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  1. #1

    Review of Platinum Server Management

    After reading glowing reviews of Platinum Server Management (www.platinumservermanagement.com) in these forums, I decided to try them out for managing a new dedicated server. Here are my observations of Platinum Server Management (PSM henceforth).

    1. If $30/mo is the most you're willing to spend for server management, and you have a WHM/ cPanel set-up, sign up straight-away. $30 is a drop in the bucket and definitely better than nothing.

    2. That being said, it seems that for any issues not directly addressable from within WHM/ cPanel, PSM might not be the best solution.

    3. Ticket response is not very quick. I wasn't expecting super-fast response times at $30/month for unlimited tickets, but the reviews here might make you think otherwise. Upon submitting a ticket, you'll get an automated confirmation that says something like "we're looking into it." Looking back at tickets, response time may range from 15 minutes to 6+ hours. 15 minutes sounds pretty good, but more often times than not, the response does not resolve the issue. A dialogue that takes 5-6 submissions to resolve amounts to a long resolution time.

    4. Support is not very pro-active. What I mean by this is that if the problem isn't painfully obvious, you'll get a response like "it looks fine on our end." After a few rounds of explanation, you might get a final response that amounts to "we can't fix it." For another example, I wanted a standard piece of software installed and inquired about it. I got a few rounds explaining that "software might conflict with something else, but if you still want it, just ask." I asked and when I checked status later, I had a message "please provide download link." It would have been nice if support had originally said "if you still want it, please provide download link."

    The biggest issue I had was with phpsuexec and permissions. PSM said it was correct. I submitted a ticket to SoftLayer for a whopping $3 and got it fixed... granted, they weren't any quicker than PSM, but the key is they got it fixed.

    Summary: PSM is better than nothing. That might not sound too good, but I never felt like PSM was a liability. I am willing to spend more than $30/mo and will probably try Acunett next. I don't regret the $30 I paid to try out PSM, however.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Bay Area
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    Thanks for the review

    2. That being said, it seems that for any issues not directly addressable from within WHM/ cPanel, PSM might not be the best solution.
    Are you saying they know how to handle the Cpanel webinterface, but not the shell? Which is understandable for $30, but still...

    The biggest issue I had was with phpsuexec and permissions. PSM said it was correct. I submitted a ticket to SoftLayer for a whopping $3 and got it fixed... granted, they weren't any quicker than PSM, but the key is they got it fixed.
    How many tickets do you open with PSM per month? Maybe I'm missing something, but why not just pay $3 per ticket and let Softlayer manage the server that way? You will probably stay under 10 tickets a month I guess?
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  3. #3
    Are you saying they know how to handle the Cpanel webinterface, but not the shell? Which is understandable for $30, but still..
    Limited understanding, I would say. But, if you read their website, they say they don't support servers without WHM/ cPanel. So, no big surprises there.

    How many tickets do you open with PSM per month? Maybe I'm missing something, but why not just pay $3 per ticket and let Softlayer manage the server that way? You will probably stay under 10 tickets a month I guess?
    It would have been over 10 tickets this past month, mainly because server was newly provisioned. You bring up a valid point, since tickets would almost definitely drop to less than 10 after the first month. SoftLayer is not proactive in any regard, however, and I need a company that can start investigating a problem as soon as it crops up without my intervention. That's not SoftLayer and I don't think it's PSM (which is why I'm looking elsewhere). Not everyone with a dedicated server can open a support ticket for $3, either
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  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Thanks for your review. I'd like to respond to your points though.

    Ticket response is not very quick.
    I reviewed each and every ticket and found that it was answered within our guarantee that is stated on our web site. If you find any ticket that has exceeded our guarantee, please let me know so I can find it. Our guarantees are posted all over our web site. As long as we are within what we guarantee, then we are delivering exactly what we promise. I can understand if you require faster response/resolution times, but if you choose to use our service, then you agreed to the response/resolution ranges. It is unfair to call it is slow when it is any amount of time within our guarantee.

