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  1. #1
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    Review of Cirtex

    When I was looking for a new hosting plan late in 2006, I looked through the WHT posts and thought that Cirtex was probably a good bet. I signed up with Cirtex for their Basic plan at the end of November (2006) and was placed on their Ducky server located in Scanton PA. That server was affected by the BurstNET connectivity problem on December 5th, a situation out of Cirtex's hands. Even through this was not Cirtex fault, they offered affected clients 3 months of free hosting credit, very admirable.

    Before developing my domain, I had a few online monitoring services keep watch on an extremely simple HTML homepage. In the last few weeks, I have seen multiple instances, occasionally several per day, of monitoring services inability to connect to my webpage for minutes at a time. Related incidents have been reported on the Cirtex forum by clients hosting on Ducky server with me, as well as problems with Fuzzy and Baby servers.

    I opened a ticket with Cirtex support and provided them data from several monitoring stations on different days. A shifting array of support people each responded to my ticket with "Site works OK now" and never dealt with the intermittant and continuing problem. Someone reading the General Support section of the Cirtex forum will note several threads with several days worth of complaints from irate hosting clients, those posting support tickets getting reassuring "Site works OK when I test it" replies followed by more connectivity dropouts.

    We have read aknowledgements from administrators that they realize problems exist, their replies in the forum including, "we're definitely doing our best to cope with the rapid growth in the past few months." , " Just have some patience for us, we're getting these servers in shape now, we're almost there!" , and " just a reminder that I am continuing to work at the securing and tweaking of all servers, I know it's not good enough at the moment, and I'm working as fast as possible on it."

    Clients feel that the techs handling support tickets have no sense of the problems acknowledged on the forum, as they reply in tickets that servers such as Ducky, Fuzzy and Baby "have been stable".

    Cirtex website states a 99.5% Uptime Guarantee. Their servers report uptime of multiple days each, 100% uptime. But I and other clients using external monitoring services were finding several-minute-duration gaps of connectivity on a regular basis. Wondering if there was external monitoring, I inquired but did not get a quantitative answer. In recent days, Cirtex administration has written on the forum, "I'll be setting up with Alertra probably this week, it's all part of my continued securing/tweaking of server administration here." Cirtex needs to be specific how they can prove providing 99.5% uptime, and what that means.

    I am not criticizing Cirtex for their inability to fix the problem(s) quickly and on the first try. I am worried that the lack of candor (admitting there must be a problem, due to the number/frequency of complaints) and inability of support staff to wrestle with the reports ( "if I don't see it now then you really don't have a problem" approach) makes me worry about long-term prospects for Cirtex customers. I can't tell Cirtex how to run their business, but I wonder how they can continue to keep hosting signups open when they know they are fighting to get their servers in line. I can tell anyone considering hosting with Cirtex to think twice and monitor any server there yourself to check performance.

    Sending PM with name of domain hosted with Cirtex for verification.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by sclick95
    Sending PM with name of domain hosted with Cirtex for verification.
    Thanks and confirmed
    If you don’t like the road you’re walking on, start paving a new one.

  3. #3
    Sorry to hear about your issues with CirtexHosting. The owner of the company posts on WHT, and I am sure he will post in this thread with his side of the story

    ( "if I don't see it now then you really don't have a problem" approach)
    The techs have to see the problem on their end in order to track it down, and once they track it down then they will be able to resolve it. If the tech is unable to find what is wrong, I do not think they will say "we have a problem but I don't know what exactly". Some times the issue really is on the customer's end, and not the web host.

    Which monitoring service were you using to monitor the uptime of your web site?

