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  1. #1
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    Thumbs down Site5 - Customer for two months, not happy at all.

    I run a popular forum for freelance webdesign/development, my old webhost decided to sell up and I needed to find a new host that was able to offer a decent service to accomodate my needs.

    The choices were between site5, unitedhosting and surfspeedy. Looking back I think I may have made the wrong mistake. Site5 initally took 12 hours to setup my account, they offered me a refund for the months services which I was pleased about (although I haven't seen this money yet) and that was a month ago.

    In terms of the features on offer, site5 do offer a wide range of tools to manage your webhosting account and they have a decent enough control panel, alot faster than ensim which ran on my old host. One problem I did notice was that the control panel they were advertising at the time when I signed up was not available until a month or so later...didn't bother me too much though. Multi-site, the ability to split your account up and house seperate accounts within the one is great! It does work well and I had another account setup within 30 seconds.

    The support site5 offers is VERY good, they do respond quickly, i've had times of several minutes upto half an hour but that's fast enough for most of my issues. The problem I have is the solutions to my questions, I have been in contact with various site5 technicians regarding the downtime/slow loading on my site on several occasions and the responses are always the same, nothing seems to be done and the problem is STILL there.

    If I can elaborate on the issue i'm currently being plagued with. Everyday, around the same time, my site will stop loading and give you "page cannot be displayed" or it will take one minute to load (i'm on a 4mb connection and it's not just me expericing this slowness). Site5 have told me it's the backup process that is the problem, i'm failing to understand though, my old host ran by a 17 year old in his bedroom never once gave me this sort of headache! Something I wouldn't expect from a company so proud of their product.....

    I guess the bit that gets me is the fact i'm paying $20/month for a plan I thought was meant to keep my site online and fast loading at all times and now it's down more than it has ever been before!

    Point of this post? I would like Matt or someone on a higher up level in site5 to personally look into this issue because i'm sick and tired of sending countless e-mails to your technicans and getting the same responses back. It's also to make aware that beneath all the sugarcoating there are problems.

    Thanks for reading and I do hope this gets sorted out, site5 do offer a great product and their support is very good it's a shame my site is plagued by what I can only think is a one off issue. Please, other site5 customers....share your experiences with me!

  2. #2
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    They backup servers in the middle of the day?

  3. #3
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    Sorry to hear about this, hope your problems get resolved, good luck.
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  4. #4
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    They backup servers in the middle of the day?
    It would appear so, this issue lasts for around 30 minutes - 1 hour everyday, same time. It's a nightmare for me because it's middle of the day in England (where I live).

  5. #5
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    Middle of the day in England is overnight in the US, there is no reason not to believe they are backing up at that time. The likely problem is that your old host never did backups. They will slow down the system, there is nothing that can be done about that. You can either not have backups of your data or have a slow connection for a short period of time.

    To avoid the backup issue you may wish to move to a European provider as they would be backing up when it's the middle of the night over there.
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  6. #6
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    Then you should find a UK based hosting company, good luck

    Originally posted by talkfreelance
    It would appear so, this issue lasts for around 30 minutes - 1 hour everyday, same time. It's a nightmare for me because it's middle of the day in England (where I live).
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  7. #7
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    Hmm.. sorry about your problem, if its a big forum you should decide on getting a server or something

    i had the same problem,

    my site was down from 4-7pm sometimes 4-11pm ( ****ing *****s ) im sure they will definatley sort the problem now as you have posted it on a forum which is available to read to everyone, which will also make it bad on there company.

    Good Luck.

  8. #8
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    Maybe you can ask them if you can be moved over to a server with less disk space usage? Perhaps you won't experience as much of a performance impact from backups on that server.

    -GSV
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  9. #9
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    I'm curious as to how Site5 does their backups. I know when we ran the backups to do compression locally to a 2nd drive it caused huge problems with the load, however once it was switched over to Rsync, the problems were not nearly as big. The load still rises, but not nearly high enough to cause frequent timeouts or anything along those lines.

  10. #10
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    Wouldn't mind so much if it was just occasional slowness, but it's timeouts, page cannot be displayed and such for half hour-hour daily.....

    I can't imagine it's the same for every host?

    Maybe you can ask them if you can be moved over to a server with less disk space usage? Perhaps you won't experience as much of a performance impact from backups on that server.
    Ironic, i'm on the multi-site plan and their rapid reflex technology for this very reason. I wanted my forum to be fast and available 24/7, however at the moment alot of my users are unhappy with the level of performance and service site5 is delivering.

