Grid Management System

Zetamex has been hard at work, making sure before our relaunch that everything we have is ready for rollout and is not half complete. Well we feel it is time to show you whats been taking us the most time, and how far we are from being 100% complete with it.

Dashboard – click picture to enlarge

Meet the new My Zetamex, Grid Management System. With it you can now manage your grids, simulators, and regions all from one single place. Not only that, but it also gets rid of any need for third party systems such as Diva Wifi, and other related technologies. This system is 100% written from scratch using PHP and MySQL. Lets now continue on our tour of the new system.

User List – click picture to enlarge

Here is your Manage Users, interface. This allows you to see all the users registered, pending approval, banned, grid gods, and edit them. This interface is very simplistic and designed to look easy on the eyes, even though there is a lot of information in front of you.

Admin Create User – click picture to enlarge

The ability for the grid administrator from our feedback, is that they have always wanted to be able to register avatars without them physically having to make them on the customer registration screen. So now from here you can register a new account from the back-end clean and simple.

Edit User (customer info blurred) – click picture to enlarge

Now editing users has never been simpler, and resetting their password for them as well. We know how frustrating it can be when users need their password reset we coded it right in for you. Also we understand user levels are confusing, so we included descriptions of what each number is and its a drop down select tool so no need to understand the numbers is needed.

Grid Settings – click picture to enlarge

Now we wanted to build the easiest way for you to manage your grid, so all the settings are right here for you to configure. We also had tons of requests for controlled registrations so you can set that at Registration Type, where its public or controlled. If your registrations are controlled, the users will register, but be set at -2 aka “pending” they can not login till you set them to 0 aka “resident” status. This panel also allows you to change the start region and location settings, and starter avatars as well.

Embed Codes – click picture to enlarge

Now we want to be a true white label hosting company, on top of that we don’t want our customers have to redirect people to a website to register or have it forced upon them to redirect people to diva wifi, so now we are building it to be simple embed codes to look like part of your website, and did I mention these forms are unbranded and HTTPS not HTTP so the information transmitted for your registrations are secure.

The system is already working, we are just finishing a few features up: starter avatars, reset password, and user control panel. Everything else is done and working, for existing customers who want to go ahead and switch to the new interface, just send in a ticket from your My Zetamex account and we will move you over, and you can start making your registrations look like its part of your site today.

The Answer To The Craziness

Whats been going on

First I would like to thank everyone who has been putting up with our problems we have been having these past few weeks. Zetamex has been through more in these past few weeks that it has had issues in all the years combined we been in service. This greatly saddens me to tell you why, we have been under heavy attack.

You may have noticed delays in ticket response times larger than normal, this is due to we are working hard to secure our back-end from all types of attacks to prevent anymore downtime. We feel pretty confident we have finally secured our systems, but we are already working hard on tracking all future threats and have developed new and faster ways to making sure we are prepared on all fronts against both exploits, and blunt attacks against our servers.

Just to give you an example, Zetamex’s main website, which is hosted on its own server away from all simulators and client information, gets about over 300 hacking attempts on a slow day. We of course have implemented tools that just ban ip addresses that attempt to access our secure servers, to prevent any network slowdown. We have rolled this type of technology out too all our servers, and have been performing a large scale security audit of our systems and locking them down as hard as we can.

Upgrades to My Zetamex

In other news, we have made some great strides with My Zetamex and we are happy to say we are getting really close to calling it a Release Candidate. There are only a few more bugs and features we have to put in, but if you haven’t noticed as of late. We have rolled out the ability to download your OAR’s if your a Region customer without requesting, just by clicking a button to get your OAR file. We also several new features people have been asking for, such as the ability to change your password, support tickets being integrated no more separate login. We are still working on the separate login for billing however, this will most likely come at a later date as you don’t need to login to billing to pay invoices.

We are rolling out a new and more secure file management tool for our simulator customers. We have shutdown the standard FTP because of vulnerabilities we found in it. We will be turning on the new file management within the next two days. After which, we plan on starting the roll out documentation on how to use My Zetamex and all its new features. We are also always wanting to hear your feedback, so please remember you can always send feedback through our ticketing system.

