Plesk, adding an alias to a subdomain

If you ever come across the need to add an alias name to your existing subdomain, that is hosted on a Plesk server; you landed in the right place to learn how to do it!

From your Plesk Control Panel, navigate to Domains and then to the sub.domain.you.need. You should find an option called Apache 7nginx Settings:

You should now be able to see the additional Directives for HTTP, HTTPS and Nginx:

Here, you should add your desired names.

For Additional directives for HTTP, add a line like the following example:

ServerAlias aliasname.example.dom

For Additional directives for HTTPS, add a line similar to the above.

For Additional nginx directives, the format is:

server_name alias.dubdomain.com;

An that is it. I hope you can make use of this information.

Visual Studio Code – Activity Bar Icons

It seems that I am not alone in the funny episode that happened to me a few days ago, and that is why I am writing this small article.

We all use the icons in the activity bar on the left. I am sure of it.

Apparently, on some occasions, some people manage to hide one or more icons available here. In my particular case, I remember it was the Source Contol icon.

The million-dollar question for some people is: “How to get the icon(s) back?” – I know this must be super simple to most of you reading this, and also how ridiculous this may sound to many. However, after searching for a bit, I realised that I am not alone in this query.

I will not delay you more. Here is the solution:

A bit of thought about RAID

Given my present job role, I am often confronted with some assumptions people have about RAID arrays.

Thinking of those conversations, I decided to write a small and human-readable (I believe) article about this.

Let’s start by explaining what Hardware RAID is.
A RAID array, based in hardware requires a controller (AKA RAID Controler) physically installed in the system. Depending on your goal, and available hard drives, you can opt for several RAID levels—Please check about them here.

For not, let’s focus on what RAID can and cannot do for you.

What RAID will not be able to assure you?


Uptime of 100%. While a RAID based logical volume can offer some resilience and prevent some downtime, like many other systems, this is not a magical solution to have zero downtime issues. With RAID, the risk associated with hardware still exists. If a RAID Controler fails, you will have downtime to replace it. However, failures on such components are indeed less current than for example a hard drive failing, given its moving parts.


RAID is NOT a backup solution!

A frequently tested and properly planned backup solution will never be replaceable with a RAID array of any sorts.
You can suffer from data corruption, security incidents (ramson ware attacks for example), a myriad of human errors, and only a proper backup solution will rescue you by restoring a good set of data to replace the one you lost.

RAID will only protect you against hard drives fail on a running array an give you margin to replace the faulty drives (up to a limited number) without losing data or having downtime, but only this. I know I am repeating myself, but RAID is NOT a backup solution.

I would even advise that before considering RAID-based hardware, you should think ahead of a backup solution if you still don’t have one.


RAID does not always allow dynamically increasing in size the existing array.

If you need more space, in most cases, you cannot only add another drive to the array. Most of the times, it is true that you are going to have to start from the beginning, rebuilding and reinitializing the array.


Is RAID a good option for virtualisation and high-availability scenarios?

The answer is a straightforward No.

For such environments the right choice is based in SAN storage.

RAID levels, what are they and what they offer

RAID 0 (also known as Striping)

RAID 0 will use any number of disks and will merge them, creating one large logical volume. They are usually used to achieve high speeds. Such is possible because reading and writing happen from multiple disks at the same time.

However, this has a cost. RAID 0 does not offer redundancy at all. Loosing an individual hard drive will result in complete data loss.

To be honest, This RAID level is less reliable when compared on having a single hard drive, for example.

RAID 0 can be useful, for example for cache purposes, where speed is vital while losing data would not matter. In the short RAID 0 should only be used for SPEED scenarios.

RAID 1 ( Or mirroring)

In short, almost every use case of RAID 1 is where you have two identical hard drives, and they will have the data mirrored/copied.

The use of RAID 1 is mostly for redundancy. Imagine that you lose a hard drive. With RAID 1 you will remain with the system up, relying on the remaining hard drive.

The broken hard drive can be swapped most likely with no downtime (but exceptions may occur).

There is also some benefit on what matter increased read performance with this level of RAID; once data can actually be read off any of the existing hard drives in the array.

In parallel, there will be a slightly higher write latency due to the fact the data will be written to both hard drives.

RAID 5 and 6

RAID 5 requires at least 3 hard drives. RAID 6 requires at least 4.

RAID 5 and 6 use the concept of RAID 0 when it comes striping the data across multiple drives to increase performance. However, it introduces redundancy. For that, the parity of information is distributed across the hard drives.

I will not bore you with detailed technical aspects in this article. Instead, let’s focus on what you should know about RAID 5 and RAID 6 regarding losing hard drives.

With RAID 5 you can lose only one har drive. If you have more than one hard drive failing, your array is no longer healthy, and there is the loss of data.

RAID 6 allows you to have up to two failed hard drives before your array is compromised.

Both RAID 5 and RAID 6 will improve your read performance dramatically. Regarding writing to the hard drives, performance depends grandly on the RAID controller you chose for using and its computing capacities.

The fact that the RAID controller should be an independent component in your system is justified by the need to calculate the data parity and write it across all hard drives.

RAID 5 and RAID 6 are often good choices for file servers, standard web servers, archive solutions ( near and deep) and other systems where most of the I/O transactions are meant to be reading.

