The UMG hosting platform (UMG)


Hosting of legacy / design agency websites

Contacts and support

Your Universal Music Group UK (UMGUK) contact is the first person to speak to with respect to hosting a website. Your UMGUK contact will provide you with the contact details of the relevant vice versa personnel. These details may vary depending on the nature and final hosting point of your website.

Hosting Questionnarire is here. UMG_hosting_questionnaire.doc

Server details

The following servers are provided as access points for hosting existing and future bespoke Universal Music Group UK websites running under both Linux and Microsoft Windows:

  1. Base name: webbeta.sov.uk.vvhp.net
    IP address external:- 83.245.79.73
    Operating system: RedHat Enterprise Linux Release 4
    Server software: Apache 2.0.52, PHP 5.1.2
    This is a cluster server comprising of several servers having different IP's respectively.
  1. Base name: VV44DB01.mer.uk.vvhp.net
    Operating system: Red Hat Enterprise Linux Release 4
    Server software: Apache 2.0.52, MySql 4.1.12, PHP 4.3.9
  1. Base name: vv44db04.sov.uk.vvhp.net
    Operating system: RedHat Enterprise Linux Release 4
    Server software: Apache 2.0.52, MySql 4.1.7, PHP 4.3.9
  1. Base name: VV44BB01.sov.uk.vvhp.net(PHP Forum Server)
    Operating system: RedHat Enterprise Linux Release 4
    Server Software: Apache 2.0.55, PHP 5.1.2
  1. Base name: vv44bb02.sov.uk.vvhp.net(YaBB Forum Server)
    Operating system: RedHat Enterprise Linux Release 4
    Server Software: Apache 2.0.52, PHP 4.3.9, Perl 5.8.5
  1. Base name: vv44dbcl03.sov.uk.vvhp.net
    Operating system: RedHat Enterprise Linux Release 4
    Server Software: Apache 1.3.33,MySql 5.1.17-0, Perl 5.8.5
  1. Base name: www-ms01.mer.uk.vvhp.net
    Operating system: Microsoft Windows 2003 Server
    Server Software: IIS, ASP.NET, PHP

These are physical servers within a transparent server matrix.

Access to the systems

On request (through your appointed contact) we will arrange blinkered and time-limited ftp access to the above servers for the sole purpose of uploading new versions of site content. Under no circumstances will shell or remote desktop access to be granted. Any database or other administration work to be carried out needs to be flagged up with us through your contact. Access is limited for security and stability. From time to time we will contact you with updated access details.

If you need to upload large amounts (e.g. hundreds of megabytes) of content, please do so during off-peak times (weekdays up to 3pm). This will avoid impacting on visitors to existing sites. If you have an extremely large amount of content to upload, please contact us as we may be able to arrange to install your content directly from CD.

We require a list of names and email addresses of each person given access to any system. Do not allow login credentials to be passed to any person without informing us first via support@vnetrix.com. If at any time you suspect that your login credentials may have been compromised, please inform us (at the above email address) immediately.

Databases

Direct access to the platform’s database servers is not possible. We provide a web based front end to your database: phpMyAdmin. This is available at: http://webbeta.sov.uk.vvhp.net/accessdb

Forums

1.    Communities / forums (message boards)

 

NOTE: UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES CAN A MESSAGE BOARD BE HOSTED IN THE ARTIST SERVER ENVIRONMENT ITSELF!  CHOOSE ONE OF THE ALTERNATIVES BELOW.

 

·         Universal’s standard forum facility is CommunityServer by Telligent Systems.  We have a cluster system set up to accommodate a single sign-on for members across all forums.

 

·         We have an in-house capability to provide you with a forum within the cluster – to set up a forum please email support@vnetrix.com and CC your label contact and request – you will then be provided a forum link.  Forum web addresses are of the form: http://artisttitle.forums.umusic.co.uk

 

Therefore you and your label contact need to agree on what “artist title” should be (as you may or may not want it to match the domain name chosen for the artist site itself), and ensure that Vnetrix are informed of this when you contact them.

 

·         Design skin of the forum:

 

This is handled by a trusted agency that is experienced with the .NET platform.  They provide a "master.Master" file which is a kind of html page template used within Microsoft's "ASP.NET" (more commonly referred to as "dot net") web programming platform. 

 

It defines where various elements of the eventually-served page will go, and how they will look. These are used by Community Server, our centralised forum platform.  The agency have made modifications to the default file (on a per-forum basis) to include the artist and advert content at the top of the page.

Other elements, such as the colour scheme and wallpaper, are done separately through the forum's control panel.  Due to the cutting-edge nature of the system there is little official documentation other than can be gleaned by searching their well-stocked forums (http://communityserver.org/forums).  Our single designated agency will handle this design work because this makes it possible for our administrators to supervise and to have a single point of contact.  But please see below.

