I've just finished pushing out the new Jamroom Core 6.5.0 release to the Marketplace, along with a dozen or so other module updates that go along with the new Core release. The new Jamroom 6.5.0 core has been in beta for a few months - I want to thank everyone that has given us feedback on the new release, and for some of you I appreciate your patience while I have fixed things on your "live" site
The new Core contains several months worth of improvements and fixes - some of the bigger features and changes include:
There's dozens and dozens of other tweaks, bug fixes and updates as well - our goal is for Jamroom 6.5.0 to be a solid foundation for the foreseeable future.
IMPORT NOTE: This will be the LAST version of the Jamroom Core that supports PHP 5 - if you are still running PHP 5, I would highly recommend upgrading to PHP 7 - you will see noticeable speed and performance improvements across the board.
Make sure and check out the UPGRADE GUIDE I've posted in the forum:
If you are a Jamroom Hosting customer, feel free to open a support ticket if you would like one of the team members to assist in upgrading your site for you.
We hope you enjoy the new releases!
Well it has been a long time - way too long! - since I wrote a blog post to keep everyone up to date on what has been happening in the world of Jamroom. My 2020 "resolution" is to do this more often
I hope everyone is staying safe right now - it's been a very weird couple of months with everyone "sheltering at home", but for the Jamroom Team and myself it's been "mostly" business as usual. We're already a small, distributed team that works remotely so there's not been much change in how we work or what we've been working on - we've still been hard at work on all things Jamroom. We hope you've been doing well and staying safe and healthy - many of our JR customers have been using this "home time" to work on their sites and get things updated - so if you're feeling a little bored of Netflix now is a good time to focus on your Jamroom site!
For those of you that have been keeping up with the latest Jamroom Beta releases, you've seen the ongoing Core and module work that we've been working on - it's been coming a long well and we are REALLY close to the first Jamroom 6.5 stable release! There is a TON of updates in Jamroom 6.5 - many are focused on performance improvements and speed, but there is a lot of cool new stuff as well. One of the benefits of hosting really large Jamroom sites is that we have access to performance data and in turn have insights in to what is making a Jamroom site slow. We can then focus our energy on heavily optimizing those locations in the code that could be causing an issue (almost always related to database and file system access).
The other big changes in the Jamroom Core is that this will be the first release that can be used with the all new Jamroom Cluster. The Jamroom Cluster is a hosted solution that you'll be hearing more about in the next few months as we start to roll this out for some of our largest Jamroom customers. The Jamroom Cluster is a fully scalable solution for those that have outgrown a single server and need high end performance, or want to be sure they don't have down time. More on that later though
I'll be posting more about Jamroom 6.5, as well as our plans for Jamroom 7 over the next few months - so be watching for new blog posts as I try hard to stick to my new years resolution.
It's been quite a while since our last Blog post and I wanted to take some time to fill everyone in on what's been happening behind the scenes here with the Jamroom team. Although it may not be apparent (due to the lack of us blogging!) we've been very, very busy on this end.
Jamroom Core 6.3.0 is coming
If you already subscribe to the Beta Channel, you have seen the first few beta releases of Jamroom Core 6.2.1. There have been a number of NEW features and changes that have continued to pour in to this release, and we've decided to bump the version up to Jamroom Core 6.3.0. If you are on the Beta channel, you'll see the first beta of 6.3.0 is now available . Some of the bigger and more notable changes are:
There's also a ton of small updates, tweaks and bug fixes in place as well - the Jamroom Core 6.3 upgrade is shaping up really well and we think you're going to like the update.
Working with new Jamroom Clients
Over the last year we've started working on new projects with a few large Jamroom customers that are going fantastic. They are very supportive of the work we're doing on Jamroom, and a lot of new updates and development is being driven by the Jamroom team working on these new projects.
Some of these clients are very close to launching and our hope is to have a blog post or white paper featuring these projects so the Jamroom community can get an "inside look" at the work that goes in to taking an idea on paper to a complete product that can be shipped and sold to users.
We're excited they've chosen to build their product on Jamroom and can't wait to share.
Spring Special on Jamroom Professional and Jamroom Premium!
For a VERY limited time - only through March 31st! - we are having a "Spring Special" on the self hosted Jamroom Licenses . Now through the end of the month you can get:
Jamroom Professional for $349 - save $150. This gets you all Jamroom Premium items on up to 4 sites, 1 year of VIP support AND professional installation.
Jamroom Premium for $199 - save $100. This gets you all Jamroom Premium items on up to 2 sites and 30 days of VIP Support.
These deals are only good through March 31st so grab it now if you've been waiting for a good deal
That's it for now - with spring right around the corner (finally!) I'm personally hoping for sunny skies and warmer temperatures.
As you may know, Jamroom users can 'sponsor' the development of custom modules for their sites on the understanding that these modules, or variants of them, could be made available to all other Jamroom users. Over ther past couple of years this has resulted in quiet a few modules stacked up on the shelf that might well be useful to other Jamroom users. These are some of them, in no particular order -
These will now be released, maybe one a week (so as not to swamp us with support questions ), the first one being Audio Watermark - https://www.jamroom.net/the-jamroom-network/networkmarket/484/audio-watermark - Many thanks to user for originally sponsoring this module.
