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FMP in depth - technical details

The Basic Stuff

FMP operates two servers.

Currently, our primary server is cloud hosted at One Source Networks in Austin, Texas. FMP's second server is cloud hosted with Linode, LLC from their data center in Dallas, TX. Both facilities provide a 100% uptime guarantee and redundant connections to the Internet, insuring that your website or other Internet resource at FMP will be available to you and your customers 24 by 7.

Both servers run the Linux operating system based on the Ubuntu server distribution of Linux

Web service for both servers is provided by by Apache, version 2.2.8. Active Server technology is provided by PHP version 5. Database service is provided by MySQL version 5.

FMP's Active Server Technologies

· PHP5

PHP provides a complete programming API to website developers for generation of dynamic HTML content. The features of PHP are too numerous to list here, but include dynamic image creation, HTTP authentication, file upload support, HTTP cookie support, database support, easy forms processing, and much more. PHP is seamlessly integraged into the Apache web server and provides all the hooks for accessing data from databases managed by the MySQL server. A great deal more information on PHP is available on the PHP website

FMP makes a number of 3rd party libraries and several custom extensions available to programmers who wish to develop their own PHP applications on FMP's servers.

· MySQL MySQL is a powerful multi-user, multi-threaded SQL database client/server system. MySQL implements a substantial subset of ANSI SQL and is fully supported in the PHP scripting language. FMP's web server acts as a MySQL client for PHP-enabled pages which need database support. Any web page content which can be stored in a database (products and their prices, names and addresses, etc.) can be served using PHP and MySQL. MySQL is the most popular database server for use with PHP active server technology. See the MySQL website for more information.
· CGI CGI (Common Gateway Interface) supports HTML forms, enabling visitors to your website to enter information which will be processed in some fashion or emailed to you. FMP supports CGI scripts as compiled programs or as Perl scripts. All CGI scripts are subject to a security review. Use of CGI scripts is deprecated in favor of PHP, but is available if your web application absolutely requires it. Contact Lindsay Haisley at 512-259-1190 if you need CGI support.
· SSI SSI (Server Side Includes) allows files to be "pulled in" to a document for display and provides support for selective display of content based on various tests and conditions. Programs can be executed from within a page and the results displayed to provide all or a portion of the content for the page. The use of SSI is deprecated. The capabilities of SSI are a small subset of those offered by PHP (see above) but if you have a pre-written website or web application that absolutely requires SSI, it's available. Contact Lindsay Haisley at 512-259-1190 for further information.


Mail service is provided by Sam Varshavchik's excellent Courier mail server. Spam is filtered from incoming email at two different points. Incoming email is accepted or rejected 'at the front door' using a selection of advisory 'black hole' lists of known sources of spam. Once email has been accepted by the mail server, it is analyzed on a per-account basis by SpamAssassin and inspected for viruses by ClamAV. Mail identified as spam or found to contain a known virus is segregated for your further analysis. Customers may set up and manage their own mailboxes and mail redirections using a password-protected website. Spam and virus filtering may be selectively disabled for any mailbox.

About 80% of incoming spam is detected and refused by FMP's mail server using a set of 6 advisory blacklists of known spam sources. This method occasionally results in false positives - rejection of legitimate email misidentified as spam - and can be disabled on a per-mailbox basis using FMP's customer mail management web user interface. Alternatively, on request, spam blocking can be turned off for an entire domain name.

For customers needing to transfer email securely over the public internet, FMP provides a secure email connection using Secure Sockets. This option is most useful for FMP's commercial customers needing to collect sensitive information such as credit card numbers from their customers, but is available for anyone, for any mailbox, by properly configuring a local mail client. See "Using Secure Email at FMP" for details on how to set up several popular email programs to use secure email transfers.

The default maximum message size for the Courier mail server is 10 megabytes. If you anticipate receiving email messages larger than this from correspondents using mail servers with fixed IP addresses, this limit can be set to a larger value on a per IP address (inbound) basis, depending on the soruce and the desired limit. Please call for more information. Keep in mind that binary attachments are re-written for transmission through the Internet mail system, enlarging them about 25%.

Mailing Lists

FMP's mailing list services are provided by Mailman. Mailman is an industry-standard list server widely used on the Internet for managing mailing lists. Mailman provides extensive and powerful Web-based list and subscriber management interfaces for both list administrators and indivudual subscribers, and its flexibility and ease of use are its most attractive features. A demo website is available on FMP. Call or email for details.


Backups of our servers, including customer websites, stored email, database data, mailing list archives, etc. are made weekly to a hard drive at FMP's office using the Amanda backup software suite.

FMP Computer Services
Lindsay Haisley, senior administrator
PO Box 126
Leander, TX 78646
Phone: 512.259.1190