    As I'm sure every company can relate to, this entire month is the busiest time of the year for everyone, from understaffing due to the holidays, to end of year clean up, and everything in between. We operate 24x7x365, but naturally during holidays, no company has a completely full staff. We've even noticed slower responses from datacenters around this time, so I know we're not the only ones effected by this time of the year.

    Especially even under the circumstances, upon reviewing all of your tickets I found that the average response/resolution was approx. 1 - 3 hours, some even within minutes. Your first ticket was started on within exactly "3" minutes.

    Support is not very pro-active.
    We do not offer proactive support. We do not hide this fact, our FAQ page clearly explains in detail that we do not offer proactive support. If you require proactive support, then our service is not for you. Signing up with a non-proactive provider and then later saying they aren't good because they are not proactive is also not fair.

    After a few rounds of explanation, you might get a final response that amounts to "we can't fix it."
    There was never any ticket where we said anything like we can't fix it. Even when you asked us to install something that is completely non-standard unrelated 3rd party software (the iscsi from softlayer), we still said we are more than willing to give it a try which I think shows our willingness to go above and beyond what we offer whenever possible.

    For another example, I wanted a standard piece of software installed and inquired about it. I got a few rounds explaining that "software might conflict with something else, but if you still want it, just ask." I asked and when I checked status later, I had a message "please provide download link." It would have been nice if support had originally said "if you still want it, please provide download link."
    In your example here, you are referring to installing Urchin, and our exact response was
    "Urchin is not completely stable with cpanel. We have seen instances where it stopped the regular stats from functioning too. Please confirm you still want it installed and we'll gladly do it".
    I think most people would appreciate an upfront expert's opinion as to the possible side effect of their request, instead of just doing it and when it breaks saying "oh, btw, it's not stable", because they'll come back and say "why didn't you warn me in the first place?". As we said, we'll gladly do it if you wanted it installed, but you had some more questions going back and forth which we gladly answered for you. When you finally said to proceed, we replied in only "6 Minutes" asking you for the download link, but you never provided it and you never replied at all. If you said you didn't have it, we would've gladly got it for you. We assumed you may have had it already since you provided the license files for it and that is usually accompanied by the installation files.

    Are you saying they know how to handle the Cpanel webinterface, but not the shell? .. .. Limited understanding, I would say. But, if you read their website, they say they don't support servers without WHM/ cPanel. So, no big surprises there.
    We only employ system admin level technicians, and currently have 12 system admin's on staff. The majority of them are redhat certified, and have many many years of hands on experience. All are completely fluently experienced with all aspects of shell. Although we only support servers running cpanel, almost all of the work is done through shell, such as kernel upgrades, security hardening, apache/php compilations, etc. which we do on a daily basis. Our company is even an authorized support provider for your datacenter Softlayer, as well as a Cpanel licensed partner.

    We only support linux+cpanel since we prefer to focus on one specific type of system, rather than a bunch of different panels/operating systems. This is our preference for efficiency purposes, not competency.

    As you mentioned, you never felt like we were a risk, and never regretted using our service, but still I'm very sorry that the experience you had with us was less than completely satisfactory. You only used our service for 3 weeks, and that happened to be during the busiest time of the year, which I feel both play an important factor in your experience.

    As you pointed out, your review is not the pattern of reviews here. Like you've seen, there are many many completely overly satisfied people that have been with us for several months and even several years.

    Please contact me directly in private via email and I'd be more than glad to discuss all of your requirements and make recommendations on what provider would meet your needs best.

    Happy Holidays!

