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  #1  
Old 07-31-2007, 11:47 AM
aredbook aredbook is offline
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My (negative) experience with futurehosting


Hello,

I just want to post this as a review of my hosting experience with Futurehosting

My story with them begins something like 2 months ago. I was previously with modvps.com, it worked well for a while at a great price (512mb VPS for only 39$), but I think they don't offer enough quality, I had many memory and CPU usage (never under 2.5!) problems (not justified in my opinion) specially when they removed the burst ram option, system became so unstable that I decided to leave them.

I started to look for alternate options, and I decided that futurehosting was the best option. good price and great reputation. I signed for their 786mb ram managed VPS (59$). During the first month I was amazed of the performance of VPS. That was REALLY fast compared to modvps.

Don't know if this speaks well of futurehosting or bad of modvps.com, but the difference was HUGE. I have a moderately forum and all users agreed with the speed improvement.

The support was not so great, however, they usually take like an hour to reply tickets and only to say "I'm on this" (I guess for internal reference), and then another hour to reply it. Not really nice when you are usually asking for simple things. But I was not really worried as the service that they were giving was excellent.

After many years changing host, I was starting to believe this could be the near-to-perfect solution for me... until the BIG problems came.
one month and a half later with no problems at all, I decided to contract RVSkin and Fantastico addon. They proceed to install on my account but it looks like RVSkin it's not working. Fantastico does, but when I try to apply any RVSkin theme, I get timeout page errors. Not only it doesn't work, but it seems to affect rest of services, as many times I find httpd and exim down. Strange. I open a ticket. All I get are generic replies: "we are into this", "we rebooted the VPS and now works fine", "we reinstalled Cpanel", "maybe it's memory problem, we increased your limit". Nice, but after after a while all services down. One hour to reply the ticket to say they rebooted VPS. a few hours later all down again. again takes a while for them to reply, to say they increase mem limit. again, services down after a few hours. This situation is becoming worse and worse with the days, and the failure is more evident and short in time. At this point, I am really frustrated with situation, not only because the failure in service, but about the generic and not helpful replies I am getting. There is nothing worse than feeling that they don't care about this.
After one week of problems, I open a ticket to their admins, and now they seem to take care. They take a look to this, they start to try new things but after a few hours, they decide they can't find a solution for this and suggest to create a new VPS and move everything there, as it seems it's not a memory or CPU usage limit but a problem with Cpanel/RVSkin.
Not the best solution for me, but I can understand sometimes strange things happen and would sound reasonable to create a new VPS from scratch and avoid future problems with the current one.

So I create a new VPS, they move my accounts (many hours of waiting... not because they didn't help but because my accounts are big, but during the proccess of course VPS is still down). VPS seems to be running fine after the move, as fast as I was used to during the first month. That's great for me. I can understand that was a problem, not handled in the best way but it's everything working again, no problem.

But like two days after the VPS creation, ALL of my websites are down again. I can't access WHM or Cpanel or anything. Contact again support. Now it seems a DNS problem. Maybe they should have cared about htis in my opinion, but that's ok. it was not the typical DNS change problem, there was something else, but I follow instructions, and after many hours of testing sites work.... but not updated! One of my sites appear updated only up to 26th July (date of the VPS creation), all from that date dissappeared, including hundreds of new messages in one of my forums. And I say "dissappeared" because many hours before the second crash I was able to check the new emails and messages on forums, now dissappeared.

Not only this site seems outdated, also WHM, in the list of accounts I miss one I created during the weekend.
It seems there has been any kind of misconfiguration between the old and new VPS, cause that WHM is not showing the changes applied during the weekend.

I open a new ticket again, and they said now it's solved... but not possible to recover the lost files and databases, and they ask for a backup.

Yeah, I know I should backup everything, but I was still in proccess of setting everything fine, it was less than two days of having the new VPS, and that weekend I was not in home so no virtually no time to make backups. At this point (now), I lost all my hope to recover the lost messages.

Having one week of problems was a pain, at the end all the service was restored, but this second problem was much worse for me: hundreds of messages in forums, emails, etc... all lost without a known reason, as I told before all I get are generic messages and I have the feeling that these is not going to be solved again, and now it looks like I lost many valuable info.