Changes you should know about

In recent news, we have been having issues with customers having problems in various grids we offer region hosting in. We have decided to roll out our own custom version of OpenSimulator on these regions. These custom releases are close to stock code, but with minor edits we have made for better uptime and reliability. For example, if you are in Metropolis and you teleport to one of your regions hosted with us there, you will see “ZetaMetro Release” when you land into those regions. We have already started getting new feedback, telling us of the improvements that this has already had for several people. Granted some of the problems are not on our end, and we are still giving our ten percent to help out Metropolis with its growing costs to operate a grid at this large of a capacity.

Also from our research, we regret to inform all Region customers and Region customers only, this does NOT effect Simulator customers. That we are turning off the ability to use NPCs, as they are resource intensive and have been known to cause issues on these shared environments. If you wish to use NPCs, we ask you upgrade to our Simulator plans. We do apologize greatly we have to do this, but it is so we can continue to offer affordable quality services for all our clients. This policy change will go in effect on October 10th, 2014.

Again, I personally thank every single one of you for putting up with all the problems we have been having recently. But we are very happy to say things should start calming down here very shortly, as My Zetamex gets finished up, and now that we have secured our servers.

Happy Halloween Wishes,
Timothy Francis Rogers
Zetamex Acting CEO

From The Desk of the New CEO

Dear Zetamex Customers,

Hello Zetamex community,
My name is Richard Lehman and I will be the one taking over Zetamex as the new CEO. You can also call me Reuskay.

I have had an interest in virtual worlds for many years and have been using them for a long time. I want to make Zetamex flourish and become the best company it can be. I am a very determined individual who can see both the good and the bad of a situation. I can see that Zetamex has much opportunity to become bigger and an even better company at what it does now. What I plan for this company, can put it on the top and be extremely helpful for our users.

What I do have planned for Zetamex is to increase pricing for the user but not by much. Our current customers will be getting honored the Grandfather Service and they will continue being charged the same as what they are now. For any upgrades or new customers they will be paying the new prices. I want our current consumers to remain happy with our efforts to bring them the best. That is what I plan on for everyone we have now and our future customers.

Our current Service promises will stay in affect and not change. We will be adding new ones as we move along with the growing of Zetamex. We will announce any new policies and promises once they are made. I am not going to do anything to cause any of our current customers to want to change their services.

In fact our performance and our service will increase. We will have better customer service and support. With our new prices it also comes along with new tools that everyone will have access to. Our phone service will be active and running every day if anyone needs help with anything. I want Zetamex the flourish and be all that it can be and I know it can be so much more. We are looking into expanding the company to bigger and brighter ideas. We will be looking forward to partnering with other companies and improving our services. We have a couple companies and grids in mind that we want to become part of and help support.

Another Thing we are going to start doing is we are going to give 10% of what we make every month and put them towards the non-profit grids we host regions on. They are Metropolis and OSgrid. We want to support them because they are non-profit and this will be a steady donation they will get every month.

One of the new platforms that is being developed is called WhiteCore. We will follow the WhiteCore development as it has peaked interests in the past, and is on the road to become a mature and stable project. At such point, we feel it is ready we will bring it to our customers; we will look into bringing it at an affordable price like Zetamex does already.

I am looking forward to putting Zetamex back on track and being the best it can and I hope to be the best CEO to the company I can be; and, to bring it to the top. If you would like to write to me or ask me any questions, or say hello you can email me reuskay@zetamex.com.

Sincerely,

Richard Lehman
President, Zetamex

Change In CEO ~ A Letter From Acting President Timothy Rogers

Dear Zetamex Customers,

Firstly I don’t want anyone to panic reading this letter, the new CEO will not be stepping in till December 1, 2014 as active President of Zetamex. The new CEO is shadowing me for now, and learning how Zetamex does things before he takes his position as acting President. I also want to mention that I am still going to be a part of Zetamex but at a lesser capacity than I am now.

No services will be effected, in fact services should greatly improve for all customers. I would never sell Zetamex without trusting the person/company it would be sold too. I also wouldn’t sell it to the new person if I could no longer be a part of the company at any capacity, for that matter a key decider in the future and direction of the company. So I will still be at a chief role in the company, at the moment the title hasn’t been determined yet for me, but the two likely roles are either COO or CTO.

