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  1. #1
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    The planet customers - Orbit 2 and your thoughts

    I thought one of the best things the planet had was orbit. I remember when they merged with EV1, they had a different orbit for about a week, everyone complained, and they went back to the original.

    It seems they have done it again, and orbit 2 looks a lot like the last thing they tried. I personally think they should have left it alone. Any other customers of the planet have a take on this?

  2. #2
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    Orbit 2 absolutely sucks. 100% sucks. It is the worst hack-job of a control panel I've ever seen in my time in this industry.

    I tried putting in a reboot request. WOW! It used to be a dropdown list - Select a server and hit submit. Now there's a FIVE STEP WIZARD just to get a damn reboot done! Oh -- and the best part is that once you get to the end and try to submit the reboot it says "Server cannot fulfill your request". That's like following the rainbow and not finding the pot of gold at the end.

    Not to mention is slower than molasses during the best of times.
    And during the worst of times it takes forever to load and just says "Server cannot fulfill your request"

    I'm ever so happy this new bug-ridden crap is being forced upon us within the next 2 weeks. I can't wait to not be able to submit reboot requests

    In all fairness - I'm basing this entirely on submitting a reboot request and being in there for 20 minutes trying to do so - before logging into Orbit 1 and doing it in 2 seconds.

    ThePlanet really screwed up with this one. They need new developers. Quick.
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  3. #3
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    Then I'm not the only one. I know what you mean about it being dog @ass slow. What a nightmare!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by skullbox View Post
    Then I'm not the only one. I know what you mean about it being dog @ass slow. What a nightmare!
    Yep. I hope whatever "developer" made this isn't a customer.

    Or maybe they should be forced to be a customer and try to, you know, get things done with the piece of crap that they designed.
    Maybe then they can experience the frustration that their customers are feeling.
    And to think this is being forced upon everyone. How nice of them!
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  5. #5
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    Yeah, I've been putting it off and putting it off. I switched to it for all of 3 days and ended up back at Orbit1. When does Orbit1 end again?

    Anyways, we'll see what comes of all this.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick H View Post
    Orbit 2 absolutely sucks. 100% sucks. It is the worst hack-job of a control panel I've ever seen in my time in this industry.

    I tried putting in a reboot request. WOW! It used to be a dropdown list - Select a server and hit submit. Now there's a FIVE STEP WIZARD just to get a damn reboot done! Oh -- and the best part is that once you get to the end and try to submit the reboot it says "Server cannot fulfill your request". That's like following the rainbow and not finding the pot of gold at the end.

    Not to mention is slower than molasses during the best of times.
    And during the worst of times it takes forever to load and just says "Server cannot fulfill your request"

    I'm ever so happy this new bug-ridden crap is being forced upon us within the next 2 weeks. I can't wait to not be able to submit reboot requests

    In all fairness - I'm basing this entirely on submitting a reboot request and being in there for 20 minutes trying to do so - before logging into Orbit 1 and doing it in 2 seconds.

    ThePlanet really screwed up with this one. They need new developers. Quick.
    Agree, I'm still using V1... I can't manage ns setting under V2...

  7. #7
    V1 rules all the way. Really don't know what was the objective of creating V2. Its messy and inconvenient. You cannot see all server's bandwidth graph in one window.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by avdhesh View Post
    V1 rules all the way. Really don't know what was the objective of creating V2. Its messy and inconvenient. You cannot see all server's bandwidth graph in one window.
    May be v1 is messy at their end for managing all customer data and servers.

    Probably they though clients could be messy but their panel had to be all clean and tidy I hope they address this issue before shutting off v1.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick H View Post
    Orbit 2 absolutely sucks. 100% sucks. It is the worst hack-job of a control panel I've ever seen in my time in this industry.
    Yeah, it's unfortunate, but I have to agree... not a great deployment there. Hopefully this is an interim step, but to be honest, given the diversity of their environment, I've got to imagine it's a nightmare to try and create a control panel that will do the things that their competitors panel's do.

    Like I said, hopefully an interim step and they're looking at rebuilding Orbit from the ground up.