 

·         RSS feeds from the Community Server Forums:

 

These feeds mean agencies can make the artist site look more alive/dynamic by taking an RSS feed (of the threads / posts) programmatically and put it into the site.  Agencies can simply go to the forum, make a note of the RSS link (usually at the very bottom of the page), and then use the appropriate RSS library calls in the language you are coding the site in.  So for PHP for example, a library called Magpie RSS can be used (http://magpierss.sourceforge.net/), and then the feed section could be created with something along the following lines:

 

<?php

        $rss = fetch_rss ('artistx.forums.umusic.co.uk/aggregaterss.aspx');

        // The above URL needs to be the forum RSS address

 

        $item = reset ($rss->items); // Take just the first item

        // Now generate a hyperlink to the item:

        echo "<a target=_blank href=\"" . $item['link'] . "\">";

        echo $item['title']; // Show the title of the post

        echo $item['author']; // Show the forum member's name

        echo "</a>";

?>

 

·         YABB:

 

If however you wish to provide your own forum, the other type we support is YABB (this does not deliver an RSS feed).   YABB boards are also hosted on servers separate from the artist site servers themselves.

 

For configuration of a YABB board, access and upload details please contact support@vnetrix.com

The forums, whenever desired are set up on our BBS servers- specially configured forum servers. These servers use YaBB software (http://www.yabbforum.com)  If requested, this forum is automatically created when your website is first created. You will need to change the url on the website to point to the new url provided by our support contact. When the forum is created, you are also provided with administrative account of the same.

You may need to customise your forum before getting live with the same. The customization for YaBB forums is done by logging as "admin" and following the Admin --> Admin Center link.

Help site for configuring YaBB forums is as follows :

http://www.yabbforum.com/

 

·         Safe Surf Link

 

This should appear on all forums / especially “younger consumer” based sites: http://umusic.co.uk/home/safe.php

 

All message boards to include:

468 x 60 and 12 0 x 60 ad tags (please request from emma.trant@umusic.com)

Skin to match new site design

Link to mailing list and VIP areas

Cookie so members are not asked to enter details on each visit

Buy Button

Link back to main site

DNS details for the website’s address

The IP address you need is listed in the server details section above. Your website’s DNS record needs to “point to” either the IP address for the Linux (83.245.79.70) or the Microsoft Windows server (83.245.79.92) depending on which operating system your website will reside. These are the only IP addresses you need from the platform – from time to time you may encounter others but they should never be used for any website’s DNS record.

Stability and efficiency

The resources of the platform are shared among many UMGUK websites. Very popular sites will naturally take up more resources than those receiving less consumer traffic. However attention must be paid to the efficiency of and security of each website (including very popular ones). As the developer agency it is your responsibility to ensure that the assets and program code you upload will not pose a risk to the system and other websites. The following points must be adhered to:

  • Do not use the platform as a development environment – always test and validate sites before uploading
  • Consider uploading flat content rather than infrequently updated dynamic content (i.e. do not pass unnecessary site elements through calls to PHP or other scripts)
  • Do not install binary libraries on to the system. Contact us first with details of any functionality you are missing
  • Do not force browsers to reload content which changes infrequently (i.e. give browsers the maximum opportunity to use a local or ISP cache over making a full http request)
  • Avoid unnecessary code being passed through interpreters or compilers. Reduce bloated PHP and other scripts to the minimum required functionality
  • All code must have all the security options (specific to the coding language) activated
  • Always validate / untaint data passed to your code before processing it further. Include validation code both in your web pages and in the script that processes this data
  • Ensure that database access is as efficient as possible. For example avoid queries that require large amounts of memory to run

Dealing with “misbehaving” websites

Websites which misbehave can pose stability and security risks to the platform. Misbehaviour is defined as an extreme over-use of system resources or the use of insecure / poor coding. The platform is monitored continuously and any issues are brought quickly to the attention of system administrators. In the first instance, the offending site will have its access to resources greatly reduced, and your primary technical contact will be alerted to the issue at hand. In extreme circumstances the offending site may have to be brought down while the problem is investigated. It is in everyone’s best interests to ensure that sites are well constructed and pose no threat to the security or availability of other sites or data.

Backups

It is extremely important that you keep full backups of your website assets. The platform is regularly backed up; however this is a disaster recovery service only. We cannot retrieve assets (for example something that has been deleted or overwritten by accident) on an ad-hoc basis.

This webpage is served by and is the property of the Universal Music Group UK © for enquiries contact info@umusic.com.