This site is now hosted by a Danish Company, EasySpeedy. After becoming fed up with Layered Technologies, and the prospect of 55 hours of out-of-my-control downtime looming, I moved. The main reason for choosing EasySpeedy (I’d had one positive reference for them, and they’re a bit of an unknown in rating sites such as WebHostingStuff) was that they promised to have the new server up in 30 minutes.
There were two seriously bad pieces of customer service from Layeredtech that annoyed me. In the first, the machine was exploited. Layeredtech are in the US and I’m in South Africa. At 11pm they mailed me to say the machine was in trouble for malicious use of IRC and would be shut down in 6 hours if I didn’t take action. Since 6 hours was 5am in the morning, I was still asleep and the machine was shut down. All this is fair enough so far. Layeredtech have a responsibility not to let these sort of things happen from their infrastructure.
I woke up, saw what had happened, and requested access to the machine so that I could investigate. There was no response. As the mails got more irate, there was still little to no response, and it turned out that since it was after hours, and the staff who had authority to give me access again only worked office hours, I had to wait until they pitched up for work at 1pm my time to gain access.
The second incident happened last Monday. The server went offline. I couldn’t ping it. I asked Layeredtech at 4pm to reboot it, which they did reasonably promptly. The machine was still dead, so they started to investigate. It took until them until 11pm to finally report back, saying that I needed to request a reload. What had happened wasn’t made clear to me at all. Hardware failure, a machine exploit? When I requested a reload, the not-so-fine print said that this would take up to 48 hours. Since that sort of downtime is completely unacceptable, I moved everything to EasySpeedy. The new site, restored from backup, and DNS changes, had all happened while Layeredtech were still restoring (if I recall the ticket hadn’t yet been assigned to anyone to even START reinstalling yet).
I could even have flown to the US and done it myself (well, to be fair, someone who knows a bit more than me perhaps) in the time it took Layeredtech to restore everything.
The day after moving everything, I got a message from EasySpeedy saying that the site would be down the next day, as they were moving premises! Not a fun week at all. However, the downtime was at least planned, so affected people using the server could be informed in advance, and the move didn’t take long.
Let’s hope things go a bit more smoothly from now.