Results 1 to 30 of 30
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    2,559

    Softlayer Review: 100 dedicated servers and growing.

    Well, we’ve officially hit 100 servers with Softlayer and we feel that this is the appropriate time to write up a review of the service, network, and support qualities that we’ve received over the years. The road has been mostly smooth, with some small and large bumps along the way, but we couldn’t be any happier with the quality of service that we’ve received and (hopefully) will continue to receive.

    First off, a bit of background. Back in 2004 when we started out, we started as a reseller of Nick Hudsons back when he was running Enhanced Blue. Over time he introduced me into the hosting world and I ended up going with DedicatedNOW as our first ever dedicated provider. Back then, their systems were quite confusing to get around. I don’t think any of the HostTDS staff managed to get around their control panel (No offense guys! This was YEARS ago!). We ended up moving to Layered Tech, where we stayed for quite some time. We really didn’t have many complaints, but the support was definitely a bit slow at times and it would easily take 24-48 hours for dedicated servers to be setup.

    Fast forward in time to when Softlayer was first announced. Nick told me about Softlayer and how the company was being started by several people that first ran The Planet. We were always quite envious of The Planet but never moved in as the prices were a bit out of our budget at the time. We were still starting out, and we simply couldn’t afford moving in. For a good few months, I was constantly looking for news on the opening of the first Softlayer facility in Dallas, Texas. Shortly after they opened, we had our first dedicated server with Softlayer. Admittedly, we stretched our budget a bit (and got them to work down on pricing for us).

    As the years passed, we had our growing pains. Softlayer was always there to help in giving us a discount when necessary, or by knocking off a few bucks here and there on hardware upgrades.

    Now, several years later, we’re still with Softlayer and we’re happier than ever. We just hit our 100th server, all of which we’ve ordered since December (with the exception of two nodes). Overall, support has always been outstanding. From the time when we had 1-2 servers to now when we have 100 servers: There’s no difference in quality of support. It’s all as good as one could hope for.

    Now, we can’t give a review and state that there were bumps in the road without highlighting a few of them. There have definitely been some bumps in the road. When The Planet was being transitioned into Softlayer (Or however you wish to look at it), the staff being moved from one place to the next definitely caused some chaos/confusion at times. The staff from The Planet had absolutely no idea how Softlayers systems worked. We found ourselves explaining how SL systems worked to SL staff. I didn’t mind – I’m a patient person, but I can see other people getting aggravated rather quickly.

    Softlayers Automated Provisioning can be picky sometimes. I’ve seen some cases where it’ll roll out weird partitioning, or the servers end up with the wrong hardware or in the wrong datacenters. It can be pretty frustrating. After we had it happen to 7-10 servers, it appeared to magically fix itself, so I’m sure development fixed what ever was causing the issues.

    The other issue that we’ve had fairly consistently is IP address assignments. I can’t really blame Softlayer for that, though. IPv4 is nearly fully depleted in the US and Softlayer actually ran out of IP’s for a week or two. They ended up getting another large block (of an unknown size) about a week after they ran out. Hopefully it’ll last us a while. We’ve got over 3,000 IP addresses at this point, so we do go through a lot of them.

    Past what’s noted, I can’t think of anything else that’s been considered negative.


    Now that they’re open in Dallas, Washington DC, Seattle, San Jose, and have Amsterdam locations coming with the possibility of Singapore, we’re pretty excited/stoked to be with Softlayer. They really do help us grow and are letting us do so at an outstanding rate.

    I’d love to give extra thanks to our account reps over time from when we’ve grown small to large. Laura helped us in the very beginning when we were first starting to grow. She did an absolutely amazing job as our account rep. The only reason we left was because we weren’t sure what was causing the provisioning issues, so we switched account reps to see if they’d stop. Unfortunately, for a little while they didn’t. She was one hell of an employee that was extremely dedicated to our account.

    I’d like to thank Justin, our current account rep. He’s put in a great amount of time into our account. He’s taken time out of his personal life to help us through the IP address allocation issues. He’s been rock solid and has come through every single time that he’s said he would. We’re glad he’s our account rep at this time.

    I’d also like to thank Jeff, as he oversees our account from a distance at times. Whenever he was needed for any reason, he was always there even though he’s not our account representative. We couldn’t be any more thankful.

