Terrible Service

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by zoinky, Feb 28, 2010.

  1. I recently signed up for Winhost and things were smooth at first, however today my site just was not responding, i came to Winhost.com to find out whats going on, to figure out that the main site is down too.
    The support and domain should be separate so that when one is down we can contact you some how. I assume my website is running on the same server as Winhost.com which worries me a LOT.
    I like to know exact details on what went wrong and how can we avoid this in the future and specifically how can we contact you if this happens again where the main site goes down with our domain leaving us with no way of contacting u.

    I am very very disappointed, but as they say, you get what you pay for.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2015
  2. Ray


    We do apologize for that disruption which you experienced. One of our network provider 'Internap' suffered a router disruption that affected traffic going to through that line. This not only affected us but a greater deal of people and internet users. Our monitoring system notified our systems administrator right away and they were in direct constant contact with Internap to try and get this issue resolved as quickly as possible. Traffic was quickly diverted to our alternative backbone provider 'Savis' however due to routing configuration issues, IP addresses that were assoicated with the domain name 'Winhost.com' was failing to route through 'Savis'. We have raised this issue with Savis and they are investigating the issue. When a network outage such as these occur we typically fail over to our alternative lines. For the most part our customers webpages were able to switch over to our backup provider, but any IP address assoicated to Winhost.com such as cp.Winhost.com, and s02.Winhost.com did not.

    Once the issue has been resolved with Internap we configured all our routing back to normal. Unfortunately failures and outages with upstream providers are beyond our control. We are researching with Savis why some of the IP addresses could not switch over. Once this has been resolved, then next time we experience this type of network outage again we can switch over to our backup line.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2015
  3. Yeah, I noticed the outage too because I was in the middle of development when it happened. However, I strongly disagree with zoinky's opinion of "terrible service". I guess it all depends on the definition of "service".

    So far, I have experienced nothing short of outstanding customer service with Winhost.com. On top of that, the web control panel and remote access to SQL and IIS7 are phenomenal.

    True, the network was down, but what do you do? This could happen at any hosting provider, even the largest ones. So, generally, you're right: you get what you pay for. Perhaps there is not yet as robust of a fail-over system with Winhost as there could be. But all things being equal, the Winhost guys are clearly professionals and very good at what they do. That's why they're ranked so highly on web hosting directories: awesome platform, low price.

    So, while I respect zoinky's opinions, I disagree with the harsh assessment based on an acute symptom. Winhost rocks. Thanks for the quick response to the network outage, guys. I'm sure you were scrambling. We've all been there.

    BTW, I'm just a customer. No business affiliation with Winhost.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2015
  4. Ray


    Thank you for that positive feedback. At least once a week we have a support staff meeting. I want everyone to rest assured that I will bring this concern with our managers and staff. I do agree that we should have some kind of way to let our members know that a disruption is occurring. Something that is outside our own backbone line so it doesn't get affected if this occurs again.

    It is difficult to control how the Internet works, whether it will be up or down. I can understand some of the misconception that we may have some control over the Internet since we are the one hosting the website, but really we are in the same boat as with our customers when network outages over the Internet occurs. I can only reinforce that we did have a backup line, and the issue of not being able to fall back to the backup line (please read my previous post) is being addressed by our top systems administrator with Savis. We are confident that this will be resolved and that we will have redundancy within our backbone providers.
  5. Your assumption is incorrect. The customer servers are all quite separate from the corporate servers. As Ray explained, it was a network issue, not a server issue.

    Just wanted to clarify that.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2015
  6. While outages are understandable to a point and this could be one of them, what has raised red flags with me was the fact that there was absolutely no knowing way of contact you guys to figure out what happened, and I think putting a system in place to notify members right away of such outages should be on the FIRST to do list.
    I like to get a progress of this and when it is going to be implemented so that I can prepare better for the next outage (hopefully wont be one).

    I am more disappointed in the fact that there was no way of knowing what is going on than the service backbone being down.

    Can you elaborate more on why some sites didn't fall to the alternative network so that I better understand the situation.
  7. We will not be implementing a system to "notify members right away of such outages," because we already have one; the "Outages and maintenance" section of this forum. Now, allow me to look in to the future and predict your response to that statement: "But the outages forum does me no good if your whole network is hosed!" Correct, it does not. But nothing else would either.

    I can tell you one thing about Winhost and every other host on the planet: there will be outages, large and small in the future! That's a fact of life, and there is not a host anywhere that can provide service that isn't subject to the same statement. Okay, I take that back. There are a few, but you will pay them several hundreds (or thousands) of dollars every month to use their services. Hundreds of times what you pay for a Winhost or similar low priced hosting account.

    Does that mean our network and infrastructure is low-grade, rickety or otherwise sucky in some way? No it doesn't. But we - and every other host - get our connections to the big wide internet from a handful of companies. Those companies providing that bandwidth sometimes have problems (as in this case), and there's not a thing we can do to prevent that.

    We seek to alleviate that potential problem through multiple internet backbone connections. And most of the time it's a pretty good solution (and one that most other hosts in our price range do not really offer, regardless of their marketing claims). This time it wasn't for some technical reasons that I won't go in to here because no one reading this would understand them. (Not because I think everyone reading this is stupid, but because I'm quite sure no one reading this is a shared hosting networking expert, and you really would have to be in order to completely understand it.)

    But back to the subject of outages and notification. We will always notify you of a planned outage or maintenance. We will not always (in fact hardly ever) notify you by email in the event of an emergency or unplanned outage. Why? Because we don't know if the emergency or unplanned outage is going to last 45 seconds, 45 minutes or 45 days. Well, it wouldn't last 45 days, that was hyperbole.

    But many times these kinds of outages are over before we can even notify each other, let alone coordinate any kind of customer communication. There's just no way to know. If we get caught up in something that appears to be ongoing we will always post it in the aforementioned outages forum.

    That being said, what would you like beyond that? If you think about it there isn't much available outside of a forum post or an email. Email is unlikely for unplanned outages for the reasons I mentioned. No one wants to get an email saying their site is down, then when they check, it is not down. After a couple of those we would have a whole other bunch of complaints on our hands.

    But really, if you have any ideas we're always willing to listen.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2015

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