    Thanks and regards,
    Ethan
    Last edited by ServerManagement; 12-24-2007 at 02:06 PM.
    PlatinumServerManagement (also known as PSM)
    The OLDEST and LARGEST and MOST TRUSTED server management provider in the USA, with 15+ employees and growing!
    Providing quality support for OVER 18 years! Currently supporting over 3,000+ servers monthly!

    www.PlatinumServerManagement.com Proud member of the NJ BBB & Chamber of Commerce & Authorized cPanel Partner.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Jackson. Ms
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    The biggest issue I had was with phpsuexec and permissions. PSM said it was correct. I submitted a ticket to SoftLayer for a whopping $3 and got it fixed... granted, they weren't any quicker than PSM, but the key is they got it fixed.
    What type of problems did you have with them and this if you dont mind me asking.
    Tiny Portal Hosting

    Premiere hosting for smf/tp software
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  6. #6
    PSM, this is my review for other WHT members. I really do not think that you have to defend yourselves... I think that I indicate the $30/mo you charge is fair in my original post. I am not wanting to be confrontational, but since you posted an itemized response, I will reply (if only so I am not accused of making unsubstantiated claims). I hope everyone will accept that I do not have the time nor inclination to make this an ongoing discussion. If it was, I would have titled my thread "An Open Discussion regarding PSM."

    It is unfair to call it is slow when it is any amount of time within our guarantee.
    I did not say that response time wasn't within scope of SLA. If a company's SLA guaranteed a 48 hour response time and the company met those terms, I would call it slow if it took 48 hours to respond (even though company is meeting SLA). An SLA is supposed to guarantee a minimum level of service, not a maximum. I did review my record of response times and considered not only initial response, but subsequent responses. I stand by my original approximation of 15 minutes to 6+ hours. I am also considering the TOTAL time required to resolve an issue in part of my assessment. That's really what matters, not how quickly a tech can say "hello?"

    Since you specifically mention it, my initial inquiry was "Apache is not working." 3 minutes later I got a response "we're re-installing Apache." 4 hours later I got a response "we're still working on it." 1.5 hours later I got a final response "Apache recompiled... please open a separate ticket for server hardening." The total time required to recompile Apache was nearly 6 hours from when I submitted ticket. If server had been in production use, that's a long time for Apache to be down. Maybe others can chime in with whether a 6 hour Apache compilation on a RAID 10 array with quad core CPU and 4GB of RAM is typical. For the record, I don't take any issue with that specific ticket. One item of note is that it wasn't until the final post that tech said "open another ticket for server hardening." That could have been included in initial response, or better yet, tech could have opened a separate ticket for me. Again, I am NOT EXPECTING that for $30/mo. I believe I made that clear. It just would have been nice (and a confirmation of the rave reviews here).

    We do not offer proactive support. We do not hide this fact, our FAQ page clearly explains in detail that we do not offer proactive support. If you require proactive support, then our service is not for you. Signing up with a non-proactive provider and then later saying they aren't good because they are not proactive is also not fair.
    I don't believe I said this in my original review, but in a subsequent response to another poster. I didn't say PSM isn't good either, I just said they're not very pro-active. It doesn't matter whether it's stated in the FAQ. I didn't say anything untrue. Everyone reading this thread is not going to read the FAQ on your website.

    There was never any ticket where we said anything like we can't fix it. Even when you asked us to install something that is completely non-standard unrelated 3rd party software (the iscsi from softlayer), we still said we are more than willing to give it a try which I think shows our willingness to go above and beyond what we offer whenever possible.
    Actually there was. On Dec. 4th, I opened a ticket saying that default permissions for files/ folders was wrong. 7 hours later, my first real response from PSM was "I checked and all the permissions seem fine, please let me know specifically where you are seeing problems." 4 hours later I checked this and responded with additional details. 13 minutes later I got a response "The permissions by default should work fine." I accepted that tech had done adequate testing and didn't check to verify. 3 days later I set up a new account (just like tech had and tech said there were not problems) and had the same problems again. I went through a few more exchanges and the final response was: "There is no option to automatically set the permissions on new files you upload via ftp. There may be custom scripts or modules that can do this but there is no option by default that does this. If you have access to another cpanel server running pureftpd that does this, let me know so I can check the settings." I am not even running FTP services. Granted the response wasn't "we can't fix it," but that was paraphrased. The actual response was more like "it can't be fixed; let us know if you find the solution."