    Lastly, the Softlayer Staff has been an amazing group. From Robin in support, to Matt in sales, to Lance all the way up top: Everyone has been extremely helpful and that’s what has gotten us up to our 100th server. With our current rate of growth, I expect that we’ll be at or around 250-300 servers by the end of the year, so we’ll be writing up another review once we hit the 250 server mark. Hopefully it’ll be just as positive as this one.

    We’re up for answering any questions that you guys have, so ask away
    Matthew Rosenblatt, and I do lots of things.
    Currently a Master Electrician on Broadway.
    My company, BurstAV, specializes in A/V Systems Design and integration.
    I also own ConcertCables. We build power/data cables for the entertainment industry.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    WebHostingTalk
    Posts
    16,968
    Nice review Matt.

    For 100 servers, don't you think colocation will get it cheaper?
    Specially 4 You
    .
    JoneSolutions.Com ( Jones.Solutions ) is on the net 24/7 providing stable and reliable web hosting solutions and services since 2001

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    2,559
    Quote Originally Posted by net View Post
    Nice review Matt.

    For 100 servers, don't you think colocation will get it cheaper?
    Colocation likely wouldn't be less expensive. At the rate we're ordering servers now, about 30-40 per month, it would actually cost us more when you take into consideration the fact that we utilize a LOT of electricity, utilize four separate hosting locations now, and we also license Microsoft products on a large amount of our servers for the Brohoster Minecraft platform.

    At the rate we pay per month per server, it would take us almost 2 years to pay off the hardware if we went to Thinkmate, Supermicro, etc.... to get the hardware.

    Leasing cuts down our long-term costs and our costs to upgrade hardware in the future.
    Matthew Rosenblatt, and I do lots of things.
    Currently a Master Electrician on Broadway.
    My company, BurstAV, specializes in A/V Systems Design and integration.
    I also own ConcertCables. We build power/data cables for the entertainment industry.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    WebHostingTalk
    Posts
    16,968
    Ok Matt. Your call :-)
    Specially 4 You
    .
    JoneSolutions.Com ( Jones.Solutions ) is on the net 24/7 providing stable and reliable web hosting solutions and services since 2001

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    California
    Posts
    682
    Thanks for the update. They were starting to seem shaky for a while.
    Scott Swezey
    TCL Fasteners, Inc.
    Automotive fasteners for collision shops.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    4,183
    Very nice amount of servers and I am glad to hear you are still happy with them and stay for the upcoming years
    Keep it up!
    » www.InstantDedicated.com - Online in no time
    » Dedicated Servers in [EU] Netherlands with DAILY support, also on weekends
    » DDOS Protected network - 100% Money Back if it doesn't work for you
    » Streaming / IPTV allowed | Up to 10 Gbit ports | 100% Network Uptime

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    5,627
    at 100 servers, a straight FMV lease and colo would offer significant cost savings and not have the huge capex costs.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    5,158
    Matt,

    I guess you solved your issues you were having a few weeks ago? Glad to see everything is working out over at SL.

  9. #9
    i misunderstood, you bought servers directly form softlayer or 100tb.com ?

    i just curious. because 100tb has a cheaper price than softlayer.

  10. #10
    It's nice to see a good review about softlayer, We started to see a lot of bad reviews here. CONGRATS on the 100th server, that is a nice little accomplishment.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    476
    Quote Originally Posted by Soda12 View Post
    i misunderstood, you bought servers directly form softlayer or 100tb.com ?

    i just curious. because 100tb has a cheaper price than softlayer.
    They get them directly.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    1,446
    Quote Originally Posted by RapidServers_ View Post
    They get them directly.
    They probably get a better deal direct when it comes to pricing. Plus, Softlayer support is much better direct.

    Quote Originally Posted by net
    Nice review Matt.

    For 100 servers, don't you think colocation will get it cheaper?
    Have you checked the cost of servers lately? 2-2.5 year churn on equipment... It's hard to come out ahead on buying servers.
    FiberPeer.Com | | REAL DDoS Protection | Cloud Hosting | VPS | Dedicated Servers | High Bandwidth Hosting | 1Gbps-10Gbps Unmetered
    FiberPeer DDoS Mitigation | ethProxy Upgraded! | 14-Years Experience | Emergency 24/7 Support
    Visit us @ www.fiberpeer.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    240
    Quote Originally Posted by ServerOrigin View Post
    They probably get a better deal direct when it comes to pricing. Plus, Softlayer support is much better direct.