Maybe let us know which ones would be most useful to you so that we can prioritise subsequent releases?
For most of our Jamroom Hosted customers, the one thing they can never get enough of is disk space - with an active system it is really easy to eat up a ton of disk space with audio, video, images, etc. Jamroom includes several tools to try to limit the amount of disk space used for items, but it's always a trade off between quality and space.
We're excited to announce that all Jamroom Hosted customer are getting free disk space upgrades on their servers - even the existing 12G server gets a free upgrade We're rolling out all new plans that incorporate the larger disk space. For those of you on higher end plans, the disk space is going up A LOT - this allows you to grow for much longer on your existing Hosted plan as well as keep higher quality versions of many of your media items.
Here's the new Hosted Plans with their cost per month as well as Disk Space / CPU Count / RAM:
15G / 1 CPU / 1G RAM - $39 - current 12G users get free upgrade to 15G disk space
25G / 1 CPU / 1G RAM - $49 new plan
40G / 1 CPU / 2G RAM - $59 - current 24G users get free upgrade
80G / 2 CPU / 4G RAM - $69 - current 48G users get free upgrade
160G / 4 CPU / 8G RAM - $89 - current 96G users get free upgrade
320G / 6 CPU / 16G RAM - $149 - current 192G users get free upgrade
640G / 8 CPU / 32G RAM - $249 - current 384G users get free upgrade
1280G /16 CPU / 64G RAM - $499 - new plan
So for example - if you currently have a 192G plan you are getting a FREE upgrade to 320G Disk space - that's almost double!
Upgrading is easy - just open a ticket with us and we can take care of it for you. Note that it will require some downtime for your server - your existing server data will be migrated to a new server that has the larger disk space. This usually only takes a few minutes on the small servers, but can take up to 30 minutes or so on the larger servers. So let us know a good time you'd like it to be done at and we will do our best to accommodate the request. If we don't hear from you within 30 days we will upgrade your server on your behalf.
You can find more details on all the new plans on our SSD Hosting Plans page:
We hope you enjoy the new plans and the free upgrades - if you have any feedback, comments or concerns please post in the comments below and we can help.
- The Jamroom Team
The new Payment Support, Subscriptions and Item Bundle modules have just been uploaded to the Jamroom 6.1 Beta channel!
We have been working on these modules extensively for the last 8 weeks, and it is time to take the "wraps off" and get them into everyone's hands.
New Payment Support Module
The new Payment Support module is designed as a replacement for the existing FoxyCart eCommerce module and features 3 Gateway Plugins: Stripe, PayPal and FoxyCart:
- If you are a NEW site and are looking to get setup with eCommerce capabilities, you should use Stripe or FoxyCart. PayPal is more limited in it's support of advanced features. If you are using FoxyCart you get a bonus and can accept BOTH Stripe and PayPal.
- If you are an existing site that wants to upgrade from the FoxyCart eCommerce module, note that at this time the modules are in BETA so do not upgrade quite yet. We do have an upgrade tool to "import" existing FoxyCart data into the new Payment Support module, so make sure you test that on your development site before running on your live site.
New Subscriptions Module
The other half of the eCommerce upgrade is the new Subscriptions module. The Subscriptions module changes how subscriptions work in Jamroom, and provides a much more flexible system for creating and selling subscription in your Jamroom. You can now create multiple subscriptions to the same quota, which gives you the flexibility to offer varying subscription lengths without having clones of multiple quotas.
Like the Payment Support module, the Subscriptions module has an "import" tool to import your existing subscribers from the FoxyCart eCommerce module into the new Subscriptions module, so make sure and check that out on your development site.
New Item Bundles Module
The new Item Bundles module is a replacement for the FoxyCart Bundles module, and provides some improvements in how Bundles are handled, processed and downloaded. Note that if you are running the FoxyCart Bundle module and update to the Payment Support module, you must also update to the Item Bundles module and THEN run the "Import Bundles" tool from the Item Bundles tool menu.
Note that the Item Bundles module is also in BETA - do not run on your live site!
New Products Module - Coming Soon!
We are also hard at work on an upgrade for the Merchandise module - at this time the Merchandise module does NOT work with the new Payment Support module, so be on the watch for our new "Products" module coming soon that is a replacement for the Merchandise module, and features new Product Categories and custom fields.
We hope you really like the new module - please let us know any feedback you have on what you would like to see in these new modules. The new modules will become the foundation for all eCommerce in Jamroom going forward, so we want everyone to love how they work
If you have any questions or feedback, please join us in the Jamroom User Support Forum:
Those of you that are Jamroom regulars may have noticed over the past 6 weeks or so that I've not been online as much as normal. While I'd love to say I've been relaxing and enjoying some time off, I have to admit instead that I have been holed up in the Jamroom Development Cave, and am just now getting out to some fresh air and brighter skies (although up here in Seattle we seem to be stuck in an extended winter). The result of the last 6 weeks is that Jamroom 6.1 is now in BETA .