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  10. #10
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    The quick answer is that we understand where everyone is coming from and we're doing everything we can to tweak and improve the system to resolve the issues that have already been mentioned (and the ones we hope you'll continue to give us feedback about).

    The change from Orbit 1 to Orbit 2 is really a change from (Orbit 1 + ServerCommand) to Orbit 2, so there are a lot of details involved in the upgrade that complicate the process. To facilitate the concurrent use of three different control panels during this transition period, the performance of Orbit 2 is not where we want it to be. Because the legacy portals can still be used, Orbit 2 has to monitor and mirror up-to-the-second changes on two distinct databases while pulling from its own ... likely causing a significant amount of the slowness that has been noted here.

    If I were to explain the many differences between ServerCommand and Orbit 1, I'd make many developers cringe ... different database structures, different coding languages, different features and customers accustomed (and huge fans) of both. A few years ago when we attempted to merge the portals, we went about it in a much less "transitional" way, and as a result, many of the bugs and feature requests that have been coming in for more than six months (all the way back through our beta-testing period) were submitted in the course of minutes.

    The primary goal for Orbit 2 is to get everyone speaking the same language ... and because that language is new to Orbit 1 and ServerCommand customers, we're not going to be writing Shakespeare immediately. That's not to say that Orbit 1 and ServerCommand are Shakespeare themselves, but any deficiencies in the language they speak are understood and everyone using them knows how to get around those quirks (having used a given portal for years).

    Once the cut-over happens, there might be a short period of time where Orbit 2 isn't meeting your needs here or there, and we know that's a possibility when displacing 25,000+ customers (and exponentially more "users" on those customer accounts) ... The key in this process is that you continue to let us know what you would change and where the sticking points are. Because Orbit 2 lets us start fresh on the back-end, we've got a clean slate of code and a broader user base to help us hone the portal into something that you're not only willing to use but at some point are excited to use.

    That being said, use the "Report Portal Issue" link at the top-right of Orbit 2 for anything that doesn't meet your expectations. I guarantee you'll have a real human being telling you whether we've noticed that issue already or if we're adding it to our bug list ... and I can tell you will complete assurance that those aren't getting ignored. Many of the issues brought up here could be quick fixes, while others will take additional tweaks over longer periods of time. It's change, and change is not always easy or welcomed, but in the long run, it's going to give us a foundation to better serve and accommodate our customers.
    Kevin Hazard
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  11. #11
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    Just notice that I loss my reseller acces on V2 ( ticket 5926216PLNT ), last time you fix it for me...

  12. #12
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    Nothing has changed in the reseller portal, so there should be no distinction between Orbit 1 and Orbit 2. I've updated the ticket referenced to get a better understanding of what problems you are seeing. Please provide a bit more detail there. Thanks!
    Kevin Hazard
    Director, Digital Content
    SoftLayer, an IBM Companyhttp://twitter.com/softlayer

  13. #13
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    Kevin,

    Let me ask you this then:
    If you're aware that there are issues in Orbit 2 then why did you set a "forced" migration date before it was ready and stable enough for client use?

    And please don't say it is. Because it's not.
    Last edited by Nick H; 08-07-2009 at 12:03 PM.
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  14. #14
    Kevin,

    Firstly, let me say that I have been a customer of The Planet for more than 5 years and could only imagine how much I must have spent with your company. The first few years were great and I has some of the best customer service experiences of my life with your company.

    Those days are long gone.

    In recent years I have stuck with your company through data center fires, arrogance, misinformation and rapidly degrading customer support simply because it is too much effort to move a bunch of servers somewhere else, forcing Orbit 2 on me is going to be the straw that breaks the Camels back.

    You can preach until the cows come home about the development problems with integrating Orbit 1, Orbit 2 and server command but I really couldn't give a crap. You are doing this for one primary reason and that reason is to save money! It's certainly not to improve the customer experience because if that was the case you would not even consider forcing the crippled buggy crap that Orbit 2 is on to your customers.

    These days The Planet only see's $$$$ and it is evident in every interaction I have had with your company in the last 2 years and is evident in the psychology of Orbit 2.

