I just thought I'd warn you about IonSystems, a company run by Christopher Biggers who goes under the name SolidJoe on these forums.
I've consistently used WHT to search for providers, both for my own dedicated servers and for IRCD shells which I prefer to keep seperate from my own boxes. Under various recommendations, I took the IonSystem's WHT offers of IRCD hosting, and everything was fine for the first few months. They're using FDCServer machines, and we had quite a few minor downtimes. However, I'm sure you can imagine that on an IRC network, this is far more immediately disruptive than a short website outage (my dedicated servers are only for my own, very high load, sites).
Support at first was consistent, although getting IonSystem's attention did take some work.
However, about a month ago several scripts I had running began to fail. This turned out to be the disabling of FTP. Fine, I'll use SFTP I thought. However, there was no email to me about this, and several (read: 15+) messages over AIM to SolidJoe (AIM: IonSysChris) went ignored/unanswered. This was just the beginning of things...
Two days ago, my IRC server went down. I couldn't ping, SSH, or traceroute to my IP address. I had been used to FDCServer's downtime, so I left a message on AIM for SolidJoe and went to work.
His autoreply message:
*** Auto-response from IONSysChris: Sorry AlbinoEatpod, I've gone home for the night. You can leave me a message at:
8 hours later - no response. I made several more AIM requests, including a semi-begging "Please, answer my IMs".
I submitted a trouble ticket to their PerlDesk system. My fellow admin thought that it would be best to call the chap, to find out what the problem is. After leaving several messages, he managed to get through. Upon realising who he was, Mr Biggers hung up. My colleague called back several times - the phone going unanswered. We got someone else to call, answerphone. "We are open from 9-5, please leave a message...". It was 4pm.
Finally, my trouble ticket was answered:
Sorry, due to circumstances beyond our control, the data on Intrigue was wiped out and the server is permantly down. You will no longer be billed for this service. Please also note we only have phone service for retail sales, we don't give any technical support over the phone. Sorry for the inconvience.
Now, I can understand that these things do happen - hardware can fail. Fortunately, I'd made a back up of my .conf files. However, what I cannot understand is...
a) Why could he not let me know via an email, or even have the decency to take the 30 seconds it takes to write that response.
b) Why they had no backup systems of their own. Surely any "serious" provider would make sure this happened?
c) Why the extremely rude phone manner?
Anyway, I thought you guys should know that if you do decide to go with IonSystems for any of their services, to not expect quality support, or even basic courtesy.