I don't see many reviews for Joe's Datacenter on here, so I figured it's time to write one.
I've been colocating at Joe's Datacenter in Kansas City, Missouri for over a year now. My requirements are nothing too complex or demanding, just a single 1U server that hosts my personal site and the primary file mirror for Nekochan.net, an SGI enthusiast/developer community. I've found that Joe's is a great fit for my budget and my needs, and I can honestly see myself staying with Joe's well into the future.
Pricing, Features and Setup
I signed up for service in June of 2010. Joe's prices are very reasonable, allowing a racked server anywhere from 1-4U for $50/month. One power outlet, 3000GB of transfer on a 100Mbps burstable connection and a /29 are all included in my price.
It took about a day or so after delivery to get the server racked up and connected. Joe provided my IP range ahead of time, so it was a very smooth plug-and-play process.
There have only been two outages during my term at Joe's. The first was a UPS hardware failure in the colo room. The second outage was a whole-building blackout - a clogged drainage pipe and a resulting flood on one of the lower floors, which ultimately caused a power bus to short out and the colo room breaker to flip.
Other than those two instances, Joe's has been rock-solid for me. I'm not one bit upset about either of the outages, as I don't run a business on the server, and if I did I'd have backups and a hot site on standby like every responsible company should!
In the outages mentioned above, Joe and his staff were quick to inform all clients of the situation and communicated all the necessary information in a timely and professional manner. Of the 13 tickets I've submitted in everyday support situations, Joe's staff is quick to respond to my requests and concerns.
Response times (average):
General Support: 6 minutes
Billing/Service Change: 2 hours
Reverse DNS: 10 minutes
Number Ratings (If You Don't Like to Read)
Versus other KC providers, Joe's is very price-competitive at the 1-4U level and, based on my calculations, actually beats other providers in $/U when you scale up to a full rack. I give Joe's a full 10 because of their competitiveness in the KC market, and also because I understand that the already-slim margins in the industry make it impossible from a practical standpoint to price it any lower.
Joe's offers everything the average Joe (ha!) would need in a colo service. A /29 for each hosting package makes running VMs or multiple services very simple. Their customer portal seamlessly integrates MRTG functionality, ticketing, and so on. However, one big feature I've been missing is native IPv6. For over a year Joe's has apparently had IPv6 capability and address blocks, but I am still without native IPv6 on my server. It pains me to have to do this, but the large delay in deploying IPv6 has forced my hand and caused me to subtract a point.
Also, they used to have a live datacenter camera but it appears to have been locked down, asking for a username and password every time I try to view it. As weird as it sounds, I would occasionally fire up the camera during my downtime at work and watch the goings-on in the colo room, and it was quite fun. So I'll subtract 1/100th of a point for that.
Customer Service/Support: 10/10
I've never had to contact support for a critical issue, so I'm not qualified to critique their emergency response times. But in the dozen or so instances where I've had a service change request, RDNS change or other minor issues, I've always gotten a response in a matter of minutes. Joe is also very quick to resolve billing issues and service change requests.
My uptime at Joe's has been great. Often times the limiting factor to my uptime is how long I can go without rebooting my server - the answer to which is "not very long" because I love to tinker with my kernel. Then there are one-off instances like the UPS failure and the building outage, but those were resolved quickly and for a budget service like Joe's it's really not a problem for me.
If you're looking for anything above five 9's, then you probably have some big bucks to throw at it and should look elsewhere, but for small businesses or individuals, Joe's is a great shop with a great tech team and very competitive offers for the KC market.
"When a man begins to doubt himself, he does something incredibly stupid and thereby is reassured." ::http://www.dustytech.net/:: Personal Website