    Then you should find a UK based hosting company, good luck
    Not really, we have members from all over the world. Backups at6am english time or 6am american time, it's still going to effect people. Are you suggesting that everyone who lives in england hosts their websites with english hosts? I mean, unitedhosting have their servers located in america for one.....
    Last edited by bigdavestar; 07-06-2005 at 01:43 PM.

  11. #11
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    Lots of english hosts have their servers in America; it's a shame that their backups are dragging the server into apparent non-functionality; and something their technicians should definitely be addressing.

    Maybe they could move you to a less dense server, so that as mentioned before backups run quicker.

  12. #12
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    Originally posted by talkfreelance
    Wouldn't mind so much if it was just occasional slowness, but it's timeouts, page cannot be displayed and such for half hour-hour daily.....

    I can't imagine it's the same for every host?

    Its not. Depends on what thier backup/recovery solution is. Sounds like they might be doing simple backups to a second disk. Using RAID Technology to a seperate server solves this issue.
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  13. #13
    I would say monitor your website with a free third party service such as siteuptime.com and show them that you are having downtimes of 30 mins - 1 hour every day. I doubt they will refuse to do something in order to fix the problem.

    If they still do not do anything, you might want to find a new web host within UK. A web host in the same time zone so the backups are done at night time without causing any downtime during the day time for you.

    Best of luck

  14. #14
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    Great advice WN-Ali. Another good one is Alertra. We use them, and in fact, one of the several locations they check from is England.
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  15. #15
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    A web host in the same time zone so the backups are done at night time without causing any downtime during the day time for you
    Thanks for the advice, i'm not that bothered about getting downtime myself, it's the fact my members suffer. It's not just UK based people that visit my site, so other time zones will be effected.

  16. #16
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    With SCSI drives, the load should be quite low during backups. Running a newer 2.6.x kernel also minimizes IO wait issues. Even with IDE drives, as long as rsync / cp is being used for backup with no compression, loads should be managebale and not result in timeouts. Backups do put some strain on a server, but should not stop websites and scripts from running.

    Heck, even our RH 6.x 2.2.x kernel servers with IDE backups keep chugging along during full backups to 2ndary drives.

    - John C.

  17. #17
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    Yeah, I mean my old host who was running a very old setup and out of his bedroom did backups to a remote server and I never had anything like the problems i'm getting now.

  18. #18
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  19. #19
    Hi talkfreelance:

    I am very sorry to hear that our backup processes are impacting you in such a negative way. Obviously this is not something that's normal & I'd like to get this resolved ASAP.

    Please email me directly - tmitchell [(@at@)] site5.com - and I will look into this issue personally.

    Thank you.
    Todd Mitchell
    General Manager
    ThePlanet.com Internet Services, Inc. / theplanet.com

  20. #20
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    Well, let's hope this gets resolved now. Personally, I have not had any problems with my Site5 site.
    (But I'm not running any forum either.)
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  21. #21
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    Originally posted by Nadabrahma
    Well, let's hope this gets resolved now. Personally, I have not had any problems with my Site5 site.
    (But I'm not running any forum either.)
    Neither have I.
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  22. #22
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    Originally posted by DanX
    They backup servers in the middle of the day?
    There's no such thing as "day" on the internet.
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  23. #23
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    I just had a few small notes to add to this, first-Sometime after this issue, I believe, site5 changed their ticketing system to allow you to request management review your ticket; Also, there was a multi-site server that was having issues, I believe the issues have now been resolved (http://forums.site5.com/forumdisplay.php?f=4); Yes, backups usually occur around 2:00 CST (at least on my server, I assume that is standard for all servers, or at least a time around there); Lastly- site5 provides free uptime reports, from websitepulse.com: http://site5.com/support/uptime.php. If you're not satisfied with that, I would recommend host-tracker.com over siteuptime.com, host-tracker checks from about ten different locations and is free, even for checks every minute.


  24. #24
    Originally posted by Aussie Bob
    There's no such thing as "day" on the internet.
    Or night. On the internet, it's more like perpetual twilight.

  25. #25
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    It is true that running backups will put an extra load on the Server until completed. It usually only affects accounts in a negative way, when there are too many accounts on the Server. If there is not enough resources to handle the backup plus serve regular accounts, it will slowdown account Services to some degree -- since resources usually available the accounts are not there.