    I ended up opening a ticket with SoftLayer on this specific issue. Their techs didn't fix the problem the 2nd or even third time, but they TRIED. This included writing a script and ultimately, FIXING DEFAULT PERMISSIONS using umask. It turned out to be a permissions issue as I had maintained during my dialog with PSM.

    I think most people would appreciate an upfront expert's opinion as to the possible side effect of their request, instead of just doing it and when it breaks saying "oh, btw, it's not stable", because they'll come back and say "why didn't you warn me in the first place?". As we said, we'll gladly do it if you wanted it installed, but you had some more questions going back and forth which we gladly answered for you. When you finally said to proceed, we replied in only "6 Minutes" asking you for the download link, but you never provided it and you never replied at all. If you said you didn't have it, we would've gladly got it for you. We assumed you may have had it already since you provided the license files for it and that is usually accompanied by the installation files.
    I did appreciate the warning, although tech never made it clear whether Urchin would cause problems if it was the ONLY stats package running. Regarding obtaining the software, if you could have gotten it for me, why did you just get it? I actually had it downloaded into the root directory a tech would have seen upon logging in via SSH. I didn't see the request for the download link until the following day and it was just frustrating. So, I never responded.

    I didn't post these details in my original review because I thought they were:
    a.) boring and
    b.) unprofessional, and possibly
    c.) a security risk

    Ethan, thank you very much for your offer to recommend another server management company. I am preparing to sign on to Acunett, which does proclaim to offer pro-active server management and has a more favorable SLA. They are also twice the price. If you, or anyone else, has a better recommendation, feel free to PM me. I'm just looking for a little piece of mind for the dedicated RHEL 5 server I set up through SoftLayer.

    Finally, I do acknowledge that my expectations may be different than the average WHT poster. The primary focus here in evaluating many services seems to be the price, not support, reliability or long-term stability. Price is certainly a consideration (otherwise I would have signed on with a company like Rackspace), but it is not the only consideration. My review is also not for the average WHT poster. It is for people looking for peace of mind in a server management company, with lowest price not being the only concern. I think PSM is a good value for the price (as originally stated), but for those willing to spend a bit more, there may be better solutions out there (of which I cannot speak authoritatively, since I don't know yet).
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    492
    To webspacecreations,

    I'll try to make this as short and sweet as possible, because I have better things to do on my Christmas eve then trying to hurt other's reputations

    You made a review on here which is supposed to help readers, but your post is not helping anyone. You start off by saying "After reading glowing reviews of Platinum Server Management" then you go on to point out their flaws. Maybe, you should think that if you are the only one having a problem with them, that maybe, just maybe, it's you? Anyone would literally have to be crazy to make a statement that contradicts EVERYONE else and expect to be taken seriously. That's like going out to a bar full of football players and saying football sucks, they'll think they're crazy!

    Anyway, you go on to saying what their site already says. You said their responses can take up to 6 hours, well, their site already says that. You say they are not proactive, well again, their site already says that too. You also said that you got responses within 15 minutes, but you seem to be focusing only the ones that take longer. What are you telling us that we don't already know? Nothing! You are not saying anything we don't already know, that's why your post is not helping anyone, it is pointless and redundant. If they don't offer what you want, that's fine, but don't use them and get everything you need done then complain about it after you don't need them anymore. That's just selfish and unprofessional.

    I've been with PSM for a long time, alot longer than the mere 3 weeks you were with them, so I do know their capabilities first hand. I've dealt with all their techs, I've spoken to the owner, and I've submitted more than my fair share of tickets. I feel I get wayyyy more than I pay for. You can't even buy a cup of coffee a day for what they charge. I'm a customer for life, and will harshly defend anyone trying to steal their service or hurt their reputation.

