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Thread: Donhost outage

  1. #1

    Donhost outage

    Donhost seem to be having major issues with 'server 50' and sites have been down for a full day - totally unacceptable.

    As usual, information on the problem and how they're resolving it is not known - but at least they have acknowledged the problem, which is a very rare for them.

  2. #2
    The Donhost server 50 has been down since around 9pm on Sunday 24th Feb and it's now 11am on Tuesday 26th Feb

    So far there has been no real information, certainly nothing I can tell my two customers whose web sites are unavailable and whose email services no longer work.

    To cap it all my reseller account is on server 50 so not only is my web site down as well but my work is badly affected too. Not having for so long when my business relies on it is unacceptable.

    The person I spoke to at around 11am today had no idea when or even if this problem would be resolved.

    I find it incredible and very worrying that a web hosting company can't get a server back online even in a 24 hour period, I feel that something is very wrong here.

  3. #3
    Same level of frustration here. Got a jobsworth reply on helpline this morning who couldn't have been less helpful. All well and good having status updates but not much point saying final tests are being run, then still no service 15 hours later. We pass this info onto our clients giving us justified grief and then we look stupid

  4. #4
    Yes, the support staff are spectacularly dim and unhelpful. My support tickets with them over the years have got increasingly tetchy and frustrated. The best bit is the way any problems on a Friday night have to wait until Monday morning...

    Mind you, I remember the glory days of Donhost when the former owner, Daniel Conlon, would decide on a whim you weren't obeying the rules and delete all your files without warning....

    Donhost say they are restoring from an earlier backup, and that seems to be taking many, many hours, possibly an overnight job.

  5. #5
    I spoke to Donhost support (again) at around 3pm today and was assured that the server would be back up around 6pm ish today. However I now see the following on the Donhost system status page:

    ****************************************

    Server 50 connectivity issues
    Created: 25 February 2013, 07:18 
Last Updated: 26 February 2013, 16:18

    UPDATE :: 

Due to a full system failure our administrators have been unable to recover the server to deliver websites and associated services.

 We have created a new server to host the sites and services on and our system administrators are currently restoring all sites from our fail safe backups.

 The restoration is expected to complete over night and as of Wednesday morning all sites and services should be restored.

 Any email sent during this period has been queued on our mail servers and will be delivered to the server as soon as the restoration is complete and the services turned back on.

 We wish to apologise for the inconvenience caused by this issue and wish to reassure Customers that every effort has been made to resume service on this server as quickly as possible.

    ****************************************

    Right, so assuming that I and my customers are back in business at 9am tomorrow morning that will be a truly incredible and unacceptable 60 hours (approx) of down time!

    However, I remain unconvinced as I now have zero faith in Donhost and their ability to recover even a single server failure.

    OK, help / advice needed I think please. After an admittedly quick look around for a UK based reseller solution what does anybody think of Clook as an alternative to my current Donhost (Webfusion) reseller account?

  6. #6

    Donhost outage

    This is killing my business. I'm out in India, and our line of work totally relies on email to do business (as most do nowadays I guess). We have 30 staff, all of which receive at least 100 emails a day. I cant begin to guess how much money we've lost because of this. But most critically, I dont think any of the mail sent in the last 60 hours will get through, because the senders are getting mailer daemon bounce-back reports. For clients who I've got a long standing relationship with, it's ok, they called me and told me that there seems to be some problem. But for first time client enquiries, God knows what they must be thinking... they'll never enquire twice. If those mails haven't been backed up or stored somewhere, this will be a total disaster. And they are saying wednesday morning UK time, which, as i'm 5 and a half hours ahead, means another spent business day tomorrow. Never felt so stressed in my whole professional life.

  7. #7
    Well, it's Wednesday morning in the UK, and no sign of any of the server 50 sites showing...

    That really is a shocking amount of downtime for a major UK hosting service. Given the rate they stuff their servers with sites, that's a lot of affected businesses.

    Donhost used to have a great reputation for uptime back in the early noughties, but I'm struggling to see any reason to stick with them now.

    I have around 400 accounts with them and I just can't face transferring them, but this has forced me to think again...

  8. #8
    Here we are into the third day of down time. Wednesday morning @ 8:34am as I type this and still no sign of the infamous server 50 from Donthost.

    I am going to call Donthost support again and will report back the inevitable nonsense that I am supposed to swallow. Bitter, who me?

    As to moving accounts from Donthost . . . . I don't have 400 active accounts but those that I do have are a daunting prospect to move but this really has done it for me.

    I am looking at Clook now, any thoughts?

  9. #9
    Spoke to Donthost support @ 8:45am today . . . . was told that server 50 "should have been back online around midnight" and is now "half way through restoring the backups" and that "server 50 should be back up today".

    Support guy was in Uxbridge and he checked, while I was on the phone to him, with system admin in Leeds so it sounds to me as though there is no confidence in the outcome even from the admins.

    Confidence inspiring this is not. If anybody else has any information then please post it up here.