    Have you checked the cost of servers lately? 2-2.5 year churn on equipment... It's hard to come out ahead on buying servers.
    Last time I checked, a Dual E5620 configuration with 24gb RAM and 4x 15k 300GB SAS drives in Hardware RAID 10 was around $4000. The cheapest I've seen from a provider for that configuration was about $500.

    If we allocate $150(which should be less if you have a full rack) for collocation costs, it would be about 11 to 12 months before you break even.

    According to that, cost savings should come in after about a year. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
    SSDVirt - SSD VPS Hosting
    Dallas • New Jersey • RAID10 SSDs • 1Gbps • OpenVZ & KVM
    GarrisonHost - Premium High Performance Hosting
    Shared Hosting • Reseller Hosting [soon] • SSL Certificates • Domains

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    2,559
    Quote Originally Posted by Soda12 View Post
    i misunderstood, you bought servers directly form softlayer or 100tb.com ?

    i just curious. because 100tb has a cheaper price than softlayer.
    We go direct with Softlayer. Our pricing is much better than at 100tb.com.
    Matthew Rosenblatt, and I do lots of things.
    Currently a Master Electrician on Broadway.
    My company, BurstAV, specializes in A/V Systems Design and integration.
    I also own ConcertCables. We build power/data cables for the entertainment industry.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    2,559
    Quote Originally Posted by GarrisonHost-John View Post
    Last time I checked, a Dual E5620 configuration with 24gb RAM and 4x 15k 300GB SAS drives in Hardware RAID 10 was around $4000. The cheapest I've seen from a provider for that configuration was about $500.

    If we allocate $150(which should be less if you have a full rack) for collocation costs, it would be about 11 to 12 months before you break even.

    According to that, cost savings should come in after about a year. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
    Our servers are profitable within 24 hours of placing them online in most cases. Our Xen platform takes about 72 hours to become profitable per server.

    The pricing we get allows us to not even need to consider colo, really. It would barely cut the monthly costs down and would only cause a huge initial investment requirement.
    Matthew Rosenblatt, and I do lots of things.
    Currently a Master Electrician on Broadway.
    My company, BurstAV, specializes in A/V Systems Design and integration.
    I also own ConcertCables. We build power/data cables for the entertainment industry.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    386
    I don't get why top clients get such a low price... While i will never buy a server there since that I get it much cheaper on other locations... (10 servers at ovh for personal websites)
    I really don't get why.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    3,507
    I'm going to have to report this post, OP obviously didn't get the memo that reviews on WHT are only for:
    • un-managed dedicated server clients who really need managed services and want to complain when they kill the server
    • people who dont cancel properly, demand a refund, then post here referencing the host as "scammers"
    • shilling



    Finally, a review worth something! Congrats on your obviously booming business, and thanks for sharing. As for not going colo, I agree, you appear to have a solid business model, why bring unneeded stress into the equation.
    Dallas Colocation by Incero, 8 years and counting!
    e: sales(at)incero(dot)com • 855.217.COLO (2656)
    Colocation & Enterprise Servers, SATA/SAS/SSD, secure IPMI/KVM remote control, 100% U.S.A. Based Staff
    SSAE 16, SAS70, Redundant Power & Network, Fully Diverse Fiber

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Indiana, USA
    Posts
    858
    Quote Originally Posted by gordonrp;
    I'm going to have to report this post, OP obviously didn't get the memo that reviews on WHT are only for:
    • un-managed dedicated server clients who really need managed services and want to complain when they kill the server
    • people who dont cancel properly, demand a refund, then post here referencing the host as "scammers"
    • shilling



    Finally, a review worth something! Congrats on your obviously booming business, and thanks for sharing. As for not going colo, I agree, you appear to have a solid business model, why bring unneeded stress into the equation.
    'Like'
    Jason Canady
    Unlimited Net, LLC • AS11990
    Responsive, Reliable, Secure
    Dedicated Server Hosting

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    2,559
    Quote Originally Posted by cedivad View Post
    I don't get why top clients get such a low price... While i will never buy a server there since that I get it much cheaper on other locations... (10 servers at ovh for personal websites)
    I really don't get why.
    It's not even that we're a top client -- You just need to know how to haggle

    But really, the reality of it is that once you're dealing with bulk (or have the expectation of it), any company will work with you on pricing.