Please don't get me with the backup thing, endless redundancy, you get what you paid for... and so on. I *always* make backups but this time I didn't even had the time
I think I tried to be reasonable. I never asked for something unrealistic, all I wanted were good explanations on what was going on. I can understand there is a problem, but I think they should have told me, I work in IT and I know sometimes **** happens, but I alwasy had felt they were not really into the problem. It was not until I asked the admins about this that I got response, seemed solved and now this again.

So now I think it's time to move. I am very sad because their VPS performance was amazing while it lasted... by far the best hosting I ever experienced (and I tried so many... believe me!), but it's not acceptable to get this kind of support.

Sorry for the long rant, but I thought this might be interesting for someone.
Any decent VPS alternate companies are welcome



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  #2  
Old 07-31-2007, 12:41 PM
futurehosting futurehosting is online now
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First, I apologize for the frustration you have had with our support staff. I am aware of the ticket you submitted for management to review and it was handled correctly.

After we had reviewed the original VPS and discussed it with the support manager, it was determined there was one of two issues:
1. One of the scripts in the VPS was misconfigured and using all your resources.
2. You actually require a dedicated server.

The RVSkins ticket you had open (DWB-XXXXXXX) was extensive with a number of replies. We increased a number of UBC limits which were being hit. Any time we attempted to login to SSH, the connection failed. Of course, for the VZ hosts out there, the same issue when entering from the node. This is because you were hitting the ram limits. We went as far as upgrading the VPS to the highest plan we have available to attempt to even enter the VPS to figure out what was going on.

Eventually we did, as mentioned by the client, suggested simply provisioning a new VPS and migrating the data. Of course, we couldn't use the cPanel transfer tool - so we removed all VPS limits to do this. The VPS at the time of transfer was using 6GB of ram.

Taking a glance at the new VPS, it looks like the burst ram is being hit again. So, regardless of what we attempt to do, ram seems to be the limiting factor here. This seemed to have started today from the logs.

When the client brought the ticket to the attention of management, we went back and spoke to the techs working on the ticket. Each one had confirmed they were actually working on the issue and attempting to find the cause; however, by them increasing one limit, they could login if the VPS was rebooted for a few moments and then were locked out by the VPS hitting more resource limits.

Generally we try to update the ticket saying we are working on it; however, at times when multiple techs are not on duty at the same time, there is no need for them update so the other techs are aware of the issue. Either way, this is not a streamlined process (with each tech knowing who is working on what) - and will be discussed during our next management meeting.

While I can't say we did a poor job in responding to the tickets and attempting to resolve the ticket, I can say these tickets have brought out a flaw in our consistency with updating the clients and will be discussed in the next management meeting. While we did state the client should update the DNS records, we should have been proactive in ensuring the client did make the DNS changes correctly instead of us updating the ticket once and saying the DNS records should be updated.

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  #3  
Old 07-31-2007, 01:27 PM
drumman24 drumman24 is offline
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Seems to be futurehosting went above and beyond what they had to to try and get your sites to work. Faulty script? 6 GB of ram when they took the limits off?

Maybe this explains why they were the "ONLY" ones out of the many you've tried that worked, because they were the highest, but still yet high enough for your use.

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  #4  
Old 07-31-2007, 01:49 PM
aredbook aredbook is offline
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first of all, I don't want to start a public fight with futurehosting admins here.
I just wanted to show my experience with them .

second, I didn't say that my sites are not resources demanding. I don't say they were actually trying to solve them.
what I'm saying is that I had all the time the feeling they were nothing doing, because all i got were generic messages, which were not usually promptly replied.


like I said in a ticket, if it was a memory problem, please tell me.
If the ram usage was so high as told (no way the 6GB ram... that was in the proccess part!), you shouldn't have waited almost one week to say that. if it was the problem, don't say it's a cpanel failure.

my sites were running incredibly fine until that week, so I think maybe it was a wrong script at any point. my CPU usage until that moment was always under .40, and average ram used was |@550 (out of 756). I think it's reasonable usage, and I think I said many times in the post I was very happy with this performance.... until something happened.

still now, don't know what happened, with first VPS, last ticket says exactly

"Hello,

At this time we suggest creating a new VPS and moving everything over because there are no resources being hit. All of our administrators have looked at this and have no new ideas. Let us know what you think."

