“The website is down” – LiveSide.net edition

First, of course, our apologies for another 18 hour outage.  Almost exactly two weeks ago, a problem at our web host involving a shared power supply to our server caused a 17 hour outage, and then last night at about 10:20 pm pdt we went down for another 18 hour binge.  Apparently this was the same problem, and apparently if “the guy” who physically reboots the server “has a family emergency” and doesn’t return phone calls to the tech support center all day, he can’t “go over to the data center” and flip the switch to get us back online, for nearly a complete day.

Obviously this is entirely unacceptable.  Just as a point of reference, after we started LiveSide on a shared server in January 2006 and quickly tipped over, and after a quick pit stop onto a virtual private server, we chose 1&1 as our web host, and signed up for a dedicated server.  We wanted to make sure we stayed up and running even when the latest Windows Live news broke, and our specs: a 3.06ghz processor, 2gb ram, 160gb hard drive, and 2,000gb bandwidth was supposed to handle the best you could throw at us.

We found out that specs don’t matter if there’s nobody around to reboot if we need it, or if poorly performing power supplies aren’t replaced or fixed.

While we realize that running on a single server is never going to offer perfect uptime, the length of these outages, when all we needed was a hard reboot, just can’t be condoned.  We can’t say that we were impressed with the customer service either.  We tried to give 1&1 ample opportunities to make good on their poor performance, and to help us to get onto a stable platform so that we could remain their customers.  They did offer us two months free, but after the length of this latest outage, with no indication that the core of the problem (onsite tech support, for example, or assistance in moving to a new platform) would be addressed, we felt we had no choice but to look elsewhere.

So today, in the midst of our outage, we signed up for a new server at ThePlanet.com.  We’re pretty excited about the specs:

  • Xeon 3060 dual core (2.4g) Conroe processor
  • 250gb SATA hard drive
  • 4gb ddr2 ram
  • 5,000gb monthly bandwidth
  • Windows Server 2008 Web Edition

Yes, redundant RAID would be nice, but we sunk the money into RAM and we’ll back things up as best we can.  With all that bandwidth, Windows Server 2008, and Community Server 2008, we may just start hosting our own videos ;).

Probably more importantly, ThePlanet maintains their own servers in Dallas and Houston, and their tech support people are onsite.  If we knew it was any other way at 1&1, we wouldn’t be here apologizing, but live and learn.

We’ve been planning for an upgrade to Community Server 2008 anyway, so hopefully by early August we’ll have new digs and a new look.

(note: links unintentionally left out of this post.  We realize that problems occur, and that others may not have the experience with 1&1 that we did.  YMMV. And since we haven’t even moved to The Planet yet, we don’t want to sing their praises just yet ;)  ).

Anyway we’ll be all up and running just in time for Wave 3, the PDC, and Windows 7 (and from the looks of the headlines today, maybe even a YHOO-MSFT deal).  Onward and Upward!