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  #1  
Old 10-06-2004, 06:59 AM
lowndesc lowndesc is offline
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Windows hosting and the Datapacket.net debacle


Most people here will have read about or experienced the shoddy service provided by datapacket.net. I started hosting with them (on what they call profusion-hosting aka shared) over 18 months ago. Everything went fine and the price for my requirements of .NET and SQL Server facilities was a bargain. And therein lies the problem. It was obviously too much of a bargain. They have since imploded several times (each time I have lost data, whether hosted files or stats) and they have non-existent support. However, they have re-emerged with a new set of packaged deals at some 6 times the original bargain price. When compared to the competition, they are still ahead on value. Is it worth the inconvenience of crap service and the need for carefully arranged mirroring to save a few pennies per month?

If someone out there can point me at a hosting provider with better value for money for my needs, I am all ears (or eyes, if you see what I mean)



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  #2  
Old 10-06-2004, 08:05 AM
JodoHost JodoHost is offline
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Had a quick look at their site.
They have a 99.993% uptime guarantee

To achieve that, you'd need to load-balance, there is absolutely no way you can achieve that without load-balancing windows servers. Microsoft has a very nicely written whitepaper on how to achieve certains levels of uptime with their operating systems. This is from their document and my personal experience. They have no mention of that anywhere on their site

Next, they are offering that uptime guarantee on packages from $4.95/month. Companies invest tens of thousands of dollars in redundant equipment to ensure 99.99x% uptime. No host could be able to maintain that uptime at those prices

Their uptime guarantee itself tells me alot about them.

  #3  
Old 10-06-2004, 09:36 AM
ldcdc ldcdc is offline
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Actually that's just a monetary guarantee.

Yes, to achieve it they woud need a level of redundancy, but they don't have to achieve that level. They can (theoretically) give the customer a prorated refund every month.


Last edited by ldcdc; 10-06-2004 at 09:45 AM.
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  #4  
Old 10-07-2004, 04:05 AM
spiv spiv is offline
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I am not familiar with this particular company, so please take the following as a general comment:

Most uptime guarantees in the low-end hosting business are purely marketing or promotional gimmicks.  There is no infrastructure engineering or support team in place to actually deliver the stated levels of uptime.

I suspect many of these companies are simply rolling the dice and hoping that most of the time their services remain available.

Don't forget, if they do have an outtage, most guarantees simply refund what you have paid, up to the monthly price.  So if you are only paying $2 or $3 per month, the hostly simply refunds your $3 no matter how many hours of downtime they have that month.

Furtheremore, most SLA's place the burden of proof on the client, not the company.  You must be aware of the downtime, notify the host, document the downtime, and then request the credit.

In all fairness, it is amazing but this "client burden" is the best-kept secret in the telcom industry.  I have been involved in contracts with major carriers such as Cable & Wireless, MCI, and others.  In every case, it is the customer's burden to request a refund for any SLA violations.  Quite often there are time limits (must be reported within xxx days) and documentation must be verifiable monitoring logs or other quantitative data that goes beyond "my line or server has been down for two hours".

Believe it or not, even "absolutely, positively, by 10:00am the next day" package delivery services do not credit you automatically.  I'd had several packages arrive late and then I've had to spend 1/2 hour or more on the phone demanding the credit that I thought would have been automatic.

Afterall, FedEx et. al. can track the package every step of the way from our office to the recipient's, they certainly know it is not being delivered on time and could issue the credit pro-actively. No way - they don't.



Quote:
Originally posted by JodoHost
Had a quick look at their site.
They have a 99.993% uptime guarantee

To achieve that, you'd need to load-balance, there is absolutely no way you can achieve that without load-balancing windows servers. Microsoft has a very nicely written whitepaper on how to achieve certains levels of uptime with their operating systems. This is from their document and my personal experience. They have no mention of that anywhere on their site

Next, they are offering that uptime guarantee on packages from $4.95/month. Companies invest tens of thousands of dollars in redundant equipment to ensure 99.99x% uptime. No host could be able to maintain that uptime at those prices

Their uptime guarantee itself tells me alot about them.

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  #5  
Old 10-07-2004, 04:10 AM
DreamHost-MikeS DreamHost-MikeS is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by spiv
Afterall, FedEx et. al. can track the package every step of the way from our office to the recipient's, they certainly know it is not being delivered on time and could issue the credit pro-actively. No way - they don't.
It makes perfect sense that they wouldn't. They make more money if they don't have to issue refunds.

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  #6  
Old 10-07-2004, 05:25 AM
WebMate WebMate is offline
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I agree with spiv. I've commented on the subject of uptime guarantee in a number of threads here. 99.xxx uptime guarantee is a marketing gimmick. Pure and simple!

  #7  
Old 10-07-2004, 05:42 AM
JodoHost JodoHost is offline
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Of course
My point was the same. What they claim is not probably not achievable in any calendar month. If they are being untrue about their uptime claims, they are probably untrue about alot of things.

I frankly don't find it acceptable for a hosting company to make an uptime claim that they can't meet in 90% of the cases.

  #8  
Old 10-07-2004, 05:47 AM
JodoHost JodoHost is offline
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I don't think it's fair to equate telecom and delivery services with web hosting providers.

Achieving any certain level of uptime is possible. The more number of 9s, the more heavily the host has to invest in hardware and staff. When a host makes a claim of 99.993% uptime, you are expecting an extraordinary amount of investment into uptime from them which clearly isn't the case for lots of low-cost hosts.

If a provider doesn't understand what his uptime gurantee means, he should by all means be avoided.

  #9  
Old 10-07-2004, 12:14 PM
spiv spiv is offline
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It is reasonable to compare business practices and ethics - in that regard cheap hosting is the same as many other questionable business practices.