No resources being hit. As I said before, if there is really a memory usage, they could have me warned from the first moment. I think it should take to a hosting less than a week to notice it if it was a so high usage VPS as suggested.

Now, with second VPS, still don't know why three days of updates dissappeared. This is no RAM usage problem I think. This has to be somewhere. My sites still down and all they can say is that they dissappeared because of RAM usage? weird.

Again, I was VERY happy with performance... until last week. Maybe it was some kind of misconfiguration with any script, I will try to find it.

I tried to be as objective as possible. I would like to say again that performance on the plan I had was amazing. My users were amazed with it. I really think if there was a problem with ram usage speed wouldn't have been so fast.

Just complaining with support, that took one week to find out that that was a usage problem, and lost three days of updates.

  #5  
Old 07-31-2007, 02:06 PM
RapidRick RapidRick is offline
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ps -el
cat /proc/user_beancounters

where is 6GB going? you have root, someone use it to analyze and understand the memory allocation problem. paste the results from the above here.


Rick

  #6  
Old 07-31-2007, 02:07 PM
futurehosting futurehosting is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aredbook View Post
first of all, I don't want to start a public fight with futurehosting admins here.
I just wanted to show my experience with them .
We won't either. If you would like to discuss this with us directly, of course, you are more than welcome to contact us via e-mail, ticket or PM as always. I am more than happy to discuss this with you. Of course, we are committed to resolving the issue fully.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aredbook View Post
second, I didn't say that my sites are not resources demanding. I don't say they were actually trying to solve them.
what I'm saying is that I had all the time the feeling they were nothing doing, because all i got were generic messages, which were not usually promptly replied.
This is where we are at fault completely. I will admit without any questions that we need to streamline our support system to ensure you don't feel as if your ticket is being ignored, as it wasn't. This was completely our fault.


Quote:
Originally Posted by aredbook View Post
like I said in a ticket, if it was a memory problem, please tell me.
If the ram usage was so high as told (no way the 6GB ram... that was in the proccess part!), you shouldn't have waited almost one week to say that. if it was the problem, don't say it's a cpanel failure.
Looking back at the original ticket, in there a number of times the support staff stated you were out of ram and we gladly increased these limits multiple times to isolate the issue enough so we can login to trace down the problem. The support staff has a number of notes on the VPS stating that they have to reboot it each time to get the ram usage low enough just to login.


Quote:
Originally Posted by aredbook View Post
still now, don't know what happened, with first VPS, last ticket says exactly

"Hello,

At this time we suggest creating a new VPS and moving everything over because there are no resources being hit. All of our administrators have looked at this and have no new ideas. Let us know what you think."

This was our error. Looking at the ticket itself, it shows the ticket was posted: Posted on 26 Jul 2007 09:32 AM and edited at: Posted on 26 Jul 2007 09:34 AM to correct the resource statement. This should *not* have been edited but a new response posted so you received it in your e-mail. A notice will be sent to all staff members so they know never to use the edit option but to post a new reply if they made an error in the original post. This was solely 100% in our error.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aredbook View Post
Now, with second VPS, still don't know why three days of updates dissappeared. This is no RAM usage problem I think. This has to be somewhere. My sites still down and all they can say is that they dissappeared because of RAM usage? weird.
The new VPS logs show you have hit the privvmpages limit again. I've spoken to our technicians and we have all agreed it is impossible for a database to simply roll back a few days. We can't find any evidence that anybody has attempted to restore a cPanel backup or database backup.

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  #7  
Old 07-31-2007, 02:08 PM
futurehosting futurehosting is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RapidRick View Post
ps -el
cat /proc/user_beancounters

where is 6GB going? you have root, someone use it to analyze and understand the memory allocation problem. paste the results from the above here.


Rick
The 6GB is only on the old VPS - and when we removed the ram limits.