    Whats the first thing I see when I login to Orbit?
    My Account Balance and Next Billable date. great, because that is so important too me when my served has clapped out. Do you think we care? we know when our bills are due, get it off the front page.

    Whats the only page in Orbit 2 that looks somewhat professional?
    The Orders Page!, fancy that, every other page looks like it was put together by a 5th grader with a edu version of Frontpage 98 but the page that could suck some more money out of us looks great.

    Anyhow, enough rambling. The Planet culture sucks and the days of having some geek answer a ticket and seem genuinely excited that he fixed your problems are gone, nowdays we are just dealing with a company that has absolutely no regard for it's customers.

    If you force Orbit 2 on to me I and probably many others will find somewhere else.

  15. #15
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    Well put, Under.

    I agree, all that The Planet see is dollars and cents.
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  16. #16
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    Welcome to Web Hosting Talk, Under! Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts on the development of Orbit 2.

    Quote Originally Posted by Under View Post
    You can preach until the cows come home about the development problems with integrating Orbit 1, Orbit 2 and server command but I really couldn't give a crap. You are doing this for one primary reason and that reason is to save money! It's certainly not to improve the customer experience because if that was the case you would not even consider forcing the crippled buggy crap that Orbit 2 is on to your customers.
    In the world of software development, the best way to save money is to not make any changes. Creating a consolidated portal to bring consistency to our entire customer base is in no way cheaper than leaving two legacy, poorly coded and stoic portals in operation. In what ways is the development of a new platform a money-saving strategy?

    Assuming that your anonymous first post to a third-party forum isn't the first interaction you've had with us about your concerns for the portal, if you can include a ticket number or a domain hosted on our servers, I can track down your account and find exact instances where our support may not have served you as well as we could have or where you could have gotten the impression that your concerns about the portal were not being met with an appropriate level of sincerity in response.

    Whats the first thing I see when I login to Orbit?
    My Account Balance and Next Billable date. great, because that is so important too me when my served has clapped out. Do you think we care? we know when our bills are due, get it off the front page.
    If you would prefer not to have that information available to you upon login, click "Customize" on the right-hand side of the page and "Close" in the "Billing Overview" section. As we continue to interact and actively build on the platform, we will add Web parts and widgets for users to continue to customize the home page and streamline your interaction with Orbit 2. We believed this approach (allowing customers to customize their views) would prevent complaints like this one, but it would appear that safeguard was ineffective in this case.

    If you force Orbit 2 on to me I and probably many others will find somewhere else.
    I understand where you're coming from, and while I don't have a great context of what kind of daily interaction you're doing with Orbit, I get that making a change to a new platform - one that, being a brand new software platform, is buggy - is disconcerting. In the long run, the portal will be much more flexible, usable and accessible ... in the short run, that might not necessarily be the case.

    If it's any consolation, I'm a geek, and I was excited to respond to your WHT post.
    Kevin Hazard
    Director, Digital Content
    SoftLayer, an IBM Companyhttp://twitter.com/softlayer

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick H View Post
    Kevin,

    Let me ask you this then:
    If you're aware that there are issues in Orbit 2 then why did you set a "forced" migration date before it was ready and stable enough for client use?

    And please don't say it is. Because it's not.
    Hey Nick,

    Working without any deadline or urgency would simply lead to a project that never gets done. While it's entirely possible that the cut-off date will be pushed back from the initially scheduled date, that shouldn't suggest that it's never going to happen.

    The best way to make sure it's not rushed: keep letting us know where you're not happy with the portal. Use the "Report Portal Issue" link at the top of each page to let us know exactly what you don't like about anything and everything. If you don't get the response you want or feel like you are entitled to, send me an email (khazard AT theplanet.com).
    Kevin Hazard
    Director, Digital Content
    SoftLayer, an IBM Companyhttp://twitter.com/softlayer

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by KHazard View Post
    poorly coded and stoic
    That pretty much sums up Orbit 2.

    What was wrong with Orbit 1 besides the fact it worked properly?
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick H View Post
    That pretty much sums up Orbit 2.