    I hope your issues with them get resolved soon, best of luck

  4. #4
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    Some times the issue really is on the customer's end, and not the web host.
    Yes, at first I thought that. But when you see monitoring servies that try from various geographic locations fail to connect, then you have other users of the server report similar incidents, you know it is not something at (each of those) customer's end.
    Which monitoring service were you using to monitor the uptime of your web site?
    The faults were reported multiple times by mon.itor.us and host-tracker.com. During one dropout I was able to run the URL in Alertra's "Spot Check" and the five servers trying there could not connect. Host-tracker also checks from multiple monitoring sites.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sclick95
    Yes, at first I thought that. But when you see monitoring servies that try from various geographic locations fail to connect, then you have other users of the server report similar incidents, you know it is not something at (each of those) customer's end.
    The faults were reported multiple times by mon.itor.us and host-tracker.com. During one dropout I was able to run the URL in Alertra's "Spot Check" and the five servers trying there could not connect. Host-tracker also checks from multiple monitoring sites.
    Hi Duane

    We monitor our servers using our in house system along with Hyperspin for all servers and Alertra for few. The tech in which you were chatting with on our Live Chat system wasn't 100% sure which system we were using thus he was not able to inform you that, but all of our techs do monitor our servers and we do get alerts of down time.

    I understand there were few incidents of issues due to our new HTTP Configuration with some anti-flood/ddos measures installed thus causing some apache issues but we've since re-tweaked our Apache and things should run much more smoothly now without causing any HTTP Downtime.

    As for monitoring from host-tracker, I remember checking your ticket and honestly host-tracker could be very accurate but some reports you showed to us were no where to be found on our hyperspin reports, as if we saw 2 sets of 5min downtime in one day for the server, your host-tracker report were much more off showing many more time outs.

    Anyhow, I do apologize for the inconvenience caused as of past few days with your server and do contact me here directly on WHT if you have any feedbacks/issues as I do check here regularly. Also don't hesitate to ask for a refund for this month or hosting credit as I'll be more than glad to add that for you.

    Take care and have a good day
    █• CirtexHosting • Providing Affordable and Quality Web Hosting & Reseller Hosting since 2003
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  6. #6
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    I hope that you add Alertra monitoring to all servers you provide. I hope that one or more of the monitoring servers checks on a 15 minute or faster basis so that it has a chance to catch such short-term dropouts as we were experiencing. You need data to back up your uptime guarantee, unless you don't want to consider external connectivity into your uptime figure.

    Your recent changes have had effect as Host Tracker is no longer finding those short duration drops in connectivity. I am confident in Host Tracker as I use them widely and have never experienced a false downtime report.

    I also hope that you can get some awareness of those handling support tickets concerning issues brought up on the forum. In any organization allowing client/staff communication through a forum, at times issues are only mentioned there, tickets do not get generated, and support staff don't have visibility of concerns already being discussed in forum threads. At a minimum, that would reduce the situations where admins are replying on the forum about problems they are working, while tickets are being replied to with statements that the servers are stable and have no other such reported problems (paradoxically).

    You've been considerate and generous with your offers of refund/credits but understand few clients would host even for free if they felt their websites were periodically unreachable. It is not so much a matter of future payment as it is daily reliability.

  7. #7
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    Hi

    Thank you for your feedback, I do appreciate you pointing out the problems but our monitoring system is set to 3 and 5 min intervals for all servers. We're aware when there is an issue and try our best to resolve it asap, and as for the helpdesk/forum responses, I'll definitely get in touch with our helpdesk staff to better update users regarding server issues if there is any.

    If you have anymore questions or feedbacks, feel free to contact me directly

    Cheers
    █• CirtexHosting • Providing Affordable and Quality Web Hosting & Reseller Hosting since 2003
    █• LINUX based cPANEL/WHM Shared and Reseller Web Hosting with Fantastico
    █• HostV VPS • Premium Virtual Private Servers & Dedicated Servers powered by cPanel/WHM
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  8. #8
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    Assuming you have an external monitoring service that requests a page off your servers using HTTP, there is no way it would have missed the dropouts in the past weeks on Ducky, running at 5 minute intervals.
    Note I said external monitoring.
    I'd prepared to send you more logged failure evidence than I already submitted with my support ticket. My opinion, and it is strictly my opinion and not those of other customers that showed you failures from monitoring services in your forum, is that you are in a state of denial. And, as I noted in my original post, that is what worries me most, more than just some failures in the recent past.

