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  1. #1

    Trials and tribulations of moving to a VPS (Review)

    Well, after my most recent move, now that I'm settled in, I figured I'd put pen to paper (or in this case fingers to keyboard) and spew out my experience and observations, so settle back, have a drink, and allow me to regale you with my epic tale!

    By way of background, I am not a reseller, rather I own about a dozen domains and have used the features of a reseller account to be able to tweak and fiddle with resource allocation, etc. For the last 14 months I've been with RealWebHost.Com. When I first signed up with them, everything was great. Support was quick and friendly. Granted, I was paying what I consider to be premium dollars (5GB diskspace, 70GB monthly bandwidth = $54.95/month). Over the last 14 months, however, the support gradually became less cordial, and there was an issue with them disabling vi on me (read about that episode here) and that just plain ole' pissed me off. Add to that the fact that I was coming close to my bandwidth allowance, and it was time for a change. [I don't want to give the impression that everything was bad with RWH. The servers and network were fast and there was very little downtime. I just no longer felt comfortable with them from a support standpoint and I was outgrowing them.]

    So after doing some reading here at WHT, I decide that a VPS is the right thing for me. I started doing some research and checking out responses to sales inquiries (see my comparison thread here). Based on the responses I received and perusing each host's support forums (other than Servint, which I could not access; read that debate in this thread).

    Unfortunately my timing was not good, since PowerVPS had just stopped taking orders due to a datacenter migration. This was the last week of October. PowerVPS indicated that they would most likely be taking new orders after the first week in November. So I waited... and waited... On November 20 it became clear that they would not be accepting new customers before December 1. In PowerVPS's favor, Charles came right out and said such when I inquired. He apologized, but said that their first priority was taking care of their existing customers. That resonated very well with me, but unfortunately I could not afford to wait indefinitely. [If I need to move again, I most definitely will consider PowerVPS at the top of my list just based on all the presales communication I had.]

    So what do I do? Well, as it turned out this happened to be right when DEHE.Com was offering their 50% off for life VPS special. I did some inquiry, did some searching here, and some reading on their forums as well. My biggest trepidation was paying annually, as I had been bitten badly by that in the past.

    I bit the bullet and made a purchase in the last hour the special was running (talk about cutting it close ).

    The configuration I ordered was the following:

    20GB Disk Space
    300GB Bandwidth
    384MB Guaranteed RAM (2GB burstable)
    WHM/Cpanel
    Fantastico
    10GB Off-Server Backups
    $522 annually = $43.50 per month

    It took roughly 3 days for the VPS to be configured. Now before anyone goes ape**** about the length of time it took, (1) they were HAMMERED by that special, (2) I was one of the last buyers to get in so was at the bottom of the queue, (3) I told them I wasn't in a huge hurry.

    There were a few hiccups in transferring my domains from RWH; not DEHE's fault.

    So I've been there 5 days now. My impressions:

    <BILLCLINTON>I have never had sexual relations with that woman... </BILLCLINTON>

    Oops, sorry... wrong impression.

    1. Support is fairly fast and VERY professional and cordial. I needed to have apache recompiled a few times, no problem. I needed to have a special custom perl module that I use compiled, again no problem. There was a bit of sluggishness due to one of the requests I had made, and that was taken care of. I needed to have some rather unusual file/folder permissions set in order for some domains to access files on other domains, and that was done.
    2. I felt that there was a little bit of miscommunication when tickets were handed off from one engineer to another across shifts, but nothing major. DEHE appears to have a fairly large support staff. This is a big change from where I was previously.
    3. Support seems willing to tackle just about anything and take care of it for you, rather than just saying "you need to do XXX to fix it." It's a double-edged sword: on the positive side, there's no chance of me fscking something up, but by the same token I don't really learn the ins and outs of how to do things. I *do* like the fact that apparently I do not have to have to be as concerned with server admin as I thought I would have to be, moving to a VPS. The management services appear to be complete. I could probably ask them to tell me how to fix things rather than just doing it for me, but having them do it is probably best for all concerned.
    4. The VPS is quite speedy; I can definitely tell the difference over my old host, and my site regulars are noticing it as well.
    5. One downside thus far: the help ticketing system appears to be fairly crude. It's more of a logging system rather than an actual helpdesk. When viewing the list of tickets, there's no way to see which ones are open or closed; in fact there is no open or closed status to tickets at all. Not a big deal now, but over the course of time this could become a pain in the butt.