    What was wrong with Orbit 1 besides the fact it worked properly?
    Perceived usability and the cleanliness and flexibility of a platform's code base are two entirely different things. If you're not a fan of how the server reboot process works in Orbit 2, that doesn't mean that it isn't written more cleanly and more accessibly than it was in the legacy Orbit portal.

    Our legacy Orbit portal has performed great for years, and everyone has really gotten used to it (clearly). It does not have an API, it does not allow for easy integration of new products and services, it does not fully serve the thousands of customers still using ServerCommand to manage parts of their infrastructure and it is an amalgamation of years of one-off fixes and custom workarounds. It's basically as good as it's going to get. Orbit 2 might not measure up in your mind right now, but it is not limited in any of the ways the legacy portal is.

    As I've tried to reinforce throughout, the development of Orbit 2 is only going to be as successful as the candid feedback we receive from customers about it. This thread is an example of that feedback. So are the tickets that folks have been sending in for months now. Have you tried to give this feedback previously and been ignored or felt like your concern was not handled appropriately?
    Last edited by KHazard; 08-07-2009 at 04:16 PM.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by KHazard View Post
    If you're not a fan of how the server reboot process works in Orbit 2
    That's the problem. It doesn't work. And it takes a more complicated process to realize that now.
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  21. #21
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    Kevin,

    Kudos for taking the time to address us meanies head on. I appreciate reading your replies.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by KHazard View Post
    Perceived usability and the cleanliness and flexibility of a platform's code base are two entirely different things. If you're not a fan of how the server reboot process works in Orbit 2, that doesn't mean that it isn't written more cleanly and more accessibly than it was in the legacy Orbit portal.
    I see your point, but why does it matter how cleanly the panel is written? Why bother with beautiful code when it's going to negatively impact your customers?

    Quote Originally Posted by KHazard View Post
    Our legacy Orbit portal has performed great for years, and everyone has really gotten used to it (clearly). It does not have an API, it does not allow for easy integration of new products and services, it does not fully serve the thousands of customers still using ServerCommand to manage parts of their infrastructure and it is an amalgamation of years of one-off fixes and custom workarounds. It's basically as good as it's going to get. Orbit 2 might not measure up in your mind right now, but it is not limited in any of the ways the legacy portal is.
    That does make sense. However, during a refresh, wouldn't it make sense to copy over existing functionality that customers like? If you're developing from scratch, there has to be a way to copy over existing UI features but still keep the code fresh and clean.


    Alex

  23. #23
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    Is orbit a software written from theplanet?

    Where can I find more information?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by CretaForce View Post
    Is orbit a software written from theplanet?

    Where can I find more information?
    Yes, Orbit is The Planet's client portal.
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  25. #25
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    This is EXACTLY why I like The Planet so much. Good work listening to our whining and adjusting accordingly.

    Dear Customer,

    Earlier this year, we announced the introduction of our next-generation customer portal Orbit 2.0, as well as the target termination date for our legacy portals Orbit 1.0 and ServerCommand. The goal of this beta period was to gain large scale feedback and testing from our customers since you are intimately familiar with the requirements that are critical to your business. Accordingly, we are postponing the termination date for Orbit 1.0 and ServerCommand.

    We're listening to you.

    We have received lots of great feedback on Orbit 2.0. Some of you have praised the new look and feel, improved navigation and consolidated interface. Other constructive feedback has offered insight into changes you would like to have before we end access to our legacy portals.

    What you said to us.

    We have compiled a list of your comments and concerns, and we are continuing to work them in order of greatest impact. Next, we've heard loud and clear that Orbit 2.0 is a sizeable improvement to the legacy portals, and you want more features. Examples of these include simplified ticket entry, easier server list navigation, and improved search capability. Finally, some of you have not yet had the opportunity to try the new portal.

    We're changing the plan.

    In response to your valuable feedback, we are adjusting the schedule. We originally targeted August 17, 2009, to end access to Orbit 1.0 and ServerCommand. We want you to have the best experience possible, so we are pushing back the date for full migration to Orbit 2.0. This means that all three portals - Orbit 1.0, ServerCommand and Orbit 2.0 - will continue to be available. We will announce a new date for the termination of the legacy portals in the near future.