  9. #9
    I have two different websites hosted with them.
    I had one hosted with them before and after a few weeks of good uptime came the Down time. For about a week (give or take a few days) my website kept going offline for different amounts of time during the week and so i shut down the site. I recently created two more websites which are hosted with them but as loads of people on Cirtex's own forum and on my two websites. People will tell you that my website kept going down last week and i lost money because of there continuation of down time. The only reason i stayed was because they have good customer support and it's too much hastle to move both sites.

  10. #10
    "We're aware when there is an issue and try our best to resolve it asap, and as for the helpdesk/forum responses, I'll definitely get in touch with our helpdesk staff to better update users regarding server issues if there is any."

    The cirtex hosting formus are bursting at the seams with this explanation, from many people, worded several different ways. Posts like this seem to be over quite a lenghty period of time. I have only been a member for two weeks, and there have been 4-hour periods where noone can login to my site (of course, Cirtex reports show no such data; go figure). Reading the forum posts, it seems that this "known issue" has existed for quite sometime, yet still exists.

    While Cirtex is obviously a very small opeartion (tech support goes to a voicemail everytime I have called), you would expect that to translate into more personlaized service. Rather, they just continually post the same "we're aware and working on it" message over and over again, making them seem even worse then most of the big guys.

    There was even this one post on their own forum where they told a customer they can leave, and Cirtex will "pack your bags, and send you your site".

    Reading through these forums on the cirtex site (wish I would have done so before signing up), I do see one constant theme; "they offered me a refund". Why does Cirtex have to dole out so many refunds? I have seen at least 6 posts where someone was so irritated by the servcie they finally said something, then Cirtex's answer was to offer them a refund. Refund for one customer does not mean fixed for the rest!

    When you maintain a "hosting community" as they call it, handling things on a customer-by-customer basis like this does not resolve anything. Rather than chase around the customers who post negatively about Cirtex and do whatever they have to do to stop the negative posts, maybe Cirtex should just get their act together so its not an issue in the first place.

    I, as I said, have been a member for about 2 weeks. Because I don't have the most expensive account, I am on one of these problematic servers, and have had many complaints that my site is inaccessible, while other cirtex-hosted sites are available just fine, at the same time.

    I was told there would be 95% uptime, there is nowhere near this. I was told that there was an abundant knowledgebase for assistance with the site, there are like 6 total topics covered. The site says that I can have Real Media streaming from the site, or use ffMpeg--of course the knowledge base has nothing on either--and when I emailed Support, I received several responses within the hour, but all of them were completely useless; they all just pointed to tutorials on the web for embedding media files into a webpage. I explained thouroughly that my intention was to stream media from the site into external players via entering the URL in the player, and all i got was a link to a tutorial on embedding objects into webpages. The site says that I have "sendmail", even gives me the path to it in my control panel...but it won't work. I e-mail tech support, and my response is "your 'shared' account does not support this". Well, guys, my control panel says it does, and even provides me the path to use it. I can add ftp users (though none of them have been able to connect; error every time that it is inaccessible), but cannot for the life of me see how to add admin accounts that can log into the control panel.

    I do realize that they are small company, and that I seem to have many expectations, but the only things I have expected are the things that the site said came with my account. Anyone who is going to host with Cirtex, read their own forums first...wish I had. Good thing they have a "30-day moneyback guarantee". Though, based on the uptime guarantee being completely ficticious, I'm sure I'll never see that "guarantee" either.

    Best of luck, Cirtex! You are nice people and all, I just hate to be lied to, and the point of putting my stuff on the web is so that people can get to it anytime, which has ABSOLUTELY not been the case at all.

  11. #11
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    Hi

    Please PM me your ticket IDs regarding sendmail as they are supported and the tech should not be telling you that it is not. I do remember personally answering your question that we do not support shoutcast type audio streaming as that you might have been confused over. While we support ffmpeg and streaming, you do need to do some research on it yourself first. We do try our best to go the extra step to help you code your own webpages but embedding a video/audio file is easiest or just linking to the file directly will allow user to play the file in a new player, or linking to a new page with only the player / file embedded into it so it auto-plays.