    Also keep in mind that Softlayer is a premium provider -- you really can't compare it to a lot of the other companies out there. Other companies such are amazing for their price range, such as BurstNET, but they're not the same as an enterprise grade datacenter. The same goes for OVH.

    At Softlayer, we've only seen one or two noticeable network issues in the past four years, both in the past week, both were handled very quickly.
    Matthew Rosenblatt, and I do lots of things.
    Currently a Master Electrician on Broadway.
    My company, BurstAV, specializes in A/V Systems Design and integration.
    I also own ConcertCables. We build power/data cables for the entertainment industry.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    1,569
    Quote Originally Posted by GarrisonHost-John View Post
    Last time I checked, a Dual E5620 configuration with 24gb RAM and 4x 15k 300GB SAS drives in Hardware RAID 10 was around $4000. The cheapest I've seen from a provider for that configuration was about $500.

    If we allocate $150(which should be less if you have a full rack) for collocation costs, it would be about 11 to 12 months before you break even.

    According to that, cost savings should come in after about a year. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
    You're considering hardware only. What about when things go wrong? There are costs that come with colo such as remote hands, replacement hardware and storage of that on-hand hardware, server management and staff, etc.
    InterNich LLC
    Founder

    Bringing you PicResize.com (More than 95 million pictures resized since 2005)

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    538
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt R View Post
    Our servers are profitable within 24 hours of placing them online in most cases. Our Xen platform takes about 72 hours to become profitable per server.

    The pricing we get allows us to not even need to consider colo, really. It would barely cut the monthly costs down and would only cause a huge initial investment requirement.
    Plus with Colo you have to worry about the network, power systems, etc etc, a lot of people don't think about all of that when they're figuring out how much dedicated hosting is really worth.
    XLHost.com
    Dedicated Servers, Virtual Private Servers, and more since 1995.
    drew @ xlhost.com

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1,245
    Quote Originally Posted by gordonrp View Post
    I'm going to have to report this post, OP obviously didn't get the memo that reviews on WHT are only for:
    • un-managed dedicated server clients who really need managed services and want to complain when they kill the server
    • people who dont cancel properly, demand a refund, then post here referencing the host as "scammers"
    • shilling

    Isn't that the truth? Huzzah!!!
    ThePrimeHost LLC - Serving Websites Since 2001.
    Fully Managed VPS Hosting w/ Cpanel + WHM
    Fully Managed Dedicated Servers w/ Cpanel + WHM
    Reseller Hosting with End User Support

  23. #23
    Greetings Matt:

    We've only four servers with SL, but in the past two weeks had more down time than all of the down time over almost 16 years in business.

    May I ask what data center locations have worked out the best for you?

    Thank you.
    ---
    Peter M. Abraham
    LinkedIn Profile

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    2,559
    Quote Originally Posted by dynamicnet View Post
    Greetings Matt:
    ....
    We've only four servers with SL, but in the past two weeks
    ....
    Thank you.
    Sorry or trimming it up in the quote -- I'm in my iPhone. We've seen A but of intermittent packetloss at rare occasions in Seattle. Dal05 has been absolutely flawless. Some people that we know had issues in WDC01 this morning, but we didn't see any of it on our servers there. San Jose has only been online a few days so I can't say much there yet, but it's been flawless so far.

    I've got no complaints: only 3-4 bits of packetloss in 4 years.

    Just wondering, what sort of downtime did you see? Hardware failures or network issues?

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    1,446
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt R View Post
    Sorry or trimming it up in the quote -- I'm in my iPhone. We've seen A but of intermittent packetloss at rare occasions in Seattle. Dal05 has been absolutely flawless. Some people that we know had issues in WDC01 this morning, but we didn't see any of it on our servers there. San Jose has only been online a few days so I can't say much there yet, but it's been flawless so far.

    I've got no complaints: only 3-4 bits of packetloss in 4 years.

