Atlas will undergo an in-place platform conversion beginning Saturday, April 4 at 2 PM EDT. During this time, Atlas will be converted to the Launchpad (“ApisCP“) continuous release model enjoyed by Delta+ platforms. No significant changes are planned; however, some interruptions will occur as the platform is scrubbed and converted.

Why in-place?

Atlas, released in 2017, is very similar to Delta released in 2018. Delta is internally identical to Epsilon, released in 2019, with a few release-specific configuration changes. Platform features are synchronized by Bootstrapper, which has been an ongoing side project for the last 2 years. It’s used by ApisCP to print out servers and in the case of Delta/Epsilon/Orion, automatically deploy platform improvements in a consistent, fail-safe manner.

Why now?

The Internet is only getting more cumbersome as we rapidly decentralize through a rise in self-hosting. Get a VPS, install WordPress – all is done… until 6 months when a vulnerability is discovered and that server gets hacked. Hackers are armed to the teeth with an array of unmonitored low-latency, high-availability machines that wreak havoc causing transient disruptions for older server families (Atlas/Luna/Sol/Helios).

10,000+ IPs later. 24 hours of threat blocks on Epsilon

My focus over the last year has been tightening server security, adequately imposing safeguards to improve performance and maximize uptime. After all, that’s been my focus since day one some 18 years ago. Now that the codebase has come together, let’s move forward and build an indefatigable, robust hosting platform that’s the envy of others.

Atlas possesses many of the qualities of Delta that make this transition fairly seamless. My math looks good on paper, so let’s move forward without causing significant disruption to everyone else.

Future changes

Atlas will also convert to isolated PHP-FPM workers in the coming weeks. These workers achieve ~3x higher throughput than the current PHP architecture. Better yet, this approach establishes firm boundaries on resource consumption per site minimizing noisy neighbors and making threat deterrence easier to activate. Any request over the allotted slots returns an immediate error without consuming further system resources. The requests get picked up by evasive in the jail above, and banned without causing a spike in traffic.

Once Atlas’ in-place migration completes, I’ll schedule another ISAPI => FPM in-place migration a week or two later.

Enjoy!

– Matt

Atlas in-place platform conversion
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