    Being generous and keeping each customer happy is our goal one at a time, if there's an issue and a customer is unhappy, we like to help resolve issues on a one on one basis and get to know our customers, and I'm sure you will find many hosts that will not even send refunds due to their 30-day policy and forcing upon yearly/2year payments ahead of time.

    Anyhow, thanks for all your warm comments.

    Take care and do send a PM over if you have any feedbacks and let me know your Ticket ID so I can look into it for ya.

    Cheers
    █• CirtexHosting • Providing Affordable and Quality Web Hosting & Reseller Hosting since 2003
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  12. #12
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    The cirtex hosting formus are bursting at the seams with this explanation, from many people, worded several different ways.
    Anyone who is going to host with Cirtex, read their own forums first...wish I had.
    Unfortunately, the "CirtexHosting Support" section of the forum is not readable unless one joins their forum. That section contains the posts of connectivity problems, feature snafus, and downtime.
    From their Terms of Service:
    CirtexHosting strives to maintain a 99.5% network and server uptime service level. This uptime percentage is a monthly figure, and is calculated solely by CirtexHosting monitoring systems or CirtexHosting authorized/contracted outside monitoring services.
    Forum members have individually signed up with external monitoring services, and have seen inability to reach sites when Cirtex staff has no idea it occurred. Cirtex should state what external monitor(s) they use, how many minutes apart checks are done, and post a link to public stats pages for each Cirtex server. Hyperspin and Alertra, mentioned by Cirtex, each provide such a public option. Many hosts provide links on their sites to show uptime stats.
    Whereas Cirtex states in response to reported connectivity problems that the server "is stable" and shows no downtime, the proof is whether hosted sites can be reached from the external world. Client confidence and Cirtex understanding of their true connectivity would be helped by a comprehensive and public monitoring approach.
    The "disconnect" between what support people says in reply to tickets and what is the proper information is something Cirtex has to work out, no matter if the support crew is contracted or in-house.
    If the recurring issues continue to be solved, Cirtex clients will be able to send more "cheers" than complaints.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sclick95
    Cirtex should state what external monitor(s) they use, how many minutes apart checks are done, and post a link to public stats pages for each Cirtex server. Hyperspin and Alertra, mentioned by Cirtex, each provide such a public option.
    Here is a link to Cirtex's hyperspin tracking: http://www.hyperspin.com/ranking.php?type=1

    #130...

  14. #14
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    Hi sclick95

    We'll be restructuring our support system and how our staff works in the upcoming weeks and uptime report is something we will be making available to the public soon and will mass-email our customers once that's ready. I appreciate your feedback.

    Thank you

    Quote Originally Posted by MrRadic
    Here is a link to Cirtex's hyperspin tracking: http://www.hyperspin.com/ranking.php?type=1

    #130....
    Thank you for pointing that out MrRadic, the downtime caused to our main server's uptime on hyperspin is actually due to DedicatedNow's network issues that you might be aware of reading the downtime forums recently.

    Days Monitored: 33

    Take care
    █• CirtexHosting • Providing Affordable and Quality Web Hosting & Reseller Hosting since 2003
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  15. #15
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    I had cirtex hosting for 4 months, never had a problem except for one time I had 6 members from my forum online that killed the MySQL. Overall, was fantastic.
    simplywww: directadmin and cpanel hosting that will rock your socks
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dynu Douglas
    I had cirtex hosting for 4 months, never had a problem except for one time I had 6 members from my forum online that killed the MySQL. Overall, was fantastic.
    6 users killed MySQL? hmm.. that doesn't sound reasonable. i've had ~20 users on any forum, with no problem.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tailseh
    6 users killed MySQL? hmm.. that doesn't sound reasonable. i've had ~20 users on any forum, with no problem.
    Hi,

    We host forums with regularly 50 users browsing forums, and have had occasions where we had hosted forums with 100+ users browsing simultaneously.