    Just wondering, what sort of downtime did you see? Hardware failures or network issues?
    Packet loss, link failures, routing issues, laundry list of network issues

    We have trimmed down to almost nothing left in SL due to the issues. Every other week there are problems in Seattle and Dallas for us. Seattle being the worst. Not kidding... It has been at minimum 2 x outages per month for the last 4 months. (Last month = accumulated 5 hours in SL downtime)

    We only have some development gear there now, no customers. Their network has been a nightmare since the merger.

    **Not to say these were impacting the entire facility. It sounds like you're one of the lucky one's. Glad to hear it's not getting everyone.
    Last edited by FiberPeer; 05-03-2011 at 12:43 AM.
    FiberPeer.Com | | REAL DDoS Protection | Cloud Hosting | VPS | Dedicated Servers | High Bandwidth Hosting | 1Gbps-10Gbps Unmetered
    FiberPeer DDoS Mitigation | ethProxy Upgraded! | 14-Years Experience | Emergency 24/7 Support
    Visit us @ www.fiberpeer.com

  26. #26
    Who designed the background of your web site? It looks great.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    WebHostingTalk
    Posts
    16,968
    Quote Originally Posted by ServerOrigin View Post
    Have you checked the cost of servers lately? 2-2.5 year churn on equipment... It's hard to come out ahead on buying servers.
    Oh yes, I did and we just bought 7 high end servers in the past weeks.

    It is all about planning my friend.
    Specially 4 You
    .
    JoneSolutions.Com ( Jones.Solutions ) is on the net 24/7 providing stable and reliable web hosting solutions and services since 2001

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    whitehouse
    Posts
    656
    Congratulations Matt Hope to see the 250 server review soon. Good luck
    James B
    EzeeloginSetup your Secure Linux SSH Gateway.
    |Manage & Administer Multiple Linux Servers Quickly & Securely.

  29. #29
    Greetings:

    RAM upgraded in one server, and then for the next two weeks, well over 16 hours of down time; and each single event when an SL employee was on the machine... and all they can do is blame Xen rather than state it was a mistake on their part (finger slipped, something).

    Typically 3+ hours to get the machine connected to the net (public / private interface down -- one or the other or both), and then sluggish. Only to be told the port speed (which they stated they fixed over 2 weeks ago) needed to be fixed (again -- as if it was not fixed the first time).

    Trying to get why's out of what happened, causes, etc. is like pulling teethe.

    Then yesterday, sites off line and what not from two servers only to be told (after pulling nails) the WDC facility was under a DOS.

    This is in the WDC facility.

    Thank you.
    ---
    Peter M. Abraham
    LinkedIn Profile

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    1,245
    Quote Originally Posted by gordonrp View Post
    I'm going to have to report this post, OP obviously didn't get the memo that reviews on WHT are only for:
    • un-managed dedicated server clients who really need managed services and want to complain when they kill the server
    • people who dont cancel properly, demand a refund, then post here referencing the host as "scammers"
    • shilling


    Finally, a review worth something! Congrats on your obviously booming business, and thanks for sharing. As for not going colo, I agree, you appear to have a solid business model, why bring unneeded stress into the equation.
    Like

    It's like the old saying "Upset 1 customer, they'll tell everyone that will listen." "For every 10 satisfied customers, 1 will tell someone"

    In other words, it's easier to get a negative review, than a positive review.
    Hosting Community Talk - A new community orientated Webhosting discussion, guides, and industry news forum. Why not JOIN TODAY!
    My North Wales - A Community/Tourism discussion forum for residents and visitors to North Wales, United Kingdom.

Similar Threads

  1. $20, $50, or $100 off SoftLayer servers!
    By SoftLayer Sales in forum Dedicated Hosting Offers
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 09-05-2008, 07:43 AM
  2. SoftLayer After 100 Servers
    By BitSurFer in forum Dedicated Server
    Replies: 31
    Last Post: 07-10-2008, 06:02 AM
  3. Over 100 Softlayer Dedicated Server customers for sale
    By slayersale in forum Other Web Hosting Related Offers
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 11-28-2007, 01:14 AM
  4. LSR - review series for servers in SM / GNAX / Softlayer
    By Loktari in forum Dedicated Server
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 03-13-2006, 02:02 PM
  5. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-21-2004, 03:55 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •