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  1. #1
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    How To : Handle Downtime

    Hello All,
    Although it is the last thing on any hosts mind, downtime happends. I am currently in the middle of a major downtime-causing event. Granted downtime can be disastrous, it is not as bad as not properly handling it. I am putting this guide togeher with the hopes that it will never have to be used.

    The most important rule to remember is to keep your customers informed. I like to have WHMCS backup the database nightly and ship it to a secured location. This allows you to have a current mailing list. I like to e-mail the impacted customers every few hours and when the situation changes.

    Open a External Network Status Site. This should be done with a different provider then what you currently use, and ideally in a different geographical location. The key is to make sure that there are no dependancies between your primary network and your status site. It is also important to let your customers know about this site. Mine is a Simple WordPress site << removed >>
    Last edited by writespeak; 09-14-2009 at 09:15 PM.
    Keith I Myers
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  2. #2
    Good tips, for sure.

    Staying in contact with them is the number one key to retaining customers during a catastrophic event. Also, if it is really bad, you will want to think about giving partial refunds - this also does wonders.

    I once had a machine with over 400 customers go down for over 2 days and I only lost one or two clients during the who thing. I was in constant contact every time I got an update from the datacenter.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbbrock1 View Post
    Good tips, for sure.

    Staying in contact with them is the number one key to retaining customers during a catastrophic event. Also, if it is really bad, you will want to think about giving partial refunds - this also does wonders.

    I once had a machine with over 400 customers go down for over 2 days and I only lost one or two clients during the who thing. I was in constant contact every time I got an update from the datacenter.
    Good Point,
    I Firmly believe that customers should NEVER have to pay for downtime unless it was caused by the fault of the customer.
    Keith I Myers
    KMyers.me The rantings of a lunatic
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDisk View Post
    I am currently in the middle of a major downtime-causing event.
    And you're posting here? I would work on getting things back up and then asking ;-)
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by nerdie View Post
    And you're posting here? I would work on getting things back up and then asking ;-)
    Hello,
    Yes, it is true. One of my primary servers is offline due to a Spam Complaint. It is out of my hands ATM. I wish I could get hands on with this provider.
    Keith I Myers
    KMyers.me The rantings of a lunatic
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  6. #6
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    Who is the provider in question?
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  7. #7
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    I did handle 9 hours downtime by giving one week free, everyone will be happy, most important stay in touch and keep your clients update about whats happening

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by larwilliams View Post
    Who is the provider in question?
    Hello,
    Being that I do not want to bash this host, I would perfer not to mention this. Aside from this issue I will still say that this host was and still is a great host.

    A Little Bit of Insight. I started << my site >> on a (High End) VPS. I have moved to Dedicated Servers since. However to reduce downtime and and customer impact, I left the smaller accounts on the VPS until later this month. I also did not move my main site because I did not want to re-issue the SSL Certificate until it gets closer to expireing.
    Last edited by writespeak; 09-14-2009 at 09:18 PM.
    Keith I Myers
    KMyers.me The rantings of a lunatic
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDisk View Post
    I did not want to re-issue the SSL Certificate until it gets closer to expireing.
    What has moving servers got to do with reissuing an SSL certificate?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    303
    Keeping customers updated I think when there is downtime is probably top #1 priority.
    Hey Mikey likes it!

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by mikef374 View Post
    Keeping customers updated I think when there is downtime is probably top #1 priority.
    Agreed. It helps to have a list of customers emails to let them know what is happening. And I think if downtime is longer than 3 hours, the customer deserves some sort of refund.

  12. #12
    While downtime should be avoided at all times, I also think it's inevitable. However, informing clients and being honest to them is a good move because they deserve to know so they could also plan out their move.

  13. #13
    I think one solution is to send email notifications to the clients about the server downtime and apologize mail for their incovinience. This will help to
    win the trust for client.
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  14. #14
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    The most important rule to remember is to keep your customers informed.
    YES, keep informed
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  15. #15
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    Good luck in handling the downtime. Do always remember that communication is the key to success.
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  16. #16
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    What most companys are doing these days they have twitter or facebook and always updating it.

  17. #17
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    Reading a little blip on your blog also points to making sure and knowing exactly who is on your server. Hope for better policies in the future.
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  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    I think another tip is to never ever ever have your companies site on the same server as your clients, not only for security reasons, but also because of better/easier communication during downtime.

  19. #19
    Good tips , i get ddosed like once a day.
    I can handle them in 5 minutes , but if it does go down ive got backups located on another host.

  20. #20
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    All good tips. I have to agree with MACscr.
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