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  #8  
Old 07-31-2007, 02:12 PM
RapidRick RapidRick is offline
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where was the 6GB going when his server was using that much? was it 6GB usage or 6GB allocation?

Rick

  #9  
Old 07-31-2007, 02:14 PM
aredbook aredbook is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by futurehosting View Post
The new VPS logs show you have hit the privvmpages limit again. I've spoken to our technicians and we have all agreed it is impossible for a database to simply roll back a few days. We can't find any evidence that anybody has attempted to restore a cPanel backup or database backup.
the thing is why I was able to check email, forum etc... for those days and suddenly it rolls back three days. thre has to be a explanation for that

  #10  
Old 07-31-2007, 02:49 PM
aredbook aredbook is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RapidRick View Post
ps -el
cat /proc/user_beancounters

where is 6GB going? you have root, someone use it to analyze and understand the memory allocation problem. paste the results from the above here.


Rick
F S UID PID PPID C PRI NI ADDR SZ WCHAN TTY TIME CMD
4 S 0 1 0 0 76 0 - 404 - ? 00:00:00 init
1 S 0 19611 1 0 76 0 - 380 - ? 00:00:00 syslogd
5 S 0 19623 1 0 85 0 - 361 pipe_w ? 00:00:00 courierlogger
4 S 0 19624 19623 0 76 0 - 448 - ? 00:00:00 authdaemond
1 S 0 19626 19624 0 76 0 - 448 - ? 00:00:00 authdaemond
1 S 0 19628 19624 0 76 0 - 448 - ? 00:00:00 authdaemond
1 S 0 19629 19624 0 76 0 - 448 - ? 00:00:00 authdaemond
1 S 0 19630 19624 0 76 0 - 448 - ? 00:00:00 authdaemond
1 S 0 19631 19624 0 76 0 - 448 - ? 00:00:00 authdaemond
0 S 0 19639 1 0 78 0 - 535 wait ? 00:00:00 mysqld_safe
4 S 100 19673 19639 0 75 0 - 26616 - ? 00:00:00 mysqld
5 S 0 19744 1 0 76 0 - 997 - ? 00:00:00 sshd
1 S 0 19760 1 0 75 0 - 517 - ? 00:00:00 xinetd
1 S 0 19855 1 0 76 0 - 1644 - ? 00:00:00 chkservd
1 S 0 19906 1 0 75 0 - 362 pipe_w ? 00:00:00 courierlogger
4 S 0 19907 19906 0 76 0 - 389 - ? 00:00:00 couriertcpd
1 S 0 19917 1 0 82 0 - 362 pipe_w ? 00:00:00 courierlogger
4 S 0 19918 19917 0 78 0 - 389 - ? 00:00:00 couriertcpd
1 S 0 19926 1 0 80 0 - 362 pipe_w ? 00:00:00 courierlogger
4 S 0 19927 19926 0 78 0 - 389 - ? 00:00:00 couriertcpd
1 S 0 19942 1 0 82 0 - 362 pipe_w ? 00:00:00 courierlogger
4 S 0 19943 19942 0 78 0 - 389 - ? 00:00:00 couriertcpd
5 S 47 19972 1 0 76 0 - 2160 - ? 00:00:00 exim
5 S 47 19984 1 0 79 0 - 2047 - ? 00:00:00 exim
1 S 0 19992 1 0 76 0 - 756 - ? 00:00:00 antirelayd
1 S 0 20115 1 0 76 0 - 6833 - ? 00:00:00 spamd
5 S 0 20172 1 0 76 0 - 2339 - ? 00:00:00 httpd
1 S 0 20189 1 0 76 0 - 613 - ? 00:00:00 crond
5 S 99 20213 20172 0 75 0 - 3645 617070 ? 00:00:00 httpd
5 S 99 20214 20172 0 75 0 - 3695 semtim ? 00:00:00 httpd
5 S 99 20215 20172 0 76 0 - 3548 semtim ? 00:00:00 httpd
5 S 99 20217 20172 0 75 0 - 3861 700122 ? 00:00:00 httpd
5 S 99 20218 20172 0 76 0 - 2520 - ? 00:00:00 httpd
1 S 0 20227 20115 0 76 0 - 6833 - ? 00:00:00 spamd
1 S 0 20233 20115 0 76 0 - 6833 - ? 00:00:00 spamd
5 S 99 20325 20172 0 76 0 - 3791 semtim ? 00:00:00 httpd
1 S 47 20347 1 0 76 0 - 1525 - ? 00:00:00 eximstats
1 S 0 21573 1 0 78 0 - 3529 - ? 00:00:00 cpdavd
1 S 0 21599 1 0 75 0 - 1369 - ? 00:00:00 cpbandwd
5 S 0 21600 1 0 95 19 - 2198 - ? 00:00:00 cpanellogd
5 S 99 21672 1 0 78 0 - 942 - ? 00:00:00 entropychat
5 S 99 21685 20172 0 75 0 - 2473 semtim ? 00:00:00 httpd
1 S 32001 21749 1 0 83 0 - 2566 wait ? 00:00:00 mailmanctl
1 S 0 21755 1 0 76 0 - 5105 - ? 00:00:00 cpsrvd-ssl
0 S 32001 21768 21749 0 75 0 - 2514 - ? 00:00:00 python2.4
0 S 32001 21771 21749 0 76 0 - 2514 - ? 00:00:00 python2.4
0 S 32001 21774 21749 0 76 0 - 2508 - ? 00:00:00 python2.4
0 S 32001 21775 21749 0 75 0 - 2523 - ? 00:00:00 python2.4
0 S 32001 21776 21749 0 75 0 - 2510 - ? 00:00:00 python2.4
0 S 32001 21777 21749 0 76 0 - 2514 - ? 00:00:00 python2.4
0 S 32001 21779 21749 0 76 0 - 2514 - ? 00:00:00 python2.4
0 S 32001 21780 21749 0 80 0 - 2514 - ? 00:00:00 python2.4
1 S 0 21795 1 0 78 0 - 1007 - ? 00:00:00 saslauthd
5 S 0 21843 1 0 78 0 - 369 - ? 00:00:00 portsentry
4 S 0 24281 19631 0 76 0 - 1351 pipe_w ? 00:00:00 authProg
5 S 99 26029 20172 0 76 0 - 3734 - ? 00:00:00 httpd
5 S 99 26066 20172 0 76 0 - 2473 semtim ? 00:00:00 httpd
5 S 99 26067 20172 0 76 0 - 3763 330820 ? 00:00:00 httpd
4 S 0 32125 19744 0 76 0 - 1720 - ? 00:00:00 sshd
4 S 0 32429 32125 0 76 0 - 537 wait ttyp0 00:00:00 bash
4 R 0 32278 32429 0 77 0 - 564 - ttyp0 00:00:00 ps