Jamroom 6.1 is an incremental upgrade over Jamroom 6.0, and while there's not a lot of new "visual" cues that it is different than Jamroom 6.0, there are a number of important under the hood upgrades that have been needed. Some of these were planned during the JR 6.0 development cycle and didn't make it in time, while others have been continuing work that started with Jamroom Core 6.0:
- New System Tools module - We've moved all the different binary tools used by Jamroom modules into a new "System Tools" module. Since these binaries change very little, having them be in a separate module that does not need to be upgraded very often results in much smaller "regular" module sizes, and will save on disk space.
- Upgraded Queue Support - This is a continuation of the work started in Core 6.0 and now the queue system is even more robust. We've also added better support for when Jamroom is running in a cluster and when the queue is under heavy load.
- Upgraded Template Compare - The Template Compare section has been upgraded and should do a better job of showing differences across different skins and modules.
- New "Full Page" Caching option - There is a new "Full Page Caching" Core Global Config option that enables a full page cache for logged out users. Jamroom has always used a partial page cache, where sections/widgets are cached individually, but this new option for logged out users allows entire pages to be cached and speeds things up for visitors, while reducing the load on your JR server.
- New Image Caching - The resized image cache in the Image Support module has been rebuilt from the ground up to be much faster, and for cached images requires ZERO database queries.
I've also been working on a complete overhaul of the Jamroom Cluster modules, and in the next 1-2 months we will be rolling out Jamroom Cluster 2.0 which makes running Jamroom on a cluster of servers as easy as running on a single server, so stay tuned. If you are running a large Jamroom site, and are interested in upgrading to Jamroom's cluster solution for High Availability, contact us and we can work with you to ensure we have something that fits your needs.
To upgrade and get involved with the Jamroom 6.1 beta, you can do so by:
1) Log in to your Jamroom site as the master admin
2) Go to ACP -> Core -> Marketplace -> Tools and click on the Marketplace Channels button.
3) Enter "JAMROOM61BETA" into the "Channel Invite Code" field and then click "add channel"
You can now go to the "System Updates" tab and upgrade to Jamroom Core 6.1 + modules. After upgrading don't forget to install the new System Tools module as well.
Like usual, Jamroom 6.1 is a BETA RELEASE - do not upgrade your "live" site to Jamroom 6.1 at this time. We anticipate a short beta cycle for Jamroom 6.1, so you won't have to wait long to get updated, but for now hold off from upgrading your production sites to Jamroom 6.1 until we get feedback from the community on how things are going.
We hope you enjoy the Jamroom 6.1 beta and new updates. Please post any feedback or questions or concerns to the User Support Forum and we can help.
One of the best things about running Jamroom Hosted is that it gives us insights into the overall performance of Jamroom across hundreds of domains - pointing out areas where we can improve the Jamroom code to make things "fly". For example - some of the recent updates to the Core queue and caching systems have come from being able to see what types of operations are having the biggest impact on the performance of a site.
Nucleos - the eyes on your server
To help us maintain a high level of service and performance we have built our own custom monitoring system for your Jamroom Hosted servers - "Nucleos". Nucleos is a custom Jamroom module (of course!) that on regular intervals queries the Jamroom Hosted servers for a variety of information:
- What is the current CPU load on the Server?
- How much memory and disk space is the server using?
- Is the web server up and handling user requests?
- Are there any "slow" SQL queries to report?
- Are any SSL certificates going to expire and did they renew correctly?
And more. All of this comes in to an easy to use interface that alerts us to any issues that may be cropping up on a server. For many of these checks we can be alerted well before there is any issue, which gives us time to fix the issue before it becomes a real issue.
Whenever a check is run on a server, the results are stored in a plugin archive - this allows us to create graphs for many of the data points we collect, which in turn lets us see if our actions to improve performance for a specific sub system actually works. We can view the BEFORE and AFTER graph and see the difference - there’s no guessing involved.
As Jamroom Hosted has evolved and grown, so too has Nucleos. We’re constantly trying to improve the reliability and performance of our systems by tweaking and adding new checks to ensure we have a solid view of the performance of the Jamroom Hosted servers. We're excited about what we've built and wanted to share HOW we monitor your servers for those that are interested.
Bringing Back the Jamroom Hosted 12G Plan
As many of you know a few months back we discontinued the Jamroom Hosted 4G, 8G and 12G Hosted plans - mainly due to operating costs on the backend related to our custom backup solution. I'm excited to announce that after reworking our backup solution we've been able to lower our backend costs, and that has allowed us to re-introduce the Jamroom Hosted 12G plan!
For only $39 a month you get access to the same great features found in all Jamroom Hosted Plans:
View Jamroom Hosted SSD Plans
If you’re NOT using Jamroom Hosted and are currently hosting Jamroom 5+ elsewhere, we can import your existing Jamroom site for FREE and get you up and running on the fastest and most reliable Jamroom Hosting you can get - Jamroom Hosted.
Contact Us and let us know how we can help take your site to the next level.
Thanks for reading!
- The Jamroom Team