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  1. #1

    Bad Experince: FDCservers

    I have just had a rather disturbing experince with FDCServers on a dedicated server I recently purchased. I am going to provide all relevent documentation but the long story short is that I purchased ram at the same time I purchased my server. The ram is not being recognized by the OS and according to support it's present and recognized by the bios.

    Am I wrong to expect support regarding this hardware issue despite having an unmanaged server? I am posting this EXACTLY as the conversation went (yes I've since changed the root password). The only thing I am taking out is my real name and phone number. Also I apologize, I tried to use quote but was told I couldn't because I didn't have at least 5 posts (go figure) so I'm going to break this into a series of posts.

  2. #2
    When I first noticed the missing ram I opened a support ticket:
    START OF TICKET ONE

    Date: 10-11-2006 2:50pm CDT
    Subject: Additonal Purchased Ram Not Installed
    Posted by DrZigMan

    Dear Support,
    First and foremost much thanks for your rapid reboot response! I really appreciate the speed at which you addressed my need.

    As for the purposeof this ticket, I had ordered an additional GB of ram for my server 66.90.73.223 and this ram has not been installed...

    root@biology:/var/log# free
    total used free shared buffers cached
    Mem: 904504 720932 183572 0 76444 422412
    -/+ buffers/cache: 222076 682428
    Swap: 996020 0 996020

    My credit card has already been charged for this, please advice as to when this requested hardware upgrade will be available. There is no need to schedule a time frame, you may bring the server down to install the ram at anytime.

    Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns (555) 555-5555.

    Best Regards,
    DrZigMan



    Date: 10-11-2006 3:03pm CDT
    Subject: No subject
    Posted by FDCservers Support (Staff)

    The order hasn't been sent to Support yet. Once we get the order, we will install the ram right away.

    -FDCservers



    Date: 10-11-2006 3:04pm CDT
    Subject: No subject
    Posted by DrZigMan

    Should I contact sales regarding the matter then by emailing sales@fdcservers.net? I'm just unsure as to how to proceed considering I've already been billed.

    Any information or insight you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

    Best Regards,
    DrZigMan




    Subject: No subject
    Posted by FDCservers Support (Staff)

    Yes contact sales.

    -FDCservers

  3. #3
    A little distressing, but not a problem. I contacted sales...


    Dear Sales,
    I had ordered an additional GB of ram for my server 66.90.73.223 and
    this ram has not been installed...

    root@biology:/var/log# free
    total used free shared buffers cached
    Mem: 904504 720932 183572 0 76444 422412
    -/+ buffers/cache: 222076 682428
    Swap: 996020 0 996020

    My credit card has already been charged for this, please advice as to
    when you intend to install the requested hardware. I contacted support and they told me that they never received a request to install the ram. My server is constantly crashing due to the memory usage so please tell support that you have indeed charged me so that they may proceed as quickly as possible. There is no need to schedule downtime, please proceed as soon as you can confirm my having been billed.

    If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me (555) 555-5555.

    Best Regards,




    And they responded with...
    Hello,

    I asked our techs to check it out ASAP

    Regards





    Hello,

    Our techs are telling me the server has 2GB RAM. You might want to contact
    the helpdesk at (the helpdesk url) if you see something else than
    2GB RAM

    Regards

    FDCservers.net

  4. #4
    To which I opened another support ticket...
    START OF TICKET TWO
    Date: 10-15-2006 12:24am CDT
    Subject: Ram Descrepency

    Posted by DrZigMan

    I was told by sales that my request to have a total of 2GB of Ram installed for my server was completed...

    Hello, Our techs are telling me the server has 2GB RAM. You might want to contact the helpdesk at (helpdesk url) if you see something else than 2GB RAM Regards FDCservers.net

    I believe you are mistaken...
    root@biology:~# free
    total used free shared buffers cached
    Mem: 904504 401156 503348 0 8984 172512
    -/+ buffers/cache: 219660 684844
    Swap: 996020 21360 974660

    Including swap there is 2 GB, but that's not what we're talking about here, I've asked to have physical memory installed. Either the Ram is bad, it is not being recogonized by the server, or it is not actually present.

