1and1 Dedicated: my bad experience and rescue mode tips
My brief view on 1and1 dedicated servers from my 1 year of using 1 is:
1and1 Dedicated Servers are super-fast and continuouly growing in features, they are great for just casual usage, however if you want to run anything semi-important on them I would say DO NOT. 1and1 support, simply put, sucks, their reliability is 0 to none and the customer is definetly not their priority.
Over the course of my 1 year with them, my server has gone down about 5 times for a period of over a day, once over a week.
My worst experience, which I just again reexperienced, was when they intentionally disconnected my server from the network without even bothering to notify me. They claimed there was an outgoing UDP flood from the server, which I know was not true; I have seen posts by other users where 1and1 claimed this also. Because of the "UDP flood" they believe our server was compromised and refused to bring it back up unless we reimaged the server, and they would not provide backup service unless we paid 50 bucks per 20 gigs for it.
The worst part was not that they believed we had been compromised and therefore pulled it, it was that it took their support team a day to even realize this was the case. Their support team kept telling us it was a hardware issue and they were working on it, they even supposedly corresponded directly with admins twice, and our priority was raised. They were unaware that 1and1 pulled the plug themselves, so they didn't notify us and they didn't notify their own support team.
Eventually after we found this was the case we got them to boot it into a "rescue" mode. We already had 3 days of downtime at this point. In rescue mode, the server is booted off another drive and you can mount the normal drives. It is meant to not allow you to run usual services such as Apache etc. We could not afford such downtime, so we managed to figure out howto run everything in rescue mode, which thankfully I remembered today when this happened again. I decided to document the steps for those who have the same experience:
From rescue mode:
Replace domain.com with a domain pointing to your server.
mount -t ext3 /dev/hda1 /mnt
mount -t xfs /dev/hda5 /mnt/usr
mount -t xfs /dev/hda6 /mnt/var
mount -t xfs /dev/hda7 /mnt/home
service mysqld start
service psa start
service xinetd start
service named start
service httpd start
service qmail start
service courier-imap start
Anyways eventually after about 3 more days, we had the idea of convincing them that we found the security flaw, even though there was none, and after calling three times, the third support tech. fell for it and thats how we managed to recover from that disaster. At that point we figured oh well we'll just deal with 1and1 for a few more months.
Just recently there was another downtime (a 3rd of their network), and it according to them it was just an issue with one router. Any decent ISP would be able to hotswap a router in a few minutes, and with redundant backbones, they should also have redundant routers I would think. It took them three hours to resolve the issue.
And now I faced the same thing as what happened before, them wanting us to reimage. This time knowing how 1and1 works better, we got about 18hrs of downtime instead of 3 days, and as I said before I remembered all the steps to get stuff working in recovery, so we're up and running, but a wreck.
So again I reiterate, if you need any reliability or customer service, do not go with 1and1! If you just need a cheap dedicated fast host to play with, they're wonderful.
1.) What server did you *think* you were buying in the first place? The server you discribe above?
I expect any decent host to at least notify a customer if they pull the network connection on the server and I expect their own support to be aware of it.
2.) What are you paying monthly for your service?
About $90 a month.
3.) A year of service and you just now post at WHT (bad review) as your first post where have you been? What has motivated you to come forward?
The other person who helps manage this server I believe has posted here before, I just had to post something in my frustration with 1and1. Also my original reason for the post was not to bash 1and1, but actually to provide those few shell commands in the middle to other locked 1and1 users who cannot afford a week of downtime....
Thanks for the advice, I was just about to go with 1and1 to expand my web hosting business with their very cheap servers with more dedicated servers as my current ones are almost getting over crowded. I guess I will just continue building up new servers and colocating them. My longterm plan would be to own my own datacenter where I will have immediate access to my servers physically which is better than remote access.