  #11  
Old 07-31-2007, 02:50 PM
aredbook aredbook is offline
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[pre]cat /proc/user_beancounters
Version: 2.5
uid resource held maxheld barrier limit failcnt
7306: kmemsize 6220391 6238500 41937920 46598144 0
lockedpages 0 0 1024 1024 0
privvmpages 70630 70654 471769 524188 639
shmpages 731 731 262144 262144 0
dummy 0 0 0 0 0
numproc 70 70 800 800 19
physpages 40317 40330 0 2147483647 0
vmguarpages 0 0 196608 2147483647 0
oomguarpages 40727 40740 196608 2147483647 0
numtcpsock 31 31 1000 1000 0
numflock 11 11 396 440 0
numpty 1 1 128 128 0
numsiginfo 0 1 1024 1024 0
tcpsndbuf 351052 351052 15098880 25165824 0
tcprcvbuf 507904 475136 15099494 25165824 22
othersockbuf 17444 51304 6542336 16777216 0
dgramrcvbuf 0 0 3145728 3145728 0
numothersock 19 21 1000 1000 0
dcachesize 547181 557194 16609075 18454528 0
numfile 2890 2901 16384 16384 0
dummy 0 0 0 0 0
dummy 0 0 0 0 0
dummy 0 0 0 0 0
numiptent 47 47 1000 1000 0[/pre]

  #12  
Old 07-31-2007, 03:39 PM
Nnyan Nnyan is offline
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I do not think that the OP was being unreasonable for the most part, I also do not think IMHO that those vague "we're on it" responses count for much. Totally unacceptable in my view.