    If you have any questions about the transition to Orbit 2.0, please contact your sales representative or our Customer Care Department through the ticketing system, Live Support chat, or by phone at 866-325-0045.

    Sincerely,

    The Planet

  26. #26
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    I don't mind either of the Orbits at ThePlanet, it's good stuff once I get logged in. For me more of the problem is the impossible to remember login and passwords!
    My education is finally over at 28... But now I am looking for a full time job and tru lurrv...
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jame$ View Post
    I don't mind either of the Orbits at ThePlanet, it's good stuff once I get logged in. For me more of the problem is the impossible to remember login and passwords!
    IMO, this is a great feature, as it protects your password in case your PC gets hacked.
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  28. #28
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    Back in the day EV1 was the best dedicated hosting company in the world. Marsh and the boys ran that ship well.

    Then a guy took over that clearly did not understand the industry and killed off a great brand.

    Just imagine last year when one of their Houston facilities blew up (yes it really blew up) - that was EV1. I am sure many many customers left, some may have left and went to a competitor named The Planet (which I am sure allot of people did not know about the merger or such). I am sure that is the reason Uk2 has not merged brands as well and the same reason we continue to buy multiple brands. TP is a second class organization who has meetings about having meetings all day, rather than letting their employees get work done.
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  29. #29

    The Planet is doing well for me

    I read these posts looking for info on Orbit 2 and found a lot of bashing of thePlanet.

    I'm no expert, but in my limited experience with thePlanet, they've been exceptional. Being a non-tech person, they've helped explain things that should probably be obvious. They are VERY prompt in their responses. The live chat works great. I'm literally stunned with how good the tech support is. I've almost gotten used to hour long waits on hold anytime I call AT&T, Amex, etc. I get better, faster service when I call the IRS these days than I do with most corporations. And I get English, not Indie-English. Actually, most Indian call centers speak better English these days...and are MUCH more polite...than US based. But they can't solve problems...they just read a script. thePlanet breaks all those expectations. Plain English, prompt responses, great technical support.

    if this is bad, I can't imagine how much better they were in the good ole days these posters are referring to.

    Admittedly, I'm using Orbit 1 and haven't tried Orbit 2 yet. It was a steep learning curve for Orbit1, but it's probably geared toward techies.

    Anywy, just wanted to throw my support out there for thePlanet (so far).

    Also, the guy from TP that posted on this forum...kudos. You kept non-combative, polite, and responsive despite the flaming you and yours are taking.

    ..

    Nevermind. I think maybe I am using Orbit2 and didn't know it. It does take some exploration to get used to.
    Last edited by El Kabong; 01-16-2010 at 02:42 PM. Reason: correction

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodney-E2 View Post
    TP is a second class organization who has meetings about having meetings all day, rather than letting their employees get work done.
    This makes me laugh, it's so true.
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  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by El Kabong View Post

    if this is bad, I can't imagine how much better they were in the good ole days these posters are referring to.
    well, i just decided to move from my current host back to theplanet. don't have the server set up yet, ordered last weekend. they tell me 72 hours. we'll see if they hit that mark.

    i was a customer of theplanet when they had the separate brand "servermatrix" years ago. back then servermatrix was non managed customers, and theplanet was all managed customers. they were good then. not that i used the support all that much, i only ever had one issue (think it turned out to be a bad stick of ram causing the server to crash), and it was fixed in a couple of hours.

    guess we'll see this time around.

  32. #32
    well, as an update, this has been my experience with the order and initial setup, and a couple of support issues..

    1) ordered server on saturday, after chatting with a sales rep, he told me the setup time guarantee was 72 hours, sounded fine, went ahead.

    2) didn't get an email for a bit, turns out that i typo'd .com in the order form, my fault, no biggie, they forwarded the confirmation email to the proper address and i sent them back the copy of DL/CC.

    3) didn't hear anything for a couple of days, checked back after 72 hours had passed, first informed the person that i talked to that there was a typo in the original order form, he said the typo was fixed in the email address on file, server wasn't up yet, check back in 24 hours.