Promising a guarantee that is unlikely to be paid or if it is, has little real fiscal impact on the company is simply a marketing gimmick.

My point was it is easy to make the guarantee of 99.999999% uptime because the penalty for not achieving it is very low.  Most clients will not monitor their sites that intensively, have documented data to prove the downtime, or even bother to request the refund which is not automatic.

I was pointing out that this practice of making the customer prove they deserve a refund is not used by just cheap web hosting.  It is still the mainstay of supposedly reputable companies such as large telcomm carriers and even package express services.

If a company truly wants to promise a service level, they should step-up to automatically paying the refund when they don't achieve it.

There actually is one telecomm carrier (I'm sorry but I don't recall the name) that recently said their SLA was unique because they would pro-actively provide a refund/service credit if they don't meet it.  So at least one company has decided not to make these shallow claims of good service and offer a realistic SLA. That creates a real marketing issue to their advantage.

Trading on human emotion (lack of time/effort or skill to track and request a refund) is controversial.  If you are promising something, and then hoping the client doesn't actually ask for it, should you really be offering it in the first place?

 

 

Quote:
Originally posted by JodoHost
I don't think it's fair to equate telecom and delivery services with web hosting providers.

Achieving any certain level of uptime is possible. The more number of 9s, the more heavily the host has to invest in hardware and staff. When a host makes a claim of 99.993% uptime, you are expecting an extraordinary amount of investment into uptime from them which clearly isn't the case for lots of low-cost hosts.

If a provider doesn't understand what his uptime gurantee means, he should by all means be avoided.

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  #10  
Old 10-07-2004, 03:48 PM
dpnh dpnh is offline
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Hello JodoHost and Group,

I don’t like coming to these boards since we are a target of bashing from certain competitors and anonymous user groups, but this direct competitors comments and statements are obviously self-driven and biased.

Jodohost, we have many "shared" hosting servers that go months without downtime or a reboot. Single boxes and clusters. I'm sorry to hear you cannot achieve this with your servers. Your claim “What they claim is not probably not achievable in any calendar month.” that what we offer 99.993% or even 100% uptime in any calendar month is not achievable or that we can not provide what we advertise is simply absurd and ignorant.

“Had a quick look at their site.”
”They have a 99.993% uptime guarantee”

Perhaps you should have had more then a quick look before bashing a competitor. If you browse our site you would see how we work, what we offer and how our uptime guarantee works and what is given to clients if we do not achieve our side of the agreement.

Play with your words to try and bash us, but you know nothing about our servers or our business other then that many of your customers are moving to us recently.

You are a direct competitor and your statements are obviously biased. You should feel ashamed at making such ridiculous statements about a business competitor publicly.

Your service in inferior to DataPacket.NET. Deal with it with better service, not bad business ethics.

Regards,
Brian

  #11  
Old 10-07-2004, 05:56 PM
FNAHOST FNAHOST is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by dpnh
You are a direct competitor and your statements are obviously biased. You should feel ashamed at making such ridiculous statements about a business competitor publicly.
Agreed. Negative comments towards your competitor(s) in a public forum shows lack of business experience and is not necessary. You only end up giving your own company a bad name.

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  #12  
Old 10-07-2004, 08:03 PM
JodoHost JodoHost is offline
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Firstly, I was not bashing anyone. I was raising valid questions.

Quote:
Originally posted by dpnh

Jodohost, we have many "shared" hosting servers that go months without downtime or a reboot. Single boxes and clusters. I'm sorry to hear you cannot achieve this with your servers. Your claim “What they claim is not probably not achievable in any calendar month.” that what we offer 99.993% or even 100% uptime in any calendar month is not achievable or that we can not provide what we advertise is simply absurd and ignorant.
Wow, so you are saying that you have many shared hosting boxes that you never reboot in several months? I have a question for you, how do you install security patches and updates? On a live server? We have guys with MCSEs and MCPs so I was wondering how you achieved that.


Quote:
Originally posted by dpnh

You are a direct competitor and your statements are obviously biased. You should feel ashamed at making such ridiculous statements about a business competitor publicly.
Why don't you try answering my questions instead? Why don't you let us know how you achieve that sort of uptime?

Quote:
Originally posted by dpnh

Your service in inferior to DataPacket.NET.
No comments.


The only thing I noticed on your website was that you use "fail-safe equipment" and have software to automatically correct problems. I'd really like to know how you automatically correct a problem in Windows? Restart IIS or reboot the server?

Problems happen Brian, especially on shared windows boxes. I find offering a 99.993% uptime guarantee very interesting indeed

  #13  
Old 10-08-2004, 02:05 PM
lowndesc lowndesc is offline
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Still waiting.....

So, as I started this thread, I'd better get it back on track.

My original comments regarding Datapacket.net still stand. I have had 2 'urgent' support tickets outstanding for several days. I have not been able to access my data and publish my site for several months.

And what is worse, it appears that a senior Datapacket.net representative (as I gather Brian is) has the time to come on this forum to defend his company when no-one is attending to my outstanding issue as one of his customers.


PS. Brian's comments around uptime appear a little naive. Server availability of over 99.5% is only achievable with considerable redundancy. Just having a few servers which 'rarely get rebooted' does not constitute guaranteed availability.

  #14  
Old 12-05-2004, 11:29 AM
Lordo Lordo is offline
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lowndesc so what did you do?

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  #15  
Old 12-05-2004, 12:01 PM
JodoHost JodoHost is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by dpnh
but you know nothing about our servers or our business other then that many of your customers are moving to us recently.
Right. If they are, I'm sure they'd be back soon

My comments were general, I made no direct reference to your firm. I was simply making a general observation of low-cost hosts providing 99.999% uptime guarantees

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