Not to beat a dead horse or anything but I would never allow a site to go "live" unless I had my backup scripts running in cron. I would rather have a site down for the few minutes this takes, even hours if I needed to get a backup done. You said it was working fine for three days, plenty of time to get the backups up and running, after all it's YOUR data and your responsibility.

As for the response times, a few hours is not great or even ideal but it's not horrible either. It all depends on the expectations. I don't see anywhere that Futurehosting has detailed what its average response times are or what a customer can expect. Something like this should be in the FAQ. This is a bit worrisome to me.

I think FH did a good job overall dealing with this issue, they obviously found a problem with their escalation/ticket updates and hopefully they resolve them. I would also recommend that they clarify what customers (and potential customers) can expect for support response times. I apologize if this information is posted and I missed it.

  #13  
Old 07-31-2007, 03:57 PM
futurehosting futurehosting is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nnyan View Post
I do not think that the OP was being unreasonable for the most part, I also do not think IMHO that those vague "we're on it" responses count for much. Totally unacceptable in my view.

Not to beat a dead horse or anything but I would never allow a site to go "live" unless I had my backup scripts running in cron. I would rather have a site down for the few minutes this takes, even hours if I needed to get a backup done. You said it was working fine for three days, plenty of time to get the backups up and running, after all it's YOUR data and your responsibility.

As for the response times, a few hours is not great or even ideal but it's not horrible either. It all depends on the expectations. I don't see anywhere that Futurehosting has detailed what its average response times are or what a customer can expect. Something like this should be in the FAQ. This is a bit worrisome to me.

I think FH did a good job overall dealing with this issue, they obviously found a problem with their escalation/ticket updates and hopefully they resolve them. I would also recommend that they clarify what customers (and potential customers) can expect for support response times. I apologize if this information is posted and I missed it.
Although we have clarified this to anybody who has asked us and has been posted on WHT in the past as well - I like your idea of putting the support time in the FAQs. This will be discussed in the next management meeting and added.

We guarantee a 3 hour response; however, have an average of just under an hour. We have daily reports on ticket response time. The last 5 tickets submitted had an average response of 11 minutes. Yes, tickets do take longer than an hour. There will always be tickets that take longer than an hour and they are usually ones which are of the following characteristics:

1. Require significantly more time to analyze and troubleshoot.

2. Lengthy tickets from customers who use the same ticket to ask multiple questions (fairly rare now as most of our customers know we prefer a single issue per ticket) - This does not, in any way, apply to the client in this ticket.

3. Quite simply there may be delays when we have an unexpected flood of tickets. We schedule technicians based on the normal load average. Certain times of the day there are always more tickets, thus we schedule additional techs to work during those times.


Either way, our goal is to always have a response in under one hour with a technician actually working to answer the question a client has submitted.

Regardless, the client in this thread is disappointed with our support. Anybody disappointed with our support is unacceptable by our standards. Unfortunately there is nothing further we can do to resolve the issue. An accounting rep was already instructed to comp the clients previous months payment.

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  #14  
Old 07-31-2007, 04:21 PM
Nnyan Nnyan is offline
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@ futurehosting

Thanks for the clarification. Just to be clear I don't think a response time of several hours is unreasonable, I really just believe in managing expectations. You can often head off some complaints if you publish these on your website, which is where many customers will go to get factual details.

You guys have been on my list of "recommended vps hosts" for awhile and continue to be so.

  #15  
Old 07-31-2007, 04:27 PM
jhadley jhadley is online now
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This is a shame. When I was with FH their support was excellent on the whole. They are one of the few companies who actually read tickets in their entirety! The techs seemed to know what they were doing for the most part.

I think 1 thing which needs pointing out here is that within larger companies where there are multiple support techs and several open tickets, it can be necessary for whoever gets to a ticket first to allocate it to himself. Most companies do offer you a "working on it" type message, more for internal use than anything. That said, if it takes 1 hour for that and another 12 to get to actually fixing the problem, there is a problem there.

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