  10. #10
    Latest from the Donthost support page (my bold)


    Server 50 connectivity issues
    Created: 25 February 2013, 07:18 
Last Updated: 27 February 2013, 08:46

    UPDATE ::

Work is still on-going regards restoring the server with Data still being synced from our backup. We apologise for the delay this has caused. 



    UPDATE :: 

Due to a full system failure our administrators have been unable to recover the server to deliver websites and associated services.

 We have created a new server to host the sites and services on and our system administrators are currently restoring all sites from our fail safe backups.

 The restoration is expected to complete over night and as of Wednesday morning all sites and services should be restored.

 Any email sent during this period has been queued on our mail servers and will be delivered to the server as soon as the restoration is complete and the services turned back on.

 We wish to apologise for the inconvenience caused by this issue and wish to reassure Customers that every effort has been made to resume service on this server as quickly as possible.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    1,236
    OK, help / advice needed I think please. After an admittedly quick look around for a UK based reseller solution what does anybody think of Clook as an alternative to my current Donhost (Webfusion) reseller account?
    I have used Clook a couple of years ago they are excellent, I seriously doubt you would have this problem with them.

    I can't believe it has taken donhost this long to sort it out, didn't they have any spare servers?

    Anyway, hope you get it sorted soon

  12. #12

    One site back to life

    We may be getting close, just checked my sites and 1 site has come back to life, not getting too excited though.
    What a nightmare, don't have 400 sites but still have a lot to consider and this is the big problem with moving providers, and I guess DH know this which is how they somehow get away with such a poor service.
    My vision now of their HQ is a guy working on his own at the bottom of his garden in a rusty tin shed with a "Hosting for Dummies" book!! Unbelievable...

  13. #13
    Well, much as feared, the Wednesday morning resurrection of the Donhost server 50 has failed to materialise for me at least.

    Latest update on the support page below:

    ************************************
    Server 50 connectivity issues

    Created: 25 February 2013, 07:18
    Last Updated: 27 February 2013, 12:07

    UPDATE ::

    Our system engineers are continuing to work on Server 50 in order to fully resolve this issue for our customers.

    We wish to thank those customers affected by this for their continued patience.
    ************************************

    I for one have completely run out of patience and am heartily sick of the patronising and less than informative "updates".

    Question. Will the Donhost server 50 be up today, any time today?

  14. #14
    Donhost server 50 debacle . . . . it's 2:36pm now, not many business hours left before another day passes.

    My web site is back up but no FTP to my site . . . . . my clients sites are still down . . . . and I still have no email service.

    Donhost, more like Donthost.

  15. #15
    Donhost server 50 fiasco, see below (my bold).

    So, maybe another day without my clients sites, without email and without being able to FTP up to any of my clients sites!

    This just has to be a new industry low in service and credibility. Certainly lost any claim to professional hosting solutions.

    This is now heading towards 72 hours of down time and could very possibly be heading towards 96 hours.

    **********************************************************
    Server 50 connectivity issues

    Created: 25 February 2013, 07:18
    Last Updated: 27 February 2013, 16:08

    UPDATE ::

    The restoration of server 50 is continuing, many sites are already restored and live. Work will continue on restoring the data for remaining sites and this will compete within 24 hours.

    Delivery of email will be turned back on when all sites are restored. This will ensure that no emails sent during this period are lost.

    We wish to apologise for the continued inconvenience this has caused.
    **********************************************************

  16. #16
    Delivery of email will be turned back on when all sites are restored. This will ensure that no emails sent during this period are lost

    How is this actually possible? The vast majority of people who have mailed me have had mailer daemon bounce back reports......

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Punit2 View Post
    Delivery of email will be turned back on when all sites are restored. This will ensure that no emails sent during this period are lost

    How is this actually possible? The vast majority of people who have mailed me have had mailer daemon bounce back reports......
    What I can say is if this is as accurate as any of their previous statements then it's pie in the sky.

    I know that when I email myself the email is queued and then after a while the mailer daemon responds with "temporary failure. (#4.3.0) I'm not going to try again; this message has been in the queue too long".

    So, we wait some more to see if our emails are lost and gone forever or by some miracle have been saved by the collective genius that is Donhost / Webfusion.

    Anybody actually know if this is possible? (He says, clutching at straws)

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Vibrance View Post
    What I can say is if this is as accurate as any of their previous statements then it's pie in the sky.

    I know that when I email myself the email is queued and then after a while the mailer daemon responds with "temporary failure. (#4.3.0) I'm not going to try again; this message has been in the queue too long".

    So, we wait some more to see if our emails are lost and gone forever or by some miracle have been saved by the collective genius that is Donhost / Webfusion.

    Anybody actually know if this is possible? (He says, clutching at straws)

    Unfortunately when I asked, I got a reply that "The sending machines should try for 72hrs, looks like they have their queue settings too low, which we can not change..."

    In an indirect way, I think this basically means 'no', I think our emails are gone for ever. The only few that might be salvaged are the ones that are sent in the last 24 hours before emails go live again, as they're still queued. The rest, I'm devastated to say, seem like they're gone. Literally thousands of pounds of lost business.... :-(

  19. #19
    I am just so fed up with the useless / patronising / wrong statements that I have been given both over the phone and that I have read on the so called support page.