    Please confirm this, and correct the issue. The server's current root password is tempp4ss4fdcsupport

    If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me.

    Best Regards,
    DrZigMan



    Date: 10-15-2006 12:27am CDT
    Subject: No subject

    Posted by FDCservers Support (Staff)

    the server has 2x 1GB sticks of ram in the server, and bios displays 2GB ram.

    -FDCservers




    Date: 10-15-2006 12:38am CDT
    Subject: No subject
    Posted by DrZigMan

    Can you confirm my free report? That the operating system is not recognizing the ram? I'm sure you will agree that the extra ram is worthless if the operating system does not see it, or is unable to use it.

    Please investigate and advise. I would greatly appreciate it if you would log into the box, run top and free and note the amount of available memory.

    Best Regards,
    DrZigMan





    Date: 10-15-2006 12:40am CDT
    Subject: No subject

    Posted by FDCservers Support (Staff)

    please provide your root login information.

    -FDCservers




    Date: 10-15-2006 12:51am CDT
    Subject: No subject
    Posted by DrZigMan

    As I provided in my orignal support request...

    The server's current root password is tempp4ss4fdcsupport

    Please note:
    root@biology:~# free -m
    total used free shared buffers cached
    Mem: 883 181 702 0 7 27
    -/+ buffers/cache: 145 737
    Swap: 972 0 972


    Thank you for investigating.

    Best Regards,
    DrZigMan




    Date: 10-15-2006 1:19am CDT
    Subject: No subject
    Posted by FDCservers Support (Staff)

    im not sure what the issue is. the bios shows 2GB ram, and there is physically 2GB of ram in the server. the onlything i can think of is somehow the OS is unable to support 2GB of ram for unknown reasons.

    -FDCservers




    Date: 10-15-2006 1:22am CDT
    Subject: No subject
    Posted by DrZigMan

    How is it you know this? You didn't issue any commands, and you sat on the server idle for 2 minutes...

    507 watch -n 1 w
    508 history

    507 was my monitoring the server status, 508 was me checking the history once support left the box.

    I am sorry but your response is simply unacceptable. The installed version of Slackware...

    root@biology:~# cat /etc/slackware-version
    Slackware 11.0.0

    11.0.0 does indeed support 2GB's of ram, the 2.4 kernel has supported it for as long as I've been a support tech, and the presumption that slackware has a memory limit is asinine.

    Further, I ordered the server and the ram at the same time so this is something that should have been handled when the server was first provisioned. This is a purely hardware and server configuration based issue and fits squarely within the domain and responsibility of you and your support.

    I am rapidly losing faith in your service. I need a resolution, or at least an investigation! As a Level 3 support tech myself (Google: "DrZigMan" Level 3 Support first result) I humbly request that you either resolve this issue, or escalate it to someone with the expertise required to assist me in diagnosing this problem. If you are unable or unwilling to do so please tell me now and save us both the frustration and time and I will take my business elsewhere.

    I apologize for my tone, but I am growing rather frustrated. I await your response.

    Best Regards,
    DrZigMan






    Date: 10-15-2006 1:24am CDT
    Subject: No subject
    Posted by DrZigMan

    Actually I apologize, it appears you did check the memory status...

    499 free
    500 cat /proc/meminfo

    I apologize for that incorrect assestment.






    Subject: No subject
    Posted by FDCservers Support (Staff)

    i was not saying that there was an issue with slackware, i was stating that there is some sort of limitation in the installation on your server. the hardware is fine, as its being detected in bios, and as stated is physically in the server. the issue resides in the OS only. we do not provide managed servers and this falls under that category. we have done a default install for you on the correct hardware.