    Cheers
    █• CirtexHosting • Providing Affordable and Quality Web Hosting & Reseller Hosting since 2003
    █• LINUX based cPANEL/WHM Shared and Reseller Web Hosting with Fantastico
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  18. #18
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    Unfortunately, the "CirtexHosting Support" section of the forum is not readable unless one joins their forum. That section contains the posts of connectivity problems, feature snafus, and downtime.
    At least the threads are not disappearing. That's a positive.

  19. #19
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    You really have to look at the bigger picture. Clients that cannot afford downtime on their websites spend thousands of pounds / dollars / chocolate bars ensuring so with the latest technologies, and multiple level of redundancy.

    I don't know what you are paying Cirtex, but I see their starter package is $2 a month. That would't buy a drink in a pub / bar near the datacentre here.

    I think for the pricing structure Cirtex offer, and the awesome level of professionalism and shear patience demonstarted in this thread by the chief, you can't really be complaining.

    I see lots of hosts on here who aim at the home user / small business category. Prices reflect accordingly.

    I also see so many people wanting 100% uptime for peanuts. Guess what. It ain't gonna happen.

    If you want gold star treatment, you need to be prepared to splash the dosh.

    Just my one pint
    Olly | INX-Gaming
    Call of Duty 4 hosting

  20. #20
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    a link to Cirtex's hyperspin tracking
    That Hyperspin list shows in its last column that you are monitoring one server. You have clients on more than one server. You also have servers at more than one datacenter. If you are telling clients that you see no downtime from your monitoring of server(s), I would expect the Hyperspin listing to show more than 1 server (your main?) monitored.
    Servers: Baby, Fuzzy, Ducky, .....

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by sclick95
    That Hyperspin list shows in its last column that you are monitoring one server. You have clients on more than one server. You also have servers at more than one datacenter. If you are telling clients that you see no downtime from your monitoring of server(s), I would expect the Hyperspin listing to show more than 1 server (your main?) monitored.
    Servers: Baby, Fuzzy, Ducky, .....
    Hi my friend

    That is not us posting a link to uptime at Hyperspin and we did not reply with that link. It is Reliablesite owner who just replied with a link to our uptime history monitored by Hyperspin showing ya, and I'm pointing out that it is only monitoring our main site and which only 30 days recorded during the period which there was downtime caused by datacenter's network outage at fortressitx (dedicatednow) for our main server. (Hosting billing/helpdesk/forums so on)

    Hyperspin's public uptime page records hosting websites uptime if user submits them.

    Cheers
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  22. #22
    I used to host a site with cirtexhosting for several months. The response time and courtesy of their support was great. But the problem was with.. the server/s... The server my site was hosted was on many occasions overloaded (server load > 20+, 2 cpu). The owner offered me to move my site to another server but I prefered to try another host.

    In my personal opinion they have too little knowledgeable staff that actually know how to fix some tricky server issues. Plus - they should be much more firm to enforce their own TOS regarding buggy scripts or busy sites. It seems they try to please everybody and very seldom would suspend a site for TOS violation -- instead, they would move a busy or buggy site to another "less busy" server in the hopes it will be fine for a while. They should know it's usually better to please 100+ small-site owners than one notorious big-site owner who should host a site on a semi/dedicated server (or a server that allows running buggy scripts).

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomaszb3
    They should know it's usually better to please 100+ small-site owners than one notorious big-site owner who should host a site on a semi/dedicated server (or a server that allows running buggy scripts).
    Hi

    We've been stressing on this the past few weeks especially and have moved many customers to semi-dedicated packages/servers that are not suitable for shared servers and that's our main priority at the moment, not just buggy scripted sites and so on.

    Cheers
    █• CirtexHosting • Providing Affordable and Quality Web Hosting & Reseller Hosting since 2003
    █• LINUX based cPANEL/WHM Shared and Reseller Web Hosting with Fantastico
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