    This ludicrous shambles should serve as a massive wake up call to Donhost / Webfusion as it has conclusively proved that they currently have neither the management nor technical skills available to run a hosting business.

    Here we are with three complete business days down the tubes and with the possibility of another 24 hours to go . . . or is that also wishful thinking? Who knows?

  20. #20
    Hi, I joined just to join this thread.
    I have very few sites but the poor sods on server 50 includes an accountants. 3 days of no email is insane, I'll probably end up refunding their yearly fee.
    Any other recommendations other than clook?
    I don't need cheap I need reliable. i was looking at Heart but they're joining Donhost.

  21. #21
    Donhost server 50 still down (or at least only partially restored) after a truly staggering 75 hours or so.

    Within 30 mins it will be into day four . . . I still have no email and my clients sites are not up and of course they don't have email either.

    Avonpalmer - I looked at Heart Internet but their reputation is not great to say the least and it's another "unlimited" scheme which I think is a big part of the problem. For my part I am now looking at a "limited" bandwidth solution with either Clook or United Hosting.

    As Donhost are now actively sending new resellers to Heart I'm wondering if that may go some way to explaining the shambles in that they certainly appear to have lost the expertise required to manage the reseller shared servers.

    Frankly I have no idea how I am going to extricate myself from the crap that Donhost has caused. Possibility of having to do refunds is pretty bad, that coupled with the fact that deadline related work (on two separate jobs) is not possible as I have no access to my reseller accounts, no FTP etc. is a show stopper.

    Any new business that may have come my way during this fiasco from my web site and / or via email will be gone for good and I have no way (yet) of knowing how many of my clients are aware of the situation.

    All in all this is the worst disaster I have ever experienced and I have been in this business for over 10 years. Not even when the entire Donhost data centre went down in 2011 was it this bad.

  22. #22

    Angry Donhost Down

    I have also joined this forum out of pure frustration.

    It's now 12.30am Thursday and server 50 is slowly making a comeback, they haven't plumbed in the email yet, but fingers crossed it will be resolved by the weekend.

    I share everyone's frustration here as I have a few sites on this server, and in the years I've been with them I can't remember such a bad outage, and with it, a total lack of respect shown to ME, the long suffering customer.

    I personally feel that their ticket update responses have been bordering contempt because I'm only flying economy class. Their contingency planning = flog him a dedicated server. They have made me feel like I'm a thorn in their side. The Donhost experience I have received relating to customer care would not be acceptable in any other business environment, especially now in these tough times of austerity.

    I personally feel the Don brand is dying, if they still believed in the brand why does their own website push all new hosting enquiries to either Webfusion or Heart Internet.

    I've lost count over the years how many times Donhost have been acquired by other companies, and each time the service level in my experience has got worse. Like others have said, it is hard for us all to move sites away, if DNS configs are complex clients might also end up having to take an unwelcome financial hit, especially if they have to call in their own IT.

    Also if you do move, move where? Moving to another shared platform surely will be the same, everytime I check my IP neighbours it scares me how many sites they pile high on each server.

    This outage has really got me thinking about leaving, I fear it's not if but when this will happen again, all suggestions welcome.

    Catweasel

    P.S Vibrance - Not even when the entire Donhost data centre went down in 2011 was it this bad. (I remember that, I'm sure is was something to do with testing the data centre fire alarm system, and you are right it wasn't as bad)
    Last edited by Catweasel; 02-27-2013 at 08:30 PM.

  23. #23
    @ the Cat

    I think Donhost is all but gone in reality, it's Webfusion in all but name. Can't really see any reason for Donhost to continue to exist in fact as I talk to Webfusion, pay Webfusion etc.

    As to moving my reseller business, it won't be going to Heart Internet for sure. Highly automated pile it high and sell it cheap unlimited this and unlimited that is a recipe for disaster as far as business continuity is concerned.

    A fixed bandwidth reseller solution from Clook or United Hosting looks like a real possibility to me.

    Your point about this happening again is what worries me. I fear that Webfusion have dispensed with all the knowledge and expertise that there was in the Donhost shared server reseller set up and this I think is borne out by the fact that a single server failure now takes them four or more days to sort out.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    London, United Kingdom
    Posts
    4,224
    Quote Originally Posted by Punit2 View Post
    think this basically means 'no', I think our emails are gone
    If you have a lower priority MX that queues your mail, then *maybe* you'll still get them - depends if the current MX has been up/down/accepting email or not.

    You can mitigate the loss of email by having a 2ndary mail fail over system, which will queue up your mail while the primary mail system is down

  25. #25

    Donhost Down

    Welcome all, to another day in paradise.

    6.30am Update:

    Websites
    Some sites have returned now HOORAY, Hmm but I had to check that my 18 mbps broadband connection hadn't been replaced overnight with my trusted USRobotics 14,400 dial up fax modem from the mid 90's, as that's how slow my pages are downloading.

    Email:
    Hire a pigeon

    Status Page:
    I'd rather play with my navel fluff

    Thanks Vibrance, Clook and United Hosting look interesting I will give them a call.

    Cat

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