If you are planning to run heavy writing to the hard drive systems, these RAID levels of RAID are not the right choice.  As an example, a database server would not perform well on a system with storage based on RAID 5 or 6

A Note on performance and hard drive loss and size of drives

A RAID 5 or 6 system is going to have a considerable impact in performance in the eventuality of losing a hard drive. The performance will have to be sacrificed to assure that the environment stays operational. When replacing the failed drive, the rebuilt process will have to start. Such a process will use a significant amount of the total performance of the array. The rebuild times are getting longer and longer, in line with the hard drives getting bigger and bigger.

RAID 10

RAID 10 can run with a minimum of 4 drives.

It combines RAID 1 and RAID 0. Usually, this is the type of RAID you would look for if you’re looking for speed and still having redundancy.

Let’s take the example of a four hard drives configuration. Two hard drives will be mirrored holding half of the striped data and on the other two, also mirrored, the other half of the data. 

Practically such RAID level assures you that you can lose any single drive, and then perhaps a second drive, without losing data.

Bear in mind that like RAID 1, there will be only the capacity of half the drives, but read and write performance are improved.

Nested RAID levels

Also known as hybrid RAID. They combine two or more of the standard RAID levels. I promise I will write an article alone on these RAID Levels in the short future.

Chrome Tab Groups: How to enable them.

Tab Groups is an attractive new feature available since a few days ago in Chrome. This capability will allow you to organize all your open tabs into groups, making it easier to find your way through or even creating better separation of topics during the day. This post will show you how to enable it right now!

Let’s start to assure you have the latest available version of Chrome browser. To do so, you just have to navigate to Settings>About Chrome.

Once you have the latest version installed, you can type the URL chrome://flags/ in your address bar:

You can then search for “tab” and you will have available the following settings:

As you can see from the example above, Tab Groups was enabled in my Chrome Settings (along with Collapse). Chrome will ask you to reload after applying these new settings.

Congratulations! You can now create new Tab Groups and improve your browsing experience. How can you do that?

To create a new Group of Tabs, you can right-click a tab and select Add to new group option.
You will notice that you can change colours by clicking on the dot that appears in the new group treated. From there you can also change its name.
To add tabs to an existing group, you can right-click each open tab and select Add to a group. Alternatively, you can simply drag the tab and drop on the group. To remove tabs from a group, it’s the reverse process.
The video below will show you this in more detail.

Using Chrome Tab Groups

A pandemic or a global lesson from nature?

During the last days, my family and I had to change habits, cope and put in practice imposed measures to help to delay as much as possible the spread. Yes, we are concerned and scared up to a degree.

It gutted us the fact we had to cancel a surprise trip to Portugal. I alone being a sole child am suffering not from homesick (once I consider Cardiff my Home), but it is quite hard not to be able to see my parents for almost two years now.

They live in a place that was close to people from outside the moment Portugal started to have some positive cases. It was done like that to protect the population of that place: older people with underlying health issues. Getting out is also not permitted.

I feel gutted because my kids and wife were quite keen to see some friends again and remember some local experiences. After all, it is the country from we all came.

Again, I am only hurt (in a much deeper way, I believed I would be) about not being able to see my parents in such a hard moment for all of us. They are not getting younger.

I could not care less about the money lost with plane fares and hospitality.

I honestly believe in general people are not yet convinced this is deadly serious, and we all have to take a step back from our usual routines, assuring with that that we will be able to go back and do all we did as we did in good health.

I understand life cannot just stop. I know we are all living in a very economic centric society. But shouldn’t Human beings come first in all circumstances? I fear no to be able to assure bread and butter to the family if I have to keep taking some chances that from my perspective, could entirely be avoided. I don’t take them as a personal choice, and I often fall in a Catch 21 situation because ” things have to be done” to keep the economy-centric mentality alive.

Do I have to ask if I fall sick or worst, who will care about me? My family, for sure, but “care” means being able to survive in a world fueled by money. If I fail, the lives of another three human beings will be less secure for a while.

In the right name of truth, isn’t this a wakeup call from the Planet? Does it not seem like Earth is finding a way to self-balance itself in a moment Humans appear to be a virus infecting it all together?

Before cars, boats, planes, houses, night outs leisure and goods, Nature was here. We invented these “needs.” I do like them as well, note. But it seems that once a century we are called back down to reality by Nature. It has a clear way to remember all of us how fragile and dependent on the surroundings we are.

I am quite positive we, as a species, will outcome this pandemic. Covid-19 will be just a note in history books in a century. However, please do remember: we are fragile. Other dominant species before us perished. It seems like there were already five mass extinction events in this pale blue dot that floats in a not so central place of the Milkyway.

Do not get me wrong. I am proud to be Human. I always get surprised by our capacity to understand what is around us. Science seems to have come a long way ( and it did ), but there is still a lot to learn.

One of the things I believe we could use this time to discover would be a complete replacement of the existing money-driven mentality with something more realistic. Not an easy one, I know. To be completely honest, I would not know how to do it. I just know we have to.

To all of you, please stay safe and do your best with your available choices.

Managing Wi-Fi with command line in Windows

Properly deploying and managing a wi-fi network either at home or at the office often reveals to be a challenging task. Today I will try to help you improve your deploys and/or fixes with the sole use if your Windows machine and a simple command.

Continue reading “Managing Wi-Fi with command line in Windows”

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