    Whatever Control Panel is provided should be able to show some stats for; current Server resources used, Server load and possibly even amount of Web space used or available on the hard drive. It's stats like these that help give people an idea on how the Server they are on is being managed.
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  26. #26
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    Most site5 servers run with with quad xeon processors and at least 2 gigs of ram, and have an average load anywhere from 2-6. I was looking at one of their server's loads (they publicly display average loads) when a customer was using an extremely clunky script, and the average load reached well over 12 with no serious problems.
    You can view each server's average load by going to https://servername.site5.com
    I'm on cobalt, loads average about 4 but no latency, speed or connection issues since I've been on it: https://cobalt.site5.com

  27. #27
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    Originally posted by HostNexus Mike
    Its not. Depends on what thier backup/recovery solution is. Sounds like they might be doing simple backups to a second disk. Using RAID Technology to a seperate server solves this issue.
    RAID is not a form of backup, rather a form of disk redundancy every host should use. It is important off-site backups are made. However for certain backup tasks you would still need to make a local dump (preferably on another hard disk for better performance) before they are moved off-site. So this can't be avoided

    However yes, using SCSI hard disks and ensuring the server is not overloaded are ways you can ensure backup doesn't effect customers
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  28. #28
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    Originally posted by ThirstyGrunt
    Most site5 servers run with with quad xeon processors and at least 2 gigs of ram, and have an average load anywhere from 2-6. I was looking at one of their server's loads (they publicly display average loads) when a customer was using an extremely clunky script, and the average load reached well over 12 with no serious problems.
    You can view each server's average load by going to https://servername.site5.com
    I'm on cobalt, loads average about 4 but no latency, speed or connection issues since I've been on it: https://cobalt.site5.com
    i believe those are dual Xeon with HT correct?
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  29. #29
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  30. #30
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    IIRC, they're Dual with HT which makes them look like 4.
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  31. #31
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    Originally posted by mripguru
    IIRC, they're Dual with HT which makes them look like 4.
    Took the words out of my mouth. I hate HT, people keeping on thinking they have Dual P4 or Quad Xeon.. soo annoying.

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  32. #32
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    Originally posted by ThirstyGrunt
    I just had a few small notes to add to this, first-Sometime after this issue, I believe, site5 changed their ticketing system to allow you to request management review your ticket;
    Wow, nice feature. I applaud the proactive style of their management.

  33. #33
    Hello everyone,

    I wanted to take a minute to provide an update on the primary reason this thread was started--backup resource issues.

    I received a very nice email from our client outlining the issues that were negatively impacting their web site / hosting account.

    After assessing the issue with our engineers, I decided to make a drastic change to our backup processes. These changes were implemented last evening on this one particular server & are being tested for inclusion on our entire fleet.

    Preliminary reports from last night indicate an very large improvement over our previous methods. Site5 engineers will continue to monitor this issue and tweak / push the new backup method to all of our machines within the next two weeks.

    If anyone else is hosted on limitbreaker & would like to provide feedback, please feel free to email me directly. tmitchell [(@)] site5.com.
    Todd Mitchell
    General Manager
    ThePlanet.com Internet Services, Inc. / theplanet.com

  34. #34
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    Nice to see management keeping things "cool" at Site5 . Kudos to you.

    -GSV
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  35. #35
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    Yes, issues have been discussed and hopefully the problem is now resolved. Site5 also have been kind to give me the next month for free

  36. #36
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    Your whole situation sounded pretty odd. The Plesk servers I run take domains offline if a customer initiates or schedules a backup, but a host running their own mandatory backups causing sites to come to a standstill or go offline would be a cause for concern.

    Kudo's to Site5 for addressing it too.

  37. #37
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    Good job to Site5 for actually living up to and maintaining their reputation, keep it up Site5!
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  38. #38
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    Originally posted by site5
    ...After assessing the issue with our engineers, I decided to make a drastic change to our backup processes. These changes were implemented last evening on this one particular server & are being tested for inclusion on our entire fleet.

    Preliminary reports from last night indicate an very large improvement over our previous methods. Site5 engineers will continue to monitor this issue and tweak / push the new backup method to all of our machines within the next two weeks.
    Any details on what the fix entailed? Always nice to hear new ways to improve backups in the industry.

    - John C.

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