    So, yes, it's early on in our hosting relationship; still in the honeymoon stage *kiss*, but indications are quite positive. I'm a bit obsessive and anal-retentive when making a hosting move (in layman terms, I'm a pain in the ***), so if the interaction with support makes me happy, it's likely to please just about anyone.

    If anyone wants to check speed, here are a few of my web sites:

    <<Urls removed>>
    If you have any questions, I'll try to answer them as best as I can.
    Last edited by anon-e-mouse; 11-30-2005 at 06:36 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Il
    Posts
    448
    Hello, I usually do not reply to threads such as these but figured I would throw my 2 cents in here.

    First of all looking at the thread you have posted on vi and some responses from other people I would disagree with some of it.
    First we have numerous clients that use vi on other servers without issue. On this server you were using vi constantly and sometimes leaving the editor open. Yes vi can run the load up on servers and hosts know this.
    So when we monitored your site for 2 months and every time the load was high on the server it was due to you having vi open.
    When vi on the server was disabled the loads went back to normal.

    Second, the plan you signed up for was a reseller account with all reseller accounts there are other clients on that server. Reseller server is not a dedicated server. If you had wanted one, we could have put you on one at anytime.
    Our support has never waiver in the past or present we have a lot of clients that would tend to disagree with your comments.
    Even when you were moving your accounts we helped you get them moved from the server after you had filled up the 2.5 gig tmp dir 2 days in a row and had the server not working at all during those periods. Only after we emailed you about this and offered our help was the site finally moved over.


    Your main issue on a shared/reseller server with us was all the cgi scripts that you use, some I would imagine being updated.

    I can not believe you have said some of these things. We were always there to support you whenever you requested it and we have all the tickets to reference this.
    We moved your accounts over for you in the beginning and gave you free ssh access on all accounts when we have always charged for this in the past.
    Sometimes you do your best as a company to please someone and nothing you do can accomplish that. We are very sorry you believe you did not receive the service you expected the entire time you hosted with us. Hopefully you will find that where you are now.

    Joey
    Real Web Host
    http://www.realwebhost.net
    http://www.realwebhost.net/vps.php
    ICQ 120397604 |MSN : hotmail.com | AIM : rwhsupport | Yahoo: rwhmax

  3. #3
    I don't want this to turn into a pissing match, but in all fairness, your response above is one of the reasons I wanted to move.

    If you go back and reread the second paragraph of my post, I think I can summarize it by saying "overall the sevices were good, but there were a few things that made me uncomfortable." Is that a crime? There *were* certain aspacts of interaction with you and support that *did* make me feel uncomfortable. You seem to take everything personally. Just like the email you sent me when you discovered that I was shopping for a VPS. It was petulant and unprofessional.

    The tenor of the hosting relationship had deteriorated and I wanted to make a change. It happens. I was there 14 months. The services were good, but I just was not feeling comfortable with the arrangement.

    You offer quality services, but the rapport made me feel uneasy, and ultimately since it's my dollars being spent, I made the decision to move somewhere else.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Il
    Posts
    448
    I guess you did not read the last part of my post.

    Sometimes you do your best as a company to please someone and nothing you do can accomplish that. We are very sorry you believe you did not receive the service you expected the entire time you hosted with us. Hopefully you will find that where you are now.
    http://www.realwebhost.net
    http://www.realwebhost.net/vps.php
    ICQ 120397604 |MSN : hotmail.com | AIM : rwhsupport | Yahoo: rwhmax

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Amsterdam/Rotterdam, NL
    Posts
    2,085
    Quote Originally Posted by RWH
    First we have numerous clients that use vi on other servers without issue. On this server you were using vi constantly and sometimes leaving the editor open. Yes vi can run the load up on servers and hosts know this.
    Hm, interesting. Actually as a host, you should know this is a commonly known issue, vi sometimes gets stuck. It has nothing to do with the customer, it has to do with how vi works. You as a host are responsible for keeping track of things like that, since this is nothing the customer can prevent from happening.

    When something like that happens you can simply kill the vi processes, only takes a second. Furthermore it's quite simple to write a script that monitors vi processes and kills them in case they get stuck.

    Disallowing clients from using vi isn't a solution, especially considering vi is like the editor. Also if your tech support then suggest to the customer that he should use putty instead of vi () - that kinda proves whoever replied to that ticket doesn't have a clue about linux, which isn't giving the customer too much faith, I'd say.

    To make a long story short, I think the complaint of the customer against RWH is well justified.

    Thank you for your detailed review Dan, I can always highly appreciate a customer taking the time to write out something like this. I'm glad to hear you like our services!
    Last edited by Apoc; 12-04-2005 at 04:58 PM.

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