The reason I am doing this as a letter from the CEO rather than a press release, is Zetamex has always been about transparency, showing our good and our bad. Also doing our best to never hide anything from our customers or future customers. But the reason I have handed over the CEO seat of Zetamex is for my personal health, it is nothing serious but Zetamex has grown bigger than I can handle or deal with the stress to handle all the sectors and projects Zetamex does. I found a person who has the ability to handle the work load, and they share my thoughts and feelings of keeping Zetamex a transparent company and a leader in the virtual world market.

You the customer have nothing to worry about, while changes will come to Zetamex over time; the new CEO will be honoring all customers current pricing, plans, and setup. Customers will not need to worry about doing anything or preparing for any server moves or anything. Everything is being kept at the same way it is now, just more staff is coming in to help improve customer satisfaction. No layoffs are going to occur, in fact a staff increase is coming to help manage work loads of all the projects.

Zetamex will continue its work to help the open metaverse, meaning those who are not our customers will continue to receive tools and features from our company. Zetamex’s mission hasn’t changed since its opening. The new CEO will be announcing his identity and his plans in the near future, right now he is compiling Zetamex’s new business plan, something I never really did, I will admit I winged Zetamex this far. So I feel we are already a big step into the future of Zetamex.

I hope that this calms and reassures all Zetamex customers about this change over. You are free to email me directly at timothyrogers@zetamex.com if you have any questions or concerns about this, I would be happy to re-assure you about the changes, that you have nothing to worry about.

Thank you again, I look forward to continue working for all of you over the future of all the great things Zetamex has to offer you as a customer and the community as a whole.

Sincerely,

Timothy Francis Rogers
President, Zetamex

Zetamex Big Changes

Well as many of you know, Zetamex has been doing a lot of work and we are still cleaning up our mess getting everyone their control back. But we wanted to give you a bit of a heads up of the biggest things we have done in this switch over.

openSUSE Official Logo

We have join the clan of the lizards, we have switched to openSUSE. For those of you who don’t know what openSUSE is, in a quick summery it is the open source base to SUSE Enterprise Linux(which is the biggest competitor to Red Hat Enterprise Linux). We didn’t make this choice lightly, in fact we made this choice because the same people who maintain Mono(the software framework which OpenSimulator uses to run on Linux) are part of the same team that develops openSUSE.

The biggest reasons for the switch are openSUSE is the base for an Enterprise grade Linux distribution, it is very secure and stable. The best part which we love about openSUSE is their way of being able to use the openSUSE Factory service to install latest versions of software, while keeping the base of the system stable. This means it makes it easier for us to keep things like Mono updated and bleeding edge, while keeping the inter workings of the system down to stable base packages.

NGINX (pronounced “engine-X”) Official Logo All Right Reserved by NGINX

We have also made the switch to moving all our web services behind Nginx and ditching Apache. Since the latest version of Apache, version 2.4, we have not been too happy with how everything has had to be restructured. So we been fans of Nginx for quite a long time, it is an alternative web server that is super light weight compared to most web servers. It is under the BSD license, which is the same License that OpenSimulator uses.

The biggest bennifits that Nginx will be bringing to the table is it uses way less system resources, and for that reason alone many big companies have already made the switch to Nginx. To name a few CloudFlare, WordPress.com, and FastMail.FM have made the switch because it can scale so much better than Apache can, while using much less resources. A study was done to see how the two compare, it was noticed that Nginx can serve pages and resources much faster than Apache. Take a look at a report by DreamHost on them comparing web server here.

ZetaWorlds News

First up in the ZetaWorlds news, since our launch we have no logo. So we started a contest, which we been running since last week, a logo for ZetaWorlds. Also once all of them have been submitted we will start voting on what logo the community wants. There is a few prices you get for winning, $20 usd via PayPal, your logo used, and 1 year free for a 7.50/month plan region on ZetaWorlds. So head over to the forums and join in, the dead line is this Friday. Forum Post: http://zetaworlds.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=5

Working on a new Inventory Managment system, where you will be able to manage your inventory from the web. While this is already do able via Diva Distro, we are working on a inventory management system that will allow you to manage and sort your inventory from the web. It will also allow you to view note cards, images, and scripts from the web as well. This is under private development, but it is on its way.

