This thread will be my perpetual server status/ServInt review thread. I hope to update this monthly (or whenever something happens).
First let me explain what Ive been through. I only have a few sites, but I end up with a new one every few months or so. The bandwidth requirements vary a lot form month to month, usually I am under 100GB, but I have peaked to 400GB+ on occasion. In the past I have had my sites hosted on a shared server, but I tried several hosts and it seemed all of their servers were overloaded. My sites were down often, or extremly slow. I bounced back and forth between a few hosts and was getting frustrated.
I decided to bite the bullet 7 months ago and get a smei-managed server (though not with SevInt yet). I figure it would be something I can grow into as I try to start my design/programming business again. I also used to custom build servers ($20k worth of hardware or more) for people, Im really a hardware guy, but I have been learning a few languages here and there. I am hoping to get that started again. The reason I chose a semi-managed server is two fold. First, I havent played around with a linux server in years. Second, I dont have much free time/a life. I work full time to put my self through school as well as help out raising a two year old. I really dont have time to play linux admin daily.
So I signed up with a host. Things were OK, good price, but after a while it woudl go down every two weeks, to the minute. Connectiviy problems, unable to get to support during non-business hours, etc. I wasnt too happy.
So I saw (as many of you have) BobFarmer's special offer thread about ServInt. It looked great, but the hardware and bandwidth were overkill for me (and I am pretty much the last person to use the word overkill with computer hardware, Im your ALR 6x6 kind of guy, though I dont have any pics up, but you can see Bob Dole's here). Reed Caldwell and I PM'd back and forth for a little over a week, in addition to emails and phone calls. Ive received some of the longest emails ever from him. Every time I ask a question he gives a complete accurate response. Every time I talked to him, I learned 1001 things. What I was really interested in though wasnt so much the hardware and bandwidth, but the support. I can patch things fine myself and upgrade things, but getting everything started and running I wasnt too suer about. I can usually patch things and modify things properly without doing too much damage, but if I broke Apache at 3AM, I wanted someone to call to help me out. It looked like ServInt could offer me that and more.
Fast forward a week and a half later, I am about to submit the order, complete with a page and a half of little things that I want, directory structure, settings, configs, stats script, users, etc. I was already told by Mr. Caldwell that since I was very specific in virtually every aspect of the server, that he could not give me a gauranteed turn up time, but that it would arrive before that Friday. I said OK, and later I received a phone call from a nice woman, Leslie. I was confused for a minute because "Leslie" handles billing at my than current host and I wasnt expecting a call that soon either. She was very nice and just wanted to go over billing with me.
Friday afternoon race home from work and open my mail client and there is my welcome email complete with phone numbers, setup information (where things are directory wise). Everything was setup as I wanted, I had the right number of IPs, the right users, etc etc. Of course the first thing I did was install webmin (told you I havent admin'd a linux box in a while). I setup BIND and ran to my registrar and had them switch the IPs of my name server. Once it propgated, I was having a few issues. I emailed Jorge (a really nice guy, I called him 3 times, if not more, that very weekend) and replied in under 2 minutes that I had forgoten A records for each of my name servers. (Ooops.)
So things were looking good, I had my content copied over, I was setting up the databases, time to test email. Ack, not working. I had tried to send an email from my yahoo account (I needed an email while the DNS was going through in case I had to email anyone) and didnt get anything. So I tred the reverse. Nothing. I tried sending mail between two accounts on the server and it worked. For some reason installing webmin screwed with sendmail. I looked to see where the problem was, but couldnt fix it. I called and they had it fixed right away.
It everything seemed 100%, the only issue was I had to enter a list of IPs that were allowed to relay. (Yes, I know open realys are a bad thing). The issue is a few people on the server would need my SMTP server and had dynamic IPs. I wasnt too fond of adding their entire ISP's IP range. My previous server was setup to authenticate users based on their name and password. I wasnt sure what this was called on sendmail and the last MTA I touched was qmail and it was an option built in. I sent in an email and they said they would look into but for now, just add the ISP. I did, and they whipped up a quick POP-before-SMTP script for me to authenticate a users IP address for a 24 hour period. Works great
My speed is great, as you can see when I was downloading webmin was great:
Its been up for 2 weeks now, Ive tossed hotsanic on to it, AWStats for all of my sites updated with a cron job, everything is set, and its almost time to launch a site or two. And I sleep better at night knowing that they will be up and I wont wake up to a phone call at 5AM asking why something is down. I have aclled them half a dozen times and they pick up the phone right away. And even though I was running out of patience at times, they were still great.
So far, ServInt has treated me great, and I look forward to staying with them. I plan on updating this thread once a month or so, even if just to say things havent changed and are still great.
For some reason, the logs for a site were not rotation correctly as of Thursday night. AWStats was seeing empty files (which they were) so I sent in email in during my lunch hour on Friday and received an almost immediate response. By the time I drove back to work, 10 minutes away, there was an answer stating it had been fixed. I waited from midnight to roll around last night and things went fine.
I got a server from them. So far, from pre-sales onwards it has been great. Reed been patient with my endless queries, and when he gone on leave, he ensured that someone took care of me (rather than to leave me hanging). Support at the NOC is pretty prompt and good. Server was installed the way I requested it (custom partitions, firewall, access rights, program installations etc). I always get fast replies even when I email them in the dead of the night (like 1-6am time range). I had also got a pretty prompt reply from billing when I got a query. So as you can see, it's pretty consistent good service top to bottom and across myraid departments.
Things are still great. I forgot to mention earlier this month (well, I did mention it, it was just in another thread) Reed tried to send me an email asking how things were going. It bounced back to him and he wondered why. So he took the time to come here, track me down and send me a PM. I explained the reason it bounced was becuase I was playing with my mail server for a bit on my domain and didn't recreate my mailbox yet.
The fact that a company's CEO will track you down and try to contact you just to make sure things are OK says a lot to me about how much ServInt cares about their customers.