected by vulnerable versions of OpenSSL, as the research team who discovered the vulnerability explain.

This bug affects a whole range of internet services such as email, instant messaging, virtual network connections and the web.

We immediately began updating all of our systems to the patched version of OpenSSL. This included vCluster which was never running a vulnerable version in production, but was updated to the patched version anyway. We will continue to monitor the situation and look at educating our intrusion detection systems to pick up activity patterns relating to this vulnerability.

What should our customers do?

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Introducing self signed SSL certificates in just two clicks!

We’ve improved the way SSL certificate creation for vCluster works in the CatN control panel. If you’re running a development or test environment on vCluster, you can now quickly generate and assign a self signed SSL certificate to allow you test SSL functionality.

You can now create and assign a self-signed certificate on one of your vCluster domains in just two clicks. Log into the control panel at cp.c4.catn.com and access your vCluster filesystem settings panel. Take a look at the right hand sidebar and click through on the SSL item to get to the admin panel.

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Forecasting clouds for 2014

2014 Cloud Predictions Blog Header

2013 has come to an end so it’s time to look to the future and asses the cloud market as a cloud hosting provider.

In 2013 we saw Amazon form a partnership with Eucalyptus in an attempt to encourage Enterprise to migrate their critical applications to the cloud provider; Rackspace handed ongoing management of OpenStack to a multi-vendor organisation; we witnessed G-Cloud continue to grow despite criticism from some market analysts; most importantly at CatN we released version 2.0 of our PHP platform as a Service (PaaS) called vCluster!

How is the cloud market going to develop in 2014?

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Domain service provider Livetodot announces new partnership with cloud hosting company CatN

Domain name registration company, Livetodot, today announces a new partnership with cloud hosting company, CatN. The two companies will be working closely together to offer integrated services to their customers.

Livetodot is an established and well respected company that has been offering domain registration for over 10 years. They were the first UK company offering .it domains and aim to centralise the domain registration process for as many extensions as possible to simplify domain registration and management.

Dana Kasprzyk, Head of Support at Livetodot said,

With CatN developing a range of exciting new products the time seemed right to work together. CatN are part of the cloud movement, and it is important for us to make sure our customers are able to benefit from the cloud services CatN offer. Over the coming months we’re going to be offering our customers a number of special offers for CatN services.

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How will the G-Cloud framework change over time?

In this video Simon Trigg, Head of Solutions talks about how he thinks the G-Cloud framework will develop. Which services will see the most sales, will G-Cloud still be dominated by consultancy services or will the new Digital Services framework see G-Cloud be solely for commodity services? From the series of interviews – G-Cloud 4: Cultivating Cloud Insight.

CatN hosts new Esther Rantzen charity

Providing scalable vCluster hosting service free of charge

Web hosting company, CatN, is providing its services free of charge to The Silver Line – www.thesilverline.org.uk – a new charity for elderly people that has been launched this week by TV presenter Esther Rantzen. CatN will host the charity’s website with web tools that have been designed to scale automatically to cope with significant spikes in traffic as awareness of The Silver Line grows.

There are 10 million older people over the age of 65 living in Britain today and 51 per cent of people over 75 live alone. Isolation and loneliness have a dramatically negative effect on older people, shortening their lives, creating depression, hastening the onset of dementia and causing physical effects such as malnutrition.

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CatN Profiles – Damion Parry

Each month we profile a different member of the CatN team so you can learn a little more about the experts tinkering away behind the scenes. Damion’s up this time!

Damion MugshotName
Damion Parry

Role
Systems Administrator

Letters after name
BSc(Hons), NDip Arb

What do you do at CatN?
Sys Admin, Network Admin, part time developer, chasing my tail…

Now describe it in three words.
Fix the things

What made you get into your role?

It was a happy accident really, I keep flitting between being a developer & a sys admin. Now at CatN I get to be both.

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Five reasons SMEs are not moving to the cloud

Despite the growth in adoption of cloud services there are still plenty of businesses resisting a move. We see a lot about large enterprise having concerns about security and sovereignty of data but what are the reasons SMEs are giving for not adopting cloud?

I have put together some responses to some of the concerns I have heard raised by SMEs.

  1. What will happen if the cloud company I use goes out of business?

    The key thing here is the way an application is developed. It is important to develop an application in a way that allows it to be moved to any cloud provider (PaaS or IaaS) if a serious problem occurs. As the industry standardises it becomes increasingly easy to do this through the use of deployment tools such as Puppet and Ansible. If you find yourself relying on specific features that only your current provider offers then you’re doing it wrong.

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