    Obviously I have no way of knowing all the problems you submitted, all we know is that you said you submitted more than 10 tickets but only specifically mentioned what 1 of them was. For me, there has never been a problem that they were unable to resolve, and I've rarely seen a ticket take more than about an hour. If the issue is complicated, then I expect it to take longer. They have always been willing to help on anything I asked them, even if it isn't something they cover, they even contacted my own personal isp for me for a network issue on my own end!

    You said yourself that you haven't tried any other support provider, so you don't even have a background to compare to, which makes your post even have less credibility. Unlike you, I have tried many others before, and PSM is definitely the best even with the price aside, but considering the price it is just unbeatable in all aspects.

    Again, obviously there service doesn't meet "your" needs, but that doesn't mean they are bad at all in any way. Based on what you say your needs are, they weren't for you in the first place, you should not have even signed up with them to begin with.

    You are making yourself look bad because it's clear you didn't read their site, and if you did then you are making yourself look worse because you are complaining about something you already knew. Please take this as constructive criticism, because I am telling you how it looks from a third party perspective, so please do not think I am being insulting.

    You shouldn't be complaining about things they don't offer, and basically your entire review is exactly that, complaining about things they do not offer. Judge a service on what they provide, not what they don't even offer. Hmm.. maybe I'll go complain to my local italian deli for not selling indian food. Other than that, your only complaint is that they asked you for the download link to a program at the end of the ticket instead of the beginning of the ticket which is the most petty thing I have ever heard, and the other issue was 1 problem that you had taken care of elsewhere without going back to them.

    You said in your own words that there are "glowing" reviews of them here, so you are the odd one here. You aren't going to get anyone to change their opinion based on 1 review, when EVERY other review of them is "glowing"

    Oh, btw, when people seach your screenname webspacecreations on google, this post comes up, so now when people do a background check on your name before choosing you, they'll see just how lovely you are before making a decision about you, seems you got the opposite of what you intended in the first place because this is going to hurt your reputation more than anything, so keep it up if you want to continue hurting yourself.


    To PSM, keep up the good work, and don't let posts like this bother you, there's always going to be that 1 complainer no matter what. I hope you're enjoying the holidays and I'll try not to bug you on Christmas :-P

    Anyway, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
    Last edited by marisc; 12-24-2007 at 05:12 PM.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Ill also vouch for PSM, Ive always had quick responses from them. Theres nothing wrong with their service
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
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    Thanks 'marisc' and 'Dediwebspace' for your positive feedback! Happy Holidays!
    PlatinumServerManagement (also known as PSM)
    The OLDEST and LARGEST and MOST TRUSTED server management provider in the USA, with 15+ employees and growing!
    Providing quality support for OVER 18 years! Currently supporting over 3,000+ servers monthly!

    www.PlatinumServerManagement.com Proud member of the NJ BBB & Chamber of Commerce & Authorized cPanel Partner.
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  10. #10
    You said in your own words that there are "glowing" reviews of them here, so you are the odd one here.
    Maybe no one wants to be flame bait :p Merry Christmas everyone!
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  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by webspacecreations View Post
    Maybe no one wants to be flame bait :p Merry Christmas everyone!
    I'm not flaiming, I am posting my point of view which I am entitled to. Just because I disagree with you doesn't mean I'm wrong.

    Nobody is posting negatively simply because PSM provide's great service at a great price. Out of their tons of clients and tons of posts here, you seem to be the only one with a complaint. That's why I say you are the odd one out. Not only are you the odd one out of all posts on wht, you are even the odd one out of your own thread! So far in this thread alone, there's 3 people's comments, 2 people praising PSM, and you the only 1 complaining.


    By the way, I just realized I made a typo in my previous reply, I meant to say
    "I'm a customer of PSM for life, and will harshly defend PSM from anyone trying to steal their service or hurt their reputation". I previously left out the words that are in italic.
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  12. #12
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    Closed by request.
    Having problems, or maybe questions about WHT? Head over to the help desk!
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