Zetamex Open Source News

ZetamexWeb, an open source grid web user interface. This is something we are working on, and testing it on ZetaWorlds. Once it is stable it will be going live on ZetaWorlds, so grids will be able to take advantage of a grid web interface that we ourself will be using for ZetaWorlds. If you are interested in helping with the development, we are happy to have your help just shoot us an email at timothyrogers[at]zetamex.com to join our private secure git server to help with this opensource project.

Landmass Tool, we know that Maria does monthly reports and we know variable regions cause a counting problem. So we made a tool that fixes that, you can grab this tool from our repo’s and see it in action over here: http://login.zetaworlds.com/zmw/landmass.php

My Zetamex Coming Online

 We have just laid in place our new back-end and server base, now we begin finishing off My Zetamex. We do apologize that right now you don’t have any control panel access as we currently have that all broken while we plugin the new system. However, it should all be back up and running within the next two days fully connected and running.

New Features Include:

  • Single Login For Everything (except billing for just a little while longer)
  • Web File Management (NO MORE FTP)
  • Web Based Console (For those that want it)
  • Access all your regions, simulators, and grids all from one place
  • Order new services right away with your discount already attached
  • OAR Direct Downloads for Region customers no more request form

Becoming More User Friendly

As many of you may know, we pretty much been booming with sales of our $3/month estate regions. Well we are finished with our experiments, and we have made some changes too all our plans. We have had a lot of feedback, and we listen to our customers. So lets lay it out here, and start with our biggest change.

Click To Enlarge
That’s right guys, if you look at our simulator plans, you told us you wanted to have var regions all the way up to 4×4 vars or mega(so you can use ODE). Well listened, Starter, Plus, and Max now offer this. The Unlimited still does not offer this as it could be abused at a bigger size. So we hope all you guys are excited that we care what you our customer wants.
Click To Enlarge
Sorry guys, Estate Regions are GONE! You missed out, if you didn’t grab them while you did. However, Region Plans have come in to replace them. Plans from $3/month to $7.50/month and by the way take a look at the screenshot of the new order form below.
Click To Enlarge
That’s right, we listened. You wanted to pick where that region goes, its name, and even a starting OAR file. So we listened and here it is guys! These are not experimental plans, these plans are new and part of our line up. We are so excited to welcome them into the Zetamex line up.

To address some concerns some customers have sent in, we are offering these plans to our customers for them to have these regions attached to their grids. However, you must order them through the new order form for customers, so that you can have them setup for you regions. It should be noted that these plans do not accept the discount of grid ownership because of their already low cost. Grid owners can also choose to write us at support[at]zetamex.com for us to add your grid to the public list for orders as well if you would like.

Click To Enlarge
The first official beta is underway of ZetaPanel v3(soon to be renamed as My Zetamex), and the best part about this new interface is that you can now reset your password yourself. We know users have been requesting that forever, and we are now offering it. So we want to give you a quick run down of its new features, and the features that are still being built-in.
  • We never encrypt passwords, encryption means it can be un-encrypted. We hash, and when we hash we hash 5 times. That means if we were to become compromised, it is next to impossible for someone to reverse your password back into raw text.
  • Rename regions(only simulator plans), with just a few clicks.
  • Move regions(only simulator plans), with just a few clicks.
  • No more FTP, files are managed all from the web interface.
  • Runs as a mobile app on your phone!
  • Single Sign-On Services (This means 1 login for services, support, and billing)
  • Manage Your Grid (search, classifieds, user accounts, and more)
  • Much more!
All this built on the latest version of PHP and Linux, making sure we have the strongest security in the business. But don’t get too excited, we are only selecting certain random customers to entertain this beta project. But we are excited to say it is in its first stable beta release.
Lastly, we are currently working on remodeling our phone support system so please stay tuned to our http://zetamexstatus.com/ for update on its integration into our support system.
As always, we are an industry leader in Virtual World Hosting. Providing top quality service and availability around the world. A company that isn’t afraid to change with the times, and look for new and better ways to provide new and more affordable ways to give our users the edge over the competition. Zetamex has servers in over 9 different countries and is always expanding.