    4) checked back after 24 hours, the next person told me that the server was set up on the day after the order, "you should have a welcome email". i didn't, knowing what the problem was, told this person about the typo because the first one didn't pay attention to it despite my mentioning it, apparently. the same email typo still existed, they forwarded the username and pass without the email address typo and i got in fine.

    5) stayed up til the wee hours of the morning getting things i'm using on my current server at the host i'm moving from installed. turns out one app i use has a broken dependency loop between kerberos and hemidal in its current state. attempted to clean it up manually, the wrong one wound up linked to SSH and i managed to hose it. not the fault of theplanet of course, so i apologetically explained the problem to them in a ticket and they managed to get the server back up relatively quickly, but SSH is still hosed due to missing dependencies.

    6) no problem, i'll accept fault when it's mine. i told them the server doesn't have any critical info on it yet, so they can just reload the OS and i'll eat the 25 bucks for the OS reload, and start over from scratch and be more careful with dependencies this time around with that particular app. problem is, the OS reload order form in orbit is broken.

    7) let the tech i was talking to know that orbit's OS reload order form is broken. he suggests that i call/chat directly to order the OS reload, fine i do so. give him all of the info and confirmations in the chat box on their website, and head to lunch. come back, the response i have is...

    I was unable to submit the OS Reload ticket as well. We have reported this to our dev team but I don't know when it will be resolved. sorry but you'll have to wait a little while as the data center is not able to proceed with out an os reload ticket.

    Thank you for choosing The Planet
    the above response was about two hours ago, i suppose we'll see how long it takes them to fix orbit.
    Last edited by Xayd; 01-20-2010 at 05:43 PM.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xayd View Post
    the above response was about two hours ago, i suppose we'll see how long it takes them to fix orbit.
    Yikes!!!!!!!

    Sirius
    I support the Human Rights Campaign!
    Moving to the Tampa, Florida area? Check out life in the suburbs in Trinity, Florida.

  34. #34
    so apparently they fixed the ticket submission error, and now they send an email with a link to click to verify that i actually want the OS reload (after i paid for it?) and that link is also broken.

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    4,028
    Quote Originally Posted by Xayd View Post
    so apparently they fixed the ticket submission error, and now they send an email with a link to click to verify that i actually want the OS reload (after i paid for it?) and that link is also broken.
    Sounds like it might be time to pick up the phone and speak with someone about your problems.

  36. #36
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Oneida, NY
    Posts
    2,842
    Quote Originally Posted by Xayd View Post
    the above response was about two hours ago, i suppose we'll see how long it takes them to fix orbit.
    Go to SoftLayer. OS Reloads are automated and free -- and best of all they don't force you to use a garbage control panel that is barely functional
    Nick Hudson - Prevail Host LLC - http://www.prevail.host/
    Premium Quality cPanel Hosting Services - CloudLinux, LiteSpeed & SSD
    WHMControl - Secure Your Server Logins & Automate Password Changes

  37. #37
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Houston, TEXAS
    Posts
    118
    I've been a customer of EV1 and then the Planet for around 8 years, every since Cyberwings went belly up. I'm not a super geek (I wish) and I have not had a huge amount of experience with 30 different dedicated server providers, but the Planet tech support has always been 100% friendly, helpful, and willing to work with me. Knowing full well that gripes and complaints are most likely to be posted in forums, I wanted to add to the other side of the equation.

  38. #38
    update to all of the above:

    so the ticket system was fixed within the day and once they got the ticket system working, the reload went fine.

    the next day i had to submit one more ticket, forgot to turn daemon mode on for a server when i installed it and it took the boot console over (before ssh came up) the next day when i rebooted to check my startup configs after installing apache, mysql, postfix, dns server and what not, they got that sorted in about 10-15 minutes (simple ctrl-c from a KVM but nonetheless...). and they did send a pic of the hung console so that i knew what to look for to fix it.

    so my overall impression and suspicions are: the datacenter people once you get to them are completely capable and fix things pretty quickly. the people who initially respond inquiries and other such things are apparently outsourced to work-at-home types and they have been, of course, hit and miss.

    so other than orbit being a POS i really can't complain, i suppose, and intend to stay barring any other issues.
    Last edited by Xayd; 01-23-2010 at 04:04 AM.

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