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  1. #1

    Liquidweb shared, deteriorating?

    Hi, All,
    For quite some time I've developed sites on Liquidweb, and I've had great tech support there, so I've recommended them to many. I can remember times when I had really tough problems, and they've stuck with me for a long time until it's fixed.

    But now my clients are having all kinds of trouble with Liquidweb shared. One server went down while they were doing a demo to their clients, always a welcome surprise. I interceded with tech support, and unlike the usual fix, it was more like "a site on the server is the problem, and now it's fine again". Then, of course, after a few minutes it's bad again.

    One option floated was to move the site to another server. I told them I'd take it up with my clients. But then another demo on a different Liquidweb box, and that one also ground to a halt. So needless to say, the prospect of moving to another box doesn't inspire confidence. My clients are going to bolt, and I will not be recommending Liquidweb again until I see improvement. I tried to get the tech to give me more info than "OK, it's fixed now", but they just closed the issue.

    It's a shame, because things were so good for so long.

    Indeed, as I look around here, people often praise their VPS and dedicated stuff, but not so much shared.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    What kind of demos are your clients running?
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  3. #3
    Join Date
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    LAX, DAL, MIA, ATL, ORD
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    Quote Originally Posted by musica View Post
    Hi, All,
    For quite some time I've developed sites on Liquidweb, and I've had great tech support there, so I've recommended them to many. I can remember times when I had really tough problems, and they've stuck with me for a long time until it's fixed.

    But now my clients are having all kinds of trouble with Liquidweb shared. One server went down while they were doing a demo to their clients, always a welcome surprise. I interceded with tech support, and unlike the usual fix, it was more like "a site on the server is the problem, and now it's fine again". Then, of course, after a few minutes it's bad again.

    One option floated was to move the site to another server. I told them I'd take it up with my clients. But then another demo on a different Liquidweb box, and that one also ground to a halt. So needless to say, the prospect of moving to another box doesn't inspire confidence. My clients are going to bolt, and I will not be recommending Liquidweb again until I see improvement. I tried to get the tech to give me more info than "OK, it's fixed now", but they just closed the issue.

    It's a shame, because things were so good for so long.

    Indeed, as I look around here, people often praise their VPS and dedicated stuff, but not so much shared.
    Id consider a dedicated environment as you and your client's must understand in a shared environment many things can go wrong, of course its no ones wishes but truly there is always going to be someone on a shared environment messing it up for everyone else and unfortunately on unexpected times.

    It sounds like you were not the lucky one as well as your clients in these past 2 incidents.

    I personally recommend Liquid web as they have never done us wrong, I'm sure Benny will hop in here and adjust the situation for you.

    All the best,

    Dustin

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    4,033
    Well it looks like either someone on the same server with your account is abusing the server or their server is overloaded.

    Do you know what is the server load when the issue happened or is the server totally inaccessible during that time?
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by FernGullyGraphics View Post
    What kind of demos are your clients running?
    Hi,
    In both cases, their demos were sites running MODx, both pretty well-packed with content, but certainly one does not expect sites to go down with just a visitor or two. The sites would not load at all when they barfed. I never found the cause, and the tech was vague about who and what it was, unfortunately.

    Semo, your point is taken. Our clients are usually cheap, so cheap hosting is the order of the day. And of course, sometimes you get what you pay for. I've never done dedicated; partially the cost, and maybe this is wrong, but I've thought that you're on the hook for more server stuff with less support since it's "your" box... is that true or am I just full of it? I'm not a server admin, by any means.

    Gee, maybe I'll compromise and try VPS.

    Thanks for the helpful thoughts, everyone!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    EU - east side
    Posts
    21,913
    I've never done dedicated; partially the cost, and maybe this is wrong, but I've thought that you're on the hook for more server stuff with less support since it's "your" box... is that true or am I just full of it?
    It depends on whether the server is managed by the host or by you (there will be a price differential), and on the definition of "managed" use by the host.

    I'm one of those who has had a good experience with Liquidweb's VPS thus far. I hope your experience is not a sign of things to come for us.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by ldcdc View Post
    It depends on whether the server is managed by the host or by you (there will be a price differential), and on the definition of "managed" use by the host.

    I'm one of those who has had a good experience with Liquidweb's VPS thus far. I hope your experience is not a sign of things to come for us.
    Yeah, I think you'll be OK. On the two offending servers, one of them didn't have ZIP installed in PHP, which I've never seen on a host before. In the past they're been willing to change a PHP setting for me when needed, their support is generally great. But this time the ZIP thing would have affected everyone on the box, and for caution's sake, they offered to move the site to another server. But when their other box was lagging, my clients decided to split, so it became moot.

    Given what I've seen, I think that there is a lag between boxes on PHP version, etc. I imagine this is true everywhere.

    I'm enjoying getting the highly experienced opinions here!
    Thanks

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lansing, MI
    Posts
    422
    Quote Originally Posted by musica View Post
    Hi, All,
    For quite some time I've developed sites on Liquidweb, and I've had great tech support there, so I've recommended them to many. I can remember times when I had really tough problems, and they've stuck with me for a long time until it's fixed.

    But now my clients are having all kinds of trouble with Liquidweb shared. One server went down while they were doing a demo to their clients, always a welcome surprise. I interceded with tech support, and unlike the usual fix, it was more like "a site on the server is the problem, and now it's fine again". Then, of course, after a few minutes it's bad again.

    One option floated was to move the site to another server. I told them I'd take it up with my clients. But then another demo on a different Liquidweb box, and that one also ground to a halt. So needless to say, the prospect of moving to another box doesn't inspire confidence. My clients are going to bolt, and I will not be recommending Liquidweb again until I see improvement. I tried to get the tech to give me more info than "OK, it's fixed now", but they just closed the issue.

    It's a shame, because things were so good for so long.

    Indeed, as I look around here, people often praise their VPS and dedicated stuff, but not so much shared.
    I am very sorry that we have not shown you our best recently. Would you mind giving me a couple ticket or account numbers so that I may investigate?
    Benny Crampton
    Liquid Web - Dedicated Hosting with Heroic Support
    StormOnDemand - Flexible Cloud Hosting Infrastructure
    1-800-580-4985 | Twitter: @liquidweb | @StormOnDemand

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by LiquidWebBenny View Post
    I am very sorry that we have not shown you our best recently. Would you mind giving me a couple ticket or account numbers so that I may investigate?
    Hi Benny,
    And I appreciate your asking! The truth is, I think their fleeing to another host may already be a fait accompli. 2 demos going down in flames had them seeing red.

    But if you wish to check into it, the ticket number was 2552869. The boxes are Dizzy and Sheridan, which may not be obvious in the ticket because there may have been separate tickets. Even if their business cannot be retained, it would be interesting to me, and probably helpful for you, to know more details of what may be frying these two machines. I'm guessing there are 1 or 2 real pig sites that bring everybody down.

    Since we're on the subject, I noticed a side issue that I found annoying. When doing updates in MODx, a CMS system, mod_security is now preventing certain text strings from being saved through PHP scripts.

    All I got were 403 errors, but the tech tracked it down. A new anti-spam filter has been added to mod_security. But IMO it's a classic example of using a Gatling gun to kill a fly. Some sample words: "online", "prescription", "drug". Yes, all popular spam words, to be sure. But also quite likely to be used in site content. So the cure is worse than the disease. I can't believe no one thought that through before issuing this filter to the universe. Probably some server guy locked by himself in a room somewhere.

    The response was to manually override the filter for that account every time the error occurs. Wow. You and I know how silly and labor-intensive that is. End of my rant.

    Thanks for your attention to this matter!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lansing, MI
    Posts
    422
    Quote Originally Posted by musica View Post
    Hi Benny,
    And I appreciate your asking! The truth is, I think their fleeing to another host may already be a fait accompli. 2 demos going down in flames had them seeing red.

    But if you wish to check into it, the ticket number was 2552869. The boxes are Dizzy and Sheridan, which may not be obvious in the ticket because there may have been separate tickets. Even if their business cannot be retained, it would be interesting to me, and probably helpful for you, to know more details of what may be frying these two machines. I'm guessing there are 1 or 2 real pig sites that bring everybody down.

    Since we're on the subject, I noticed a side issue that I found annoying. When doing updates in MODx, a CMS system, mod_security is now preventing certain text strings from being saved through PHP scripts.