    -FDCservers

  5. #5
    So now I stand here having to work on this RAM issue on my own and I feel that that isn't right. Please let me know if you feel that my assestment of the situation is too harsh, but I really feel this is something the datacenter should be helping with. Please keep this experince in mind when considering your next dedicated server.

    Best Regards,
    DrZigMan

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    38
    Sorry to hear about your negative experience so far. Hopefully FDCservers will make it right for you.

    BTW, How long has it been that you ordered the RAM for your server?


  7. #7
    About a week and change, but keep in mind that I orded the ram when I orded the server, it's not like I added it on later.

  8. #8
    Well technically speaking if it does indeed fall under an OS only situation, then you are on your own.
    You could however research what might be causing this and then tell them to remove the RAM.

    If I were you I would have the ram removed, and then do some research on why the ram isn't being detected in the OS, and try to fix it.
    If that fails I would maybe get a server at another place where you in advance ask them if there has been any issues with ram and Slack.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by drzigman
    About a week and change, but keep in mind that I orded the ram when I orded the server, it's not like I added it on later.
    But they say:

    "we have done a default install for you on the correct hardware."

    Does that mean the ram was put in after the original provisioning before you received your log in info?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Greece
    Posts
    2,087
    Slackware default 2.4.x kernel doesn't support more than 1GB ram. You have to recompile the kernel. It's not FDC issue but a slackware issue

  11. #11
    And there you go

  12. #12
    Still FDC's support was crap.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    84
    FDC is horrible from my past experience...well in terms of server reliability and support anyway. I'm glad I moved to layeredtech and SM

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    1,584
    You are inviting trouble posting your complete IP in any public forum .

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    10,574
    Quote Originally Posted by joshcrick
    Still FDC's support was crap.
    FDC responded very quickly to ticket replies in this case and tried their best to help out. They went beyond what an unmanaged provider should be doing already. What more do you expect from them?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    chicago
    Posts
    702
    you might want ask support to install different linux distro. OS reinstalls are free
    Petr Kral - FDCServers.net LLC
    2xLos Angeles - Seattle - 2xDenver - 3xChicago - Miami- New York - Paris - London - Madrid - Amsterdam - Frankfurt - Zlin - Vienna - DATACENTERS
    3+Tbps of internet connectivity --- 10Gbps unmetered services in 17 US & EU locations

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    5,036
    Quote Originally Posted by mike_au
    FDC is horrible from my past experience...well in terms of server reliability and support anyway. I'm glad I moved to layeredtech and SM
    Whenever I hear this, I am surprised about it. I help a colleague with servers at FDC and I am always pretty shocked about how quickly they respond and get the work done.

    Recently new ips took about 30 minutes to get and a reformat even though they responded and said it was in queue and could take up to 24 hours which is reasonable, took exactly 46minutes.

    If you haven't tried them lately try them now.
    Can't we all just get along

  18. #18
    I will have to admit that their ticket response times are awesome. Rarely do I have to wait longer then 15 minutes, but I really think that despite the server being unmanaged and since I ordered the server with the extra ram, not afterwards, that this should have warrented more support.

    Nevertheless, I'm still working on things from my side. Hopefully the right series of kernel hacks will get it up and running.


    I just expected that when I ordered a server with 2GB's of ram, that's what I would see. Call me crazy <shrugs>

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    4,647
    Quote Originally Posted by joshcrick
    Still FDC's support was crap.
    Maybe a few years ago, but in the past year they're some of the fastest i've dealt with.

    We recently ordered a customd dual xeon setup. They spent around 8 hours over a period of 2 days rebuilding it how I liked, upgrading the BIOS, tuning our server, etc.

    Every time a ticket was put in, I had a response in 5 - 10 minutes, sometimes even quicker. At one point we had a bad bios version that didn't allow for hyperthreading to work properly (related to APCI/APIC), and simply not boot a new kernel. Because I figured it was a bad kernel I compiled, and not a hardware issue, they sat at my server rebooting it about 15 times within a 1 hour period.

