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  1. #1
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    Question How long is too long for a host to be down?
    How long should a host be down, my hosting company, before I decide to leave? They have never been down before that i know of, but they were today, still are, have been so for at least eight hours and with very poor (read none) communication about it. The only reason they have communicated at all is because of my emails. It is not my website. And I've done nothing new. It is the server.

    I've been thinking and knowing I am paying too much anyway.

  2. #2
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    8 hours? No communication?

    If one of my sites was down, and as much as two hours passed without hearing back from their support people, I'd already have the domain pointed to another server and have the site uploaded by the time it resolves.
    CUSTOM BANNERS by GRAPHICS CANDY ~ Banner Sets and Website Graphics ~ Professional design, reasonable rates
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  3. #3
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I've been with EV1Servers.net for about three or four years, and I think I've had a total of about 30 minutes of downtime that was their fault.

    How much do you make in eight hours? That's what I would look at. If you make $900 per month, that's $30 per day or $10 for 8 hours. At that level, I wouldn't be too concerned about 8 hours of downtime. If you make $9000 per month, that's $100 for 8 hours. That much downtime is a little more of a concern. If you make $90,000 per month, that's $1000 for 8 hours. I wouldn't tolerate that much downtime and would invest the money to make sure it didn't happen.
    Michael Coley
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  4. #4
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    It's not just about "how much was lost during this particular instance of downtime" though.

    A webhost that cannot answer a support request in under 8 hours cannot and should not be relied upon.
    CUSTOM BANNERS by GRAPHICS CANDY ~ Banner Sets and Website Graphics ~ Professional design, reasonable rates
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  5. #5
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    This is a business, treat it as one.

    61 minutes is too long.

    Get a real host.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  6. #6
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    It finally came back up. I received an email that said:

    "fixed"

    and had a couple of screenshots of my site. I guess to prove they weren't lying. Not very professional.

  7. #7
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    I would be very reluctant to change hosts because of a single outage, regardless of the support response.

    I've used dozens of web hosts for different sites over the past 10 years; I've had my own servers in 3 different colocation facilities (in San Jose & Fremont, California); I've personally leased dedicated servers from companies across the USA; and I've dealt with many more hosting companies and colocation facilities on behalf of clients.

    I've had good experiences, bad experiences, and truly awful experiences.

    My experience has been that switching providers rarely eliminates or reduces problems. Indeed, it may turn out that the problem that led to the outage at your current host, is still just waiting to happen at your next host. (I remember when I sold my Compaq DL-360 server -- the buyer asked to make sure I'd already replaced the factory-installed power supply, because "everyone knows that the power supplies in DL-360s fail in the second year," something I'd only learned from my own experience.)

    There is a cost to move a web site -- time to shop and decide; more time to upload content to the new server; more time to learn the new system and test and debug; time and potentially service interruptions when DNS is switched over; perhaps setup fees, perhaps new contract obligations. Those costs don't make sense unless there is, objectively, a reasonable probability that service will actually be better.

    When I was shopping for a colocation facility in 2000, I called CTOs at a number of Bay Area dot-com companies as references, and got the same answer from every single one: among the hosting and colo providers, nobody will deliver what they promise, period. Pretty sad.

    A story: Back in "the early days," I think 1999, one of the new ad networks was having some problems with their servers -- their servers kept going offline, rebooting inexplicably. They couldn't figure out what the problem was: sporadic outages, nothing seemed to be wrong with the hardware, and their technicians were going in and out of the colo facility 6 or 8 times per day to try to figure out the problem. Nothing ever went wrong while the technicians were there. They had a large locked cage for their servers. After several frantic and unproductive days, one of their technicians sat down nearby to rest for a few minutes, and once he was out of the way, the facility's staff went back to work installing servers in the rooms adjacent to theirs. Bang! the servers went down and up again. Somehow the vibration was intermittently severing the power to their entire cage. It turned out that there was a single power connection somewhere that was slipping out of contact "sometimes" when people walked by carrying equipment. Whose fault was that? Does it matter? You fix it, you learn from it, and you move on.

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    IMHO, it's not so much that the host was down, but their cavalier attitude towards the whole thing.

    Our own servers go down about once every 3 months for 5-10 minutes due to all sorts of weird things, but the first thing we do if it is going to be more than 10 minutes is notify affiliates.

    I know when we were first getting started before getting our servers, we had a host in California that literally went down that same day we signed up with them. I was amazed at the way they handled it though, sending us an email when it went down, about 2 hours later to say it would be another hour, and then when it was fixed. Granted it was not much, but they also gave us a month of free hosting as well.

    If your host have the courtesy to at least acknowledge the problem and send a form email to you, they don't deserve your business.

    That's my 2 cents at least. Good luck!
    Matt McWilliams
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  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    I use several hosts across the country. Recently VPScolo, which was a VPS system recommended here by a couple of ABWers a couple years ago, had some problems. I contacted support and they were quick to respond but they just were useless in getting my sites back up. They kept saying they were up and every time I checked they were down. This went on for two days. I dropped them on the third day. Fortunately I only had about a dozen sites there, and the loss was minimal, but still, it was a loss.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
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