    All I got were 403 errors, but the tech tracked it down. A new anti-spam filter has been added to mod_security. But IMO it's a classic example of using a Gatling gun to kill a fly. Some sample words: "online", "prescription", "drug". Yes, all popular spam words, to be sure. But also quite likely to be used in site content. So the cure is worse than the disease. I can't believe no one thought that through before issuing this filter to the universe. Probably some server guy locked by himself in a room somewhere.

    The response was to manually override the filter for that account every time the error occurs. Wow. You and I know how silly and labor-intensive that is. End of my rant.

    Thanks for your attention to this matter!
    No problem! I'm glad to help.

    That ticket only references one domain. Do you have a ticket number I can reference for the second one?
    Benny Crampton
    Liquid Web - Dedicated Hosting with Heroic Support
    StormOnDemand - Flexible Cloud Hosting Infrastructure
    1-800-580-4985 | Twitter: @liquidweb | @StormOnDemand

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by LiquidWebBenny View Post
    No problem! I'm glad to help.

    That ticket only references one domain. Do you have a ticket number I can reference for the second one?
    Benny,
    Sure thing... I had to dig for it, and I believe this was it... 2537580.

    I should add that the actual techs I dealt with were great, as is always the case with Liquid techs, so I hope you don't lower the boom on them in particular. The problems seemed to be partially out of their hands.

    Thanks!

  12. #12
    Hi Benny,
    You had sounded interested in this issue. I was looking forward to your response here, but I've heard nothing here for awhile. Are you still willing to have a look at it?

    Thanks, Dave

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lansing, MI
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    422
    Quote Originally Posted by musica View Post
    Hi Benny,
    You had sounded interested in this issue. I was looking forward to your response here, but I've heard nothing here for awhile. Are you still willing to have a look at it?

    Thanks, Dave
    Hi Dave.

    I am very sorry that I hadn't made it clear to you that we were very intersted in your feedback. Indeed we have made wide and sweeping changes to our shared procedures in order to address many of the issues that your situation brought to light.

    If there's something specific and more recent that I can look into please do let me know.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by LiquidWebBenny View Post
    Hi Dave.

    I am very sorry that I hadn't made it clear to you that we were very intersted in your feedback. Indeed we have made wide and sweeping changes to our shared procedures in order to address many of the issues that your situation brought to light.

    If there's something specific and more recent that I can look into please do let me know.
    Benny,
    Ah, I get it. Well, thank you for your efforts and interest.

    Since I don't know anything about what has changed, though, obviously I have no way of knowing if things will be better, so I still can no longer recommend Liquidweb shared hosting.

    Well, maybe it will help someone. In the meantime, I've been doing some serious host shopping.

    Dave

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    647
    Quote Originally Posted by musica View Post
    Since I don't know anything about what has changed, though, obviously I have no way of knowing if things will be better
    Exactly.

    Quote Originally Posted by LiquidWebBenny View Post
    Indeed we have made wide and sweeping changes to our shared procedures in order to address many of the issues that your situation brought to light.
    Tells us all a sum total of nothing.


  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lansing, MI
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    Quote Originally Posted by musica View Post
    Benny,
    Ah, I get it. Well, thank you for your efforts and interest.

    Since I don't know anything about what has changed, though, obviously I have no way of knowing if things will be better, so I still can no longer recommend Liquidweb shared hosting.

    Well, maybe it will help someone. In the meantime, I've been doing some serious host shopping.

    Dave
    I have to apologize again, I was under the impression that you had been contacted by one of our supervisors and these things had been discussed.

    As a rule our shared servers have been kept stable by a solid communication between our Monitoring team, or Support staff, and our Supervisory staff. This flexibility failed us this time, as you experienced, so we wrote a bunch of procedures, expectations, and definitions around what we had been doing. This helps new people understand what is expected of them, and lets us hold people accountable.

    In brief the events that were triggered by the entire situation that you experienced are as follows:

    1) Discuss, define, and refine an escalation procedure for any shared server that is having a problem.
    2) Define acceptable use for individual users. Define expectations for and empower those who need to address customers who are abusing their shared servers.

    Please do let me know if you have any further questions.
    Benny Crampton
    Liquid Web - Dedicated Hosting with Heroic Support
    StormOnDemand - Flexible Cloud Hosting Infrastructure
    1-800-580-4985 | Twitter: @liquidweb | @StormOnDemand

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