    The other day one of our hard drive blew out. I put in a ticket to have the drive replaced - no sweat! The drive was replaced, centOS was reloaded and we were given the login information in under an hour.

    Please don't use past experiences to judge their awesome techs. In the past year they've done so freaking much to make their support and network be awesome.

    ~Francisco
    BuyVM - OpenVZ & KVM Based VPS Servers - Chat with us
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  20. #20
    Francisco,

    Why then were they willing to work with you and not me? I'm glad they were able to work with you so closely, but all I wanted was for my system to recognize the hardware they installed.

    I still am deeply disappointed and would not recommend their service to anyone.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    5,036
    Honestly drzigman you were very patient and reasonable about it and was certain that it was their issue BUT in the end it turns out to have been a software OS level issue.

    I question whether they should have installed it if it doesn't support the ram you bought as my expectation is that a server is delivered working with all its resources then ongoing upkeep is up to the purchaser after that. I however think that at the end of the day the tech was correct that the ram was in and working but its a slackware problem.

    Maybe you should step into the 90's and ditch slackware
    Can't we all just get along

  22. #22
    <sidesteps distro war>

    The more and more I think about it I can understand what a lot of you'll are saying, but I really think that if I order a server with specific specs the server should be their responsability untill I get a server with the specs I ordered. The OS supporting it or not is something that should be been delt with before the root password was ever given to me.

    I kinda think of it this way. If you ordered a car with a really nice stereo system with no warrenty, but they turned the car over to you and two of the speakers didn't work, they would still have to fix it. Sure the speakers are physically there, but who cares if they don't work?

    At the end of the day it just comes down to how you look at it. I paid for a server with 2 GB's of ram, sure it physically has the two sticks, but what good are they to me if I can't use them? If they weren't going to provide me with any support, then why did they have to reboot my server 3 times, and ask for my root password? I just think it's kinda half assed and I don't really feel like a "valued customer" after an experince like that.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    977
    Quote Originally Posted by drzigman
    The more and more I think about it I can understand what a lot of you'll are saying, but I really think that if I order a server with specific specs the server should be their responsability untill I get a server with the specs I ordered. The OS supporting it or not is something that should be been delt with before the root password was ever given to me.
    I agree whole-heartedly. This is not a jab specifically at FDC, or any other company that might engage in this questionable practice. It's rather a statement of reasonable policy. If I were still buying dedicated servers, I would echo the original poster's sentiment to my provider.

    That being said, I believe you have your answer now. Assuming that the previous advice which was given is true, why not recompile your kernel? You could also try changing the boot flags and adding "mem=2G" to the end of the kernel. Around '97 when Slackware 3.3 was new, it would not address more than 64MB of RAM without being explicitly told to do so on the command line. I happened to have a whopping 128MB at the time. I don't know if it will solve your problem but it's worth a shot.

    Now selling BigVPS's!
    Jacksonville Colocation and dedicated servers by colo4jax
    We are *not* a reseller. We own our servers, switches, routers and racks.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    1,584
    Quote Originally Posted by drzigman
    I just expected that when I ordered a server with 2GB's of ram, that's what I would see. Call me crazy <shrugs>
    We are all a little crazy.

    You might post your problem on the FDC forum, it might bring some other suggestions.

  25. #25
    Once I ordered a Dual Opteron server with FreeBSD and the default installation doesn't come with SMP kernel so it would only see one processor. They wouldn't remedy it and I had to recompile the kernel. Nothing out of the ordinary since they are unmanaged. They provide free DEFAULT OS installs so if you need something changed, you have to do it yourself. I usually install CentOS which has a great default setup and I've never had to compile the kernel to add anything. Also, I like CentOS as an OS hehe.

    So basically, don't be angry at FDC and its their policy only to do default OS installs. Anything else, you do it yourself.

    thewird

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